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MBA undergrad GPA for admissions

Now I’m just doing this as a curiosity, so don’t rip me a new one. I’m not seriously considering doing an MBA until at least I’m done the 3 CFA levels, but I am curious as to whether my ****ty first two years of undergrad would hold me back if I ever did want an MBA from a good school.

I’ve been looking at the top Canadian MBA schools and they seem to take your GPA from your last year or last 2 years in university.  My first two years I was in engineering and I went to school a couple times a week and generally considered university something I just had to get through while I spent my time wasted and/or playing Civilization III, so my GPA in those years was a very unflattering 2.5 or something like that. I had some big life events that made me reevaluate my engineering career and I went into education. For the next year in arts and science (I needed some credits to get into education) and 2 years of ed my gpa was 3.7. This was still not at all what I was capable of, as I was working nearly full time, but I was at least going to classes. The education classes were easy enough that I pretty much just had to show up to get an 80.

So I’ve got 2 terrible years and 3 good years (although the last 2 are in education, which is the easiest college on the planet). Apparently those first 2 terrible years won’t hurt for Canadian b-schools, but what about top 10 American schools? Do they consider your entire transcript or just the last couple years? I can’t find any info on this from any of the major American b-schools.

I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to wrassle a good GMAT score. My work experience as a teacher I’m guessing will hold me back. I’m hoping to make up for it with a good history of volunteering with my church.

And again, I’m doing this out of curiousity and because I like to daydream years into the future. So please humour me :)


There is literally zero reason why you would get into a top b school.

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

SpareTime wrote:

 Do they consider your entire transcript or just the last couple years? 

My work experience as a teacher I’m guessing will hold me back. I’m hoping to make up for it with a good history of volunteering with my church.

entire transcript.

work experience as a local teacher will get you nowhere.

even with a good GMAT, with what you said about yourself, a top 10 MBA is still a no-go .

you know, I hear great things about plumbing. take a look

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

Itera is right. You’d even be a very long shot at a Canadian business school. Even second tier. Hell, you may even be more hacksaw than me. Canadian business schools only look at last two years to define the hacksaw line, they look at your entire transcript though for full competitive evaluation. Most applications pass the hacksaw test, still very few actually get a spot. They will see right through the engineering to education switch. These folks aren’t dumb. Some 4.0 engineer with six years of oil and gas management will get your place.

Plumbing is a great career. But so is teaching. Summers off, generous benefits, gold plated pension. Do that for 25 years then kick back in SoCal with a cold beer after 18 holes the rest of your life. Teaching is one of the few careers you can call it quits at 55 and be set for life.

Unless you’re withholding some info like six months treating Ebola in Liberia while raising twelve orphans and building infrastructure for improvished communities while launching a top 5 Android App, this is probably not the path.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

Top US b-schools will look at your entire transcript. You can go to b-school with any grades…just probably won’t be a good one.

Ramos4rm, CFA, CAIA

Ah AF is always such a pick me up lol. I’m interested in an MBA in the future even if it’s not from a top school. Geo I think you have some misconceptions about the size of teacher pensions. But anyway I’m not switching to finance because I want an easier job, I’m switching because I want to be engaged in my job, which I’m currently not.

My first year in engineering I did fine, but the second year I realized I hated it and stopped attending. At the time I was all proud of myself that I passed half my classes despite going to about 30-40% of my classes, which in retrospect is extraordinarily stupid. Also I got stabbed and wasn’t able to attend for a few weeks. Too bad I can’t list my excuses next to the marks.

I do know there are plenty of people getting into good business schools from education (because they list the numbers) but I’m assuming I’d have to hit the gmat out of the park with my blasé undergrad. Anybody know how much weight the gmat gets? I’m confident I could do very well on it.

^ Depends on the school. In Canada the GMAT is definitely second fiddle to the GPA/work/life experience criteria.

The value of a non-top MBA is sketchy, at best. It MAY help someone advance an already well established career, but the NPV is very questionable. Often a couple more years work experience would get you there anyway, for free.

Quite frankly the value of the MBA is in the network and the network just isn’t that good from second tier schools.

Also: lots of folks are confident that they can ace the GMAT. Few do. You need to be in the top 5% of folks taking the test (already a somewhat select group) to have a remarkable score. Your GPA indicates you’ve struggled to be top 50 percentile in a weaker cohort. You’re indicating a massive jump. A few percent here and there sure. But that’s a big jump.

