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Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 06:32
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Thought I'd write my story here and the other low GPA thread since I read through all of the low GPA threads a bunch of times when applying because I was so nervous about my chances. Hopefully I will give another low GPA-er some hope!

Profile:
Age/gender: 28 y/o female
GPA: 2.9 from a top 10 liberal arts school, economics major
GMAT: 700 and 690 (yes did worse the second time), don't remember my split but my quant was nowhere near that 80% everyone says to get.
WE: 3 years in a rotational program for a well known financial services firm, 3 years in risk at a global investment bank
Extracurriculars: Captain of sports team in college, consistent volunteering since college (some leadership positions and unique stuff), very involved with former college, and have a lot of hobbies I mentioned in my apps to sort of differentiate myself.

Schools I applied to and results (all Rnd 1 or Regular Decision):

Wharton: Waitlisted (after a terrible interview mind you, Team Discussion was great, but interview, yikes)
Kellogg: Waitlisted
Columbia: Accepted
Fuqua: Accepted
Stern: Accepted

I think the following helped my case:

1. A clear idea/and description in my apps of my career goals, why an MBA would help them, why that specific school's MBA would help them, why now was the time I was pursuing MBA, and how my prior work experience would help me achieve those goals. I had heard that schools worry career changers won't find jobs if it is too great of a change, so I highlighted aspects/stories of my work experience that directly applies to my goals. I also made sure to show why I was passionate about my goals and what had led me to realize my goals.

2. In addition to tying my work experience to my goals, I tried to give examples of leadership at work. I told a couple of stories that demonstrated me taking initiative and leading teams. I also told my recommenders that schools like that so if they had any stories to put in their recommendations that would be great. Don't know what my recommenders ended up writing, but I did send them both an email with what my goals are and some of my professional and personal accomplishments.

3. Once you start doing in depth research on a school and its programs, it is pretty easy to figure out what is important to that school (what type of candidate they are looking for). So in each of my essays, I made sure to pick examples and tailor my message to that specific school's values.

4. I took two classes in the summer before I applied, 1 accounting class and 1 math class (not calculus level) to show that I have quant skills and can be a good student, got A's in both courses. Was told specifically by one of the schools that they really liked that I took the initiative to take those courses.

5. I visited every school I applied to. Luckily for me this was easy and the only two schools I really had to fly to were Duke and Kellogg which meant I could self-initiate an interview while I was there. Just felt like this showed my interest but more importantly allowed me to speak of my visit in my application.

6. In general I just really tried to show that I was ready to fully engage in the program and the school's community. Also tried to show a coherent story as to how my career goals were formed, how MBA would help achieve them, and what I hoped to do in the short term and long term.

7. Just a note about the optional essay since I wondered about this. I chose note to come right out and say "I have a low GPA because...". Instead I chose to use the essay to highlight the two courses I took in an effort to prepare myself for the rigors or the MBA program and since I had been out of school for awhile.

Hope that is helpful to someone! Nothing earth shattering above, but there are so many things to keep in mind and think about in this whole process it's easy to just get stuck on your low gpa or gmat and think that means you're not a strong candidate. Especially looking on this board, it's amazing how many people have such strong stats. But you never know, you see people with 750 GMATs and 3.8 GPAs get rejected from top schools all the time while someone with much lower stats gets in. To me, that really shows that the adcoms really do take a look at the holistic picture. Good luck!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2013, 19:06
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Good GMAT score is good to have. But that is not all. So, with a moderate GMAT score you can still make into a top B SChool. If you are not interested to give another shot at GMAT or if you dont see yourself with a much improved GMAT score in the near future, it's better to focus on criteria than spending more time on GMAT :)
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2014, 12:32
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Thought it was time to post my profile here.

Profile
UG GPA: 2.475 Mechanical Engineering (Ivy non-HYP)
Grad GPA: 3.33
WE: 78 months at matriculation (3 different companies 5 different positions most recently in a Project Manager role)
GMAT: 730 49Q 40V 6IR 6AWA (first and only take)
EC's: 4 years of coaching children on the weekends and 2 years of mentoring high school students
Minority: Asian American Male

More of my story can be found in the link in my signature. :gl to all of you still trying! There is hope!
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My GMAT Journey: A surprising 730!

My Application experience: Low GPA Success!

