Target Schools For MBB Consulting Firms

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The combined prestige of firms McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company is a well-known fact in the world of management consulting. Together, they’re simply known as MBB, and they have been — and remain — the three most sought-after employers for undergraduate students yearning to break into the industry.

Could be the money: User-reported data from jobs and news site Wall Street Oasis (WSO) shows a first-year analyst at Bain can take home as much as $82,000 a year plus an almost $9,000 bonus. Could be the culture: When it comes to employee reviews of leading consulting shops, MBB leads the pack for overall employee satisfaction, professional growth opportunities, career advancement opportunities, feedback about job performance, fairness in how workers are treated, and a plethora of other job satisfaction ratings. Or it could be the opportunity to work alongside brilliant minds in the consulting profession: MBB also tops WSO’s charts for competency of senior leaders.

Whatever the case, the MBB trifecta is one big magnet for undergrads who are chasing their big break into the consulting industry.


Which schools are the Big Three most drawn to when it comes to fueling their pipeline of talent? Like the big investment banks on Wall Street, consulting firms also have their favorites. Want to know if your school is a go-to institution? New data from WSO offers a glimpse. The site has gathered data from its huge community of members to pinpoint which undergraduate institutions leading consulting firms commonly recruit and hire from.

WSO’s May 2018 Consulting Industry Report shows that of its 1,555 users who currently hold positions across more than 100 different consulting firms, 142 are employed by McKinsey. Of those 142, nearly 20% hail from the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, or the University of Michigan. Second-tier schools for McKinsey appear to be Stanford University, Duke University, Princeton University, and Boston College. Also found within this tier are two international schools: Cambridge University and Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

Following this grouping, McKinsey appears to have an affinity for New York University grads as well as those from Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Some of McKinsey’s surprise pet schools found further down the list include Butler University and Copenhagen Business School.   

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