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What is the impact of school location for MBB opportunities?

MBB recruiting target school
New answer on Aug 13, 2020
3 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 11, 2020

What is the impact of school location for MBB opportunities, or if there is any, if your school regularly sends kids to MBB but not at a top-target level. (E.g. if you went to UCLA/Vanderbilt/Emory where there's a pipeline in place and regular placement but obviously not Ivy-number placement)

There's a lot of talk about how certain schools only get recruited for the offices in their region - is this true? (Assuming you had actual ties to a different area)

Then does this change if you've graduated from those schools and have been working for a few years?

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 11, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Great question!

From what I have seen school location does matter for a lot of offices in the US. For example, if you want to get into NYC or Bay Area offices you have to go to the top 5-10 schools in the US. However, if you wanted to work in the Dallas office, there is a strong pipeline of candidates from Rice or UT Austin. Similarly like you said Atlanta recruits from Emory, Detroit from Michigan, Midwest offices recruit from University of Indiana etc.

Regional offices that aren't the top location choice for candidates often recruit from the top regional schools for MBB.

With regards to how this changes if you have been working for a few years - it depends a lot on the following

- How long you have been working - longer this is the case the less relevant your school becomes and what you achieved at work becomes most important

- What work you do - if you work in Oil & Gas then the offices that focus in that sector are the ones that will be most interested in you

- Who you know - ultimately you will need a referral to get in and the offices that the people you know work in will be your best bet

All the best,


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Anonymous B replied on Aug 11, 2020

Look I don't think the impact is driven by geography/region. Impact is driven by demand and supply. So for example there are a lot of candidates who would like to work in NYC and as such NYC will favor students from top schools

Offices in locations that are not as popular will be open to high achieving students from non-target schools regardless of where that school is.

Finally yes as you get more experience - your education will become less important and virtually any sort of transfer is possible for high performing consultants

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 13, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Let me summarize :)

  1. Top schools = Top choices (i.e. best odds of getting anywhere)
  2. Non-top target = Best odds regionally. However, forget about this "You will only get recruited for offices in their region". This is just a factor of that office having more affiliation with your school (alumni network for example) and an understand of your school's prestige. However, you can absolutely get in to an office outside of your region (just make sure to network)
  3. After graduation = Best odds where you have ties (if you worked in the same state as your school, well, that office makes the most sense. However, if you moved to New York or to Germany, then you'll have better odds there. Here, it really depends on what story your resume tells and what sort of contacts/network you have developed!)
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