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 11:37
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Great idea, it seems that only 700+ are getting into top schools. Wondering if anyone is gonna post something here
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 16:31
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I hope to be one of the success stories with a 660..... but I don't think it's going to happen :x

After browsing this board and looking at some friends, I'm pretty sure I overestimated my chances. Guess I'll be taking the gmat again for the 7th time and applying next year. That is, if I can manage to stay employed. Oh boy. Credit crunchtastic!

Good luck to you guys!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 18:51
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I know someone who's WL at Booth it that helps... probably reading this right now!
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Schools: Chicago (R2), Kellogg (R2), Tuck (R1), Darden (R1), Cornell (R1), Texas (R2), Rice (R1)
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2008, 09:51
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Guys, dont be dissappointed with a low GMAT/GPA. The stats on these forums are lil skewed in anycase. All u need to do is to check the 80 percentile ranges from top business schools and u ll know what I am talking about.

having said that, pay a lot of attention to your essays and come up with a clear career vision. Also, train your recommenders so that u have a very coherent story to present to adcom. Also, broaden your school choices and apply in a diversified mix.

Best of luck!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2008, 21:21
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I've said it many times, and received negative comments many many times, but I'll say it again. People admitted with GMAT scores more than 20-30 points below the median for a given school are either underrepresented minorities or have some other easily identifiable unique factors that support their candidacy. People without such factors and not from such underrepresented groups can rely on little more than pure luck if their scores are more than 30 points below the average.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2008, 05:02
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GMAT: 670 (Q:50, V:30, AWA:4)
University attended: ENSAM (French top leading engineering school)
Major(s): Mechanical engineering
GPA / Honours:N/A
Nationality: French / Congo
Age: (at matriculation) 31
Gender: Male
Work Experience: 6 / Consulting / Associate
Extra-curricular Activities: Many
Community Services: Many

Business Schools (Admitted): Columbia in the ED
Business Schools (Applied but Dinged):

Hope this gives hope :-D
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2009, 13:28
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Also, for what its worth, while you might be able to get into a top school with AA, you certainly can't get a job with it.

If you don't have a 3.5+, you're still out of luck. Actually I know there is a lot of frustration amongst minorities that firms go to places like Howard, Morehouse and Spelman to recruit minorities with 3.8s etc., but don't take Ivy League/Stanford/Duke/MIT minorities with 3.0-3.3s as the quality of some of the HBCU's is only slightly above top prep schools.

It doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2010, 11:40
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i've edited the thread title to reflect low GPAs as well. here is an admit success story from drsatisfaction - GPA of 1.9, and admitted to oxford and insead.

my-road-to-oxford-sbs-and-insead-89413.html
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2010, 11:58
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shadowsjc wrote:
i've edited the thread title to reflect low GPAs as well. here is an admit success story from drsatisfaction - GPA of 1.9, and admitted to oxford and insead.

my-road-to-oxford-sbs-and-insead-89413.html


thanks man. wasn't sure where to put it but this is a good thread.

also, to clarify a bit on my profile:

Asian
25, 26 by matriculation
GPA 1.9 - admitted into school at 15 on a full scholarship though, and completely screwed off afterwards
GMAT - 760
WE - 6 yrs by matriculation, with 1.5 in a pretty senior leadership role. i manage all financial related issues on my company's business with 2 major Fortune 50 companies (think software maker and chocolate maker) and have a team of about 50 that all matrix into me for finance. this is worth easily $10+ million and i increased the profitability of the businesses significantly.

reading some of the earlier success stories, i must say, the essays are key. the reason i think i got into oxford was the fact that the 2nd essay is 2000 words and i went on a limb to really write a compelling case for myself as an outlier and distinguish my application from others. for INSEAD, i focused on the achievements i had at work. i'm not talking about winning awards or whatever. i'm talking about hard bottom line results that can't be argued with and the experiences i have managing people at a fairly young age.

also, references - i believe i got very strong references from my VP. i never got a chance to see what he wrote, but i have a great relationship with him and believe he really pushed for me in the references.

so overall my argument was - talent is not an issue with me. it's always been drive. i was 15 and i butchered my undergrad GPA. i've moved on, i've grown in life, and i can handle the work now. of course, some programs bought it and took me in, others didn't.
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Oxford Round 1 - interview invite 10/30/09, admit 12/11/09, ATTENDING 2010

My Road to Oxford and INSEAD http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-road-to-oxford-sbs-and-insead-89413.html#p676253

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 17:25
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GMAT: 610 (low quant)
GPA: 3.3
Nationality: USA
Age: (at matriculation): 28
Gender: M
Work Experience: Six years, consulting
Extra-curricular Activities/Community Services: Strong area for me, many unique experiences

Business Schools (Applied in R2): Wharton, Columbia, Chicago

Though my job is pretty quant heavy, I just could not crack the quant section of the GMAT. I demonstrated my quant ability through essays and asked my recommenders to focus on my quant skills.

