Wharton | Mr. Social Impact CPA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Looking To Learn
GMAT 760, GPA 3.0
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Future Gates Foundation
GMAT 720, GPA 7.92
Wharton | Mr. Infrastructure
GMAT 770, GPA 3.05
MIT Sloan | Mr. Data Mastermind
GMAT N/A; will be taking in May, GPA 3.6
USC Marshall | Mr. Utilitarian Mobility
GMAT 740, GPA 2.67
London Business School | Mr. Aussie Analyst
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Sustainable Real Estate
GRE SAT 1950 (90th Percentile), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Ms. URM
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Stay Involved
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55

McKinsey Ups Hires At Wharton, Tuck, Darden

For many MBA students, the dream job is a stint with McKinsey & Co., the preeminent global consulting firm and the largest single employer of MBA talent in the world. Even this year’s conviction of McKinsey’s former managing director, Rajat Gupta, for insider trading didn’t dull the desire of MBA grads to work for The Firm.

After all, McKinsey typically pays among the highest salaries and bonuses to MBA grads, and the jobs give graduates a broad overview of a lot of different companies and industries. What’s more, the prestigious management consulting firm has been a top destination for MBAs for almost 80 years. A survey of this year’s MBA students shows that McKinsey is the second most desirable employer for MBAs after only Google.

If it’s something of a coup for an MBA to land a job with McKinsey, it also provides schools that place a fair number of their grads with The Firm a good deal of prestige. Successful hires endure a long round of interviews, along with a 26-question problem solving exam that essentially tests students’ ability to think through the types of business problems McKinsey consultants face.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the business school which turned out more McKinsey consultants than any other is INSEAD. A whopping 107 MBAs, or roughly 22% of INSEAD’s entire graduating class, went to work for the elite consulting firm.

INSEAD’s big McKinsey play is partly a result of its one-year MBA program that allows McKinsey employees to go to the school to get their MBA ticket punched. Almost half of the MBAs going to McKinsey from INSEAD, for example, had worked for McKinsey before going back to business school.


Bloomberg BusinessWeek said that among the more than 100 schools participating in its ranking this year, McKinsey hired 387 MBA graduates, making it the biggest employer of MBAs in the world. Many schools have yet to release their full 2012 employment reports, but BusinessWeek has collected this information from surveys for its forthcoming ranking on Nov. 15. So the data is an early peek at McKinsey’s hiring at top business schools.

In some cases, the data may be somewhat incomplete or a mix of apples and oranges.  Last year, Columbia Business School, for example, reported that McKinsey hired 68 of its MBAs, though 29 were sponsored by McKinsey and obviously returned to the firm after graduation. BusinessWeek’s reported number for the school this year no doubt subtract sponsored employees which are included in the INSEAD figures.

When you add Poets&Quants’ estimates for McKinsey’s hires at Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT Sloan, London Business School, and New York University’s Stern School, which do not or have not yet disclosed their top employers this year, the total comes to some 517 MBA hires by McKinsey in 2012.


Schools that significantly increased the number of MBA grads into McKinsey this year were the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School. At Wharton, McKinsey upped its hiring of MBAs by 39.5% to 53 graduates from just 38 a year earlier.  At Tuck, some 20 MBAs took McKinsey up on its job offers, up 42.9% from the 14 Tuckies the firm hired last year. And at the Darden School, McKinsey brought aboard 14 MBAs this year, up 50% from the seven it hired a year earlier.

On the other hand, schools that saw their McKinsey hires fall this year include Columbia  Business School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School.

It is somewhat ironic that McKinsey hires at Kellogg fell by 30% this year to 37 from 53 hires last year. That’s because a year ago Kellogg hired former McKinsey partner Betsy Ziegler as its new associate dean of MBA programs and dean of students and more recently named another former McKinsey partner, Will Garrett, as its new associate dean for executive education.

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.