This is a follow-up to my previous question. I'm currently in the process of applying for PhD programs. I finished college with a poor GPA 10 years ago; since then, I have become a successful scientist in industry.
Some of the applications have an interesting question, on the lines of - "does your academic transcript properly represent your abilities" - which I assume is a space to explain why a poor GPA happened in one's past and how one has moved on.
My top choice program, however, has no such question. I did email a prospective guide and had a quick phone call with him about my interests, where he agreed we would be a good match and asked me to add his name in my essays so my application would be routed to him.
I've read several articles on how a statement of purpose should highlight only one's strengths and not gloss over poor performances (especially since they were 10+ years ago), but I'm concerned that without an explanation my application wouldn't be given a second glance. In the best case, I would be invited for an interview and at that point I could explain what went wrong and how I've moved on from it.
So what would be my best bet here?
- Mention nothing in my essays, focus only on the positives and hope that the other facets of my application would intrigue the adcom to a point where they'd ask me for an interview?
- Add a short blurb as to what went wrong, but without going into the gory details?
- Go all in and explain everything?