Canadian MBA -> MBB Consulting

Hi WSO,

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the post MBA consulting scene in Canada. Which MBA programs would allow me to break into the top 3 Strategy firms? Based on my initial research, it seems that Ivey, Rotman, and Queens seem to be the most "target". Also since employment reports don't really give great detail into the # of students going to each firm, I am uncertain about whether its worth it to attend an MBA in Canada or whether I should apply to the U.S schools I am interested in. Lastly, does attending a 1 yr MBA at say Queens or Ivey pose challenges for a career switcher from accounting/ finance background in comparison to a traditional 2 year program? Thanks in advance for any insight!

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Comments (15)

Jun 20, 2017 - 2:47pm

Thanks for the great advice. I would love to get into M7 but that's quite unlikely based on my F100 Pharma reporting/ analyst experience and background. I will aim for T15 US schools and wanted to see if there was any viable path through a Canadian MBA also. For hires from Ivey, due to the 1 yr format, is it mainly people who have pre-mba consulting experience or is there a chance even if you are a career switcher?

Best Response
Jun 20, 2017 - 7:07pm

There's a chance, but it's ridiculously tough - it's why Ivey's recruiting success at the MBA level has fallen so much since they switched to a 1 year program.

I will caveat that with: pre-MBA consulting experience doesn't really give you a leg up in terms of telling your story. Where it does help is with is doing case interviews, since Ivey MBAs are essentially recruiting for positions within a couple weeks of starting there. If the first time you're being exposed to case interviews is 3 weeks before your interview, it can be quite tough to do well.

Consulting is also a tough job and not for everyone and I would recommend doing a 2Y program so you can do an internship and figure out whether its for you or not. 1Y programs really are designed better for those with no need to recruit (e.g. ex-consultants who are going back to their company and don't want to miss out on the opportunity cost).

Nov 17, 2017 - 11:30am

UBC has something called the SCMP (strategic consulting management program) where you get interviews at all the top MBB consultancies in Canada provided you get through the gruelling training and long hours. About 1-2 students per year land MBB roles however they are usually the ones who put in the longest hours and have exceptional profiles. McKinsey was at UBC recruiting just a few months ago for internships. However, everyone I know was either a P.Eng + MBA, PhD + MBA, or MS in AI so might not be applicable for your background...

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Aug 15, 2017 - 5:33pm

I would say Rotman is you best choice in Canada but you would be more successful with a top15 MBA from the US.

I don't know how many FT positions come up every year but I can say that for MBB Rotman usually places 3 - 5 interns, that's all. The company does have a good relationship with ATKearney though an i guess some 3-4 people land there every year.

There are also big 4 consulting that take 10+ interns and FTs. For boutiques I cannot say. Reach out to some recently graduated Rotman student and get a coffee, they tend to be accessible.

Nov 18, 2017 - 9:16pm

MBA in Canada for Consulting and ... (Originally Posted: 01/08/2008)

Greeting,

I have few questions and hopefully that someone would be able to assist me.

I am currently seeking a career change and plan to apply MBA in Canada. I do not plan to apply US schools, because I have no intention to work in the States. My plan is either to stay in Canada, Toronto or Vancouver (and I know there aren't many big names, IBD or Consulting, present in Vancouver) or move back to Asia (I was born in Asia, but educated in Canada).

1.Currently I live in Vancouver where UBC Sauder and SFU Segal are located, and I understand that if I want to enter non Canadian IBD, Ivey would be my best choice. However, how about Consulting? Of course, once again Ivey offers very good opportunity in Consulting field from what I have researched, but are there other business school that has the same capacity and impact in Consulting industry?

2.Also if my main focus is going back to Asia, IBD or Consulting, would it be better to do an exchange program in Asia for a semester? Ivey does not really offer any exchange program in China or HK except for a "teaching project" in China and I doubt that would help me land an offer in China or HK. UBC Sauder has an exchange program with Ceibs, ranked 11 at FT, in China. (I know ranking is merely a guideline and many people disregard the ranking system and I am surprised Sauder is ranked among top 100 Global MBA, #77 [Rotman 21, Ivey 41, Schulich 46]). I understand if I want to stay in NA then eastern schools are better choices, so my question is if I plan to go back to Asia would that make a big difference? Like say between Ivey and Sauder. Because it is a lot easier for me to stay in Vancouver since I have lived here for a while and even have my own apartment so I don't need to worry about housing.

3.Ivey and Sauder both offer MBA Specialization in Finance. Would this specialization gives me an edge while applying IBD and also would Consulting prefers Strategic Specialization or does it not really matter for Consulting?

Thank you for viewing and I look forward to the reply.

Nov 18, 2017 - 9:19pm
  1. Is the "ranking" of B. schools in Canada the same for consulting compared to banking?

  2. Would International Exchange program assists you in landing an offer in Asia? Compared to, like say, go to Ivey with no exchange program.

  3. Would MBA specialization in finance compromise the opportunity to get into consulting if later decide not to work in IB when graduated. (I am not referring to switch to consulting after few years of banking experience).

cheers,

ak

Nov 18, 2017 - 9:20pm

I don't know about canada, but if you want to work in Asia, definitely do a top US MBA or if you don't qualify, then do an MBA directly in Asia at one of the better regional schools.

Nov 18, 2017 - 9:21pm

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