My top tips for the written case are:
- The trick to written cases is to have a filtering system to find the data you need from the worthless data, and of course, recognising that not all the data is useful. Written cases mirror cases done in case-method schools like Harvard. Lots of data is provided in those cases, but not all is useful. Your job is to find the useful data and that means having a framework upfront.
- THERE IS NO ONE “RIGHT” ANSWER; THERE ARE MANY POTENTIAL ACTIONS YOU COULD TAKE. The goal is for you to present a persuasive recommendation and participate in a discussion about how to improve the client
- Be concise. Have your key messages outlined in your summary. Save the details for your discussion.
- Be pragmatic. Craft a recommendation that can actually be implemented by the client.
In order to prepare yourself for written cases I recommend the following:
- Read articles in the FT, Economist, etc. then summarise the three key points or 'takeaways' from the articles. This will get you really good at scanning info and pulling out the most important factors.
- Practice going through written cases under high time pressure - synthesise a recommendation.
- Present your recommendation to someone and get feedback on your ideas and clarity of expression.