Honestly, at the point in my career, going to a lower ranked school (ie, one where my GMAT "fits") is just not worth it for me. Though I have reasonable expectations for this process, I am going to be intrigued to see how much GMAT actually comes into play.

I have extensively networked at each of the three schools I have applied, and hope that the hustle factor, along with my essays/work experiences, will allow adcoms to wave me in.

Question: Though my best individual GMAT is a 610, if you combine my best verbal with my best quant (from consecutive GMAT takes) my score is roughly a 680. Any chance an adcom would take this into consideration.

Best of luck everyone...will report back when I have some news to report.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 18:38
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I dont have much to report yet as im still waiting on decisions, but I was admitted to Duke with a 3.1 from a "party school". I think you can have a low GPA, or low GMAT, but if you have both you better be a URM or have some type of crazy story. Thats the vibe I have gotten.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2010, 15:00
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Just received an interview invite from Booth today
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2010, 20:07
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Thanks sapphireka! I had a good email exchange with my interviewer today and will report back about how it goes.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 16:17
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Hello. I hope this gives others with low GMAT scores some hope. My first time I took the GMAT, I had a devastating score of 520. Keep the faith!

GMAT: 630 (Q:44, V:33, AWA:4.5)
University attended: Large state-school
Major(s): Business
GPA / Honours: 3.4
Nationality: American (Hispanic)
Age: (at matriculation): 30
Gender: M
Work Experience: No. of Years / Industry / Role: ~6 years; HR Recruiting, Overseas work in tourism.
Extra-curricular Activities: Lots of international/domestic volunteer work
Community Services: Board member of major minority organization

Business Schools (Admitted):
CGSM: Emory
CGSM: Wash U
Vanderbilt

Pending:
CGSM: Virginia

Business Schools (Applied but Dinged):
CGSM: Texas
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 19:43
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I'd like to echo the words of a wise friend

"Don't worry about the past, focus on what you CAN change."
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2010, 12:09
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aa5786 wrote:
Had a chat with a staff member at Wharton recently and discussed my 50 percentile quant score. Before I could jump into my standard explanation, she looked at my resume and said......"your work experience and undergrad econ major are all the examples I need of your quant ability, don't worry about it."

Guys - Don't let these +700'ers psych you out if you have other components of your background which can speak to ability.



thanks for the information. I had/have a similar issue. I have an undergrad in finance and econ, worked as an i-banking analyst for 2 years and i am currently a financial model anlayst for a big 4 transaction advisory practice. Despite my background, I have struggled with the quant section of the GMAt.

I got a 640 the first time i took the test: 49 percentile quant. Retook the test a week after submitting my last app on jan 15th. My new score was much better: 700, altho the quant was still fairly poor= 67 percentile. I was sure that Booth would ding me considering its analytical bent and because I sent the new score to the school as an update to my app, 3 weeks after the round 2 deadline. Miraculously, I received an interview invite a couple of weeks back and just had my interview this past saturday (which I think went fairly well).

So I am curious how you setup this appointment to discuss ur app. So you met with an adcom member in person and discussed different parts of ur app at length? was he/she willing to discuss the other strenghts and weaknesses? do you know if other schools (e.g. Booth and Kellogg) are receptive to this kind of discussion?

Altho I havent made an appointment with the add office, most of the questions that I've asked have gotten fairly standard responses and got the impression that they would/could not comment on the specifics of my application.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 19:52
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WoW! Congrats man. I am also in a same boat you were before but my transcript is all messed up. once I got 2.51 and then it's been low :(. Your post did boost me and I am trying to take some courses like Calculus,Statistics and Accounting. Problem is we don't have community colleges but Linda from Accepted.com suggested online course so will try that and also have to ace GMAT. I am aiming Haas, Ross, and UCLA or Cornell so do pray for me guys. And best of luck with your future ahead.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2010, 19:52

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