Did I shoot myself in the foot?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by SamAca10, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    by majoring in engineering. I was able to check my class rank yesterday and I'm in the bottom quarter of my class. I know that if I was a non-engineer I'd have a much,much higher gpa and thus class rank. Since class rank affects billets, have I effectively shot myself in the foot?
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Engineers are also in the top 25%, so it's not all major. Here's the thing. You're in a small pond with a bunch of big fish. And you're a big fish.

    I don't think you shot yourself in the foot. I'm sure you've gone over how to put in wish list for units. I put in for east coast white hulls. The (then) two east coast 378's and a number of 210'. I didn't put in for black hulls. I didn't put in for 270's. The detailers got the hint.

    It's hit or miss in the end anyway. If you're going to a cutter some are great and some are miserable. Some are good now, and in a year will have a command change and be terrible. Put in for the jobs you want, give the detailers a clear understanding of what you want and you may get it.
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Check the billet list from last year, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see those 24 flight slots did not all go to the top 25%.

    BTW - 14 of the 24 flight slots went to engineers last year.

    14 - Engineering (8 ME, 3 CE, 3 NAME)
    4 - ORCA
    3 - MES
    2 - GOV
    1 - MGT
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It's probably fair to point out that flight billets aren't a measure for how well you did. My class's top two grads didn't want flight school. I can't remember how high the flight school billets went, but please don't think that's how the Coast Guard measures "success".
     
  5. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    That's true. And there were guys last year near the bottom of their class that ended up getting flight school. So there's still hope!

    I'm wayyyyy better at writing than doing math so I know I should have been a government major, but I think there's still some benefit in studying engineering as an undergrad since I can always get an MBA later. I just hope my undergrad GPA doesn't hurt grad school chances either
     
  6. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Your undergrad GPA will be relevant to grad school chances, but if you kick butt on your GMATs (grad school admissions test) that will help. Plus, business school is the grad school category that is most interested in your experience vs. just the academic credentials (think med school by contrast). Bottom line, a 5-year or more stint in the Coast Guard (which blows away the typical "spent 3 years as a junior consultant at Booz Allen or doing brand management for Colgate Palmolive"), along with a rigorous undergrad major, along with a strong performance on the GMAT, you should be competitive for some good business school destinations.

    [Addendum: As a current teacher, I am required by the "teacher rulebook" to also urge you to keep working on your grades -- you still have a few semesters to work on that final GPA, at least for grad school purposes, right?]

    Good luck.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    USCGA has a little line in their transcripts that aludes to the fact that gradautes may have lower GPAs than their counterparts at other schools, but they are generally very successful.

    My undergrad GPA was horrible (my grad school GPA was almost 2.0 higher).

    I had 4 years public affairs experience, some advanced public affairs training, and a role in a large oil spill response.

    A commander in my office stopped by my desk nearly every day to push me to apply to grad school. At the same time a CGA classmate told me I should apply for the post-9/11 GI Bill.

    I applied for the GI bill, and about a month later found out I had been approved.

    Eventually to quiet the commander I took a look at some of the DC-area public relations program. I found a course requirement page at GW that I found interesting. I had looked at Georgetown and American, and while both had PR master's programs, I like GW's the most.

    So I went all-in. I applied for a GRE-waiver, because I had more than 3 years experience. I was in frequent communication with the program director.

    Eventually, because of my low undergrad GPA I received a conditional acceptance, provided I maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher for my first 6 credits. I blew that out of the water.

    I also benefited from the fact that the program director's boss who approved GRE-waiver requests, was a West Point graduate and understood a service academy grad's slightly lower GPA.

    I finished the program the first week of December 2012, and this Thursday, Jan. 31, will FINALLY have my master's degree.

    YES, your undergrad GPA will follow you, at least until you have another GPA to stand on. I was sure that not only would I not receive a GRE-waiver, but I would also not get in. If you have relevant experience, your persistant, get great recommendations, and show you will succeed, you can go a long way to overcome that poor CGA GPA. I can almost promise you that your GPA is higher than my CGA GPA.

    That undergrad GPA never kept me from doing well in my master's program. Eventually I was recruited by one of my professors for my current job.

    On my last day in the classroom, during the final day of our capstone project presenations, the program director came to me and said "LITS, we took a chance on you, and you never let me down." It was nice to hear. No everyone will take a chance on you, especially with the pathetic undergrad GPA I pulled, but if they do, don't let 'em down.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I was in the same boat as LITS... my undergrad GPA was not steller. I was given a conditional acceptance and once I completed by first two classes that part was dropped. I was around the 2.6 or so range at USNA and graduated around the 3.8 range for Masters. You will be fine and well prepared for any Masters program as long as you put in the work and time.
     
  9. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    Flight school is still available for a few years after you graduate. I had a classmate get selected in November after graduation because he worked his tail off over the first 6 months. He actually started his flight training before a few people who were selected as cadets.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You will have 1.5 years to improve your GPA. In a way, I was in a similiar situatoin as you were, picking a wrong major for me. By time I realized I made a mistake, I couldn't change my major and grades I received already. However, I took an easy summer class (instead of taking more time off) and buckled down during my senior year (instead of taking full advantage of my senior privileges) and able to graduate with 3.0 GPA.

    It might sound funny but when I was job searching (2000) it seems like my classmates with engineering degrees were sought after.
     

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