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MBB too aspirational for a very LOW GPA? :(

Edited on Jul 15, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 22, 2019

Hi everyone! :)

If I were to apply for the MBB it'll be for Australia (I'm not sure if the competitiveness varies based on the location)... but I'm sitting on a VERY low WAM (70ish). I know it's crazy (absolutely bonkers) to think I have a chance with the MBB with these credentials but would love to solicit some feedback from you and get some closure... My current situation looks like this:

1. Low WAM (70s) at GO8- Business degree

2. Work Experience (in-house strategy experience with one of the big 4 banks, worked a year at PwC in Risk consulting)

3. ECs (Co-chair of societies, random volunteer stints, won a few innovation challenges)

I'm not sure if there's an automatic GPA cut-off (meaning I won't even get to the screening stage)?

I'll love to hear from you (1) Do I even have a chance? Is there an automatic GPA cut-off? (2) If there's absolutely no hope... Should I do a masters? (would this discount the Undergrad GPA if I apply for a BA role)? Or should I just go for an MBA and apply for an Associate position? (I've heard the Undegrad WAM won't play a huge role with Associate applications)...

Thank you so much! :)

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Content Creator
replied on May 23, 2019
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate


Agreed there is not an automatic cutoff, but low GPA doesn't help - the more "distanced" you are from it the less impact it will have (to Vlad's point, it is still looked at).

In my opinion, there's no harm in trying, but make sure you really highlight your other achievements.

Additionally, acquiring additional work experience and getting an MBA does increase your chances (not to mention, reduces focus on undergrad GPA). Also, getting an MBA generally puts you in the situation of being able to apply for a Consultant role over an Associate role, which is certainly a big jump.

I'm in the Australian office and can attest to better chances here due to high growth (though very high standards still apply, over course). Please feel free to reach out if you'd like more region-specific advice!



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replied on May 22, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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updated an answer on Jul 15, 2020
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Competitiveness does depend on office location to an extent, but MBB is MBB, and they have standards. I disagree w/ Anonymous2 that "GPA won't matter at all" if you are highly experienced. I was an experienced hire, 6 or 7 years out of MBA (15 years out of my first degree), and GPA was still looked at.

Do you have absolutely zero chances? No, I wouldn't go that far - but obviously, low GPA is not good. You'd need highly specific expertise / compelling trajectory / pretty amazing background to make up for that.

Note: MBB isn't the end all be all. Many amazing companies or work opportunities exist out there. Don't let their expectations define your path. Good luck

Edit 7/15/2020: One more thing: if you pursue and advanced degree and do well there (as in, really well with very solid GPA), that will absolutely take some of the sting away from your first degree's grades. It did for me. Good luck; I still say you may want to look at other options vs. just MBB tho


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Anonymous B replied on May 22, 2019


If you are not a fresh graduate GPA wouldn't matter at all. If you are; maybe better to work few years in different companies then apply...

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 15, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

In principle your profile sounds not too bad .. except GPA ;-)

Usually there is no clear cut-off .. you would probably also hire that Harvard alumni having built several start-ups while being engaged in social activites .. so GPA is just one metric, but it's the overall picture.

However, what might be an issue is a direct application without any referral. Even in case of referral they might question your GPA pre-interview, but as long as the recruiter gets a valid reason to make his check, it should be fine. So go for a referral, that's the only reasonable way for you to go!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Anonymous replied on Jul 15, 2020

Dear A,

1. Yes, it's automatically cut-off

2. I would recommend you to apply with referral

3. Agree with Vlad here



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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
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