Hey guys, hoping for a quick sanity check here.
So I'm a couple years out of UG, am a URM, and doing some research on MBA programs to potentially apply to within the next couple years. Main goals are OCR (either into top tech or MBB) and the network/pedigree a top program can provide.
The biggest problem is that I have an undergrad GPA of 2.86 (I know) from a state school. There is no extreme sob story to lean on here, but definitely a few contributing factors I could discuss/spin if needed. Despite lackluster academic performance I scrapped my way into a decent (albeit "lower tier" to a lot of you) tech consulting shop and have been a high performer so far, gaining a lot of responsibility and on track for advancement. I'm considering taking the GMAT soon and am aiming for a 720+ to be as competitive as possible and to compensate for the GPA. I probably won't apply anywhere if I get below 700 after a few tries, so let's use this hypothetical score for the sake of the question. I'd also take HBX core for an alternative transcript.
Anyways, my question: Here's where I wonder just how much the URM factor could help make up for obvious weak point in my profile... I can't tell if it's all hype or actually a distinct advantage. Anyone have any personal experience with this situation? How much would applying through The Consortium help here? Aiming for at least Top 15, and my targets are Tuck, Duke Fuqua, Yale, Cornell Johnson... Is this reasonable? Do I bother plunging into GMAT prep for the next few months to make this happen? Bonus question - if this all works out, will the UG GPA screw me in the end when it comes to OCR?
TL;DR - URM with low gpa, how real is the advantage? Surmountable with consortium/high GMAT?