So I'm a professional engineer in Canada and doing a part time MBA and seriously targeting a switch into management consulting, but I want MBB. I go to one of the top 6 Canadian schools and have excellent grades (just under 90% GPA) and a 710 GMAT currently. Highly involved in leadership of school clubs and community activites, have contacts, well rounded, etc. Was considering IB if it fits my profile better but haven't even really taken a serious look at the industry. Looking for a sober view of my chances to transition, to either consulting or IB, information of challenges, etc.

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Well considering that only McKinsey has an office in Vancouver of the MBBs that's a long shot regardless of everything else, unless you think you can get into the McKinsey Vancouver office.


Ok. Any tips or suggestions?


Judging from the # of posts I can assume this is a throw-away account, but... Within a minute I found you on LinkedIn. Something to consider.


I'm a bit creeped out but I suppose I should say thanks...


Why are you MBB or bust? Are you really interested in consulting, or just the prestige of the name?

Your background isn't a great fit for MBB. Canada presence is weak anyways, they recruit overwhelmingly from top global (not top regional) programs and to boot, you're recruiting from part time, always harder. Your GMAT is low and it will hurt you as well - that alone might kick you out of the resume screen for MBB from a regional program. 740+ GMAT is probably where you need to be to even get a potential look from MBB from a regional part time. You're going to have a hard time getting a good look at top tier 2's as well. I think you need to better understand the industry, the major payers and come up with some goals that aren't as much of a stretch. Consulting recruiting is a crapshoot anyways, you don't want to limit yourself to three firms.

I'm not being blunt to be rude, I just want to make it clear that your immediate goal is a huge stretch from where you are, and you'll be better satisfied with your MBA experience if you have multiple backup plans that are more obtainable.

IB will be an even harder transition for you. Same struggles coming from a part time regional program, but to boot they're going to look harder for specific finance experience. That's assuming you're targeting the same caliber of firms as you are for MC.

Best Response

There's no judge, it's not a contest of opinions. You asked for a sober view and you got it. All power to you if you get an offer.

What is misplaced is your seeming belief that you should restrict yourself to recruiting only at the three most competitive MBA recruiting firms while recruiting from a non-target population (nearly all MBB hires come from full time hiring, most of these from the internship pool, so already more than 50% of offers are out of reach), from a non-target school, from an OK but non-target background, while restraining yourself to your local office (which, frankly, is probably a plus), with a GMAT below cutoff for many firms (710's can recruit from top global full time programs, but not part time programs, it's an easy screen). I work at a T2 in the US and am involved with recruiting. Your resume probably wouldn't have gotten through HR to hit my desk. If it was one of the 100 or so that made it to me, it would have been one of the first 20 thrown out. I think you're wildly underestimating the quality of talent seeking these roles.

Canada is probably easier than the US but you're not coming from a little bit behind; your background is simply not the target population for MBB recruiting. I think I nicely tried to indicate that above. I'm not saying don't apply, I'm just saying that if you go 100% all in on just these three firms, you're in for a lot of disappointment. You're going to have a hard time at tier 2 firms as well, which is why I'm suggesting you don't blow them off; you need to crush the fit and networking to have a shot there. Simply trying to save you some heartache.


STEM backgrounds are valued but the relative quality of the STEM background is important (undergrad, etc). They scoop up a bunch of IIT Indians earning their MBA every year which fills a big part of that bucket. I can't help rate you there. My perspective is rather that - engineering to consulting is done all the time from full time. I don't personally know many engineers who made the leap from PT programs.

In terms of target vs non-target - you can figure this out pretty easily by looking on LinkedIn at how many graduates each of the last 3 years landed at MBB. While you're at it, see if they came from the FT or PT programs and what their background etc was. Could help you answer the STEM from PT question too.

Regardless of whether your statement on time management is true, that's not how firms view the candidate pool.

As an aside - yes, of course there's a chance. But it's not 20%. That would imply that one in five people in your shoes recruiting for consulting would land at MBB. That's just not the case. Hit LinkedIn and talk to some alums, and you'll understand if its more like one in twenty or one in a hundred. For a part time student at a top US program (i.e. Booth or Kellogg's part time program), recruiting for a US office, it's probably in the "one in a hundred" lands at MBB range.


Good luck. With the attitude you've been showing in your posts, you have a long road ahead of you.


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