Any advice on useful things to do before starting date?

headstart MBB offer readiness
New answer on Oct 18, 2023
4 Answers
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Ferdinand asked on Mar 11, 2019

Hi Preplounge community,

I've been fortunate to receive some great offers and am wondering what I can do in terms of prep before I start in about 2 months' time.

Here's what I've come up with so far; I'd very much appreciate any input on the (non-)sense of these points as well as others I might not have thought of:

1. Hard skills: PowerPoint and Excel (VBA?) courses on e.g. Coursera. (Note: I imagine this stuff is best learned on the job but since I will join at Consultant level maybe I won't be given as much time to catch up as those joining at lower levels (?))

2. Get in shape physically

3. Reconnect with friends

4. Spend at least 2 weeks relaxing/doing no work at all

To those who've already started - how did you spend the time before your starting date? What would you do differently?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Ferdinand

(edited)

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Benjamin
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replied on Oct 18, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

I had a ~2.5 month gap between the offer and the start date. 

I did what I liked to do - travel, scuba dive, catch up with friends.

The only thing I would have done differently is to ask for a longer gap e.g. 6 months, so I would have more time ;)

 

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Mar 11, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Definitely take a break! Also, 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 pivot tables and the basic statistics tools

Excel and Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. They have the amazing templates that you have to reproduce to be able to do that fast.

The key thing - throw away your mouse and put some tape on your touchpad. Do everything with your keyboard!

2) Power Point

  • First, read "Say it with charts" and "Pyramid Principle".
  • As a next step Google for MBB presentations on SlideShare and try to replicate them in PPT.
  • Finally, take MBA some cases (HBS or any other) and try to derive the conclusions and put them on slides using MBB styles.

And finally - take a long vacation before starting your job;)

While in consulting focus on the following:

  • Having a good DGL / career counselor, etc. (Each company has different names). This is a person who guides your development in the company, collects the feedbacks on you, and presents your case to a promotion committee. Make sure to have a person who is organized enough to collect the feedbacks in time, who is a nice person in general and who has enough authority in the company (i.e. Senior partner - the more power he has - the better)
  • Choosing the project you work on smartly (i.e. collect the feedbacks on each and everyone prior to accepting the project)
  • Perfect technical skills (Excel, PPT, Problem Solving)
  • Good feedbacks on you from the client. Thus try to make friends with your clients (Both senior and non-senior role. Even a bad feedback from a blue collar can ruin your career)
  • Ability to manage your own standalone workstream with minimum supervision. TOP performers bring the end products that impress others
  • Being proactive - helping the team with daily routine, scheduling, etc. Participating in the office initiatives
  • Establishing relationships with your managers and partners. Ideally, you should have multiple senior partners to be excited about you and to support you)
  • Being lucky!

Good Luck!

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Anonymous replied on Mar 11, 2019

I spent my (precisely) 2 months before entering consulting enjoy life and pursuing my passions (in my case it involved a lot of travelling, basketball and reading).

You'll learn the hard skills on the job.

I couldn't agree more with your points 2 and 3 though.

Best,

Joao

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B on Mar 19, 2019

Would it be good to be involved with the company's projects before starting?

Anonymous replied on Jul 11, 2020

Dear Ferdinand,

Congratulations to your offer!

For sure I would recommend you to spend this time with your family and friends, because your personal life will come short after you start in consulting.

It's also very valuable time to prepare yourself in consulting industry. If you wish, I can share with you deep insights: working culture and how to become a successful consultant and build quick career over there.


Feel free to drop a line.


Good luck,

André

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Benjamin gave the best answer

Benjamin

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