how would you explain the job of a consultant to a 5 year old kid

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New answer on May 13, 2020
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Gonzague asked on Feb 21, 2020

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Emily
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replied on May 13, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Here is how I would put it, using a doctor example:

(1) If a 6 years old gets sick, he/she would be taken to the clinic to see a doctor. The doctor would check on him/her to identify what's wrong, and then give him/her meds to recover and get stronger

(2) Companies are like human, they can get sick too. So when companies fall sick, consultants are their doctors. Consultants help them do checkups to see what's wrong, and then give companies meds to help them fix the problem, recover, and grow stronger in the future

Hope it helps,

Emily

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Clara
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replied on Feb 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Funny enaugh, the Senior Partner who did my finl round in McKinsey precisely told me how he tells his kids about this: I fly on Monday morning to a city, go to the tallest building, go to the room that is in the top floor and help the people there to solve their problems".

Personally, I find it a bit pretentious and fluffly, but the narrative of helping companies fix complex issues can work.

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on May 13, 2020

We're doctors for companies! We help them when they want to grow big and when they get sick.

That's what I even said to my dad when I first got in consulting....And he still doesn't get fully it. (he thinks I'm a "secret advisor to Arab ministers" - I think it's 30% accurate, good enough)

I hope this helps
Khaled

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Dear Gonzague,

To be brief I helped other big guys to solve their problems

Best,
André

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 01, 2020
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Hi there,

I would do the following:

  1. Ask the kid which is his major problem
  2. Ask the kid if he would like to receive help from someone to solve the problem
  3. Ask the kid if he would be willing to offer something for the help
  4. Explain the kid your job is to do exactly that

Best,

Francesco

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Luca
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replied on Feb 27, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

I would say that it's like being a grandfather: someone that knows a lot of answers and that is always ready to help you to do better.
I would avoid to mention the compensation part to the kid :)

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Ian
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replied on Feb 23, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Note: This is a very common question, with variations around the what's required to be explained.

They are testing your communication skills.

In principle, you need to use small words concisely and effectively convey the most important aspect of the question/answer.

In this case I would case something like "When somebody doesn't know how to do something, a consultant comes to help them. Like if you needed to learn to tie your shoes or make a sandwhich, maybe a consultant could do that for you"

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Anonymous replied on Feb 21, 2020

I've had this question asked by my 6-year old nephew and I told her I was like a company's doctor, that solved problems when companies were not so well.

She just nodded, paused for one second and asked if I worked at a hospital :)

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Like mister wolf: they solve problems :)

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Anonymous on May 13, 2020

If the kid knows the reference, then he/she must need therapy to process Pulp Fiction!

Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University
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