Example of Application Strategy – Canadian Programs

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Here is an example of strategy for an application with two major weak areas – high age and extremely low GPA. GMAT was above the median, but not too high.

(Note: Admission policies of schools and guidelines for standardized tests can change. Refer to their website for the most updated information.)




2.0/ 4.0 in Economics from a middle-tier U.S. university


South Korean

Focus geography

Canada because of faster and better odds of immigration

Pre-MBA industry

Engineering & Construction

Pre-MBA function

Business Development and General Management

Challenges and strategy

The applicant’s age (33) and GPA were big hurdles. Remember, a 30+ age can bring your odds down significantly mainly on account of perceived employment risk. You may read more on this here.

The applicant was focused on Canadian schools, but his extremely low GPA ruled him out of Rotman. To mitigate his outlier age, we made his leadership experiences the bedrock of his application, delving into key business insights he gained especially in more recent years. We also focused on his transferable skills to his post-MBA career goals to mitigate ‘employment risk’ and explained – to the extent possible – the circumstances that led to his below-par GPA.


Desautels (McGill) with $ 42,000 fellowship and Schulich School of Business

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