- 710 GMAT
- 3.17 GPA
- Undergraduate degree in marketing from Notre Dame
- Work experience includes four years at a Fortune 50 retail company leading a team and managing a $275 million global sourcing strategy
- Extracurricular involvement as an officer in an undergraduate women in business council and currently an e-mentor to a 6th grader, volunteer coordinator for sickle cell research charity and volunteer coordinator for alumni
- “I am on the fence about taking the GMAT again/waiting one more year to apply so I would LOVE any advice you had to share. I know my GPA is low, but not sure if retaking the GMAT would offset that or confirm my laziness during my first year in college”
- 26-year-old white female
Odds of Success:
Harvard: 10% to 20%
Chicago: 30% to 40%
Northwestern: 30% to 40%
Sandy’s Analysis: You are a long shot for HBS because of low GPA (3.17) and lack of any other compelling issue sucking you in, viz. minority status, adversity story, etc. 710 GMAT is OK for HBS and quite frankly I don’t think your outcome at HBS would change if you took it again and got a 730.
HOWEVER, a 730 GMAT could make a difference at your other schools especially at Wharton, Kellogg, and Booth, where you are a plausible but “on the bubble applicant.” You might also think about developing an alternative transcript, just to show your bona fides. At Wharton you are a bit of a reach, and retail global sourcing is not in their core interests, so this could be hard there. They won’t pay super attention to your better-than-average extracurriculars, but those could buy you some plus points at Kellogg and Booth, which are more alert to that.
Some of your decision about retaking GMAT and/or taking courses over the summer, could turn on what courses you screwed up during your bad first year at Notre Dame, and what courses you took when your grades got better. Marketing is not known as a tough major, and schools would be more interested in how you did in any ‘quant’ based courses like Micro/Macro Econ., stats, calculus, etc. If your work involves any quant elements, highlight that on your app. Another issue is what was your split on the GMAT? If your Quant score was below 70 percent, I would seriously think about retaking.