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Rejected from all schools

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Rejected from all schools

by MQ0451 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:52 am
So after living and breathing the MBA application process for two years now, I finally got the results:

Harvard: rejection
MIT: Rejection
Northwestern: Rejection
Cornell: Rejection
UC Berkeley: No update (Rejection very likely)

My stats: 760 GMAT score, 2.8 GPA
Work Experience: four years work experience, two and a half years in a management position.

I don't know where to go from here. Every person I asked told me not to worry about my GPA, but it was the only weak link in my application. I had to apply in round three for all my schools due to work constraints - my boss wouldn't have been able to get a letter of recommendation during the last quarter of 2012 due to time constraints, plus I had to work late every night to meet deadlines, so my applications wouldn't have been ready, so I had to apply late. Best part - for all my hard work, I got laid off in February and haven't found work since. Getting an MBA has been my goal for two years now. I have never worked harder for something. I have no idea what I'm going to do now.

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by essaysnark » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:12 pm
Hey MQ0451 - so sorry to hear about your results! Totally feel you re: how depressing this can be.

Unfortunately we think you got some bum advice on the GPA; that can be a showstopper issue if it's not handled well.

If these were truly late-season applications then that definitely wouldn't have helped, but it sounds like you actually applied in Round 2 for most of the schools, which would not have been a major dealbreaker.

The truth is that these are some of the most competitive programs around!! Cornell is the only school on this list that has a "reasonable" acceptance rate - all the others are crazy-hard to get into. The 760 GMAT score is totally impressive but it's not enough to carry the whole app. Obviously we can't say where things went sideways for you, since we haven't seen the essays, but we're betting that you just didn't do enough to compensate for the low GPA.

We cover the topic of GPA and grades in this post on the EssaySnark blahg: https://essaysnark.com/2010/05/omg-2-pos ... a-low-gpa/

And, if you're thinking about giving this another go in the Fall, then the timing is perfect: we've declared April to be Reapplicant Month on the EssaySnark blahg. We're focusing almost exclusively on people in your situation every day this month. Check the main page at https://essaysnark.com for posts.

If you think you may want to try elsewhere for Round 3 (last round) of the current admissions season, then here's an article that came out today on BusinessBecause: https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba ... ound-three and you can find a bunch more posts on the blahg in this category: https://essaysnark.com/category/applicat ... s/round-3/

We completely understand how discouraging this can be - it's definitely an emotional rollercoaster. We also know that reapplicants often fare quite well at many schools. Don't give up!!! Your GMAT is impressive and it's clear this means a lot to you - those two factors alone tell us that you have a real shot at things.

If we can help with some questions, don't hesitate to ask.

EssaySnark
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by bpolley00 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:31 pm
I just wanted to comment real quick on a few things; however, please take what I say with a grain of salt as I am not an admissions consultant, just a random guy from the internet, but at least I don't have some sort of outside incentive to guide you in a certain direction:

1) UC Berkeley: No update (Rejection very likely)

Why do you think Rejection is likely? That tells me something about your attitude: that you are generally kind of depressed or you think something isn't quite right about your application. Are you being completely honest as to why you want to get an MBA? Are you being honest with yourself as to what value an MBA will specifically add to your career? Or are you just trying to get through it to get a salary raise? You scored a 760 on the GMAT, that is incredible and something that is absolutely commendable. Keep working at your application and the reason in which you want to go.

2) I completely disagree with essay snark about GPA. If you want to get real here for a moment, I will sit here and post 4 years of undergraduate financial theory and Economics that modern day Universities profligate and we can specifically talk about why I personally stopped caring about my GPA. We can also talk about the incentive issues that go into undergraduate professor's behavior, especially at institutions that primarily pride themselves on research, when teaching courses. So if you think GPA is the be all and end all to intelligence I am sorry but you are sadly mistaken. With that being said, if you have a low GPA in mathematics where everything that is taught is completely factual, then perhaps you have a point. Not in Finance or even Economics. If you want to prove that your GPA was just you being immature, as mine was - take a challenging course at your local university and ace it. You can't do anything about your GPA now, it is out of your control. So forget it.

