UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Wharton | Mr. LatAm Indian Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Wharton | Mr. MBB to PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.98
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Soldier Boy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Angel Investor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.20
Rice Jones | Mr. ToastMasters Treasurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
Said Business School | Ms. Creative Planner
GMAT 690, GPA 3.81 / 5.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Wedding Music Business
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Break Into Buy-Side
GMAT 780, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Perseverance
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Politics Abroad
GRE 332, GPA 4.2/4.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Canadian Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. Fintech To Tech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.54

Most Popular Cities, Sectors For MBAs

Business People Team With World Map-resized-600Where The Potential MBAs Are

As a whole, MBAs are considered first adopters. So it’s no surprise that you find them where the action is. Fifty years ago, that meant mass migrations to New York, Boston, and Chicago. Now, the “action” has shifted to Silicon Valley and Austin (if not Omaha and Chattanooga) as entrepreneurship continues democratizing the old order.

Survey 30 MBAs and you’ll get 30 answers. Some prefer a traditional path, replete with long commutes and few risks. Others seek freedom inside weird and wired communities that reflect their youthful zeal. In fact, many prospective MBAs choose schools based on their proximity to career opportunities (and alumni networks). Want to run a brand? Try the Midwest. Want to work in finance? Head East.

So which locations appeal most to the next crop of MBAs? Recently, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducted a metro analysis of its annual mba.com Prospective Students Survey. From 2012-2013, over 10,360 aspiring MBAs living in 23 US metro areas were asked about “their preferences, motivations, and career intentions” when they logged onto MBA.com, the official website of the GMAT. Here are the sectors and locations where future MBAs are working now … and which sectors they intend to work in the future:




Current (8% of all U.S. residents)Intended (22% of all U.S. residents)
Washington, D.C. —  26%Washington, D.C. — 40%
San Francisco — 16%San Francisco — 32%
Boston — 12%Seattle — 26%
Chicago — 26%
Atlanta — 26%




Current (10%)Intended (14%)
San Jose — 44%San Jose — 40%
Austin — 27%Seattle — 26%
Seattle — 19%Austin — 23%
San Francisco — 23%




Current (17%)Intended (17%)
Washington, D.C. — 32%Washington, D.C. — 32%
San Diego — 30%San Diego — 21%
Austin — 23%Boston — 20%
Baltimore — 20%


Energy / Utilities
Current (4%)Intended (7%)
Pittsburgh6%San Francisco11%


Finance / Accounting
Current (17%)Intended (27%)
New York City28%Charlotte37%
Boston24%New York City35%


Current (8%)Intended (11%)
San Diego12%Pittsburgh15%


Current (7%)Intended (7%)


Products and Services
Current (21%)Intended (26%)
St. Louis28%Los Angeles33%

Alas, these statistics reinforce the conventional wisdom. For example, San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle are the dominant metros for prospective students working and wanting to work in technology. And Washington, D.C., is the place to be for those working in the public sector. However, there were some surprises on the list:

  • Although the highest concentration of prospective students wanting to work in products and services is in Miami, mature metros like Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles also have large percentages of prospective students wanting to work in products and services.
  • Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta are building a buzz in the consulting sector, with a quarter of respondents in each of these locales citing consulting as a potential post-MBA field.
  • While the Northeast corridor continues to govern the financial sector, prospective MBAs in Charlotte and Dallas are increasingly drawn to this field.

So what does this mean? If you operate an MBA program in these locations, here’s who your local prospects are and what doors they hope a business education will open for them. In other words, continue playing to the strengths of your community. Beef up your curriculum, support, and business partnerships. In the end, these strengths are what will ultimately draw these career changers to your school.

Editor’s Note: Prospective students could choose more than one “intended” location. Current breakdowns for each metro area do not total 100% since some respondents were out of work or working in other fields when they visited the site.

Source: GMAC