Odds for top 20 MBAs? Very Low GPA, Above Average GMAT, 5 Years work EXP

Topu-Kun's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 11

Hi all,

I am looking forward to get an MBA soon and I would like to get some "reality check" for my chances at top 20 MBAs with 5 years work experience, as my undergrad was a sad story.

Nationality: 100% Thai

Final undergrad GPA: 3.13, Engineering, 2-3 D+ and 2-3 C in quant subjects ( first year calculus I, II, so bad :( ), upward trend, last semester 4.00 (awarded academic excellence in senior year), 1st rank undergrad school in Thailand both in overall rank and engineering rank. Got some scholarships in high school and undergrad.

Other certificate: Coursera Wharton's Business Fundation Specialization, edX's MIT Intro to Supply Chain

GMAT: 730, first take

WE: 5 years at PwC advisory, tech consulting manager (started as an associate) - not sure if WE at only one place apart from internship will reduce my chance or not, internship at microsoft thailand, got in MS intern when my GPA was 2.7, and it was quite amazing at that time

Is it possible to get into places like Johnson, Tepper, etc.? I think top 10 might be a huge stretch for me.

Moreover, if you have any online course (MOOC, or even an entire degree) for me to take that at least, might be able improve my profile, please kindly advise me, as it is very-not-ideal here in Thailand to take undergrad level course physically without registering for an entire degree)

Thanks a lot.

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Comments (14)

Best Response
Jun 19, 2017

Good news is that adcoms are more forgiving of engineering GPAs because they know that engineering programs tend to grade on a harsher curve compared to other disciplines.

So while your GPA is going to be a handicap, it's not really fatal at all. Especially since your GMAT is solid. And furthermore, based on what you wrote it seems like you did your undergrad outside the US, which makes the overall GPA even less important (and your GMAT even more so).

I'd aim for 2-3 top 16 schools as stretches (Ross, Duke, Darden, NYU, Cornell, Yale, UCLA, Haas), and then 3-4 top 30 schools as sweet spots (Tepper, Texas, USC, Georgetown, Emory, UNC, Maryland).

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Jun 20, 2017

Thank you so much :)

Jun 19, 2017

Sure, it can be done. I got into a top 10 with a 740 GMAT and a 3.2 (also engineering). I took two classes from UCLA extension and owned up to why my GPA was lackluster in the optional essay.

Another thread you might want to consider browsing:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/low-undergrad-gpa-succe...

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Jun 20, 2017

That is very inspiring, thank you so much. Is it possible for an Asian who do not have any relationships with UCLA take their course? If so, would you please kindly let me know what courses did you take? Thank you again!

Jun 22, 2017

Anyone can take classes at UCLA extension- you don't need to have any prior relation to the university. From your post it sounds like you should take at least a calculus class to offset your UG grades and supplement that with something business-y like finance, accounting or econ.

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Jun 23, 2017

I am thinking of taking Calculus and may be one from these: Micro Economics, Intro to Statistics, Financial Accounting.

Thank you :)

Jun 23, 2017

Hi Topu-Kun,

Great to see another Thai in this forum.
I think you have a great profile and would advice you to aim higher.
3.13 from Chulalongkorn is not that bad and your GMAT is one of the best among Thai candidates.
I'm also Thai with a low GPA (3.09) who's heading to one of the T16 schools in this fall.
Shoot me a msg if you want to discuss more about application process.

Jun 23, 2017

Sawaddee krub,

I will make sure to discuss with you about that. :)

Jun 23, 2017

You'll easily get into a top 20 program. Two promotions, solid GMAT, STEM undergrad from an underrepresented nation. You check most boxes and your GPA actually isn't that horrible. You haven't specified your goals. Be sure to put together a coherent story.

Safe schools: Rochester, Vandy, WUSTL, Georgetown, Indiana
Target: NYU, Cornell, Duke, Darden, Ross
Reach: Tuck, MIT, Columbia

Might want to retake and target a 750 GMAT to get into the 'reach' category.

Jun 23, 2017

Wow, this sure inspires me to work on my admission even more. Thanks a lot. My long term goal would be the CEO position of one of the companies that create innovation makes the world a better place. However, my short-medium term goal is either to reach partner level or (try) to move to MBB. (MBB in my country does not really have hard cutoff for GPA esp for engineers but they do take very few people each year and I think they really prefer those who graduate from top b-schools in which there are relatively (very) few in Thailand)

Thank you again for your advise!

Jun 23, 2017
Topu-Kun:

Wow, this sure inspires me to work on my admission even more. Thanks a lot. My long term goal would be the CEO position of one of the companies that create innovation makes the world a better place. However, my short-medium term goal is either to reach partner level or (try) to move to MBB. (MBB in my country does not really have hard cutoff for GPA esp for engineers but they do take very few people each year and I think they really prefer those who graduate from top b-schools in which there are relatively (very) few in Thailand)

Thank you again for your advise!

DO NOT say this. Please talk to an admissions advisor. You'll blow your chances by saying this..

Jun 23, 2017

Thanks for that huge warning. I just recently started to look for an adviser and I will find one that is able to help with my essays.

Jun 23, 2017

Where would Booth or Kellogg fall on this list for someone of his caliber?

Jun 23, 2017
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