I have been getting questions lately from folks early in their careers…good for you! It is nice to plan ahead as truly most people do not and turning back the clock on some parts of your application is hard (though we can do a lot!).
These questions often center around whether certain jobs will get you into HBS/Stanford/Wharton. I can definitely give you advice on which career moves will improve your chances of getting in as I regularly do career coaching like this. That said, I urge you to consider your job as only one part of your entire application. While it is one of the most important parts, don’t forget about over performing at the job (salary raises do matter!) and getting great reviews. I have seen too many folks from top firms who think they don’t need extra-currics or large raises because of the brand names on their resume. Don’t be fooled, great feeder companies help a lot, but you have to carry yourself over the finish line. After all, you are likely in a class of 15-30 consultants trying to get the same spots at the top B schools and you all won’t get in, despite coming from a top firm.
For those who don’t work at top companies, there are plenty of opportunities for you to stand out from the crowd and strategically finding those opportunities early in your career will make the application process that much smoother. Go for the challenging role/project. If you fail, it still makes good essay material!
Have questions about what roles to take / not take? Sign up for an Early MBA Planning Package to discuss.