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So So GPA and left Big 4...

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Joined: 06 Jun 2013
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So So GPA and left Big 4... [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2014, 07:52
27/M/African American with CPA

Currently I am a financial analyst at a medium sized company and have regularly gotten high ratings. I stayed at a Big 4 firm for 1 year (actually 9 months) and absolutely hated it and left.

GMAT: 730

Northern Illinois University: 3.25/4.0 GPA with 3.95/4.0 in major (3.25 is a result of premed classes at different school while playing college football, A's in nearly all finance and accounting classes)

Started online network/forum for accounting and finance career advancement and help (site makes significant profit also). I started tutoring services for kids needing help with accounting (all free) and volunteer with inner city kids helping one get to and through college.

I have ran a probono social media marketing firm for nonprofit organizations (They will be my letters of recommendation)

Any top 25 but specifically Ross, Farqua, Stern, Booth, Kelley would be great (#1 is Ross) and looking to apply R1 2015

I want to use the MBA as a career change into a brand management role with the long term goal of starting a hands on charity helping inner city kids get motivated for college.

My concern would be that I left Big 4 and now my job doesn't scream out "prestigious", not that a Big 4 job did. My overall GPA also isn't amazing by any means. I think my strengths will be things I did outside of work with charities. What do you guys thin
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Re: So So GPA and left Big 4... [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2014, 06:31
Expert's post

I believe you are a qualified and competitive applicant to the programs you mention; they span reasonable reaches (e.g., Stern) and on-pars (e.g., Fuqua). I consider Ross a great choice for your goals and see it as on the border of reasonable reach and on-par (closer to the latter, but I’m splitting hairs).

Regarding leaving the big-4 firm, that itself isn’t a negative factor – it all depends on the context. You apparently left this firm with a vision for something more meaningful and then took the initiative to create that venture. Further, you’ve operated it successfully (I’m sure there were ups and downs – that can enhance the story overall – a little drama never hurts!). In addition, your extracurricular activities are consistent with your goals, and you show positive commitment in that dimension. So in this case leaving the firm is part of a self-directed career vision.

It’s true that the undergrad GPA is low. However, your major GPA is strong and so is your GMAT. The key is that there is evidence of quantitative ability in your application.

One tip: in your essays, when describing your experience and your motivation for your goals (important to do), it's fine to mention less than great fit with the big-4 company, but don’t make it too negative or focus on not liking it, etc. – keep the focus positive and affirmative about what you DO want and DO like.

Good luck!

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Advisor, Accepted
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