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2/14/07

hey, I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I was just at an exam where I fucked up immensely on an easy test because I misread the question. This is a class that's not curved, and because of this exam, the highest grade I could get in the class is a 85 which equates to a B (although based on the ease of the course, I could very well get this score)

I'm just wondering if it's worth withdrawing from this class as a result because of the effect it might have on my cumulative GPA (which is high enough to be dropped a fair number by a B or B- in this class). This was supposed to be my "easy A" that was going to buffer the harder finance and math classes I'm taking this semester and I fucked up. I'm still reeling from how badly I did, so maybe I'll come to my senses later, but the reason I think I should get a W is

  • I'm in Wharton, I don't really need an MBA or any other graduate degree
  • Most job applications just want to see your GPA on your resume, not your transcript. Since a W doesn't affect my GPA, it might be better for my cumulative to withdraw.

What do you guys think???

Comments (202)

2/14/07

let's just say in a few years I did want to get an MBA from Harvard or Wharton... how badly would this affect my chances?

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2/14/07

1 or 2 over the course of 4-years won't matter.

More than that and it will raise an eyebrow or two.

2/14/07

Drop the class no biggie...it's all about your gpa

2/14/07

i'm not dropping it.. I'd be withdrawing.. as in, it shows up on my transcript as a W (instead of a Brrrrrr- or maybe even a C at the end of the year). A W wouldn't affect my GPA at all (although I heard that if you apply for graduate schools, it's tantamount to an F). However, a C or even B- would drop my cumulative by a good 0.1 or 0.2 , I'm sure, and I'm just don't know if it's worth it to continue and risk it (although the final date to withdraw is weeks after today, so I guess I could tough it out through the second midterm and see. This exam was way too easy and I fucked up way too badly to hope for something higher than a B at the end of this semester)

2/14/07
devin:

(although I heard that if you apply for graduate schools, it's tantamount to an F).

You heard wrong.

More than 1 or 2 will look bad. 1 or 2 will most certainly not.

2/14/07

I have a W on my transcript and it didn't hurt by doing so. My GPA was still high so as long as you can justify it, don't worry.

2/14/07

that's a relief to hear. I only wish someone told me that during my freshman year.

I should probably also check on whether or not doing this would affect my being on the Dean's list or honors at graduation. fuck me, this is a tough decision.

Since it's been less than a week since the drop period ended, I wonder if I could, through some finagling, actually drop the course instead of withdrawing. I suppose I'll need to ask my professor about that, as well as the appropriate administration members.

2/14/07

You are unlikely to convince them into letting it just be a drop.

Additionally a "W" should not impact dean's list eligibility at all, as long as you don't drop below the minimum hours because you're not taking the class.

2/14/07

boy, it's good to know there are such grade-whores at my school. fucking bite the bullet and learn something instead of worrying about your gpa dropping from a 3.9 to a 3.8. Afraid of not getting summa? Maybe you don't deserve it for fucking up in such an easy class.

2/14/07

1 W doesn't matter. My roommate withdrew from a class..had no problems getting offers at many banks (even the ones that request your transcripts, usually don't look at them). More than 2 W's over your 4 years might raise some eyebrows with grad school, but messing up 1 class and having to withdraw is not a big deal at all, assuming an otherwise strong academic record (which it sounds like you have).

2/14/07

one more thing I forgot to mention: this course happens to be in my major (finance). I'm taking another finance class this semester though and my grades in past courses in this department have been A's and A-'s. Should this affect my decision to withdraw?

2/14/07

try having a 3.6 only to get knocked down to a 3.0 because of one dumb ass semester of A-, C, D+, F. I still got a BB SA position, so don't sweat it. And yes, you read correctly -F.

2/15/07
Daniel T Bush:

I still got a BB SA position, so don't sweat it.

no u didnt

2/15/07

So are you concerned about a W hurting your job applications, or MBA app down the road? If it's the former, I can't imagine that it would hurt you - half the banks I interviewed at didn't even ask for transcripts, and I doubt the other ones went through it with a fine-toothed comb. Maybe someone else can speak to the MBA app situation, but from what I understand your academic transcript isn't all that important for business school, especially compared to law or medical school.

2/15/07

I agree with most of the previous posts in saying that the W will not look very bad in terms of banking. On the other hand, since you are not a freshman, I can't figure how getting a B will lower your GPA by more than .1. Unless you have only taken like 10 classes at Wharton, a 3.0 for that unit, even if you had a 4.0 cumulative, would not drop your cumulative by .1. I would advise not dropping the class unless you predict getting a C or worse. Getting a B once or twice will be okay and will be much more of a joke to explain if and when it becomes an issue during interviews or somewhere else down the road, whereas a W will clearly be making excuses for why you did so bad you had to drop out. Just my take on it.

2/15/07

Can you take it pass/fail? I'm pretty sure theres no way a bank would take back an offer for capital markets/M&A b/c of 1 withdrawal, but grad programs might be a bigger problem if your looking to get into an ms or phd program. MBA and ibd/pe don't require multivariable, but it might be useful for quant/s&t/management consulting.

