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Ian

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6

Time management for consulting preparation

Hi there, Need some advice regarding time management for the preparation of the case interviews. Right now, I'm working at big four as an advisor with ~13 working hours a day and planning to shift my career to become a management consultant. I feel that I don't have enough time to prepare the case interview daily. Any suggestion? I am thinking of taking some unpaid leave for like 1-2months to focus preparing for a case interview? Is it a good option?

cheers

Hi there, Need some advice regarding time management for the preparation of the case interviews. Right now, I'm working at big four as an advisor with ~13 working hours a day and planning to shift my career to become a management consultant. I feel that I don't have enough time to prepare the case interview daily. Any suggestion? I am thinking of taking some unpaid leave for like 1-2months to focus preparing for a case interview? Is it a good option?

cheers

(edited)

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Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

If you're working 13 hours a day you absolutely need to take time off to prepare for these interviews.

Not only will you literally not have enough time, but your brain won't be able to absorb all of that information!

If you can, I definitely recommend taking ~4-6 weeks off and dedicating yourself to preparation. What's the best way you maximize your time? Hire a coach. Genuinely. Coaches are essentially your "time leverage". Not only do they obviously ensure you're the best you can be, but they guide you down the right path, cut out the noise, stop bad habits before they begin, and provide you hours of value within 1 hour of time.

--------------------------------------------

In general how can you prepare?

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and build that casingknowledge

Importantly, read The Economist, the Financial Times, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights daily to build up your business knowledge.

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

Hi there,

If you're working 13 hours a day you absolutely need to take time off to prepare for these interviews.

Not only will you literally not have enough time, but your brain won't be able to absorb all of that information!

If you can, I definitely recommend taking ~4-6 weeks off and dedicating yourself to preparation. What's the best way you maximize your time? Hire a coach. Genuinely. Coaches are essentially your "time leverage". Not only do they obviously ensure you're the best you can be, but they guide you down the right path, cut out the noise, stop bad habits before they begin, and provide you hours of value within 1 hour of time.

--------------------------------------------

In general how can you prepare?

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and build that casingknowledge

Importantly, read The Economist, the Financial Times, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights daily to build up your business knowledge.

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

It depends.

  • Are you working a lot as well on weekends? Then yes, you need to take some time off.
  • Are you in a hurry to apply? Then yes, you need to take some time off.
  • If that’s not the case, you may be able to structure the preparation on weekends.

I would also try to negotiate a lighter schedule for your daily job, for what is possible.

If you need help to define an exact plan and structure your preparation, please feel free to PM me.

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

It depends.

  • Are you working a lot as well on weekends? Then yes, you need to take some time off.
  • Are you in a hurry to apply? Then yes, you need to take some time off.
  • If that’s not the case, you may be able to structure the preparation on weekends.

I would also try to negotiate a lighter schedule for your daily job, for what is possible.

If you need help to define an exact plan and structure your preparation, please feel free to PM me.

Best,
Francesco

Book a coaching with Henning

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Hi Anonymous!

I agree with Ian in general, but would not be as adamant about taking time off. Depending on the timeline you have in mind, I see 2 options:

  • Use the weekends:

You could prepare for the interviews on the weekends. In my experience, this could be done in 2 months, if you are very diligent about it. It would mean that you'll need to do 1-2 cases per weekend day plus reading up on frameworks, FIT, etc.

I have seen people do this and I think this is a perfectly valid approach if you plan it correctly. The workload is comparable to the GMAT it is not common for people to take time off for that, so definitely possible.

I did write a post the other day on the number of cases you should do (https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-many-cases-to-practice-7842). If you're strategic about the type of cases and the people you're practicing with, 8 weekends should give you enough time. The trade-off is of course that you'll loose the weekends and need to be disciplined about how to spend your time.

  • Take time off

You could indeed take the time off. I would then suggest rather 1 month, rather than 2. One month gives you 30 days. Doing 1 case interview per day plus going through sources like books, preplounge materials, youtube channels, this should be sufficient.

In any case, I would suggest to work with coaches. You don't have much time to waste, so each case you do should leave you with a clear lesson learned that you can improve on in the next one. Let me know if you want to brain storm on a detailed structure.

