Low GPA, good experience, looking for the best MBA possible


Hello all!
I am currently looking for good one year MBA program that would fit my profile.
I am 30 years old. I did my undergrad in accounting from a top porgram in Canada (in French) and graduated with a low GPA of 2.3 (about average for the program I was in). I also completed a graduate degree in finance in a top Canadian university (in English) with GPA of 3.2.
I am a CPA and a level II CFA Candidate.
I have worked for 6 years in government owned company as a financial analyst, including 4 years in international development.
I also have a lot of excellent extra curricular activities.

What I am looking for in an MBA is a life experience as well as an excellent academic program. I think a year in UK or in France would fit as a cool life experience. I also would like a good international brand, since I would most likely come back in Canada or in the US to work. I would probably like to get in the investment banking industry or consulting after my MBA, and CFA.
I know my undergrad GPA is very low, but I hope my work experience, international exposure and extra curricular would help my case.
On the GMAT side, I practiced for 2 months, having scores between 630-680, but had a 590 on the real exam. I was shocked. Of course, I will be doing the GMAT again, and this time hoping realisticly to get 650+.
I am interested in these UK programs, but I am open to all the suggestions!
Cass, Imperial, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Warwick
Of course I am dreaming of LBS, HEC Paris and Ox-ridge, but I am not sure if it's even realistic...
In North-America, I would be interested in the U Boston International MBA and York MBA. If you do have other north-american 1 year MBA suggestions, please go ahead!
Thanks in advance!

Hello all!
I am currently looking for good one year MBA program that would fit my profile.
I am 30 years old. I did my undergrad in accounting from a top porgram in Canada (in French) and graduated with a low GPA of 2.3 (about average for the program I was in). I also completed a graduate degree in finance in a top Canadian university (in English) with GPA of 3.2.
I am a CPA and a level II CFA Candidate.
I have worked for 6 years in government owned company as a financial analyst, including 4 years in international development.
I also have a lot of excellent extra curricular activities.

What I am looking for in an MBA is a life experience as well as an excellent academic program. I think a year in UK or in France would fit as a cool life experience. I also would like a good international brand, since I would most likely come back in Canada or in the US to work. I would probably like to get in the investment banking industry or consulting after my MBA, and CFA.
I know my undergrad GPA is very low, but I hope my work experience, international exposure and extra curricular would help my case.
On the GMAT side, I practiced for 2 months, having scores between 630-680, but had a 590 on the real exam. I was shocked. Of course, I will be doing the GMAT again, and this time hoping realisticly to get 650+.
I am interested in these UK programs, but I am open to all the suggestions!
Cass, Imperial, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Warwick
Of course I am dreaming of LBS, HEC Paris and Ox-ridge, but I am not sure if it's even realistic...
In North-America, I would be interested in the U Boston International MBA and York MBA. If you do have other north-american 1 year MBA suggestions, please go ahead!
Thanks in advance!
quote
ralph

I wouldn't worry so much about your low undergraduate GPA - as this would be mitigated somewhat by your graduate academic performance.

Yes, I'd recommend re-taking the GMAT. A school like HEC Paris would be in reach if you could score 650. The higher-ranked UK schools tend to be more competitive, so for LBS, Cambridge, or Oxford, you'd need to score closer to 700. However, these (and INSEAD, for example) have better brand recognition generally in North America, so it may be worth applying to one as a reach school if you do not end up with that kind of GMAT score.

I'm assuming you are Quebecois? If you are planning on returning to Quebec after you graduate, you should spend a little time to research MBA brand recognition among employers there. I know that employers often recruit from local schools like McGill, Molson, etc. - but since you are looking for a broader experience, you should be sure that your degree will carry weight when you come back.

That said, Schulich has a great program, as does BU. You might want to check out other programs in Toronto as well, like Ryerson; especially if you eventually want to work in the finance field in Toronto.

I wouldn't worry so much about your low undergraduate GPA - as this would be mitigated somewhat by your graduate academic performance.

Yes, I'd recommend re-taking the GMAT. A school like HEC Paris would be in reach if you could score 650. The higher-ranked UK schools tend to be more competitive, so for LBS, Cambridge, or Oxford, you'd need to score closer to 700. However, these (and INSEAD, for example) have better brand recognition generally in North America, so it may be worth applying to one as a reach school if you do not end up with that kind of GMAT score.

