What were the things you wish you could have prepared better when joining consulting?

Bain BCG McKinsey
Edited on Sep 24, 2021
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 24, 2021

Hi experts, 

This may sound naive…

May I know what are the things you wish you could have prepared better when joining consulting to get yourself up to speed and build your credit in the first several cases?

Besides, may I know what types of models/excel functions you mostly used? 

Thanks. 

 

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 24, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

This isn't naive it all - it's a fantastic question! Feel free to shoot me a message - I'll send you my “Consulting Survival Guide” (25 critical tips to surviving the first 18-24 months). Now, in terms of your prep…

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!

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First: I have a consulting survival guide handbook with 25 key tips for surviving the consulting world. Feel free to message me for it!

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Second: 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

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this

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Third: 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 timeFind out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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Fourth: 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

(edited)

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Sep 24, 2021
#1 CoachingPlus Expert | 100% no-nonsense | BCG Dubai PL | 2021 Real MBB+ Cases | Case/PEI/Fit/CV | 6+ years Consulting

"Consulting is a marathon - not a sprint". Although I had heard this from many people before joining - I could realise it only after joining.

On your question about excel - basic arithmetic functions going up to sumproduct, basic financial functions such as npv, etc.

What matters more is how can you create simple to understand and quick to update excel files. People struggle in keeping up with the enormous number of iterations to both structure and values.

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