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Financial modeling skills

Application CV screening Financial Model non business technical skill
New answer on Mar 06, 2023
13 Answers
2.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 15, 2020

Would financial modeling skills be valued for applicants with non-finance, non-business background looking into strategy consulting? I'm talking about getting courses/certifications from BIWS, FMVA or similar, followed by self-study on cases. Among the reasons, beside to get familiar with financial jargon and concepts, are to diversify knowledge and to be able to speak the same language when faced with financial-related situations with clients.

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Jun 16, 2020

Hi,

1) Before you get an offer: financial modeling skills would not significantly improve your chance of getting an offer. However, you should invest some time in learning corporate finance concepts (NPV, IRR, ROI, ROA, ROE, financial ratios, etc.)

2) After you get an offer: financial modeling skills is a must for any consultant and you should invest time in mastering your excel and modeling skills

Thanks,

Anton

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Sidi
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 15, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

Talking for MBB applications: yes it is very valuable - but in a different way that you might expect.

The actual finance-knowledge is not very relevant when talking about generalist applications. However your ability to conceptualize cause-effect-chains and operationalize them by means of a quantitative model is an extremely valuable skill that will help you in almost every MBB-typical context.

Conceptualizing, operationalizing, and quantifying organizational systems into their value drivers is the bread and butter of strategy consultancy - hence mastering the corresponding techniques comes very handy. Financial modeling is just one specific application of this skill - so if you are already experienced in this, it can be expected that you will be able to transfer this skill to a broader context in relative short amount of time.

Cheers, Sidi

(edited)

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Réka
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 16, 2020
3+ years McKinsey consulting experience|Strategy @ Coursera |Oxford MBA

Hello,

I think it's useful to familiarize yourself with basic finance concepts, but you don't really need advanced finance knowledge on most consulting projects. Even though I joined McKinsey with a master in finance, I hardly ever needed more than familiarity with financial statements. You'll learn about modelling on the job.

Best,

Réka

(edited)

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi,

I am not sure what interview you mention here. There isn't any requirement to have a business or finance background for a role in Management consulting. Yes knowing some basics can help with prep but aside from that there isn't any reason to do so.

The only exception I can think of is consulting specific to industries in finance or where finance is important (Due diligence/PE type cases)

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on Jun 15, 2020

Hi,

Only basics are mandatory for interviews (ROE, ROI, EBITDA, ...).

Other things could be learned during welcome trainings or over the flows during projects

Best

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

I would say that is not something required but it can add value for sure. First of all it can show your willingness to learn and your interest towards those subjects. Secondly, if you will be in a financial projects, those concepts can be really useful to make your work easier.

Best,
Luca

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Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi,

No, I do not think that this would be a very big differentiator in terms of applying for MBB (or other firms for that matter) and getting an interview. Although excel modelling skills are great and are useful in the role, you have plenty of time to develop those skills if you join at entry-level and there are many other more important criteria that you need to fulfil first.

-A

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, I confirm if your goal is getting an offer, such courses will not be important in your application as a generalist.

Best,
Antonello

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Maya Johan replied on Mar 06, 2023

Speaking from personal experience, I started my career in engineering before transitioning to finance and business. While it may seem like a big leap, I found that my technical background actually gave me an advantage when it came to financial modeling. I was able to approach financial models with a logical, data-driven mindset that helped me quickly grasp complex financial concepts and build robust models. And while I did have to put in some extra effort to learn the specific terminology and principles of finance and business, I found that it was well worth the investment. So if you're considering pursuing financial modeling skills as a way to diversify your knowledge and improve your consulting profile, I say go for it!

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 17, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Do you mean for MBB interviews?

If so, in which position?

If so, as generalists, or specific business functions?

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

I think it would be useful to get a beginner/intermediate understanding of financial modeling! However, no need to go to expert level.

If you can invest a minimal amount of time/$ to feel comfortable with it, that will go a long way to making your life easier!

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Jun 15, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It will not be a game-changer for your resume. Its just required for you to become better since financial modeling skill is a must

Best

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

it can definitely be useful if you work on due diligence or PE and possibly in the next steps of your career. However:

  1. A certification won’t increase chances to be invited for interviews, at least compared to other things you could work on such as referrals
  2. You will get training programs anyway when you join

Best,

Francesco

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