Current BCG Active Project Leader |Former A.T. Kearney |+8Y of consulting experience | Received 7 consulting offers in the past 2Y
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How to decide whether you need Professional Consulting Coaching program like P4S or not?

Anonymous A

I am an advanced degree candidate, I wanted to break into consulting. I applied to summer programs and full time opportunities of all firms and i got rejected at resume level. McKinsey rejected after their SHL assessment. I practiced a lot with fellow aspirants as well as some of the consultants from companies like accenture, deloitte, EY. I did well with them. I am at crossroads unable to decide what should i do? Should I get professional coaching to improve my application process or do more networking?

I know we have lot of experts in prep lounge, so i want to know should i invest into coaching while i dont have any interviews lined up?

What should I do?

More case practice

More Coaching

More networking

I dont know and I am not able to decide as well.

(edited)

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Hugo
Expert
replied on 09/14/2017
Current BCG Active Project Leader |Former A.T. Kearney |+8Y of consulting experience | Received 7 consulting offers in the past 2Y

Dear Anonymous,

During college/university or business school, many people (including myself), that were successful in getting a consulting job, did not have the financial means to hire a coach during their preparation.

However, if I look into the past, I think that a proper coach, as you mentioned, is an INVESTMENT that can help you with the following:

1) The process of getting an interview: the coach can introduce to you people in consulting by leveraging his / her network, and help you with CV and Cover Letter

2) [the most important] Speeding up your preparation process by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the applicant can be efficient in the process and outstand from other candidates

3) Identify some obstacles that the candidate is facing in his / her preparation. In some cases, I have seen people that have +100 cases, but they have big room for improvement, but they do not even conscious (quantity does not necessarily imply quality or efficiency, which are what consulting firms are looking for)

To sum up, the decision depends on you. Do you know which are your weaknesses? Have you identified why you did not receive any invitation for interviews? If you know the answer to these two questions and you are not worried about time, probably you don't need a coach.

I hope this helps.

Sucess in your preparation.

Regards,

Hugo

Francesco replied on 09/14/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

Since you got rejected at CV and SHL level, it seems that what is blocking you in the application process is one of the following:

  1. CV and/or Cover not optimized for consulting
  2. Math performance not optimal (SHL level)
  3. CV and Cover optimized for consulting but not outstanding and lack of networking to push the application further

Given these potential issues, coaching at this stage could help you on the following:

  1. Optimize your CV/Cover
  2. Help you to define the optimal preparation for tests and math prep
  3. Introduce you to internal referrals or help you to refine your networking process

You can probably cover the same things on your own, but as mentioned by Hugo you will likely spend far more time. If you are preparing for consulting interviews you will normally need 150-200 hours starting from zero to put in the preparation on your own. In my experience, the right partner/expert could help you to gain in 1 hour the equivalent you would get in 5-15 hours on your own, depending on his/her proficiency (and potentially, as mentioned by Hugo, help you to spot some improvement areas you could actually not find by yourself).

In the end, you can define whether you need an expert based on:

  1. the amount of time you have available to improve and your opportunity cost for that time. The more time you have and the lower the opportunity cost, the less you need an expert
  2. the confidence you have you can be able to spot all the major areas of improvement on your own in that time. The more likely you feel you can identify your own mistakes alone, the less you need an expert
  3. the value you give to a consulting offer (not only in terms of immediate money but also as for career and prestige) compared to the second best you can estimate to obtain on your own. The less you value a consulting offer, the less you need an expert.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Katharina replied on 09/21/2017

A good option for me personally was going to recruiting events. That landed me two interviews (at Accenture and at Capgemini) in one day. I didn't even seriously consider going into consulting before, but meeting consultants in person and then doing an impromptou short interview helped a great deal with taking the first hurdle. That way I didn't even have to prepare a cover letter or take an online test, but made a first good impression in person and jumped a few steps. Maybe on paper you're just one of so many applicants, but in person you have carisma & can show you're passionate

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