Not to say you can’t do it. My GPA was bad (not nearly as bad as your engineering GPA) and I had a great GMAT. But my excuse for my GPA is I was working 60-70 hours per week while doing my undergrad full time. Not playing Civilisation instead of going to school.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

To get into a top B school you need to be elite. I imagine the “education” people going to H/S/W are teach for america grads, if anything.

The whole “I didn’t try hard” spiel really impresses no one. For every one smart guy who actually worked hard, there were 9 smart guys who were lazy. Guess which one of those ten gets into a good b school?

What kind of finance are you trying to get into?

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

geo wrote:
^ Depends on the school. In Canada the GMAT is definitely second fiddle to the GPA/work/life experience criteria. The value of a non-top MBA is sketchy, at best. It MAY help someone advance an already well established career, but the NPV is very questionable. Often a couple more years work experience would get you there anyway, for free. Quite frankly the value of the MBA is in the network and the network just isn’t that good from second tier schools. Also: lots of folks are confident that they can ace the GMAT. Few do. You need to be in the top 5% of folks taking the test (already a somewhat select group) to have a remarkable score. Your GPA indicates you’ve struggled to be top 50 percentile in a weaker cohort. You’re indicating a massive jump. A few percent here and there sure. But that’s a big jump. Not to say you can’t do it. My GPA was bad (not nearly as bad as your engineering GPA) and I had a great GMAT. But my excuse for my GPA is I was working 60-70 hours per week while doing my undergrad full time. Not playing Civilisation instead of going to school.

I didn’t struggle to do anything in undergrad. Certainly if I had struggled to be in top 50 percentile I wouldn’t have even started the CFA. I do realize, in fact, that the whole “I didn’t try” thing doesn’t gain me any points, but it is true. I know my own ability so I won’t spend too much time trying to convince you…but I’m quite confident I could score 90+ percentile. I’ve also had a fundamental change in my character and work ethic (becoming a parent will do that) and I’ve reversed the course of laziness that plagued my early 20’s…but obviously I want to see to what degree that previous laziness will hold me back…or at least, how much work I’ll have to do now to cancel it out.

Geo do you mind telling me where you went to school and what your GMAT is? I’m pretty sure you’re working in Calgary now if I remember correctly.

You speak of the network being the biggest asset from an MBA, and that the network isn’t that good from second tier schools. However, there’s a good chance that with Level III CFA alone I won’t be able to get a good enough job to offset the opportunity cost, so there’s also a chance that if/when I’m ready for an MBA I will have zero network whatsoever. Plus I think an MBA would be certifiably enjoyable and helpful simply from an educational standpoint.

H. P. Flashman wrote:

To get into a top B school you need to be elite. I imagine the “education” people going to H/S/W are teach for america grads, if anything.

The whole “I didn’t try hard” spiel really impresses no one. For every one smart guy who actually worked hard, there were 9 smart guys who were lazy. Guess which one of those ten gets into a good b school?

What kind of finance are you trying to get into?

I don’t really understand that first sentence. Also, I’m not trying to impress anyone, but obviously for me to go from getting low 80’s in undergrad at a public university to a decent MBA I would have to have an underlying skill as well as a fundamental change to work ethic in order for it to happen. I explained it simply so you’d know why I’m even considering it.

I’m not sure specifically what type of finance I’d like to get into, other than not investment banking. Wealth management is something I think I’d enjoy.

Quality of work experience is the most important thing in your application as long as your GMAT is not prohibitively low for the school you are applying to. Anecdotally, I get the impression GPA is not that a big deal as long as you have a strong GMAT. Also Top 10 and Top 20 US MBAs are almost certainly out of your reach given your profile.

Listen SpareTime, I’m not questioning your character. I’m sure you’re a good guy and yes becoming a parent can change one’s work ethic. But what have you done to DEMONSTRATE that? Saying these things means nothing to a committee. Have you started a business? Fought your way up a corporate structure? Improving a GPA by switching faculties to something easier is not evidence of improvement, its evidence of taking the easy way out.

You did struggle in undergrad. You had a C+ GPA. That’s struggle. Label it with whatever you want, laziness, lack of interest, whatever, it is what it is. You were far from the top half of students.

GMAT isn’t that easy. Most people signficiantly over estimate their ability to do well. My score has no relevance to the conversation but was 720. You’ll need to do much better than that if you want admissions to look the other way on GPA. Quite frankly you’ll need to be a genius or savant of some kind.

And I won’t tell you where I went to school other than that it is very hacksaw (part of it anyway). I’m probably the only grad not serving coffee at Starbucks so I’d be immediately identified.