2/15/07

Drop it.

2/15/07

drop it. i didn't drop multi when i was in over my head and going through some personal issues.

i got the lowest grade i'd had in my entire life, and it wrecked my gpa.

thinking back, i'd definitely take the W instead of my current cumulative GPA.

2/15/07

Drop.

can't you to withdraw without a W anyway since its early in the semester?

rufiolove:

When evaluating whether or not to post something on WSO, I think to myself, "would an idiot post this" and if the answer is yes, I do not post that thing...

2/15/07
peepstache:

Drop.

can't you to withdraw without a W anyway since its early in the semester?

Nah, we're past the add/drop period.

2/15/07

Thanks, guys, I appreciate the prompt feedback. I will drop it ASAP

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

2/15/07

person from my analyst class when i was in banking had 4 W's on his transcript and even repeated a course and was accepted after PE to HBS and Stanford. you'll be fine.

2/15/07
ApplyingToBSchool:

person from my analyst class when i was in banking had 4 W's on his transcript and even repeated a course and was accepted after PE to HBS and Stanford. you'll be fine.

don't troll, man. Are you serious?

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

2/15/07
mhurricane:
ApplyingToBSchool:

person from my analyst class when i was in banking had 4 W's on his transcript and even repeated a course and was accepted after PE to HBS and Stanford. you'll be fine.

don't troll, man. Are you serious?

100% serious - think about it, why would a W be a big deal? at some schools (ex: MIT) course withdrawals or "W's" aren't recorded until the last few weeks of the semester so it makes no sense to compare a W from those schools with a W from a school where a W is recorded a week after classes start. word of caution: if you have 3+ W's on your transcript, be upfront about it in your application and briefly give the reasoning for it, it will not be a big deal at all but will be looked at negatively if you ignore the elephant in the room altogether.

to be fair, the person i'm referring to was from a top group (GS TMT/ MS M&A / GS FIG / BX Restructuring), went to a top middle market PE shop (THL / Lindsay Goldberg / HIG / Madison Dearborn) and got a 770 GMAT and a 3.9 GPA, so probably not comparable to most, but my point is that his W's were definitely not held against him in any way

2/15/07

Calculus 3, especially the variant intended for non-math majors, is just brute force computation. Not worth withdrawing from.

2/15/07
Macro Arbitrage:

Calculus 3, especially the variant intended for non-math majors, is just brute force computation. Not worth withdrawing from.

Better start a math major circlejerk in this thread. Honestly OP, if you can't do Calc 3, you are worse than Hitler. It's that easy.

2/15/07

You'll be fine. I have a W on my transcript, and ended up with an offer from a group everyone on this site drools over. Overall GPA is what matters. Good luck

2/15/07

No one cares if you get a W.

But you should be worried that you can't even pass calc 3.

2/15/07

I sometimes wonder how often Godwin's law occurs if you take away joke comparisons.

2/15/07

No one cares. I probably had 5+ withdrawals. Not sure about the b-school element, but for banking or buyside, you're fine.

2/15/07

Drop. I missed a mid-term and withdrew from a class. Didn't hurt.

2/15/07

We haven't gotten the midterm results back yet, but I feel really shitty about it.

2/15/07

As long as it doesn't happen more than once or twice I think you're fine. Keep in mind banks only check your transcript after you get an offer, even then it's HR checkign it

2/15/07
gstackle32:

As long as it doesn't happen more than once or twice I think you're fine. Keep in mind banks only check your transcript after you get an offer, even then it's HR checkign it

Totally incorrect. I've seen plenty of firms recruit at my target school and ask for the most recent unofficial transcript attached.

2/15/07

So really, over the span of four years, if I have 1-3 W's it shouldn't be too big of an issue? So does it only become a problem if our transcript indicates an overall pattern of withdrawals? If I can have a 3.5+ with some work experience and leadership by the time I start applying to BB banks, should I be okay?
I know that Morgan Stanley requires an unofficial transcript, and they recruit at my school (but my school isn't one of their TOP priorities).

2/15/07
saints2009:

So really, over the span of four years, if I have 1-3 W's it shouldn't be too big of an issue? So does it only become a problem if our transcript indicates an overall pattern of withdrawals? If I can have a 3.5+ with some work experience and leadership by the time I start applying to BB banks, should I be okay?
I know that Morgan Stanley requires an unofficial transcript, and they recruit at my school (but my school isn't one of their TOP priorities).

MS requires different stuff in different places, dont bet on unofficial transcript

2/15/07

Animalz, What do you mean by "different stuff in different places?"

2/15/07
saints2009:

Animalz, What do you mean by "different stuff in different places?"

He means that you may not be required to present an unofficial transcript depending on which region you apply to, whether you attend a target program with OCR or not, and which division or role you apply to.

