Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 458,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Bachelor low GPA issue

2-tier Application BACHELOR GRADES high school grades MASTER GRADES MBB
New answer on Jul 16, 2020
4 Answers
3.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 23, 2018

I have a great CV(I have international experiences, languages extracurricuar activities and a a great GPA for my Master studies) everything considered but my Bachelor final GPA (took in a fairly known hard uni).

I want to keep living aborad and planning to work outside my home country and EU. This country I want to work in is one of that countries where I have no contacts but given my profile and the recruiting that takes place, I can be definitely appreciated.

Now, everybody is putting emphasis on contact someone through Linkedin and so on. I am afraid people who are aware of what is a really good grade in my bachelor uni would not vauch for me, and maybe I am safer to apply through the normal application because I might stand out overall also by having a cover letter that explains why I want to work there.

I have been medium average good in my bachelor and in my high school grades, then I finally took a Master that I liked and was really good (but it is neither quantitave nor extremely difficult) would it make a negative impact overall in my application?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
replied on Sep 23, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Hard to really help without seeing what your resume actually looks like (and we can help you optimize said resume anyway). Having said that:

1. If you have solid pro experience + great Masters GPA, your undergrad GPA will be a little less important - especially if a long time ago. Note I said "a little less", not "completely irrelevant": we use formulas to decide who comes to an interview, and there's a place for undergrade GPA - but since there's also a place for Masters GPA, the undergrad GPA mathematically becomes less important

2. If your undergrad GPA is low due to hard grading standards, you can also mention that. Do you have a comparatively better ranking for example? Your question suggests this may not be the case, just thought I'd mention anyway

3. LinkedIn shouldn't be over-emphasized. Use it to find people that you could reach out to, but it is only 'a' tool, not 'the truth'. Focus on finding consultants who have a similar background to yours

4. Cover letter should absolutely explain your story a little bit, even if it probably won't be read (we had a good thread on this about a week ago)

5. Assuming for a second that you do not have the right profile for MBB for example. Don't forget to look at Tier 2 consultancies, who may be less demanding in terms of grades; don't forget also you can start in industry (or consulting) for a few years before trying again. All these options will help you minimize the emphasis placed on your grades

6. Last but not least - I had poor grades in my first degree (a master's degree, I literally had one of the lowest GPAs in my entire class), yet eventually found my way into BCG and have done mighty well since then (not bragging, just fact + showing how stup*d I was in my early 20s). Grades are just one metric we use to decide who gets in and who does not. Sometimes, people "wake up", like I did. Don't let a disappointing performance when you were 18-22 dictate your life for the next 40 years.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jul 16, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend you here to start networking and find referral to secure your interview invite. If you have some issues with that, drop me line that we can discuss the possible ways on how you can get referrals for your application.


Was this answer helpful?
replied on Sep 24, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


The person who is making a referral should not be necessarily from the office you are applying to. Why don't you just find such a person in your home country with whom you will have a good trust and connection?


Was this answer helpful?
replied on Sep 24, 2018
Collected McKinsey & BCG offers/ Ex-McKinsey consultant/Harvard/WBS/MSU

Hi A,

I agree with Guennael, grades are important.

It is worth mentionning that all MBB firms have referral programmes. This is a great shortcut for you. If you have friends or meet people from company, with whom you have a personal fit during the networking session, they can fasttrack you to PST.

All the best,


Was this answer helpful?
Guennael gave the best answer


Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
Q&A Upvotes
171 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!