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What do I have to do to get into the top MBA programs?

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What do I have to do to get into the top MBA programs? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2011, 03:49
Hi,

This is not exactly a profile evaluation post. I'm in my third-year of college (Top Canadian university, Business) with a 3.40/4.33 GPA. I can probably get it up to a 3.6 by the time I graduate. I'm planning to go for my MBA in 6 years to compensate for my low GPA. I'll probably work in the finance and consulting industry. I have two questions.

1. Am I still eligible for admission into the Top 10 schools?
2. What exactly do I have to do in the next 6 years to change myself to be admitted into top schools?

Thanks,

MrHu
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Re: What do I have to do to get into the top MBA programs? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2011, 09:43
Montauk's "How to Get into the Top MBA Programs" is a pretty good read for an intro to the whole admissions process.

Grades are far from the only consideration. People get into top 10 schools all the time with sub-3.0 GPAs.

You can compensate for a lower GPA by having a high GMAT, good work experience, strong recommendations, leadership in work or ECAs (during or post-undergrad), being able to write strong essays, having a solid and compelling career vision, and interviewing well. The stronger you can make yourself in all those areas, the better your chances of admission will be.
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Re: What do I have to do to get into the top MBA programs? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2011, 09:58
Honestly, mrhu, I don't think you have that low of a GPA (even considering the fact that max is 4.3). I'm not familiar with Canadian grading system, but looking at the percentage (which I can be totally wrong about), you're at about 78% (or 83% if you pull your GPA to a 3.6). Converting those percentage, you're looking at 3.14 or 3.326, respectively. These numbers are not particularly super low for top schools, even though you will be sitting at a bit lower GPA comparing to other students. However, there are so many different factors in admitting students to top b-school, your GPA is really just one factor out of probably 22 considerations. As emont mentioned, a low(er) GPA can be compensated by a high(er) GMAT score. In addition, it really depends on your major (i.e. a 3.2 chemical engineering looks different from a 3.2 communication major). Furthermore, you won't be applying until 3 or 4 years after you graduated, by which you will already have garnered full time work experience. Harvard Business School admitted then-President Bush's personal assitant, who has no college degree (this, of course, is not typical). There's simply too many different factors involved that a 3.1 or a 3.2 GPA can't explain. Yes, you'll be on the lower half of the GPA rank, but there are other things involved that can compensate for your GPA. I would just focus on your school for now, then find a good full-time job and perform your best. Then if you have time, find some extracurricular activities where you can enjoy doing. All at the same time, look for leadership roles/abilities/responsibilities in your professional setting, as well as in the community.
Re: What do I have to do to get into the top MBA programs?   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2011, 09:58
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