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Expert with best answer

Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,181 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

7

What should I do for the next 6 months?

I graduated university in November and begin working as an entry-level consultant between May-July. I was unable to negotiate my start date due to the pandemic, so I now have approximately 6 months off. I'm used to staying active and working so I don't want to lose my momentum before starting my full-time job. I'm looking to make money and gain experience for the next couple months and am looking for suggesstions on what to do. I was thinking of interning, but companies are mainly looking for candidates still in school. For context, I live in the southern california region and am not an international student.

I graduated university in November and begin working as an entry-level consultant between May-July. I was unable to negotiate my start date due to the pandemic, so I now have approximately 6 months off. I'm used to staying active and working so I don't want to lose my momentum before starting my full-time job. I'm looking to make money and gain experience for the next couple months and am looking for suggesstions on what to do. I was thinking of interning, but companies are mainly looking for candidates still in school. For context, I live in the southern california region and am not an international student.

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Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,181 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi there,

I think you have a few options:

a. Start a side project/hustle (anything you've wanted to try)

b. Learn a skill you've always wanted to (coding language, musical instrument etc.)

c. Look for an internship (I promise you, people are still hiring)

d. Enter into an academy or training program to prepare you for the consulting world (message me if you'd like to know about some good ones)

e. Get prepared for your job!

============================================================

IN TERMS OF "E. GET PREPARED FOR YOUR JOB"

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here: https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

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

Second: Attend an academy

There are so many great training programs that prepare new graduates for the consulting world! I'm part of a few myself. Feel free to shoot me a message and I can point you in the right direction!

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

Third: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some great online/virtual classes for this (including the academies meantioned above

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

Fourth: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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

Fifth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

Hi there,

I think you have a few options:

a. Start a side project/hustle (anything you've wanted to try)

b. Learn a skill you've always wanted to (coding language, musical instrument etc.)

c. Look for an internship (I promise you, people are still hiring)

d. Enter into an academy or training program to prepare you for the consulting world (message me if you'd like to know about some good ones)

e. Get prepared for your job!

============================================================

IN TERMS OF "E. GET PREPARED FOR YOUR JOB"

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here: https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

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

Second: Attend an academy

There are so many great training programs that prepare new graduates for the consulting world! I'm part of a few myself. Feel free to shoot me a message and I can point you in the right direction!

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

Third: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some great online/virtual classes for this (including the academies meantioned above

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

Fourth: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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

Fifth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

12,380 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

Congrats of that offer! Sorry to hear about the start date tough, I can imagine it sucks.

I would structure this into 2 main things:

1. BESIDES CONSULTING

Holy problem it is having the time! You will see that once you are a consultant, you will miss this little sabbatical.

Try to make the most out of it: travel -yes, now it´s already possible-, teach, collaborate with a non profit -I run an NGO for instance and we always need hands-, start a business idea, etc.

Sky is the limit

2. IN PREP FOR CONSULTING

If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT

Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,

Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())

Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA

Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

Microsoft Support: https://support.office.com/en-us/excel

Kubicle: https://kubicle.com/personal (go for the 7 days free trial - Excel for Business Analytics)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Congrats of that offer! Sorry to hear about the start date tough, I can imagine it sucks.

I would structure this into 2 main things:

1. BESIDES CONSULTING

Holy problem it is having the time! You will see that once you are a consultant, you will miss this little sabbatical.

Try to make the most out of it: travel -yes, now it´s already possible-, teach, collaborate with a non profit -I run an NGO for instance and we always need hands-, start a business idea, etc.

Sky is the limit

2. IN PREP FOR CONSULTING

If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT

Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,

Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())

Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA

Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

Microsoft Support: https://support.office.com/en-us/excel

Kubicle: https://kubicle.com/personal (go for the 7 days free trial - Excel for Business Analytics)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,275 Meetings

11,937 Q&A Upvotes

USD 429 / Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on your offer. You could do a lot of things but I think the following may be the most useful:

  1. Master Excel and PowerPoint
  2. Start freelancing based on a skill you know/want to learn
  3. Do an internship in a position that can help you long term (eg sales)
  4. Learn a new language
  5. Launch a website you can easily automate
  6. Start a blog on a topic you know well
  7. Support a local no-profit
  8. Prepare for GMAT (in case you want to go to B school in the future)

