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How does MBA sponsorship work at McKinsey and Bain in the US?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 13, 2019 - 4 answers

Current undergraduate in the US with offers for both (in large offices) and I'm currently trying to decide between the two. MBA sponsorship is a big factor for me.

Does anyone know how long you need to wait as an AC/BA at these firms before you can get sponsored for your MBA?

Are there any differences in how they sponsor you?

Does everyone at McKinsey who is passed up for BA → EM get this option as long as they aren't a slacker?

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replied on Nov 14, 2019
Ex McKinsey EM with 7 years of recruiting experience/ received all 3 MBB offers/Real MBB cases
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At McKinsey in North America it works like this

You must join the firm as a BA (no other starting role as far as I am aware allows this) and then stay in the firm for 2 years. Additionally, you must maintain a certain rating during your entire time at the firm, this could include being promoted to Associate or EM early but is not necessary to avail of the sponsorship. The firm then pays for your MBA or any other two year graduate program! (there are 2 different financial methods to do this depending on the tax implications for you).

If you do want to take advantage of this, you have to commit to coming back to the firm for 2 years post your MBA in order to consider the debt paid off.

This differs significantly in other regions, and also McKinsey no longer considers an MBA a requirment to move up in the firm. All BAs that are performing well automatically get promoted to Assocate after a certian amount of time

Hope this helps,


replied on Nov 13, 2019
Ex Bain/ A.T. Kearney: Principal with >10 years global consulting and recruiting experience and >150 interviews
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For Bain you typically need to get to the consultant level before you can be considered for MBA sponsorship. It typcially takes 2.5 to 3 years to get to the consultant level and this is the second promotion point from entry level. (Of course this is driven by your performance).

After 6 months to 1 year as a consultant, you will have some meaningful experience of running end-to-end workstreams and managing junior consultants.

I wouldnt recommend doing an MBA any sooner than this since you will benefit from having more real life business experience and this will allow you to get more value from the MBA.

replied on Nov 13, 2019
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the minimum tenure to get the sponsorship is 2-2.5 years. Every country has a local policy that determines it and the scholarship amount, which usually varies from 90% to 120% of the tuition fee and also depends on your performance.


replied on Nov 14, 2019
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At McKinsey, MBA is valued less and less every year. The implication is the following:

  • It's much easier to get promoted directly to Associate
  • It's much harder to get an MBA sponsorship if you are just demonstrating a tracking performance. Especially if the economy is in the downtrend (that will be the case in 1-2 years) - in that case, you'll have to demonstrate the performance that is much better than just tracking


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