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Profile Request for Low GPA

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Profile Request for Low GPA [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2010, 06:45
Hi,

Can you please comment on my profile and chances for admission.

Stats:
White male
28
4.5 years work experience
GMAT 1 - 610
GMAT 2 - 690
Overall GPA - 2.95
Major GPA - 3.57
Last 84 hours GPA - 3.45
BS in Construction Management from a state school

Education:
I really struggle in my first 2 years of college. Earning 4 D's and 2 F's in the easiest classes. This was completely due to my immaturity. After receiving my final grades the semester I failed two classes, I had a realization that either I needed to straighten up my grades and actually graduate or go find full time employment. My parents told me to find employment because they would not support me any longer because of my poor grades. So for my final 6 semesters of school I worked full time while taking a full time class load to pay for school. I managed to achieve a 3.45 GPA for the last 84 hours of classes.

Work Experience:
4.5 years of experience with a major oil and gas company working as a construction representative. As a construction rep I have managed offshore construction projects such as the installation of caissons/platforms ranging from $3-8 million and the structural repairs of damaged structures. I have also managed the compliance underwater inspection program which consist of planning, scheduling, and coordinating the program to comply with government standards.

Extra-Curricular:
- Participate in companies local area flag football team
- Serve food to hungry college students 1 Sunday a month
- Volunteer for Junior Achievement to teach students about personal finances
- Rebuilding America when I have time

Post-MBA goals:
To get into a finance career track with a major oil and gas company.

Schools:
Target: Vanderbilt, Indiana, UNC
Safety: Not sure if I would have any based on my trascript

My top choice would be Vanderbilt based on location.

Would I stand any chance with the schools listed above? Are there any other schools that I should consider?

Thank you for any comments.
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Re: Profile Request for Low GPA [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2010, 07:17
Hey there,

My sense is that you have a good chance of getting in. Yes, your GPA is low, but you have a very good redemption story to make up for it, which you should definitely use either for your optional essay to explain your grades, or for a "learning from a mistake" essay. A 3.45 in-major GPA is more than acceptable, and bouncing back like that shows resilience, which adcoms definitely like. Your 3.45 in recent classes also shows an upward trajectory, which is good. Don't kick yourself too much for past mistakes -- I also had a bad year in school (collecting a bunch of C's and a D), and at first I couldn't get over it and my application essays were all about that. But friends & colleagues gave me very good advice on framing things in a positive light (since everything aside from that year was positive) and I got into a Top 10 school. GPA isn't everything.

Minor point about wording: don't describe it as "in the last 84 hours" since it's a bit confusing. Talk about terms or semesters or number of courses. Like "3.45 during my most recent 5 courses" or whatever the case may be.

Other pro's: you have a great GMAT score, which should put to rest any doubts about your actual intellectual/academic ability; your work experience is interesting and non-traditional; sounds like you have management experience, which scores you major leadership points (emphasize it and focus on the managing people aspect, not just manging budgets or money); your goals are very well suited for an MBA.

As for the schools you're targeting, your stats are well in line with their admitted class. I pulled the image below from application manager http://www.applyinthesky.com (Sorry for the shill to my start-up but it was the easiest place for me to compare applicant stats to school stats. Moderators feel free to edit out the link if it's not kosher.):

Image

I hope I got your stats & schools right... Your work experience I inputted as 4, but it's higher than that an in any case you have more than enough to be competitive. Yes, your cumulative GPA is low but your in-major GPA and your more recent GPA are both significantly higher than the averages at the schools you're targeting, so I would think you're good there.

As for safety schools, what are you primarily looking for in an MBA program? Might be able to give you some ideas.

Hope this helps.

Apply in the Sky
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Re: Profile Request for Low GPA [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2010, 10:32
Thanks for the Response Apple!

Your words of encouragement over my low GPA and specifically 2 F’s are very uplifting. I have been very been embarrassed that I allowed myself to fail 2 classes (that fact they were introductory classes makes the feeling even worse). In fact, I have been married for over two years (dated for a previous 2) and I just recently told my wife that fact (that I failed 2 classes) when I decided that I wanted to pursue an MBA.

My experience in management has been more projects based such as managing construction contractors and the day-to-day aspects of the construction process, as well as coordinating with engineering companies. I have not supervised any permanent employees. I will (in my essays) emphasize the leadership that comes from managing those aspects of a project.

As far as what am I looking for in an MBA program my criteria would fall in the following order:
• A highly qualified and respected faculty, most importantly finance faculty
• A career services department that is successful in placing students in new positions
• Location – preferably in the south or east coast, but I am not opposed to moving north or west for school (I’m currently located in Louisiana)
• A well respected MBA program – I don’t want to be considered a rankings gazer, but if I am going to take the time off from work and attend school I want to try and get into the best program possible for my credentials.

I mentioned that my post-MBA career goals are to get a finance position within a major oil and gas company; I am specifically talking about a finance leadership position. I know the company I currently only interns a handful, so the positions are tough to obtain. The universities that I know (there may be others) the leadership positions are recruited from includes: Duke, UVA, UT-Austin, and Wharton. Obviously I know I will not be able to get into any of those programs due to my transcript.

If I am not able to get into a position in a finance leadership position, I would like to work in equity research for an investment management company. Both of the jobs that I would like are going to be very competitive to get into.

The main school that I have done research on is Vanderbilt. I really like the location in Nashville. The city has a small town tight-knit community feel even though it’s a fairly large place. Plus the people whom I have spoken to that went through the MBA program have said nothing but great things.

I would like to apply to at least 2 reach schools, 3 competitive schools, and 1 safety school. What schools would you suggest?

Thank you again for your response!
Re: Profile Request for Low GPA   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2010, 10:32
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