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MBA sponsorship

Anonymous A

Is MBA sponsorship at MBB still commonplace? I’ve heard at McK you can choose to do MBA or be directly promoted - are there any benefits of either for your consulting career (except for the network and additional skills that come with MBA)?

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replied on 02/20/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

Sponsorship still commonplace yes (30% of class in US). Would definitely suggest to take opportunity to do an MBA if you are sponsored for the following reasons (besides networking you mentioned): break from work, opportunity to intern in different company and gain experience, you have a top X MBA on your resume which sometimes is a nice to have criteria for when you move out of consulting to prestigious companies.

If not sponsored, choice is up to you and points highlighted by others give you a great framework to think about it.

Hope it helps,



Vlad replied on 02/20/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


Indeed you can be directly promoted in McKinsey if you have a great performance (T+ or Distinctive depending on the office / country).

If you want to continue your career in consulting I see 3 benefits:

  • Network - potential project sales when you become a partner
  • You can take a 1-2 year break (and in many cases, you really need one)
  • Knowledge - depending on your interests top schools can provide you great knowledge and develop your business judgment
  • You can have an internship / work in parallel with some other companies / industries and try if its yours
  • If you don't look mature enough for an EM role MBA can help
  • Relocation opportunity to the country of your MBA / other countries. In many cases, it's easier to do via MBA rather than when you work in the Firm.

Pros of not taking an MBA:

  • You basically save 1-2 years of career growth
  • You still save a bunch of money
  • Opportunity costs - you earn your salary

It's up to you to make a decision.

Hope it helps,



Gaurav replied on 02/20/2018
McKinsey alum, Case interview expert coach, 100+ coachees working in top consulting firms - Leapfrog your preparedness in 2 hours

If you have had 2-3 years of broad (working on projects across sectors, functions, geographies) exposure stint at Mck/BCG/Bain, then there are not many hard/tangible advantages of MBA. Especially if you are considering to continue in consulting post MBA.

- Knowledge/Frameworks/Approaches - Consulting is called 'extended MBA' for a reason. If you have worked on enough variety of projects in big firms, there is limited value add on this front.

- Career Progression within consulting - Don't see MBA adding too much value add. Will it accelerate the way forward? Don't think so. Will it help you change sector focus/office - probably, but if you are selected for MBA sponsorship, means you are a stellar performer, in any case you can apply for global rotation programs etc. MBA degree influence is minimal.

- Monetory considerations - Spending during MBA and opportuity cost of not working for 2 years means, its a significant monetory investment

HOWEVER soft benifits galore! Opportunity to network with diverse group of people, people coming from other regions, other walks of life definitely add a few perspectives to your thinking. And of course, the break from 2-3-4 years of grueling analyst lifestyle is a welcome one. It's a nice time to recharge your batteries and get ready for the EM->Partner roles.

Ultimately, it all boils down to your long term career strategy. Spend some time evaluating your options, do talk to those from your office who have taken MBA sponsrships and who have not. A clearer picture should emerge.

All the best. Feel free to get in touch for further guidance.

Currently non-active expert
replied on 02/20/2018

Hey Anonymous,

Let me just build on top of Vlad's great points: some McKinsey offices/geographies are now actively promoting that their Analysts to progress directly to Associates (rather than the traditional through MBA progression) as far as you have a good performance - namely in the US and some offices in Europe!

And personally I couldn't underline more the reason about taking one/two years off, it's something you will definitely need!