Consulting toolkit for entry level

Kearney MBB Oliver Wyman Roland Berger
Edited on Apr 26, 2022
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Apr 25, 2022

What does it mean by consulting toolkit? What's the expectation for entry level strategy consultants (MBB/Tier 2) in their first and second year?

*would appreciate concrete answers than ‘you will discover yourself’ type of answers :) 

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replied on Apr 25, 2022
Senior Manager at Strategy& I 12 years of professional experience I Personalized experience to get you the best offer

Hi there, 

In simple terms, for entry level consultants, the definition of consulting toolkit comprises 2 key elements:

1. Excel modelling - Proving that you have an analytical mindset and be comfortable with working excel and building financial models

2. Written communication - Structuring your thinking and be comfortable with clearly and succinctly translating your messages on slides (following the principles of vertical logic)

As highlighted by the other experts, there are other soft skills that are looked into, but ramping up well on the above 2 skillsets will demonstrate your strengths across the core consulting tookit.

Good luck!


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CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Apr 25, 2022
Digital Health start-up founder; ex-BCG; SDA Bocconi. Youtube: Angelina's Business World

Hi there, 

A consultant on his/her first project must:

1. Be comfortable with basic Excel formulas (in particular, sum-if/count-if and vlookup/index-match) and use Excel keyboard shortcuts;

2. Know where all the buttons in PPT are located and use PPT keyboard shortcuts (in particular, for aligning objects);

3. Know all the basic business notions/values (IRR, NPV, EBITDA);

4. Have read the Pyramid principle of communication by Barbara Minto book and internalised it;

5. Be comfortable performing mental math in his/her head: in particular, percentage calculations (multiplication).

Plus, if you are aiming to join a specific practice, such as Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Consumer, Fashion, etc. - you certainly must be familiar with the industry trends and key concepts.

I've actually made a video covering this topic - with specific tips - over on my nascent YouTube channel. The channel is called Angelina's Business World and the video in question is 5 Skills you need to survive your first year in consulting.

Hope this helps and Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Apr 25, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

So you will indeed find out directly from your firm during your periodic reviews.

But here are some key (non-exhaustive) elements:

  • Client Management
  • Verbal + Written Communication
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Critical/Logical Thinking
  • Analysis (quantitative + qualitative)
  • Frameworking/Structuring
  • Value Creation
  • Ideas and Insight
  • Presence and Influence
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CoachingPlus Expert
updated an answer on Apr 26, 2022
Helping consulting aspirants crack the case interview and achieve thier dream job. Bain I LBS MBA I Uber I Bloomberg


  • Clear communication (internal and external)
  • No errors in your work ( eg. ensuring spell checks etc)
  • Getting proficient and quick enough with power point
  • Excel modelling
  • Early expectation setting - eg. if some piece of work is taking longer than expected flagging that as early as possible
  • Structured thinking and problem solving - ability to top down or bottom up and articulating the structure and thought process very clearly
  • Being able to turn your manager's ideas into slides/ models (applicable at all levels) 



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Anonymous B replied on Apr 25, 2022

I believe there are nuances by firm (and even office) too.  At McKinsey, the “consultant toolkit” is very loosely defined and is often used as a threshold between a new joiner vs. standalone consultant.

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Ankit gave the best answer


Senior Manager at Strategy& I 12 years of professional experience I Personalized experience to get you the best offer
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