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Feeling stuck on consulting prep - 100% focus on prep OR work at strategy boutique simultaneously while preparing?

Anonymous A asked on Aug 31, 2018 - 3 answers

Previously I was apply for entry positions in tier 2 and big 4 consulting, & received couple of invitations to tests from OW, OC&C, IBM, Deloitte Switzerland, boutiques & some others.

Should I regard these invitations as a sign that there is a chance for me to get a job offer if I pass the tests, case interviews & fit? I believe the answer is yes.

My main target is to get into Oliver Wyman or other tier 2 consultancies.

I am preparing simultaneously for all of the parts, while numerical test will be the first. However now I feel stuck & indecisive on couple of issues.

1. I feel like I spend too much time on preparing. I'm doing it already for couple of months and there is a progress, but i do not receive feedback on my progress so the process is not interactive. I might use a coach or mentor?

2. I am unemployed after graduating with MSc & worried that i'm not gaining experience while solely preparing for interviews, while I might not even get the offers.

3. I feel like I have good chances to get employed in a strategy boutique owned by ex-mckinsey associate.

The main question is:

Would getting into strategy boutique be useful for consulting prep & getting into OW or other tier 2 consultantcies OR it will impede my consulting prep & I rather focus 100% on preparation?

Thank you in advance

3 answers

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replied on Sep 02, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

why would you prefer to apply later for OW/second tier compared to boutique? As Vlad said, it would make sense to apply for all the companies (maybe giving a slight edge to boutique first as a test), so that you can proceed with your best opportunity immediately. In any case, a previous internship/work experience in a boutique could definitely make your CV more attractive for second tiers and still allow to prepare properly although, as mentioned, there is no reason why you should delay the applications for your real targets assuming you have sufficient preparation.

If you feel stuck, I would recommend either looking for a very experienced candidate/current consultant or booking a coach, otherwise you may just waste time in preparation that will not improve your current level.



Anonymous replied on Aug 31, 2018

Intuitively, I would suggest proceeding with a job if realistically you are not receiving offers from the companies you would prefer to work for. Full-time preparation tends to be difficult to explain in an interview, and a lot of consulting firms do not let you reapply for at least one year.

I've known a few coursemates who received lower job offers than they were happy with, so they took on another job for a year and then re-applyed. In their case, the year of real-life consulting experience helped both with providing content for interview answers, reaffirming their decision to pursue consulting, and also networking!

Best of luck.


replied on Sep 01, 2018
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I believe you should have interviews simultaneously at all these companies. Realistically you can prepare for Tier 2 companies in a couple of months, so now it's exactly the right time to apply. If you feel unsure - take a coach and boost your prep.