Real Estate Story to get in top B-School for Investment Banking/Consulting

I have a low UG GPA in Civil Engineering from India(2.6/4.0), decent Masters GPA in Construction Management (3.56/4.00) in the US, 326/340 on the GRE, 5 years of construction industry experience in the US and 1 year of experience in India. 

Can having a strong construction background help getting into a top ranked MBA university if I show Real Estate as my interest in the essay and do a couple of real estate courses here and there? Can I offset my low gpa by using real estate as my interest and intent for an MBA purely to get into the university and crack the interviews?

Idea is, once I am admitted into the university, I can pursue whatever the f*** I want a\nd not necessarily real estate. Does that seem like a legit plan to break in?

Thoughts? Comments? Cheapshots?

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Comments (9)

Apr 6, 2021 - 3:24pm


 Can I offset my low gpa by using real estate as my interest and intent for an MBA purely to get into the university and crack the interviews?

Idea is, once I am admitted into the university, I can pursue whatever the f*** I want a\nd not necessarily real estate.

Are you suggesting that if you state your career ambitions for real estate, then a lower standard will be applied than if you said i-banking or consulting?? 

I really doubt that will be the case, as I can't imagine admissions officers thinking that way. I know engineering GPAs can be lower than UG b-school or lib arts GPAs (ridiculously subject to grade inflation in the US), and I am not sure if the standard for grading in India differs from the US (EU is harder, less inflated than US I think).

So, if you can explain that (if true...), then they may just treat your UG gpa as higher... or just use your CM GPA (which is very likely regardless). 

I'm sure you will get into some good MBA programs, not sure about Harvard or Wharton, but you will probably get legit offers so just apply! 

Apr 6, 2021 - 3:46pm

I tried applying with this profile for fall 2021 and got rejected from NYU and Ross, the top tier ones that I had applied to and got into other mediocre ones so I just deferred my plan of getting into college this year. I showed my interest as getting into consulting to which their feedback was that my goals were not clear enough and how I was going to make that switch. With real estate, I atleast have a legit background to back me to start with. Do you think that would be a smart move and universities would then want to accept me with my scores and credentials since my goals now align with my background in some way and I stand in a good position to make that switch?

Apr 6, 2021 - 4:05pm

Okay, that all makes more sense. I would recommend you actually hire one of these "admission consultants" who can review your essays and overall profile. Some programs will like your engineering/construction background more than others (i.e. the "STEM" to business types). Not sure about Ross, but Stern is not that type (think more the Stanford, Haas, MIT types). 

To be honest, the "goals not aligned" is probably more of a comment of just a poorly framed essay (at least in the view of the reviewer). Could framing for real estate make more sense? Sure, I mean yea, your background does align for real estate/development/etc. But, I would really focus on getting well written essays, solid LORs, etc. 

Apr 6, 2021 - 4:10pm

Got it. What universities would you suggest me knowing my current scenario that I should I try for? I hadn't applied to any on the west coast this time.

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Apr 6, 2021 - 4:31pm

Honestly, I want to go to NYU since that just opens me up to a lot of things apart from real estate as well. Do you think I have a shot at it if I hire an admissions consultant for my essays? Also, what real estate courses do you recommend me that I should take for them to believe that I am better than what my GPA indicates about me? I, honestly want to keep all my options open and currently I am working towards a WSO financial modeling course too so IB, consulting are my top priorities but at the moment, I am better positioned for RE hence, the framing part for adcoms. Apart from NYU, I would have Ross, Georgetown, McCombs and Wharton in my list as far as the top ones go. Thoughts?

Apr 6, 2021 - 4:42pm

Not sure you can take "courses" in real estate to help an MBA application, and honestly can't say about if you can up your chances at NYU or not, it is really hard to get in period. Your list is good... I would add:

Cornell (this really gets overlooked by people wanting to work in the northeast/NYC, great alum base, and easier to get into than others)

Johns Hopkins


UNC Chapel Hill


U Wisconsin - Madison (this school gets big time play in the northeast, and really great for real estate)


U Wash St. Louis - Olin

Carnegie Mellon

Darthmouth - Tuck

UVA - Darden





Penn State (better alum network in NE than many realize)

Notre Dame

Boston College (great NE alum base)

  • Developer in RE - Comm
Apr 6, 2021 - 6:13pm

People have done much worse than that to get into schools. Stop being a pussy.

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