There are several reasons to go to business school, including making a career change, networking opportunities, and (of course) the learning! A sizable percentage of MBAs enter business school hoping to go into consulting. In fact, per Wharton’s career report, ~27% of the 2021 class went into consulting, with McKinsey, Bain, and BCG serving as top employers. MBB firms typically recruit most of their MBA candidates from top business schools, including Wharton, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Harvard Business School.
Students at these top business schools (or target business schools) have a distinct advantage when recruiting, given that consulting firms will often travel to campus to meet with students and there is a strong alumni contingency at the firms. Let’s dive a little deeper into the MBA recruiting process and the MBB target school list.
MBB MBA Recruiting
The MBB MBA recruiting process is intense and competitive (even amongst top firms). Typically, MBB representatives will conduct on campus events at target schools (e.g., coffee chats; dinners), and then come back to campus to interview candidates in person at a predefined time. Especially across the top schools, MBB interviewers are expecting candidates to be very polished and exhibit strong business judgment.
The timeline for recruiting at target schools is generally short and standardized. Typically, applications for internship positions are due in November, and interviews take place in January. 2nd year MBAs who are re-recruiting can expect to interview in Aug/Sep of their 2nd year.
MBB List of Target Schools
MBB firms recruit at a variety of schools, with the big names (Wharton, HBS, MIT Sloan, Stanford GSB, etc.) comprising a meaningful percentage of any incoming MBB class. Outside of these schools, there is meaningful presence from the other M7 schools (Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia) as well as other top MBA programs (e.g., University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business; Duke’s Fuqua School of Business; Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business).
Our research has compiled a full list of target business schools for McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, which can be seen below. You can learn more about each firm’s recruiting process through our deep-dive profiles on each one (McKinsey, Bain, BCG).
|School (University)||McKinsey Target School||Bain Target School||BCG Target School|
|Anderson School of Management (University of California-Los Angeles)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Booth School of Business (University of Chicago)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota)||No||No||Yes|
|Columbia Business School (Columbia University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cox School of Business (Southern Methodist University)||No||Yes||No|
|Darden School of Business (University of Virginia)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ESADE Business School (Ramon Llull University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|ESCP Business School (ESCP)||No||Yes||No|
|Foster School of Business (University of Washington)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Fuqua School of Business (Duke University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Goizueta Business School (Emory University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Haas School of Business (University of California-Berkeley)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Harvard Business School (Harvard University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Howard University School of Business (Howard University)||No||No||Yes|
|Jindal School of Management (University of Texas-Dallas)||No||Yes||No|
|Johnson Graduate School of Management (Cornell University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Jones Graduate School of Business (Rice University)||No||No||Yes|
|Judge Business School (University of Cambridge)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Kelley School of Business (Indiana University)||No||Yes||No|
|Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kenan-Flagler Business School (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)||Yes||Yes||No|
|London Business School (London Business School)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Marriott School of Business (Brigham Young University)||No||Yes||No|
|Marshall School of Business (University of Southern California)||No||No||Yes|
|McCombs School of Business (University of Texas-Austin)||No||Yes||Yes|
|McDonough School of Business (Georgetown University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Olin Business School (Washington University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Owen Graduate School of Management (Vanderbilt University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ross School of Business (University of Michigan)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto)||No||No||Yes|
|Saïd Business School (Oxford University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Scheller College of Business (Georgia Institute of Technology)||No||Yes||No|
|SDA Bocconi School of Management (Bocconi University)||No||Yes||No|
|Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stern School of Business (New York University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tepper School of Business (Carnegie Mellon University)||No||Yes||Yes|
|The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yale School of Management (Yale University)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
While the above schools may comprise much of any incoming class, you can still snag an interview at an MBB firm if you are not at a target school. Getting an interview from a non-target school requires savvy networking skills and a lot of raw talent. For tips on how to break into MBB firms from a non-target school, see Management Consulted’s overview here.
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As such, going to a target business school is helpful as you are recruiting for MBB firms. Attending a top business school can enable you to meet company representatives during the recruiting process and have a strong alumni community when interviewing for the firm (and when hopefully joining). However, if you are not at a MBB target school, you can still get a job at an MBB firm, albeit navigating the path requires a bit more grit.
To get into an MBB target school, you must have a super crisp resume and A+ interview skills. Work with our team to hone these skills with an ex-MBB consultant.