High GMAT, Low GPA, Realistic Schools for IB?

I have a lower GPA from a generic public school. Gmat above median everywhere.Currently working in Consulting with over 3 YoE. I'm not in Strategy, but have done operations and tech oriented.Long story short, I wanted to do IB coming out of undergrad but was a major switcher very late on and missed the recruiting boat. Background was good enough to get into consulting, so I just did what was practical and went that route.I know there's a lot of work ahead of me for switching careers, so I am aiming for stronger finance schools like CBS and Stern. Might try Yale as well due to location. Just looking for some feedback - where do people think I'm competitive?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (22)

Aug 4, 2020 - 9:37am

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I'm hoping what you're saying is the case. It's hard to tell how much the higher gmat will do for me - a lot of my other stuff is fairly average so it will be a matter of how I can spin my story I guess.

  • Associate 3 in Other
Aug 4, 2020 - 10:46am

I think you should be set for a T15 and I'd target those with strong IB placement (definitely Cornell, Stern, and then maybe 1-2 of Yale/Fuqua/Tuck). Beyond those, throw in 2 apps for maybe Booth and CBS.

I'm in a very similar spot to you but a year or two ahead. I had a "low" GPA (3.5-3.6, people were telling me that was low for a white male despite a STEM major) but from a T10 UG (Columbia/UChicago tier). GMAT was 770, and I thought my target schools were Wharton, CBS, and Kellogg/Booth/Sloan. I got into one of those and applied to all. Applied to two in T15 and got a full scholarship to one, and the other I got into but with no $ (they might have given me something if I committed there and pushed for money).

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in Other
Aug 4, 2020 - 11:17am

I've also been pretty shocked by it but realize it's tougher getting in as a white male with no hook. I have a colleague who went to my undergrad, works in a less prestigious role in my firm (more BO with mine more FO and harder job to get/do), stats are 3.4/720, and got near full/full scholarships to Booth, Kellogg, Haas, and Yale, into Wharton with no money, and waitlisted at GSB. The only difference is she is female. Have another female friend from UG who had 3.6/740 and got into HBS/Wharton/CBS with what I'd argue is less solid work experience than I have. All this is just to say it's sometimes hard to stand out at the top programs even with solid stats, and especially hard if you're male and not URM.

Sep 6, 2021 - 3:55am

I am in a similar situation, that is white male with about 4 years of finance exp.; GPA of 3.5. However i graduated from a  public non target business school in Eastern Europe( nr. 1 in my country) and i would like to hear your opinion on the difference(marginal impact) of a 3.5 Gpa from a non target vs. a target Bachelor's when applying to T10 MBA programs.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 4, 2020 - 3:18pm

Check out Kellogg. Fewer IB people applying and therefore much easier to stand out among applicants. They have been actively trying to expand their finance graduates lately (higher pay -> better ranking) in the past two years by increasing the talent pipeline. Below is a soft marketing article about Kellogg's approach. Although this article is focused on PE, the IB track is also getting much more attention, especially after the arrival of the new dean.


You have comparable IB/consulting opportunities across all the top schools. Sure, you will find fewer people heading into IB from Kellogg, but fewer people apply to IB on campus. GS interviews ~80% of R1 applicants at Kellogg. GS absolutely takes more people from CBS / Booth, but it doesn't interview ~80% of their IB R1 applicants.

FWIW, I have a very similar background as you (public school, non URM male, big 4, lower GMAT, higher GPA) and pursued MBA just to transition to IB. I did it and would do it again at Kellogg. DM me if you have further questions.

Aug 4, 2020 - 7:49pm

I think you're posting without username, so I can't DM. But if you get a minute, please send me a DM. I'd love to chat a bit about this.

I actually had considered Kellogg because it's a fantastic school and it seems going to some of the less traditional finance schools at the top of the rankings is a smart way to standout when it comes to recruiting and networking for internships. Basically what you said has crossed my mind, but I've yet to speak to anyone about it and have just been directed to Booth, CBS, Stern from most folks.

Aug 5, 2020 - 1:35am

Some of my answer would depend on context. Was there an upward trend to your grades? Was there a reason for the poor grades? Were the poorer grades in classes not associated with business? How have you done on your job? Hve you taken any courses since then (other than GMAT prep)

Your chances are better and Stern and Cornell Johnson than at CBS, but all will want to see that you now now how to apply yourself academically.

You might find helpful https://blog.accepted.com/what-to-do-about-a-low-gpa/


Linda Abraham President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting
  • 2
Aug 5, 2020 - 10:39am

I got into Kellogg and Yale with a 3.3 + 740. I would bet you get into 1 lower M7 (non-HSW), and most of the T15s you apply to. Which would suggest maybe add Booth to your list. maybe UVA too if you want to hedge the T15s with extra chances.

Aug 5, 2020 - 2:28pm

Corrupti et et voluptatem tenetur repellat velit. Et mollitia sunt eius natus fugiat. Sunt et ut quod sunt nulla. Consequatur fugit voluptas est culpa veniam.

Tenetur aliquid incidunt nihil id eius. Sequi perferendis modi eligendi dolores quidem. Placeat illum nihil non est. Unde quae sed maxime culpa.

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (38) $367
  • Associates (218) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (133) $153
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (102) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (483) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (376) $82