Hello monkeys,'s AMA depressed me (very strong credentials / similar to mine, no interview at even Wharton), and got me thinking - there has to be some clever strategies to earn acceptance to HBS or Stanford. So, I'm turning to the out-of-the-box thinkers on this forum to generate some strategies.
What we're working with:
Currently, my profile is a 3.8 Econ major (4.0 in major) from top 50 US News undergrad, ), 780 GMAT, not URM, approaching 2 years of experience at a top tier 2 consulting shop (&O, Strategy&, , etc.). I will have the option to work another 2 years and attend b-school with a sponsorship from my firm, or I can change companies in a few months after I promote to spice up my story.
The Vanilla Strategies:
1) Apply as a company sponsored applicant - from what I gather, this will be fine for most schools outside of HSW
2) Corporate strategy before business school - Generally, this will also cover the bases for most schools outside of HSW (Corporate strategy for Google/Facebook might marginally improve odds)
3) Aim for PE before business - getting a prestigious PE name would strengthen the application for sure, but would it be enough? There are plenty of PE folks with more golden backgrounds than mine, if I could even break into a top shop
4) Entrepreneurship - Even if the business fails, it would be good essay fodder. Harvard is focusing in on entrepreneurship, and Stanford has always had that vibe. Makes me a less safe candidate for other schools, but IDGAF.
The Creative Strategies:
This is where it's gets fun, and where I need your help. I am trying to brainstorm any way to improve my chances at getting in. For this exercise, assume no option is too extreme.
1) Become Mother Teresa - Serve for ~2 years in the peace corps, or some other similar world helping organization. Move to war torn Africa and save victims of civil war. Something like that.
2) Creatively Network my Balls Off - Date a professor's / admin's daughter, work directly for someone with significant influence at the school, etc. and try to weasel a recommendation from said someone whom the school will make accommodations for
3) Be the Enthusiast of Something Super Specific - Determine something super specific that the school / one professor is really leading the world in, and pursue that (i.e. search funds at Stanford). Network with that professor / within that small community, and the school could open a spot.
4) A+ Extracurricular - Continue in consulting or take a standard 2nd job, but in my free time do something extreme that blends with the rest of my story (which is TBD). Ideas include taking time off to bike across the continent, swimming across the English channel (or similarly impressive length of water), breaking a few random world records, open to other ideas
5) JD / MBA - Assuming I could perform well on the LSAT, could applying as a JD / MBA candidate add some juice to the story? Either drop the JD eventually, or ride it out (the dual degree wouldn't hurt, shout-out to Mitt Romney)
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I'm hoping to hear feedback on the above, and any other crazy strategies you might have.