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Advice for incoming consultant (experienced hire)

BCG Career start Experienced Hire MBB
New answer on Dec 25, 2023
6 Answers
439 Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 20, 2023

Hey all,


I will be joining BCG in a few months at Consultant level (experienced hire).

What would be your top 3 advice to perform ?

Many thanks for all the comments / answers on various Q, they were definitely helpful.

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Best answer
Inigo
Expert
replied on Dec 20, 2023
Senior Consultant at Roland Berger / Ex-Lazard IB / Top performer and interviewed +100 candidates / INSEAD MBA 24D

Hello, 

I have already been working for 4 years as a consultant in Roland Berger and will be leaving in a few days to start my MBA at INSEAD (sponsored), so will try to provide the best advice in my experience

  1. Try to be close to the management / partners: in consulting it is key to be staffed at projects, as being “on the beach” might be good in terms of stress / lifetime, but it is not beneficial for your professional career. So having a good relationship with management / partners (or the staffer) will enable you to be up to date with the projects and even help you select the most attractive projects (if you are lucky)
  2. Be reliable: it is highly relevant to provide peace of mind to your superiors, so always provide confident answers with robust analysis. I would suggest that it is better to tell your manager that you need more time, rather than providing an answer that could probably change
  3. First impressions are extremely relevant, so I would push a lot in the first projects, as people talk and it will be widespread really early if you are a person that managers want in their teams or not. It is much harder to change a bad first impression vs. a good first impression

Hope this helps

Best

Íñigo

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 21, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the BCG offer! In terms of your question:

Q: I will be joining BCG in a few months at Consultant level (experienced hire). What would be your top 3 advice to perform?

My top 3 would be:

  1. Align with your manager on the delivery before starting a task and while working on it
  2. Double-check all your deliveries before submitting them
  3. Ask for feedback proactively every 2-3 weeks

Longer list:

  1. Take notes during meetings/discussions with your manager – this will help you to remember details and will show the team that you care.
  2. Always double-check. The first impression is very important when you join a new company: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you will create a good reputation. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. You want to identify the most important activities and prioritize them, applying the 80-20 rule. Align with your manager to define them at the start of the project whenever possible.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term. Try to build connections in your first weeks with your peers to build a network.
  5. Align with your team on your private life activities. You might want to organize some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). It is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs so that there are no surprises later­ on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline than missing the deadline.
  8. Be approachable and respectful to support staff – these people are generally great and influential in the company as well.

All the best for a great start!

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 21, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Great question!

I actually like talking about this topic so much that I wrote two guides about it. Have a look at them here:

But if I actually have one piece of advice, it's to play the long-term game, i.e., don't seek to impress from the beginning or try and make everybody happy, or you'll burn out, and your performance will be worse overall. Instead, find a pace that is sustainable for you and keep it constant. I know this might sound unusual, but believe me, these are the people who make Partner.

Good luck!
Cristian

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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 25, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Here are my top 3 tips, based on having been a lateral hire to BCG (although I did come from consulting prior), as well as being a Project Leader/Principal and having managed experienced hires.

  1. Keep an open mind
    • You will be exposed to new ways of working, culture, performance standards etc
    • You may also have had some prior expectations of what you think BCG is like / consulting is like
    • → Keep an open mind and for the first year, just try and absorb as much as you can. 
      • E.g. don't simply turn down projects because you feel like they are not ‘interesting’ 
  2. Leverage your peers
    • Find and leverage peers (or juniors) who you can ask for help on minor, admin stuff, to also more complex strategic questions (e.g. sounding board for your problem solving)
    • You will work with juniors who are more capable of doing the job than you - put aside any ego or pride and leverage them as well
  3. Be disciplined in managing your own trajectory
    • While you will have a CDA, much of your trajectory is sometimes in your hands
    • Be deliberate, be disciplined in how you manage the process of ensuring you are growing and moving forward. This applies to both staffing and on a case itself
      • e.g. Staffing → depending on which office, you may need to be proactive and reach out to MDPs & Project Leaders
      • e.g. Case → hold your PL accountable to the MDA (you'll know what this is when you join :)), and to the pre-agreed feedback sessions

Happy to have a chat in more detail - just drop me a dm

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 24, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

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!

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

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook

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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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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 22, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

congratulations on securing that job offer. Many useful tips have been shared here already so I don't want to just repeat.

I would like to stress the aspect of “being proactive” in all areas of your new job:

  • if you meet new people at the firm, introduce yourself and get to know them
  • if you are not sure if you completely understood what is expected from you with the current task at hand, ask your manager or teammate for clarification
  • if you can sense that you are not going to make a deadline, tell the person waiting for your input ahead of time, explain why you can't deliver on time and propose an alternative
  • ask your manager for regular feedback - especially early on (I don't mean every day - that is super annoying - but have a bi-weekly standing meeting for example)
  • actively work on incorporating the feedback you receive to show progress - don't wait for the final project evaluation

The above is all behavioral and sticking to these habits will go a long way, even if you were to need some time to really pick up on the consulting skill set.

Best of luck

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Inigo gave the best answer

Inigo

Senior Consultant at Roland Berger / Ex-Lazard IB / Top performer and interviewed +100 candidates / INSEAD MBA 24D
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