Resources for beginner

case study caseprep Good resources
New answer on Aug 02, 2022
3 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Aug 01, 2022

Hi everyone!

I’ve recently decided to take the leap to consulting. However, I was a STEM major, and I’ve never before taken a business or econ class. 

I‘m starting to study I’m realizing I don’t have a great grasp of the business or financial language/terminology. I was wondering if people have recommendations of resources that really start with the basics so that I can build up to some of these other recommended books.

Thank you!

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replied on Aug 01, 2022
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 6+ years of coaching


Don't let this worry you too much - plenty of successful consultants come from STEM backgrounds, and there's less overlap between casing skills and college business/econ classes than you would think. Case interviews also do not require too much business/industry knowledge.

I would advise you to do the following:

1. Read the standard intro to case prep books such as Case Interview Secrets or Case In Point. They aren't perfect, but they do contain a lot of the background information that is useful to know for case interviews. Reviewing some of the common frameworks may help clarify some of these business terms too.

2. Reading/watching industry news. There are plenty of good resources on this: podcasts such as The Best One Yet (formerly MarketSnacks), newsletters such as Axios Markets and Axios Macro, or the good old Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal. 

3. Practice cases, even if it feels a little uncomfortable at first and you feel like you don't know enough, practice makes perfect, and the sooner you start, the better.

4. While you do this, be sure to clear up any confusing terms that you encounter along the way! This is the key to overcoming your challenge, in my opinion. I would dive in as elaborated in points 1-3 above, but whenever you come across a term or concept that you don't know, be sure to look it up. Then write it out, flag it for yourself, or do whatever would be most helpful for you to remember it. There's no perfect course or perfect way to learn these terms, so my advice would be to dive in and pay attention to what seems confusing, and then clear up any confusions as they come up. You may just be surprised by how quickly you start getting the hang of things yourself!

Best of luck, and feel free to message me any more questions - I have worked with many STEM candidates who successfully navigated the recruiting process.

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replied on Aug 01, 2022
Senior Consultant and All-star Interviewer at OW | Ex-S& | 5+ years in the Middle East |300+ Interviews | INSEAD MBA

Hi there,

In terms of resources, I would recommend:

  • The Typical Consulting Books - even if they are a bit outdated (e.g., Case in point, How to crack a case study interview, vault guide to the case interview, Wharton casebook, HBS MCC guide, case interview secrets, brain teasers)
  • Video Material - whether it is a YouTube video tutorial on business terms/cases, case cracking 101 videos, or business series (Shark Tank USA or Australia, Dragon's Den, the Profit, etc.) 
  • Business News - get familiar with the business news and read them daily (Personal favorite platforms are Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, Yahoo Finance)  
  • Business Discussions - whether it is a discussion with a friend, another applicant on the platform or a case coach discuss business ideas and concepts and test out hypotheses (could be related to a case you're cracking or you just had a random idea on how to make a restaurant more profitable while having lunch)

Hope this was helpful!     


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replied on Aug 02, 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

I recommend the following:

  1. Casebooks
  2. Daily reading (the FT, The Economist, etc.)
  3. Robinhood Snacks
  4. Investopedia
  5. Podcasts (like Money Talks and the Prof G show)
  6. Coaching
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Sofia gave the best answer


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Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 6+ years of coaching
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