Where McKinsey, Bain & BCG Hire Their $165K-A-Year MBAs

McKinsey & Company hires the most MBA graduates of the big three in any given year


David White, Menlo Coaching

David White of Menlo Coaching

Even so, in total placements, including sponsored students, Harvard Business School would be the number one program in the U.S., followed closely by Kellogg, Wharton, and Booth. “The strength of HBS’s overall placement at MBB partly reflects the fact that HBS admits many sponsored MBB consultants,” explains White. “This is a strong performance by Kellogg and Booth considering that their class sizes are around ⅓ smaller than those of HBS and Wharton.”

What most surprised White about the research? “McKinsey, Bain and BCG are expanding their recruiting at schools that are ranked outside the Top 10,” he says, pointing to the increases at NYU Stern, Cornell Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flagler. “We noticed that some consulting firms had delayed start dates due to the pandemic when we saw 2020 MBA graduates who began jobs in summer 2020 at non-profit institutions such as museums, and then began their consulting jobs at the start of 2021.” He also was surprised by the proportion of sponsored students which varies greatly among MBA programs.

How can applicants smartly use these findings? “If you want to know whether a given MBA program is likely to have alumni within the consulting firms you want to join, the total number of students that MBA program places into consulting is the best predictor,” notes White. “On the other hand, if you want to know about your chances to break into the consulting industry for the first time, the percentage of the student body that joins consulting is a good indicator. You wouldn’t expect an MBA program of 300 students to place the same number of people into consulting as an MBA program with 900 students, would you?”

White also believes that tracking MBB placements as a percentage of total consulting placements is a way to estimate the quality of an MBA program’s consulting placements. “An MBA program like Columbia has many students who choose to recruit into finance rather than consulting,” he says. “This lowers the MBB placements as an absolute number and as a percentage of the student body, but should not be taken as a negative sign about Columbia’s consulting career opportunities. By calculating MBB placements out of total consulting placements, we avoid penalizing Columbia for its strong finance recruitment portfolio and its many finance-focused students.”

For a copy of the full report, go to Menlo Coaching.

Total Placements Into MBB By School

MBA Program # of Students joining MBB As a % of Student Body As a % of Consulting Placements
INSEAD 265 26.05% 71.6%
Harvard Business School 137 14.7% 92.6%
Northwestern (Kellogg)  131 27.2% 64.5%
Pennsylvania (Wharton) 126 13.9% 74.1%
Chicago (Booth) 123 20.9% 66.1%
London Business School 89 18.7% 71.8%
Columbia Business School 87 11.5% 54.7%
MIT (Sloan)  68 16.8% 79.1%
Dartmouth (Tuck)  58 20.1% 65.9%
Virginia (Darden)  48 14.2% 50.5%
Duke (Fuqua) 41 10.1% 38.3%
Yale School of Management 41 11.9% 55.4%
Michigan (Ross) 40 9.5% 35.4%
NYU (Stern)  35 9.4% 38.0%
Stanford Graduate School of Business 33 8.4% 91.7%
UC-Berkeley (Haas) 27 9.3% 64.3%
Cornell (Johnson)  23 8.2% 37.7%
UCLA (Anderson) 19 5.4% 39.6%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 15 6.3% 33.3%
UNC at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)  11 3.2% 35.5%
Texas at Austin (McCombs) 6 2.1% 18.8%
Georgetown (McDonough) 5 2.0% 20.0%
Rice (Jones) 1 0.9% 3.1%
Washington (Foster) 0 0.0% 0.0%


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