Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

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Anonymous User
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Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:40 pm

I finished fall 1L semester at a lower T14 with a 3.08 GPA--factoring in midterm grades for my year-long courses. My actual transcript shows one B and one B+, with everything else listed as "in progress." The curve at my school falls somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.15.

I realize conventional wisdom says that it's bad to land at or just below the curve, but frankly, I was relieved not to have totally bombed/been asked to withdraw, given how brutal the semester felt and how fierce the people in my section seemed to be. Besides, I figured, I was only aiming for govt/PI work, where grades would be not so much an issue (according to my career services folks).

THEN, somewhat to my surprise, MOST of the government agencies/nonprofit orgs in DC where I have applied and/or interviewed for summer internships (not DOJ) have requested my transcript. At an interview yesterday, an employer asked for the remainder of my grades and seemed skeptical when I explained that they wouldn't be out until year's end, but that I could give my midterm final exam scores.

Do I need to be concerned: (a) that such requests indicate any hesitation on the employers' part; and/or (b) that I may be auto-dinged for mediocre GPA?

Trying not to fret unnecessarily, but as we creep into February, and my classmates get offers, this becomes more challenging...

eerie_erie
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Re: Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

Postby eerie_erie » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Relax. You're fine; most employers request transcripts. Make sure you explain "in progress" to mean that you are actually in progress--some employers might take this as an "incomplete" or whatever which will reflect poorly on you. I didn't get my job until early March for PI/govt. The point is that you get a job by the summer, not that you get a job at some imagined deadline (I know it sucks, but don't worry.)

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cinephile
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Re: Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

Postby cinephile » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:57 pm

For 1L summer jobs, no one cares. They're not offering you anything real, so they don't care much who they pick. I mean this to be reassuring and nice, not harsh.

Anonymous User
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Re: Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:04 pm

Well then, that's a relief. Thanks to you both for the reassurances.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Grades for Govt/PI Summer Work

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:25 pm

Grade-conscious jobs request transcripts to check your grades. Other jobs request them to make sure that you are in law school and that you passed your classes. Some federal government positions do care about grades, though. Even if the employers requested the transcript to ensure that you are in law school and passed your classes, they may still be influenced if they are familiar with the curve at your school and know that you fall below it. But there is nothing you can do about it now other than apply to lots of places and not worry about the ones that might care about your grades. Getting a 1L job isn't too hard. You will find something.

Also, employers generally do recognize that the competition is stiffer at top schools, so if they do care about grades, many will probably cut you some slack. This isn't PI/gov, but I have a family member who works at a Vault firm, and this person showed me the criteria this firms uses in evaluating candidates for SA positions. It basically said grades do matter but keep in mind that someone at a T10 school is facing stiffer competition, and we may prefer the T10 median person over the T50 top 10% person (I am paraphrasing, but that was the gist).




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