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Practice Structure outside of case interview

Iris asked on Aug 28, 2018

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone had some (additional) tips on how to practice structuring a case, it is the part of the case that does not come particularly natural to me and need LOTS of practice.

What I've done so far:

- Take newsarticles (M&A, New Market entries etc.) and put down the structure for that case with the information provided.

- Use bulletpoints in my every day communication as much as possible

Does anyone have other tips? Thank you in advance!

(edited)

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Vlad replied on Aug 28, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

I believe it really helps to build the proper industry and functional knowledge.

Focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of geting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech

There are several sources of information that will help you develop the business sense:

1) Cases - you simply solve 50-70 cases and get a broad knowledge of different industries, common pitfalls and questions. The key here - find good partners who already had case interviews with MBB companies

2) Company reports, equity reports, IB roadshow docs - usually have a good overview of company and industries.

3) HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

4) Industry Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge

5) News, Industry blogs

For each industry, you should understand:

  • Revenue streams
  • Cost structure
  • Margins
  • Key performance indicators
  • Key revenue drivers
  • Industry trends

I strongly recommend drawing the typical structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc

Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge:

  • Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc)
  • Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc)
  • Operations (Process optimization basics)
  • Finance (Very basic Finance and Valuation)

Good Luck

Hi Vlad, thank you for your response, very helpful! — Iris on Aug 28, 2018 (edited)

Egor
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updated his answer on Aug 28, 2018
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Hi Iris,

There are several things worth mentoning as well. Preparation to a case interview consists of 2 stages: theory and practice.

1st stage. Theory

  • Check out MECE principle, top-down, bottom-up à pyramid principle (book

    Barbara’s Minto Pyramid)

  • Wharton casebook 2010- you can check how all industries work there (airlines,retail etc)

  • Case-in-point – you can check what frameworks exist, try to practice and learn them (product launch, M&A etc.)

  • Check how former business consultant approaches different cases with best interviewers listen to at least 3 cases of Victor Cheng LOMS

2nd stage. Practice:

  • Solve at least 5-10 cases with experienced professional/student with good case experience (30-50 cases) to understand what factors influence the decision of the interviewer

  • Create your own case schedule (solve at least 1 case per day) with partners in local groups, universities/preplounge - depends on the interview date

  • Structure everything you do (how to go the shop, structure articles you read)

  • Solve at least 1 case per each case type you found in case in point

  • Learn how to analyze graphs (practice looking at graphs and asking "so whats" out of them)

  • Brainstorming is a must = generate at least 10 ideas on any topic in 30 seconds (how to increase revenue/how to market new airline)

Link to casebooks

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sca51sb0um1e977/AAAYwPuNM27lQKhJK8Vg6mKaa?dl=0

Iris, I wish you all the best with interview.

(edited)

Thank you Egor! Appreciate it! — Iris on Aug 29, 2018

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