Bain, BCG & McKinsey: What Do The Big Three Consulting Firms Want From Their MBA Hires?

Digitization and big data analytics have changed what it means to be a management consultant today

Together with financial services and technology, consulting makes up the Holy Trinity of MBA hiring industries. Year after year business school MBA employment reports place it top of the pile, often boasting that at least one in five of their students entered the industry; sometimes it’s as high as one-third.

18% of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s most recent graduating MBA class entered consulting; 28.4% of NYU: Stern’s MBA graduates landed roles in the industry; and 33.6% and 34.9%, respectively, of Columbia Business School and Yale School of Management’s MBA classes of 2018 became consultants after graduating.  

When BusinessBecause spoke to Bain & Company’s global head of consultant recruiting, Keith Bevans, earlier this year, he said that they are on the hunt for top talent from any school, but actively recruit from the global top 20.

It’s no surprise, then, that 36% of INSEAD’s MBA class of 2018, and 28% of IESE Business School’s most recent graduating class, are now consultants. Add to that London Business School’s MBA class of 2018, where 33 students landed jobs with McKinsey & Company, 29 with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and 28 with Bain.

The big three consulting firms—Bain, BCG, and McKinsey—are often the firms on the lips of any MBA student serious about a consulting career. But what do they look for from their MBA hires? What skills do all modern consultants need? And what advice do they have for nailing the all-important...

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