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Bain, Mckinsey, BCG Snap Up More INSEAD MBAs Amid Consultancy Hiring Spree

Elite three continue recruitment drive

Tue Feb 9 2016

Elite consultancy trio Mckinsey & Company, Bain & Co and BCG continued their global MBA hiring spree this year, snapping up more than one-quarter of INSEAD’s 1,000 MBAs.

The consultancy sector as a whole hired 43% of the class of 2015 at INSEAD, which topped the FT’s 2016 MBA Rankings last month — a rise on 41% the year before and nearly 10% the year before that.

McKinsey, Bain and BCG hired 226 of INSEADs class combined. But the rampant demand for MBA hires goes beyond the top-three. Accenture, Strategy& (PwC) and A.T Kearney are also among the top-seven recruiters, which are all consulting firms, aside from Amazon.

Deloitte and L.E.K Consulting also hired MBAs at the world’s top-ranked business school last year.

“With the acquisition of Booz & Co by PwC to form Strategy&, the acquisition of Monitor by Deloitte, and of Parthenon by EY, we see that all the accounting firms — KPMG included — are significantly growing their advisory practices,” said Stephane Ponce, global consulting lead for INSEAD’s Career Development Centre.

The decades’ long lust for top MBA talent among consultancy firms has reached new highs this past year.

At London Business School the elite trio hired 72 of 401 MBAs. McKinsey hired more than any other company in any industry. Lara Berkowitz, executive director for LBS’ career center, said McKinsey values a strategic mind-set, creative problem solving skills, global experience and multilingualism. “The MBAs hired by McKinsey are going to offices all over the world,” she said.


And at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in the US, McKinsey doubled the number of MBAs it hired in 2015. “Hiring has increased,” said Sheryle Dirks, associate dean for Fuqua’s Career Management Center.

Chicago’s Booth School of Business says the consulting industry hired 4% more of its MBAs last year. At Dartmouth's Tuck School the big three hired 18% of the MBA class.

Salaries are increasingly enticing at top consultancy firms, along with the fast career progression and network connections typically accrued. “Consulting firms have been among our top hirers for 30 years and remain of strong interest to our students,” said Sue Kline, at MIT Sloan’s MBA Career Development Office.

At Virginia’s Darden School, Berkeley-Haas, Wharton, Stanford and Harvard, MBAs working in consulting earned $140,000 average starting salaries in 2015. Median salaries in consulting for INSEAD MBAS are $113,600; $107,000 overall.

INSEAD’s consultancy recruitment eclipsed all other industries including financial services (15%) and even tech (19%), which has become a magnet for MBAs in recent years. Most went to the Asia Pacific region followed by North America, where the elite strategy houses are headquartered.

MBA Careers directors are forecasting further consultancy hiring gains in 2016, as the hunt for talent, which top firms pride themselves on, continues to intensify. “We are cautiously optimistic that the prospects are good,” said Conrad Chua, head of MBA careers at Cambridge Judge Business School in the UK.

Tina Lee, director of the MBA Career Management Center at Hong Kong’s CUHK Business School, said: “Our partners in consulting firms, including the Big Four, remain optimistic [for 2016].”

Student Reviews






One of a kind

I studied Bioinformatics at CUHK last year. It was the only Master's degree in Hong Kong in this field. This program developed my analytical skills and equipped me to be a Bioinformatician in a very practical way. I enjoyed my year here and met classmates from different parts of the world. If you are thinking to enhance your profile, this degree program would be a good option.




On Campus

general education courses, unique college system, large campus

The university facilitates multi-dimension and interdisciplinary learning. In social science faculty, we need to choose courses as our faculty package from other departments (architecture, psychology, sociology, etc.) to learn more than our major required courses. We are also required to finish general education courses, which aid our critical thinking and humanistic sensibilities. I do recommend the social science broad-based program, and the professors I met so far are all responsible and erudite.





The faculty of law is relatively new. You do not need to have a LLB to pursue a LLM, which is special. The taught programme is great for mature students who want to obtain legal knowledge. CUHK has good teaching staff too.




