Excel and PowerPoint

consulting Excel PowerPoint
Neue Antwort am 5. Aug. 2022
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Anonym A fragte am 4. Aug. 2022

Hi, I have just started a new role at a consulting firm and am already feeling overwhelmed by the things that I need to learn such as excel modeling and PowerPoint. 

Is there a way to ramp up the learnings as I am starting from zero. I didn't need to learn at university due to the modules I took and am panicking that I will never be able to pick up the skills required. Please give any suggestions or things that I should do to help with this. Thank you so much

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Ian
Experte
Content Creator
bearbeitete eine Antwort am 4. Aug. 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!

For Excel + Powerpoint:

You have a few options here:

  1. Learn on the job
  2. Ask your colleagues
  3. Do the online/internal trainings
  4. Find online tutorials/trainings (there are a million)
  5. “Create” you own training by playing around with a big dataset or modelling our your own scenario

GENERAL TIPS FOR SUCEEDING ON THE JOB

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook (message for a link to the article)

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Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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Fourth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

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Sofia
Experte
antwortete am 5. Aug. 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

Don't worry - this is an incredibly common feeling. There are no university courses that can equip you with all the skills you will need as a consultant, so it is completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed when you are just starting off.

Honestly, the best way to learn things like Excel and Powerpoint are just by doing it over and over again on the job. Ask lots of questions: no one expects you to know everything from the get-go, so be proactive in getting the help you need. Ask to observe senior colleagues at work (this can be very helpful with Powerpoint), or even for a quick sit-down session with someone for them to show you the ropes. If there are particular skills you are concerned about, ask people at your company how they would recommend you best learn them. There will likely be some formal training at your company which I encourage you to take advantage of.

For Excel modeling, if you mean financial models, you can find online courses that teach you the basics, but in my opinion you get the hang of it far quicker just by doing it on the job and asking lots of questions. Good luck!

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Ashwin
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 5. Aug. 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD

Hey there,

I can empathize with you, the expectations in consulting firms can be very high and it is not easy to deliver without relevant past exposure. 

Unfortunately there is no short-cut, I would advise you to be resilient, have a positive growth mindset, and view this as a learning opportunity. I have observed multiple candidates get frustrated and give up even though they had the raw intellect and if they had persevered for a few more months they could have gone on to do well. 

 

Thanks

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Rami
Experte
antwortete am 4. Aug. 2022
Ex-BCG | 100+ coachings & interviews @ BCG | I will teach you the core skills needed to ace your fit & case interviews

Hi there,

I understand how overwhelmed you must feel, but bear in mind that we all start there and the only way is up! A few ideas that helped me ramp up quickly during my time in consulting:

  • YouTube - I highly recommend crash course / “learn the basics” videos as they provide the necessary foundation, also make sure to check Excel / PowerPoint shortcut videos as these become very handy quickly
  • Company resources - usually consultancies develop their own learning materials and courses to ramp up their new joiners so make sure to exhaust those as they may be more tailored to your company's problem-solving approach
  • Your team - something I did when I started my first case at BCG was to be honest with my teammates about my weaknesses and book some time with them to learn from them some best practices, must-know shortcuts and tools, tips and tricks, etc.

Also bear in mind that, regardless of how many courses you go through, most of your learning will be done on the job. This is the nature of consulting, most of your skills will come from practical experience rather than theory. You will make mistakes along the way, but the most important is to learn from them and seek help when needed.

So don't feel discouraged at all, this is an incredible opportunity for you to grow your skills and become a great consultant in the future - make sure to maintain a growth mindset. Always remember that everyone started there, even the most talented partners in your firm :)

Hope this helps!

Rami

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Ian

Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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