Supplement low Ivy League GPA

pancakez

New Member
Hey everyone,

I graduated a term late from an ivy league school with a 2.98 GPA in Computer Science almost exactly a year ago. I'm from Sweden originally and struggled with depression, particularly the first year, and never took school very seriously after that because after starting my college career with a <2.0 GPA, I never really felt like it was worth it to even try to get it up again. I have since realized what a dumb mindset that was.

Anyways, towards the end of college I sharpened up a little bit, and managed to get a job as a SWE at Facebook/Google upon graduation, and have since become a much more motivated and driven individual.

I love learning, even if I didn't take my studies very seriously in college, and would like to potentially return to school for a masters in the future. I have a few questions

1. Is there any way to supplement my weak undergrad GPA, to show that I now take my studies and work seriously, with preparatory math/quantitative courses? I've seen people mention prep courses like this, what exactly are they?
2. Would I be a stronger candidate if I worked for a hedge fund/prop shop? I have interviews with Citadel and AQR lined up in the future (as a Software engineer/quant dev), would this make my application significantly stronger than just having worked at a tech company?
3. If all went well, i.e. I get great test scores and get a quantitative job at somewhere like Citadel/2S/AQR/Akuna, etc. for 1-2 years, would I ever have a chance at all at a top MFE program like Columbia? What about somewhere like NYU? Or will my undergrad GPA disqualify me from top programs?

I appreciate any input, as I know very little about this whole process! Thanks everyone :)
 

Michsund

Active Member
C++ Student
if you get a good software engineer/quant dev job at one of those places i'm not sure why you'd want to go back to school (unless it's to transition from dev into research)
Was gonna day the same thing, get a job at a top hedge fund if it’s possible already and then maybe pick up a part time ms in stats and switch over to a quant role with that. Your company will probably help pay for the degree to.
 

pancakez

New Member
if you get a good software engineer/quant dev job at one of those places i'm not sure why you'd want to go back to school (unless it's to transition from dev into research)
That is a good point. I guess I'm not sure exactly what I want to transition to later, but I probably don't want to do pure research.
 

MauroMeneses

New Member
3.02 gpa here
3 things to make up your low gpa
1. Excellent GRE
2. Relevant work experience, doing something interesting in it.
3. Leadership qualities, showing you're self driven but not selfish, showing you'll provide a unique value to the program.

Many programs have a floor of 3.0 gpa you may check or ask before applying.
 
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