Analyst Recommendation - Should I Try To Dispute A Course Grade?

PepPhil's picture
Rank: Monkey | 39

Hi all! I'm a sophomore at a top 5 b school pursuing a double major in finance and mathematics. Earlier this week I had a networking call with an analyst at a BB. After some small talk about how bored we both were being forced to stay home because of Coronavirus, he asked me to walk me through his resume. Like all the other times I've been asked this question, I gave him a rundown of my experiences, which include a wealth advisory internship last summer, a senior leadership position for my schools PE club, pitch leader for two investment groups, and my high school internship at a solar energy and photovoltaic company. His response was "yeah you honestly have an incredibly strong resume outside your GPA (which is a 3.4), what happened there?" I told him exactly what happened and have written out a paraphrase of my response below. What surprised and actually prompted me to write this post was that the analyst said that he was "shocked" that no one was able to help me out/nothing was done with the situation.

Here's what happened:

My GPA is low (for IB standards) because of a single coding class I took first semester sophomore year. It was an introduction to python course that I didn't need to take for any particular reason (major req etc). I took it strictly because I wanted to learn a new language having already taken classes in C++. Fast forward to the day before the final; I'm sick as a mother fucker. I had two exams back to back that night and I still don't know exactly what it was but it felt like the moment I got back to my dorm after the second exam, my body gave up on me. I was nauseous, i had a fever, i was hot and cold etc and I couldn't sleep the entire night because of this. Every time I would close my eyes, I'd get the spins as if I was drunk (definitely was not) and I wasn't about to take a nyquil and be drowsy for my exam.

The next day at 5 in the morning I email my section lead what's going on. Their response: "To my knowledge, we don't have an alternative exam time that does not coincide with the scheduled exam, sorry. If you're unable to make it at all today, I think in this case a note from the health clinic would be good for you to get." I read that thinking "ok but wtf do we do about the final exam then"? I email back and they respond with: "The one or two students who have emailed us saying they're unable to come to the exam have wound up taking incompletes (to be completed at a later time before next semester). I don't know much more than that, unfortunately."

Keep in mind that this was an hour before the exam, so I felt like I had to make a decision. I ultimately decided to go ahead and take the exam. I just felt like that my GSI's responses didn't give me any clarity, I wanted to get this final over with and go home, I hadn't thrown up since the night before, and an "I" on my transcript sounded unappealing because if I took the exam and got what I expected to get I would have finished the class with an B+ or A-. I walked into the exam room 10 min late (I initially walked to the wrong building) and grabbed the exam from my GSI. 20 minutes go by and all my symptoms come back. I started sweating like I just ran a 5k, and the only thing I could focus on was how fast my heart was beating and how do I keep myself from yacking all over my exam. The urge to vomit became so strong that I asked to go to the bathroom, which I was surprisingly allowed to do. I tried to continue working on the exam when I came back but I was way too dizzy and couldn't focus on anything.

After the exam, I called a lyft to my apartment and passed out on my couch for two hours. Once I woke up, I wrote an email to the professor of the course. I ended up getting a 26% on the exam, which was pretty much all the stuff I completed prior to running to the bathroom. My final course grade was a D+. It took him nearly a week to respond and he wasn't ever going to help. He just refused to help and said that it "sometimes takes students a second crack at the material for it to really click." Again, I've taken other coding courses. before, some of which much more difficult than this course. When I met with my academic advisor, he didn't really want to talk about anything else other than how my 3.74 freshman gpa was evidence that I could make up for this.

Again, the only reason I came here is because this analyst I spoke with told me to look into the situation again and see if there is anything I can do. After my meeting with my advisor, I personally moved on from it and came to terms with the fact that I'm just going to have to work a shitton harder during recruitment. But maybe there is something I can do... and if there is something, I was hoping that the wonderful WSO community could help me out.

This would raise my GPA to around 3.6-3.7 to put things into perspective.

Comments (12)

Mar 28, 2020

knowing academic advising and profs I highly doubt you will be able to get your grade changed without supporting evidence/hard proof (doctors note) in these situations, but since you consciously decided to write the exam I'm not sure your story alone is sufficient to get anything changed, unless ofc your prof is nice enough to take you for your word.


Mar 31, 2020

@Deebo" @SkullCrusherDJ I actually do have a note. I just kinda forgot about it after my professor and advisor didn't do anything to help me

Mar 31, 2020

Is there a specific office/department on campus that you guys think I could reach out to?

Most Helpful
Mar 28, 2020


    • 3
Mar 28, 2020

I think your only option is to re-take the class. Maybe they have it available in summer or as an online class so you could get it over with without interfering with your schedule.

Mar 28, 2020

It doesn't sound a disputable case tbh. If you do well in this semester you can still get a >3.5, which is more than enough for a strong resume. I'm from a semi-target with 3.3 and still gets all the interviews. Forget about it and focus on the future mate

Mar 28, 2020

Dear god, you told that entire story during a networking call?

    • 4
Mar 28, 2020

@Deebo is right: as unfortunate as your experience was, you need hard proof such as doc notes to appeal. I would cut the loss and retake.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Mar 29, 2020

do whatever you can to boost your grades as much as you can. Your current education is irrelevant other than the gpa on a piece of paper. You're smart, ambitious, and hard working -- you don't deserve to have irrelevant academics holding you back

    • 1
Mar 31, 2020

Thank you for the words of encouragement I really appreciate it

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2020