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New answer on Jun 15, 2022
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 08, 2022

Hi,

I joined MBB several months ago And just finished my 1st case 2 weeks ago. Last week (until Wednesday) I was assigned to work on proposal.

however, from last thursday to now (5 days), I have not heard on new assignment. 
 

 

i am worried if my 1st case evaluation affect my chance to get staffed on 2nd case. that’s why I have not heard anything. My 1st case was not the best one but I have some positive points as well.

 

 I tried to reach out staffing (but havent heard back)  and 1 partner (but no answer) To express my interest on the case I want to join.

 

is it normal not getting staffed for days/1 week ?

will my 1st case performance really give damage ? Or do you give 2nd chance ? 

 

 

thanks so much

 

 

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Hani
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 08, 2022
Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton | Ex-Strategy& | 3+ years in Consulting Experience in the Middle East

Hi there,

This is a completely normal situation to be in as a new joiner, especially in downtime periods. 

As a new joiner getting a project is difficult as you haven't consistently proven yourself to the teams and staffing yet. 

Additionally from a staffing or project management perspective getting an intern or an entry-level consultant would give approximately the same deliverable output but it would be much friendlier on the project budget (intern billing is free).  

You did mention that you had a mixed performance on your first case but you should know that expectation for your first assignments is minimal and usually quite bad for most people. The good thing is that you are aware of this and you have discussed the feedback with your previous team. 

What you should focus on is: 

  • Showing a good attitude, willingness to work, and that you are coachable
  • Delivering on your assignments (whether it is a proposal, viewpoint, or project)
  • Networking as much as possible within the firm (go to the office, mingle with people, and offer to support them if needed)
  • Asking your first team and career manager for support in introducing you to other teams, and potentially referring you to new projects

Being unstaffed for a couple of days/weeks in between projects is normal for a new joiner. Just make sure you step up and deliver on the given assignments and keep track of your billability as you wouldn't want it to decrease too much. 

(edited)

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Eishan
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jun 09, 2022
Helping consulting aspirants crack the case interview and achieve thier dream job. Bain I LBS MBA I Uber I Bloomberg

Hey there - 

I would not worry too much. The first case evaluation should be taken more of a benchmarking exercise on where you stand. It would only impact if you were really really bad/ good. 

I was unstaffed for more than 4 weeks after my first case. I would say that try to be in touch with staffing. There are many factors that go into staffing you well. The pipeline, your experience, your pd needs, the case set up, etc etc. So this is very normal. 

In the meantime, reflect on your current review, discuss it with your mentor and think about the things you need to work on in your next case. That would help you improve your performance in your next case. 

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Udayan
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replied on Jun 15, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Is it normal? Yes it is very normal when you are just starting out to not be staffed. This is when you are considered to be ‘less’ valuable (in fact at McKinsey new joiners are not allowed to charge a client study until they are there for 6 months) because you do not fully have the consulting toolkit yet. This is the time you are expected to focus on building your skills and contributing wherever needed with enthusiasm and zeal.

My suggestion - take some mental time off to enjoy other activities and spend time on building skills - for example take excel modeling classes in your spare time so you can work on any weak areas for your next project.

Best,

Udayan

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jun 08, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Yes, it is normal to be unstaffed for a week or more, particular for new members. 

Regarding impact of first case… doing good project work impacts your staffig. Doing a good job when helping with proposals also has some impact. In other words, you are building your reputation, and the better it is, the easier it is to get staffed.

After the 1st case, you don't have a reputation yet (unless you did great, or did terrible). So that is very unlikely to be impacting you at this point.

I was once unstaffed for 3 weeks, along with other reputable consultants (and a couple of recent joiners). This is perfectly normal. Just keep giving your best.

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Clara
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replied on Jun 09, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Yes, it´s very normal to not be staffed for days and week, particularly for new people. I remember some analysts in my class, that started in September, didn´t get staffed in their first official project until Sept. 

 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Kurt
Expert
replied on Jun 09, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

This can happen and is not unusual, and I personally spent a few months unstaffed in my first year of consulting.

My advice would be to focus on what you can control (e.g. using the free time to work on some of your skill gaps, performing well on beach tasks, getting involved in the firm and networking), rather than what you can't control (staffing opportunities, impression made from your first project). 

Consulting is a marathon not a sprint!

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Ken
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 08, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

Finding yourself with unstaffed periods, especially in your first year is quite typical and so I wouldn’t worry about it.  The summer is also a tricky period where there’s an influx of interns who are free vs a second project new joiner who the team would often have to take on the full cost.  It’s great that you’re reflecting on how to first project went where there’s always room for improvement but MBBs will not let a new joiner struggle just because the first project wasn’t a home run either.  Embrace the calm as the storm will come again soon! 

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Moritz
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replied on Jun 08, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

All is good - don't worry!

A couple of important points:

  • Expectation for your 1st project is minimal and it's usually quite “bad” for most people
  • It's completely normal to be on the beach and work on LOPs etc. for some weeks at a time

Nothing to worry about and you should rather enjoy the time before the grind begins again :)

Best of luck!

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Adi
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 08, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

By “case” you mean project?!

Its totally fine to be unstaffed for a few days or weeks in between projects. Just make sure you are visible and working on proposals or other relevant stuff for your area.

I am sure you have heard this before- Network! Most good roles typically get staffed via networking to sought after people- this is very common in almost all big consulting firms. Dont be passive and let the scheduling/staffing team reach out to you. You need to proactively hunt.

Consider the following:

  • Talk to your previous manager and understand the overall project feedback. What went well and what didn't go so well for you. Unless your performance was low, its unlikely that project feedback from first assignment will have a bearing on future staffing. But dont speculate and be clear on the feedback
  • Refresh your own pitch, make your functional & industry skills crystal clear when you talk to people. What are you good at now and what do you want to be known for in future?
  • Talk to as many senior people as you can with your new revised pitch & understand the pipeline. Be ready to offer something to them in return of their backing to get you a role
  • Work with your people lead/career counsellor/line manager to help you make a plan & improve your branding. Talk to peers/colleagues who you trust and get their advice as well

All the best.

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Hani gave the best answer

Hani

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Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton | Ex-Strategy& | 3+ years in Consulting Experience in the Middle East
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