It’s well known that major employers of MBAs have favorite hunting grounds for their future employees. Those lists tend to be highly guarded, in part because a company would not want to discourage MBAs from other schools from applying. But sometimes a firm will show its hand in special programs designed to get to know incoming students. That is the case with Boston Consulting Group for its BCG Unlock summer learning program.
Long a mainstream recruiter at elite business schools, BCG is targeting the incoming MBA students at just 28 business schools for the program. To be eligible for the summer experience, an MBA applicant must be a first-year student in a listed two-year MBA program beginning in the fall of 2021. The deadline to apply this year is Friday, May 7th.
The target schools, of course, include the big brand powerhouses that dominate the top of most MBA rankings. It will surprise no one to know that every M7 school is on the list: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Booth, Kellogg and Columbia. Nor will it be surprising to see the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business or UC-Berkeley’s Haas School among the targets.
SCHOOLS ON THE TARGET LIST YOU MIGHT OVERLOOK IN YOUR APPLICANT STRATEGY
But there are also a number of excellent MBA programs that applicants can easily overlook or miss. They would include the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Washington University’s Olin Business School, and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Also among the target MBA programs are those that typically hover toward the end of most Top 25 rankings: Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
All the MBB firms have these pre-MBA programs and all of them are as highly selective as the business schools that make the target lists. At McKinsey & Co., eligibility for its Early Access program is limited to only 17 business schools for incoming MBAs with an anticipated graduation date of 2023 (see McKinsey’s 17 Target Business Schools). Bain & Co.’s target list for the ExperienceBain program includes 40 schools, though it is much more global, including MBAs from HEC Paris, IESE Business School and ESADE in Spain as well as such U.S. programs as Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and the University of Texas’ Jindal School of Management in Dallas (See Bain’s 40 Target Business Schools).
According to BCG, the Unlock program introduces incoming MBAs “to the people, insight, and experiences that will enrich their skills, knowledge, and relationships…As a participant in BCG UnLock, you can expect personal, candid dialogue with BCG consultants and leaders, as well as your pre-MBA peers. You’ll also get. behind-the-scenes look at our transformational work and digital capabilities, and dive deep into the opportunity, support systems, and tools we offer to help our people be their best.”
In short, the program gives the consulting firm an early look at incoming MBA talent. For participants, it provides a glimpse into what a career in consulting might be like and gives students a leg up on landing a summer internship between their first and second years of the MBA program and ultimately a full-time job offer.
BCG’s Target Business School List For Its Pre-MBA Summer Experience
|Business School MBA Program||University|
|Anderson School of Management||University of California-Los Angeles|
|Booth School of Business||University of Chicago|
|Carlson School of Management||University of Minnesota|
|Columbia Business School||Columbia University|
|Darden School of Business||University of Virginia|
|Foster School of Business||University of Washington|
|Fuqua School of Business||Duke University|
|Goizueta Business School||Emory University|
|Haas School of Business||University of California-Berkeley|
|Harvard Business School||Harvard University|
|Johnson School of Management||Cornell University|
|Jones Graduate School of Management||Rice University|
|Kellogg School of Management||Northwestern University|
|Kenan-Flagler Business School||University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill|
|Marshall School of Business||University of Southern California|
|McCombs School of Business||University of Texas-Austin|
|McDonough School of Business||Georgetown University|
|Olin Business School||Washington University|
|Owen Graduate School of Management||Vanderbilt University|
|Ross School of Business||University of Michigan|
|Rotman School of Management||University of Toronto|
|Sloan School of Management||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||Stanford University|
|Stern School of Business||New York University|
|Tepper School of Business||Carnegie Mellon University|
|The Wharton School||University of Pennsylvania|
|Tuck School of Business||Dartmouth College|
|Yale School of Management||Yale University|
Source: The Boston Consulting Group
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