Participating to events

MBB networking
New answer on Sep 01, 2020
7 Answers
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Macha asked on Feb 02, 2020

Hi,
In the coming days, I will participate to an event organized by a big 3 consulting companies. What should I do in order to get chances to have an interview. I am not a kind of people who gain a foothold over others. I feel that I may bother people if I talk to them. I do not even know how to start a converstaion? (since there are no enough common points except asking about the wheather :D).

I ask you please to give me some time on how to appraoch people in a networking event in order to increase chances.

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Udayan
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replied on Feb 02, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Here are some tips for networking events that I find useful

  1. Prepare for it beforehand! Read up on interesting things you want to discuss that relate to the firm. This includes relevant news articles in sources such as the economist or Wall Street Journal, their publications and any major news events focusing on their research/work. (Avoid focusing on negative ones)
  2. Prepare an introduction sentence - 'Hi, I am xx and I am very excited to be here because of yy and zz'
  3. Have some clear objectives for the evening. These could be
    1. Understanding how they approaches recruitment and why it matters
    2. Meeting 3 or 4 people from tbe firm with whom you can have at least 10 mins of interesting conversation
    3. Meeting other candidates for you to keep in touch with (this is important too!)
  4. Make an actionable list of questions you want answered and try and get as many answered throughout the event
  5. Be enthusiastic and be present! This is important , do not look bored or like you would rather be somewhere else
  6. Listen attentively and engage in the event - listening is often more helpful than talking when it comes to building relationships
  7. Send a customized thank you note to all the people you connected with. Make sure to reference the conversation you had so they have something to remember you by. If and when they reply you can then ask for referrals or some sort of recommendation for interviews. This works best if you can make it personal to them.

DO NOT

  1. Be on your phone - big no no
  2. Be shy/reserved - it is important you talk and put yourself out there
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Francesco
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replied on Feb 03, 2020
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Hi Macha,

in terms of how to best approach the event, assuming your goal is to receive an interview invitation, these events are a good opportunity to create a strong connection with current consultants for further support in the application process. To do so, you should:

  • Prepare good questions (see later some examples)
  • Move from the questions to a conversation, trying to connect on a personal level with the consultant. It’s too long to describe how to do that in a post, but if you are interested How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie has all the basics
  • Ask the consultants if you could reach out later for further questions
  • Send a thank-you note and, so far you made a good impression, chances are you could later transform the connection into a referral at the right moment

The key things I would recommend to prepare in advance are the following:

  • Read about the firm and the consulting industry. Try to understand recent development – this will ensure you can ask credible questions and stand out
  • Learn as much as possible about the consultants who will participate in the event, if available. In this way, you will be able to connect more easily.
  • Be prepared on company-related fit questions. You won’t be formally interviewed during these events, but you want to leave a positive impression in an informal conversation with consultants. At the bare minimum, you should
    • have a clear idea of why you want to become a consultant
    • why you want to join that MBB
    • what you can bring to that company and
    • have a clear, 5-lines pitch of who you are as introduction.
  • Prepare your own questions to ask. Relevant questions are a great way to show your interest in the company and get additional points. In the first reply at the following post you can find some information on the ideal type of questions to ask: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Sidi
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replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hey MAcha!

My advice might be counterintuitive, but - please - do NOT plan on doing anything special! Networking events at MBB are formats for the firms to market itself. It is MUCH LESS the time for you to market yourself. In the moment that you are eligible to participate in such a workshop, the Firm has already tagged you as an interesting candidate, and there is very limited headroom for you to wow anyone during the event.

So just be relaxed, observe, and ask yourself what are the 2 or 3 things you really want to find out about the firm and its employees. That's it. Don't try to impress at such a workshop. The time to impress will be the interviews!

Moreover, many of these events come with an automatic interview invitation. And even if not, just mentioning in your acutal application that you participated in the event will largely increase your chances.

Cheers, Sidi

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Vlad
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replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It depends on the structure of an event:

  1. Option A: Consultants will show you how to solve a case. Here you don't need to do anything special - just try to have a couple of nice conversations after the case. Don't expect to get any benefits from that and don't do anything special
  2. Option B: You'll be split into teams with a dedicated consultant observing you solving the case together. Here your main objective is to demonstrate how good you are at solving the cases. That's the only and the best way to impress. Also be careful, since it does not mean you should not listen to others and try being an absolute leader. Be the guy with the smart ideas. I know many candidates who got invited to McKinsey PST or Bain interviews without a test after these events.

You'll also get a chance to:

  • Look how MBB approaches solving a case
  • Talk to MBB people and get some information for you FIT interview (why The Company reasons, topics for your questions to the interviewer, etc)
  • Meet with other candidates with whom you can practice the cases further

PS. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. If you want to keep in touch - send a thank you note after the event:

  • "I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University...
  • It was especially interesting to hear about...
  • Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.

Alternatively, you may use LinkedIn for that.

Best!

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Clara
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replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Do you know who will be in those events?

If it´s HR only, don´t worry, they will be the ones that will follow-up on all the interesting CVs they harvest that day. If there are also consultant, try to connect with those with whom you have things in common (e.g., same school or studies, same professional background, etc.) They will be very helpful for follow-ups during the process -or even to help you kick it off-.

Good luck in the event!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 02, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Macha,
try to approach consultants with a background similar to yours and start talking about it. Than move to consulting and why that firm.

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous replied on Sep 01, 2020

This is actually quite normal. There are a lot of introverts in consulting as well, who probably felt the same way when they first started networking. Just be prepared to have a short introduction of yourself, then you can ask about the person's experiences in consulting, challenges and support system at work, the firm's growth etc. During my time in BCG I went to many networking events as one of the representatives from BCG. The networking event was for me to answer questions, not to judge any candidates. At the end of day, we still screen through resumes of all the attendees, and the impression at the event in most cases wouldn't be the primary decision driver. Only on very rare occasions, either you are remarkably exceptionally good or somehow behaved inappropriately, would it drive my decision.

Best,

Emily

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Udayan

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