Is my <3.0 gpa the end of my career?

I'm 4 years out of college, and have been interviewing for different roles with either REPE or institutional investors. I was a bit surprised when asked about my GPA since I'm at my second job out of school.

I transferred from a community college into a target school, and my gpa dropped from 3.8 to 2.9 for a combination of reasons - essentially I bit off a lot more than I could chew due to financial and visa issues. None of it justifies my shitty grade, but hoping the color can help with some insight.

That said, is my 2.8 gpa going to be the end of my career? Is there anything I can do to salvage the situation? I considered going back to grad school, but it's not financially feasible plus my gpa is probably hopeless. 

Edit: My major gpa is around 3.3

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Apr 8, 2021 - 3:32pm

Are you kidding me dude? I had a 2.8 cumulative and 2.2 major for a culmination of reasons and of my 2 jobs out of school no one has asked for verification. I just leave it off my resume and am honest if anyone asks. I've been dinged prior to interviews sure but you are fortunate to have a solid major GPA to put on there.

You're basically dinging yourself instead of letting employers find a reason to do it.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 8, 2021 - 2:09pm

Don't have it on your resume and you should be fine unless someone asks, then tell them the truth.

But for the record, I graduated with a 2.7 and not once has it been a problem. This is also because I know my audience and would never apply to a BB, megafund, etc.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 8, 2021 - 2:20pm

copying [[email protected]] here too - Is it a waste of time to go through the process though? I think you have a good point in knowing my audience.

I really want to get experience in a "megafund" type shop so I can see how they run things. My currently company is well known but we are an operator and do things in a very old money way (no fancy models). Should I just forget about trying with these firms? 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 8, 2021 - 2:28pm

I wouldn't call it a waste of time nor would I just stop applying to these firms.

You can still apply, but just know that you have a different profile than most of their employees/top tier candidates. But that shouldn't stop you if you are looking for the MF experience. Crazier things have happened at the MF's than someone with a 2.8 gpa getting in the door.

Apr 8, 2021 - 2:48pm

GPA is not an issue. The large 'mega fund' type shops may want to see it. Honestly, it's just another filter tool for them. They need a reason to ding people. You can 100% can past this filter, I just think applying online won't do the trick. Try to network your way in if you are dead set on working for this type of fund. In general, networking trumps all. 

Apr 8, 2021 - 3:10pm

Does GPA really not matter? I know networking trumps all in the end but I'm over here stressing about my GPA dropping from 3.6 to 3.5 lmao. I don't really care about Mega funds, would rather be at an operator or MM/UMM firm seems more fun.

Apr 8, 2021 - 3:23pm

I wouldn't go so far to say it doesn't matter.

I graduated with a low gpa and if I could go back I'd work a bit harder to get something around a 3.5 but in reality my gpa has only directly gotten me dinged once and it was from a large institutional investor (in which I don't have much interest working for, but obviously I couldn't even if I wanted to)

A low gpa closes some doors (maybe not fully shut but someone like me would have a tough time getting a job at Bx/KKR/etc.) while a high gpa keeps those doors open. I wouldn't get in the headspace that it doesn't matter, as a good gpa can make your job hunt a bit easier vs a low one where you may need to grind it out for months networking just to get any traction.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Apr 8, 2021 - 3:34pm

It certainly matters. More to certain groups and less to others, but in the grand scheme of things, it's nice to at least have above a 3.0, preferably above 3.3. So you are sitting strong with yours.

I wish I could say my UG grades were up there but they were not, and as a result, I did end up feeling the pain of bad grades when I was looking for my first role. But I would say it starts to dissipate after your second job/if you've been in industry for a couple years. Not all the time though (OP's situation). 

Another area where GPA really helps out is graduate school. God damn, if I had at least above a 3.0, I'd be able to spin a semi-realistic story as to why for these admissions people. Tough to explain a 2.67 at a state school where most days were spent directly avoiding class/homework and spending my time in the clouds.

Apr 8, 2021 - 6:38pm

In the last 24 months I've interviewed with probably 20-30 firms as I was actively recruiting. I've had one firm ask for my GPA. I can't say it 100% doesn't matter, but I can say it really shouldn't matter all that much. If I have been dinged due to Workday or Hirevue collecting my GPA information, than I am not aware of it. GPA may matter, but I really don't think your GPA will hold you back. 

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Apr 8, 2021 - 4:14pm

also transferred from a state school to a top 20 university and GPA took a hit as well. my current school GPA is a 3.3 and old GPA was a 4.0 and when I began recruiting with a 3.3 I didn't get many first rounds so then changed my GPA to a "cumulative GPA" and added back my old school to my resume to be as transparent as possible and applied a weighted averaged to them and having the higher GPA immediately got me so many more first round interviews.

Apr 8, 2021 - 4:27pm

I would not put it on a resume, nor volunteer it, if you have to give it, try and give the 3.3 as a major GPA (don't lie if it is clear what is asked).

The reality is this.... your GPA, and what school you went to (sorry... "targets").... will be nearly meaningless by about 5 years post graduation (assumed you worked that period of time). Your work history will dominate big time. What you "majored" in can still matter for much longer, but still diminished. 

Will so high minded firms ask/care?? Sure, but that is a small set in the real estate world, and in absolutely no way a threat to "end" a career. Considering that you are employed (and seemingly got two jobs), why you ask is confusing, you made it this far after all!

Apr 8, 2021 - 6:12pm

Yeah, if you are applying for "entry level" jobs, this question is not surprising since many applicants are probably new/upcoming grads.

My advice, you are 4 years post-grad, stop applying for entry level positions. You are not likely to be seen as a fit (i.e. too high salary expectations, etc.). This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is actually easier to punch upward than downward, and even lateral at times. Why? People understand upward moves, the motivation/desire, etc. Downward moves make no sense, so they implicitly signal lack of confidence, even failure. Laterals are mixed, but can seem desperate or make reviewers question, "why" is this person wanting this move.

Plus, higher up you get, the more Acq and AM are likely to merge/overlap by nature! and you will see "GPA" screens disappear! 

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