3) Assess what is in your control? Do you have the IT factor? Are you presenting yourself poorly? Are you passionate? Are you coming across as desperate/ needy? MOST IMPORTANTLY ARE YOU HAVING FUN? I mean you don't have to do this. Critically look back at your interview and think if I was an MBA admission consultant what would I want? You are applying to the best schools in the world: you have to be exceptional, period. It is kind of like dating, in my opinion. Having the attitude that if HARVARD rejects you so what you will go to some other school and that person who lets you into their school, as long as it isn't some typical sh*t B school that only wants to take your money and read what they have been told off power points, is going to see you excel. Also, if this makes you feel better, simply having a schools name/ education on your resume is no guarantee of success in life. Take a look at some of Harvard's grads. For every successful guy who graduates from there, there is a guy who has been arrested for Embezzlement. Plus, it isn't as if these institutions don't have to compete for the best people.
4) Business school is a business, they are in the business of minting the best graduates as they have their brand name essentially on that person. The point is: they aren't looking for a sob story, they want to accept people they believe they can put a very high likelihood on being successful.

If you are skilled yourself, not much else matters. Keep working on your application. I have to take the GMAT again because I got a 650 on it; which, isn't in the average of the school I want to apply too. But I am also not planning on leaning on my GMAT to get me in. Think of it more as a barrier of entry rather than a positive. It is simply expected at that level. That is my two cents. Take it or leave it, but at least I am honest and not trying to sell you something. Think it as another challenge/ bump in the road. It should only make you hungrier. Now is not the time to quit on your dreams you are practically there! Have a good one :).

-BP

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by Apply Point » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:43 am
Yes, it looks like your 2.8 GPA seems to be the weak link holding you back. And, I always recommend my clients apply in the first two rounds, but the main priority is submitting the highest quality application possible. So it sounds like you made the right choice by waiting as you said the quality would have suffered if you submitted any earlier.

How were your essays? Were you specific when it came to your short and long term goals? Did you work with an admissions consultant?

Your 760 is amazing and the fact that you have management experience leads me to believe the quality of your work experience is solid, but I would need to know more. In what industry do you work? What exactly does your job entail?

You applied to some wonderful schools, but there are other schools, ranked slightly lower, you may have a better chance being admitted. If you want to speak further, let me know.
Mary Pat Jacobs
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by MBAAdmissionsCoach » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:56 pm
Hi MQ0451 -

I can understand how disappointed you must feel right now. You've put a lot of hard work and energy into the process, but you've been able to point to several items that were not optimal in the process.

Like the other experts, I agree that the 2.8 GPA is potentially the unsurmountable hurdle here. Every Admissions Committee wants to be confident that they are admitting great students who are capable of the rigorous academic course load. A 2.8 GPA does not communicate that.

You applied to a highly competitive set of schools. I suggest that you expand or even alter your list of target schools. There are many well-regarded MBA programs where your profile would be very attractive. They may even try to recruit you (and your 760) with scholarship awards.

I'd like to add an observation regarding being laid off. This does happen, and it is not a deal breaker for admissions. What is important is *what you do in response* to being laid off. Of course, you are looking for another job, but consider what other things you can be doing with your spare time. Spend this time in a meaningful way so that you can communicate this to the admissions committee. Demonstrate resilience in the face of (temporary) defeat!

I hope my comments have been encouraging and helpful to you. If I can help further, let me know.

Wendy Flynn
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by bpolley00 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:00 pm
Wendy and other admissions experts,

I have a few comments/ questions in regards to the comments on GPA that you have advised MQ0451 on, as it does apply to me as well.

