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I am so relieved to find this thread here on GMAT club. I used the site when studying for my GMAT and it was really helpful. Now that I'm starting my applications, I hope it can still be of help. I'm worried about my profile for top programs, I've asked admissions counselors about it but they have not been very helpful.
A bit of background, I'm applying for Fall of 2011 and I'm looking exclusively at Bay Area (California) schools. The top schools are Haas (Berkeley) and Stanford, after that there are no top tier schools in the area. I have a family so relocating may not be an option.
GMAT: 740 (47Q, 45V), 6.0 AWA Undergrad GPA: 2.6 in Electrical Engineering (UCLA) Additional GPA: 4.0 in Project Management Program from UC Berkeley Extension Years Experience: 8 (31 yrs old at the start of the term)
I was heavily involved in extracurricular activities in college and held several leadership positions. My work experience has seen a consistent increase in responsibilities, but most of it is for small start-up companies (> 50 employees). I also had some personal issues contributed to the GPA problems, but I hate to use them as an excuse.
I am worried that Haas may not even consider me due to the GPA (they're 80% avg is very high - 3.39 - 3.8). They also place an emphasis on quant, and I was only in the 76th percentile. Stanford doesn't list an average GPA, but I've heard that they tend to go for younger, innovative applicants. Is my profile competitive for these programs?
Thanks for the response ThroughMBA, I really appreciate it. Originally, I was thinking of applying to other programs as well (UCLA, USC); however, relocating is not an option for me at this point in my life. My wife has a good job in the area and we will need her income if I am in school.
I am happy that my profile will, at least, warrant consideration for top schools. Do you think there are any other worthwhile programs in the area?
In the area directly, not really. One word of advice though. You DO have chances, but applying to ONLY Haas and Stanford can be a bit risky. It doesn't mean its not the right choice for you. Because if you can't move, you can't. But you may want to think about if it makes sense for you to apply elsewhere (In Cali for example if its relevant). If you wouldn't go anyways, then obviously not, but applying to only two schools, one of which is Stanford is risky, even if you have an 800 GMAT. Anyhow I will also point out that more important yet would be what you have done and what your goals are, what you can write in terms of achievements.
You might need to prove to the admission committee that your GPA won’t be an issue. If you can tell in your application about any extra classes or courses you were part of , in the subjects that you didn’t do well and highlight your zeal to learn and improve it could also improve your low GPA situation. You could also talk about. You have a stellar profile highlight it well. Make sure you follow the ‘show rather than tell’ principle so that the admissions committee could really understand your strengths and differentiating factors. If you do this the age should be such a big concern to them.