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When to book session(s) with a coach?

Anonymous A

Hi, I am new to PrepLounge and management consulting knowledge. I’m only just beginning to learn about cases, and I am wondering about coaching. Do most people book a session with a coach after they’ve already practiced a lot of cases? Or do some people book a session at the beginning of their journey to get advice/structure tips, before forming bad habits from practice with peers?

I’m in grad school (MA, not MBA) so funds are very tight, but I am willing to book sessions as if I get a job in an MBB I’ll recoup the costs quickly. I was thinking booking a session at the start would save me a lot of time overall and lead to more productive practice when I practice with peers, but I don’t even know if I’ll receive an interview invitation.

To people who’ve booked coaches, at what point did you first use a coach? Do you wish you did so sooner?

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Anonymous B replied on 12/06/2018

Hello!

Here's how I did it: I've booked my first session about 10-12 mock cases into practice (assuming I've learned all the basics of case topics, from profitability to growth and market entry). This way, the feedback I got from the coach was a little more specific than basic things which I would've already learned in the first 10 cases (like refining hypothesis, faster arithmetic).

If you book more sessions, make sure that the last session is about a week away from the interview, with the rest of the sessions (the little stingy fella in me is hurting) in between the one after 10-12 cases and the one a week away from the interview.

Before you even book a coach, see if you can find current associates/consultants at your local MBBs/on PrepLounge. You'll get good feedback (though probably not as detailed and critical as a paid coach), and it'll be $0.

Best of luck!

(edited)

Mathias
Expert
replied on 12/06/2018
McKinsey consultant and former German Diplomat - current MBA at the London Business School

As a coach I should probably tell you that it is important to get guidance early in the process to put you on a path to success, but I honestly believe that you should try to prepare with your career service, your peers and prep books before booking an expert coaching session.

As a first step, I would recommend that you check out some of the basic frameworks (there are a lot of free resources on that, including here on Prep Lounge). Then try to do a couple of cases with friends (and if possible) experienced consultants. At some stage, it might make sense to hire an expert coach to give you honest feedback and help you with the details.

Case interviews is no rocket sciences - try to figure out the basics by yourself :)

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Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

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