Q1 and Q2
It's hard to say. Top 30 are usually considered very, very competitive, a crapshoot even for applicants with near perfect profiles.
I don't know why you are aiming at top 30 and why you intend to apply to only 6-8 schools. But, if you do that, you should be aware that chances are low. You may get lucky, but it doesn't sound good.
Rank matters a little of course, but usually are not a very good factor to choose programs. For example, some top researchers actually prefer to work for lower-ranked schools where they can have more freedom, power, and influence.
6-8 was a low number of applications even when the situation was much better. When I applied, I think the average number of application was around 15. The situation now is at least much more uncertain.
Your research interests are not clear to me, and research fit is often very important. Your resume makes it even less clear. I see a lot of marketing in your resume, for example, so its harder to understand what type of research you want to do in Strategy.
If research fit is very good for those programs you listed (I have no idea, not my field), then it would be a little better.
GPA conversion is a complicated matter. When I applied, I found the following situations, depending on the school:
- the school stated the rules to convert GPA
- the school didn't tell anything about rules to convert GPA
- the school asked to not convert GPA, to provide GPA using the original scale
- the school asked for additional documentation from the schools where you studied, explaining their grading systems.
With a lack of research experience, I think you need to:
- find a way to convince schools that you know what academic research is
- find a way to convince schools that you know what you are getting into
- find a way to show what type of research you want to do, and that you at least have potential to do that type of research.
For example, you mentioned "research for consulting projects." This can be a double-edged sword, you need to be careful about how you sell this type of thing to schools.
On the one hand, it's good to see you were able to get some experience, you worked with interviews and surveys, etc.
On the other hand, it may sound like you think that research for consulting projects is similar to academic research. And a lot of professors would not like that. Some professors have very low opinions about the quality of research conducted by consulting firms, from an academic perspective.
So, that experience must be presented in a way that would help you, not undermine your application. For example, if you talk about strong methods used in academia that could overcome the flaws you noticed in the research of those consulting projects.
Your motivation is good, but it may raise questions from an academic perspective. You need to be ready for that. Sure, I can believe that "it requires backing up with strong research." But, if you are so motivated to do that, you probably should show that with actions and results. And, so far, it seems you didn't care about academic research. Looking at your resume, you show a lot of experiences and achievements, for example, but it's hard to find one that is related to that motivation of wishing to "backing up with strong research," specially in strategy. Great resume for positions outside academia, not so much for a PhD position in strategy. You need to cross that bridge somehow because I don't see much of a connection.
It's probably very hard to get an opportunity like that. Maybe if you have strong connections with professors in the US, but it doesn't seem to be the case. You probably would need to do a MSc or something like that in the US, at least that's what I usually see.