How difficult is it to get into H/S/W?

How difficult is it to get into H/S/W?

Is it easier to get in if you apply with just 2-3 years of banking, or if you apply after getting 2 additional years of PE?

What % of GS/MS guys get in?

What % of megafund associates get in (KKR, BX, Bain, Carlyle, TPG, SL, JCFlowers, Warburg, Providence, Permira, Apax)?

Do people that go to a megafund have a much higher chance than people that go to decent MM shops (Madison Dearborn, etc)?

If you went to a top ivy undergrad (HYPS), graduate cum laude in econ (3.6 gpa), good gmat (750ish), top banking, good extracurricular shit, should you almost certainly get in, or do you still have to be lucky?

Comments (31)

Dec 12, 2009

This has been asked ad nauseam, and these seem like rhetorical questions.

  1. No kidding
  2. PE
  3. Nobody knows
  4. Nobody knows
  5. Probably
  6. Still have to be lucky

You can't seriously expect anyone except the adcoms themselves to know exactly what % of each type of applicant gets in. And obviously, coming from GS/MS and a megafund gives you a better shot than most, but unless your last name is Blankfein or Schwarzman, it's still a crapshoot to get into HBS/Stanford/Wharton.

Dec 12, 2009

This sucks...

Someone said that BCG was advertising that its employee's admit rate to HBS is around 70%?

Could that be true?

Dec 12, 2009

Not sure about that. Yes, MBB has very high admit rates to top b-schools, but even so, 70% seems awfully high.

That being said, why are you so obsessed with going to b-school? What's your end goal? Keep in mind that certain exit opps like PE are much easier to get into with a banking background rather than with consulting. Don't blindly choose a job based on b-school admit rates. Think about what you want to do afterwards.

Dec 12, 2009

Stop being a tool. NERA also sells itself as a firm that sends a lot of kids to top schools and PHD's/MBA's etc. but your exit ops are minimal as an econ consultant.

Dec 12, 2009

Bain PE boasts a 100% admit rate to H/S.

Dec 12, 2009

Thanks for the info about Bain PE.

Has anyone heard of megafund associates (KKR, BX, Bain, Carlyle, TPG, SL, JCFlowers, Warburg, Providence, Permira, Apax, Apollo) getting turned down at all of H/S/W, or would this be extremely rare?

Dec 12, 2009

cashcow what does it matter to you? Do you even have an offer or work there? If you do then obviously you can just ask people that you work with. If we tell you that it is extremely rare, are you going to stop trying to get a job from there?

And people that end up at these megafunds are filtered. People that work there have come from impressive backgrounds to begin with. They already come from top tier schools with high GPAs, great previous exp., and impressive GMATs. So most likely they will be able to get a top tier school (not necessarily H/S/W, but top 10).

And there are ppl at H/S/W that are from finance backgrounds that did NOT work at the aforementioned PEs.

Dec 12, 2009

Well, it would put my mind at ease.

Also, if you told me that in addition to going to a mega all these guys founded a non-profit or something, it could change my course of action over the next couple of years. Or if you told me that they all had GMATs>770, I could study more for that.

If you told me that almost all mega guys get in, I could chill out a bit and just do what I can to get in to one.

Dec 12, 2009

cashcow. you sound really slimy. stop calculating odds -- do you realize that to get into business school, MBB, PE, and Banking (all things you have asked about the odds for by now), you have to go through interviews and actually impress people?

Dec 12, 2009

you need to chill out. there is nothing wrong with calculating odds. it got me into hyps undergrad and bb ib.

Dec 12, 2009

There's nothing wrong with calculating odds. The issue is that you are giving the impression that all you care about is beating the odds. Would you really take BCG over a top PE firm because you have a 70% shot from BCG versus only a 65% shot from PE (completely made up that number, btw)? They're completely different jobs in different industries. Think about what kind of job most interests you, then go from there. You have an impressive background, and whether or not you choose to do consulting, banking, or PE, you will have a great shot at b-school. Don't nitpick about which one has the highest acceptance rate. I really hope you didn't pick your school based on which one had the highest admit rate to BB firms.

Dec 12, 2009

cashcow is obviuosly a prestige hunting whore.

Dec 12, 2009

Let the guy ask the question. While I tend to think chasing only the big banks and always trying to calculate the odds will leave you blind to a number of exciting opportunities, I recognize that some people will never see things the same way.

CashCow, the MBA world is constantly evolving and each applicant has their own unique story. Rather than attempt to determine your odds through the successes of others, I recommend you attempt to maximize your chances at obtaining your goals though pursuing positions at the firms you mentioned. Happiness is one of those intangible factors that frequently determines whether or not people will be successful, and I believe you will have a hard time avoiding regrets if you join anywhere but the most prestigious firms.

Best of luck.

Dec 13, 2009

Finance is a prestige hunting whore. This is why people in our field make money.

Companies/pension funds/etc think we know slightly more than other people, so they are willing to pay us a couple million dollars to invest their money/advise them.

