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ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni

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ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 10:07
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Hello – thanks for checking out BeyondCasePrep!

BeyondCasePrep is a team of former McKinsey and BCG consultants who want to share their expertise about the top strategy consulting firms and the interview processes that they use. We know that many MBA applicants are interested in consulting (particularly the MBB firms) and we provide an insider perspective about what the firms are like. Our goal is to keep you properly informed with reliable and accurate information.

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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 10:23
Welcome Guys,

Your presence will help many students who are interested in Consulting.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 12:10
A question that we often hear from students is "How do the top firms determine the interview list?"

The MBB firms use both a quantitative resume scoring system combined with qualitative observations from all of their interactions with candidates.

On the quant side, you are assigned different point values for the caliber of your undergrad and MBA programs (or other grad degrees), your bschool GPA, GMAT, prestige of your previous employers, demonstrated impact /advancement professionally, and leadership experience. Based on the total score across all these dimensions you are categorized as either being a likely or not likely interview candidate. The resume scoring often influences who gets invited to certain "high-priority" events like firm dinners, etc.

On the qualitative side, the firms keep detailed notes on all their interactions with you whether that's at their company presentation, cocktail events, or mock interviews. The are trying to evaluate your communication ability (e.g. can you speak well?) as well as how well you'd fit in as a member of the team or in front of clients (are you awkward? are you arrogant?).

In forming the interview list they take into account all these factors.

Additionally, the interview lists are shaped by both the on-campus "specialists" as well as the specific offices. Behind the scenes, offices have certain numbers of interview "slots" for each school, so there is a lot of give-and-take behind the scenes. (For example, the Boston office might be really high on a candidate so they push hard to proceed with the interview, even if the school-specific recruiting team was luke-warm on the candidate).

Once you get to the interview stages, everyone has a more or less equal chance regardless of whether you were at the top of the list, or the last one who made the closed list. It all comes down to executing during the interviews.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2013, 06:17
Question: I want to do consulting after bschool, but my GMAT is relatively low (below 680). How will this impact my admissions chances? What do you recommend that I do?

Unfortunately, having a lower GMAT and wanting to do consulting can have a negative impact on your admissions profile. Normally a 680 is slightly on the lower side of average for the top schools anyway, but another thing to consider is that the Admissions Committee takes into account the feasibility of your career goals (i.e. they want to make sure everyone they admit will get a job offer and not weigh down their US News ranking - of which employment is a large component). The problem with a sub 680 GMAT is that the top consulting firms use a quantitative resume screening process where your GMAT score will put you at a relative disadvantage to your peers (Ad Com knows this).

From an admissions perspective, I would do one of two things if I were in that situation:

1) Re-take the GMAT and try to get a 700+ score

2) Write about an alternate career path than consulting on your application (e.g. marketing, General Management). Consulting and Finance are the only MBA recruiters that care about GMAT score, so write about how you plan on targeting another industry. Admissions does not care (or track) what career path you ultimately follow once you start at school, rather their concern is that you realistically identify and talk about a career path that you "might" take.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2013, 22:55
We would love to know how was your recruiting experience at Fuqua. How many people were gunning for MBB (roughly), how many got first interviews and how useful was the consulting club/other resources.

Thanks
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 08:29
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Fuqua is a great place to go if you are interested in consulting. All of the firms come to campus, and people go to offices all over the country. I believe it is one of only a handful of core schools for McKinsey, meaning that there is a full-time McKinsey person on campus throughout the recruiting season (I believe HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, and Stanford are the other schools with this distinction but I could be wrong).

I would say about 100 people, or roughly 25% of the class, are serious about consulting. Most people who were serious received at least one offer from MBB or Deloitte. The best place for actual hiring numbers on on their website, as they change every year.

McKinsey gave out around 60 interviews, BCG around 40, Bain maybe 30 or so, and I'm not sure about Deloitte but I'd guess between 50 and 75. However, this changes every year and includes a mix of domestic and international students, especially for McKinsey, which has a very strong overseas presence.

The consulting club at Fuqua is great. They put out a new casebook each year, which is usually one of the better b-school casebooks, organize events on campus, and visits off campus.

All told, one can expect at least 10 or 15 opportunities to interact with each firm prior to an interview invite. With that many opportunities, the burden is really on the applicants to get an interview - as many as possible - and perform well.

Hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any other questions, and please visit our other threads as well.