Amazing Campus and Great Educational Environment

Not only is CUHK's main campus breathtaking, it provides for a good educational environment for students. The university is well-equipped with modern and up-to-date facilities to help students with their study. We have 8 libraries in total around the campus; one for media, one for architectural studies, the medical library and the law library. The Professors are always helpful and are happy to talk to students when needed. Moreover, the college system within the university brings forth the uniqueness of CUHK. Each student belongs to a different college, and in that students are able to meet different peoples from different countries and students from different faculties. I think CUHK provides for a well-rounded university life for all students.





One of the most down to earth places in HK. A great opportunity to learn and embody the local culture. Also had one the most beautiful campus in Hong Kong up on the hillside. Glad to have graduated here.




Innovative and Supportive

My university provided me with all the support I needed, and encouraged me to be up to date with all the new developments in the world. They also provided me with the incentive to excel at what I do, and they take much pride in my achievements. I have had a very rewarding university experience.




Small, New But Friendly Law School

To being with, I think the campus of CUHK is the best and the biggest in Hong Kong, with fresh air and trees everywhere. I am an undergraduate Law student at CUHK and I think the teaching here is great, with very friendly and nice professors and the new Lee Shau Kee Building. In terms of the courses offered by CUHK, as one of the largest universities in Hong Kong, CUHK is an all-rounded university, offering a wide range of courses to students. Students may take the introductory courses of discipline other than their own major, or even declare a minor. For law electives, due to the small amount of intake, the variety of law electives are not that huge. However, the Faculty is offering some international programmes, which can be treated as law electives, but at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to travel and know more about the legal system of another country. The career support from the Faculty of Law is also amazing. The Faculty will organise CV Sessions and talks on how to get an internship from law firms or mini-pupillage from barrister's chambers. Each student will also have a Distinguished Professional Mentor, which is a current legal profession, providing us with practical advices and updates of the legal field. Finally, from my personal experience, I think the students in CUHK are friendly and genuine. As Law students, competition is inevitable for grades, GPAs, vacation schemes and training contract. However, I think the competition in CUHK Law School is a positive one, in a sense that help us grow together, instead of fighting with each other no matter what. That is the biggest reason why I am having a very good time here in CUHK Law School.




A place to explore your interests

As a law graduate from CUHK (both undergrad and post-grad), I realise that I had many opportunities to explore my areas of interests (legal and non-legal both). The faculty/university requires us to take a certain number of non-law electives, and offers a plethora of courses to choose from. Personally, I took 3 modules in Korean --I can't say it's made me highly proficient, but it's definitely given me a good foundation (I can walk into a Korean restaurant and confidently order food, at the very least). The fact that language courses are offered also provides students who are more financially constrained an opportunity to learn a language without having to shell out a premium for a decent language course. On top of that, we have a range of law electives as well. I know of classmates who have developed lasting interest in different areas of law because of the electives they took in school. The two electives that I would say have changed me is (i) mooting and (ii) family law. I think my experience in an international commercial arbitration moot competition has helped tremendously in formulating legal arguments and legal writing. On the other hand, taking a family law elective has made me very interested in the family law practice, especially in terms of child rights. For these experiences which I have gained, I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the school. One main issue most students I know have is with the way our GPA is calculated and the lack of transparency in terms of how the honours system works. As our GPA is marked on a curve. it's highly unrepresentative of what we have achieved as individuals. Given that our GPA is the only criteria that is looked at when we apply for the compulsory post-graduate law course (mandatory should we want to practise law and/or be trainees in Hong Kong), it will put our own students at a distinct disadvantage when we compete for limited spaces with students from schools where GPA is not on a bell curve.




On Campus

Valuable time in CUHK

I like the learning environment and people at CUHK. Surrounded by hills and Tolo Harbour, CUHK provides a balance between nature and hustle. You can always escape from the busy study life and meet your friend around the big campus for different activities.