How to become top performer at MBB/Strategy Consulting firm

Bain BCG boutique consulting MBB McKinsey performance strategy
Recent activity on Mar 29, 2018
1 Answer
6.3 k Views
Alex asked on Mar 29, 2018
Looking for case partners. Applying to BCG, MCK, Bain, A.T. Kearney.

Hi All,

I will pose a - maybe - unusual question.

How do you become a top performer at MBB/strategy consulting firm.

Let's leave aside a person's initial skills / knowledge, and let's use the case example of a junior hired.

I am not looking for a golden rule but for some tips, especially for extra activities that I can implement while being still junior to improve my performance in a MBB.

Stuff that pops to my mind and could help is: reading business magazines to improve the business sense, developing statistics knowledge to improve analytical skills…

For those who have worked at an MBB/strategy consulting firm, any top tips / lessons learned improve the overall performance?

(edited)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 29, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

The most important thing you need to understand is that consulting is a client business and client is always first. Here is my subjective view of what's needed to succeed on different levels of hierarchy. Pls take into account that it's the ideal state and getting these skills is a journey.

Analyst / associate level

  • Having a good DGL / career counselor, etc. (Each company has different names). This is a person who guides your development in the company, collects the feedbacks on you, and presents your case to a promotion committee. Make sure to have a person who is organized enough to collect the feedbacks in time, who is a nice person in general and who has enough authority in the company (i.e. Senior partner - the more power he has - the better)
  • Choosing the project you work on smartly (i.e. collect the feedbacks on each and everyone prior to accepting the project)
  • Perfect technical skills (Excel, PPT, Problem Solving)
  • Good feedbacks on you from the client. Thus try to make friends with your clients (Both senior and non-senior role. Even a bad feedback from a blue collar can ruin your career)
  • Ability to manage your own standalone workstream with minimum supervision. TOP performers bring the end products that impress others
  • Being proactive - helping the team with daily routine, scheduling, etc. Participating in the office initiatives
  • Establishing relationships with your managers and partners. Ideally, you should have multiple senior partners to be excited about you and to support you)
  • Being lucky!

Manager level

A lot of the above, plus:

  • Having your client happy - this is the most important! If the client is happy - everything else will work
  • Managing multiple partners who have different opinions. Since partners have a busy schedule it becomes very tricky to synchronize them and to align the viewpoints
  • Good feedbacks from your team - having a happy team is important. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a trade-off between having your client and partner happy
  • Telling about your success on projects to others - I'm personally not a fan of this kind of selling, but I know many people who made a career using this skill

Principal level

A lot from the above, plus:

  • Having multiple clients happy
  • Having a long list of partners supporting you (More than 10)
  • Contributions to the development of the company (Knowledge, office ops, etc)
  • Selling the projects. If you manage to sell to existing clients or even bring the new clients - you are the champion.

Partner level

A lot of the above, plus:

  • Sales, sales, sales

Best,

Was this answer helpful?
Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
415
Meetings
11,518
Q&A Upvotes
127
Awards
185 Reviews