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# which classes should I take? urgent...

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Intern
Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 18:04
Hi everyone,

I am working on building an alternative transcript to compensate my low college GPA. For the Summer 2 session I have a few options and I do not have enough information to make the right decision. Options that I have:

Statistics
Calculus III
Corporate Finance

The problem is that except of Business Law I, all the remaining three are at the same day/time. So, I have to choose only one of them.

Business Law I: I took this in college and had D+. Do I need to take it and get a better grade to prove myself, or only taking quantitative classes are fine and I can leave this one with D+?

Statistics: In college I took 4 statistics classes. First two were A-, third one "Statistics for Economics I" was B, and fourth one, "Statistics for Economics II" was C. So, even though I had enough statistics classes the last one being C left a stigma. I feel like I need to take one statistics class to wash that shame out. However, this statistics class that is open for the summer seems to be an introductory class which I already took and got A-.

Calculus III: I have never taken Calculus III before, it would be a good choice. HOWEVER, I already missed the first week of this class, and I heard that the professor giving this course is really tough grader. So, I am afraid that the risk of getting something other than A might be higher.

Corporate Finance: I have already taken Business Finance in college and got A in that one. Business Finance and Corporate Finance seem to be close in content. So, I don't know if it is going to have significant input, or waste of time and money.

Tomorrow is the last day to make the decision. So, I appreciate so much if you can share your opinion with me... Thanks a lot in advance!
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 20:04
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Number one consideration should be that you take a class that you can get an A in. Creating an alternative transcript can be VERY time consuming, and if you don't get an A or A-, it will be a complete waste of time.

Also, you've taken lots of statistics classes, so I don't know how much value an introductory stats class is going to add for you. In my opinion, it should be an easy A for you, and the Adcoms will think the same.

Business Law would be a great opportunity to retake a class that you did poorly in, and boost that grade. It could be a great topic of an optional essay about how you did poorly in some classes in college, but how you've come away better after retaking and getting an A, blah blah blah...

Now for Calc III, i'm assuming you've taken Calc I and II? If you've done well in both of those classes, I don't think Calc III is going to add much to your cause. You've already showed quant skill in this area, and it's a pretty big risk to take Calc III if you can't guarantee and A.

So last but not least, corporate finance. If you don't have much finance experience, this would be a really good opportunity to show your finance skills.

Overall, remember that an alternative transcript is A LOT of work and sometimes very expensive. So make sure that the best return of your investment of time and resources will be spent on these classes.

Good luck!
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 20:23
GMATLA wrote:
Number one consideration should be that you take a class that you can get an A in. Creating an alternative transcript can be VERY time consuming, and if you don't get an A or A-, it will be a complete waste of time.

Also, you've taken lots of statistics classes, so I don't know how much value an introductory stats class is going to add for you. In my opinion, it should be an easy A for you, and the Adcoms will think the same.

Business Law would be a great opportunity to retake a class that you did poorly in, and boost that grade. It could be a great topic of an optional essay about how you did poorly in some classes in college, but how you've come away better after retaking and getting an A, blah blah blah...

Now for Calc III, i'm assuming you've taken Calc I and II? If you've done well in both of those classes, I don't think Calc III is going to add much to your cause. You've already showed quant skill in this area, and it's a pretty big risk to take Calc III if you can't guarantee and A.

So last but not least, corporate finance. If you don't have much finance experience, this would be a really good opportunity to show your finance skills.

Overall, remember that an alternative transcript is A LOT of work and sometimes very expensive. So make sure that the best return of your investment of time and resources will be spent on these classes.

Good luck!

GMATLA,

Thank you so much for your prompt response!

I wanted to keep the post as short as possible so that people have patience to read, so I didnt add more details. I guess I need to add this one:

Regarding Calculus III, I did well in Calculus I and II in college. I had A- and B in them. However, I went too far by taking Linear Algebra and Differential Equations with Engineering students and got B- and C in them. The last Math class being C makes me uncomfortable and I don't know if I need take Calculus III to have the ending of Math series with A.