To answer your original question, no, you are in no real trouble at all when you undergo the verification process for a FT hire if you have two (perhaps three) W marks on your transcript. More than two might raise a flag for admission to grad school down the road, but if your GPA and GMAT or GRE are strong, it shouldn't be a problem.

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2/15/07

you're fine. this is a nonissue.

2/15/07

It doesn't fucking matter dude. Just withdraw it won't effect anything.

2/15/07

you sound like a pathetic whiner who needs an attitude adjustment. a withdrawal on your transcript would be the least of your problems in dealing with the reality of the workplace.

2/15/07

Having a W is not as bad as dinging your GPA with a F or D.

2/15/07

I went to an Ivy and worked at a BB (now in PE) and did campus recruiting for my school during my 2 year stint. If you're at a target, the only thing people look at is your resume. Despite the fact that they asked candidates for a cover letter, that was never actually sent to the recruiting team. I have friends at most of the BBs and I've NEVER heard of any target school recruiting team looking at cover letters or unofficial transcripts.

Most banks form "recruiting teams" for each target school. There's usually an MD-level guy who leads the team. The criteria that analyst-level candidates are judged by are usually largely based on the MD's whims and also by the analysts. Analysts affect OCR a lot because they're still passionate about their school, still have friends in school and still care about GPA/sports team/frat/clubs and other crap that doesn't really have anything to do with a person's ability to be an IB analyst. The recruiting team I was part of was led by a guy who was an athlete and an English major. Hence he loved athletes and liberal arts majors. It wasn't uncommon for someone with a 3.0 average (which btw, was below our official GPA cut-off) to get an interview while lots of people with 3.9 interviews got dinged.

Rather than worrying about a W, you should be worrying about whether you'll have trouble networking your way into interviews - a high GPA helps with networking.

2/15/07

You must have a bad prof or something, because stats was one of my easiest As.

2/15/07

I go to UChicago, where occasionally having 30% of the points in a class can get you an A. Like I said, I haven't gotten the midterm results back yet, but I felt like I failed afterwards. I guess I'll just wait and see. However, I don't think the curve will help because everybody in that class seems ingenious.

2/15/07
saints2009:

I go to UChicago, where occasionally having 30% of the points in a class can get you an A. Like I said, I haven't gotten the midterm results back yet, but I felt like I failed afterwards. I guess I'll just wait and see. However, I don't think the curve will help because everybody in that class seems ingenious.

From someone who just graduated with an Econ degree at UChicago this past year and had a W and a number of P's on the transcript, this will in no way be an issue. My GPA was fairly low so I didn't even put it on my resume, and I still got my fair share of interviews and now work at a BB downtown. Focus more on building the other parts of your resume (ie. extracurriculars, internships, whatever) and emphasize that because that's what really matters. Although if you are stuggling this much with Stat (if you haven't taken metrics yet, I am assuming this is 234), good luck in metrics...

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

2/15/07

I can't imagine anyone would care

2/15/07

I graduated a few years ago and I honestly don't know what my gpa was. That's how little it matters

2/15/07

I know your pain, I'm currently in Organic Chemistry Lab and might have to take a withdraw and do it next year. I feel like it would be fine, I'm sure even the top banks understand that people make mistakes sometimes.

2/15/07

I'd like to hope that the banks who see this W will know that it was just a very tough class where even hard work (4-5 hrs daily studying) doesn't necessarily mean you'll do well.

2/15/07
saints2009:

I'd like to hope that the banks who see this W will know that it was just a very tough class where even hard work (4-5 hrs daily studying) doesn't necessarily mean you'll do well.

I mean, I don't know how bad it would look. Presumably if the person looking over your transcripts is a complete and total hard ass, then it may look kind of bad (like you can't handle a heavy load/are a quitter/etc.). However, it would be better than getting a D or F I'm sure. I don't believe it would be a big deal, I really don't. Of course, don't quote me on all of this, I am only a college sophomore and am likely in the same boat as you.

2/15/07

I had a maths class in undergrad with midterm average mark of 20% or so. My 30+% was really cool.

2/15/07

I have a W on my transcript, and I got offers from GS, MS, etc. You will be fine.

2/15/07

Your fine to withdraw as long as its not a pattern. Banks wouldnt even look at your transcript prior to giving you an offer and surely wont rescind after seeing you got a W.

2/15/07

Ya withdrawal especially if its going to crush you GPA. Non-issue. I believe when I was in school my advisers and dean stressed that I shouldn't drop the class. I think they actually said it would look bad on my transcript, But I think they just don't want kids with drawing from classes because it reflects badly on prof. (I guess?)

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

2/15/07

I'd agree with the general sentiment that for recruiting purposes, a W will not matter at all most of the time. HOWEVER, graduate schools are another matter. Graduate schools tend to interpret W's as a C. I doubt they re-calculate your GPA to account for that or anything, but FWIW schools will treat a withdrawal that way.

2/15/07

I don't really want to do graduate school, unless you count MBA.

2/15/07
saints2009:

I don't really want to do graduate school, unless you count MBA.

