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Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories

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Joined: 28 Oct 2014
Posts: 1

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V41
GPA: 2.11
WE: Project Management (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2014, 19:40
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Hi Guys - long time lurker and I thought I should speak up to encourage. I think any GPA can be overcome. I have a 2.11 GPA from a top Canadian University in Engineering. 710 GMAT was just OK and five years of work experience in engineering and project management. Got into Columbia J-term, Stern and waiting to hear back from wharton.

I think what is most important is making your application unique. The story has to make sense to the adcom. Recommendations and GMAT are more important indicators of your ability in business school than your undergrad GPA.

My advice is to apply in round 1 to all schools, spend time perfecting (and I mean perfect) your story and how that particular school fits and finally, be confident. I didn't address my low GPA at all. There is nothing worse than making an excuse. If you want more specifics, PM me and I'll tell you more

Stats:
29 Black Male
UG: Top Canadian University Engineering (2.11)
Masters in Engineering also at top School in the UK (OK grades - getting in here was a miracle also lol)
Admitted: Columbia (J-term), Stern
Waiting: wharton

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Status: And so it ends...
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 575

Kudos [?]: 233 [1], given: 158

Concentration: Strategy, Other
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2017
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 2.48
WE: Engineering (Other)
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Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 12:34
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I'm happy that I can finally post my profile here. I've read through all of these stories and I have to say it helped keep me together as I was waiting for interview invites and decisions. I hope it can do the same with you all as well!

Profile
UG GPA: 2.475 Mechanical Engineering (Ivy non-HYP)
Grad GPA: 3.33
WE: 78 months at matriculation (3 different companies 5 different positions most recently in a Project Manager role)
GMAT: 730 49Q 40V 6IR 6AWA (first and only take)
EC's: 4 years of coaching children on the weekends and 2 years of mentoring high school students
Minority: Asian American Male

Accepted: Johnson, Tepper w/$
WL: Kellogg
Denied: CBS, Sloan, Ross

More of my story can be found in the link in my signature. :gl to all of you still trying! There is hope!
_________________

My GMAT Journey: A surprising 730!

My Application experience: Low GPA Success!


Last edited by dtse86 on 24 Dec 2014, 01:09, edited 2 times in total.

Kudos [?]: 233 [1], given: 158

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Posts: 100

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 7

Concentration: Marketing, Technology
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)
Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 22:14
I've been a long-time lurker on this thread, but I can finally post a low gpa/mediocre GMAT success story:

Profile:

UG GPA: 2.9777 (Although, on my apps, I said "3.0" - my transcript still says 2.9777 :( )
UG School/Major: Lower-tier Ivy (Cornell/Penn/Columbia), Engineering
GMAT: 720 (49Q, 38V)
WE: ~1 yr at big investment bank, ~2 yrs at hedge fund as a quant trader, ~1 yr at hot/"prestigious" startup (Dropbox/Airbnb-esq in BizDev), total 4.5 WE at matriculation
Recs: Not sure, I don't think they were anything special although I did give them a guide.
Essays: Strong, I think I had a story and branded myself quite well.
EC: Nothing that spectacular, but am a board member of a rather large non-profit
Schools: Duke R1 (A), Ross R1 (A), both without $$$ though

UPDATE: Accepted to Columbia J-Term (Class of 2017) as well!

There's hope, everyone! Also, I'm an ORM, adding that to the mix...

Last edited by Fosterizer on 10 Nov 2015, 19:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 8

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Location: Canada
Concentration: Leadership, Organizational Behavior
GMAT 1: 760 Q48 V47
GPA: 3
WE: Supply Chain Management (Consumer Electronics)
Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2015, 08:32
I would love some advice regarding my profile, my GPA and undergrad area of study seem unimpressive, and I wasn't planning to apply for many top end b-schools...but then I wrote my GMAT...

Age: 24

Undergrad: 3.0 major in music (BFA)

GMAT: 760 (Q:48 V:47 IR:8)

1.5 years (probably closer to 3 when I submit my app) full time work exp, 1 promotion. Supply Chain for a medium sized IT provider out of Toronto.

CAPM designation, additional PM certificate from university of Waterloo, and selected to be part of the six sigma training program through my company. Ive got volunteer exp through a large radio station (1 yr) and my local church (6 yrs), and hope to end up in the media/ent industry.

Will the low GPA and the relatively obscure area of specialization kill me if I am hoping for admittance to a top 20 university? Or will the high GMAT drag me upwards?