Josh
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 20:45
6 classes would generally be considered too many for an alternative transcipt... unless you have unlimited time and resources. You are putting a ton of emphasis into an alternative transcript, so just remember that there are many other parts of your application, so make sure that your return on investment of time will be worth extra classes.

As far as the two classes taken after Calc that you didn't do as well in, I would not worry. Those are very complex math classes, and will not be required for business school so much. It's obvious that you are strong in quant (and I assume you'll get a strong quant score on the GMAT) so at this point extra quant classes are just to help offset a poor GPA. Not to prove your quant ability.

Business law is not a strict requirements for an MBA, and although it has the word business in it, it's no more important to an MBA than the other classes you are considering. This will not reflect on what kind of business person you are, just your knowledge of business law. So just make sure if you take it, you can get an A.

Without a full story of your profile its impossible to tell you where to spend you time... but just make sure that you are continuing to strengthen ALL the areas of your application and profile, not just the alt transcript. Classes take a lot of time and effort... the effort for one class could be the same work it would take to kill the GMAT, or write strong essays, or get involved in an extra curricular, or many other things that could continue to make sure that you are a well rounded applicant.

Good luck
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 21:11
GMATLA wrote:
6 classes would generally be considered too many for an alternative transcipt... unless you have unlimited time and resources. You are putting a ton of emphasis into an alternative transcript, so just remember that there are many other parts of your application, so make sure that your return on investment of time will be worth extra classes.

As far as the two classes taken after Calc that you didn't do as well in, I would not worry. Those are very complex math classes, and will not be required for business school so much. It's obvious that you are strong in quant (and I assume you'll get a strong quant score on the GMAT) so at this point extra quant classes are just to help offset a poor GPA. Not to prove your quant ability.

Business law is not a strict requirements for an MBA, and although it has the word business in it, it's no more important to an MBA than the other classes you are considering. This will not reflect on what kind of business person you are, just your knowledge of business law. So just make sure if you take it, you can get an A.

Without a full story of your profile its impossible to tell you where to spend you time... but just make sure that you are continuing to strengthen ALL the areas of your application and profile, not just the alt transcript. Classes take a lot of time and effort... the effort for one class could be the same work it would take to kill the GMAT, or write strong essays, or get involved in an extra curricular, or many other things that could continue to make sure that you are a well rounded applicant.

Good luck

I totally agree with you on how time consuming alternative transcript is. That is actually the reason why I want to be done with alternative transcript in the summer session. In summer session classes are 4-5 weeks. I prefer spending 5 hours a day for 5 weeks rather than spending less time than that for the whole Fall/Spring semester.

So, I have taken two courses in Summer 1 session. I have 4 options that I can choose from in Summer 2 to complete my alternative transcript and have 4 courses on it.

If you have to pick, which one would you choose?

Business Law and/or one of Calculus III/Corporate Finance? Instead of Calculus III and Corporate Finance I can also take Writing class which probably would be the most useful for me in terms of adding to my writing skills for essays etc. But I dont know how much of input it will have in terms of alternative transcript. If I take Writing then I have to drop Calculus and Fiance, because they are at the same day/time.

Sorry, I am going into too much details but I am kind of nervous. Tomorrow is the last day and I have to make my ultimate decision which is going to make up my alternative transcript. As you said I want to be done with it in the summer session so that in the Fall I can concentrate on other parts of the application.

Thanks!
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 21:25
If I were in your spot I would probably take Corporate Finance and Business Law. Business Law to hopefully offset the bad grade, and Corporate Finance b/c I've never taken a Finance class. Finance is an important part of Bschool too.