I don't really drink, unless you count the two days every weekend I get hammered haha. Of course MBA counts as grad school. Though to be fair admissions is, of course, very different than law or med school where test scores and gpa account for most of the process. Don't worry about the W, withdraw if you need to. I know this doesn't answer your original question but, given that you are so close to the city, have you tried getting a part-time internship during the school year at a bank? Doing so would be significantly more beneficial, and important, than anything related to withdrawing from a class

2/15/07

Bumping this thread to hear more opinions. My nephew is in this predicament. At his school an unofficial withdraw is equivalent to a F. He already got a withdrawal and tried to retake it but withdrew again because he can take other classes in lieu of that class. He still has a 3.5+ at a top public school and wants to get in Computer Science. Does the double withdrawal mean much? I told him I wouldn't care (FWIW in Ops) but I'm curious to hear from others.

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2/15/07

it's all circumstantial.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

2/15/07

Is it inconsistent with your resume?

2/15/07

depends. How good is your story?

"I'm an asshole and I partied my time away"

vs

"I overcame severe X,Y,Z issues and I'm glad I was able to stay on track"

Get busy living

2/15/07

Relax we're human. I withdrew from two classes and I've never been asked about the Ws. Withdrawing from Bio Chem is a lot different than withdrawing from Econ 101. It would also depend on whether or not those Ws were all in the same semester.

2/15/07

Is is not incosistant with my resume.

The class I am considering to drop is a reletively basic econ 300 class..I will have to take it again.

The situation is that I am working part time at a financial advisory firm, as well as interning at a PE firm. This is a night class and unfortunately it is basically "self-learn" material and I have loaded up on other tough classes this semester. I have 2 withdrawels from last year from an accounting class and a communications class (comepletely uninterested, messed up on the midterm)

I guess it is my fault for not trying hard enough, but sometimes its difficult to concentrate on memorizing the ISLM formula after working 8-6.

I should be graduating on schedule though because of previous extra courses I have taken.

2/15/07

if u have low grades in ur junior years and shot up in value like a mining stock in ur senior years ur fine

2/15/07

I dropped 4 classes no biggie

2/15/07

Yeah I dropped three, all freshman year. Just snipe an A the second time around and you'll be fine. Make sure you have your explanation down pat for interviews though because it may come up.

2/15/07

hah thanks guys, and i cant tell if blastoise is being serious lol

2/15/07

no i really droped 4 ....the way i see it is i rather have a W then a F or a C on my transcript.

2/15/07

hmm. exactly what i was thinking, has anyone ever questioned you?

2/15/07

If you withdraw from a class and take it again next semester it will be blatently obvious that you dropped it for performance reasons. Youre still probably better off with a W, but dont think youll be able to do this more than once or twice without raising red flags.

CompBanker

2/15/07

Most banks wont look at your transcript til after they extend you an offer. Even then, they only look at it to make sure you didnt lie about your GPA.

Your withdrawals dont matter at all

2/15/07

No one asks about withdrawals unless there are a lot of them. I have four and was never asked about them and the only person I know who was had 12.

2/15/07

most employers don't even take a look at the transcript. For b-school, however, I imagine it's a different story.

2/15/07

I haven't gone through MBA applications as I'm still an Undergrad. However, what many people will tell you is that by the time you apply to MBA programs, your Undergrad GPA is but one of several components of your application. Thus, a weak/flawed transcript will be easily offset by strong work experience, gmat score, extracurriculars, volunteering, etc.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

2/15/07

Thanks for the post San Franciscan -- completely makes sense to focus more on my overall profile.

I've heard that if you have 1 or 2 W's that its not a huge deal, but more than that can created a problem.

Anyone else have experience with this situation?

2/15/07

you will make a fine mba student ...

2/15/07

Thanks MarginCalling -- appreciate the contribution...

2/15/07

I guess I don't really know, but my thought would be that those can be explained away.

2/15/07

I withdrew from an online Computer Science class last semester because the university I wanted to did not accept online courses. I then took a normal Computer Science and got an A..I dont think its a big deal.

2/15/07

what's there to explain? A W isn't an F. Professors/Classes can be stupid and People mess up and People also make fake illness excuses, etc, etc. It's been done before. This matters very little to an MBA adcom. (Now if the transcript is riddled with W's and gap semesters, then questions concerning consistent work ethic might present themselves).

2/15/07

I'm guessing you're at IU trying to get into the Kelley School, and the class is A100.

I got a 42% on the midterm, withdrew, then took it again the next semester and got a 99% in the class.

Nobody cares about W's, just don't drop out of every class.

2/15/07

Does the "W" actually show up on your transcript? I've never heard of that.. At my alma mater if you dropped a class it was simply erased from history, no different that if you had never signed up in the first place.

2/15/07

Better to withdraw, retake and get an A than having a C on your transcript

2/15/07

2-3 withdrawals in your life of college isn't bad. It's far wiser to explain that with an A, than to explain a C or D. Don't start doing it every semester if you're off to a bad start though obviously.

