What does consultant do on spare time / weekends to improve professional skills?

Case Prep
New answer on Jul 04, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 30, 2022

Hi, I'm starting my new role as a strategy consultant in a few days. I'm wondering how to utilize some part of my weekend time to further improve my consulting skillsets. Some of the key skillset I would like to improve would be: English (speaking), structuring, hypothesis generation, and industry insight. 

I'm considering to continue to do cases once per week to keep my consulting skills sharp and also practice English communication. I feel that casing trains the ability to react fast and think in a structured way. But I'm not sure whether these skill sets are being trained on the job on a daily basis.

Would like to hear your advice on: is it practical and suggested to keep doing case interviews to improve skillsets instead of preparing for interviews? Are there any other better ways to improve consulting skillset? Thanks a lot for your advice!

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Florian
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replied on Jun 30, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

All consultants I have ever met (including myself) spend their weekends recharging from their exhausting travel and work schedule.

Keep in mind that for most top-tier firms you will be engaged somewhere between 55 and 70 hours per week (including travel, flights, team dinners, etc.).

You want to use your weekends to recharge and charge your batteries for the next week, so that includes:

  • Time with friends and family
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Outdoors
  • Good food
  • Hobbies
  • Adventures

You will learn so much on the job in so little time. Time spent on the weekends on cases and everything else you suggested is neither productive, nor useful, and the impact will likely be net negative in the long run…

Cheers,

Florian

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Kurt
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replied on Jul 01, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

Whilst I admire your passion, if you try to take on too much in addition to consulting you will burn yourself out.

Consulting can be very intense, and adding additional work for yourself will be difficult. Remember, its a marathon not a sprint!

One way of improving your skills without burning yourself out might be to focus on english (one of the skills you mentioned). Improving your english can come in many forms so I would find ways to do this that you also find relaxing (reading, talking with friends etc.)

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Ian
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replied on Jul 01, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Please don't do this!

I think you're underestimating how brutally tough the job can be. Focus on resting and recharging so that you can learn on the job. If you come into each week tired and worn out because of weekend work, you're going to perform worse not better.

At the very least, just give it a month or two…if you still think you want to work weekends, come back and we'll be happy to advise :)

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Moritz
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replied on Jul 04, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

Please forget about this!

Your free time should be sacred to you and your employer. Having time (and taking it) to switch off is the only way to not burn out prematurely. That's the reason why no respectable company would want you to go down the route you're suggesting because the result isn't what you want it to be.

What you need to learn instead is to put limits i.e. what hours are you not available during the week (e.g. sports, baby bath time, meditation) and what time on Friday are you switching your computer and phone off before switching on again Monday. 

Establish those limits with confidence, which is what all people do who go far. If you don't you wont last long!

Best of luck!

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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