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Manager
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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Your thoughts [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2005, 09:30
Hello Scott and Omari. What do you guys think. Am I competitive for Chicago, Kellogg, Michigan, Stanford, Haas, and Texas?

Background:
-I graduated from a top 25 undergraduate institution in 2000 (Michigan)

-majored in a labor intensive science (biochemisty).

-heavily involved with many on campus organizations, including being elected part of a general board of the largest student run organization on campus. I was also involoved with theatre; performing and directing in the student comedy improv troupe and perfoming in many student films.

-headed a comedy production company that had about $50,000 budget.

-I was invloved in many other things, but needless to say my grades suffered because my plate was too full. (I got about 2.9-3.0 in the end).

-Since I graduated, I have been working with a Fortune 500 health care firm in Chicago (Abbott Labs) and have done very well. Moving up the ladder and gaining good recognition and getting good experience. However, I want to change careers and take over/work for my father's private equity business.

-In my working years (2000-present) I have done lots of stuff, which included running a marathon, performing Improv Comedy with Second City, and volunteering with various organizations. I currently lead a team of volunteers to tutor math to GED students on the Chicago West Side

-I also took three business classes at DePaul and got the highest grade in all three classes. I took these for 2 reasons: 1. to see if I like the subject matter because I did not take any of these classes in my undergradute years. 2. and to show that I can perform and to try and enhance my undergraduate GPA.

-GMAT 640 (can't remember my scaled scores). Retaking it in 2 weeks.

When I apply this fall, I am most fearful that my undergraduate GPA will totally negate my chances of getting in and that it is not indicative of my true performance (I wasn't even a big partier in college). Any thoughts or advice to help my chances would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Christopher Wilson

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Schools: Kellogg MBA 2004
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2005, 21:00
Expert's post
Well, let me start by saying that I have a soft spot for improv comedy folks! I ran the improv club at Kellogg for a year. :-)

Yeah, your undergrad GPA will be a weakness. Did your GPA improve over your four years in college? Ideally this is the case. If not, then those classes will help a lot, but you will still need to convince adcomms that you have the intellectual horsepower and (more importantly) the discipline to do better this time around.

Also, we usually meet people who are too obsessed with their GMAT score, but given your undergrad grades, ideally you can boost yoru score at least into the high 600's.

Your extracurriculars and involvement sound good. Your main weakness is that undergrad GPA. Hopefully you can boost your GMAT, which will help a lot.

Scott
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Thanks [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2005, 05:08
Thanks for all your imput. It is greatly appreciated. BTW, I checked out the website. Very nice. I may use some of the services on there.

Unfortunately, my GPA did not get better as the years went on. It got a little worse. I was probably in the 3.2 range before it fell at the end. I owe it to a few things:
-my major was very difficult. Filled with ultra competetive pre-med students.
-towards the end I had all my toughest classes combined with lots of student leadership responsibilities. I was on the road a lot directing a comedy troupe and was running a comedy production company.
-I was just too busy with doing other things to have enough time that was needed to perform better. Don't get me wrong, some very difficult classes, I got an A in, others not so well.

I could have lessen up on the extra-curriculars and concentrated on more of my biochem studies, but I thought the leadership role was to valuable to pass up. I thought that the ledership roles would be a better at developing my character than being a study geek (which I was in high school). Also, I thought it would make me more marketable in the job world.
I am taking the GMAT in 2 weeks, and I know I can get in the 700s, but besides that, is there anything else I can do to help my GPA situation. I was told that admissions might not give as much merit to my undergraduate GPA if since it was over 5 yeras ago, and that I have successfully taken 3 business courses in the meantime. Is this true?

Also, one more thing. I was in comedy because I love it as a hobby. As someone who know the rigors of the hobby, how does that translate into business school applications. I guess what I am trying to say, how should I use my comedy experience to market myself? Again, thanks for any input .
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2005, 19:09
Expert's post
Then the best you can do is 1) emphasize why you didn't do so great in your classes, and 2) convince them that this won't be the case in b-school. I tend to agree with your philosophy about some of those extracurricular activities being more valuable to you. I think you can argue that this was the tradeoff you made. To point #2, I think those clases that you've taken recently will help a lot.

In terms of how long ago it was, that's sort of true. Really, the less work experience you have, the more they need to rely on your schoolwork to gauge your potential. The more work experience you have, the more they'll rely on that. So, it's less about how long ago that was, and more about whether or not they have better info to go on.

Re: comedy, you can DEFINITELY use this to your advantage in your app. How many b-school applicants are accomplished improv performers?? This kind of uniqueness will be really interesting to a weary adcomm who's just read 20 apps in a row. Don't be afraid that it sounds too un-MBA-like or not serious enough... Nonsense! Show that you're comfortable in your own skin, with laughing at yourself, etc. Explain WHY you like it, and show your passion for it!

Scott
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