Ex-Bain consultant who cracked interviews at McK, BCG, Bain
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How do you prepare before integrating a strategy consulting firm?

Anonymous A

Hi everyone,

I am starting to work in Bain next week and I would like to know how to prepare before this first integration?
I am going through a lot of relaxation/vacation time but I would like to know how to best prepare for an analyst position.
Thanks!

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Michal
Expert
replied on 05/02/2017
Ex-Bain consultant who cracked interviews at McK, BCG, Bain

Hi there and congrats on your offer!

The question is valid. Broadly, you are going to experience two aspects of your role - techinical and people. Put in other words, you are going to show your general intelligence and technical skills, as well as emotional intelligence and people skills. There are some ways you can prepare for both:

1. Emotional intelligence/people skills (probably more important!)

* Read books (the genre is self-help, however bad it sounds) that address areas you feel you could get stronger on; "How to win friends and influence people" is one of the classics that is actually recommended by Bain as a pre-read

* Research stress management techniques, such as meditation (or prayer if you're religious). Build this into your daily schedule already today. You relaxing now is the right thing to do, but the key is to make this continue once you are on the job and things are getting out of control

2. Technical skills

* Excel is probably your best bet. Take an online course if you can. Other than that, everything you will do will be very highly specific to the situation so you can't prepare for this.

Hope this helps!

Good luck on your day one.

Michal

Francesco replied on 05/06/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (800+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with Michal, Excel will be one of the most important technical things to master at the beginning, in particular for what concerns VLOOKUP and Pivot tables; an additional useful review may concern PowerPoint, which you will also use pretty intensively, although less than Excel. At BCG we got learning courses we could use to improve on them, and I guess you will receive the same at Bain, but so far that you have already mastered the skills before joining, even better.

As for a previous post I wrote, a couple of things that could instead help you during your first weeks are the following:

  1. Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
  2. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  3. Always double check. First impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you will create a reputation of a reliable person.
  4. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
  5. Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.

You can find the full post here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-can-i-prepare-for-my-mbb-internship-and-what-to-expect-453#a941

Hope this helps,

Francesco

(edited)

Anonymous B replied on 08/11/2017

Great tips!