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2015, 13:00
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Hiya! Long time watcher, first time poster! Thought I would give you guys some hope, as I have just recently wound down my ''Get in dat MBA, mmkay''-operation!

Profile: 28 year old scandinavian, white male
GPA: 2.45 in Military sciences....ouch
GMAT: 750 (strong verbal)
Master's GPA: 3.9/4.0 in Management science in a C9-league uni in China (C9 = China's ivy league)
Professional background: 6 years in the military (Army academy, kind of like Westpoint), which of 2 can be considered as ''Job experience'' --> Marketing research for human capital resource company 1 year --> English teacher in China 1 year --> Deloitte 3 months
Extracurriculars: High school head of student government, Organized and hosted fundraisers for WWII-veterans, 3 years and counting in Lions Club, traveled to 51 countries. Speak 5 languages.

Waitlist denied: Kellogg, Columbia
Interviewed and the rejected: Booth
Accepted: Duke, Tuck
Accepted with $$: Darden, Georgetown, Yale

So I started my career in the military like I told you. Most of my low undergrad GPA was salvaged by holding a reasonably high class rank percentile (67%). Universities in my home country have not even heard of grade inflation and GPA's on average are far below the averages of USA. I simply focused more on training real professional skills (tactics, strategy etc.) and wasn't too fussed about grades in courses like ''Advanced electronic warfare'' at the time.

At some point after being in the army for so many years I realized that I wanted more (im your typical power hungry business boy), so I made the decision to leave and start building myself a career in consulting. Then my wife's career took us to China, and so I followed her. I funded my studies by working as an english teacher. Turns out it is actually pretty nice in admission committees eye's to be a european who knows mandarin chinese!

I took my essays very seriously and literally wrote them for months. I believe I managed to impress atleast some of the adcoms enough to get me an interview. And although my work experience was all over the place, it actually ended up being an advantage. I managed to paint a picture of myself as a highly versatile and street smart kid who has learned loads of valuable lessons.

MARCH FORWARD, MY BROTHERS IN A...BOMINABLY LOW GPA!

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Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 40

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 7

Location: Canada
Concentration: Sustainability, International Business
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3
WE: Engineering (Consulting)
Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2015, 19:36
Hi guys,

It's great to be seeing all these positive responses. It really helps give me motivation to continue dreaming big! My stats are as follows:

Age: 28
Nationality: Canadian caucasian male
GPA: 3.0 (transcript shows 2.98 which really hurts) with heavy upwards trend (senior year GPA of 3.7). Major in Electrical Engineering.
GMAT: Taking in a couple of weeks, but based off of practice tests, I'm currently looking at ~720.
WE: 2 years with a major mining company in a technical role. Acted as project lead on a couple of projects and instructed others during project commissioning. Currently 1.5 years into a role as an engineering consultant with a small firm in Atlantic Canada. Basically doing automation projects for multiple industries. I handle my own hours, time and material budgetting, cost estimates, instructing work during commissioning, etc.
Rec: I'm an avid salsa dancer and former competitive powerlifter. Helped teach salsa classes for a year while in university.
ECs: Co-Chair of recruitment on a cancer non-profit board. Helped plan an event that raised $75,000 for research. Worked as a volunteer firefighter for a year while working in the mining company (stopped when I moved for the new job since the opportunity wasn't available to pick it up).
Target schools: CBS, NYU, Oxford Said, Cambridge Judge, Cornell

My goal is to pursue renewable energy development opportunities in my home province of Newfoundland (lots of potential development there) in a management role (management consulting or project management).

How are my chances in these capacities? (assuming I get the expected 720 on GMAT. gunning for 730+ though) I'm really not sure how competitive I will be.

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2016, 22:15
Bump for those who have secured an admit. Please post your details. Thank you!
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2016, 05:34
Hello everyone,

I have been a passive user in this forum for quiet some time. The forum has been immensely helpful to me in my times of despair as I have pursued my MBA applications. I have always read, with a lot envy if I may add, the success stories in GMAT and in admissions at various top universities. I always wondered when I would get that coveted admit. When I would be giving back to the community through my success.

Well today is the day. :)
I am happy to let you guys know that I have been admitted to the January intake of HEC Paris full time program. Very few people know how much effort I have put into securing this admit. The countless hours I put into score well in GMAT, the midnight oil burnt editing my imperfect essays and the many messages (or spams) that I have sent to alumni's in various schools seeking advise about admission. I want to thank each and everyone who have helped me. Be it by encouraging me, or by critiquing me when required.

