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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 25 Feb 2010, 12:52
Hi Guys-
Reading your messages really helps with my roller-coasting self-esteem. I'm currently applying to Cornell, Vanderbilt, MIT, and Wharton. They are pretty top schools and I know I am shooting high, but I figured I give it a try. There's always next year if this round doesn't work out- right?

Here's my profile, please let me know what you think(please be somewhat nice):
age: 28
School: earned a Ph.D in the sciences from a top school with many published research journals and international experiences and recognitions
female
asian american
2 years of work experience
GPA: 3.4
Gmat:600 ( I didn't really study for it due to my 16 hours a day work schedule (I know, just another excuse) and regretted it)

I want to go into science management and need an MBA(strong business foundation)

I am applying for the last round and have submitted my applications early for those rounds. I am very nervous! Should I start looking for an alternative (nonMBA) option while I wait study for the GMAT and reapply next year? Soooo nervous. This process is so mentally draining.
Thank you
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2010, 12:54
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.


YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! THANK YOU!
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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 09 Mar 2010, 12:51
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I just got admitted to Ross with an UG GPA of 3.01, an academic probation and a couple of F's on my transcript. Not your typically strong UG candidate. My GMAT was a 710 so that helped me prove my academic ability.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2010, 15:43
3.4 GPA across three schools (long but interesting story)
680 GMAT

In at Duke, interviewed at UNC. Probably dinged at Columbia/Stern/HBS.

I have a pretty crazy life story, though, and some great ECs, so those probably helped. Good luck to all!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2010, 22:19
highsandlow wrote:
Hi Guys-
Reading your messages really helps with my roller-coasting self-esteem. I'm currently applying to Cornell, Vanderbilt, MIT, and Wharton. They are pretty top schools and I know I am shooting high, but I figured I give it a try. There's always next year if this round doesn't work out- right?

Here's my profile, please let me know what you think(please be somewhat nice):
age: 28
School: earned a Ph.D in the sciences from a top school with many published research journals and international experiences and recognitions
female
asian american
2 years of work experience
GPA: 3.4
Gmat:600 ( I didn't really study for it due to my 16 hours a day work schedule (I know, just another excuse) and regretted it)

I want to go into science management and need an MBA(strong business foundation)

I am applying for the last round and have submitted my applications early for those rounds. I am very nervous! Should I start looking for an alternative (nonMBA) option while I wait study for the GMAT and reapply next year? Soooo nervous. This process is so mentally draining.
Thank you


I think 3.4 and a PhD are very impressive. How was your verbal score? I think given your science background, the admissions committee might be more willing to overlook a low gmat quant score because you probably took many quantitative courses. The verbal on the other hand might come into play more.

I had a friend who applied to vandy with a similar gpa and a 600 gmat. He got waitlisted there, but accepted to emory (where he currently goes). In short, it's do-able. I do think MIT and Wharton are likely unrealistic, but I certainly haven't figured out this process, and if anything I learned that GMAT score alone won't get you into the top schools.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2010, 21:06
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In the craziness of the last couple of days, I haven't had time to post. But I am taking time from my vacation in Boston so that I can post my experience with application with a GPA. My hopes is that this gives people with Low GPA some hope, since I think hope was really what the strength to do this not once, but twice.

First off I will first say, I have a 2.109 GPA. So anyone with above that probably is in ALOT Better shape than I was. Another thing is that I have no trend up or down. It peaked my 3rd year to a wowing 2.4 and I have 2 more A's than F. I'm being very candid because whoever is looking at this post, I want you to know that if someone can get Waitlist at a top 3 school and accepted at a top tier school (Ross) than you can too.

Background of what I did to mitigate, I took my GMAT's seriously and scored a balanced 760. Then I made sure I moved up in my career, I took opportunity in leadership such as taking on side projects. Took classes, (I actually did a MS however I would not recommend it because it's more intense than I feel needed to prove academic proficiency). And lastly I made sure my essays reflected who I was.

