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Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT?

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Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2013, 08:27
Hi all,

Been reading this forum for a while and have gotten quite a bit of great information. Anyways, I wanted to see if I could get a feel for what I should expect based on my profile.

I've been out of school for almost 3 years, finished my undergrad in Math & CS at Stanford. 3.1 GPA with several withdrawals and a year-long academic suspension for low GPA. I just lacked motivation in the beginning, wasn't sure what I wanted to study and it was hard to put one foot in front of the other when I had no direction. Finished strong with a 3.6 in my final year. Right now, debating taking an additional course or two to build on that alternative transcript before my MBA apps.

GMAT: 760 (50 Q, 44 V)

URM - African American

Only ECs were my fraternity and National Society of Black Engineers - leadership positions in both.

Work experience: Associate on interest rate products trading desk at a bulge bracket investment bank. Letter of recs will be very strong.

Looking to apply to HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Duke and UT-Austin.

What are my chances? I'm hoping my low GPA won't completely screw me, given my strong GMATl. I've down well in a lot of pretty advanced math and statistics courses, so I figure I've demonstrated I can handle the rigors of b-school coursework. I don't have extensive work experience, and it's hard to get leadership experience early on a trading desk, but I have trained two analysts over the past year. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2013, 09:51
Expert's post
fotobo wrote:
Hi all,

Been reading this forum for a while and have gotten quite a bit of great information. Anyways, I wanted to see if I could get a feel for what I should expect based on my profile.

I've been out of school for almost 3 years, finished my undergrad in Math & CS at Stanford. 3.1 GPA with several withdrawals and a year-long academic suspension for low GPA. I just lacked motivation in the beginning, wasn't sure what I wanted to study and it was hard to put one foot in front of the other when I had no direction. Finished strong with a 3.6 in my final year. Right now, debating taking an additional course or two to build on that alternative transcript before my MBA apps.

GMAT: 760 (50 Q, 44 V)

URM - African American

Only ECs were my fraternity and National Society of Black Engineers - leadership positions in both.

Work experience: Associate on interest rate products trading desk at a bulge bracket investment bank. Letter of recs will be very strong.

Looking to apply to HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Duke and UT-Austin.

What are my chances? I'm hoping my low GPA won't completely screw me, given my strong GMATl. I've down well in a lot of pretty advanced math and statistics courses, so I figure I've demonstrated I can handle the rigors of b-school coursework. I don't have extensive work experience, and it's hard to get leadership experience early on a trading desk, but I have trained two analysts over the past year. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


Hey there,
Well I think you are in a pretty good position. Top school. African American. Great GMAT. Important ECs and Bulge bracket. You do have a bit of an unfortunate UG experience, but if you show that it was the "folly of youth" I think your current success and achievements should be able to balance it out. It may make things tougher for H/S/W, but I think at other top schools they will be a bit more forgiving. It's great that you have Austin on your list, and I think it's a pretty good safe school for you. With fantastic essays and dreamy goals, you can do very nicely.
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Re: Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT? [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2013, 05:46
I don't think you should run in to any issues. You had a "low" gpa, I don't know what Stanford's average GPA is but 3.1 to me is not low... (service academy grad) I would think given your current success and your ability to ramp up grades in the end shows maturation and with strong recs and a strong GMAT I don't see any issues. Plus Stanford is your alma mater I would think they might give you that extra little bit of preference having spent your undergrad there. In the end if I can get in to a top 25 with a 2.47 and a 710 then a 3.1 and a 760 should be able to make top tier no problem.
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Re: Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT? [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2013, 09:31
As another point of reference, my GPA (engineering at Michigan) and GMAT are the same as yours and I got interviews at the five schools that I applied to this year (Booth, Kellogg [I know this doesn't really count as "getting" an interview], Fuqua, Ross, and Tepper).

My opinion: your GPA is going to make it REALLY, REALLY tough to get into HBS and Stanford. But with awesome essays and application execution you never know.
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Re: Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2013, 00:32
fotobo wrote:
Hi all,

Been reading this forum for a while and have gotten quite a bit of great information. Anyways, I wanted to see if I could get a feel for what I should expect based on my profile.

I've been out of school for almost 3 years, finished my undergrad in Math & CS at Stanford. 3.1 GPA with several withdrawals and a year-long academic suspension for low GPA. I just lacked motivation in the beginning, wasn't sure what I wanted to study and it was hard to put one foot in front of the other when I had no direction. Finished strong with a 3.6 in my final year. Right now, debating taking an additional course or two to build on that alternative transcript before my MBA apps.

GMAT: 760 (50 Q, 44 V)

URM - African American

Only ECs were my fraternity and National Society of Black Engineers - leadership positions in both.

Work experience: Associate on interest rate products trading desk at a bulge bracket investment bank. Letter of recs will be very strong.

Looking to apply to HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Duke and UT-Austin.

What are my chances? I'm hoping my low GPA won't completely screw me, given my strong GMATl. I've down well in a lot of pretty advanced math and statistics courses, so I figure I've demonstrated I can handle the rigors of b-school coursework. I don't have extensive work experience, and it's hard to get leadership experience early on a trading desk, but I have trained two analysts over the past year. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


Your GPA, withdrawal and suspension might impact your application. However, your GMAT score might help your till an extent. But with no solid extra-curriculars and below average work experience in terms of number of years, it might help if you postpone your plan for an MBA and get some leadership and extra curricular activities under your belt. How many years of work experience at the investment bank? Did you get any promotion? Have you had a chance to close any deal? Were you part of any blockbuster deals? Stanford and a bulge bracket investment bank are good brands on your resume. If you plan properly, I don’t think it will be very difficult to get into any of your top schools. If I were you, I wouldn’t apply to Duke and UT-Austin. Speak to few alumni at your target schools.

Good Luck!
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Re: Shot at top B-Schools with poor transcript and high GMAT?   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2013, 00:32
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