2/15/07

To add to this, keep in mind that people do withdraw from classes for reasons other than a bad start to the class. I had at least one W, where my class decided to shift the lab schedule/availability, and it interfered with another class that I was taking so I decided to drop it.

2/15/07

I think depends on your school. Coming from a private, liberal arts college, I was told repeatedly that unless I was looking at getting a D or F, it's much better to take the C than withdraw. I would talk to your professor and let them know that you want to turn things around; you're still early enough in the semester where, if it's possible, getting to know him/her will make a difference. Just make sure you follow up by attending every class, going to office hours, etc.

2/15/07

For a 1-unit class, I'd just take the C. It will barely effect your GPA if classes are normally 3-4 units.

2/15/07

Not sure we cant talk on behalf of a school but 3 is a lot

2/15/07

Could be a red flag - may be worth addressing in an optional essay.

2/15/07

Do they actually look at your transcripts in detail? I thought they just looked at your resume?

2/15/07

Admissions committees absolutely look at your transcript. They want to see what classes you've done well in and what you've done poor in.

2/15/07

.

2/15/07

I had W's in at least three of my classes and a 2.8 GPA and still got an interview with UT, will know soon enough if I'm admitted. Never addressed the W's in my essays, but I also had a 760 GMAT to make up for it so I think you'll be fine with a good enough GPA and GMAT. Unless you're applying at MIT/Princeton/Harvard, I wouldn't worry.

2/15/07

ssogj:
I had W's in at least three of my classes and a 2.8 GPA and still got an interview with UT, will know soon enough if I'm admitted. Never addressed the W's in my essays, but I also had a 760 GMAT to make up for it so I think you'll be fine with a good enough GPA and GMAT. Unless you're applying at MIT/Princeton/Harvard, I wouldn't worry.

I have three (might even be four) "W"s on mine and got an interview at MIT. My GPA is almost a point higher than yours, but my GMAT is lower.

2/15/07

Well the thing is, I took the W's early on in the semester because I was overloading and realized that I had taken on more than I can handle. It wasn't like I was failing my classes and withdrawn to avoid a D or something. I have also taken those classes in the following semester and have done well in them, and have a 3.7 GPA. I have also done well in similar classes. i.e. I've withdrawn from calc 2, but I got an A in calc 1 and calc 3, and when I took calc 2 the following semester, I received an A as well. So it's not like I was failing the class and dropped because of that.

In light of this, how would that affect me?

2/15/07

With that explanation, not a problem at all in my opinion. I doubt it will be counted against you.

2/15/07

What year/semester were the Ws? If they were early (freshman/sophomore year) I don't think you even need an explanation...especially since you took the classes later on and did well.

If they were in your junior/senior year, it may merit 2-3 sentences in your optional essay to explain the circumstance and bring light to the fact that you retook the classes later on and did well.

I can speak from my own experience...I had 3 Fs and 2 Ws on my transcript from Freshman/Sophomore year. I graduated with a 3.6 cumulative and explained the Fs (but not the Ws) in my optional essays. I applied to 3 of the top 5 schools. I was interviewed at all 3 schools and got into 2.

2/15/07

Baxter:
In the first one, the professor maintained that he wouldn't curve when the average was ~66-74 on all the tests. I think ~1/4 of the class withdrew. Then on the 2nd, I simply took a quantitative class that was too hard for me. How bad would this look if I applied to BB's asking for unofficial transcripts?

1) Both of those are terrible excuses. Come up with a better story.
2) If your overall GPA is >3.5 you'll be fine.

I'll do what I can to help ya'll. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played.

2/15/07

pplstuff:
Baxter:
In the first one, the professor maintained that he wouldn't curve when the average was ~66-74 on all the tests. I think ~1/4 of the class withdrew. Then on the 2nd, I simply took a quantitative class that was too hard for me. How bad would this look if I applied to BB's asking for unofficial transcripts?

1) Both of those are terrible excuses. Come up with a better story.
2) If your overall GPA is >3.5 you'll be fine.

To be fair, when the teacher doesn't curve and the average is failing, that's a pretty decent reason. But I agree with your second point, I really doubt W's matter as long as your GPA is good.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

2/15/07

No impact. I withdrew from a course and it has never once been brought up. Wouldn't make a habit of dropping though.

2/15/07

They should understand. I had faced similar circumstances (only parent was assaulted and had to be away for a semester to support her), had to defer graduation by a semester and folks at work were totally understanding. I had notified them during the final round interview.

2/15/07

what if it pushes back my graduation a whole year?

Best Response
2/15/07

literally no impact

2/15/07

Explain why during the interview process if it comes up. Its better to get a W, and retaking the class, than barely passing or failing and learning nothing.

2/15/07

Withdraw, it won't be an issue. I bet it will not even be mentioned in a job interview. Perhaps it will be during the MBA app process, but I highly doubt anything negative will come up over such a minor issue.