I think the most important thing I did was that I didn't give up and that I made sure I aimed for schools I wanted to go to. Basicly I took that attitude as, They are gonna like me for everything else, or reject me because they couldn't get over my grades. Either way I was not gonna be the person holding myself back. I think for all the low GPA and low GMAT people that is the most important thing. Don't limit yourself, be realistic yet shoot for the stars.

As for Results:

First year: With 3 classes toward my masters
Ding w/o INT: Chicago, Columbia (Columbia was my first school, and I realized I just submit crap since one of my reason for attending columbia is I liked the cohort system, Lame)
Ding After INT: Ross (bad Interview)
Waitlist + Summer Waitlist: Kellogg

Second Attempt:
Ding: Kellogg (mistake interviewing with Adcom, did bad, worst part was that it was optional)
Admit: Ross (Pretty decent Phone Interview, No Visit, pretty sure it was good enough for a Yes vote)
Waiting: UCLA PT, INSEAD JAN 2011

PS another word of advice, don't apply your favorite school first. Each one of my essays was better than the last. Also reading the essay topics before you apply is good, since Kellogg and ross's essay topics were also better places for my stories since Ross as a "time you struggled in life" and Kellogg as like 3 essays about "why you are special"

BTW, I HATE WRITING, so hopefully this post gives some people hope. ARIEL, You're NEXT to POST!!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2010, 21:09
GoBruins wrote:
In the craziness of the last couple of days, I haven't had time to post. But I am taking time from my vacation in Boston so that I can post my experience with application with a GPA. My hopes is that this gives people with Low GPA some hope, since I think hope was really what the strength to do this not once, but twice.

First off I will first say, I have a 2.109 GPA. So anyone with above that probably is in ALOT Better shape than I was. Another thing is that I have no trend up or down. It peaked my 3rd year to a wowing 2.4 and I have 2 more A's than F. I'm being very candid because whoever is looking at this post, I want you to know that if someone can get Waitlist at a top 3 school and accepted at a top tier school (Ross) than you can too.

Background of what I did to mitigate, I took my GMAT's seriously and scored a balanced 760. Then I made sure I moved up in my career, I took opportunity in leadership such as taking on side projects. Took classes, (I actually did a MS however I would not recommend it because it's more intense than I feel needed to prove academic proficiency). And lastly I made sure my essays reflected who I was.

I think the most important thing I did was that I didn't give up and that I made sure I aimed for schools I wanted to go to. Basicly I took that attitude as, They are gonna like me for everything else, or reject me because they couldn't get over my grades. Either way I was not gonna be the person holding myself back. I think for all the low GPA and low GMAT people that is the most important thing. Don't limit yourself, be realistic yet shoot for the stars.

As for Results:

First year: With 3 classes toward my masters
Ding w/o INT: Chicago, Columbia (Columbia was my first school, and I realized I just submit crap since one of my reason for attending columbia is I liked the cohort system, Lame)
Ding After INT: Ross (bad Interview)
Waitlist + Summer Waitlist: Kellogg

Second Attempt:
Ding: Kellogg (mistake interviewing with Adcom, did bad, worst part was that it was optional)
Admit: Ross (Pretty decent Phone Interview, No Visit, pretty sure it was good enough for a Yes vote)
Waiting: UCLA PT, INSEAD JAN 2011

PS another word of advice, don't apply your favorite school first. Each one of my essays was better than the last. Also reading the essay topics before you apply is good, since Kellogg and ross's essay topics were also better places for my stories since Ross as a "time you struggled in life" and Kellogg as like 3 essays about "why you are special"

BTW, I HATE WRITING, so hopefully this post gives some people hope. ARIEL, You're NEXT to POST!!


Aptly said. Great post
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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] New post 14 Mar 2010, 20:35
GoBruins, I was not aware of your Ross admit till I stumbled across this thread....and what a pleasant surprise it was to see your Ross admit! :)

wow man, wow! :-D

Congrats! you deserved it! :beer
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 21:01
AtifS wrote:
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.


