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Unexpected MBB Invitation w/ no business background -need a lot of advice

Anonymous A

Hi everyone, I just found this forum as I’ve unexpectedly been offered an MBB interview. I have no background in business/math/science and am interviewing in a country where I speak the language but not professionally, and certainly not yet with business terminology I still need to learn in my native language as well. I have already pushed the interview twice because I need time to refresh my math skills and learn how to do cases, and now it is set for mid-January.

I can not push it again because of personal circumstances, but I know what a good opportunity this is and do not want to waste my chance or the MBB’s time showing up unprepared. I have just over five weeks until the interview, and my math has improved exponentially in the past weeks, but to be honest I’m completely lost on these case studies. I have LOMS (suggestions on how best to use this resource?) and set a few dates with fellow candidates who cancelled last minute so I have basically no practice. I was on a huge work deadline until earlier this week so only now can I properly focus and put in a lot of time and energy.

I am aware this is not ideal but I am determined to do my best. I know practice is most important, but I’m overwhelmed with even knowing how to begin dissecting a case despite lots of reading and listening. Could anyone else coming from a non-business background share advice? I know I just need to get momentum going with my practice but I don’t know how to start it.

I plan on working with a coach on here but am wondering if it makes sense to have an initial meeting before I have much practice to get proper advice and form good habits from the start, or if I should first work with a coach after having worked on cases with fellow applicants first. I’m thinking in my position quality is far better than quantity.

Advice or suggestions on anything above are very much appreciated. Please just don’t advise I push the interview again (I can’t for personal reasons I needn’t explain in this forum) or read Case in Point, as I know those are often suggested here.

Also, I know as a consultant I will need to be far more concise :)

Thank you all very much in advance!

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Sidi
Expert
replied on 12/05/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

I believe in your situation it is extremely important to get systematic coaching from a very strong expert AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You need to understand the difference between Coaching Sessions and Practice Sessions. The former you do with the expert, and the latter you do with (strong) peers. Usually, you should go through 2-3 rigorous coaching sessions to learn the first principles required to approach and structure cases in the right way, to quickly become independent of frameworks, and to build awareness of the process discipline and “habits” required. Then you use the practice sessions for repetition and solidifying your case muscle. Every 3-4 practice sessions you should re-iterate with your coach to polish and get rock solid.

This process normally takes about 6-8 weeks. But I have had comitted candidates who became “ready” within one good month.

By the way - the above applies to both business and non-business background candidates! In fact, if you internalize the principles of how to think about case problems, your background is simply irrelevant!

Cheers, Sidi

Sidi
Expert
replied on 12/05/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

I believe in your situation it is extremely important to get systematic coaching from a very strong expert AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You need to understand the difference between Coaching Sessions and Practice Sessions. The former you do with the expert, and the latter you do with (strong) peers. Usually, you should go through 2-3 rigorous coaching sessions to learn the first principles required to approach and structure cases in the right way, to quickly become independent of frameworks, and to build awareness of the process discipline and “habits” required. Then you use the practice sessions for repetition and solidifying your case muscle. Every 3-4 practice sessions you should re-iterate with your coach to polish and get rock solid.

This process normally takes about 6-8 weeks. But I have had comitted candidates who became “ready” within one good month.

By the way - the above applies to both business and non-business background candidates! In fact, if you internalize the principles of how to think about case problems, your background is simply irrelevant!

Cheers, Sidi

Sidi
Expert
replied on 12/05/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

I believe in your situation it is extremely important to get systematic coaching from a very strong expert AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You need to understand the difference between Coaching Sessions and Practice Sessions. The former you do with the expert, and the latter you do with (strong) peers. Usually, you should go through 2-3 rigorous coaching sessions to learn the first principles required to approach and structure cases in the right way, to quickly become independent of frameworks, and to build awareness of the process discipline and “habits” required. Then you use the practice sessions for repetition and solidifying your case muscle. Every 3-4 practice sessions you should re-iterate with your coach to polish and get rock solid.

This process normally takes about 6-8 weeks. But I have had comitted candidates who became “ready” within one good month.

By the way - the above applies to both business and non-business background candidates! In fact, if you internalize the principles of how to think about case problems, your background is simply irrelevant!

Cheers, Sidi

Vlad replied on 12/05/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I believe every coach here has a different approach / timing. Feel free to check my program in my profile and feel free to reach me with any questions

Best

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