But if you’re looking at Wealth Management, the MBA isn’t really needed at all. Honestly if you can’t find work in the field, the MBA will make you look over qualified for entry level spots, and without the network of a top program, you may actually be worse off.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

SpareTime wrote:

I don’t really understand that first sentence. 

Teach For America is a selective 2-year teaching program for recent college graduates. It’s considered quite prestigious and most of the participants are from Ivy League and other top tier schools. H. P. Flashman is saying that the only people getting into Harvard/Stanford/Wharton with education experience are from Teach For America.

geo wrote:
Listen SpareTime, I’m not questioning your character. I’m sure you’re a good guy and yes becoming a parent can change one’s work ethic. But what have you done to DEMONSTRATE that? Saying these things means nothing to a committee. Have you started a business? Fought your way up a corporate structure? Improving a GPA by switching faculties to something easier is not evidence of improvement, its evidence of taking the easy way out. You did struggle in undergrad. You had a C+ GPA. That’s struggle. Label it with whatever you want, laziness, lack of interest, whatever, it is what it is. You were far from the top half of students. GMAT isn’t that easy. Most people signficiantly over estimate their ability to do well. My score has no relevance to the conversation but was 720. You’ll need to do much better than that if you want admissions to look the other way on GPA. Quite frankly you’ll need to be a genius or savant of some kind. And I won’t tell you where I went to school other than that it is very hacksaw (part of it anyway). I’m probably the only grad not serving coffee at Starbucks so I’d be immediately identified. But if you’re looking at Wealth Management, the MBA isn’t really needed at all. Honestly if you can’t find work in the field, the MBA will make you look over qualified for entry level spots, and without the network of a top program, you may actually be worse off.

Text conveys tone poorly, so I’m not sure if you think I’m offended or that I’m defensive, but I’m not. I don’t really care whether you think I’ll struggle in a top MBA because I know I wouldn’t. You and I have a very different definition of struggle. I didn’t struggle in undergrad, I just didn’t do anything. I realize, however, that this won’t mean anything to an admissions committee. Which is why I asked the question I asked. I’m wondering if there’s any combination of GMAT + volunteer that people who have been through the admissions process think might give me a shot. I do know that the GMAT isn’t easy, but with a sample exam in the 600’s going in completely dry, I think it’s reasonable I could boost it by up to 100 points to get into that 95+% percentile, or at least the 700+ score needed for 90% percentile. A 700+ GMAT would put me above the average of any Canadian business school, so that would help make up for part of my GPA and work experience. I volunteer quite a bit but I want to increase that and expand my leadership role. I was hoping that this combination plus some luck would put a top 10 school in reach. Anecdotally, it seems, that’s still out of reach. I still hope that I could find a spot at a Saunder/Western/McGill type place.

Do you know guys that have broken into wealth management? It’s certainly not my entire focus but I do think it would be something I’d be well suited for. If MBA networks aren’t that helpful for wealth management, how do most people get into the industry? I’d rather stay a teacher than work for IG or some firm that only offers huge load proprietary mutual funds, so that’s out of the question for me.

SpareTime wrote:

Anecdotally, it seems, that’s still out of reach. I still hope that I could find a spot at a Saunder/Western/McGill type place.

Sauder is more competitive (unreasonably, in fact) than you think.

I have a friend that graduated Rotman MBA at 2nd in his class.
When applying to b school, he had graduated from top Canadian uni with outstanding grades, had passed CFA L3, worked accounting at an insurance company, and an analyst at a start up hedgefund (where he now works also).

Got into Rotman, denied at Sauder.

^ I don’t think you’d struggle in a top MBA, they’re not hard, its not a test of intelligence. I think you’ll struggle to get in the door. Volunteer work to get in? That’s expected, along with a top GPA, managerial/professional experience and a demonstrated record of achievement. If you want volunteer work to offset your other attributes, it needs to be way better than your peers. That’s not church or food bank on a Friday. That’s like developing some new charitable initiative with real impacts yourself.

Do you realise what the cohort of even tier II programs like Sauder are like?

Also: do you understand how the GMAT is graded? Boosting 100 points from 550 to 650 might be possible. But that’s not the same as going from 650 to 750. In fact, its not even close. Hitting 95% starting in the 600s is insanity, IMO. But that’s just my opinion. I doubt even with 300 hours of studying I’d go from 720 to 750. Beyond 700 IMO is more inherent ability and raw power than test prep.

