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Hi, what would be the first case you would suggest to start practicing?

Frederico asked on Jan 25, 2018 - 4 answers
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Vlad replied on Jan 26, 2018
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I would start with either market sizing or with profitability cases since they are much easier:

1) In market sizing cases I would try to understand the basic approach:

  • How to structure market sizing case
  • Key tools (Assumptions, Households, using personal experience, adjustments, age groups, Income split via 80/20, peak / off-peak calculations, replacement rate, using size of the area to calculate markets, calculating adjacent markets, sanity checks, etc).
  • How to do math in the case interview

2) In Profitability cases, I would learn

  • How to ask clarifying questions
  • How to structure profitability cases
  • How to work with data (Comparing with competitors, segmentation, historical data)
  • How to answer the questions on creativity
  • How to provide recommendations

3) Then I will switch to Market context cases (Market Entry, New product, Acquisition, etc). In addition, I would learn how:

  • Structure market context questions
  • How to analyze graphs and tables

4) After that I would look at other case types: Operational math problem (e.g. Should we increase the speed of an elevator or just buy a second one? How should we reduce the queues? Etc.), Cost Cutting, Valuation, Private equity due diligence, Synergies, etc.

Also, I would try to focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of getting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech


Anonymous replied on Jan 26, 2018

Hey Frederico,

Personally I don't think there is a particular case that is better than all the others for you to start practising.

But If you are just starting your case practise, I would reccomend you to do cases that require very different approaches (profitability tree, new market/product strategy, M&A, etc) and skills (more conceptual, more quantitative, etc).

By doing this early on, it's easier to understand both the similiarities (always the same solving method > understand problem statment, strcuture your approach, make analysis, provide a recommendation), as well as the differences across the way to solve each case (different initial structures, etc)



replied on Jan 30, 2018
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Don't forget cost reduction!
And please don't just use variable cost/fixed cost as a structure. Think about what the biggest categories of cost are for that particular business, and then start by focusing on the biggest category.
Good luck with the preparation!

Francesco replied on Jan 26, 2018
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Hi Frederico,

if you want to give a priority (not strictly necessary, as you should know well all the types) I would recommend to start with the type of cases that are more common. Below you can find a general list, bear in mind specific companies may have different frequency (eg ATK does more operation cases, Bain more M&A etc.)

  1. Profitability
  2. Market sizing
  3. M&A/ Market entry/ Grow strategy/ Operations
  4. Pricing/ New product/ Competitor response


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