Hi, thanks so much for reaching out and seeking my advice.
You have a really cool backstory actually. Not only is your education and WE stateside, which is helpful at broadening your life experience and what we call "origin diversity," but you also enjoyed rapid promotions and did some interesting work.
When you factor in a nice solid thread of themes (leadership, teamwork, creativity, etc.) and you have the magic 700+ GMAT, you can make yourself very competitive in spite of your GPA. We've seen 2.6-2.9 GPAs be the thing that can most easily be sidestepped when talking about potential "ding trigger."
Here is how to do it:
1. Choose the right schools. Don't just look at what they are good at and where you would most want to go, although those are clearly critical. Also look to see where your GPA will cause you the fewest problems. You want either schools that A) are big, which means they are more easily able to absorb your lower score without messing with the average, B) have a little bit lower average GPAs (ie, not Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton), or C) have anecdotally demonstrated that they will take a high 2 GPA without batting an eye (Haas is one such school).
So even though Haas is small and has a pretty high average GPA, we've seen enough students buck the odds because they had good WE, good GMAT, and great essays. Likewise, Wharton is huge and has the ability to absorb, but it also boats a really high average GPA that tells you they value it quite a bit. Ross is a pretty big b-school with a very low average GPA and that is good in consulting, so that is a program you should definitely target. Right now, pulling Wharton for Ross would be an important first step in your process.
2. Showcasing fit with that school. Once you pick them, you have to really, truly nail them. On a DNA level. Hit that school right where it ticks. This is obviously hard to do. Sometimes research is enough. Often, it's working with someone like me if you have the resources to do so, quite frankly. (And be sure to check our promotions we're running, as there will never be a more better time to sign up and save a lot of $.)
2. Articulate perfect career goals. You + an MBA from School X = you ST goals. Then, bridge your ST to long-term and connect the LT goals back to your greatest passions. Everything should connect and work in a circular fashion. Any holes in the job plan and overall career narrative and you will give the program an extra "out" and they will take that and your lower GPA and punt you. As long as you weave flawless goals and plans for career, you will stay in the game and allow them to take in all the other themes and stories you present in your essays. One of which should be...
3. Showcasing maturity. The best thing you can do about your low GPA is show how irrelevant it is to your life and abilities now. There's no excuse the schools haven't heard a thousand times, so the best bet is to just focus on making sure that maturity, discipline, and focus are front and center in your application narratives. You already have some distance from college, you've succeeded at work, you are taking classes to prove your chops, you got a good GMAT score that shows you have intelligence ... all that is left is to hammer that home by saying "look, the light bulb went on for me during X (class, job, project, trip, whatever), and ever since, I've been on fire. I'm a shooting star with huge things ahead of me. Who cares what my GPA was." That's not how you word it, obviously, but that is the sentiment.
We help a lot of people through consulting and I believe that our services are ideal for literally anyone - from so called "hopeless" cases to perfect applicants who just want to make sure they don't screw it up - but your profile is pretty much where we can help the most. We are experts at picking the right schools and then forwarding a narrative that showcases fit, articulates goals, and puts the proper themes front and center. It's what we do every day. You should definitely PM me or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
to get a free consultation. Read my other responses and you will see that I don't often throw the hard sell out there like this, but I know we can help you get in.
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