Listen, I’m not saying your life is over or you’re a failure. I’m not even saying you won’t get into an MBA program. Just that you can break into finance without the MBA, and your efforts are better spent trying to do so. Wealth management is sales. Get out and network. Demonstrate you can do that to a prospective hiring manager and you’ll be miles ahead of a teacher with a top MBA and no experience.

You seriously run the risk of being over qualified with those credentials and no experience. Which is why I think a good MBA program will likely reject your application (they need you to ve placed for there stats).

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

geo wrote:
^ I don’t think you’d struggle in a top MBA, they’re not hard, its not a test of intelligence. I think you’ll struggle to get in the door. Volunteer work to get in? That’s expected, along with a top GPA, managerial/professional experience and a demonstrated record of achievement. If you want volunteer work to offset your other attributes, it needs to be way better than your peers. That’s not church or food bank on a Friday. That’s like developing some new charitable initiative with real impacts yourself. Do you realise what the cohort of even tier II programs like Sauder are like? Also: do you understand how the GMAT is graded? Boosting 100 points from 550 to 650 might be possible. But that’s not the same as going from 650 to 750. In fact, its not even close. Hitting 95% starting in the 600s is insanity, IMO. But that’s just my opinion. I doubt even with 300 hours of studying I’d go from 720 to 750. Beyond 700 IMO is more inherent ability and raw power than test prep. Listen, I’m not saying your life is over or you’re a failure. I’m not even saying you won’t get into an MBA program. Just that you can break into finance without the MBA, and your efforts are better spent trying to do so. Wealth management is sales. Get out and network. Demonstrate you can do that to a prospective hiring manager and you’ll be miles ahead of a teacher with a top MBA and no experience. You seriously run the risk of being over qualified with those credentials and no experience. Which is why I think a good MBA program will likely reject your application (they need you to ve placed for there stats).

Like I said, I’m not set on wealth management, but it is certainly an area I’d be interested in. If an MBA isn’t necessary or helpful that’s a little reassuring, to be honest. Still…I love school (now) and I would love an MBA lol. I also do think I can make volunteer work a real strength. I’m chairman of the first new church plant in my synod in 20+ years, and I’m sure I will be doing a lot of outreach and charitable work with regards to that in the future. Also, I’ve been volunteering since I was 13 so I’ve got a good history of charitable work that I hope will show I’m not just ramping things up to look good on a resume.

Most places I’ve read have said that it’s reasonable to except a 70 to 100 point increase with a good amount of prep. How much did you increase yours from a dry run? Or did you not take any before you started prepping?

SpareTime, I’m going through the business school app process as we speak - looking to get in for R2.  I’m targeting only American schools in the M7+Tuck range so I know very little about Canadian schools.  

I’ve done a ton of research and, from what I’ve learned, schools are often willing to let one thing go, but not more than one.  What I mean by that, is that schools are willing to let a low GMAT slide provided the rest of your profile measures up, or a low GPA slide if you’ve got a high GMAT (unless you’re a wildly unique candidate that did some seriously impressive **** during your young adult life - that’s a different story).  That said, regardless of your situation, you have to craft a good story, describe how you’ve demonstrated leadership qualities, and make the adcoms believe that an MBA is the logical next step for you and then final missing piece to propel you to superstardom.  

There’s an optional essay available for you to use at your discretion on every application you’ll find.  It’s there that you’ll explain that you were an ******* kid in your first two years before you got your head on straight and buckled down in your final two years - as exhibited by your grades.  I’ll be using this very essay to explain a very unique life situation that helped to shape my own story.

As others here have noted, don’t underestimate the GMAT.  I went in expecting to study a little here and there and coast past the 700 barrier.  It didn’t happen that way.  While I wound up scoring above the median anywhere I want to go, it was not without serious effort.  My first practice test, cold (without studying), was a 600.  100+ point improvements ARE possible if you put in the work.  Success on the GMAT can be learned.  But like I said, it ain’t easy.

Also, don’t rely on the CFA program to do anything for you.  Generally, adcoms do not understand the rigor of the program or the value that some employers place on it.  It’ll be nice to sprinkle in on your app so one less field will be left blank, but don’t rely on it for much. 

...word is bond...

I just want to say that telling someone to go into plumbing because he was  lazy during his first years at school when that person has had other things happen to him is just damn right nasty for no reason.It just shows how much someone needs to make himself feel better although he has already had great success.

Now to the subject….I was wondering if a good GPA from a MSc program either good or average could help our friend improve his chances of getting admitted to a good b school.Given of course the fact one can complete another degree…Do they only look at your first program ‘s GPA for MBA admissions?