I would not take writing b/c it is not typically considered a business class (unless it's business writing) and it will not add to the trancript. It may help with your essays... maybe... but honestly, essay writing is only a small part of the GMAT, and as far as application is concerned, there are many essay editing services available if you really need help. Plus, you have so much time to write a short essay, it's all about crafting them really well over time. It requires preparation... which I'd recommend starting earlier than the night before

Hope it all works out. And just remember, no matter what classes you take, it will not make or break your application. Just make sure to do well!!!
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2012, 21:38
GMATLA wrote:
If I were in your spot I would probably take Corporate Finance and Business Law. Business Law to hopefully offset the bad grade, and Corporate Finance b/c I've never taken a Finance class. Finance is an important part of Bschool too.

I would not take writing b/c it is not typically considered a business class (unless it's business writing) and it will not add to the trancript. It may help with your essays... maybe... but honestly, essay writing is only a small part of the GMAT, and as far as application is concerned, there are many essay editing services available if you really need help. Plus, you have so much time to write a short essay, it's all about crafting them really well over time. It requires preparation... which I'd recommend starting earlier than the night before

Hope it all works out. And just remember, no matter what classes you take, it will not make or break your application. Just make sure to do well!!!

GMATLA,

You just saved my brain from exploding! I was indifferent and clueless. Now I have better understanding after your suggestion.

I think I am going to take Business Law and Corporate Finance then (even though I have taken a Business Finance, which is close to Corporate Finance in content, and got A). May be in the Fall or Spring I can take one more hardcore Math class and finalize the alternative transcript.

Thanks so much again! I am going to be around more often and we will talk a lot..

Josh
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 06:31
1
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I don't think any of the classes are particularly good ideas, and quite frankly a gigantic waste of time. The finance class because you already have an A registered for finance, and the business law class because, well, it's business law.

I read your other post, and let me put up a piece of advice in big Hollywood sign letters: in your specific case, a few classes are not going to amount to a grain of sand against your prior transcripts. Perhaps you're thinking that your low GPA is the death knell that you need to somehow mitigate to make it to business school. Your low GPA is indeed a red flag, but I believe you have a much more serious issue which is your inability to construct and deliver on long-term visions.

You struggled in undergraduate mathematics classes (and hey, there's no shame in that!), but you stuck with it instead of reassessing whether it was a great fit. You then parlayed that into a PhD in Economics, when anyone in that program would tell you it's insanely quantitative and will push you to your limits. How much research did you actually do into that career/academic track for you to figure out "just as you started" that you didn't like it? Then, you dropped out (which was probably a good personal decision, but isn't doing your MBA app any favors). To follow that up, you started a business (which is great initiative), but as of yet, have not turned a profit. This is just one story after another of unfulfilled potential and questionable decision making.

MBA programs need killer aces. You're allowed to change your mind from time to time, but you need a track record of delivering on your promise. If I'm an admissions officer, I'm asking myself immediately: will this person even finish my program? will this person excel in my program? does this person have the skills to construct a career goal and do all of the work necessary to land that job in a highly competitive landscape? I don't even care what your math grades were at this point, because I'm starting to question who you are at the core, and that's a big, big, big problem.

If you're going to spend time doing anything, you need to figure out how to combat this issue. Alternative transcripts show promise in the short-term, but what are you able to show about the long-term?
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 08:39
method wrote:
I don't think any of the classes are particularly good ideas, and quite frankly a gigantic waste of time. The finance class because you already have an A registered for finance, and the business law class because, well, it's business law.

I read your other post, and let me put up a piece of advice in big Hollywood sign letters: in your specific case, a few classes are not going to amount to a grain of sand against your prior transcripts. Perhaps you're thinking that your low GPA is the death knell that you need to somehow mitigate to make it to business school. Your low GPA is indeed a red flag, but I believe you have a much more serious issue which is your inability to construct and deliver on long-term visions.