This is why all the places that make a ton of money (top PE firms, etc) are filled with people with "prestigious" shit like Harvard, Stanford, Goldman, Morgan, etc. They think people with these backgrounds are more likely to be competent and are willing to pay them a couple more %.

Don't hate the player. Hate the game homeboy.

Dec 13, 2009

to H/S/W is around 60%. Seriously.

Best Response
Dec 21, 2009

CashCow- I think your questions are legitimate. I'll take a shot (disclosure: I've done IB / PE / HS MBA). (note: any % are my own feeling/observation - nothing scientific)

  1. A realistic possibility for someone with your background. You would certainly be "qualified," but the admissions process has a high "crap-shoot factor" due to limited spots for people with similar background. If you applied today, I would say it is 50/50 to one of HSW. If you did get into one, it would likely be Wharton with H/S more of a stretch.
  2. Doing a couple years at a solid PE shop will improve your chances (increase to 70-80%).
  3. Don't know. There aren't very many at H/S that come directly from GS/MS. However, there are lots that have done GS/MS before doing something else (PE/HF/etc). So you can't really tie admission responsibility directly to the bank. MBB consultants have an easier time going directly into HSW, bankers not as much. Easier to do so at H than S because of its stronger preference for young applicants. (Can't speak to GS/MS direct admits to Wharton, but I expect it is higher than both H/S.)
  4. 95% of 'top 10' mega fund PE associates get into at least one of HSW. About 80-90% to either H/S. They may not always get into their choice of H/S, but they typically get into one of the two.
  5. Mega fund is better, but a highly reputable MM shop (like MDP) will also do the job and make HSW an expectation (80%+). There's not really a cut-off; it's a spectrum. The bigger fund/more recognizable name, the better. (There are some <$1B fund associates at H/S, but not many.)
  6. See 1.

Hope that helps.

Dec 23, 2009

Thanks for the info ibleedexcel

Dec 23, 2009

I'm sure guys from Ivey have gone on to go into H/S/W

Dec 23, 2009

Depends. The prestige is not even close to the level of top US schools. However, most graduate programs know that top Canadian Us are no joke, and better than US state schools. In other words, it won't help you and it won't hinder you. My guess is that your work experience, test scores, essays, and interview will likely be the deciding factor.

Dec 23, 2009

Is undergraduate "prestige" even that important when it comes to getting into bschool? Aren't work experience, GMAT, essays, and recs way more important?

Dec 23, 2009

Don't sweat it bro. UG prestige is not that important. jimbrown has it right. If you get the full time gig and a competitive gmat, you'll be fine.

Dec 23, 2009

Alright, thanks for the feedback everyone. Sometimes (especially during recruiting) I feel like I made a big mistake by not taking the SATs after high school. But this is reassuring.

Dec 23, 2009

SATs will have absolutely zero effect on bschool. The standardized test adcoms look at is the GMAT, not SAT.

Dec 23, 2009

I think you misinterpreted what I said. What I meant is that sometimes I feel like I should have given myself a chance to go to an undergraduate program in the States. But I didn't end up taking the SATs because of two reason:
- I was too lazy to study at the time.
- I greatly overestimated the reputation of top Canadian schools outside of our borders. I found this out the hard way while going through recruiting.

Dec 23, 2009

B-schools admissions view the top Canadian universities on par with strong US public schools. In other words, schools like McGill, Queen's, UofT, Waterloo, etc. are seen as comparable to UVA, UCLA, Berkeley and Michigan.

In other words, they're not perceived poorly at all - but they're not seen in the same light as the Ivy or Ivy equivalent. Within the academic/university community worldwide, the Canadian universities are generally known as solid but unremarkable schools (i.e. it's no Oxbridge, Ivy).

As for non-Canadian recruiters, if they know about the Canadian system they will likely hold similar views as what I mentioned above, or they will simply give you that "blank stare of neutrality" that so many Canadians get in all kinds of instances :-) The "we don't hold particularly strong opinions about Canadians either good or bad" also tends to spillover into how Canadian universities are perceived.

Keep in mind that there are also a number of Canadians at H/S/W who did their undergrad in the US as well.

In short, there's nothing you can do about it, and so long as you get a good job when you graduate, your choice of undergrad won't really impact admissions either way.

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

Alex Chu

Dec 23, 2009

Im curious as to how important work experience is. I know a few students who went onto harvard/wharton MBA right after undergrad.

Dec 23, 2009

Those who get in right out of undergrad make up around 1-2% of the class. These people tend to be exceptionally accomplished in undergrad (ran a sizeable business AND kept strong grades, student council president for a large school, etc. - i.e. not your run-of-the-mill college extracurriculars), or they have legacy (incredibly rich parents who are prominent alums), or they have blackmail material on the head adcom or even the Dean.

Even if you could get in right after undergrad, I would strongly suggest getting 1-2 years experience before going back. You'll get more out of it that way.

Alex Chu

Dec 23, 2009

Alex,

Does your undergraduate institution really not matter? I was under the impression that it mattered a lot perhaps as much as work experience.

Dec 23, 2009
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