There are several online extention course that you can try. I belive both UCLA and Berkeley has something. But not sure.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 07:35
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GoBruins wrote:
ARIEL, You're NEXT to POST!!


Sorry guys, been MIA lately. Just came back to civilization from Vermont. Ok, here's my story: 1.9 GPA here (yeap you got that right) and just got into Ross, waiting to hear from UNC and Cornell next week and INSEAD in May. Will report back when I do. Already interviewed at UNC and expecting good news there. Cornell is a big wild card at this point.

What I think made a difference in my case:

- I went to a well-known and rigorous program in Canada (GPAs from non-US schools have no bearing on their GPA averages and therefore rankings - so if you're in a similar situation, you just have to prove to them that you can handle the course work and are interesting enough to contribute meaningfully to the community. If you went to school in the US, there's still plenty of things you can do to strengthen your candidacy)

- I took quant and accounting courses at well-known universities last summer and got A-s in all of them

- I have a very fast career progression and my job is such that it leaves little doubt about my quantitative abilities

- I have good reasons for my sub-par performance in UG and explained those in the optional essay. That story also meshed well with the rest of my application and the qualities that came through in all the stories in the rest of my essays

- I was able to present a coherent application and build a brand, which jived with everything they saw on paper: course work, career progression, international experience, etc. I cannot emphasize this enough - imagine you're trying to introduce yourself to somebody and they don't know anything about you besides a few data points that can be construed in various ways. Come up with 3-4 strengths that you believe define you (ideally those will be aligned with the school's philosophy and you have some tangible experience to lend cred). In ALL your essays, make sure you pick stories that send that consistent message. At the same time, take care to present yourself as a versatile individual through varied experiences (which again, show that you possess those qualities you're trying to communicate to them, albeit in different environments)

- my interview went really well

- demographics - sadly, I believe this played a major role. I'm a Caucasian female, originally from Eastern Europe, have lived in different counties and have varied experiences. I possess a fairly unique work experience and post-MBA goals (yes IB post-grad is not the most popular choice among women). So I think all that contributed a lot as well.

I remember starting a thread on this very same topic a while back before I even started working on apps and I've come a long way since. It hasn't been easy but I, among others, am proof that a low GPA can absolutely be overcome. Just hit me up on PM if there's anything I can do to help anyone who is in the same situation as I was. I'll be happy to share what I have learned and hope that my experience can be of help to someone. Best of luck! :)
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 09:26
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Didn't want to jump the gun until I heard back from a few schools, but despite my low GMAT (mid-600's), I received admissions to Booth and Kellogg.

Moral of the story: don't lose hope even with the low GMAT or GPA. Blow them out of the water with your story and other accomplishments. Hope this helps motivate others to keep fighting for that admission spot. Best of luck all!

Last edited by nlt22 on 22 Mar 2010, 07:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 09:36
ariel wrote:
I remember starting a thread on this very same topic a while back before I even started working on apps and I've come a long way since. It hasn't been easy but I, among others, am proof that a low GPA can absolutely be overcome. Just hit me up on PM if there's anything I can do to help anyone who is in the same situation as I was. I'll be happy to share what I have learned and hope that my experience can be of help to someone. Best of luck! :)


Congrats ariel! I believe you initially were planning on applying for Class of 2011 with 3 years of WE at matriculation but it looks like you ended up pushing back to Class of 2012 with 4 years WE?

Do you think this had a big or small impact on your awesome application results?
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 10:38
coakleym wrote:
ariel wrote:
I remember starting a thread on this very same topic a while back before I even started working on apps and I've come a long way since. It hasn't been easy but I, among others, am proof that a low GPA can absolutely be overcome. Just hit me up on PM if there's anything I can do to help anyone who is in the same situation as I was. I'll be happy to share what I have learned and hope that my experience can be of help to someone. Best of luck! :)


Congrats ariel! I believe you initially were planning on applying for Class of 2011 with 3 years of WE at matriculation but it looks like you ended up pushing back to Class of 2012 with 4 years WE?

Do you think this had a big or small impact on your awesome application results?


