How much of an edge is MBB when applying to MBA programs?

When applying to a top MBA program, how much does working for MBB help your application? I hear people say MBB & 700+=pretty much guaranteed H/S/W.  I have also heard people say that MBB=guaranteed M7, with the top going to H/S/W.  However, with the large amount of consultants at MBB,T2, etc I doubt there is enough slots in these schools (because obviously their class won't be 100% ex consultants).  So which schools seem reasonable for an MBB consultant to target?

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Comments (12)

Apr 29, 2021 - 6:31pm

helps a lot. MBB are consistently the top feeder companies to HSW in terms of sheer volume. definitely not guaranteed though. i think acceptance rate from my MBB is about 30-40% at H, not sure about S/W

M7 is virtually guaranteed with some minimum effort

while no one is guaranteed at HSW, applying from MBB is about as good as it gets (except maybe top PE/VC roles) without getting into specific background details and story. 

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
May 4, 2021 - 11:35am

Is there any difference in placement between MBB at HSW or is it all the same (in the vein of McK having a premium attached to it and BCG edging out slightly on Bain)? Does office location matter, with NYC/Boston/SF/Chicago having better placement than some regional offices? Simply curious about your opinions guys, have not found much info on this.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
May 4, 2021 - 3:03pm

it's about the work experience and projects you are assigned within each org. That is far more important than any minute differences between Bain and BCG. 

Also, impact at the organization. If you are able to help launch a huge company-wide initiative at the least prestigious Big 4, that may be more impressive than bland McK experience (all-else equal). 

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May 5, 2021 - 3:30pm

no difference between MBB. any differences are more likely explained by size of each company and the number of analysts applying as a result

office location does not matter either, again except for the fact that SF/NYC/Boston are much larger than regional offices 

May 4, 2021 - 11:45am

Not me but a friend. He's at MBB and scored 730+ on his GMAT, 4.0 GPA, strong extracurriculars and he didn't even get an interview at H or W. 

A number of speculations as to why he didn't even get an interview (in no particular order):

  • This past cycle was toughest in past 10 years
  • Would only have had 3 years of WE upon matriculation
  • Straight white male 
  • He doesn't "need" an MBA as his firm already promoted him, so "why MBA" might have been weaker

Definitely goes to show you can have a stellar background and still not get in. 

May 4, 2021 - 12:07pm

Yeah I can see that being me in a few years. I feel like I'm a basic Non URM MBB candidate who struggles to stand out among the talented pool of MBB applicants.  And I do not think I am the type that will pull an insane 770+ GMAT.  How did he do with the other M7 schools?  I wouldn't be too let down if I ended up at Sloan, Columbia, Tuck, or Kellogg as both are definitely more prestigious than my undergrad!

May 4, 2021 - 12:13pm

He actually only applied to H/W in round 1 because he thought he had a great chance of getting in. After not getting interviews, he reassessed and decided to just keep working, as he could always reapply the following year if he wanted to.

I'll be heading to a non-HSW M7 this fall and I honestly haven't met anyone yet who is coming from MBB, so either they all got into HSW or they are attending other schools. Also could just be my sampling population... You'd definitely have a great shot at any M7!

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