Does a low GPA mean I'm ruined after college?

How often do employers ask for transcripts? I started off bad and I feel like it will really hurt me.

I am a senior who has just started for applying for internships and jobs, I have 2 years of research experience and 1 year company internship in the field of biotechnology. Any useful tips or websites I should use?

Thank you



Just my opinion, but a company you would want to work for is not hiring based on GPA. The GPA does not expose the traits of potential, initiative, creativity, attitude, teamwork, adaptability, quality orientation, tenacity and others. As stated by others, first thing is to get the interview. Next, make sure during the interview you are able to express through some actual actions that demonstrate the behavioral competencies shown. No surprise, not everybody in a great job has a great GPA. But, everybody in a great job has demonstrated the behavioral competencies, and many others, shared. When hiring people new to an entry level position, I always felt attitude, teamwork and adaptability was a must. These can't easily be trained and are a foundation to express the other behavioral competencies and potential for high performance. You have some great advice from the others in this post. Good luck. HAVE FUN.

As a former research scientist who is now working in the Quality Dept. of a major biotech company, I'm glad to know that you're applying for internships and jobs. There are plenty of opportunities in Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Clinical, and Manufacturing besides Research and Development (R&D). You should highlight your 2 years of research experience (provide details/accomplishments) and 1 year company internship in the field of biotechnology (what did you do and learn and why you would like to establish your career in biotech) in your cover letter and resume.

Don't worry about your GPA, your first goal in getting a job is to focus on getting an interview. Next, you need to prepare for a phone interview. Prepare a 1 minute introduction of yourself to get people's attention and maintain an interest in what you can offer the hiring company. You'll get a site interview if you've the competence and meet the requirements for the position and appear to have the right chemistry/good fit with the people and culture of the company. One biggest problem I see with many applicants - lack of interest/preparation/understanding about the history of the company and products; knowledge of US FDA regulatory requirements defined in 21 CFR 210 and 211 for drug product and other regulations for biologics/ medical devices(see www.fda.gov). No hiring manager will be interested in a lazy, not motivated, not interested in anything, no initiative, narrow minded, negative, no self-confident or over confident, etc. applicant.

I would recommend contacting RealStaffing or other major hiring companies for temporary/contract jobs, besides Monsters, LinkedIn, and if you don't know, try BioSpace website. Visit the career page of companies that are hiring: e.g., Gilead, Genentech, Stryker, Abbott, and too many biotech/medical devices/pharmaceutical companies in California.

Remember, hiring mangers in the biotech world are looking for people who have potential: productive people who can think critically and work diligently and not someone who has a 4.5 GPA but cannot work with people. Don't feel disappointed - you just need more practice and research on your resume and interview skills if you do not hear from hundreds of companies that you're applying. Good luck .

Thanks for the reply. This is really helpful. One thing I've read is to not include your GPA on your resume. What do you think about that? Is it better to put my GPA down to be transparent or keep it hidden and hope it doesn't come up?

Here is the link to the BioSpace website. It has other resources to help with your career planning
http://www.biospace.com/jobs/search-results.aspx/.

This will depend on the application forms that you'll have to complete either online or once you've a successful interview with the hiring mangers. I would not recommend including too much information, including GPA on your resume even if you've an outstanding grade. Your resume is an introduction of yourself to hiring consultants or managers. As I indicated earlier, your goal is to get their attention to schedule an interview. Most experienced hiring manager will take the time to listen to what you can do for the company based on your communication and social skills. Focus on your undergraduate research if you do not have any relevant work experience and show your diverse interests during your interviews with representatives from Quality Control, R&D, Production, Human Resources, and potential colleagues within the hiring department. Remember, be honest and natural with everyone your meet and convince them that you competence and interests in the position that you are applying. You know they're bored if they ask for your GPA. Finally, dress properly and present yourself as an interesting and positive applicant that the interview team will remember. Good luck.!

I've was never asked for my transcript. I went through a tough breakup my second year of college and let a semester go by the wayside, significantly bringing down my overall GPA. But my grades never stood in the way of acquiring awesome internship positions and ultimately my first role as a PR Account Coordinator at a top marketing and advertising agency. I remember being very concerned about my transcript when I was invited in for a first interview, but ultimately it never came up.

After college, the big focus is on-the-job experience. Were you successful in your year-long internship? Did you build relationships with people who would be willing to speak to your skills? That's what's most important IMO. You might need a few successful internships to ultimately break into an entry-level position in biotech (internship experience required varies from field to field) but you're on the right path if you killed it at your internship!

The takeaway: if you had a successful internship, it's very unlikely that grades will be a blocker to entry for you and employers rarely ask for transcripts in general. If you get through the first hoop and are invited in for an interview somewhere, it's unlikely that they'll focus on your GPA (especially given your prior internship, where ideally you have people who can vouch for your skills). If they do ask about GPA, address it earnestly and honestly, and move on.

I'm not sure about specific websites to look at for your field - sorry.

Good luck out there!

When I was looking for a job, 0 employers asked for my transcript.

What really matters is putting your best foot forward by crafting a strong resume and cover letter that highlights your qualifications for the role, and if the questions do come up, finding a way to properly explain those mistakes. For example, you could say "Pre-senior year, I wasn't focused and I was lost, but after working this past year at _____, I realized that a career in biotech will allow me to [insert some awesome reason]. Since then, I've worked hard to bring my grades up and take on research positions in the field I'm passionate about."