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Prep work for a role in Management Consultancy

BusterRyan asked on Jul 05, 2019 - 2 answers

Hi

I am an Energy Consultant with experience running my own startup. I am looking to transition into MC after MBA at a top-tier B-School. Could someone answer the following queries:

1. Having worked for a large corporate, I am of the opinion that working for a boutique consultancy would be a better training ground as you get to perform greater variety of tasks. I am not concerned with having fortune 500 clients under my CV but do see the benefits of having MBB brand. Thus, can someone share their experience or opinion of starting work with boutique MC rather than MBB/tier 2 (which I could always go to after some experience)?

2. I understand that MBB hires business graduates with business analysis and quant skills. Since I do not have this background yet, are there any certifications or volunteer work I can do to gain analysis skills that are required by associates. For instance FVMA, ECBA..

3. What prep work can I do to give myself the best chance to succeed in this industry? Currently, I am doing brain teasers, quant aptitude questions, learning about case studies and regularly reading HBR, WSJ, FT, Economist etc.

Thanks

(edited)

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Best Answer
Francesco
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replied on Jul 06, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (2.500+) | 1.100+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 6+ Years Coaching Experience
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Hi BusterRyan,

I replied to your questions below.

1) It really depends on your goals but in general people stay in consulting 2-3 years before moving to something else. If that’s the case for you, the MBB brand would be extremely valuable for exit opportunities. In general in a boutique

  • You will normally have more specialization/focus than larger strategy consulting firms
  • You may have opportunities to reach partnerships in the company and potentially also a fast career-track, according to the growth the company is having
  • Exit opportunities are normally significantly more limited compared to MBB due to brand recognition

2) If you are coming from a top MBA, you probably only need to present properly your previous experience in the right way in your CV to show you have analytical skills

3) Brainteasers are extremely rare in consulting (while market sizing are quite common); in terms of preparation I would recommend the following steps

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before interviews, then allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the following points.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb a lot better the information with constant learning. Structure your remaining daily preparation with at least 5-10 minutes per day for each of the following: market sizing, fit questions and mental math.
  4. After you have read the first 10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both fit and case.
  5. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  6. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer – great way to show you prepare in advance and to connect more with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad
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replied on Jul 05, 2019
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Hi,

1) I dint agreee with that. Both variety and quality of tasks will not definitely be worse at mbb. Moreover it’s not that you can always get there. Post MBA recruiting gives you the highest chances to get there. The later the harder

2) MBA will be more than enough

3) the best you can do is getting accepted to the top schools where chances of getting an MBB offer are much higher