2/15/07

No one interviewing you will see your transcript. HR might, but it won't be an issue at all.

2/15/07

You're nuking this, dude. As long as you still graduate on time it shouldn't affect anything. If anyone brings it up you just have to explain that you didn't have enough time to devote to the course while you were ACTUALLY learning how to function in the real world with your internship. The only thing I'd be concerned with is if it affects your GPA in some way. It's been a long time since undergrad, but I seem to remember something about W's or Incomplete's or something counting as an F until or unless you retook it. Unless you're in that kind of situation, cut the class, save your GPA, and spend the time making sure you have a 4.0 and do well in your internship. That will tell a better story than just neglecting the class and getting a poor grade.

2/15/07

What Stern class is it?

2/15/07

I don't think I've ever been asked anything specific to my transcript other than filling out a job app online. You will be fine man

2/15/07

2 isn't a big deal

2/15/07

Don't think it matters, they don't look at transcripts until after they've given out offers, and some don't even look at transcripts at all. Could only see it mattering if you have several.

2/15/07

You're totally fine. I've never heard of anyone looking at transcript prior to interview for an internship and once you've interviewed and they've offered you the job, IF they do look at it (which is not highly likely) two Ws is absolutely not going to cause them to rescind the offer. Stop stressing about it. I've noticed when I, or others, stress about these little things, they tend to get in the way of aggressively pursuing things because in the back of your mind you're thinking you'll just get shot down anyways. Deep breath, you're fine.

Btw, I come from a non-target school and did two separate internships (one in strategy, one in M&A) with a BB and MM bank with SIX Ws on my transcript. Although I had an explanation (medical problems), no one ever brought it up once; likely because transcripts rarely get looked over for anything beyond the line that states your major and the line that states GPA (if at all).

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

2/15/07

drop the class anyway because a C- will hurt you a lot. suck up to the professors to get into portfolio management without the prereqs (prof should have the power to do so). Study up during the winter, catch up on material, and make sure you ace the PM class next semester.

On the side, continue networking so people know you actually do know finance regardless of what your transcript says.

finance coursework is all bullshit anyway.

stay focused. everything you do should be goal oriented. in our case, for breaking into finance, we must focus primarily on HIGH GPA, NETWORK, and EXPERIENCE(to show you actually know what finance is)

next time something like this comes up just think. will it hurt my gpa? will it hurt my networking? will it hurt my experience/finance knowledge. in this particular situation, if you stay, Yes it will hurt gpa, no it does not really affect networking, and no it does not affect your knowledge of finance given you supplement and study on the side. so Yes you need to go forward and drop and then take necessary steps so that the drop doesn't affect networking and experience, ie studying more outside of class

good luck

2/15/07

Yeah, I second circumventing those stupid prereqs. Kiss the profs butt, explain the circumstances and advance forward. Drop that C- also, will kill your GPA.

2/15/07

Ditto the above. A bad grade in accounting will kill your GPA, but it'll also make people wonder if you actually understand finance/accounting. You can always spin the withdrawal as a medical thing, but a bad grade is a bad grade.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

2/15/07

Drop that C-

It is going to stick out like a sorethumb on that transcript

2/15/07

Aight, so I've pretty much decided to just take a WP on this accounting class and re-take it next semester. Also, I'm going to talk to the professor for the portfolio mgmt class and see if he will allow me to take it as well (despite not having yet completed the accounting course). Hopefully the temporary W wont hurt my internship chances. If anyone has any other advice feel free, but it seems pretty unanimous to take the W rather than a C. Appreciate the help guys.

2/15/07

No one is going to care. Especially if it's only 1-2 classes. Most people drop at least one class in their college career. Unless you dropped a class every semester it won't matter

2/15/07

I don't think anybody will notice or care. If anything, somebody will notice it during your background check, and by then, you'll already be working.

2/15/07

if it will keep your GPA up, then do it. Nobody will notice/care...if you went up to 3 or 4, it might raise a red flag, but as @CodeBlue mentioned, not enough to rescind an offer.

2/15/07

A lot of banks dont ask for transcripts for SA positions anyway (not that it would even be reflected on your current transcript)...worry about getting a SA then converting to a FT offer and you'll never have to worry about it.

2/15/07

Having one W does not make or break, especially in a geology class. If this is your first W, possibly only W, then you should be fine. Maintaining a 3.62 rather than a 3.58 is more beneficial in face value, especially when recruiters only skim through your resume for key points and a higher gpa does help. One W wouldn't raise any questions, especially from a non-finance/business course. I hope this helps

2/15/07

No, it won't, but withdrawing because you're getting a B is stupid. If you were going to get a D or F, different story.

2/15/07

I did the same thing my senior year...dropped a B because I wanted a 4.0 for the semester

One W is fine and there are obviously a multitude of reasons you could use for having withdrawn..."I was gonna get a B" may not be the best one

My excuse was that I had been offered an internship at a HF that conflicted with the class and I didnt want to miss the opportunity...

