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prairie_canuck

Bad grades in first 3 years?

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I spent some soul crushing years in a business degree or bachelor of commerce as its known in Canada. The idea was to do something "useful" and start working a 9-5. However, my problem is that if I'm not interested then I can't do it. So, despite trying really hard to motivate myself I'd look at the text book and then zone out, I could not get through. I got low 60s for the most part, an occasional 70. It wasn't because the program was difficult, but it was fluff other than Accounting of course, which didn't interest me.

 

So, after realizing this isn't going anywhere and will only get worse I've decided to switch programs to Political Science in 4th year (I know) because while surfing the web I came across schools which produced foreign service officers (or civil servant in that capacity) for Canada I came across programs like NPSIA giving me the idea there is something I can do with Pol-Sci other than just academia and that I can make a living off something I truly enjoy.

 

Now for the first time I look forward to school, library on Sunday mornings, volunteer work, I'm in the process of starting an NGO with friends and mentally I'm in a good place. My goal now is to get in to IR programs like NPSIA or MUNK. Also I'll apply to MPA programs.

 

Firstly, thanks for taking the time out and reading the above, now my question to you folks is that since, I can't erase the past. how bad is it even if I meet the criteria of the average required for these grad programs?

 

Secondly, is it a good idea to explain my bad grades in my statement as: I was doing something I didn't want, finally I started doing what I enjoyed and look at me now?

 

 

Edited by prairie_canuck

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I like this statement more:

I didn't perform up to my potential during my first three years, but when I matured a bit, figured out what I actually enjoyed studying, I excelled. 

The wording is important, because you don't want to sound like you are making excuses for your bad grades. Everyone takes classes they aren't interested in. EVERYONE. Everyone with a 3.5+ GPA got good grades in classes they were bored out of their mind. You need to recognize that. 

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10 minutes ago, GeoDUDE! said:

I like this statement more:

I didn't perform up to my potential during my first three years, but when I matured a bit, figured out what I actually enjoyed studying, I excelled. 

The wording is important, because you don't want to sound like you are making excuses for your bad grades. Everyone takes classes they aren't interested in. EVERYONE. Everyone with a 3.5+ GPA got good grades in classes they were bored out of their mind. You need to recognize that. 

Thanks for your input and that's a great point, I didn't think of it.

 

However, I did think of the maturity angle, but then how would I explain changing programs? As Liberal Arts is viewed as an easier degree to a Commerce one at least in Canada.

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Try to think of an excuse that was not in your control. Remember that growth is more important so show growth by using a challenging moment to show how you have changed, how its made you better and most importantly, how it makes you just right for the program you are applying for.

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On 2/7/2016 at 4:11 PM, prairie_canuck said:

So, after realizing this isn't going anywhere and will only get worse I've decided to switch programs to Political Science in 4th year (I know) because while surfing the web I came across schools which produced foreign service officers (or civil servant in that capacity) for Canada I came across programs like NPSIA giving me the idea there is something I can do with Pol-Sci other than just academia and that I can make a living off something I truly enjoy.

 

Now for the first time I look forward to school, library on Sunday mornings, volunteer work, I'm in the process of starting an NGO with friends and mentally I'm in a good place. My goal now is to get in to IR programs like NPSIA or MUNK. Also I'll apply to MPA programs.

 

Just say this more concisely. If you are interested in grad school, do a year or two of work for a NGO, advocacy organization, or some sort of foreign program. I don't know what is available in Canada, but something similar to the US Peace Corps. Showing initiative and motivation are important. You weren't motivated because the topic had no meaning, now you found something motivating and you are excelling. Real world experience is important and can help with cushioning bad grades. 

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