You struggled in undergraduate mathematics classes (and hey, there's no shame in that!), but you stuck with it instead of reassessing whether it was a great fit. You then parlayed that into a PhD in Economics, when anyone in that program would tell you it's insanely quantitative and will push you to your limits. How much research did you actually do into that career/academic track for you to figure out "just as you started" that you didn't like it? Then, you dropped out (which was probably a good personal decision, but isn't doing your MBA app any favors). To follow that up, you started a business (which is great initiative), but as of yet, have not turned a profit. This is just one story after another of unfulfilled potential and questionable decision making.

MBA programs need killer aces. You're allowed to change your mind from time to time, but you need a track record of delivering on your promise. If I'm an admissions officer, I'm asking myself immediately: will this person even finish my program? will this person excel in my program? does this person have the skills to construct a career goal and do all of the work necessary to land that job in a highly competitive landscape? I don't even care what your math grades were at this point, because I'm starting to question who you are at the core, and that's a big, big, big problem.

If you're going to spend time doing anything, you need to figure out how to combat this issue. Alternative transcripts show promise in the short-term, but what are you able to show about the long-term?

So true! Actually, if I were in admissions committee and if I reviewed myself based on my past until this year I would not accept myself to the program. The good part is that, now I am feeling mature as I have never felt before. Some people get mature when they are 20 years old, some get mature when they are 30,and some never get mature.. Now is the time when I know myself. However, my feeling doesn't mean anything to adcom. They are not going to ask me how I feel now, they are going to look at my past records which is as complicated as it could be. My concern is that, now that I am determined and confident about myself, how do I make the past record affect my chances the least? Any idea?
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GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 08:58
1
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thatboy wrote:
So true! Actually, if I were in admissions committee and if I reviewed myself based on my past until this year I would not accept myself to the program. The good part is that, now I am feeling mature as I have never felt before. Some people get mature when they are 20 years old, some get mature when they are 30,and some never get mature.. Now is the time when I know myself. However, my feeling doesn't mean anything to adcom. They are not going to ask me how I feel now, they are going to look at my past records which is as complicated as it could be. My concern is that, now that I am determined and confident about myself, how do I make the past record affect my chances the least? Any idea?

My inclination is for you to construct an entrepreneurship goals story.

Instead of saying you dropped out of the PhD program because you didn't like it, I would say you dropped out because you fell in love with a new business idea and knew you needed to invest 100% of your time in it. You were so passionate about entrepreneurship that it negatively impacted your PhD grades and the birth of the startup, you had to choose one or the other, and you choose the new venture because you're a risk-taker who sees the world a little differently.

I would make the 1 year of nothing disappear by saying you were working on this new business idea by doing market research and acquiring necessary technology skills.

You took the initiative to build your own business, you put money into it, and you're still hard at work on it. It hasn't turned a profit yet, but you've learned some valuable skills and also identified some holes in your game. You need a MBA program to fill in those holes, give you a lab to test more ideas in a community of brilliant minds, and provide potential networking and competition access to investors, because as you've figured out, self-funding may not get you where you need to go.

MBA programs are all about entrepreneurship right now. Intrapreneurship is probably another big wave that will really hit in a few years as more F500 companies understand how to make innovation teams work. So that's working in your favor because this is actually the one thing you've done (and recently), so you need to polish it up and sell it big. Link it to the MBA program, sell your deficiencies as opportunities to get better through the MBA world.

You're between a rock and a hard place. So hopefully this is a little pickaxe you can use to get started. There's probably some ethical decision making here regarding how far you want to stretch the truth, and certainly, that's a personal decision. But to me, it's got to be entrepreneurship, there's no other way.
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 09:24
method wrote:
thatboy wrote:
So true! Actually, if I were in admissions committee and if I reviewed myself based on my past until this year I would not accept myself to the program. The good part is that, now I am feeling mature as I have never felt before. Some people get mature when they are 20 years old, some get mature when they are 30,and some never get mature.. Now is the time when I know myself. However, my feeling doesn't mean anything to adcom. They are not going to ask me how I feel now, they are going to look at my past records which is as complicated as it could be. My concern is that, now that I am determined and confident about myself, how do I make the past record affect my chances the least? Any idea?