Hi Anonymous!

I agree with Ian in general, but would not be as adamant about taking time off. Depending on the timeline you have in mind, I see 2 options:

  • Use the weekends:

You could prepare for the interviews on the weekends. In my experience, this could be done in 2 months, if you are very diligent about it. It would mean that you'll need to do 1-2 cases per weekend day plus reading up on frameworks, FIT, etc.

I have seen people do this and I think this is a perfectly valid approach if you plan it correctly. The workload is comparable to the GMAT it is not common for people to take time off for that, so definitely possible.

I did write a post the other day on the number of cases you should do (https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-many-cases-to-practice-7842). If you're strategic about the type of cases and the people you're practicing with, 8 weekends should give you enough time. The trade-off is of course that you'll loose the weekends and need to be disciplined about how to spend your time.

  • Take time off

You could indeed take the time off. I would then suggest rather 1 month, rather than 2. One month gives you 30 days. Doing 1 case interview per day plus going through sources like books, preplounge materials, youtube channels, this should be sufficient.

In any case, I would suggest to work with coaches. You don't have much time to waste, so each case you do should leave you with a clear lesson learned that you can improve on in the next one. Let me know if you want to brain storm on a detailed structure.

Dear A,

To make preparation in one months, you basically need to practice like 5-6 hours daily. But with 13 hour-working day you may need either more time (may not efficient), or just take some time off.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Dear A,

To make preparation in one months, you basically need to practice like 5-6 hours daily. But with 13 hour-working day you may need either more time (may not efficient), or just take some time off.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Book a coaching with Luca

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Hello,

I agree with you, prepare interviews working 13 hours per day is really though. I always tell my candidates that you have to get used to the cases, it's not something that you can speed up just studying a bit more.
Studying only during the weekend, you would need at least 3/4 months to prepare and then I would suggest to take anyway some time off at least for 1/2 weeks before interviews.
In order to prepare for case interview, I usually suggest the following approach considering a full time preparation taht usually takes 1/2 months:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews - 10 days
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches) - 20/30 days
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets
  • Listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview. Consider that you will need at least 40/50 cases before doing the interviews.

Feel free to contact me if you want to have some help to stucture your workplan.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

I agree with you, prepare interviews working 13 hours per day is really though. I always tell my candidates that you have to get used to the cases, it's not something that you can speed up just studying a bit more.
Studying only during the weekend, you would need at least 3/4 months to prepare and then I would suggest to take anyway some time off at least for 1/2 weeks before interviews.
In order to prepare for case interview, I usually suggest the following approach considering a full time preparation taht usually takes 1/2 months:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews - 10 days
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches) - 20/30 days
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets
  • Listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview. Consider that you will need at least 40/50 cases before doing the interviews.

Feel free to contact me if you want to have some help to stucture your workplan.

Best,
Luca

Book a coaching with Udayan

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Hi,

I do not think it is realistic to expect yourself to maximize weekends to prepare. When you are working for 13 hours a day you are absolutely exhausted at the end of the week and mentally it is difficult to then get excited to spend time doing case and PEI prep. Realistically, I would recommend taking a few weeks off to start with to at least get started with the prep and assess where you are at and what more needs to get done. Once you are clear of what needs to get done to prepare and know exactly how to get there, you can rely on time during the week/weekend to continue preparing.

As others have suggested working with a coach will help both accelerate the process and maintain motivation during times you feel less inclined to prepare.

Best,

Udayan

Hi,

I do not think it is realistic to expect yourself to maximize weekends to prepare. When you are working for 13 hours a day you are absolutely exhausted at the end of the week and mentally it is difficult to then get excited to spend time doing case and PEI prep. Realistically, I would recommend taking a few weeks off to start with to at least get started with the prep and assess where you are at and what more needs to get done. Once you are clear of what needs to get done to prepare and know exactly how to get there, you can rely on time during the week/weekend to continue preparing.

As others have suggested working with a coach will help both accelerate the process and maintain motivation during times you feel less inclined to prepare.

Best,

Udayan

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