Useful for: MBA Applicants Read Time:  8 minutes Question: What are some strategies candidates can use to get accepted into HBS or Stanford? User Info: Private Equity, 1st Year Associate

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 User’s Opinions:

  • A candidate with a 3.8 GPA and a 780 GMAT score, along with 2 years of experience a top consulting firm is reflecting over strategies to use when applying to an Ivy League school.
  • Applying as a company sponsored applicant might give you a higher chance of acceptance.
  • Getting involved in private equity at a recognized firm will strengthen your application.
  • Starting your own successful business before applying for an MBA will make a great impression on Harvard Business School, which focuses on entrepreneurship.
  • The candidate is also considering other creative strategies: serving in the Peace Corps, networking with alumni and school faculty, become an expert in a field a leading professor specializes in.

All in Agreement:

  • Volunteering in a developing nation will strengthen your profile. Many candidates who apply to Ivy League schools already have a high GPA, so this global experience will make you stand out.
  • Ivy League schools have thought provoking essay questions—take your time when answering, and offer a deep perspective.
  • Highlight excellent achievement at work such as promotions and taking on high responsibility in your role.
  • An impressive entrepreneurship project will grab the admission’s team attention.
  • Leadership is a very valuable skill that is sought by both Harvard and Stanford Business School.


I get it, I'm also a super competitive person with a similar background, but this seems so over the top. Think about it, are our lives at a Tier 2 consulting firm THAT different from our MBB friends? Or are the Kellogg people at your firm THAT different from the HBS people? Count your blessings - there were about 50 people each who wanted our spots at our respective firms when we got offers and literally millions around the world that will envy us the opportunity to go to a top business school. Even if it is "lowly" Kellogg rather than Harvard.


    Check Out: 10 Ivy League MBA Interview Tips

    Source: Wall Street Oasis