Mckinsey/BCG Consultant - HBS/Wharton?

endlessly's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I am currently in one of the top strat consulting firms (Mckinsey/Bain/BCG). As far as I'm concerned I got in by sheer stroke of luck. I networked my ass off through alumni referrals to MBB recruiters, spoke to a ton of engagement managers by attending HBS and Wharton business conferences, somehow got MBB interviews via my efforts and personal connections and aced my cases. Somehow, here I am, a complete no-body from a non-target top 20 LAC with a 3.5 G.P.A and two Cs and a couple of Bs on my transcript.

Given my poor academic history can I still make it into HBS/Wharton after just two years at MBB? I haven't taken the gmat, but I'm a good standardized test taker. I shouldn't get below a 720 ifIput my mind to it. I don't know what to do. If I should risk rejection from these schools by applying next year or if I should try taking the PE route like my peers, rock PE for say, two more years, and then apply?

Please thoughts from experienced folks on the forum or even admission counselors will be very much appreciated.

P.S- I have very strong ECs. I wasn't student body president but I was pretty much president about four student orgs and organized quite a number of notable conferences. I also started a latin american non-profit foundation. Its not in the news or anything but its pulling some weight in latin america

Mexico + Central America
United States - Northeast

Comments (11)

Oct 15, 2007

You're fine. This has been covered before but admission rates to top schools from MBB are astronomical.

A 3.5 isn't bad, considering the 20-80 range for top schools is about 3.2-3.8; the number is skewed by all the engineers but the point remains, you will be fine. Just get 700+ on your GMAT, decent recs from work, and you should be able to walk into a top school.

  • justanotherbanker
  •  Oct 15, 2007

I met an HBS recruiter during a fellowship a while back. She said that the average GPA of their MBAs is way lower than everyone thinks -- in the ballpark of 3.4-3.5. I was damn shocked but I don't find it unbelievable.

Oct 16, 2007

I definitely believe it. All the young guys from consulting, IB, etc. all have like 3.7+, all the old guys from wherever probably have lower grades (if they had higher grades, would've probably worked on a track that went to b-school faster) so they pull the average down. Include the engineers, photographers, and entrepreneurs and you're at around 3.4-3.5.

Oct 15, 2007

Thank you guys. I'll give it a shot then. I work really hard here and have the backing of two partners; at least for now. If I don't mess things up my recs from them should be pretty solid.

Thannks again

Oct 16, 2007

Work experience is your #1 most distinguishing factor. You have what can be argued as the best possible work experience for someone looking to get an MBA. Keep it up and you will be quite competitive at any school.

Oct 16, 2007

Your lack of work experience will be a much bigger challenge than your GPA. As long as you score in the upper 600's with a fairly even breakdown on the GMAT you should be fine.

Two years is pretty short. They do take people with that little experience you are just going to have to have a really compelling case for why you need the MBA now vs working for a few more years. Also just as an fyi the short work experience will disqualify you from some jobs once you get in. If you want to go back to consulting or IB it won't matter, but for some other fields they are going to want more experience.

Sep 23, 2016

I've actually heard that HBS has a slight "age bias" in which they actually prefer slightly younger candidates than their peers in the M7.

Not sure how to verify this; it looks like their average age has been 27. But with a class of 900+ people, I'm sure there are more than a few students who are younger than 27.

Sep 23, 2016


After I work as associate for like a year. Is it still reasonable to apply to HBS for MBA?

Sep 23, 2016

I don't see these paths as mutually exclusive. You can try to transfer now to PE and apply in Fall 2017 to matriculate in 2018. If you are accepted great and you'll have almost two years of PE experience when you start the MBA. If you aren't accepted then, you reapply and perhaps apply more widely with additional year of PE experience.

And while your academics may not give you bragging rights, I agree with those that say it's not a big deal, especially if combined with a solid GMAT and excellent work experience.

I don't see any reason that you must wait.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

Sep 23, 2016

Frankly, MBB is a more recent and proven indicator of success. smash the GMAT and their doubts go away

Sep 24, 2016