I'm assuming you are Quebecois? If you are planning on returning to Quebec after you graduate, you should spend a little time to research MBA brand recognition among employers there. I know that employers often recruit from local schools like McGill, Molson, etc. - but since you are looking for a broader experience, you should be sure that your degree will carry weight when you come back.

That said, Schulich has a great program, as does BU. You might want to check out other programs in Toronto as well, like Ryerson; especially if you eventually want to work in the finance field in Toronto.
quote

I wouldn't worry so much about your low undergraduate GPA - as this would be mitigated somewhat by your graduate academic performance.

Yes, I'd recommend re-taking the GMAT. A school like HEC Paris would be in reach if you could score 650. The higher-ranked UK schools tend to be more competitive, so for LBS, Cambridge, or Oxford, you'd need to score closer to 700. However, these (and INSEAD, for example) have better brand recognition generally in North America, so it may be worth applying to one as a reach school if you do not end up with that kind of GMAT score.

I'm assuming you are Quebecois? If you are planning on returning to Quebec after you graduate, you should spend a little time to research MBA brand recognition among employers there. I know that employers often recruit from local schools like McGill, Molson, etc. - but since you are looking for a broader experience, you should be sure that your degree will carry weight when you come back.

That said, Schulich has a great program, as does BU. You might want to check out other programs in Toronto as well, like Ryerson; especially if you eventually want to work in the finance field in Toronto.


Thank you very much for your response!
I am in deed a Quebecois! To go more in details, I graduated from HEC Montreal and did my Graduate Certificate at McGill. My bet is that an international degree, along with my previous local degrees would give me an edge in Canada if I want to work in International Banking Investments.
Between Cass, Imperial, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Warwick, and others you would suggest, what could be a good fit for me? If I would score 620-630 on the GMAT, would these programs be within reach?
Thank you very much for your time, It is very much appreciated.

<blockquote>I wouldn't worry so much about your low undergraduate GPA - as this would be mitigated somewhat by your graduate academic performance.

Yes, I'd recommend re-taking the GMAT. A school like HEC Paris would be in reach if you could score 650. The higher-ranked UK schools tend to be more competitive, so for LBS, Cambridge, or Oxford, you'd need to score closer to 700. However, these (and INSEAD, for example) have better brand recognition generally in North America, so it may be worth applying to one as a reach school if you do not end up with that kind of GMAT score.

I'm assuming you are Quebecois? If you are planning on returning to Quebec after you graduate, you should spend a little time to research MBA brand recognition among employers there. I know that employers often recruit from local schools like McGill, Molson, etc. - but since you are looking for a broader experience, you should be sure that your degree will carry weight when you come back.

That said, Schulich has a great program, as does BU. You might want to check out other programs in Toronto as well, like Ryerson; especially if you eventually want to work in the finance field in Toronto.</blockquote>

Thank you very much for your response!
I am in deed a Quebecois! To go more in details, I graduated from HEC Montreal and did my Graduate Certificate at McGill. My bet is that an international degree, along with my previous local degrees would give me an edge in Canada if I want to work in International Banking Investments.
Between Cass, Imperial, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Warwick, and others you would suggest, what could be a good fit for me? If I would score 620-630 on the GMAT, would these programs be within reach?
Thank you very much for your time, It is very much appreciated.
quote
ralph

I think with that GMAT score you'd be competitive at Cass, Warwick, and Edinburgh. Imperial and Cranfield would be reach schools - but with these two you'd most likely have better salary growth and career services.

Are you considering programs in mainland Europe as well? Beyond HEC Paris, something like SDA Bocconi or Vlerick might be worth looking into.

I think with that GMAT score you'd be competitive at Cass, Warwick, and Edinburgh. Imperial and Cranfield would be reach schools - but with these two you'd most likely have better salary growth and career services.

