Target Schools For MBB Consulting Firms

Self-reported user data from members of Wall Street Oasis has University of Michigan with the most representation across all three MBB consulting firms. Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business


With close to 60,000 submissions from its member community of financial services professionals, WSO’s universe of data is representative of thousands of financial services and consulting companies based purely on users’ self-reported information. In the case of university stats to see which schools are sending the most grads to top consulting firms, WSO’s thousands of submissions are sliced into a subset of users who self-report their employment is with a consulting firm. This subset is further broken down to just include the past two and a half years of submissions to offer an accurate picture of which schools are currently churning out the most grads into the consulting field.

With this sample pool in hand, WSO then combs through the data to identify the overall distribution of users from each school to each of the reported firms.

Getting back to the MBB trio, for Bain & Company, the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University are the favorites, followed by University of West Ontario, University of Chicago, and the University of Texas at Austin. Finally, Boston Consulting Group delights in grads from Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. And if you’re wondering which school has the most representation across all three of these top firms, that award goes to the University of Michigan. In WSO’s report, 14 total Michigan grads showed up at the Big Three — more than any other of the 430+ schools represented in the survey.  


Of course, getting into consulting isn’t just about securing a spot at McKinsey, Bain, or BCG. There are hundreds of other reputable companies for would-be consulting professionals to explore. Other notables represented in WSO’s data set include Deloitte and Accenture — two firms that actually show higher intake numbers across all universities than all three of the MBB firms — as well as lesser-known, but still reputable, firms like Oliver Wyman, LEK Consulting, and Strategy&.

Overall, the schools with the widest distribution of grads at leading consulting firms (including the Big Three and beyond) are Berkeley and NYU followed by a four-way tie between Penn, Harvard, UT-Austin, and Yale. However, when looking at the data, it’s compelling to see how the top schools fare with MBB firms. For instance, from WSO data, McKinsey appears to do little to no hiring from Berkeley, whereas Bain is highly attracted to the California school. Meanwhile, Bain does little to no hiring from Penn, but McKinsey is the opposite. Out of the Big Three, Boston Consulting Group seems to be most willing to distribute the love more widely among the top institutions.