Do Grades Matter?
This question comes up a lot in normal everyday Kellogg student life. The answer, time-tested by generations of Kellogg MBA students (I’ve asked alumni as far as 15 years back), is no.
Actually, the answer is “it depends” – this is probably the answer to any question you are asked in class. Try it the next time you are cold called, seriously!
So, to explain this is more detail, grades do not matter unless you are looking to go into consulting or finance. Even then, they may not really. For example, a friend of mine got a finance internship after getting a 2.8 GPA his first quarter. Students were told a story (by Kellogg staff) of a recent student who received a great consulting offer despite a 1.8 GPA. (I am not even sure how a 1.8 is possible, as it is generally accepted – again, time tested – that you will not fail a class. After all, this isn’t a public undergraduate university!) I got a B over the summer in Marketing Management – it was humbling, but I have no regrets as it was likely the best class I have ever taken.
It is rare that you will be asked your grades, and even if you do, you can explain it away (I would assume) with a good reason. The time at Kellogg is a balance of social networking, career preparation, and academic needs, and while related to each other, these activities can also be mutually exclusive. Thus, as long as you use your time according to what’s most important to you, you will be just fine. If grades matter to you as a measurement of your performance relative to your peers, then yes, grades do matter.