2/15/07

I was bed ridden for 4 months and I forgot to do a hardship withdrawal for this one class. I was told not to worry about it, so I got a W instead of a HW...

Remember, you will always be a salesman, no matter how fancy your title is.
- My ex girlfriend

2/15/07

Correct - as long as what you said was true when you said it, you are 100% in the clear. No concern at all here in my opinion.

2/15/07

its a W not a WU or F

"Seeing this house and your fine sword and hearing how you're importing and exporting chinamen, let me guess, you must be fucking rich."
Kenny Powdersss

2/15/07

how would they even know. totally take the withdrawal.

2/15/07

What do you mean if what I said is true? I have just under a 3.5 overall and this trading strategies class is just a killer. I just want to drop it so I can focus on the the other classes and hopefully pull off a 3.3 for the semester. I had 10 first rounds and four superdays and barely went to class the first month, which some profs are now penalizing me for and wrecking my grades.

I just want to drop that one so I can bring the other ones up to a decent level. I emailed the recruiter asking if it is ok, I hope she says it is fine.

I heard that they ask for transcripts before start, so I figure they would notice it if I didn't tell them, plus, I am an honest guy.

2/15/07

I think you mean as long as when i wrote my relevant courses etc on resume, as long as it was true at time, then I am ok, as long as I notify them?

2/15/07

They request your transcript to make sure you went to the college you stated and didn't lie about your GPA- they don't audit your courses dude. Relax-100% fine. And if it even mattered-that's a perfectly legit excuse anyway.

2/15/07

I remember when i was about to withdraw from a class midway through and my counselor advised me not to. First it def signifies that you were failing and second you gave up and simply quit and withdrew instead of fighting back trying to level at a respectable grade.

2/15/07
dipset1011:

I remember when i was about to withdraw from a class midway through and my counselor advised me not to. First it def signifies that you were failing and second you gave up and simply quit and withdrew instead of fighting back trying to level at a respectable grade.

I don't think firms are looking for an excuse to rescind your offer, nor do I think they would because of one W. I, for one, have a lot of respect for someone who's brave enough to admit defeat and quit while they can. It takes a strong person to fight it out, but it takes a stronger person to admit defeat.

Ideally, you'd try to get a respectable grade. But what happens if you fail (like get an F)? I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to take that risk.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

2/15/07

I would definitely recommend fighting it out. If you are in a C range now, a B should be fairly easy to achieve with a little work and brown nosing. In two years, you don't want to look back with regrets. Getting the A would be ideal, but the B/B+ is probably more realistic. Do it.

2/15/07

theres other reasons for W's...so, people will assume that the above reasons are why you dropped, but with a lil BS anything can be spun.

2/15/07

I think your chances of attending senate hearings alongside Jamie Dimon and Vikram Pandit will be greatly reduced. . . I mean. . . err. . . shouldn't you be getting laid or something?

2/15/07

Usually W's are not an issue. But 3? What he heck happened?

2/15/07

How have you done in your other general/liberal arts courses? Smith's grades are somewhat inflated, so I'm guessing you did OK in those classes. I'd be more concerned with it if you performed poorly in other courses not related to business.

I know adcomms at b-schools also like to see how you've done in other academic courses not related to your major: are you a one-trick pony? Or are you intellectually able no matter what the subject.

Overally, three doesn't seem like that much relative to the 40+ classes you took/take.

2/15/07

I originally took all 3 courses in order to fulfill my CORE requirements. I received W's for Art and English Lit because I received an admission letter from my stud abroad school in the middle of the year after the drop/add period.

My host school offered courses which interested me more than art and engl lit and they both fulfilled the CORE requirements and transferred over to UMD. Therefore, I felt that since I was going to be taking courses in Japan (where I am studying abroad) to fulfill my CORE requirements, there was not point in me taking Engl Lit and Art. I talked with my advisor about taking 2 Ws and she said that it would have no adverse effect whatsoever.

2/15/07

Shot in the dark, here.

2/15/07

If you're really concerned about it, you could always write the optional explanatory essay. Your story seems fine and I would imagine those programs would be hard pressed to penalize you too much, if at all, especially if the remainder of your application is strong.

2/15/07

What about the W in rocks for Jocks?

"Oh - the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion?"

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

2/15/07

Given the fact it's pass/fail, is it really going to be that difficult to rough it out for the remainder of the semester? To "pass" the class you probably only need a 2.0 or 2.5, so don't kill yourself trying to 4.0 a class that won't come up in your GPA.

Ultimately, dropping this class probably wouldn't be a huge deal but there always is a slight possibility that someone could use this as a blackmark against you.

2/15/07

I agree with papertrail... it is pass fail, and if you can't pull out a D without working at it you really don't belong in any decent job, let alone investment banking. Given how much work you say you've put in, I'd assume you're partway to 50 pages, which really is not that much. I've put out 50 page reports in a single night, you just need to know how to bullshit.

