Which GPAs matter?

I have one more semester at ND (tears). I’m on track to graduate with two degrees: one in Accountancy from the Mendoza College of Business, and another in Film/Television/Theatre with a focus in Television from the College of Arts & Letters. I will also graduate with all the requirements to take the CPA exam. People usually take a 5th year to fulfill these requirements with an MSA program or something. I’ve done it all in 4. So I’ll say I’m pretty proud of myself.

I have a job. I’ve had this job kinda set up since the summer after sophomore year. There was a KPMG sophomore leadership program which was really a glorified 2-day interview with free food and networking. They say that if you get into the sophomore leadership program in any of the Big 4 public accounting firms, there’s a good chance you get the internship offer. I did. Once you get the internship offer in one of the Big 4 public accounting firms, the full-time offer is yours to lose. There were about 20 interns in my department of the internship program – Deal Advisory. No surprise, we all were offered full-time positions.

So I have a job. My grades don’t matter much now, do they?

Well, they do to me. I like, no, love learning. For goodness’s sake, my ultimate goal is to become a professor. I’m not about to blow any classes off. However, if I’ve really learned from the class, but I don’t have the best grade. It’s ok. It’s taken me a long time and I lot of support and love to get to that mental point. I had/have what’s called “A-student syndrome” in my house. I can’t even begin to tell you how I’ve mentally damaged myself throughout college because I put crushing pressure on myself to have near-perfect grades. I sucked myself into horrible, spiraling, depressive episodes when I didn’t do “my best.” To me, “my best” was getting the highest grade possible as if I had unlimited time and no other priorities at all. It took me a long time to accept that having other priorities was a good thing. So trust me, I’m no slacker.

While in school, I’ve been heavily involved in PFresh (fundraising commissioner, show commissioner, secretary, vice president (acting president), president) and Scholastic magazine (assistant design editor, managing design editor 2 years). I’ve been a part of a couple other clubs. I’ve had 6 jobs: LaFortune Student Center Event Assistant, Debartolo Performing Arts Center Ticket Office Attendant (4 years), Research Assistant (1 semester), Transcriber (2 semesters, I think), Scholastic magazine (they paid me 3/4 years), and Washington Hall Student Manager (3.5 years).

The Notre Dame student homepage sets us up with a site that allows us to track how we’re fulfilling our graduation requirements. Only this year, I realized it breaks up your GPA by sections. It should be noted that I don’t expect these GPAs to change too much in my last semester. Without further ado, I’ll explain what each of these subsets are, and how I feel about my grade point averages.

(A little more ado) Note: Individual classes have been described in an early blog post if you have more questions

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Ah, the University Requirements. These are the classes all Notre Dame students must take in order to graduate with a Notre Dame degree. This was my favorite part about Notre Dame – being allowed/encouraged (forced) to take a variety of classes outside your major (not sarcastic – actually loved it). Many people knocked these “out of the way” in their first couple years, but I preferred to spread them out and enjoy them along the way. These weren’t just blanket “everyone takes the same curriculum” classes, though. My first philosophy was totally different from a friend’s first philosophy. I emailed professors to get into Fashion History to fulfill my history requirement. I’m taking Theology of Marriage next semester. There are several classes offered that fulfill these main requirements.

I’m pretty darn happy with a 3.792 – though it’s so close to a 3.8, I’m hoping to get an A in my 2nd theology and bump it up. As I understand it, at Notre Dame, it is impossible to get above a 4.0. If you get all As, you get a 4.0. I’m not totally sure about A+s, though.

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When you’re a double major at Notre Dame, and one of your majors is in business, your primary college must be the Mendoza College of Business. (My freshman year advisor didn’t tell me did NOT have to complete the requirements for the college of arts & letters too, so I took Spanish II for no reason, so I’m kind of bitter (but not too bitter, because that class was super fun after the first month and I learned a lot)) These classes were pretty interesting. Some of them were terrible (see earlier post on individual classes). My favorite was Stats. I got a 98% on a Managerial Economics exam and actually applied calc, which was cool. Process Analytics was cool. Business law was awesome – that one could have actually been my favorite. Marketing was pure torture. Ok, moving on…

I’m pretty darn happy with my 3.454. These were some hard classes and over half of them weren’t applicable to my future job. I appreciated getting a breadth of knowledge about business, though. Way to go, Mendoza.

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I’m not good at accounting. You can see this is true by my blaring 2.933. I don’t expect to do well in Tax. That could be my first C of college. That would be ok with me. My favorite classes were Audit (believe it or not (no math!!! I hate math!)) and Decision Processes in Accounting (we got to use excel to catch fraudsters and the professor had an adorable family of 9 who loved Little House on the Prairie). I freakin’ hated Strategic Cost Management. Yeah, I’m excited to be done with school accounting.

I don’t care about my accounting GPA. My employers don’t care. I don’t care. Mom doesn’t care. It’s all good. By the way, “the Mendoza curve” is a hated thing in college of business. Every class must have a class GPA between 3.1 and 3.4 or something like that. The professors usually curve it up as high as they can, but new professors can’t curve it up as high. Mendoza has been Bloomberg’s #1 business school for a while (though I heard that’s decided by a vote where a bunch of alums influence the results). Either way, Mendoza does this to keep its business school competitive – and screw us over. They do it to screw us over.

Not gonna lie, though. I am excited to start Deal Advisory. I never thought I’d be a consultant. That’s what I’ll be – the only section of KPMG consulting that requires you to have a CPA. Also, I’m not allowed to talk about my work because some of it is highly classified – mergers & acquisitions, you know. I’m ready to get out of school accounting and into real-world accounting for a little while. It’s got a lot to offer a young career woman.

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Now this is what I care about. This is my pride and joy. This 4.0 is what I care about. These 8 As are what I spent my time and energy and love on. This is the GPA that will matter when I apply to grad school communications/media/television MA/PhD programs. I love this major. I love it. I love it. I love it. I’ve learned so  much. My favorite class had to be Media Industries, with Disney being a close second. Sinatra was an accident but ended up amazing. History of Television is surprisingly applicable in my life. I really, truly loved my ONE production class – creating an animated short film in Makin’ Em Move. I’ve loved the whole experience and I look forward to continuing to love it.

There’s no specific curve in FTT classes. I used to think everyone just got As. This semester, I learned there are people who really don’t get As. Those people are called athletes.

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These are my electives. Notice that most of these are requirements for my second major – so they act as electives for my accounting major. I think. I don’t really understand the elective requirements because I meet them for other reasons.

  • My real electives are
    • Intermediate Spanish II – thought I had to take it for my college of arts & letters requirement because my freshman advisor led me to think I had to
    • Business Law: property & Negotiable instruments – taking it next semester to satisfy CPA requirements
    • Accounting for Not-for-Profit Org – CPA
    • Conflict Management – CPA
    • Spirituality of Work – CPA

IP means “in progress” which means I’ll take them this next semester

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