Thanks, coakleym! IMO WE has to be looked at in the context of the application as a whole. I believe that in my case it did make a difference, and it probably does so more often for borderline cases than others.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 07:40
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Happy to report that this morning I got an interview invite for Cornell and I also got into UNC. I only applied to 3 schools in the US, and here's the tally so far:

1) Ross - got in
2) UNC - got in
3) Cornell - int invite

My GPA is exactly 1.87, so low GPA friends - do not despair!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 23:01
Hi guys,

Thought I'd share my story as well. :)

F/640 GMAT (67% quant)/89% GPA/Asian

Admitted to: Darden, UNC, Georgetown

I really thought it was a stretch for me to aim for these schools given my low GMAT and not spectacular GPA. The one thing I had going for me was my work experience. I have 5 years work experience in an MNC with excellent career progression (4 promotions to date) and strong international experience. I focused my essays on the quantitative contributions I made to my company to highlight my quant aptitude. I also asked my recommenders to focus on my analytical abilities.

Contrary to many people's advice, I wrote in the optional essay section of the applications. I explained that my work experience and achievements were better measures of my quantitative abilities.

I was honestly surprised with my Darden admit. Their 2011 class stats show an 80% range of 680-750. What were the odds of me getting in with my 640? Certainly better than I expected :)

So for those with low GMATs, I think it's really true when they say that GMAT is only one piece of the puzzle. Good luck :)
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 23:27
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Just an update after finding out about schools - Got into Chicago Booth and NYU Stern with a low GPA (2.85 unweighted, 3.01 weighted), an average GMAT (730), and average work experiences (less than 4 years). So, there is hope!

I feel like adcoms know there is very little you can do about your undergrad record - you just have to focus on things you CAN have an impact on, like your GMAT score and your work experience, and demonstrate that you have plans for the future. I didn't fill in the optional essay in the application to explain my poor grades, but during my interviews, I openly acknowledged my sub-par undergrad performance and didn't try to excuse my lack of focus. Instead, I just noted that in retrospect, I should have studied more in school, but I've learned from my mistakes and can only move forward.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2010, 03:22
Got in to Georgetown with a 640 GMAT, around 3 GPA and 4 years of WE.


Low GMAT, or low GPA, or no WE doesn't mean anything, an MBA application should be approached holistically, you should focus on an area you can, to overcome minor deficiencies elsewhere.

Attitude is everything and if you get invited for an interview, approach it with confidence like you wouldn't care about the outcome. Speak with passion about what you do and what your goals are, it's certain you will win over your interviewer and get a good feedback.

Just my 2 cents
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2010, 08:36
2.88 GPA (downward trending), 690 GMAT (43 Q, 40 V), and applying only in March and April rounds. I surely thought all cards were stacked against me. Though the verdict is still out on nearly all schools I do have some glimmer of hope for low GPA applicants with my admittance to WUSTL Olin.

It may have helped that my GPA is from a Doctor of Pharmacy program, but it is from an average state school. I applied only in final rounds because I was recalled back to active duty in the Army for a 1+ year deployment, but I was subsequently released for medical reasons. For this reason, I took the shotgun approach and applied to 7 schools in about a month hoping I would just get in somewhere. I did address my low and downward GPA in the optional essay. I shared how I was focused on playing in rock bands throughout college and did not devote sufficient time to school. I followed by stating how my initial WE (Army) completely changed my life, and I have nothing but shining reviews since.

Kellogg - Interviewed (no decision)
Owen - Interviewed (ADMITTED)
Olin -Interviewed (ADMITTED)
Tepper - Interviewed (no decision)
Fuqua - Interview scheduled (no decision)
Johnson - Submitted
Tuck - Submitted

Last edited by GrantChap on 07 Apr 2010, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2010, 08:36
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1 Experts publish their posts in the topic Profile Evaluation w/ low gpa and decent gmat for ms? CC2HBS 3 14 Apr 2010, 04:23
Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GPA zonk 2 18 Dec 2008, 11:18
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Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA

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