MBB Targets? (+ what to pick)

Hey,

Interested in mgmt. consulting/tech consulting but also would not be against going into my major (MechEng, ideally FAANG-type stuff). I would like to experience both to get a feel for what I would like to go into as a career. Unsure how recruiting works, I've talked to some current students and I'll put what I've learned below but am interested in what people in the industry have to say.

Top choices right now are Waterloo/Queen's, maybe Toronto too but no decision yet. On the American side, I have a few state flagships (nothing like UMich or Berk) and some privates (NEU, CWRU, etc) - not terrible schools but unless something there really stands out compared to the Canadian options I'm not too interested. 

Accepted major to all schools is MechEng/TronEng because I figured it's easier to enter business careers as an engineer than engineering with a business degree. 

Waterloo

  • Pros: Co-op allows me to try different fields (more so than other schools), location (closer to YYZ/home), good West Coast reputation. Looks like Bain has a good relationship with UWMCC and McKinsey has a recruiting team, not sure about Big4 but I hear the recruitment at UW is ok. Good recruitment at Big 6? (not super interested in high finance)
  • Cons: I've heard little about finance/consulting recruiting here, especially for non-CS/non-AFM students (accounting seems popular). Unsure what its reputation is for MBB/Big4 for students in my major. Tough school (not expecting any of these to be "easy", but Waterloo is known to be especially grindy). 0 social stuff but you go to Laurier for that anyways. Alumni network - lacking or just don't like donating? Helpful? 

Queen's

  • Pros: I know it's a target for IB and I guess MBB too, but I have no idea if that is only for Smith BComm or if it extends "schoolwide" (admission avg. for engineering/comm is the same FWIW). More traditional college experience. Big endowment, seemingly strong alumni network. 
  • Cons: Not known for engineering as far as I know and virtually unknown on the West Coast in general. Little further from Toronto but that's very minor. Supposedly a little racist but whatever. 

Toronto SG

  • Pros: Good engineering program, applied PEY co-op (little worse than UW but probably more experience than Queen's), it's downtown.
  • Cons: Huge school, not sure how it really places in MBB for Rotman much less engineering. 

If any people with experience in the Canadian space could give me their thoughts, that'd be great. Thanks!

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Comments (4)

Apr 27, 2021 - 3:30pm

I'm not familiar with Canadian universities but I was also an engineering major in the US.

All MBB view engineering very favorably (more engineers recruited from my school than any other majors), so I wouldn't consider it a detractor on the resume. The difficult part is maintaining the GPA, since engineering is orders of magnitude harder than business. I do think it gives you a leg up when actually doing the job, though. Depending on the program, you may find out what 80-90 hour weeks feel like... 

FYI mechanical engineering is a great major, but I've never met a mechanical engineer who had the skillset to become a software engineer at FAANG. I've only met one who was a great coder, but he did computational research and had a very strong (international awards) math background. It's the most hands-on of the major engineering fields, so you'll ideally get some shop experience. Entry-level jobs can be very lucrative, but FAANG is more for software and doesn't hire as many mechanical engineers as other companies.

Apr 27, 2021 - 3:47pm

Thanks for the response! GPA is something that has definitely been echoed a lot... that one will be tough lol. Glad to hear that MBB looks at engineers favorably - in terms of US schools would they be looking at strong engineering schools that have a weak(er) business program? E.g. Purdue, UIUC, UCSD type schools, which I would consider about on par with Waterloo in engineering and maybe a little weaker in business.

Yeah, if I was going towards FAANG the common pipeline from what I've seen is time at a legacy automaker -> Tesla -> FAANG (I've seen a lot of Apple mechanical design). For now, I'm fairly certain I don't want to go into a coding job, but I'm open to going into mechanical design at tech in general (FAANG, EVs, robotics). 

Apr 27, 2021 - 5:35pm

I don't think any of the 3 you listed are targets because they're not strategically looking for engineers. Their strategy is to find smart, high-potential people, so the school's general brand is most important. This is why they recruit at all the top schools in the US, even though most don't have business majors (I went to one of these).

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