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How to prepare for consulting career

Bain BCG dubai Fresh Graduate Job Preparations MBB Mck News preparation tier2
New answer on Sep 30, 2020
28 Answers
22.9 k Views
Anonymous C asked on Dec 22, 2018

Dear all,

I received offers from the three MBBs and will accept the offre from BCG as a consulant.
I am transitioning from a tier 2 consulting firm and would like to get some tips in order to prepare best for the role.
What are your tips in order to perform and succeed the best at BCG as a consultant?
Thanks a lot for your help,

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 25, 2018
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

first of all, congratulations on your offers - that's a really good outcome! Below you can find a couple of things that could be useful to practice during your first weeks:

  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. Always double check. The 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. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
  5. Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. 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.
  8. Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.

If you want to prepare in advance before you start, you could work on both technical and communication skills.

  • On the technical side, Excel will be the most important technical thing to master at the beginning, in particular for VLOOKUPs and Pivot tables; you could also review PowerPoint, which you will also use intensively.
    • At BCG you will be able to take part in learning courses to improve, but so far that you have already mastered the skills before joining (you can find several courses online for both), even better.
    • Tip for Excel: learn how to use as much as possible the keyword and relegate the touchpad to the minimum – this will skyrocket your productivity in the long term.
  • For what concerns communication, a classic on the topic is the book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Norah
Expert
updated an answer on Dec 23, 2018
I am here to get you an offer! | Ex MBB interviewer Expert in MBB and Tier 2, Deep knowledge of EU & Middle East regions

Dear Anonymous A,
First, congratulations on your 3 offers! That's a great outcome. What I would suggest in order is:
1. Celebrate your success: you have prepared for these interviews and you deserve some celebration with your family and friends, so go for it!
2. Prepare the hard skills:

- Financial modeling: Valuation models, basic analysis (pivot table, validation, formatting)

- Powerpoint: as you are transitioning from T2 to MBB, I think you already know this by you can focus on the messaging techniques, the formatting and the storylining. One exercise that I advised to junior consultants is to take any subject (really anyone) and draft 10 slides on it after 2 days of work (of course if you have some time) and go present it to someone outside the industry and a partner who is willing to spend 20 minutes on feedback. That might be helpful

- General knowledge: reading is key. If you think you can bring expertise in a certain field, I would recommend going through the market research / reports and get up to speed in the field you want to work in (let's say payments, you should then definitely check fintech forum lists, payments update by CB Insights etc)

3. Work on your soft skills:

Again, this should not be new to you as you are transitioning but I would really recommend you to work on those 3 skills, especially for BCG: assertiveness, empathy and team work.

- Get (a) mentor(s): maybe it's ont of your interviewers, or the first manager you will have, or else. Anyway, you should work on getting this network as soon as you get into the MBB you will choose

- Get a buddy: when you will start your journey at any MBB, they will assign you a mentor and a buddy. However, try to find someone who will give you the tips and tricks to succeed in the first month. As you are transitioning from another consulting firm, that could be very frustrating to get up to speed to consultants that have lower seniority than you but who are "at home".

4. Other tips:

- Focus on giving your best on the first two projects to set confidence in the office and be a go to person

- on the second semester, after you built your professional brand, start building your personal brand, by getting involved in the office activities

- After one year, you will feel at home

Anyway, again, congratulations! Don't forget it is quite rare to get all 3 of the MBBs, so good job and best of luck for your career!

(edited)

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Dec 23, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I would concentrate on getting the right financial modeling skills and presenting your analysis in Power Point.

1) Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. Also, learn pivot tables and the basic statistics tools

Excel and Financial modeling - the best course I know is Training The Street. Take Financial Modeling, Valuation, Maybe LBO. They have the amazing templates that you have to reproduce to be able to do that fast.

The key thing - throw away your mouse and put some tape on your touchpad. Do everything with your keyboard!

2) Power Point

  • First, read "Say it with charts" and "Pyramid Principle".
  • As a next step Google for MBB presentations on SlideShare and try to replicate them in PPT.
  • Finally, take MBA some cases (HBS or any other) and try to derive the conclusions and put them on slides using MBB styles.

And finally - take a long vacation before starting your job;)

While in consulting focus on the following:

  • 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!

Good Luck!

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Guennael
Expert
replied on Dec 23, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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Anonymous replied on Sep 30, 2020

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your offers, I wish you best of luck in your career.

For candidates like you, who have already secured the offer with a leading consulting firm, I have designed my program "Get ready for the first 100 days " as well as long-term career planning. This program touches all the important aspects: the mindset, the skills, knowledge, networking and ,managing yourself as well, your bosses and clients - everything that is important in your successful career.

In fact, I'm sharing my knowledge of 6 years career experience in consulting, where I was able to land on the fast track promotion and to be promoted from consultant to a project manager just within 3 years, which is extremely fast.

Happy to share these insights with you, feel free to reach out directly to me.

Good luck,

André

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Anonymous F replied on Dec 23, 2018

*offer

*consultant

You belong in BCG

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