Factors in decision of b-school to apply to, prestige vs. specialization vs. international?

My dream career would be to work for a large, international Management Consulting firm such as McKinsey & Company. I am an American with a BA (3.78 GPA) from Rutgers who studied abroad in Mexico and Spain for one year each.

From what I understand, Americans get MBA's from programs accredited by AACSB. In Europe, programs are generally accredited by EQUIS and AMBA (based in Britain), and sometimes MSc's or other degrees are offered. I am very interested in travel, both for school and in my career, and would be able to study in English or Spanish...

My question:
When choosing a program to apply to, which factors are most important:
a) prestige (rank) in USA
b) McKinsey & Company recruits at the school
c) prestige in the world or studying in a foreign country
d) specialization / concentration in Management Consulting

Also, is there a significant difference between MBA and MSc or other masters programs in regard to getting hired by McKinsey?

If possible, please specify your background or source when replying.

Comments (4)

Best Response
Sep 18, 2013 - 1:01am
West Coast Analyst, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey VanessaP85,

I'm currently applying to b-school and know a few peeps in McK from my company (F50 top feeder into mba programs) so I feel I can speak to your questions. For what it's worth, the way you phrase the questions and in fact asking us to specify our background is coming off very poorly. But I am feeling kind tonight.

a) & b) These two are tied together. McK hires from all the "prestigious" schools. You should definitely go through each school's employment report for ALL the schools that you are interested in to figure out a) how many gets recruited and b) how many people attempt to break in. # of recruits diminish drastically, however, as you move down the ranking.

c) If you go to a top 15 schools in the US it is well-known around the world. But that doesn't mean McK will hire you

d) it'll help but it's more important you participate in case competitions on behalf of the school.

e) definitely MBA. They don't care for MSc

Unsolicited advice:

You have the right idea that you want to work abroad. It's great that you are female AND Latino (or shall I say, Latina). Frankly, you sound pretty annoying and somewhat immature but out of the kindness of my heart I will tell you to take advantage of the consortium and use female + latina to your advantage.

  • 3
Sep 18, 2013 - 9:33pm
Betsy Massar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi Vanessa, You are brave to come onto this forum and put yourself out here -- it can be a tough place.
I am not quite sure from your questions what's really important to you. If international recruitment is the most important thing for you, then take a look at the career statistics published by each school's recruitment office. This stuff is quite public. You can also look to see which schools are part of international programs where you might be able to study in another country for a semester. Here's a quick blog post I did on international exchange programs http://masteradmissions.com/wp/2011/09/25/go-global-with-an-mba-exchange-program

The other thing I'm curious about is your interest in McKinsey. It's a great consulting firm, but certainly not the only one. Truth is, nearly every business school here in the US and overseas places many many MANY of their graduates in consulting. So you can't go wrong there.

As for your prestige/ranking questions, well, that also depends on who you talk to. The Financial Times rankings are the most global, (I wrote about them here: http://masteradmissions.com/wp/2013/02/01/financial-times-global-rankings-what-they-mean-to-you/

but if you are really interested in US rankings of schools, check out Poetsandquants.com, which covers this subject better than anyone else anywhere.

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
Ask away!
  • 3
Sep 19, 2013 - 2:00am
VanessaP85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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