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  • LBS/INSEAD/Cambridge R1 Admit is Here to Answer YOUR Questions!

     December 09, 2018

     December 09, 2018

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    One of our senior forum members, subirroy, recently got accepted at LBS, INSEAD, and Cambridge in Round 1. He accepted our invitation to share his insights about the application process, and answer the queries of applicants.
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    Reflecting back on the tips I have provided again and again, I want to share my top 4 “words of wisdom” for MBA applicants.

Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT

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Joined: 06 Mar 2018
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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, 16:30.
Last edited by beepboopbeepbeep on 21 Nov 2018, 10:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 18:30
Hi there, and thanks for writing! Your GMAT is great (no big need to retake, I agree), you have intriguing and impactful work experience, and solid extracurricular involvement as a nationally competitive athlete and volunteer. Regarding your GPA - I don't think that it necessarily keeps you out of the running for the schools you listed (especially since it was from 7 years ago). What you'll want to do is address it in the optional essay for each program by taking responsibility for your performance, acknowledging the factors that led to your low grades (family issues and lack of planning), and how you turned things around (highlighting the upward trend). In the essay, also point out any quant courses in which you received an A (including that Linear Algebra class) and any quantitative work experience you have. This, along with the strong GMAT subscore, will go a long way towards assuring the AdCom that you have what it takes to handle the academic rigors of the MBA program.

Hope that helps! Do let me know of any other questions :)


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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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?

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Profile review: top undergrad, low GPA, decent GMAT

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