Harvard | Mr. Student Product Manager
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
London Business School | Ms. FANG Tech
GRE 321, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. PE Strategist
GRE 326, GPA 3.6
Columbia | Mr. CPA
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Digital Health Start-Up
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Sports Management
GMAT 690, GPA 3.23
Darden | Mr. International Trade
GRE 323, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Health Clinic Founder
GRE 330, GPA 3
Said Business School | Mr. Strategy Consulting Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.98
Stanford GSB | Mr. Robotics
GMAT 730, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aspiring Tech Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.4
London Business School | Mr. Supply Chain Latino
GRE 320, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Operations Manager
GRE 328, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Private Equity Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.3
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Basketball To B-School
GRE 334, GPA 3.73
Harvard | Mr. E-Sports Coach
GRE 323, GPA 5.72/10
INSEAD | Ms. Insightful Panda
GMAT 700, GPA 87.5%
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Nonprofit-ish
GRE 333, GPA 3.81
INSEAD | Ms. Humble Auditor
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
London Business School | Mr. Investment Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 2.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Healthcare Tech
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Civil Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.9/10

Prestige Consultants Lag In Employer List

If you’re a business student and in the U.S., you’d think it would be a no-brainer to want to work for one of the big three consulting powerhouses. After all, just having a short stint at McKinsey, Bain, or Boston Consulting Group on your resume is like sprinking a bit of pixie dust on it.

But a new survey by Universum, a firm that consults on employer branding strategies, found that the big three, which recruit and hrie the most elite MBAs to the field of consulting, all failed to crack the top 25 “ideal” employers of business students this year.

McKinsey & Co. comes in at a rank of 42nd. BCG finished with a rank of 37, and Bain was 63rd. Deloitte, on the other hand, was ranked fifth.


Universum is expected to release its rankings based on MBA student surveys in July. This list is based on surveys to undergraduate students. Last year, McKinsey was ranked second among MBA students as the most “ideal” employer, just behind Google. BCG was ranked fifth and Bain sixth (see Google Tops MBA Most Wanted List).

The largest recruiters of MBAs in finance did considerably better with business students overall than the big three consulting giants. J.P. Morgan finished sixth; Goldman Sachs came in ninth, Morgan Stanley 15th, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch was 18th.

The big winner among business students was fairly predictable: Google, closely followed by Apple, Walt Disney Co., Ernst & Young, and Deloitte. Rounding out this year’s top ten are 6. J.P. Morgan, 7. Nike, 8. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 9. Goldman Sachs, and 10. KPMG.


More interesting, perhaps, are the divergent views of business students with those studying engineering and other fields. While business students ranked Ernst & Young fourth, for example, the accounting firm didn’t even make the top 100 among students who study either science or engineering. And among humanities’ students, E&Y was 86th, 82 places below its rank by business students.

To come up with the list, Universum surveyed students at 318 universities and got 59,643 of them to respond. All together, the responding students provided 207,435 employer evaluations. The survey was conducted from November of 2011 to March of 2012.

Top 25 Ideal Employers For Business & Other Students in the U.S. 

Business Student Rank & CompanyEngineering Student RankHumanities Student RankIT Student RankScience Student Rank
  1. Google4418
  2. Apple66310
  3. Walt Disney Co.9195
  4. Ernst & Young8648
  5. Deloitte826328
  6. J.P. Morgan87423354
  7. Nike30143512
  8. PWC42
  9. Goldman Sachs79503892
10. KPMG56
11. Coca-Cola54263942
12. Facebook5611431
13. FBI2681111
14. Microsoft1121227
15. Morgan Stanley78
16. Amazon6715638
17. Starbucks177429
18. Bank of America7968
19. Procter & Gamble23536144
20. BMW1037
21. Louis Vuitton2759
22. Marriott4688
23. U.S. Treasury345499
24. U.S. State Dept.52221
25. Hilton Hotels37

Source: Universum’s America’s Ideal Employers 2012 survey released May 11, 2012

Notes: If no rank is indicated, it means the company failed to make the top 100 for the student group listed


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.