BCG Networking Event

BCG networking
New answer on Sep 24, 2019
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 23, 2019

I have an upcoming BCG student networking event taking place next week in Central Europe. To prepare for the event I've compiled a list of questions that concern consulting in general. So I was hoping to receive some guidelines or ideas about the following:

1) Are there any office-specific questions that are important to ask in a relaxed setting, and
2) Is there an etiquette to be followed when it comes to networking, i.e. Should I show my eagerness for the job? Are there questions I should not ask? Should I make a distinction between analyst/associate/director/partner, etc?

I am just looking for the obvious things that I may have missed. To my background: I am a mathematics graduate from a target university, and I am just about to finish my studies.

Thanks in advance!
E.

(edited)

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Daniel
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replied on Sep 24, 2019
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi :)

One important advice I would give you: be yourself, be authentic and be memorable. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. During the introduction round, don’t be all dry, but rather also mention things which are important to you and which you are passionate about. MBB are looking for strong personalities, who can lead and inspire, who younger colleagues and clients can eventually look up to. So, it’s good to show your personality. Also, it’s always good that the consultants remember you during the event :)

As regards your questions:

  1. You can ask anything about the job. Some things you can focus on, for example: work at the client’s (how does a typical day look like?), team work (what are the roles and how they interact), industries (can one choose what to specialize in?), functions (what kind of projects in terms of functions now prevail in this country? E.g. transformation, digitization, M&A, procurement, etc.?)
  2. There is no etiquette, it’s really a flat hierarchy. So, there is no need to make a distinction between the roles in terms of how you communicate with people. Of course, you can try to maximize your time chatting with partners and directors, but don’t be too overboard about it, just be natural. Flat hierarchy is one of the big values of the MBBs, so don’t behave in an obsequious way :)
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Francesco
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replied on Sep 24, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

in terms of the questions, there are no office-specific ones required (although you can of course ask questions related to the characteristics of a particular office if interesting for you). It is actually a good idea to prepare your questions in advance. Relevant questions are a great way to show your interest in the company and get additional points. In the first reply at the following post you can find some information on the ideal type of questions to ask:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

In terms of how to best approach the event, assuming your goal is to receive an interview invitation, these events are a good opportunity to create a strong connection with current consultants for further support in the application process. To do so, you should prepare good questions, transform the dialogues in conversations and at the end of the event ask the consultants whether you could reach out later for further questions. If they say yes you can then send a thank-you note and, so far you made a good impression, chances are you could later transform the connection into a referral at the right moment

The key things I would recommend to prepare in advance, besides your questions, are the following:

  • Read about the firm and the consulting industry. Try to understand recent development – this will ensure you can ask credible questions and stand out
  • Learn as much as possible about the consultants who will participate in the event, if available. In this way, you will be able to connect more easily.
  • Be prepared on company-related fit questions. You won’t be formally interviewed during these events, but you want to leave a positive impression in an informal conversation with consultants. At the bare minimum, you should
    • have a clear idea of why you want to become a consultant
    • why you want to join BCG
    • what you can bring to that company and
    • have a clear, 5-lines pitch of who you are as introduction

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Baris
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updated an answer on Sep 24, 2019
Ex McKinsey | Ex Top Tier Private Equity | Experimenter | Investor | +150 Case Interviews

Hi E,

Hope all is well and good luck at the event.

Before I answer your question, I have one for you to consider, please ask yourself this. "What do you REALLY want to know about the job and/or the office specifically?". Once you answer that question, you have your answer to your first question. In my opinion, the worst strategy at these events is to "prepare" questions that you are not interested in, to look interesting to the recruiters. These are people that deal with different kinds of people all the time in different settings, so they can smell "fakeness" from miles away. They are looking for authenticity and real interest for the job. So if you have a question (doesnt matter what it is really) that you really want to ask and you authentically want to know the answer, ask that, you will look better than most people around you that "prepared" their questions, and once their question is answered they can not follow-up with another question/comment and build an ACTUAL relationship with the recruiters.

To answer your second question: Other than questions with obvious answers that you can find online "i.e. what are the application deadlines, can I apply to more than one office etc." you can ask anything. Think about it, as a consultant your job will be to ask the right questions so dont be afraid to ask.

With regards to making a distinction between different roles: If I were you, I would go and speak with the person/recruiter nobody else is speaking with at the event. A senior partner will have 50+ people around her/him looking to impress her/him BUT a) There are at least 2 or 3 steps they need to go through before they can speak with her/him at an interview AND b) Her/his attention span will be so small that she/he will probably not remember you 5 minutes after the event. However a fresh BA at the event, if you impress her/him and show that you are genuinely interested and have the skills, trust me on this she/he will recommend you to that Senior Partner later during the day.

Good luck and just be yourself.

(edited)

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Daniel

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