My inclination is for you to construct an entrepreneurship goals story.

Instead of saying you dropped out of the PhD program because you didn't like it, I would say you dropped out because you fell in love with a new business idea and knew you needed to invest 100% of your time in it. You were so passionate about entrepreneurship that it negatively impacted your PhD grades and the birth of the startup, you had to choose one or the other, and you choose the new venture because you're a risk-taker who sees the world a little differently.

I would make the 1 year of nothing disappear by saying you were working on this new business idea by doing market research and acquiring necessary technology skills.

You took the initiative to build your own business, you put money into it, and you're still hard at work on it. It hasn't turned a profit yet, but you've learned some valuable skills and also identified some holes in your game. You need a MBA program to fill in those holes, give you a lab to test more ideas in a community of brilliant minds, and provide potential networking and competition access to investors, because as you've figured out, self-funding may not get you where you need to go.

MBA programs are all about entrepreneurship right now. Intrapreneurship is probably another big wave that will really hit in a few years as more F500 companies understand how to make innovation teams work. So that's working in your favor because this is actually the one thing you've done (and recently), so you need to polish it up and sell it big. Link it to the MBA program, sell your deficiencies as opportunities to get better through the MBA world.

You're between a rock and a hard place. So hopefully this is a little pickaxe you can use to get started. There's probably some ethical decision making here regarding how far you want to stretch the truth, and certainly, that's a personal decision. But to me, it's got to be entrepreneurship, there's no other way.

_________________

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Re: which classes should I take? urgent... [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 10:07
method wrote:
thatboy wrote:
So true! Actually, if I were in admissions committee and if I reviewed myself based on my past until this year I would not accept myself to the program. The good part is that, now I am feeling mature as I have never felt before. Some people get mature when they are 20 years old, some get mature when they are 30,and some never get mature.. Now is the time when I know myself. However, my feeling doesn't mean anything to adcom. They are not going to ask me how I feel now, they are going to look at my past records which is as complicated as it could be. My concern is that, now that I am determined and confident about myself, how do I make the past record affect my chances the least? Any idea?

My inclination is for you to construct an entrepreneurship goals story.

Instead of saying you dropped out of the PhD program because you didn't like it, I would say you dropped out because you fell in love with a new business idea and knew you needed to invest 100% of your time in it. You were so passionate about entrepreneurship that it negatively impacted your PhD grades and the birth of the startup, you had to choose one or the other, and you choose the new venture because you're a risk-taker who sees the world a little differently.

I would make the 1 year of nothing disappear by saying you were working on this new business idea by doing market research and acquiring necessary technology skills.

You took the initiative to build your own business, you put money into it, and you're still hard at work on it. It hasn't turned a profit yet, but you've learned some valuable skills and also identified some holes in your game. You need a MBA program to fill in those holes, give you a lab to test more ideas in a community of brilliant minds, and provide potential networking and competition access to investors, because as you've figured out, self-funding may not get you where you need to go.

MBA programs are all about entrepreneurship right now. Intrapreneurship is probably another big wave that will really hit in a few years as more F500 companies understand how to make innovation teams work. So that's working in your favor because this is actually the one thing you've done (and recently), so you need to polish it up and sell it big. Link it to the MBA program, sell your deficiencies as opportunities to get better through the MBA world.

You're between a rock and a hard place. So hopefully this is a little pickaxe you can use to get started. There's probably some ethical decision making here regarding how far you want to stretch the truth, and certainly, that's a personal decision. But to me, it's got to be entrepreneurship, there's no other way.

So, after I put my effort on my weakest points as you mentioned above, I still will have the GPA problem. Do you find it useful to take some hardcore math/stats courses to compensate that part eventually? I understand that right now, while I have a bigger issue, the alternative transcript alone is not going to solve any problem. But what if everything else is somehow taken care of?
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Re: which classes should I take? urgent...   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2012, 10:07
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