Given you want to make some money, I would prioritize 2 and 3.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Congratulations on your offer. You could do a lot of things but I think the following may be the most useful:

  1. Master Excel and PowerPoint
  2. Start freelancing based on a skill you know/want to learn
  3. Do an internship in a position that can help you long term (eg sales)
  4. Learn a new language
  5. Launch a website you can easily automate
  6. Start a blog on a topic you know well
  7. Support a local no-profit
  8. Prepare for GMAT (in case you want to go to B school in the future)

Given you want to make some money, I would prioritize 2 and 3.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Iman

100% Recommendation Rate

16 Meetings

1,501 Q&A Upvotes

USD 159 / Coaching

Hi,

I suggest to keep up to date with the business world. Read as much as Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist as part of your daily routine.

Try to apply for a role that help you to prep for the job, e.g. teaching assistant in your school - it will help you to write, communicate and think structurally

Best,

Iman

Hi,

I suggest to keep up to date with the business world. Read as much as Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist as part of your daily routine.

Try to apply for a role that help you to prep for the job, e.g. teaching assistant in your school - it will help you to write, communicate and think structurally

Best,

Iman

Book a coaching with Gaurav

100% Recommendation Rate

194 Meetings

4,932 Q&A Upvotes

USD 209 / Coaching

Hello there!

Congratulations on your offer!
It's great that you have some time to prepare in order to perform well and increase your chances to be promoted.

Some pieces of advice on how to spend this time wisely:

  • take an online course to learn PPT and Excel skills
  • focus on your weak points, maybe you were provided them in the feedback
  • take an internship, some firms are definitely hiring
  • freelancing is a good idea, too
  • master or learn programming
  • find a coach who will share strategies and insights and help prepare for the job

Do you need any further help?

GB

Hello there!

Congratulations on your offer!
It's great that you have some time to prepare in order to perform well and increase your chances to be promoted.

Some pieces of advice on how to spend this time wisely:

  • take an online course to learn PPT and Excel skills
  • focus on your weak points, maybe you were provided them in the feedback
  • take an internship, some firms are definitely hiring
  • freelancing is a good idea, too
  • master or learn programming
  • find a coach who will share strategies and insights and help prepare for the job

Do you need any further help?

GB

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,348 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

Several things I would look at:

  • Polishing PPT / Excel with various courses
  • Learning SQL / Python - will be a huge competitive advantage
  • Joining a startup
  • Taking an internship
  • Getting your GMAT score (you will have no time for that while working)

Best

Hi,

Several things I would look at:

  • Polishing PPT / Excel with various courses
  • Learning SQL / Python - will be a huge competitive advantage
  • Joining a startup
  • Taking an internship
  • Getting your GMAT score (you will have no time for that while working)

Best

Book a coaching with Adi

100% Recommendation Rate

47 Meetings

4,193 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hey there, I second everything other coaches have already advised. Plenty you could choose from.

From my perspective, do what you really want to do to make the best of the 6 months. Do that which will make you happy knowing you did something you would have not done otherwise. Personally, am a big fan of taking time off (3 or 4 or 6 months) whenever possible and investing in an inward process i.e meditation and yoga with the idea of practicisng regularly as well. I have taken 3 sabbaticals during my 14 years of work so far. It has transformed me and allowed me to look at work and life with clarity. We are so externally driven in these times, always chasing something. If you can relate to this, why not give this a try. Feel free to message if you want details.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

Hey there, I second everything other coaches have already advised. Plenty you could choose from.

From my perspective, do what you really want to do to make the best of the 6 months. Do that which will make you happy knowing you did something you would have not done otherwise. Personally, am a big fan of taking time off (3 or 4 or 6 months) whenever possible and investing in an inward process i.e meditation and yoga with the idea of practicisng regularly as well. I have taken 3 sabbaticals during my 14 years of work so far. It has transformed me and allowed me to look at work and life with clarity. We are so externally driven in these times, always chasing something. If you can relate to this, why not give this a try. Feel free to message if you want details.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

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