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Is reading to Victor Cheng's materials a must or can one get through an MBB process without it?

Anonymous A asked on May 05, 2019
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Ian
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replied on May 06, 2019
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Absolutely you can get through the process without it. I didn't use it, nor did many of my successful colleagues. VC is just one resource of many and you should use what fits your style!

I honestly find the interactivity of PrepLounge to be more efficient in driving home insights + learnings.

Sidi replied on May 05, 2019
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Of course you can get through it without reading Victor Cheng. I would even argue that if you place your entire preparation only on Victor Cheng, then your chances of success are quite small, since his approach has fundamental flaws which would result in serious underperformance if followed through (I have explained several of these flaws in many posts on this Q&A board).

That being siad, I believe reading Victor Chengs material provides a very good starting point to acquaint yourself with the process of solving a case.

Cheers, Sidi

Daniel updated his answer on May 05, 2019
Imperial College PhD, Rolls-Royce Project Engineer, RWTH Aachen Mechanical Engineer and Business Administrator, Software Engineer

None of the people I know who landed a job at MBB used the services of Victor Cheng.

(edited)

Anonymous updated his answer on Jun 03, 2019

Hi,

it's actually quite simple: If you are committed to getting into consulting, you will get there, if not, you won't.

Victor Cheng material is very helpful and is merely a means of achieving your goals - but you have to use these means! If you are not fully committed, Victor Cheng does not help you. Vice versa, it also holds true that you can break into consulting without Victor Cheng if only you are fully committed. However, I would argue it is a very helpful resource.

Hope this helps.

Best regards

(edited)

Francesco replied on May 06, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

you can for sure land an offer without using the VC approach – that’s what I personally did and many other people did as well. His material is fine to get an overview of what the consulting process is, however there are several issues as well, including:

  • Structures are oversimplified. You simply don’t leave a good impression if your structure is “product, customer, competitors, company” nowadays
  • There are some types of cases not clearly covered, eg pricing, operations and no-profits. Some of these cases are becoming more and more popular and you won’t have a good toolkit to face them with his approach
  • There are some important elements missing or misleading in the case-cracking process he teaches, from graph analysis to conclusions. If you follow it blindly it will take far longer than needed to crack a case

You can definitely read VC as an introduction to what a consulting interview is, however I would not use it as the main reference and I would definitely not use it as the basis for developing good structures.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad replied on May 05, 2019
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Hi,

It's not a must, but it's a good complementary material and probably the best material available online. However, most of the candidates are using VCs materials incorrectly:

  1. Go through Victor Cheng materials
  2. Do 10-15 cases with partners
  3. Get back to Cheng and read the book / go through the program again
  4. Repeat 3-4 times. The more experience you have, the more insights you'll notice in his program. And on the opposite. With no experience, it'll be a big blind spot

Best

Anonymous C replied on May 05, 2019

As being a candidate to be, i think VC is too overrated!

Paul
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replied on Jun 13, 2019
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I find Victor Cheng's materials are incredibly helpful for non-target school students since they are not as close to the process and the alums. That being said, I think the best things to do are still in-person practice interviews and real-life consulting work.

Guennael replied on May 06, 2019
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Everyone agrees, of course you can get in without Victor Cheng's material.

He is very good at getting to the essence of the case, but at the cost of over simplifying a little bit at times. Still, do not overlook the fact that probably >50% of all MBB admist over the last 5-7 years have used his material (I did too fwiw), so his methodology and recommendations are effectively part of the standard now: you have generations of MBB interviewers who will expect you to be generally consistent with his teachings. To do well, you therefore need to AT LEAST do what he suggests, but also go beyond so you create positive separation between you and the other candidates.

Here is another way to think about it: assume a sales job comes with a very rich compensation structure, making it highly coveted. Any good sales person with a high school education should be able to do well, but the job posting requires a BBA + MBA preferred. Victor Cheng's method is the BBA level. Can you get the job without? Probably. You would improve your chances with an MBA however, which here would be "Victor Cheng + additional prep".

Hope this helps.

Anonymous B replied on May 05, 2019

It depends