Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 458,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

How to start my preparation?

A.T. Kearney consulting EY-Parthenon Fresh Graduate Oliver Wyman
New answer on Dec 01, 2023
8 Answers
678 Views
Haotian asked on Aug 25, 2023

Hi guys, I'm a new one in the consulting industry. 

I'm worrying about my grade. My background is a high 2.1 BSc from the University of Birmingham, and a Pass MSc from the University of Oxford, both in maths (I got 62 at Oxford, and it's a Pass but will be a Merit in non-Oxbridge unis)

Besides, how do I start the case studies, and can I do it by myself?

Honestly, I don't have any former internship experience, I did research, volunteer and part-time jobs. Is it possible to secure a graduate role next year at any T2 or T3 firms in consulting? Such as EY Parthenon? 

Is it worth to pay for speaking to people working in the industry? I do need some instructions on my CV/cover letter, interview and case study skills.

Any advice is good for me, and thanks a lot.

Best,

Haotian

 

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
Was this answer helpful?
Sophia
Expert
replied on Aug 27, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching

Hi Haotian,

To answer your questions: 

Besides, how do I start the case studies, and can I do it by myself?

I always recommend candidates start out by learning what the case interview actually is. You can read an intro book like Case Interview Secrets or Case In Point, look at guides here on PrepLounge or company websites, and watch videos of experts doing a case. Once you’ve understood the basics of a case interview (structuring an answer, some common frameworks, case maths, etc.), I suggest diving into live case practice, where you do mock case interviews with a friend, case partner, or coach. There’s really no substitute for live case practice – this is the most important part of case study preparation.

So, you can do the initial learning part by yourself, as well as some drills on weak points once you’ve done a substantial number of cases. However, for the bulk of case prep you will need to work with a case partner or coach.

 

Honestly, I don't have any former internship experience, I did research, volunteer and part-time jobs. Is it possible to secure a graduate role next year at any T2 or T3 firms in consulting? Such as EY Parthenon? 

It’s hard to give advice on this in such general terms – I’d need to see your resume to help determine how competitive your candidacy would be. In principle, part-time jobs and volunteer work can be equally valuable to internships, for instance if they are undertaken at big-name companies or equip you with skills that are useful for consulting.

 

Is it worth to pay for speaking to people working in the industry? I do need some instructions on my CV/cover letter, interview and case study skills.

It sounds like you’re looking for coaching – from my personal experience as a former candidate and now as a coach, I would say it’s absolutely worth it. Working with a coach can fast-track your progress immensely, particularly when you’re at the beginning stage and aren’t really sure where to start. I’ve worked with a lot of candidates who just started recruiting and helped guide them through the process – feel free to reach out if you’d be interested in a session.

Was this answer helpful?
Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Aug 25, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Sharing a couple of pointers, based also on my own experience.

  1. Consulting firms are looking out for strong, all-rounded candidates
    • Grades are just one measure firms are looking out for - there are many other things in your CV that recruiters will be screening
  2. Corporate internships are not the only way to demonstrate the skills/abilities that firms are looking out for
    • E.g. leadership and entrepreneurial drive can be demonstrated in many contexts, whether its sports or volunteer roles etc
  3. Networking is key to helping you get a foot in the door
    • Coming from a non-traditional background myself, I found that networking was helpful in helping get my CV in front of recruiters, and also helpful in giving me a deeper, more nuanced and differentiated understanding of the industry
  4. Getting a coach can help, but it is not the only way to land the offer
    • What's most important is for you to be able to understand and identify what firms are looking for, and then find a way to reach that
    • A coach is one option and it of course can be helpful - but the reality is that there are many who didn't use a coach to get the offer. This really depends on multiple factors

When I applied to consulting, I did not have any internships on my CV as well (as I initially thought I would do a PhD in History). So it is definitely possible but would require work :)

All the best!

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 26, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Haotian,

1) I'm worrying about my grade.

Given you cannot change your grades, the best way to increase your chances for the screening is to get a referral. You can find more on the below:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation

2) Besides, how do I start the case studies, and can I do it by myself?

I would recommend this:

▶ How to Prepare for a Consulting Interview

3) Is it possible to secure a graduate role next year at any T2 or T3 firms in consulting? Such as EY Parthenon?

Depending on your CV, yes it is possible.

4) Is it worth to pay for speaking to people working in the industry? 

If you mean coaching: if you want to save time, yes. Coaching is basically a way to speed up your prep – you get faster what you need. Whether it makes sense in your particular case, it depends on your opportunity cost (ie how much saving time is worth to you).

In case you have more questions please feel free to PM me.

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 25, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi Haotian!

You have quite a journey ahead of you. 

The first step I would take if I were you is to identify exactly what you're aiming for i.e., target firms and roles and the timeline that you have in mind. 

Then you need to work backwards from there i.e., what are the things that I must do in order to make that happen? 

Yes, it makes a lot of sense to talk to people in the industry who know how things work (paid or unpaid) because this can provide you with a shortcut that will save you months of preparation and increase your chances of getting an offer exponentially. 

Sharing with you a guide that goes deeper into the sort of skills that are expected from management consultants, just so you have this in mind when developing your application package. 

Also, sharing another guide which lays out how you should go about your application process in order to maximise your chances of getting at least one offer:


Last but not least, as you're about to send out the actual applications and are thinking about getting referrals, here's the actual strategy to go through:

Best,
Cristian

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

Was this answer helpful?
Andi
Expert
replied on Aug 26, 2023
BCG 1st & Final Round interviewer | Personalized prep with >95% success rate | 7yrs coaching | #1 for Experienced Hires

Hi Haotian,

thanks for sharing.

Overall, based on what you explained, you'll have a reasonable chance at T2-3 firms. 

To optimize your chances of getting invited, strongly recommend you work on strong referrals for each firm you're targeting. 

In terms of resume - feel free to share via DM. Can take a quick look and share some thoughts on what it will take to optimize.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Andi 

Was this answer helpful?
Christian
Expert
replied on Aug 25, 2023
Ex-BCG|Not-so-ordinary cases| 3/4 of candidates don't crack my cases

Hi Haotian,

Your grades might be fine, but I suggest you do at least one internship so you can showcase practical experience. Also time spent abroad is important. 

Is it worth to pay for speaking to people working in the industry? --→Absolutely! Look in your linkedin network for people that work at the companies you wish to apply. Many have a “refer a friend” policy too.

I do need some instructions on my CV/cover letter, interview and case study skills. 
→Happy to support, just drop me a DM.

Best,
Chris

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 27, 2023
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Yes - you have a reasonable shot at T2 and T3 firms.

I would highly recommend working with a coach here to make sure you know how best to present your story both before and during interviews.

Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer

Ian

Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
1,105
Meetings
79,345
Q&A Upvotes
241
Awards
5.0
151 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!
^