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Thread: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

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    Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): 168Q 168V 5.5 AWA
    Undergrad GPA: 2.11 - Bachelor of Science (Applied Math) from #1 ranked university in Australia

    • My undergraduate degree was marked by significant personal and mental health challenges (which are now behind me). I intend to detail this in a separate Statement of Impact, potentially including a letter from my treating clinical psychologist if this will help. I am hoping that clemency will be afforded to my undergrad performance based on these facts.

    Graduate GPA:
    • 4.0 - Master of Business Administration from #1 ranked business school in Australia
    • 4.0 - Master of Marketing from #1 ranked business school in Australia

    Awards:
    • Dean's List (top 10% of class) for MBA/Master of Marketing
    • Received Dean's Commendation Awards for the subjects 'Business Strategy', 'Consumer Behavior', 'Managerial Judgement', and 'Marketing Research' for all-round excellence, both in terms of academic achievement and classroom participation.

    Research Experience: Currently writing a business case study on a medical device start-up, under the supervision of a tenured Professor who holds a PhD from MIT. Hoping to publish this with Ivey Case Publishing. On completion of the case, this Professor & I intend to complete a research piece and publish a paper on qualitative predictors of medical device start-up success.
    Teaching Experience: TA for 'Data Analysis' for 4 terms (and ongoing), maintaining an average student satisfaction rating of 9.47/10. Additionally, I will be taking on a TA position for 'Managerial Economics' in 2021.
    Work Experience: 'Head of Marketing Research' at a relatively small coworking space start up (~30 employees, but raised over $20m in funding). Additionally, have my own marketing research consulting business.
    Other comments: Not sure if it's worth noting, but I am a dual US-Australian citizen. So whilst I have completed my studies in Australia, I am unclear on whether I apply as a domestic or International student.


    Concentration Applying to: Strategic Management
    Number of programs planned to apply to: 20
    Dream Schools: Top 20 US + INSEAD, Oxford, Cambridge.


    Other Questions:

    Questions or concerns you have about your profile?
    Obviously my undergraduate performance is quite abysmal - I had several failing grades, as low as 5 and 17 (although, these were because I disengaged from the class and did not even sit the final exam). I am hoping my subsequent performance and Statement of Impact will clearly demonstrate that this is
    not an accurate reflection of my abilities, and was instead due to significant mental health challenges at the time. However, the question remains: how much clemency might I expect from Top 20 schools with regards to my undergraduate performance?
    Do I have a reasonable shot at some of my target schools (top 20 US + INSEAD, Oxford, Cambridge) or will my application likely be summarily dismissed?
    Is there anything else I can do between now and end of next year to strengthen my application? Assume I have a strong Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation.
    Last edited by Sagan; 12-27-2020 at 04:44 AM.

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    Re: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

    No guarantees, but it seems like you should expand your list of potential schools that you are considering. Every adcom may view applications differently, and as you summarized, your UG GPA may be significant barrier and there may be situations when your application is simply 'screened out'. People who have connections to these schools that you know (in academics) may be able to get your application in front of people to be given a deeper look. It's hard to say whether you have a reasonable shot or not, but definitely expand your list of potential schools.

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

    I'm in a different field, so I can't comment too much on your chances. I have seen people with low UG GPAs get into top 10-15 schools. Your experience since undergrad looks great, but I would probably expand your list a little.

    I am more confident in saying that PhD programs are tough on your mental health. I had issues and I know a lot of people that struggle with depression and anxiety throughout the program. It sounds like you have a better grasp on whatever it was now. Just pay attention to how you are doing mentally and take care of yourself.

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    Re: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    I am more confident in saying that PhD programs are tough on your mental health. I had issues and I know a lot of people that struggle with depression and anxiety throughout the program. It sounds like you have a better grasp on whatever it was now. Just pay attention to how you are doing mentally and take care of yourself.
    I second this - PhD programs, in particular at top schools that are fixated on good placements, are going to place a heavy strain on your mental state. There will be constant beatdowns, disappointments and uncertainties. If you had some mental health issues in the past, you should reflect on that and be absolutely certain that it won't pose a problem for you during the PhD. I had some anxiety issues going in and it got pretty rough at times.

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    Re: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

    Thanks all. I'm very aware of the significant stress and challenge that comes with a PhD program. My mental health challenges were largely circumstantial and many years ago, and as I said are now behind me.

    I think tm_associate's advice re: academics with connections is solid advice, and I will work on this. Already, one of my LOR writers (an ex-INSEAD faculty member) has offered to make some phone calls.

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    Re: Applying in 1 year - Profile Eval?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagan View Post
    Thanks all. I'm very aware of the significant stress and challenge that comes with a PhD program. My mental health challenges were largely circumstantial and many years ago, and as I said are now behind me.

    I think tm_associate's advice re: academics with connections is solid advice, and I will work on this. Already, one of my LOR writers (an ex-INSEAD faculty member) has offered to make some phone calls.
    I'm happy to hear that they are behind you. I wasn't trying to judge or discourage in any way, just wanted to provide relevant information.

    Connections do matter quite a bit. Top Australian schools have great professors, so I'm sure you have some good people in your corner.

    Feel free to ask more questions and please come back and share your results and experience for future applicants.

    Good luck!

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