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26 year old Caucasian male. BA from a top-15 university in the US. Chinese major; business minor
1) GPA: Low! 2.94 cumulative. Slight downwards trend. Struggled with depression/addiction as an undergraduate- not sure if I should present that as a reason or simply leave it off the table. I have no doubt I can spin it into a good story of personal growth... but still debating as to whether it is acceptable to share on an application.
2) GMAT: Around 740 (practice exams). Taking it for real next month. Expect to solidify a high score. Right now around 80th percentile in Quant and 90's in Verbal. Really focusing on improving my Quant score.
3) Work experience: Excellent undergrad internships in marketing and business development. Worked on the biz developments of a famous musician one summer, then took part in my university entrepreneurship program the next summer (worked for a small local startup; advertising and marketing analytics). Post-grad: Two years with a failed startup in San Fran. Sales / business development Joined the Marine Corps after the company failed, but blew out my knee in training and forced to go another direction. Now: Teaching SAT, Economics, and Calculus in Shanghai, China. Also involved in both local and international business development for my training company.
4) Extra-curricular: Former NCAA track & field athlete Fraternity leadership experience and philanthropy work Eagle Scout (some work with my old troop after graduation)
5) Others: Proficient in Mandarin Chinese (have lived in three cities in China for about 2 years total)
6) MBA Interests: Eyeing programs in Brand Management or Marketing Analytics
Thanks for your info. You have some pluses and minuses within your story, as you can probably imagine. The Chinese major, international experience, athletics/extracurricular activities, and even to a degree potentially the start-up experience, all work for you. The GPA is a downer, and depending on how you explain all of your story to date, it could work or it could be questioned or confusing. And then there is the unknown of the GMAT, though if you successfully get the scores you are describing that will help with the doubt surrounding the GPA and your overall chances.
Your school list isn't necessarily out of the question; likely Duke, Cornell & UCLA may be the tougher ones for you. The others seem within reach if you are able to successfully get your story across within your applications. You may benefit from assistance to ensure your story makes sense and flows, so consider either an admissions consultant or at least getting feedback from a friend or colleague, preferably who knows b-schools well. If you are interested we do a free 30 min consult to get some more feedback and your q's answered.
PS-- as for the challenges that affected your GPA, it is probably possible to create a short, concise factual explanation that doesn't focus too much on the worst details but sheds some light on the GPA as well as how you've overcome those challenges and learned from it, etc, within the optional essay spaces. _________________
Thanks for your advice, Jen! My undergraduate GPA is certainly the biggest concern for me. In all likelihood I'll just focus on the upcoming GMAT date for now. I'll keep you in mind when I start filling out apps next month!