SBC Scoop: The No Quant Applicant

Our client, Jackie, had a lot to offer business school, and in fact, any community that she joined.  She had a true track record of success and made a positive impact on others and on organizations. 

As an undergraduate, Jackie attended a top 20 school and majored in American Civilization.  She earned a 3.5 GPA, and really enjoyed the academic experience.  When she graduated, she joined a small arts non-profit in San Francisco, CA.  Because it was a very small organization, Jackie wore many hats.   She helped develop art guides of major cities, organized lectures, led grass roots marketing efforts, developed and managed strategic relationships and much more.  In her personal time, she was very involved with improving arts programs in local public elementary schools, and volunteered many hours per week.

After three years, Jackie felt that it was time to move on, and decided that business school would be a good catalyst for whatever was next (and she was admittedly a bit unclear).

She studied for and took the GMAT and after two attempts, proceeded with a 640.  Despite a score that was below average for her target schools, she decided to apply to four top tier business schools:  UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Stanford and Wharton.

In developing Jackie’s application, we brainstormed short and long term career goals and she was able to clearly articulate an interesting career path that made a lot of sense for business school.  She also highlighted her involvements effectively and overall, submitted a very strong application. 

 However, she knew that a major hole in her candidacy was proof of quantitative abilities.  She had almost no quant courses on her academic transcript, minimal quant exposure in her job, and her GMAT score was below average in both quant and verbal.  Jackie knew that schools might question her ability to navigate a rigorous quantitative courseload, and did highlight plans to take a quantitative class in the near future.

When the results came in, our concerns proved to be well founded.  Jackie was denied at Anderson and Haas.  She was placed on the waitlist at Stanford and was eventually denied admission there as well.  Wharton gave her a “conditional” acceptance.  She could attend as long as she took a Calculus course and received a B+ or higher.

This was good news that unfortuantely held a bit of uncertainty and anxiety.  Ultimately, however, Jackie earned an A in the class, fulfilled her requirement and went off to Wharton.  Whew!

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

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