Law School Discussion

GPA addendum

GPA addendum
« on: October 12, 2009, 03:16:40 PM »
Oct. 15 update:
I gave all your suggestions some thought, added some new content, and made a new addendum. If there is new feedback, please do share! Thanks all for your help.

- Computer Engineering, GPAs: 2.57, 2.45, 2.21, 3.90 --> cGPA 2.76

GPA Addendum
    When I first entered university, my academic performance differed sharply from my expectations. I attribute this partly to the attitude that I had brought along from my high school days. Back in high school, I was relatively advantaged, often attaining desirable grades with comparatively little studying. This attitude was immature, and while it may have worked in high school, it certainly did not for university. My scores plummeted. The traumatizing effect of this downfall was especially felt for someone who previously had an unblemished academic record.

    I made attempts to recover from this fall, but they were ultimately not very successful. For one, I upgraded the compulsory computer introduction courses into advanced ones because I wanted to push myself harder. The brave endeavour turned disastrous when I was putting in most of my efforts towards passing the advanced courses, leaving me little time for other courses.

    Another course that significantly impacted my other courses was the yearlong design project course. A group of 3 members were tasked with the responsibility of creating an electromechanical robot for packing eggs. Without being too specific, I found myself working on many things outside my responsibilities. I was very excited about the project and did not mind completing some of my teammates' tasks, but this inevitably cut deeply into the time I had for other work.

    The first, important change came after third year when I enrolled in the engineering co-op program. Working in IBM, I was given a fresh start to prove myself. I worked hard and ultimately made good friends, satisfied colleagues, and improved the team’s operations even after my departure. The reference letter from my IBM mentor—XXXXXX—describes some of my experiences at IBM.

    The internship was a transformative experience that restored my motivation and confidence. I brought these qualities back to school when I went back for my fourth and final year. Working hard paid off, and my grades went up substantially. I wish I had encountered such a maturing experience earlier, but I am grateful that at least it occurred early enough to give me a chance for proving myself in the final year.


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Re: GPA addendum - please review & give input
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 04:34:40 PM »
I know nothing about what makes an addendum effective, but phrases like "a very dark episode of my life unfolded before me" and "without the lurking shadow of yesteryear" strike me as rather storybookish.  It's also rather vague.  Was this "dark episode" a brush with death, an illness, the loss of a loved one, or just smoking weed and eating Cheetos when you should have been doing homework?

Also, wouldn't it be working at IBM?

Re: GPA addendum - please review & give input
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 07:16:09 PM »
oh yes, thanks for that correction. I did find the tone quite storybookish, as you mentioned. I thought I would try to make the mood a little different to take a bit of attention away from the poor GPAs  ;D

Re: GPA addendum - please take a look!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 08:28:35 PM »
I also know nothing about what makes an effective GPA addendum.  I wish I do because I will be writing one of my own.  Your goal of diverting attention from your poor GPA's, however, seems misguided.  The addendum should be the place where you tackle the GPAs head on.  Man (or woman) up and say what the deal is in crystal clear terms. 

Re: GPA addendum
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 08:27:22 PM »
I gave all your suggestions some thought, added some new content, and made a new addendum. If there is new feedback, please do share! Thanks all for your support.

Re: GPA addendum
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 07:49:47 PM »
I kind of have a question about this as well. GPA: 2.3, 3.2, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 2.75 (semester abroad). So, there is a clear upward trend. Because, like everyone, I was super smart in high school and never had to do *&^%, then college kicked my ass. But, how do I explain the bad semester abroad? I could say, i need time to adjust to change, but, that could look bad, like it'll take me time to adjust to law school. Or i can say, I didn't care, since i was abroad, but, then... I don't care.

Also, my school doesn't do +/-, and I get a lot of B+'s, which I believe are a 3.5 GPA? But a b is a 3.0. But does adding this in just seem like I"m blaming everyone but myself?