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When do grades matter and how much?

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When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2011, 23:10
I think it would be interesting to discuss the importance of MBA grades or lack thereof. As I haven't started my MBA yet I have a hard time really picturing the academic motivation that accompanies the attitude of indifference to grades often.

- In terms of immediate recruitment it completely depends on the schools grade disclosure policy. Assuming there is no such policy do grades always matter? Or is it generally just for the super competitive IB & consulting gigs?

- What about after graduation? Do they come up? Or is it just a matter of potentially having 'Deans List', or not, on your resume?

- With respect to any further academic graduate or Ph.D. studies, are masters grades usually important? I know this is a pretty rare plan for MBA's, but I would imagine graduate grades are of the utmost importance when applying to a Ph.D. program.

There have to be some students that are completely content to just cruise through the course-work with a C/C- minus in all programs, no?
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2011, 09:45
From what I've heard from recent grads (all from Anderson, if it matters), grades only really matter for competitive IB/IM and consulting jobs. I think after you get your first job out of school, grades matter even less. I doubt most people put GPAs on their resumes for subsequent jobs or that most employers ever ask.

They also said that while you have to work for As, to get Cs you have to be a pretty deliberate slacker. I think most programs require that you maintain a minimum 3.0 average to stay off academic probation, so you can't get Cs in every class if you want to graduate.

I don't know about further graduate studies for sure, but it makes sense that you'd want to keep your GPA as high as possible if that's in your future plans.
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2011, 11:32
As tortoiserun said, it's really really hard to get a C at most b-schools. The majority of people will get B's (or whatever equivalent). To get an A, it's really a matter of putting in the extra effort.

The academics in b-school for the most part doesn't have the intellectual rigor compared to other academic programs. What makes the academics "hard" in bschool is really the volume of info that you have to digest, and not the actual difficulty of the material itself. So that's why getting an "A" in most classes is really a matter of effort more than anything else.

And while consulting firms and banks will ask for GMAT scores (depends on the school, the firm, the economic cycle, etc.) it's still pretty low on the totem pole of what they really look for.

The biggest difference with MBA recruiting compared to so many other professional/masters programs is that MBA students have years of full-time work experience. And recruiters value that more than grades - even if your prior experience may be unrelated to the job you're interviewing for. As you know, a big part of whether you can do well in a job is whether you can fit into the organization's culture, and that kind of "office savvy" comes with working full-time regardless of what industry you're in - call it street smarts if you will.

That's why don't get too caught up in trying to get top grades for the sake of recruiting. If you do decide to do it, do it for its own sake. Just know that given the volume of work being thrown at you, it's really about time commitment, and you'll be doing it at the expense of other invaluable aspects of the b-school experience (i.e. networking, getting to know your classmates outside of the classroom, group activities, extracurriculars, industry events, guest speaker series, etc. and more generally enjoying the 2 years you're spending away from work).
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 08:51
Grades does not matter a lot to the placement post MBA as compared to placements after graduation. MBA usually provides a relative grading system and in my view anything from A to B is good enough. Having said so, it is important to do fairly better in areas of specialization.
The kind of work post MBA will also help to check the importance of grades. For example, usually for consulting a high grade is required.
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2011, 09:07
Just to build on Alex's reply, while consulting/IB companies ask for grades/GMAT, they are not a dominating factor in getting interviews/offers. I know people who most likely had low-3 GPAs get closed list interviews and ultimately jobs at top firms, and people with 4.0 or near 4.0 GPAs not even get closed list interviews.
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2011, 20:07
Because your average 4.0 is a nerd with no social skills.

There are a small number of courses that really matter for each job (Accounting and Finance for IB, Strategy for Big Consulting so you can easily stratify what everyone tells you etc...) - even if you don't have grade disclosure, you have interviewers who are recent enough alum and can work out very quickly if you sucked at that class or not.
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 13:36
Yep. Good grades only matter for the competitive jobs.
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Re: When do grades matter and how much? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 22:14
I think I've heard of a few schools with grade disclosure, such as Darden. I think this would have to affect recruiting.
Re: When do grades matter and how much?   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2012, 22:14
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