Monday, April 09, 2007

Consulting recruiting urban legends...

... are starting to abound.

Many people here have ample experience in case cracking. Yet it still is daunting to most of us. As Hallonman writes (see link hereunder), it seems that the brain stops working just when you need it.
Supposedly, cases are meant to illustrate your quick mindedness, and your analytical skills. Supposedly, these are strategy consulting's most required skills.
Well, these are not my forte. So instead of trying to compete on my weaknesses, I have devised a strategy based on my strengths. Basically it goes like that: "These are not my forte, but I can bring this and that blablabla, which not only are my strengths, but also can be valuable to you".

I talked about this to a great MBA participant (Dean's List), and he had me practice a case he got from BCG. I was "Humm, Hu, I see" all the way-maybe I had too much of this Rogerian thing- and he made fun of me when I did not pick up on one of his lines, which was something about a market share of 250%. To which I replied, that this is the value of Strategy Consulting, to have a 250% market share, ie. to "OUT-grow the market". I'm really not for Consulting...

I discussed with one guy, already a lock with BCG. He told me that he encountered 4 types of cases:
- the ones about cost reductions (diffentiating fixed to variable, to apply different strategies)
- the ones about operations management (identifying bottlenecks and solving them)
- the ones about market shares (estimating, sensing numbers)
- the ones about revenues and costs (identifying levers of both).
If you have more, please share.

He also told me that, after attending all company presentations and cocktails on campus, 2 things struck him:
1. Consulting firms seem to self-select. One person apparently told him that his niche consulting (read, not McKinsey BCG Bain Booz) selected people they think will not go to MK BBB, and that one proof would be the little overlap between them. The rationale would be to not waste time and money on sure bets to McKinsey and co. I'm not quite sure about this. One question would then be: how can you define these guys? One answer could be: Dean's List!

2. Apparently, participants change personality in cocktails. It's who can ask an insightful question, who can punch his tagline, who can make an impression to the recruiter... I don't know about this, and so have decided to attend some cocktails to watch that funny game.

Anyway, I need to get some feel of stress. I thought McKinsey interviews started tomorrow, it's a week from now. I though REP project finished in 3 weeks, it's in 2 months...

To have a view on Case cracking (courtesy of Hallonman in Singapore):



At 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not quite understand your comment of the niche/boutique consulting firms. Are you saying that these firms want people who are on the Dean's List of that they don't want them because they assume that those students are shoe-ins for McK?

At 6:42 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

... That the line of reasoning (to which I did not agree -hence urban legend) was that those who were shoe-ins for McK and co would not be prime targets. But then, how do they know the shoe-ins for McK? One possibility is the Dean's List...


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