^ So you’re wondering if having two grad degrees and no professional experience will be a good thing? No, it won’t.

And why hate on plumbers. They make more than half the folks here. Disrespectful for tradesmen.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

SpareTime wrote:
My first year in engineering I did fine, but the second year I realized I hated it and stopped attending. At the time I was all proud of myself that I passed half my classes despite going to about 30-40% of my classes.

man, right here. this is a big red flag for character

look there’s no career that’s perfect in every way. and since you never had a real finance job, you really don’t know what it’s like either. What happens if you do finance and suddenly realize it’s not as awesome as you thought ? do you believe a top MBA program wants to be proud if you skimp by with passing half your classes and give it a half-azz attempt?

simply put, there are thousands of applications better than you in every way, so the top schools don’t even have to bother with trying to figure out if you will be “different” this time around.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

geo wrote:
^ So you’re wondering if having two grad degrees and no professional experience will be a good thing? No, it won’t. And why hate on plumbers. They make more than half the folks here. Disrespectful for tradesmen.

No,i meant building some decent work experience after the second degree.I didn’t mean applying right after the second one.I just meant doing exactly the same things only having a second much better GPA.

So what does a decent candidate to a good MBA program look like then? 

And does volunteer work really hold any sway? If employment history>everything else, then shouldn’t an ideal candidate not have any time for volunteer work…?

^ If you started some charitable or community endeavour that was really a big deal, that might hold weight as it shows initiative, leadership and achievement. You can also demonstrate that through work (the more common approach). But business schools want a diverse class so a few guys will get in based on community contribution.

What it seems like people don’t get is how competitive these things are. They think they’re similar to their undergrad cohorts. Its more like the top guy in your class, and that’s it. If that wasn’t you, then you’re a longshot.

My local MBA program is <10% the size of the undergrad program.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

Finance is one of the most competitive industries. Obviously there’s a soft underbelly that is massive–retail stuff, ops etc–but the top is absolutely cutthroat. For elite business schools, only a portion of the slots are earmarked for finance people. So to get into one of those few spots, you have to stand out among your peers in this insanely competitive field. If you don’t have stellar resume, you ain’t making the cut.

It’s as simply as that. You can call it nasty–it is. But that’s life. Pick a softer industry if you’re a baby, perhaps education. (Plumbing is actually hard, by the way.)

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

cgottuso8190 wrote:

SpareTime, I’m going through the business school app process as we speak - looking to get in for R2.  I’m targeting only American schools in the M7+Tuck range so I know very little about Canadian schools.  

I’ve done a ton of research and, from what I’ve learned, schools are often willing to let one thing go, but not more than one.  What I mean by that, is that schools are willing to let a low GMAT slide provided the rest of your profile measures up, or a low GPA slide if you’ve got a high GMAT (unless you’re a wildly unique candidate that did some seriously impressive **** during your young adult life - that’s a different story).  That said, regardless of your situation, you have to craft a good story, describe how you’ve demonstrated leadership qualities, and make the adcoms believe that an MBA is the logical next step for you and then final missing piece to propel you to superstardom.  

There’s an optional essay available for you to use at your discretion on every application you’ll find.  It’s there that you’ll explain that you were an ******* kid in your first two years before you got your head on straight and buckled down in your final two years - as exhibited by your grades.  I’ll be using this very essay to explain a very unique life situation that helped to shape my own story.

As others here have noted, don’t underestimate the GMAT.  I went in expecting to study a little here and there and coast past the 700 barrier.  It didn’t happen that way.  While I wound up scoring above the median anywhere I want to go, it was not without serious effort.  My first practice test, cold (without studying), was a 600.  100+ point improvements ARE possible if you put in the work.  Success on the GMAT can be learned.  But like I said, it ain’t easy.

Also, don’t rely on the CFA program to do anything for you.  Generally, adcoms do not understand the rigor of the program or the value that some employers place on it.  It’ll be nice to sprinkle in on your app so one less field will be left blank, but don’t rely on it for much. 

