A low GPA score is a very difficult thing to deal with during MBA applications. However, Lavin managed to get into a top US business school, Simon, with a low GPA.
Here’s his story.
Lavin’s essay, though needed improvement, had some good points. He had identified some of his current handicaps very well. His short-term goal was to get into the investment function. Along with his current handicaps, Lavin also needed to create a seamless link between his past, and his short-term goal, via an MBA.
Lavin needed to detail a few things in this equation:
Past (AHA moments) + MBA (Current handicaps) = Short-term and long-term goals
Past: The AHA moments are moments from the past year or two that have made the applicant identify the need to do an MBA. These are moments that have motivated the applicant to work towards their short-term and long-term goals.
MBA: The current handicaps are the gaps or the absence of the skills required for the applicant to function smoothly in their short-term or long-term goals. A good goal story would have the applicant detail how an MBA would help them overcome their current handicaps and acquire the said skills.
Another thing that Lavin’s goals story brought forth was the MBA applicants’ tendency to just name a quality of theirs rather than explaining it. For example, if you are a great poet, won’t you convey that through a poem rather than just saying “I’m a great poet”?
That is exactly what Lavin required to do.
Lavin needed to take responsibility for his failure essay. Not that he was intentionally trying to run away from it. The tone of his essay portrayed him as a victim of the situation, whereas he wasn’t trying to do so.
Business school admissions committee members don’t expect you to be perfect. In fact, they probably won’t trust your profile if you made it perfect. What these admissions committee members look for, is an applicant that isn’t scared of accepting their mistake and is willing to take it as a lesson. That shows real growth.
Lavin had a low GPA, as you can tell from the title, and his essays sounded like he had no idea why his GPA was low. As if someone had magically changed his grades. When we pointed this out, Lavin truly understood our point and made the necessary changes.
We were elated when we found out that Lavin got accepted to Rochester’s Simon.