Australian looking at US MBA's

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Australian looking at US MBA's

by Pottsy44 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:00 pm
I am looking to apply for an MBA at the end the end of this year/start of next year. I come from a background of providing technical consultancy services to the Construction industry and I am wishing to pursue a career change.


- 27 year old Australian
- 2.75 (US equivalent) undergrad GPA majoring in Construction Management - obviously not great, but I worked full-time during my studies and in my current industry no one could really care less what your GPA is, its all about work experience, so I wrongly neglected my studies.
- Post graduate diploma in fire engineering technology - this is a bit dodgy as I received credit for 4 classes as I took them in my undergrad. Nonetheless, the GPA was 3 for this course.
- Work experience:
1. I worked full-time throughout my undergrad degree (completed a 4 year degree in 5 years) and only had 1 day off to attend uni during the semester and did 2 night classes a week. This was spread over 2 large government organisations that were directly related to my studies.
2. After graduation I worked for 2 years at one of the same government organisations, with a promotion and had limited delegation responsibilities.
3. My current position I have held for 2.5 years as a building services/code consultant working on significant building developments (working on projects with development costs up to AU$500 million (probably approx. to US$300 million). Due to the project-based nature of the work this means meeting tough deadlines and being fully responsible for the projects that I worked on as the grunt portion of the work is solo.

I intend to target schools such as Boston College, Boston U, U Connecticut, Northeastern and Babson - essentially schools ranked around the top 50 mark and in the North-East. My reason for this is because I want to have the ability to do an internship in Boston with the goal of gaining employment after the MBA is Boston. My goal employment would be something to do with business analytic's, business consultancy and competitive service delivery.

The obvious: My GPA is low. Does my work experience offset this enough for it to not be a major hurdle? What kind of GMAT should I target to offset my low GPA?

Does being Australian (I am Caucasian) give me any kind of advantage in applying to a US business school? I only ask because I don't believe that many Australians go to US business schools.

Appreciate any advice that can be given.

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by manyaabroadtpr » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:38 am
Hi There,

In our opinion if you can come up with a good GMAT score you will be able to offset your UG scores. You should target at least a 700+ GMAT score.


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by CriticalSquareMBA » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:48 pm
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your background. Your academic profile needs help. You have an average major at best with a poor GPA. While you showed progression in your career, the type of work you're doing won't compel the AdCom to overlook your low scores. You really need a strong GMAT to not only compensate for your GPA, but also build a case that you have the analytic skills to be an attractive candidate for the jobs you are targeting upon graduation.

Once your GPA is over with, take some time to reflect on your story - what are your accomplishments like? what have done outside of work? what are your passions?

Best of luck on your journey to Boston!
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by Kaneisha Grayson » Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:35 pm
Hey Pottsy44,

I've worked with lots of Australians (I have no idea why, but I've enjoyed it!) and I would say that you could count on you being Australian being of some interest to the admissions committee but it's not going to be an application gamechanger by any means.

In order to make up for your low GPA, you need to take supplemental coursework and do well in those courses. It has worked for all of my clients that actually take the time to take the courses and do well in them before applying. Read more about supplemental coursework here: ... oursework/

Aim for a GMAT of 700 or above to offset your low GPA-the higher the better.

Lastly, you're going to want to submit outstanding essays. One commonality I found among all my Australian clients was a reluctance to "brag," but I always have to tell them that getting admitted to a top MBA program in the U.S. (and I would include your East Coast schools as well) is like winning American Idol. It's not about who is the smartest or most "qualified." It's about who is memorable, relatable, persuasive, and "sparkly." Being sparkly on paper is really challenging if you've never done it. I recommend you reach out to Australians who have attended your target schools (find them on LinkedIn) and ask if you can have a quick chat (15 minutes) to gain their insight and advice. You will be surprised by how many people will be willing to help you.

Those are some initial action steps for you. Best of luck!

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