How to change my career direction from marketing to consulting?

Boston Consulting Group marketing MBB
New answer on Sep 18, 2020
6 Answers
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Srijan asked on Jan 13, 2020

Hey there,

Thank you for reading this through, I promise I will be as brief as possible. Please be as harsh as possible with your suggestions and predictions.

Current Status Quo: Currently studying (3rd semester out of 4 semesters) my masters of management (specialisation Data Analytics) from University of Technology, Sydney, also working for a startup (B2B SaaS, Supply Chain automation) as their Director Marketing.

Past: I have actively been working in marketing (Associate, specialist, graphic design, sales ops, manager) for the last 5 years with 3 years in a startup which got acquired by the Mercer group and 2 years as another startup ay my undergrad uni as a co-founder.

Question: Since the very start of my career I have always wanted to work for MBBATKBig4 as a management consultant, now that I am at another turn over in my career (of choosing a new place or firm to join), and I would love if anyone of you sentinels in the industry would give 10 minutes to help me get direction to actuate my dream.

PS. Thank you for your time, and apologies if you are disgusted by the pedestrian level of my consulting knowledge and/or words.

Cheers and thank you again.

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Srijan,

I would recommend the following steps to organize your preparation:

  1. Identify the companies interesting for you. Besides MBB, ATK and Big 4 there are also other companies active in Australia such as LEK or PIP, I would spend time to define the exact list
  2. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there is any deadline for the applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  3. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  4. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. PrepLounge also has a Case Library that you can use. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  5. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  6. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  7. At least three weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies. You can find some tips on how to do that here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  8. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  9. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Please feel free to PM me for more information.

Best,

Francesco

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Luca
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replied on Jan 13, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello Srijan,

Joining a consulting firm from a marketing position is one of the standard paths, you are completely fine. They will appreciate a lot your startup experience since they are always looking for people that went beyond their "academic duties".

In order to start your process you have to:

  • Prepare your CV and Cover Letter
  • Build a network that can help you with your applications (alumni, events, friends ecc). Having a referral could significantly accelerate the process
  • Plan your timeline considering your preparation and the order of the interviews
  • Start preparing reading some books (Case in Point and Case Interview Secrets are the best ones to start with). You can consider at least 20 days for this
  • Practice with other people (candidates and coaches) to test your prepartion and improve your skills. This part is fundamental and you have to consider around 40-50 cases to be well prepared
  • Prepare your Fit Interview, that it basically the first part of your interview. YOu will be asked to drive the interviewer through your cv and to answer some questions about your background and motivations.

Feel free to contact me to further discuss any of these points.

Hope it helps,
Luca

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Srijan on Jan 13, 2020

Thank you Luca, this gives me a proper direction and structured steps.

Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

I agree with the rest of the coaches, you are in a lucky position, since your profile is most-wanted and Australia is a particularly good market.

The key thing in your case is to get an interview with your target company(ies), for which it´s key to work on your CV and have or build a network. In a later stage, once the interviews are secured, focus shifts to the preparation of those.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Srijan,
Hi think it's the right moment to apply for an associate position (in Bain an BCG it's called "consultant") https://www.mckinsey.com/careers/experienced-professionals
Hi would not worry about the University, since after some years of working experience, only the last point of your CV will be assessed.

There are 3 aspects of the application process you have to focus on:

  • CV and cover letter: prepare impactful documents that highlight your achievements, skills, and motivation.
  • Personal Experience Interview: fit and CV questions to assess your personal impact, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial spirit. You should prepare impactful stories about your experiences that cover these 3 main pillars.
  • Case Interview: typical business case to evaluate your structure in approaching problems, problem-solving skills, and business sense. This is the most time-demanding aspect to work on. I recommend reading Cosentino's Case in point to fix the theory. Then, what will be really important is practicing mock cases with other candidates here on Preplounge.

Feel free to text me for some tips about the preparation. I have supported tens of experienced professionals in crafting impactful stories and structuring business cases with dedicated packages.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Srijan on Jan 13, 2020

Thank you Antonello, this helps a lot!

Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Feel free to message me. But your transition is very easy and straight forward:

  1. MBB is looking for people with your skills in particular
  2. Australia is the fastest-growing market for consulting right now

I don't see what can be an issue here

Best

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Srijan on Jan 13, 2020

Probably the issue is that I am not from a Tier 1 uni, and it just makes things a little bit harder. Also, I don't know how to start with the whole process.

Anonymous replied on Sep 18, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend the following algorithm:

1. Identify the companies interesting for you. Many people are interested mainly in MBB, you can start defining the exact list of companies interesting for you for the internship

2. Check the requirements and application details.

3. Start your preparation with reading Case In Point by Cosentino for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is.

4. Start learning and practicing the cases. Some you can find in Case Library and practice it with your partner or experienced coach.

5. Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS

Once you feel you are not improving anymore, I would recommend you to take an expert coach for structured feedback and polishing your own performance.

Hope this helps,

Best,

André

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Francesco

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