Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98

A New Look At MBA Consultant Factories

A collage of business logos representing that MBAs were hired by consulting firms like these.Little more than a week ago,  we published an article by admissions consultant Linda Abraham of entitled “Where McKinsey & Co. Find The Most MBAs.”

The piece included a table, derived from business school reports to U.S. News & World Report, on the percentage of each school’s graduating class that went on to be hired by consulting firms.

Simple enough, right? Except that schools routinely report job choices in two ways: by industry and by function. Our published analysis used the numbers by function which would include MBAs who go into corporate internal consulting or in many cases strategic planning.

The difference can be significant. Consider Yale University’s School of Management. Abraham’s article stated that 30% of last year’s SOM grads were hired by consulting firms. That would make Yale the top consultant factory in the world. However, the actual number, according to the school, is just 22%, when you only account for the MBAs who went to work for the likes of McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, Accenture, and other consulting firms. “That is why consulting as a function seems so high,” explains Julia Zupko, assistant dean and director of Yale’s career development office. “It is rolling up students who took jobs in strategic planning and internal consulting.”


She points out that a second difference between MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (CSEA) standards and the calculations in Abraham’s piece is that MBA CSEA uses the number of students seeking employment as the denominator in calculating the percentage, rather than total students in the class. For SOM, grads working in consulting as a function is about 40% when using the number seeking employment vs. 30% reported in the story using total class. At many schools, the difference isn’t nearly as great. “We have a lot of students who go into corporate,” adds Zupko. “Some of the schools report virtually identical percentages of students who go into the function of consulting and the industry of consulting because they send most of their graduates into McKinsey, Bain, and BCG.”

Another complicating factor is that the CSEA standards require schools to put their graduates into one of only seven categories of functions: marketing, operations, general management, finance, consulting, human resources, and information management. So consulting can often become a catchall category to toss graduates who are going into fields that don’t neatly fit into those seven choices.


Zupko took a “quick grab” of data from school employment reports and came up with the table below. But here’s the rub: “On their websites, schools are allowed to present data any way they see fit,” says Zupko. “They will roll up categories and will sometimes include sponsored students who according to the standards were not in the seeking employment bucket. So our table is technically not an apples-to-apples data comparison because of this.” Overall, this different look at consulting has some important changes.

Done by function and class size, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management had been tied for second with Duke University’s Fuqua School, with a reported 29% of the class being hired by consulting firms. But Zupko’s numbers show that Kellogg is actually number one by far, with 38% of the graduates seeking employment going into the consulting industry. Second is the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, with 33%. In the previous analysis, Ross was tied for fourth place with 27% going into the consulting function–as a percentage of the entire class.

(See table on following page)

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