Best Job to Land H/S/W MBA?

Hey everyone, I'm interested in getting an MBA in a few years after college. What job post-banking would realistically give me the best odds at landing H/S/W?

Asking since it seems that the IB -> PE -> H/S/W path has gotten increasingly competitive so I'm not sure if there's another option besides PE that would give me better chances. Would e.g. corp dev at a tech company be more differentiating? That would be another option I'd be interested in doing post-banking.

For reference, my profile:
- Male (not URM)
- Full-time role: EB (CVP/PJT/EVR)
- Undergrad: H/S/W (3.95+ GPA)
- GMAT: 750+

Comments (22)

May 12, 2022 - 3:15pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm not an expert on this, but I currently work for a company that hires a largely (if not entirely) people from HSWCC. I work in asset management.

The backgrounds that are most common at my company and not in general (not necessarily best, just most common): 

Most Common in order:

1. IB-->PE-->H/S/W

2. AM-->Tech Corp. Dev. / Financial Role at Tech Company-->H/W
(this is surprisingly common. never heard about people doing this in college. know at least ~10 people at my firm who did this. seems to be a consistent winner)

3. ER-->AM-->W
(fairly reliable track if you really want to get into W)

----- big drop off here -----

4. Consulting-->M7
(most who pursue this route did so after only two years at MBB or Big4)

5. Airlines Operations-->H/S
(finance, logistics, etc.)

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
May 12, 2022 - 3:52pm

What about people that have just done IB before matriculating at HSW?

May 12, 2022 - 3:58pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Usually they did IB for 5-6 years before going into MBA, but this is less common in my space (I can think of at least one person who did this however)

  • Consultant in Consulting
May 12, 2022 - 9:06pm

This is false. Out of all employers, McKinsey is the top feeder to both Harvard and Stanford. Bain and BCG are also high on the list. Consulting should be number 1. 

May 12, 2022 - 9:10pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The above list is not reflective of general business school admissions, but the pathways of people working at my firm who attended business school. In turn, the ordering is non-reflective of the backgrounds of those in business school. I'll edit the above post to account for this. Thanks for asking for clarity. 

  • Consultant in Consulting
May 12, 2022 - 3:58pm

IMO there is 0 chance you're not admitted to Wharton.

Stanford, and to a lesser degree Harvard, is where things become insanely hard to predict because of the competition. But you have a good job and great stats, so Wharton is a near guarantee.

Most Helpful
May 12, 2022 - 8:03pm
mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly if you're already at an EB and on the PE track, you'd probably be best off just going into PE and focusing on a firm that has great H/S placement. Places like H&F come to mind. H/S are a crapshoot, but you probably can't improve your odds too much unless you go and do the Peace Corp or something like that. You're going to get bucketed into a top finance bracket, but luckily for you, you have good grades, good test scores, are from HSW, and have about as bleu chip of a finance background as you can get.

Make sure to focus a bit on extracurriculars, hobbies, volunteering, etc. You don't want to just be a top tier ORM candidate. You'll need something that will differentiate you.

Lastly, it's great to have a goal of striving to get into HSW for an MBA. They are all great schools that will set you up well for life. With that said, don't let that pursuit interfere with your happiness or health. At the end of the day, it's just a school, and based on your background so far, you probably already have a ton of options that most people are using an MBA to unlock. Work hard for a few years, stay on the ladder of banking/PE, but don't be afraid to do your own thing if you feel like the conventional path isn't for you. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 13, 2022 - 6:03pm

Would having done a year of service (peace corp/americorps/TFA type program) before college still count for b school admissions or does it only count if you do it post bachelors?

May 14, 2022 - 10:44am
mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wouldn't count as it's not work experience. Plus, by the time you apply to B-School, you would have done 4 years of undergrad and 3-5 years of work. So you'd be trying to bank on something that happened ~10 years prior to you application.

It can definitely be part of your narrative if that is your thing, but if you did 1 year of Americorp, then went to college, and then did Banking+PE for 5 years, you're not getting bucketed in with the Peace Corp group for business school, haha.

May 15, 2022 - 6:28am
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To the OP: I think you may have the priorities a bit reversed. While your MBA certainly will be a very important experience for you, it is a conduit to put you in a position to achieve your professional (and sometimes personal) goals. I don't recommend that you search out a job that enables you to get into an MBA, but instead take the job that best positions you for achieving your long term goals. For example, the worst thing you can do for your career is to spend 2 years doing peace corps to maximize your chances of getting into HBS, only to find that you want to pursue PE post-MBA and all the PE firms prefer people with prior experience. 

If the answer is that you simply don't know what you want to do professionally and want to maintain as flexibility as possible to decide later, then consulting is the perfect answer.

If you're just looking to compile the most impressive resume possible, you're in for a bit of a surprise when you realize none of your colleagues cares about where you went to school and everyone measures you solely based on your performance.

Mentorship with CompBanker:

  • 5
May 15, 2022 - 12:30pm
ahayat7, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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