Are you considering programs in mainland Europe as well? Beyond HEC Paris, something like SDA Bocconi or Vlerick might be worth looking into.
quote

Thank you very much for the advices Ralph!
So I took The GMAT again... It didn't go as good as I would have thought. I scored a 600 (Q44, V29). I scored 640 (Q38, V40) in the official GMAT Prep practice test, in examlike conditions. I keep scoring lower in verbal than i do in practice tests.
So, with time closing in, I am not sure what to do: take the GMAT a 3rd time and try to get a 650 or so, and apply late, or go with admission process with this 600 score... What are your thoughts? Would a late round admission make it much tougher? And would 650 in a 4th round at Cambridge be enough?
My plan for now, but I am waiting for relevant advices, would be to apply now at these programs:
-Stretch: HEC Paris (If I am a French speaking canadian with experience in France through a Canadian companie's subsidary, would it help my cause?)
-Realist : Cass, Edinburgh, Warwick (eventhough I saw today a minimum GMAT of 650 for Warwick, what's up with that?)
Also, should I even bother trying to get into Imperial, since I heard that they put emphasis on GPA. And what about Cambridge? Would this be a complete waste of money with a 600 score?
I got my profile assessed by Cass Admission advisor, and received a positive response. Finaly a good news!
Thank you again very much to every one for your help!

Thank you very much for the advices Ralph!
So I took The GMAT again... It didn't go as good as I would have thought. I scored a 600 (Q44, V29). I scored 640 (Q38, V40) in the official GMAT Prep practice test, in examlike conditions. I keep scoring lower in verbal than i do in practice tests.
So, with time closing in, I am not sure what to do: take the GMAT a 3rd time and try to get a 650 or so, and apply late, or go with admission process with this 600 score... What are your thoughts? Would a late round admission make it much tougher? And would 650 in a 4th round at Cambridge be enough?
My plan for now, but I am waiting for relevant advices, would be to apply now at these programs:
-Stretch: HEC Paris (If I am a French speaking canadian with experience in France through a Canadian companie's subsidary, would it help my cause?)
-Realist : Cass, Edinburgh, Warwick (eventhough I saw today a minimum GMAT of 650 for Warwick, what's up with that?)
Also, should I even bother trying to get into Imperial, since I heard that they put emphasis on GPA. And what about Cambridge? Would this be a complete waste of money with a 600 score?
I got my profile assessed by Cass Admission advisor, and received a positive response. Finaly a good news!
Thank you again very much to every one for your help!
quote

Are you considering programs in mainland Europe as well? Beyond HEC Paris, something like SDA Bocconi or Vlerick might be worth looking into.

Thanks for the advice!
I heard that SDA Bocconi is a top program, but I am not quite sure how an Italian degree would be perceived back in Canada. Also, are they any good in Investment banking jobs placement in USA, Canada, London or Paris?
On the other hand, a british degree is viewed as very high class asset for a CV in Quebec.

<blockquote>Are you considering programs in mainland Europe as well? Beyond HEC Paris, something like SDA Bocconi or Vlerick might be worth looking into.</blockquote>
Thanks for the advice!
I heard that SDA Bocconi is a top program, but I am not quite sure how an Italian degree would be perceived back in Canada. Also, are they any good in Investment banking jobs placement in USA, Canada, London or Paris?
On the other hand, a british degree is viewed as very high class asset for a CV in Quebec.
quote
maubia


-Realist : Cass, Edinburgh, Warwick (eventhough I saw today a minimum GMAT of 650 for Warwick, what's up with that?)


Why not Cranfield? They seem a bit in trouble in recruiting people and keeping the asian quota low. I'm not sure that 600 is enough (it's the minimun requirement... but if don't search for a scholarship it might be enough). At the end, the also offer an internal test (and, from what I know most people are taking it) .. and their placement stats are very good

<blockquote>
-Realist : Cass, Edinburgh, Warwick (eventhough I saw today a minimum GMAT of 650 for Warwick, what's up with that?)</blockquote>

Why not Cranfield? They seem a bit in trouble in recruiting people and keeping the asian quota low. I'm not sure that 600 is enough (it's the minimun requirement... but if don't search for a scholarship it might be enough). At the end, the also offer an internal test (and, from what I know most people are taking it) .. and their placement stats are very good
quote
ralph

I think the average GMAT for admitted students is around 680 for Cranfield, but you're right that this candidate's nationality might help him, depending on the number of applications they're receiving for this intake.

I think the average GMAT for admitted students is around 680 for Cranfield, but you're right that this candidate's nationality might help him, depending on the number of applications they're receiving for this intake.
quote

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