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Advice Needed

job
New answer on Oct 06, 2023
7 Answers
326 Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 04, 2023

I have secured a job offer for a consulting firm in the US due to start in 2024. Since getting the offer I have stopped case preparing and focused on my current role. I feel like I am almost missing something as I invested a lot into my prep. I also feel that I may lose some of skills developed whilst preparing. 

Is this normal and what can I do to combat it? Should I be up-skilling or learning anything prior to starting?

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on your offer! In terms of your question:

Q: Is this normal and what can I do to combat it? Should I be up-skilling or learning anything prior to starting?

It’s normal to feel a bit out of touch once you stop preparing for case interviews.

In terms of what to do before joining, I would recommend to consider the following:

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IT TOOLS

You are probably fine with Excel and PowerPoint, if not you can take a quick course to review the basics. You can check in advance with your office if they recommend training on any other tool, such as Alteryx or Tableau and if so, do some prep on that.

One of the most important things you can learn with any IT tool is shortcuts – they will increase substantially your productivity.

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INDUSTRIES

If your office specializes in specific industries where you would like to work, it would be good to get a minimum knowledge of them in advance. You will still learn the most during the job so this is not strictly necessary.

You can find some tips on recent consulting trends here:

 11 New Consulting Trends You Should Know

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READING LIST

A good way to invest your extra time before starting is to… read. You probably won’t have much time to do this later and reading can help you substantially to accelerate your personal growth.

Personally I don’t have much time to read, so I listen to books – Audible is great for this. You can easily listen to a book per week with minimum effort. You absorb books differently when you listen, so you have to check if this works for you.

The following are some books I would highly recommend to develop a growth mindset – key in any industry with high pressure. You can expand the list with anything you want to learn – just try to find a few really good books on that topic.

  • The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy (great book on long-term planning)
  • Tiny Habits – BJ Fogg (excellent, science-based book on habits formation)
  • The Mediations – Marcus Aurelius (written ~ 2000 years ago but incredibly actual – the personal diary of the most powerful man in the world at the time)
  • The 80–20 Principle – Richard Koch (very smart life tips from one of the founders of LEK)
  • Peaks and Valleys – Spencer Johnson (crisis management tale – from the same author of the famous “Who moved my Cheese”, I personally found this book a lot more interesting and applicable)
  • The Gap and the Gain – Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy (excellent book in terms of mindset for happiness)

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FIRST WEEKS

Below you can also find some tips for the first weeks I usually recommend – you are probably familiar with most of them, but it might be useful to review the list just in case:

  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.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Raj
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

Hi there! Congratulations on securing a job offer in the consulting firm! It's completely normal to feel a bit uncertain or even anxious about transitioning from preparation mode to focusing on your current role. It's important to remember that the skills you developed during your case preparation will still be valuable in your future role as a consultant. However, if you're concerned about maintaining those skills and staying sharp, there are a few things you can do.

First, I would recommend setting aside some time each week to continue practicing case interviews. This can help you stay familiar with the problem-solving and analytical skills required in consulting. You can also consider joining case practice groups or finding a case interview partner to keep your skills sharp.

Additionally, it's always beneficial to stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments. You can do this by reading relevant business publications, following thought leaders in the consulting field, and staying informed about current events that may impact the industry. This will help you stay knowledgeable and demonstrate your interest and commitment to the field.

Lastly, don't forget to take some time for yourself and recharge before starting your new role. It's important to maintain a healthy work-life balance and ensure you're mentally and physically prepared for the challenges ahead.

Overall, while it's natural to feel a bit uncertain during this transition period, by staying engaged, continuing to practice, and staying informed, you'll be well-prepared to hit the ground running when you start your new job. Best of luck with your preparations and congratulations again on your job offer!

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Frederic
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 04, 2023
ex Jr. Partner McKinsey |Senior Interviewer| Real Feedback & Free Homework between sessions|Harvard Coach|10+ Experience

Hi there,

It's entirely normal to take a break from intense case interview preparation once you've secured a job offer, especially if your start date is several months away. However, it's also natural to feel a bit rusty or concerned about losing the skills you've developed. Here's what you can consider doing during this period:

1. Stay Informed: Continue to read business news, articles, and books relevant to consulting and your future role. This will help you stay updated on industry trends and business concepts.

2. Networking: If you have the opportunity, connect with future colleagues or others in the consulting industry. Networking can provide insights into the firm's culture, projects, and expectations.

3. Technical Skills: Depending on the nature of your consulting role, you might want to brush up on technical skills. This could include data analysis, spreadsheet modeling, or coding, depending on your specific area of interest within consulting.

4. Soft Skills: Consider working on your soft skills, such as communication, presentation, and leadership. These skills are valuable in consulting and can be developed in various professional and personal contexts.

5. Industry Knowledge: If you know the industry or sector you'll be working in, it's worth deepening your knowledge in that area. Understand the challenges, opportunities, and key players.

6. Relax and Recharge: It's also important to take some time for yourself. Consulting can be demanding, so use this period to relax and recharge.

7. Stay Curious: Cultivate a sense of curiosity about problem-solving and business challenges. Being genuinely interested in these topics will serve you well in your consulting career.

Remember that the break from intense preparation doesn't mean you'll lose your skills. You've developed a foundation that can be built upon when you start your job. When the time gets closer to your start date, you can revisit case interview practice to sharpen your skills.

Enjoy the transition and the time leading up to your new role. Congratulations on securing the job offer!

Warm regards,
Frederic

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Oct 04, 2023

Thank you Frederic, really helpful!

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 05, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Congrats on the offer!

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!

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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

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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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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 04, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on your job offer!

It is normal after all the stress and hard work of case preparation that you feel a little “less productive” these days. Apart from what other coaches have suggested on being informed, networking, etc., I suggest you also focus on being physically, mentally and emotionally sharp. Do sports, rest well, eat healthy, connect with friends and love ones, enjoy free time, etc.

The new consulting job is going go be a challenge that will demand a lot from you so be ready for it in all dimensions. Don't worry for the learning / practice part, if you are entry level none is going to expect crazy things from you from day 1 (just motivation and eagerness to learn).

Best,

Alberto

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Nikita
Expert
replied on Oct 04, 2023
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 90+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey, congrats on the offer!

You shouldn't bother doing intense case prep right now. 
If you want to stay sharp, doing one case a week on some topic or industry you are unfamiliar with should be enough. Better still, you can also give cases to some of your peers who are still in the recruitment process. 

In the meantime, it's better to focus your energy on preparing for your new role, such as networking, reading up on your company's culture, enrolling on various trainings that can sharpen your consulting toolkit etc.

Also keep in mind that consulting work does not equal solving a case (although it for sure requires structuring and analytical skills).

Good luck in your new role,
Nick 

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 04, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

First of all, congrats! It's amazing that you have an offer waiting for you. Try to enjoy this time - there are few moment in life where you have this sort of certainty before you. 

In terms of losing knowledge, don't worry too much about it. Learning how to structure it's a bit like learning how to ride a bike. Yes, you might not be as agile on a bike if you haven't been on one for 5 years, but you'll ramp up pretty quickly. Same with casing skills. 

Then, you're going to get a LOT of training when you join. Then the entire job in the first 2 years is a form of training. Don't stress. If you want to learn and are open to feedback, you'll get everything you need in due time. 

If you actually want to read some advice on what it takes to be a top consultant in your first year, you can leverage the following two resoureces:


Best,
Cristian

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Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
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