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Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT

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Joined: 06 Mar 2018
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Schools: Stanford '21 (S)
Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Nov 2018, 10:17
Hi! I'm looking at applying to MBA programs for a fall 2019 start and I'm curious whether it's reasonable to look at top 10 programs given my very low GPA.

Undergrad: 3.05 in humanities from HYP. Slight upward trajectory; 2.7 my first two years followed by 3.4 my junior/senior year. Also took two math classes (Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus) at a top state school (think UCB, UCLA, UT, UMich) my senior year of high school and got an A and B+, but those aren't reflected in my college GPA.

GMAT: 750 (50Q/41V/8 IR/6 AWA) on my first attempt after 3 weeks studying. Pretty confident I could get it up to 770 on a retake, but it sounds like it's not worth the time or money.

Work experience: 7 years managing partnerships at a variety of edtech companies (half of them have been nonprofits). All of these are very small companies, no larger than 100 employees, but are well-regarded (lots of major grants, awards).

ECs: Nationally competitive in an alternative team sport. I've founded and captained a team that's top-20 nationally and played at a semi-professional level, appearing on ESPN3 multiple times. Leadership responsibilities include recruiting, logistical organization, setting goals and culture for the team, among various other tasks. I also volunteer with a local organization that teaches the sport to youth in the area.

Other notes: GPA is due to a few factors, including some financial difficulties with my family my freshman/sophomore year, a lack of planning (I took classes across 10 different departments my first two years), and my own inability to manage my time. Goal from an MBA is to go into consulting with a social impact focus (e.g. Bridgespan) and then into social impact in a corporate setting (e.g. Google dot org, Facebook Social Good, Salesforce dot org). ["dot org" since the forum won't let me post links :P)

What schools are reasonably in my range? I'd be thrilled to end up at SOM (which sounds like it has a great focus on social impact), Kellogg, or Haas. Also considering applying to Booth (reach), Anderson, Fuqua, Ross, among others. Are these too far out of my range?

Originally posted by beepboopbeepbeep on 06 Mar 2018, 16:27.
Last edited by beepboopbeepbeep on 21 Nov 2018, 10:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Concentration: Marketing, Organizational Behavior
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Re: Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 05:31
thebeginningsofends wrote:
Hi! I'm looking at applying to MBA programs for a fall 2019 start and I'm curious whether it's reasonable to look at top 10 programs given my very low GPA.
Thanks for reaching out! I actually see a LOT of positive in here and lots to work with! Let me elaborate below
Undergrad: 3.05 in humanities from Princeton, midway through the grade delation era. Slight upward trajectory; 2.7 my first two years followed by 3.4 my junior/senior year. Also took two math classes (Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus) at UC Berkeley my senior year of high school and got an A and B+, but those aren't reflected in my college GPA. First-- it is Princeton-- so you get points for that-- so to speak... and 3.05 is still above a 3.0 which makes things easier. Will it help to have a 3.0-- no-- but I don't think it will derail you either if you handle it correctly-- which I have lots of experience helping people to do. You want to give some context-- but not make excuses-- and don't put too much attention on it either-- as that 750 GMAT removes all doubt of your ability to do the work in b school.

GMAT: 750 (50Q/41V/8 IR/6 AWA) on my first attempt after 3 weeks studying. Pretty confident I could get it up to 770 on a retake, but it sounds like it's not worth the time or money. Your time is probably better spent working on the rest of the application at this point-- as it is not just GMAT score--
you need the whole package.


Work experience: 7 years managing partnerships and customers at a variety of edtech companies (half of them have been nonprofits). All of these are very small companies, no larger than 100 employees. Two of these companies have been highlighted on Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies list. Highlights include managing an $18 million of donations for various cause marketing campaigns, building my company's internal Salesforce instance, and co-authoring a research study on digital humanities funding sources. This looks good--mine this experience for examples of where you built strong teams- achieved objectives and contributed to overall success of these efforts.

ECs: Nationally competitive ultimate frisbee player. I've founded and captained a team that's top-20 nationally and played at a semi-professional level, appearing on ESPN3 multiple times. Leadership responsibilities include recruiting, logistical organization, setting goals and culture for the team, among various other tasks. I also volunteer with a local organization that teaches the sport to youth in the area. Really interesting! And a great example of how you can get traction from something you truly enjoy-- these extracurriculars can be fun! And knowing some people who do ultimate-- It sounds like they really enjoy it-- good for you for showing leadership in this area also.

Other notes: GPA is due to a few factors, including some financial difficulties with my family my freshman/sophomore year, a lack of planning (I took classes across 10 different departments my first two years), and my own inability to manage my time. Goal from an MBA is to go into consulting with a social impact focus (e.g. Bridgespan) and then into social impact in a corporate setting (e.g. Google dot org, Facebook Social Good, Salesforce dot org). ["dot org" since the forum won't let me post links :P) This needs some editing here-- good to give context but don't go on too much in the optional essay-- if you do the free consult with me-- I can give you more ideas on how to present this. To sign up for the free consult-- go to this link: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... b-visitor/

What schools are reasonably in my range? I'd be thrilled to end up at SOM (which sounds like it has a great focus on social impact), Kellogg, or Haas. Also considering applying to Booth (reach), Anderson, Fuqua, Ross, among others. Are these too far out of my range?

I can see you making a compelling case at any of these schools-- for safety you might add Georgetown also-- but I think SOM, Kellogg, Fuqua,
Ross could be targets-- reaches may be Booth and possibly SOM and I'd see you as a strong contender at Anderson. From what I know in my past work at UNC Kenan-Flagler I also think you could potentially be in scholarship running there although that's where the gpa hurts a bit more-- but if you have scholarships on your wish list-- I think we could work with you to help you put together a compelling list there too.

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Re: Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT &nbs [#permalink] 07 Mar 2018, 05:31
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Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT

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