2/15/07

It's not the biggest deal, but I think you should finish it. Graduating with a departmental honors/an honors thesis is a very good talking point and looks good for grad school

2/15/07

Whenever your name is in a bio, it will say ____ graduated with honors from _____. It will never say graduated with a 3.4 gpa from _____. I think the choice is clear

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2/15/07

Thanks for all your opinions.

Here is some more background:

The seminar I am currently taking is pass/fail because the honors council needs to approve each student's topic. The process includes writing a 20 page proposal, with research and an outline included in the proposal. So it's not like I can barely get by with a pass, but rather I need to put a lot of time into the proposal for it to be accepted in order to pass the seminar.

My problem is that I don't think I want to go through with writing the thesis next year. If that is the case, it makes no sense to stay in this seminar, a class which involves writing a proposal for my thesis next year.

So my question is, if I decide not to go through with writing the thesis next year and, consequently, drop the seminar I am currently taking, will the item on my resume that states I withdrew from it be an issue as I move towards my professional career?

2/15/07

what happens if they reject your proposal? would you have to start over, or could that be a way to withdraw with honor?

2/15/07

If they reject the proposal, I either have to change it quick enough to get it approved before grades are due, or I fail the seminar and get kicked out of the program.

2/15/07

imo, sweat it out and turn in something half decent. No way will they be ridiculously strict to the point of failing you.

However, if you do choose to withdraw it is only one credit hour and shouldn't devastate your future chances, depending on what those goals are. Jobs, I doubt it'd matter, though having the honors would help. MBA, same thing. Graduate school, it might matter a little more for

2/15/07

Also, keep in mind that by not going through with the honors program, in place of writing the thesis next year, I would take an extra finance and math class relevant to banking that I would not have taken otherwise.

2/15/07

no they dont really care about your transcript. GPA is used to screen during first rounds. once you start working, no one cares or knows.

however, a W WILL affect graduate school admissions- especially if its an econ class.

2/15/07
ibhopeful532:

no they dont really care about your transcript. GPA is used to screen during first rounds. once you start working, no one cares or knows.

however, a W WILL affect graduate school admissions- especially if its an econ class.

Thanks ib.

I'm a second year student going to do doing a double major so it's a lower end Econ class. Will there be some leniency in that case?

2/15/07

As long as your GPA is decent, I wouldn't worry about it. They usually do require transcript during resume drop, but they never have it at the actual interviews.

2/15/07

Where are you applying?
most of the places probably don't even care

2/15/07
Ihavenoclue:

Where are you applying?
most of the places probably don't even care

I am applying to Credit Suisse and GS. They ask for transcripts online. It is optional but suggested, but I don't know if it looks like I have something to hide if I don't send it in.

2/15/07

no one will care. i had like 3 and got a SA gig w/o problems. I've never been asked about it

"Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." - Bud Fox

2/15/07

It's fine. Just submit and don't mention it.

2/15/07
Ravenous:

It's fine. Just submit and don't mention it.

You mean just submit the transcript then or don't submit the application without it?

2/15/07

I've had a W on my transcript since first semester. Nobody cares...

On the other hand though, I skipped a final today for a credit/no credit class... Does anyone know if firms care about a NC on the transcript??

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

2/15/07

Do banks really look at transcripts before giving out interviews?

2/15/07

I think I had 2/3 W's on my undergrad transcript, def at least 2, and it was never a problem. I strategically took an extra course almost every semester, including some random classes unrelated to my majors, and if I did, or expected to do poorly on a midterm or important assignment, then I waived it.

For me it was never a problem because I took 1 or 2 classes more than recommend for most semesters. Pretty good excuse if it ever was an issue.

For someone to criticize your decision to get a W on your transcript because you wanted to work on a startup is laughable.

2/15/07

No issue

2/15/07

Are either of you speaking with any authority on the issue? Got into a top business school? Know someone in a similar situation?

2/15/07

Had some recruiting/hiring responsibilities at a BB in S&T.

W's are not an issue at all, assuming they don't affect GPA. This is going to be even less of an issue when you are looking for your next job two years out of undergrad. 5% chance someone asks a question about this- saying you wanted to work on a startup is one of the best explanations you can give (if true).

2/15/07

The W is irrelevant, particularly if you have a strong transcript otherwise. As IlliniProgrammer says (and he knows for the MSF side of things), it is a non-issue in the job world as well. As for whether you essentially graduate early, I think it's more of a positive. You save tuition money and you get involved in work. Double win!

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-...

Ask away!

2/15/07

The Ws and easy class schedule won't cause any problems for admittance into a top BSchool. I speak from experience.

As far as taking 1 class your final semester, this is fine, but try to work for your buddy's startup. This will not only pad your resume, but it will also allow you to address the question of what you did with all of your free time that semester. I highly doubt you will ever be asked what you did with all of your free time that semester, but you don't want to respond with "partied and studied for the GMAT."

2/15/07

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

2/15/07
2/15/07

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

2/15/07
2/15/07

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.

2/15/07
2/15/07
2/15/07

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier

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