Thanks for the helpful advice. When anybody asks a question like this there will be nasty, unhelpful remarks, and nasty helpful remarks. Having a polite, helpful remark in there is definitely a bonus :) How long did you spend on the GMAT? Did you go to classes or did you do self study?

itera wrote:

SpareTime wrote:
My first year in engineering I did fine, but the second year I realized I hated it and stopped attending. At the time I was all proud of myself that I passed half my classes despite going to about 30-40% of my classes.

man, right here. this is a big red flag for character

look there’s no career that’s perfect in every way. and since you never had a real finance job, you really don’t know what it’s like either. What happens if you do finance and suddenly realize it’s not as awesome as you thought ? do you believe a top MBA program wants to be proud if you skimp by with passing half your classes and give it a half-azz attempt?

simply put, there are thousands of applications better than you in every way, so the top schools don’t even have to bother with trying to figure out if you will be “different” this time around.

You’re right, itera. I would never hire 19 year old me. But I’m not sure why you think I’m lying when I say I’ve undergone a fundamental shift in my character. There are several reasons for this (stabbing, depression, fatherdom, a bunch of other stuff you don’t care about and I shouldn’t have to explain to you), but you’ll have to believe me when I say I am not at all the 19 year old I used to be. And I don’t mean “oh I have a better understanding of hard work”. I mean, my personality and intrinsic drive would make me unrecognizable to my 8 years younger self. I understand quite clearly that it will be difficult to prove that I am not the lazy kid who dropped out of engineering, but that I am the ambitious and caring father who for the first time is truly challenging his intellect and will be a leader in business. You may think it’s BS, but pointing that out to me won’t change anything because I know that my story is true. Pointing out that admissions committees won’t believe me is relevant, but geo has made me quite aware of this challenge already.

I’m not looking for a dream job where everything is great. I’m looking for a job where I’m passionate about what I do and I am contributing meaningfully. I do the latter in teaching, but I’m not passionate about my job. Simply because I haven’t found my calling after one career path (engineering was never given a real shot) does not mean that I’m just being super fickle. It means I know I’m not fulfilling my true potential. When I signed up for the first level of the CFA, it was for purely entertainment purposes. Previously I had been reading my wife’s accounting and business textbooks in my spare time (hence the name), so I figured I would do something with a little more structure. I have never been impassioned about anything to do with education the way I am about finance. Maybe I’ll get a finance job someday and I’ll hate it and it’ll all be for nothing, and if that’s the way it is, so be it. I’ll go back to teaching and I will be a little smarter for the experience. But I’m certainly not going to stick around at a job I don’t like because I don’t fit your idea of the ideal MBA candidate.

H. P. Flashman wrote:

Finance is one of the most competitive industries. Obviously there’s a soft underbelly that is massive–retail stuff, ops etc–but the top is absolutely cutthroat. For elite business schools, only a portion of the slots are earmarked for finance people. So to get into one of those few spots, you have to stand out among your peers in this insanely competitive field. If you don’t have stellar resume, you ain’t making the cut.

It’s as simply as that. You can call it nasty–it is. But that’s life. Pick a softer industry if you’re a baby, perhaps education. (Plumbing is actually hard, by the way.)

I can assure you that while the college of education is easy, the actual job is not. Trust me on this one.

And how come I’m a baby all of the sudden? I’m not complaining that it’s too competitive…I’m trying to gain perspective and analyze my options. 

^ The baby comment was more directed at the guy who complained about us being nasty.

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

H. P. Flashman wrote:

^ The baby comment was more directed at the guy who complained about us being nasty.

Ah I see. To be fair, telling me to go into plumbing is completely unhelpful. The question was “do I have any shot at a top school” and the answer was “get out of finance”, which is a completely ridiculous way and bitter sounding way to answer somebody’s question. Finance may be tough, but if it’s so tough that nobody should even try then none of us should be here. Plus, that wasn’t what I was asking at all.

^ The answer to your question about whether or not you have a shot is no. Sorry.

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

H. P. Flashman wrote:

^ The answer to your question about whether or not you have a shot is no. Sorry.

Of course, that’s not actually true. As long as the admissions committee is made up of humans, anybody who meets the absolute requirements has a shot. But, your advice is that I should not try because the odds are so long it wouldn’t be worth the effort and fee of applying in the future. I appreciate the input :)

SpareTime wrote:

Would you, Quintus? Would I?

shera wrote:
Teach For America is a selective 2-year teaching program for recent college graduates. It’s considered quite prestigious and most of the participants are from Ivy League and other top tier schools. H. P. Flashman is saying that the only people getting into Harvard/Stanford/Wharton with education experience are from Teach For America.

TFA: a program for relatively smart college grads who don’t really know what they want to do with their lives and get sent to work in schools that lots of real teachers don’t want to work in. People who really want to be a teacher will just be a teacher. It’s not exactly the world toughest job to get, getting into a school district.