Is ADHD a fine explanation for low GPA

I had undiagnosed ADD for the first two years of my college career, but I just got diagnosed and am on medication now, along with learning time management strategies. My GPA is low, 3.46(rounded to 3.5), but not spectacularly low, so I think I can manage? I go to a top public(UM, UCB, UVA), as an econ major.

Comments (17)

Feb 20, 2018

So have you gone from Bs in easier pre-req classes to A-'s/A's in core classes? Then I would show that to HR IF you get an interview and use it as I'm a 3.5 but should be a 3.8 if I had be medicated earlier. Talk about as one of your weaknesses turned strengths.

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

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Feb 20, 2018

The "IF" should be bolded, IF nothing more but for dramatic effect

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

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Feb 20, 2018

Agree with TippyTop. If you've demonstrated improvement since your first two years (with a large enough sample size) then you can even highlight your Junior/Senior GPA on your resume and then explain if asked during an interview. But if you've only been performing better for one semester, or the difference wasn't that notable, then go with the 3.46 (really not that bad) and don't mention anything at all about the ADD. Without sustained improvement you're just making excuses.

Feb 20, 2018

Round the GPA to 3.5 and I wouldn't expect an ounce of sympathy for excuses which is what this will come off as. Don't even bring it up.

Non-Target POS looking for a SA 2019 spot

Feb 20, 2018

No, it makes you sound like a pussy and when a grown man says they have ADD, most people just assume he's a child.

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Feb 20, 2018

Your 3.5 GPA from a top public is high enough where you won't be dinged for your school or GPA. I think mentioning ADHD would be a negative as it not only sounds like an excuse but also why would a bank take a potential risk in hiring someone with ADHD when they don't have to? This is something you don't want them to know about.

Feb 21, 2018

As others have said, given your GPA, it's not worth the risk.

I also have ADHD that was diagnosed in college, and I wouldn't disclose it to my employer, especially as an excuse. If someone saw me take medication and asked about it, I guess I wouldn't lie, but I would never bring it up voluntarily.

Feb 21, 2018

Yeah - I have to agree that you want to avoid making excuses (especially if you are not asked). In my experience a lot of people jump into a defensive state about their GPA if they perceive it to be low - but your 3.5 isn't actually that low.

Best Response
Feb 22, 2018

There are a lot of questions I try to answer when interviewing people for banking positions, but I tend to put my main focus on two questions:

1.) Can this person do the job?
2.) Does this person want to do the job?

Focus on answering these questions for the interviewer.

It sounds like you're heading into interviews from a defensive position. I would recommend you focus less on your GPA, and more on confidence and approaching the interview from a position of strength. Express your abilities in a manner that checks the ability box. GPA is really a presupposition that you're intelligent. Make sure you leave no doubt to the interviewer that you're capable of doing the job. If you're impressive enough they won't pry about your GPA.

Secondly, don't forget to show enthusiasm for investment banking so they check the "Desire" box. Most people I interview are very intelligent but are trying to get into banking for the wrong reasons. If you show desire, GPA becomes less of an issue.

MOD NOTE: I didn't take your ADHD into account when writing my post, I hope you were able to maintain focus and read it's entirety...

"A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself."

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Feb 22, 2018

This was actually pretty helpful, thanks. The approaching from a defensive position really struck a chord with me, as well as focusing on a way to express my abilities that shows I can check the box. Noted.

Lol, ADD is only a factor when I'm not interested in something. If I am interested, I'll read a textbook on the subject, and I'm definitely interested in doing investment banking.

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Feb 22, 2018

What exactly do you think an analyst job entails that would make you definitely interested in the job? You appreciate that more half of your time is going to be changing the font size from 10 to 9.5 and aligning logos? Also, if I'm the interviewer, why would I possibly think someone with ADHD would could or want to do the analyst role? Not meant to knock on your condition or anything, but I'd really think about crafting your story during your interviews because that'll matter much more than 3.5 GPA.

Feb 22, 2018

GPA is just a number. Someone with a 3.8 isn't necessarily smarter or better at the job than one with a 3.5. Plus, 3.5 is an arbitrary cutoff for GPA, if you are above it then it shouldn't be an issue.

Feb 23, 2018

While it is just a number, I assume employers use it as a signaling device. Chances are that someone with a higher GPA was able to understand new concepts and retain them better, increasing the odds that they are able to do so with new information on the job as well.

Feb 23, 2018

I've got ADHD but only now take Ritalin, I never took Ritalin during university. I found it very hard to concentrate but still managed a credit GPA. But, I worked full-time, did full-time uni (yes it's possible) and had a 4 hour trip to and from university each day (parents were poor and we lived on a farm), so there were other circumstances limiting my time to study.

Now that i'm doing the GMAT, i'm noticing it detrimental to take too much Ritalin or any while doing practice tests. Is anyone the same?

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Feb 23, 2018

Nah, don't bring it up. Besides, your GPA should improve now that youre medicated. Better to wait for that GPA to actually go up and frame it as a turnaround story than bring up the ADHD. That just sounds like an excuse. NEVER give excuses. Better to talk about the mistakes and how you have changed to show your ability to work on yourself

Feb 23, 2018

I'd go with the chronic diarrhea excuse instead

Feb 23, 2018

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