A brief overview of my background:
Indian, Male 28 years old.
15 months in IT, 4 years in Analytics
5 year dual degree from BITS Pilani
GMAT: 720 (Q51,V36,IR 8, AWA 5)
Biggest weakness: Low GPA (6.53/10)
Biggest strength: Extracurriculars (Involved in 2 non profits during my professional tenure, captain of college sports team, active in Toastmasters and a few more)

The list of rejected schools is too long (and painful) for me to type. But they were all ranked in top 20 in the U.S.

A few tips for low GPA candidates:
1. Ace the GMAT. (duh!)
2. Make yourself interesting. Extracurriculars is the best way to do this.
3. Get significant work experience. Less than 3 years is too little for admission committee to give you the benefit of doubt for your GPA.
4. Get strong recommendations (duh!)
5. From personal experience I can let you know that the more essays the school asks you to write, the better your chances are. Essays are an excellent way to communicate your personality to the adcom. I was waitlisted at Johnson and interviewed at ISB. Both schools gave room for me to be creative in the essays. My essays for HEC were the best I have written to any school.

The surreal feeling of my first admit is yet to sink in. In case anyone would like any advise or further clarification on anything, please do reach out. I shall be happy to help you to the best of my ability.

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2017, 14:55
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 17:35
quick note of hope because I read this thread SO many times when I was applying.

Yes, I am an URM but I think that has much less weight than everyone thinks. Most schools have a very very low percentage of URMs.

GPA: 2.8
GMAT: 700

Accepted: Ross ($), Fuqua ($$), CBS
Waitlisted: Booth
Dinged: Kellogg, Haas, Stern

happily at school where 0 of this matters anymore. listen to me and just apply! see what happens.

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 12:42
mochametier wrote:
quick note of hope because I read this thread SO many times when I was applying.

Yes, I am an URM but I think that has much less weight than everyone thinks. Most schools have a very very low percentage of URMs.

GPA: 2.8
GMAT: 700

Accepted: Ross ($), Fuqua ($$), CBS
Waitlisted: Booth
Dinged: Kellogg, Haas, Stern

happily at school where 0 of this matters anymore. listen to me and just apply! see what happens.



Could you elaborate on WE/Major in UG and a little about your application? We may have similar profiles, I'll be applying next year thought I could learn something!

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 00:10
BklynMatt wrote:
I'm going to add my own story to the mix...

I got a 2.8 GPA undergrad. I had a rough freshman year (I failed a high level calculus class 2nd semester) as I never learned a good work ethic. I was temporarily suspended from school (a good state school), but then came back and got on dean's list my first semester back. Unfortunately, I got lazy by the end and got just under a 3.0 my last semester in college.

My effort at work is completely different from that of my undergraduate career. I've worked for 4 years in Corp Finance at a media company and have been given an incredible amount of responsibility. Also, luckily, I scored a 750 on my GMAT (even though it took 3 times of taking it). I ended up applying to HBS (not sure why), Tuck, Darden, Fuqua, and McCombs. I was accepted at McCombs (with a bunch of money) and was waitlisted at Tuck, Darden, and Fuqua. I was recently accepted off the waitlist at Darden where I'll be matriculating.

I can offer the following advice for people with a low GPA. First, don't assume that it counts you out. I know I was waitlisted at the above schools due to my GPA (Tuck told me this), but if there's something else you can offer the school, they'll be willing to admit you. For me, I think it was my work experience, as it was very unique and my recommendations were very strong. Also, I genuinely enjoy interviewing, so I think that helped.

Also, try to find any sort of connections you have and ask for advice and ask if they can write a letter of support, it never hurts. If you're on the waitlist, don't be annoying, but try to keep a constant dialogue with the schools and give them a reason to admit you. Make it seem that it's their loss if they don't admit you. Lastly, don't give up. Getting in to school was really really hard (especially due to my GPA), but it's all worth it as I really loved Darden when I visited.

That's my story. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

Matt




Thanks for above... I have had a string of personal issues and reading this gives me a fair idea on how to approach things. I have good work experience and extracurricular but lots of side issues that I tackled with grit ... getting things done that others said were impossible. I plan on addressing all of them succinctly... yes I have many awards as well but I was very worried. So above info is gr8 as I went through many difficulties and no reason to shy away from reality.

Thanks to below guys and all others!
Toubab
worldtraveller

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2017, 00:10

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