first of all, congratulations on your offer! Below you can find a couple of things that could be useful to practice during your first weeks:
- Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
- Always double check. The first impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you will create a reputation of a reliable person. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
- Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle.
- Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
- Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
- Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
- Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
- Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.
If you want to prepare in advance before you start, you could work on both technical and communication skills.
- On the technical side, Excel will be the most important technical thing to master at the beginning, in particular for VLOOKUPs and Pivot tables; you could also review PowerPoint, which you will also use intensively.
- At BCG we got learning courses we could use to improve on them, and I guess you will receive the same at McKinsey, but so far that you have already mastered the skills before joining (you can find several courses online for both), even better.
- Tip for Excel: learn how to use as much as possible the keyword and relegate the touchpad to the minimum – this will skyrocket your productivity in the long term.
- For what concerns communication, a classic on the topic is the book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.
Hope this helps,