Hi. I've received an offer and will be starting my consulting career quite soon. I want to make use of the time I have before I begin by working on my Excel and Powerpoint skills. What are some areas I should look at? More importantly, what material do you know of that exists online and helps me achieve this goal? And finally, any other advice pertaining to this matter? Thanks
What are some important technical skills you need to work on before starting your job as a consultant (after you've received an offer)?
First of all - congratulations on your offer!
In terms of skills to practice - knowing your way around excel will indeed be helpful. You will pick up Power Point fairly quickly if you haven't used it before, but excel might take a bit more time. Chandoo.org has good explanations and tutorials, however you would be fine with simply googling as excel is quite commont.
Haivng said that, this is really a job that you learn as you go, so I would also advise that you enjoy your free time and relax before you start!
congratulations for your offer. In general I would consider preparing not only on the technical side, but also on communication and goal setting/stress management, as they will become far more important for your career than pure technical skills.
- On the technical side, Excel will be the most important technical thing to master at the beginning, in particular for what concerns VLOOKUP and Pivot tables; an additional useful review may concern PowerPoint, which you will also use pretty intensively (PowerPoint though is pretty straightforward, thus I would concentrate on Excel). At BCG we got training courses we could use for both, and I guess you will receive equivalent training in your firm if different, but so far that you have already mastered the skills before joining even better. You should be able to find several courses online for free for both besides the resources already mentioned in this thread. One thing I would strongly suggest to learn for Excel is how to avoid to use the touchpad/mouse using keyboard combinations only – will skyrocket your productivity. KeyRocket offers a nice support for it.
- For what concerns communication, a classic on the topic is the book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. Any sales experience you may have before joining would also be very helpful.
- Finally, for goal setting/stress management I would recommend “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.
I would also keep in mind the following once you start with the job:
- Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
- Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
- Always double check. First impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you will create a reputation of a reliable person.
- Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
- Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.
Hope this helps,
I would concentrate on getting the right financial modeling skills and presenting your analysis in Power Point.
1) Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. Also, learn the basic statistics tools
2) Power Point - Google for MBB presentations and try to replicate them. Search for tips and tricks in books / internet in parallel. Plus read "Say it with charts" and "Pyramid Principle"
And finally - take a long vacation before starting your job;)
I second what everyone else has said: charge your batteries before you start. Then: pedal to the metal.
The best advice ever: go on holidays and don't think on consulting for even a single minute. you'll thank me later in your BA career :D