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Books related to management consulting

Anonymous A asked on Oct 26, 2019 - 5 answers

Hi guys,

I am currently preparing for the MBB application, but I also love to read in my free time.. I found a list of books related to strategy and consulting and would love to hear your additional recommendations or prioritizations because I don't know which one to order!

  1. Marvin Bower’s Biography
  2. The Mind of The Strategist
  3. Succeeding as a Management Consultant
  4. Irresistible Empire
  5. House of Cards, How Wall Street’s Gamblers Broke Capitalism, by William D. Cohan
  6. The New GE, How Jack Welch Revived an American Institution, by Robert Slater

  7. Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony

  8. Thinking in Systems, A Primer, by Donella H. Meadows

  9. The Innovator’s Dilemma, When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton M. Christensen

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Antonello
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replied on Oct 26, 2019
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Hi,

as stated by Annette, to technically prepare the interviews you should read Cosentino's and Cheng's. But if you have time I really appreciate your list and in general I always advise candidates to read business article and books. In particular I strongly recommend your *ix* and your *i* - McKinsey's Marvin Bower is the title - which gives a broad picture of life and values in McK (maybe a bit old-stile consultancy, but it really defines its founding principles).

Best,

Antonello

Deniz
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replied on Oct 31, 2019
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Hi,

Instead of reading the books you shared, if you want to have a head start, I would recommend that you start reading Victor Cheng's Case Interview Secrets book. When I first prepared for the interviews 7 years ago, this was the book I first read, which gave me a good overview of the case types. Surely, in order to have a more customized approach, you need to start practicing with other candidates as well.

Best,

Deniz

Vlad
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replied on Oct 27, 2019
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Hi,

I recommend investing the time in the fit and case prep. In the free time you can work on developing your business acumen:

  1. Practice more cases with the other candidates. Try to start with the most common industries - Retail, Consumer Goods, Airlines, Banking

  2. Study the annual reports of the public companies in each industry. They have a good overview of the company and the industry.

  3. Get the industry information from relevant books, magazines, etc. We'll recommend some good reading in the next lessons.

  4. Study MBA cases. They have a good industry overview. You can purchase HBS cases here: https://hbr.org/store/case-studies

  5. Follow this course further and you'll learn a lot about different industries

For each industry, you should understand:

  • Revenue streams

  • Cost structure

  • Average margins

  • Key Performance Indicators

  • Industry trends

Best!

Annette replied on Oct 26, 2019

Can't comment on these books' effectiveness for MBB prep, but they do look interesting! I'll check them out in my free time.

I highly recommend Case in Point for an engaging + quick and dirty (yet, well explained) read to kickstart your MBB prep.

Federico
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updated his answer on Nov 10, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

great list!

based on my personal experience, I'm adding below two books written by Bain fellows:

  • The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth (https://www.bain.com/insights/founders-mentality-how-to-overcome-predictable-crises-of-growth-video/)
  • The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-driven World (https://www.bain.com/insights/the-ultimate-question-2/)

PS. I added the links to the Bain website to find out more about them.

Reading these books will definetly give you an idea about Bain and be a proof of your interest in better understanding the company's history and DNA.

Hope this helps.

Good luck with your preparation!
Federico

(edited)