Mediocre undergrad GPA - Do I still have a chance?


kdog
Hi All, this is my first post here and I want to apologize in advance if this has been asked already. I've just recently started considering an MBA so I'm still very much in the dark about what I'm up against.

First off, here are my key credentials as far as when I begin applying for MBA schools:

-28 years old
-Undergrad business degree from a Big10 school (finance major)
-3.2 cumulative GPA
-2 years working experience:
*1 year at a small foreign exchange brokerage firm
*1 year working in the front office of a large European bank / securities firm, located in Tokyo

My main concern is this: I recognize that a 3.2 gpa isn't the worst thing in the world, however if you were to take a look at my transcript, some parts of it are ugly. I had a brief period in college where I had some personal issues which lead to about a 2-year period where I was dropping classes left and right (and consequently show up that way on the transcript), as well as getting D's and F's in several classes along the way. I obviously got my act together eventually and was able to boost my gpa back up to a 3.2, however the entire process took me close to 7 years to finally graduate.

So my main question: does my mediocre performance during undergrad preclude me from getting into a top-tier MBA program (the likes of Northwestern, Michigan, USC, Indiana, etc)?

I haven't taken the GMAT yet, but assuming I do relatively well, do you think a top 10 program is still in the cards for me?

Thanks for your time and I would appreciate any feedback you may have. Cheers.
Hi All, this is my first post here and I want to apologize in advance if this has been asked already. I've just recently started considering an MBA so I'm still very much in the dark about what I'm up against.

First off, here are my key credentials as far as when I begin applying for MBA schools:

-28 years old
-Undergrad business degree from a Big10 school (finance major)
-3.2 cumulative GPA
-2 years working experience:
*1 year at a small foreign exchange brokerage firm
*1 year working in the front office of a large European bank / securities firm, located in Tokyo

My main concern is this: I recognize that a 3.2 gpa isn't the worst thing in the world, however if you were to take a look at my transcript, some parts of it are ugly. I had a brief period in college where I had some personal issues which lead to about a 2-year period where I was dropping classes left and right (and consequently show up that way on the transcript), as well as getting D's and F's in several classes along the way. I obviously got my act together eventually and was able to boost my gpa back up to a 3.2, however the entire process took me close to 7 years to finally graduate.

So my main question: does my mediocre performance during undergrad preclude me from getting into a top-tier MBA program (the likes of Northwestern, Michigan, USC, Indiana, etc)?

I haven't taken the GMAT yet, but assuming I do relatively well, do you think a top 10 program is still in the cards for me?

Thanks for your time and I would appreciate any feedback you may have. Cheers.
quote
Duncan
Your GPA is very weak for a top ten program, but if you do well on the GMAT then some of the other schools you mention would consider you. What's more of a limit is having two years' work experience. That's a big hurdle at Michigan and USC in particular. Maybe look at Texas A&M, Pepperdine, Brigham Young University or Iowa? They are all at the lower end when it comes to work experience (closer to 2 or 3 years than to 5 or 6).
Your GPA is very weak for a top ten program, but if you do well on the GMAT then some of the other schools you mention would consider you. What's more of a limit is having two years' work experience. That's a big hurdle at Michigan and USC in particular. Maybe look at Texas A&M, Pepperdine, Brigham Young University or Iowa? They are all at the lower end when it comes to work experience (closer to 2 or 3 years than to 5 or 6).
quote
ezra
Agree with Duncan.

Keep in mind that your GPA is only one of essentially four factors that admissions commissions look at (including your GMAT score, your personal statement, and your work experience.)

If you can get a score that matches or exceeds most of the applicants at the program, you'll be in the running. Note that the median GMAT score at USC is 620; 80% of accepted applicants to Northwestern score between 660 and 760. Scoring above 700 would be good - but that usually requires substantial preparation and studying.

So, do well on your GMAT, or as best you can. Then, in your personal statement, you'll need to explain why your GPA is low - and how your stellar GMAT score and fantastic work experience show how far you've progressed since you did your undergrad. A good narrative is key, as is showing your career arc.

As Duncan mentioned, just two years of work experience may be on the thin side for some of these schools. Something to consider is, if you really want to land a top program - take another year to build your career and prepare for the GMAT - that single year would really make a difference for the top tier schools.
Agree with Duncan.

Keep in mind that your GPA is only one of essentially four factors that admissions commissions look at (including your GMAT score, your personal statement, and your work experience.)

If you can get a score that matches or exceeds most of the applicants at the program, you'll be in the running. Note that the median GMAT score at USC is 620; 80% of accepted applicants to Northwestern score between 660 and 760. Scoring above 700 would be good - but that usually requires substantial preparation and studying.

So, do well on your GMAT, or as best you can. Then, in your personal statement, you'll need to explain why your GPA is low - and how your stellar GMAT score and fantastic work experience show how far you've progressed since you did your undergrad. A good narrative is key, as is showing your career arc.

As Duncan mentioned, just two years of work experience may be on the thin side for some of these schools. Something to consider is, if you really want to land a top program - take another year to build your career and prepare for the GMAT - that single year would really make a difference for the top tier schools.
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