Darden vs. Tuck/HBS/Wharton for Consulting

My direct post-MBA goal is to go MBB, office doesn't matter as much, but would slightly prefer NYC/Boston/DC.

Already in Darden but wondering if I should postpone my matriculation (FYS here) and apply R1 to Tuck/HBS/Wharton/Columbia/Yale?

My understanding (based on employment report) is that Consulting is Darden's strong suit with strong MBB placement in DC/Atlanta, but not quite as strong NYC/Boston.

Is it worth the hassle to reapply for these post-MBA career goals? Or is the difference between these schools in terms of MBB placements too small to justify a switch?


Based on the WSO threads and discussions, here's a breakdown to help you decide whether to stick with Darden or consider applying to Tuck, HBS, Wharton, Columbia, or Yale for a consulting career, particularly targeting MBB:

  1. Darden's Strength in Consulting: Darden is indeed well-regarded for its consulting placements, particularly with MBB firms. The school's case method approach is highly appreciated and aligns well with the problem-solving skills required in consulting. Darden's strong placement in DC and Atlanta is notable, but as you mentioned, it might not be as strong in NYC or Boston.

  2. Comparing Other Schools:

    • Tuck: Known for a close-knit community and strong alumni network, which can be beneficial for networking into MBB. Tuck also has a good track record of placing graduates into top consulting firms.
    • HBS: Offers unparalleled brand prestige and a vast alumni network. MBB recruitment is very active here, and the school's case method aligns well with consulting work.
    • Wharton: Known for finance, but also has a strong consulting track. The large class size and extensive alumni network provide ample networking opportunities.
    • Columbia: Located in NYC, which might give you an edge if you're targeting MBB firms in the city. Strong in both finance and consulting.
    • Yale: Smaller class sizes for more personalized attention and growing strength in consulting placements.
  3. Considerations for Reapplying:

    • Effort vs. Reward: Reapplying involves time, effort, and uncertainty. You need to weigh if the potential incremental advantage in MBB placement rates at these schools justifies the effort and the risk of losing your spot at Darden.
    • Location Preferences: If your preference for NYC/Boston is strong, schools like Columbia or HBS might offer geographical advantages.
    • Long-term Goals: Consider where you want to be long-term and how the school’s network and brand will help you.
  4. Final Thoughts: If you believe that the incremental gain in placement statistics and the alignment with your preferred locations are critical for your career, then considering reapplying might be worthwhile. However, if you value the culture and teaching method at Darden and are confident in leveraging its network, staying might be the best path.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your personal and professional priorities, considering both the immediate post-MBA goals and your long-term career trajectory.

Sources: Having serious thoughts about B-school for the first time - can anyone offer any advice?, Wharton, Harvard, and Columbia, Q&A: Reflections on 1st Semester at Columbia Business School, Q&A: Recent Columbia Business School grad that went to a HF after school, Ask mbaMission about Business School Admissions

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

Ad hic quis aliquam tenetur eos fugit aut sequi. Sunt iure accusamus labore quis. Esse itaque ut repellendus aut qui velit.

Labore expedita fugit commodi explicabo possimus molestias quidem. Facilis voluptatem necessitatibus sint necessitatibus. Fugit voluptas velit vitae quaerat consequuntur molestias. Aut et voluptatum voluptas omnis vitae dolores ullam velit. Omnis eos corporis quia quia nihil nesciunt hic. In similique ipsum culpa.

Excepturi placeat et ex minus neque sunt fugiat. Quia non a magnam minus velit debitis. Similique in tenetur eligendi repellendus officiis aliquid officia. Consequuntur suscipit voluptatem quisquam ipsa labore enim. Autem repellendus aut est et.

Nam et est voluptatem velit dicta et. Pariatur vitae reiciendis et nam libero. Iusto tempore dolorum eaque. Ea officiis iure quia. Est similique rerum consequatur et.

Career Advancement Opportunities

June 2024 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • LEK Consulting 97.2%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

June 2024 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • Cornerstone Research 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • McKinsey and Co 97.7%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.2%

Professional Growth Opportunities

June 2024 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • LEK Consulting 97.2%

Total Avg Compensation

June 2024 Consulting

  • Partner (4) $368
  • Principal (25) $277
  • Director/MD (55) $270
  • Vice President (48) $246
  • Engagement Manager (101) $227
  • Manager (153) $170
  • 2nd Year Associate (159) $140
  • Senior Consultant (331) $130
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (108) $130
  • Consultant (593) $120
  • 1st Year Associate (540) $119
  • NA (15) $119
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (148) $116
  • Engineer (6) $114
  • 2nd Year Analyst (348) $103
  • Associate Consultant (166) $98
  • 1st Year Analyst (1052) $87
  • Intern/Summer Associate (191) $83
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (556) $67
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”