"Like the other experts, I agree that the 2.8 GPA is potentially the unsurmountable hurdle here. Every Admissions Committee wants to be confident that they are admitting great students who are capable of the rigorous academic course load. A 2.8 GPA does not communicate that. "

1) In judging GPA from a wide array of different schools and different majors, how can you take an equitable and confident approach in distinguishing different candidates based off of a number that represents 4 years of undergraduate coursework? If you'll play a hypothetical game for a second you will surely see the flaw in some of the CRAZY assumptions you are making. Let's even make it easier, lets say you are evaluating merely 2 people that have the same majors from the exact same college. Talk about getting rid of a lot of variables. Let's say, for fun of course, Johnny took the easiest courses with the easiest teachers, had all the previous exams for his classes because he was in a fraternity, and got 4.0 and then there is Timmy who took the hardest classes, didn't have any previous exams and got a 2.8! Following your logic you may assume Johnny would be a great candidate for your school and maybe even the most likely to succeed in business! He even pulled off an ok interview, surprisingly! However maybe Timmy after sitting through multiple classes and doing a lot of research on his own realized that something was kind of funny and that some of the information not only didn't have any utility, some actually had negative utility! Therefore, being quite clever, Timmy didn't want to burn theories he knew weren't true into his brain and continued to focus on the application of this knowledge! God forbid someone is actually good at what they want to do right? Now is Johnny still the more capable student? Not only that, we are talking about 2,169 non-profit 4 year colleges out there, with courses across different subjects being taught by completely different individuals. Even if you still stuck with the same University the degree of difficulty of, lets say, Intermediate Microeconomics for 2 students even in the same graduating class maybe completely different! This doesn't even begin to touch on, as I mentioned in the previous post, scaling of courses or a whole other mess of incentive issues.

2) If schools can't even hold their own staff accountable for an equitable way of teaching the same subject of ONE class, how can you hold a student accountable for an entire 4 years of grades of some courses the student didn't even want to take in the first place?

So how could you possibly call GPA Unsurmountable? With all due respect, it simply isn't unsurmountable, ask George Bush or Dick Cheney or Rick Perry or Albert Einstein etc. etc. etc. etc.

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by Vendetta » Tue May 07, 2013 6:55 pm
Hi MQ0451,

You have very good GMAT Score and work experience. The only thing lacking in your application is your GPA, but that can certainly be offset by writing good essays and recommendation. It is advisable in your case to focus on your application evaluation essays. This is where you can demonstrate your leadership qualities, achievements, professional vision and other abilities. A well presented and perfectly written essay is absolutely critical to make a strong case for yourself during the final interview.

It is highly recommended to seek assistance from professional consultants for guidance who can more closely review your situation and provide you with a list of B-Schools where you would have chances of converting your application to admission. You should also get your essays reviewed from them before sending it along with your application to better your prospects.

Please visit https://tinyurl.com/cnpsl4a to see more about online Essay Evaluation.

Feel free to post any other query or concern that you might have.

Cheers!
MQ0451 wrote:So after living and breathing the MBA application process for two years now, I finally got the results:

Harvard: rejection
MIT: Rejection
Northwestern: Rejection
Cornell: Rejection
UC Berkeley: No update (Rejection very likely)

My stats: 760 GMAT score, 2.8 GPA
Work Experience: four years work experience, two and a half years in a management position.

I don't know where to go from here. Every person I asked told me not to worry about my GPA, but it was the only weak link in my application. I had to apply in round three for all my schools due to work constraints - my boss wouldn't have been able to get a letter of recommendation during the last quarter of 2012 due to time constraints, plus I had to work late every night to meet deadlines, so my applications wouldn't have been ready, so I had to apply late. Best part - for all my hard work, I got laid off in February and haven't found work since. Getting an MBA has been my goal for two years now. I have never worked harder for something. I have no idea what I'm going to do now.

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by onsamline » Thu May 09, 2013 11:41 am
I definitely feel you on the disappointment. I am in the same boat albeit with a slightly lower GMAT and a ~3.6 GPA. What's worse is that I put in my paperwork for separation from active-duty as I anticipated getting into at least one of my target programs.

As for going forward,
1) Have you considered taking additional coursework to supplement the weaker GPA?
2) If you haven't found new employment yet, have you re-examined your "dreams career"/travel plans/etc? I have a couple friends who took internships in their ideal "post-mba" career which actually turned out into full time employment.

Don't lose sight of your goal; I definitely will not. You have an excellent GMAT score that shows you're more than capable of handling the material, and you applied during the absolute toughest round. Don't give up! We've already put two years of our lives into it!!!
MQ0451 wrote:So after living and breathing the MBA application process for two years now, I finally got the results:

Harvard: rejection
MIT: Rejection
Northwestern: Rejection
Cornell: Rejection
UC Berkeley: No update (Rejection very likely)

My stats: 760 GMAT score, 2.8 GPA
Work Experience: four years work experience, two and a half years in a management position.

