IE v/s Bocconi for Strategic Consulting

Hello Guys… I have been researching the two schools since the last few days, but have been unable to make up my mind: which one’s better for a career in strategic consulting? Some objective facts that favor SDA: Top recruiting fir…

Hello Guys..

I have been researching the two schools since the last few days, but
have been unable to make up my mind: which one's better for a career in
strategic consulting? Some objective facts that favor SDA:

Top recruiting firms: (Source: Business Week 2008 )
Indra: 12
Grupo Mensor: 11
Johnson & Johnson: 10
Everis: 8
Daemon Quest: 5
Cap Gemini: 3

Boston Consulting Group: 6
Johnson & Johnson: 4
Bain & Company: 3
Booz Allen Hamilton: 2

Clearly, lack of top consulting firms at IE is a major concern. The only reasoning i can think of is that consulting firms looking to recruit in Spain/LatAm tend to favor IESE.

IESE: (Source: Business Week 2008 )
Boston Consulting Group: 6
McKinsey & Company: 5
Bain & Company: 5
Booz Allen Hamilton: 5
A.T. Kearney: 3

1. Both SDA & IE are largely regional schools - SDA caters to recruitments mainly in Italy, while IE to those in Spain, LatAm.
2. I have tried to look beyond rankings. All of them place IE way above SDA - but i am not entirely convinced!

With this sort of data, i am clearly inclined towards SDA. Let me know your thoughts on the same.

A confused soul seeking HELP!

Hi Vipin,

Perhaps I can help but do make your own decision as I can only offer advice. Ultimately the main decision has to be made by you and you only as this decision will affect your working life after the MBA.

I recently had to make a choice as I had a full scholarship to Bocconi but my situation was different as I was comparing Bocconi with the likes of LBS and Insead.

I believe that your choice depends largely on where you will like to work after the MBA. Would you want to work in Spain / Latin America vs. Italy afterwards? What language would you learn? To work in either Spain/Latin America or Italy, you will have to learn either Spanish or Italian.

Otherwise if you don't plan on learning either Spanish or Italian, I believe that your job market in Europe will largely be confined to London.

If that is the case, Bocconi has a stronger name as I have spoken to strategy professors and friends in the financial sector in London, and they acknowledged that Bocconi has a very good track record and recognition as a very good school with one of the finest strategy and management department.

IE is not as well-recognised as IESE by both large financial institutions and consulting firms, as I have discovered through my personal research (again, this is largely confined to my personal space and conversations, and not based on "hard" evidence). I believe that it could be because IESE is a 2 year program, and for career changers into consulting and investment banking, a 2 year program would be better as companies will prefer if you have had an internship with a consulting firm or bank prior to making a full-time offer to a candidate.

Hi mbagogogo...

Thanks a lot for your detailed feedback! Clearly, i dont back myself to learn enough Italian or Spanish in an already intense program. So.. as you said... London is the place to go. and whatever little research i have done also seems to suggest that i will be better off with Bocconi..

thanks again...

Hi Vipin,

I too have an admit from SDA Bocconi... when did u receive urs? i want to move into investment banking(IB)... from what I heard , consulting jobs are nearly impossible without knowledge of italian and IB jobs are non existant nowadays...

also, UK Tier 1 visa is difficult to get soon after MBA ... Most of the alumni of SDA Bocconi are back in India... if u r looking to work in UK , its best that you apply to an UK school as u wud get a 1 yr work permit after ur MBA...

i have decided to defer my bocconi admit and work for an indian boutique i-bank and then I think the 1 yr MBA might make greater sense for me....

hope my decision helps you to make yours too... ATB


It all depends on your goals i guess.

For me, I have done both consulting and investment banking (front office) so I see the MBA as an extension to my future career goals.

It will be difficult to transition into an investment banking (front office) career with a 1 year MBA. However it can be done as much will be determined by your ability to network, network and network.

Of course, an MBA from Insead (though it is a 1 year program) will position yourself nicely.

That said, I have heard from friends based in i-banks in London that they know about Bocconi and do think highly of its graduates.

i do agree with mbagogogo that SDA Bocconi is highly rated in London... i too had excellent reviews of the program and hence i decided to apply to it in the first place... but having said that, one must keep in mind the visa issue... 2 yrs back a SDA Bocconi MBA would have fetched you a HSMP visa straight from college... hence many bocconi grads got jobs in london's booming finance industry... but today the Tier 1 UK visa has no MBA provisions i.e u wud need to qualify on the basis of points and sadly a fresh MBA graduate cannot qualify ...

so your only option of finding a job in london is to convince employers to sponsor you a work permit which is extremely difficult given that
a) u dont have prior experience in consulting/IB
b) you are from a foreign country and you have a degree from a foreign univ
c) visa requirements

hence this yr will be tough for career changers and most ppl that i know have compromised on the job profile (i.e go back to what they did prior to an MBA) ...


I got my admit from Bocconi about 10 days back. and thanks for the updates on the current Tier1 Visa scenario... it does seem quite discouraging. One look at the UK immigration site suggests that students from top non-UK programs no longer get much of a weightage (unlike the previous HSMP program)

As NOTHING1954 pointed out... it would be great if you could provide some information about the recruitment status of Indians in the MBA33 batch...

MBA33 batch graduated in oct - dec 2008 which was perhaps the worst time to graduate (lehman jus fell down this time) so basing any study on the MBA 33 batch would be highly inappropriate... unfortunately, prior to MBA 33 not many students from india enrolled in Bocconi ... i have spoken to 2 indian alums who graduated in 2006,2007 (perhaps the best yrs to graduate for an MBA) and both are back in india....

1) without the knowledge of any european language it is very difficult to get an job in europe

2) europe is not as tech savvy as US hence your chances of getting tech product sales or maketing jobs are limited in fact India offers better career prospects for MBAs in a tech profile

3) europe is not as wealthy as US and there is significant underdevelopment in certain parts of europe(eastern europe)... hence there is a massive migration from east to west in europe... due to this, many non-fancied jobs like Telecom, retail banking, general healthcare etc are difficult to get for non-EU nationals

4) the profile of the indian candidates from previous batches were poor actually ( low GMAT scores, lower Work ex etc)... so one cannot base any conclusions from the previous batches... in fact a yr back SDA Bocconi was accused by the locals that it admitted any international student who applied to it jus to boost its rankings ... the indians at MBA 34 and 35 batches have significantly better profiles so things could improve..

5) many non-eu(non indian) candidates at MBA 32,31 were able to get good jobs in UK, US (when they went on an exchange programs), gulf etc. But all these students had excellent profiles (IB, MC, 6-7 yrs WE)

in short if you are looking at Bocconi MBA to transform your career without any pre-MBA achievements you will find it tough. Hence most of the indian Bocconi grads returned to india.europe MBA

also many ppl who believe that an european MBA to be cheaper will be surprised as in europe as you would have to wait for a few months after MBA before getting a job in europe... each month you stay there would set you back by 50-60k rupees (700-800 euros)... hence u must have strong financial support

the situation is similar in other top european schools as well like HEC, RSM, IE etc... hence if you have a strong work ex then european school would help you else stick to US/UK ( when the recession subsides and you dont have the language problem)