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Low GPA Profile Evaluation

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Low GPA Profile Evaluation [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 13:19
Hi All,

This is probably early for me to be soliciting feedback, but since I have a big hurdle to overcome, I'd like to know if I'm wasting my time.

I'm 32, ~10 years of work experience. For 6 years I was a self-employed commodity trader at the Chicago Board of Trade trading futures and options. I then shifted into the tech world where I was an Account Manager for a very major tech company where I worked with other major players in the tech landscape. I can easily demonstrate growing responsibility and international exposure. My resume can show that I busted my ass the minute I graduated.

My letters of recommendation will be recent, glowing, and one will come from a prior manager. They're great writers and can attest to my work ethic, growing responsibility, and again, international exposure to the tech landscape.

I have not yet taken the GMAT. My recent practice exam gave me a 630. I am shooting for a 720-740, and I know I can reach that. I will not stop until I do. I've been improving, and I know where my weaknesses are. The only reason I haven't hit a 720 yet is that I just have not yet covered everything I need to know. With enough time and practice, I will get that range.

That big hurdle I mentioned? A 2.65 GPA from a decent enough but far from ivy league school. The reason? I partied instead of studying. I was in a major I had no interest in (Biology.) I was alone and out of the house for the first time ever so I played video games, drank, joined a fraternity, etc. Frankly it's shocking I did as well as I did. Toward the end I kind of got my act together and switched to a Finance major. My grades still suffered because I still had not studied a day in my life. I think my final semesters were about 2.8-3.0. But the damage had been done.

That was over 10 years ago. I'm a hard worker. I'm a respected employee and I have the resume to prove it. I'm hoping that a high GMAT score will tell the story that I can excel academically.

My #1 school right now is Oxford Said. FT ranks them at 33. Economist at 75. So this isn't me having dreams of A top 5 program. This is me being realistic. Not only that - it honestly does fit what I am looking for in a school. 1 year program outside of the US that still has some name recognition and pays attention to the tech world. I also love that it gives a nod to social justice and focuses a lot of its courses on business ethics.

I know there is a sliver of hope of getting in here, and I know I have to be top notch on everything outside of my GMAT. So my question is this - before I dump more time into the GMAT, more money into prep, and even thinking about hiring an admissions consultant, will an adcom even open my application when they see my GPA?

Appreciate the thoughts!
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Re: Low GPA Profile Evaluation [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 19:09
Oxford Said will definitely consider your application despite the 2.65 GPA. The AdCom will look at the combination of academic records and GMAT. If you do hit the 720-740 score you're aiming for, the combination will still be strong.

This being said, in your application (although I appreciate your candidness) try to justify your GPA in another way other than "I partied instead of studying". I would focus first on the lack of interest in Biology. Maybe you were "forced" to study Biology by your parents to continue with your family legacy? Or something on these lines. Furthermore, try to focus on your extracurriculars (if any).

Also, try to target more than one school. If you're looking for 1-year MBA programs with some recognition in the US and that pay attention to the tech world, you might want to try INSEAD and IMD. Although admission might be a bit tougher than Said's. But their average class age is a bit higher (29 for INSEAD and 31 for IMD).

In any case, given your background, I think it might be a good idea to consider getting professional advice from an MBA admissions coach.

When are you considering applying?

Good luck!
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Re: Low GPA Profile Evaluation [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 09:24
Yes, I don't think Said is a shot in the dark for you. it seems your only major weakness is your GPA. Now this is a fairly major red flag but if you can hit that GMAT target it will go a long way to confirming that you are in fact a decent person. You also have a fair amount of years from that person you were before so they will take that into account. But you will need to put together a really strong application highlighting many of the extraordinary qualities you mention above
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Re: Low GPA Profile Evaluation [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 00:42
jsheppa wrote:
Hi All,

This is probably early for me to be soliciting feedback, but since I have a big hurdle to overcome, I'd like to know if I'm wasting my time.

I'm 32, ~10 years of work experience. For 6 years I was a self-employed commodity trader at the Chicago Board of Trade trading futures and options. I then shifted into the tech world where I was an Account Manager for a very major tech company where I worked with other major players in the tech landscape. I can easily demonstrate growing responsibility and international exposure. My resume can show that I busted my ass the minute I graduated.

My letters of recommendation will be recent, glowing, and one will come from a prior manager. They're great writers and can attest to my work ethic, growing responsibility, and again, international exposure to the tech landscape.

I have not yet taken the GMAT. My recent practice exam gave me a 630. I am shooting for a 720-740, and I know I can reach that. I will not stop until I do. I've been improving, and I know where my weaknesses are. The only reason I haven't hit a 720 yet is that I just have not yet covered everything I need to know. With enough time and practice, I will get that range.

That big hurdle I mentioned? A 2.65 GPA from a decent enough but far from ivy league school. The reason? I partied instead of studying. I was in a major I had no interest in (Biology.) I was alone and out of the house for the first time ever so I played video games, drank, joined a fraternity, etc. Frankly it's shocking I did as well as I did. Toward the end I kind of got my act together and switched to a Finance major. My grades still suffered because I still had not studied a day in my life. I think my final semesters were about 2.8-3.0. But the damage had been done.

That was over 10 years ago. I'm a hard worker. I'm a respected employee and I have the resume to prove it. I'm hoping that a high GMAT score will tell the story that I can excel academically.

My #1 school right now is Oxford Said. FT ranks them at 33. Economist at 75. So this isn't me having dreams of A top 5 program. This is me being realistic. Not only that - it honestly does fit what I am looking for in a school. 1 year program outside of the US that still has some name recognition and pays attention to the tech world. I also love that it gives a nod to social justice and focuses a lot of its courses on business ethics.

I know there is a sliver of hope of getting in here, and I know I have to be top notch on everything outside of my GMAT. So my question is this - before I dump more time into the GMAT, more money into prep, and even thinking about hiring an admissions consultant, will an adcom even open my application when they see my GPA?

Appreciate the thoughts!



Three important points:
1) Your GPA was 10 years ago, and will be weighed much less now.
2) You showed progression in your final year will work positively for you..
3) Get good GMAT scores; The scores are acknowledged as fair predictors of how you perform in school.

A good GMAT score, good WE, good EC and a good story to connect it all.
Feel free to discuss further.
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Re: Low GPA Profile Evaluation   [#permalink] 23 Dec 2017, 00:42
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