I don't know where to go from here. Every person I asked told me not to worry about my GPA, but it was the only weak link in my application. I had to apply in round three for all my schools due to work constraints - my boss wouldn't have been able to get a letter of recommendation during the last quarter of 2012 due to time constraints, plus I had to work late every night to meet deadlines, so my applications wouldn't have been ready, so I had to apply late. Best part - for all my hard work, I got laid off in February and haven't found work since. Getting an MBA has been my goal for two years now. I have never worked harder for something. I have no idea what I'm going to do now.

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by essaysnark » Thu May 09, 2013 11:44 am
onsamline, this is off-topic from the original post, but we wanted to let you know about our programs in support of Military MBA candidates; you can see details here: https://essaysnark.com/military-mba/

EssaySnark
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https://essaysnark.com/bookstore/
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by bpolley00 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:34 pm
I would also like to hear a rebuttal to what I had posted in regards to GPA. Unless of course there isn't one...... Like I said, I will debate anyone on here about anything taught in Finance or Economics and specifically why I didn't care about my GPA, because I still learned it I just was making fun of it at the time. My guess is most of you don't even know what I am talking about because you don't have a finance background. Anyways, a response would be lovely.

-BP

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by lmar » Tue May 28, 2013 5:43 am
bpolley, totally agree with you on GPA subject but unfortunately most adcoms care about it more than they should. Its their stereotype 'past performance is generally best predictor of future behavior' which is very questionable to say the least. Because of that belief/practice all other aspects/numbers in application must be 'up there' and extra shining-killer gmat score that will hopefully 'show' your academic abilities, work stats, etc. Its well known that success in business doesnt come from gpa or gmat numbers, it comes from someone's abilities, leadership and smarts (not necessarily academic!)and resume and recommendations usually show if a person has that famous 'IT' factor.
Dont expect a well based rebuttal to your your post though....

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by bpolley00 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:27 am
Lmar-

Thanks for your thoughts and support. I guess that is just the difference between IQ and Emotional IQ. It will be interesting when I actually send in my apps; although, I am retaking the GMAT in the upcoming month so if I can swing a 700+, it will be very interesting to have interviews as while I don't have a strong GPA I did pretty well while managing money for the University. Good luck with your applications and it is nice to see that someone passed the critical thinking part of the GMAT :). Which, you would think ADcoms would have to as well. Unless of course they have an inordinate sense of privilege.

-BP

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by lmar » Tue May 28, 2013 11:38 am
BP,
You are right again- they do have that inordinate sense!
I am done with this 'wonderful' application process and finishing my first year at one of top schools. Best of luck to you. I have a lot of experience with application process so feel free to pm me if I can be of any help.

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by PrepMBA.AlexLeventhal » Wed May 29, 2013 11:07 am
MQ


Based on my years watching this admissions process unfold, I believe that all things being equal, it is harder today to surmount a low gpa at a top school vs 5 years ago. In addition, I feel strongly that your slate of schools was too heavily focused on the very top schools.

I would have looked at Tepper, Ross, Darden and some others lower down in the rankings. And by the way, these are great programs where you can go on to network with solid folks and get a great post mba job.

Good Luck!
Alex
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by bpolley00 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:15 am
Alex,

With all due respect, the GMAT was also 10X easier 10 years ago. I took all of the practice ones from 2001 or 1999 or whenever it was and scored a perfect score on every single one of them. So there is that.

Basically what you are all saying about gpa is that top tier schools have 0 ability to critically think about a number; which, is quite paradoxical considering there is a critical thinking portion on the exam that you make applicants take. Also, it says that basically there is no accountability during this process which should completely discredit your school as a respectable institution. I mean, if Harvard will not even look at someone with a lower gpa, but then let someone in with a 580 GMAT that basically just shows that you are completely bureaucratic, unaccountable for your actions, and basically can't win the right way in life. Funny, in my opinion.

Anyways, I hope that is how you also do business. Good luck with that.

-BP