31-year-old LGBTQ Indian-American Woman with 2.58 GPA Accepted to Georgetown and UT Austin MBA programs
Charanya studied Psychology and Economics at the University of Tennessee. During her time there, she dealt with some personal struggles that ultimately led her to graduate with a 2.58 GPA. After school, Charanya began her career in finance, working at places like Bank of America, KPMG, and Deloitte.
Charanya started thinking about attending graduate school when she was 27, but she didn’t feel ready to make the most of an MBA program at the time. After coming across a Facebook ad a few years later about The Art of Applying®, she scheduled a Breakthrough Call. Charanya decided to join the Application Accelerator® in October 2019.
As a 31-year-old, LGBTQ, Indian-American woman with a low GPA, Charanya was concerned that she wasn’t a cookie-cutter MBA applicant. Charanya was confident that The Art of Applying® would be a good fit for her once she learned more about our approach and experience working with wildcard applicants. “Your level of honesty about the fact that I was going to be a wild card…was really refreshing. And, I think that was a level of honesty that I needed at the outset to set very realistic expectations of myself going in,” Charanya shared with us.
Now Charanya has a lot to celebrate. She has been accepted to MBA programs at Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin. Charanya was also waitlisted at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
For any applicants who are concerned that they may not be the “ideal” candidate, Charanya has these words of wisdom: “The things that they think will hold them back are not necessarily that big of a deal. And, you can have multiple deal breakers and still get into great schools, great top 20, top 25, or even top 10 schools.”
Even with her impressive acceptances, Charanya has made the decision to work with us for a second time. Her plan is to raise her GRE score and re-apply this fall in the hopes of getting more scholarship funding.
Charanya said, “I’m happy to be working with you guys a second time around… I would recommend you guys to anybody I know!”
Start Date: October 2019 | End Date: TBD
- Age: 31
- GPA: 2.58
- GRE: 317
- Work experience: 8 years in finance and strategy consulting
- School: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Major: Psychology and Economics
- Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
- University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
- University of Michigan Ross School of Business – waitlisted
Why she chose to work with The Art of Applying®:
“I felt like I was in the ‘wounded warrior’ category and that The Art of Applying® [had] a lot of experience working with profiles like mine. Another thing that really resonated for me was I wanted to work with a woman-owned business and minority-owned business, and somebody who had had years of experience working with other minorities and other profiles like mine.”
Charanya’s advice to other LGBTQ applicants thinking about what they can contribute to their graduate programs:
“I did not come out until 2014. I’ve spent a fair amount of my life, you know, with the knowledge that I was not fitting in a certain box or a bucket. I also felt that because I grew up in the South, that maybe whatever graduate school I chose would not respect my identity. [Now] I think that’s absolutely untrue. There are places, wherever you go, grad school or not, that are going to take you for who you are and accept you for who you are…Your identity and who you are, what you bring to the table, is a strength. You are honestly making any business school or whatever graduate program you’re in better.”
Charanya’s advice for applicants who may be worried that they’re not the right age for an MBA program:
“I applied this year because I felt that I was in a good place financially. I was in a great place emotionally and mentally. I felt that I had the maturity to apply and take on, you know, what business school is. But if I had gone a few years ago I would not have been able to hack it…Age is not an indicator of how successful you might be at business school. You might think that it puts you at a disadvantage, but it really doesn’t.
If you feel that you are ready to go to B-school at 25, great. If you feel that you’re ready at 30, wonderful. If you feel ready at 40, sure. If that is where you are at that point in time, and you are ready to make that leap for business school or any other graduate program, then I encourage you to try it.”
What Charanya would say to applicants who may be scared to make the leap:
“We have a very finite number of years, all of us, on this earth and you don’t want to have any regrets about not trying. And, I think that’s what really encompasses this whole program. [It] is taking a leap of faith on yourself and letting others also believe in you. Sometimes believing in you more than you can believe yourself.”