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My Journey: Low GPA + Reapplicant + Waitlist Success Story to Cornell

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 48
Location: United States (NY)
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
GMAT 1: 620 Q42 V34
GMAT 2: 660 Q42 V38
GMAT 3: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 2.4
My Journey: Low GPA + Reapplicant + Waitlist Success Story to Cornell  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Apr 2018, 06:45
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So I spent a lot of time here during my applications and read many stories that kept me motivated during times when I felt defeated and want to pay it forward.

Profile:


-UG: Service Academy(ie: West Point, Annapolis, AFA) BS Legal Studies GPA: 2.3
-Grad: Big D1 Midwest Sports School (ie: OSU,OU, KU) MS Entrepreneurship GPA: 3.8
-GRE: V:158 Q:162
-GMAT: took it three times to end with a 710

Work Experience:


- 5 years military Officer: significant leadership experience
- 1.5 years Medical Device Surgery Consultant (Sales): high revenue growth
- 8 Months Government Veteran Entity: worked on platform launch for veteran benefits
- Current: working at top bulge bracket bank in NYC

Finding Out About BSchool and Applying:


I first knew I was going to go down the Bschool road late Feb in 2017. My industry(med device) was getting hit hard due to the changing dynamics between insurance and healthcare. I spoke to some students at several business schools and found out there was a final round left. And the suggestion I got was, "if you can put together a strong package by then you should apply". I did not know what they meant by "strong package" but I thought what's there to lose? I knew I would need more time to study for the GMAT so I opted for the GRE. I studied 3 weeks and took the GRE and scored in the 80th percentile across the board. With no scores to compare to on the admissions sites, I decided this was okay and started applications. I had about 2 weeks left before deadline for final rounds. I finished applications for about 14 schools within those two weeks. I applied to every school between Harvard and Cornell. By mid May, with no surprise I was dinged at all of them.

After all the rejections I asked for feedback and it was all the same. "Your package was not well thought out", "It had many mistakes", "Stats are much lower than what is required". I did some research and found GMAT Club and quickly found out how much introspection and effort needs to go into an application package. I also found out that the final round is the hardest to get into.

I quickly turned around and studied for the GMAT. My GMAT story can be found here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/my-gmat-stor ... l#p1930540

With a 710 I was motivated to get into school. I decided to apply to the following: CBS, NYU, Tepper, Cornell, Darden, and Gtown. I was a reapplicant at CBS, NYU, and Cornell. The application process for me started in September. I started reaching out to school talking with current students. I got invited to diversity/veteran events at all schools and attended all of them. I networked with the Adcom as well and started to see the cultures of the different schools and the different experiences they would provide. I felt that I was able to put together compelling stories in my application.

The Reapplication Process:


So I found out that the reapplication is different than normal applications. Adcom now has your prior application as well when they review your application for the current year. This is a double edge sword. I feel like my extremely poor package that I initially submitted is an incredibly hard thing to overcome. If you had a solid application the prior year and were able to build upon that for the next year i think you have an advantage. So for my 2 cents regarding reapplicants: if you have a terrible application and got rejected wait 1 year before applying again and start with a fresh slate, if you had a solid application and you improved somehow ie: GMAT increase or promotion, reapply.

The Results:



I was placed on the WL for Cornell on 3/12. I was devastated but really opportunistic. I immediately emailed two Adcoms to tell them I Cornell is still my top choice and I will work to improve my candidacy. I also made calls with several current students, some of whom help with admissions. I know of one letter of support that was sent on my behalf, but there could have been more. I had a plan to send an update statement, which would include why Johnson is a good fit and why I am committed and also my professional progress. I also had a professional recommender preparing a letter. But on 3/27 I got a call from Ithaca. I did not think anything of it because I just got off the phone with a current student, but it ended up being the adcom congratulating me on admittance!

Overall I am extremely excited about Cornell. I made the most connections with current students, and really liked the campus, and feel like I belong there.

Takeaways:


I wrote this for two reasons. First as a motivation for those in any of the situations that I was in(Extremely Low GPA, Reapplicant, Waitlist). Hopefully you don't fall in all three buckets. Nobody will tell you that you have a good chance at getting into a top program. Words of encouragement are few and far between, and rightfully so. However, that does not mean that it is impossible. If I am able to make it into these school so can any of you.

Second is to share how to overcome whatever situation you are in.
-Low GPA: get an MS, they have easier grading standards, and get A's in Accounting and Finance classes. Also you will most likely need a GMAT over the average GMAT score for the program.
-Reapplicant: again if you have a terrible application and got rejected wait 1 year before applying again and start with a fresh slate, if you had a solid application and you improved somehow ie: GMAT increase or promotion, reapply. My reapplication for Cornell may have worked because I showed a lot of interest and commitment to Cornell. I spoke with one Adcom for a full year.
-Waitlist: make as much noise as possible. Talk to everyone you can and ask the people you talk to to connect you to others. Gaining support from current students to vouch for you will make a huge difference, because after all you will be part of their brand network.

Hopefully this helps some of you. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.

Originally posted by builtok on 28 Mar 2018, 09:08.
Last edited by builtok on 25 Apr 2018, 06:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Journey: Low GPA + Reapplicant + Waitlist Success Story to Cornell  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 09:19
Thanks for the debrief! Happy that you got into Cornell. :)

"I wrote this for two reasons. First as a motivation for those in any of the situations that I was in(Extremely Low GPA, Reapplicant, Waitlist). Hopefully you don't fall in all three buckets. Nobody will tell you that you have a good chance at getting into a top program. Words of encouragement are few and far between, and rightfully so. However, that does not mean that it is impossible. If I am able to make it into these school so can any of you. "
- That's a very valid point. Nice of you to share your story.

I would just add that you might have to wait for > 1 year (3 years I believe) to not be considered as a re-applicant.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: My Journey: Low GPA + Reapplicant + Waitlist Success Story to Cornell &nbs [#permalink] 28 Mar 2018, 09:19
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My Journey: Low GPA + Reapplicant + Waitlist Success Story to Cornell

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