As an undergraduate, I had a few F's and was on academic probation but graduated with a 3.2 in electrical engineering from a mid level ranked uni. Then I thought about going to graduate school in engineering so I registered as a non degree graduate student and I got a F in that single graduate class.
But that was ten years ago.
I then worked ten years as an engineer realizing my passion was never in engineering, I only studied it for the career opportunities and high salary. I was more interested in the business / economics side of things so I applied for a MBA (I got probationary acceptance) and graduated with a GPA of 3.7 for my MBA.
Now I want to apply for a PhD in economics in a higher ranking school (not an ivy or top 25 school) and I am panicking because economics has similar math classes as for engineers. Will they look at my old grades and reject my application? I am afraid they say 'you had a few Fs as an undergrad and then another as a graduate student and even though it was ten years ago - sorry no chance'.
My bad grades are obvious on my transcript, I cannot hide them. I admit I was a lazy student with no goal in life until the real world hit me. I feel my poor study habits and mistakes made me a more serious, more studious and more driven student now and I can transfer a lot of my engineering skills to economics. Should I give a reason for my bad grades in my SOP? The schools I am applying for did not ask for an essay of 'additional information'. The SOP requirements want me to talk about my future plans and current qualifications. All my economics and statistics prerequisite grades have so far been straight As as were my MBA grades but I am afraid the graduate admission committees hold my past mistakes from 10 years ago against me in particular because I got a F in a graduate class ten years ago.
Do they care about my old grades?
Any advice? What should I do?