Harvard | Mr. PE Strategist
GRE 326, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Student Product Manager
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
London Business School | Ms. FANG Tech
GRE 321, GPA 3.7
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

Consulting Firms MBAs Should Put On Their Radar

At top MBA programs, many MBAs set their sights on going into consulting. Combining analytical abilities with creative problem solving – not to mention high compensation – consulting is a great field for both those planning on working in the field for the long-haul, or those looking to cut their teeth before moving into the corporate sector.

When top MBAs think of the consulting industry, three firms tend to spring to mind first, based on their size and prestige: BCG, Bain, and McKinsey. The reality is, though, they aren’t the right fit for everybody. When looking at what consulting firm is right for you, you have to consider:

  • Company Size
  • Brand Prestige
  • Work-life balance (especially travel time, which can vary significantly)
  • Co-workers and quality of people
  • What kinds of industries and engagements are typical of the firm or specific office?
  • Opportunity for advancement and turnover

So, we took a look at eight top-rated consulting firms not named BCG, Bain, Deloitte or McKinsey – and why MBAs should consider them.


A.T. Kearney was actually the original branch of McKinsey & Co when McKinsey was founded in Chicago back in 1926. The Chicago office split off from the parent company in 1939, and now operates in 40 countries with 3500 employees worldwide.

The firm is very active globally, and holds a yearly meeting of academic, corporate, and government thought leaders to discuss the state of the world and how to approach business for the following year. Interestingly, A.T. Kearney is considered the the 4th most difficult job interviewer.

A.T. Kearney pulls the highest employee satisfaction rate of any large consulting firm in our database, with an average score of 9/10.

LEK contrasts itself from the majority of consulting firms with a much lower than average travel rate for its consultants, which our data backs up – ranking as the lowest travel percentage of any major consulting firm in our database.  MBAs working at LEK right after graduation reported traveling only 7.5% of the time, much lower than the average, 55%.

Laina Biglow, a recent associate hire out of Chicago Booth, says she chose L.E.K. for a combination of great people, leadership on projects from day 1, and heavy focus on strategy-oriented projects. She also praised the work-life balance: “I realized I could work with smart, great people every day, which is very important to me, but that I could also sleep in my own bed most nights. I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate traveling less until it was available to me.” You can check out LEK’s blog here.

Another favorite among LEK consultants is the SWAP program, which allows an employee to swap positions with an international counterpart for 6 months, allowing employees to both see a new part of the world and better understand LEK’s operations from a global perspective.

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.