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Low GMAT and Low GPA -- Got into Top 20 School

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bnutz79 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Low GMAT and Low GPA -- Got into Top 20 School

Post Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:01 am
You can get into a top 20 full-time program with a low GMAT and GPA. What's low? Glad you asked. I scored 590 on the GMAT, and my GPA was 2.5. Yes, you read that right. Before some of you jump to conclusions, let me pre-emptively strike: I am NOT an underrepresented minority!

There are a lot helpful post on gmat sites; however, there are a lot of ignorant, braggadocios, disingenuous posts, as well. You all know what I mean, whether you admit it or not. My advice is steer clear of GMAT obsessed people - the ones who treat the GMAT as a zero-sum game. People forget that the application process is truly holistic - that's no bs. There is more to you than a GMAT score! You are an f'ing human being and not a number! Don't forget that.

I will admit, if you're trying to get into the top 5ish, you're definitely better off with a high score. However, if you don't get a 700+ after several attempts, you need to move on! Focus on your essays, resume, and networking. I cannot stress enough the importance of working hard on all three of those components. Why is that? Well, first, you need to stop thinking of the application process as being automated, where Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey reviews all the applications. Admission is a human process. So, what do you need to do?

First off, you need to get your resume wired tight. Second you need to brand yourself and have a compelling story. Last, you need to sell yourself.

So, how do you sell yourself? Well,you need write great essays that dig deep into why you want to attend b-school. Next,you need to network. I will repeat that one more time. YOU NEED TO NETWORK! You absolutely need to attend admissions events in your area and/or visit campus. Go to as many events as possible! Who do you think goes to admissions event? Adcoms! Get some face time, tell your story, and leave an lasting impression. When your application comes up, they will remember you. Same thing goes for meeting current students and alumni; they can easily put in a good word for you.

Okay, my wife is nagging me to go somewhere, so I have to cut this short. I do want to tell you guys that I have nearly a decade of awesome work experience. Obviously, that helped a tremendous amount. So, if you don't have the work experience, get it! When you wake up every morning you should hear Rick Ross in your head saying, "every day I'm hustlin'!" Also, to make up for my poor grades, I took stats, econ, and accounting at a local university. It was costly and time consuming, but it definitely help. Bottom line - there are actions that you can take to mitigate the damaging effects of poor grades and a crappy GMAT.

Peace! Hit me up if you have questions. I'm more than happy to help![/i]

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resolehtmai Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:44 pm
bnutz79,
quiet an encouraging and different post. most people just share there gmat journey and get busy with their applications, which is understandable. thanks for sharing with us the part after the gmat. But i have a lot of questions that i would appreciate if you could answer:
1) what is your background? agreed that you dint have a noteworthy gmat score, but you must've done something extraordinary in other aspects, such as job, extra-curricular or sports? Or was is just the quality of your applications?
2) You stressed on connecting with the adcoms. What if someone lives far away and isn't able to do so. Can he still rely on the quality of his applications to make it into the schools?
3) did you take help of some admission consultants to shape up your application?
4) Also, you din't mention which schools did you target and which one you finally got into?
5) Finally, none of the schools are done even with their deadlines yet. How come you got an admit without having any admission process started? Is this your last year's experience? Please clarify.

Jags1984 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:49 pm
Good one Smile ...thanks a ton !!!

Proverbs31Sista Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:22 am
You have NO IDEA how this has encouraged me. Thank you again!

Thanked by: bnutz79
bnutz79 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:36 am
Resolehtmai,

1) what is your background? agreed that you dint have a noteworthy gmat score, but you must've done something extraordinary in other aspects, such as job, extra-curricular or sports? Or was is just the quality of your applications?

You're right. I have extraordinary work experience. I was an Army officer with a deployment to Iraq under my belt, I worked in government with high profile visibility. That in itself isn't enough to get you into school, since many other officers and government employees apply with similar experience, if not better, and much higher scores. It's how one ties their short- and long-term business goals and b-school fit to their experience - it must be compelling. By compelling I mean well thought out, well written, and their must be a common thread that seamless ties one story to the next.

2) You stressed on connecting with the adcoms. What if someone lives far away and isn't able to do so. Can he still rely on the quality of his applications to make it into the schools?

With modern communications, there's no reason not to connect with students, alum, and adcoms. Many programs have links on their webpage that help you connect with all three. Also, all top 20 schools visit cities around the world. Find out if and when they're coming to your area and go.

Schools track your effort to connect. How do you think it looks when you don't even bother to an email, especially when they encourage you to do so on their webpage?

Bottom line - there is no excuse to not connect and network, as evidenced by your ability to post here on this website - interwebs, my friend.

3) did you take help of some admission consultants to shape up your application? I did not. However, I know those who have and it is worth the money if you can afford it. MBAExchange was recommended to me several times from those who achieved impressive results.

4) Also, you din't mention which schools did you target and which one you finally got into?

I targeted top 10 to 20. I applied to two schools: one closer to 10 and the other closer to 20. That is all I will say. The one closer to 10 rejected me.

With that said, I want to clear something up for those asking me which school I got into, thinking that somehow that my school may be easier to get into and that they may slip by and get in with a weaker application: you WILL NOT get in with that thinking. Several thousand people apply to my school every year, and the school only excepts a few hundred. Come correct or don't come at all.

Bottom line - I did not somehow miraculously slip by the admissions committee. I did a lot - A LOT - to mitigate my poor GPA and GMAT. My point is anyone can do it with some hard work and determination.

5) Finally, none of the schools are done even with their deadlines yet. How come you got an admit without having any admission process started? Is this your last year's experience? Please clarify.

I'm a current student. I applied last year.

My journey started nearly three years ago. Yeah, that's how long it took me to get to a place where I felt competitive enough to apply. 1) I started taking classes to create an alternate transcript. 2) I took the GMAT four times - yes, you read that right. I may not have scored high, but I'm sure the adcoms were impressed with my determination - it's about showing you want it. 3) it took a month or so to get my resume right. 4) I worked for months on my essays, fine tuning and creating a compelling - and TRUE story (don't lie) - that had a common theme that tied my short- and long-term goals, fit, and "why b-school now?" story into something adcoms could believe.

In the end, adcoms are really concerned with three things: 1) fit, 2) will this person survive first year, and 3) will this person be able to land a job post-grad or prior.

I hope all this was helpful.

Cheers,
BNUTZ

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KristenH88 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:02 am
Thank you! I cannot get passed a certain score (lower than yours) and almost gave up on my dream.

steve11215 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:03 am
It’s tough, but still possible to get into a top school with GMAT and GPA scores on the low side. Nowadays, a lot of the best business schools and grad schools in general are looking for things like outstanding work experience, how you articulate your career goals and strong evidence of leadership and work ethic. One really good resource I stumbled across was http://www.gradschools.com/article-detail/reasons-mba-students-are-rejected-1862 , has some pretty helpful tips and insider info. The best advice I can give in the end is never give up and just keep on working as hard as you can!

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