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Rigorous thinking

Logic logical thinking
New answer on Aug 31, 2022
6 Answers
681 Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 27, 2022

Hi everyone,

How would you develop really rigorous, structured thinking that could later be applied to case interviews? Could you recommend books, thought exercises, etc. to improve that?

Thank you for your help!!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 31, 2022
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

This is very tough question! :)

The short answer is - practice. The more cases you do and try to understand, the more you will start to identify a pattern. Attempt cases on your own and then review the answer vs the one in the case book. Then try to understand how the one in the case book is more sophisticated than your. 

Additionally, practice with peers. There's plenty you can learn from those who are better or worse than you and you learn a lot just from switching positions and playing the interviewer role as well. 

Last, practice with coaches / experts. They will be able to accelerate your trajectory and give you the sort of insights peers might struggle to. 

Best,

Cristian

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Nauman
Expert
replied on Aug 27, 2022
Experienced BCG (UK) alum with several years of consulting experience pivoting to Big Tech BizOps & Strategy

Hey there,

It really depends on what the outcome/goal of this structured thinking is. I think most case books (especially Case in Point) drill this point home when you read through the frameworks and more importantly see how cases are solved. 

I would also recommend watching videos on Youtube from the MBB firms where they do mock case prep. The videos help you better understand how to tackle ambiguous problems in a structured manner. 

What helped me a lot was coming up with market sizing questions in my head. These are mini cases and really help you think fast on your feet. Some examples of this could be many when you're out for a walk to estimate the number of convenience stores in your city, or the number of e-bikes sold in a year etc. 

Lastly, keep informed and read about areas of business which interest you. I find things like Morning Brew (daily news rundown email), TechCrunch Newsletters, WSJ, Bloomberg just help keep you in tune with everything that's going on and helps you connect dots between the macro and micro economic trends. 

I don't think structured thinking for the sake of structured thinking will really help you much. It's almost a muscle that needs to be flexed towards a certain goal. 

Happy to discuss some other mental math or market sizing questions/exercises if you'd like.

Best of luck! 
Nauman  

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

This is exactly what I train…

I suggest you check out my profile to see more about the coaching I do as well as the materials I offer on this topic.

I want to flag a few important things:

1) You're thinking about this exactly right (I wish more people took your approach)

2) Buckle in - this is a really hard skill to train (especially on your own)! Work hard and be patient

Here's a bit on the topic: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

 

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Aug 29, 2022
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I think you are “avoiding” here.

To learn how to ride a bycicle you can of course watch some videos, read some books, etc. To learn soccer you can go to the gymn and lift somw weights, practice running, etc. But you won't get far. While you can learn all the theory, there's no way to avoid real practice. This is about training your brain, and the brain learns by doing, not by reading about it. 

Of course, there's some baseline on your understanding of “logic” (e.g. syllogisms), and cartesianism (deductive reasoning). But I would expect someone with a university degree and a good GPA to at least know the basics.

So what you need is to skim through this website, through a decent book about cases (e.g. Victor Cheng) and then focus on PRACTICE to train your brain. 

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Truth is that, in order to get better at doing cases, the only thing that truly truly help is doing as many as possible, instead of trying to get the skillset (in this case, rigorous thinking) transferred from other type of training. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 27, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & BCG Project leader

I struggle to understand the question, but I would vote for flexible solutions and open mindedness to solve the case. 

Good luck

Lucie

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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