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Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting

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Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2014, 21:14
I graduated from a liberal arts college and I did not major in anything business related. I heard most consulting companies want a 3.5 + gpa and my undergrad GPA is below that ( about 3.2 but I was extremely busy with athletics in undergrad). Do consulting companies look at your undergrad GPA or MBA GPA? I was hoping that if I got a 3.5 in B school all would be forgiven. Any thoughts on this ?

Also is consulting not a viable career for someone who using an MBA for a career change?

I was hoping to go into consulting and focus on the Entertainment and or Video Game Industry. My backup plan is to get some kind of finance job if I cant get a consulting job post MBA.

The schools I'm looking at are Cornell, Michigan, Emory, USC, UNC, UT Austin. ( Possibly Georgetown) They seem to do well in consulting for being schools outside of the top 10. ( Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong here) I dont think I can get into top 10 schools without a 750+ gmat to make up for my gpa. ( I would like to go to Berkely but they seem to value the GPA more than the GMAT so i feel like I have no chance there).

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Re: Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2014, 06:43
Consulting is definitely a viable for a career switcher. I'm looking to use an MBA for exactly that. I don't think consulting firms care too much about what you did before business school, except that it was professional work experience and you can showcase your ability to lead.

I have heard the big thing is your school's prestige and your GMAT. GPA does factor into it as well, but there's nothing you can do about that now. MBA GPA can help differentiate yourself from other candidates, however some schools do have a Grade Non-Disclosure policy and so it won't matter if you go to one of those schools.

Since you're interested in the Entertainment industry, have you looked at UCLA Anderson? I hear they have a lot of good ties with the entertainment industry and place very well in that sector.
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Re: Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2014, 20:16
Echo what dtse said about career switching and gmat. Based on what I've read, the MBBs care about gmat, not gpa.

In reference to your gpa, I think you should still consider top 10 schools. Schools love jocks and if you can do well on your gmat (700+) it will help you out with your apps and with consulting recruitment.

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Re: Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2014, 23:50
1. Undergrad major - Generalist consulting firms don't care what you majored in. Firms organized around industry verticals might.
2. GPA - Cut-offs are usually only discussed for undergrads, not MBAs. Mine was far worse than yours and recruiting went very well for me. In my experience, firms didn't even see my undergrad GPA until after I'd been invited to interview. My MBA program (like many others) has grade non-disclosure, which means we are prohibited from sharing grades (and companies can't ask for them) during the OCR process. Even if your school doesn't have GND, firms will see one term of grades, at most, before intern interviews.
3. Career switching - Like the vast majority of full-time MBA students, aspiring consultants on campus tend to be career-switchers. Consulting firms (especially generalist ones) look for a track record of success, analytic ability, communication skills, team orientation, and leadership potential. Pre-MBA career distinction is important, but not necessarily content.
4. Career goals - Some offices of some consulting firms might lean towards the media and entertainment industries, but it might be tough to focus all of your time there. In general, west coast offices (e.g. LA) will offer you the best opportunities. "Some kind of finance" job might prove pretty difficult as a back-up plan. Finance is a great big world unto itself, and no matter where you end up, lots of your classmates will be gunning for those jobs as their top choice.
5. School selection - I had a much lower GPA (sub-3.0) than yours with a great GMAT and ended up doing better-than-expected with top-10 schools in R3. Don't be afraid to throw some reach schools in there. Different schools can open different doors and the schools you mentioned do produce many consultants, especially for Big 4 firms. If you have your sights set on MBB or on certain niche firms (say, ones that do video game consulting), make sure to dig deep into the employment reports and reach out to folks in your network familiar with those schools and firms to make sure you're on the right path.

Good luck!

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Re: Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2015, 12:15
Echoing what others said, most firms care more about GMAT than GPA. Given the variability for GPA (school, major, etc) GMAT is a much more standardized measure of success.

From my experience, GMAT seems to be more of a checkbox than a decider - As long as you have a certain number or over (ranges from 680-720ish) you should be in good shape. Having a higher one definitely helps, and having a lower one can hinder (but is still not always a dealbreaker) but there are many other components they consider when evaluating candidates.

Greekmythology wrote:
I graduated from a liberal arts college and I did not major in anything business related. I heard most consulting companies want a 3.5 + gpa and my undergrad GPA is below that ( about 3.2 but I was extremely busy with athletics in undergrad). Do consulting companies look at your undergrad GPA or MBA GPA? I was hoping that if I got a 3.5 in B school all would be forgiven. Any thoughts on this ?

Also is consulting not a viable career for someone who using an MBA for a career change?

I was hoping to go into consulting and focus on the Entertainment and or Video Game Industry. My backup plan is to get some kind of finance job if I cant get a consulting job post MBA.

The schools I'm looking at are Cornell, Michigan, Emory, USC, UNC, UT Austin. ( Possibly Georgetown) They seem to do well in consulting for being schools outside of the top 10. ( Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong here) I dont think I can get into top 10 schools without a 750+ gmat to make up for my gpa. ( I would like to go to Berkely but they seem to value the GPA more than the GMAT so i feel like I have no chance there).

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Re: Question Regarding GPA, Region, and Career switching to Consulting   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2015, 12:15
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