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Last edited by BeyondCasePrep on 08 Aug 2013, 12:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 12:26
BeyondCasePrep wrote:
Fuqua is a great place to go if you are interested in consulting. All of the firms come to campus, and people go to offices all over the country. I believe it is one of only a handful of core schools for McKinsey, meaning that there is a full-time McKinsey person on campus throughout the recruiting season (I believe HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, and Stanford are the other schools with this distinction but I could be wrong).

I would say about 100 people, or roughly 25% of the class, are serious about consulting. Most people who were serious received at least one offer from MBB or Deloitte. The best place for actual hiring numbers on on their website, as they change every year.
McKinsey gave out around 60 interviews, BCG around 40, Bain maybe 30 or so, and I'm not sure about Deloitte but I'd guess between 50 and 75. However, this changes every year and includes a mix of domestic and international students, especially for McKinsey, which has a very strong overseas presence.
The consulting club at Fuqua is great. They put out a new casebook each year, which is usually one of the better b-school casebooks, organize events on campus, and visits off campus.
All told, one can expect at least 10 or 15 opportunities to interact with each firm prior to an interview invite. With that many opportunities, the burden is really on the applicants to get an interview - as many as possible - and perform well.

Hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any other questions, and please visit our other threads as well.


Thanks for the insight. I have a follow up question: If you look at the consulting stats for class of 2013, it seems like the number of offers MBB gave out went down significantly...most notably BCG went from 13 FT offers in 2012 to just 6 FT 2013 offers in 2013. I think you mentioned that you were involved in BCG's recruiting previously. Why do you think the numbers went down? Are you seeing a shift in which firms are changing their target schools?

A close friend at Darden mentioned that BCG picked up its hiring there this year, so I am worried that they might be moving their attention from Fuqua to Darden. (Duke is my top choice, so I will be extremely worried, if that's the case).

This is the article I read: http://poetsandquants.com/2013/07/27/co ... duke-mbas/
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 12:41
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Hi hailmary,

Yes, I was involved in BCG's recruiting team. My partner Ari was involved with McKinsey's team.

Anyway, the reason why Fuqua had fewer BCG offers last year was simply the result of some bad luck /bad final round interviews with the students themselves. BCG invited just as many Fuqua students to interview as in prior years and passed on a usual amount of candidates to final rounds, but it just so happened that many of those students had an off-day during their final round interviews. In unfortunately happens sometimes, where due to either not being able to connect with the partners, having an off day, or even not understanding a case, there can be a lot of factors that result in someone who is perfectly capable of getting an offer, not being able to execute in that exact moment.

Fuqua is and will continue to be a core school for BCG, so I would not worry about that at all. That said, Darden is also a fantastic school and the top firms get a lot of great candidates there too.

Hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any other questions, and please visit our other threads as well.

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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2013, 13:28
Hi Jeff and Ari,

Thanks for offering this help!

I have a question that might be rather basic as I am just starting to explore the possibility of consulting. The positions in industry definitely have a reputation for being extremely travel heavy, but is this the case across the board or are there other strategy-focused capacities that feature less travel?
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2013, 19:20
Hi chains,

You are correct that there are often significant travel requirements in the consulting industry, as project teams tend to go to where the clients are located.
That said, the amount of travel really depends on the firm, the specific office you are in, and the particular project you are assigned to.

For example, the MBB firms each have different staffing models. McKinsey has a global staffing model, which means that you could be assigned to projects anywhere (although they definitely work with you if you want to avoid international travel). Bain has a local staffing model, where they try to assign people to local cases first (assuming that the partners in that office have sold enough local work to fully staff everyone). BCG has a regional staffing model where they try to assign you to cases sold by partners within your region (e.g. the Northeast region consists of DC, Philly, NYC, and Boston offices) - the cases tend to be within that footprint, but there are certainly exceptions.

Travel is also heavily dependent on the office you are in. For example, outside of government, and a few large defense and hospitality companies there are not too many F500 companies in the DC area, so DC offices tend to be much higher travel than Chicago, SF, or NY where there are ample large companies headquartered there.

If you're looking to avoid travel, seek out these types of offices. I would also look at several boutique firms such as LEK which really try to mitigate travel.
Bain tries to keep many of its travel projects to two nights on the road per week.

If you really want to avoid the travel and like strategy, I highly suggest the internal corporate strategy roles within F500 companies - although they typically want you to have a few years of top tier consulting experience beforehand. Many former consultants leave for these types of roles.

Feel free to reply or message us with any questions! And please check us out on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BeyondCasePrep

Last edited by BeyondCasePrep on 16 Aug 2013, 07:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2013, 06:50
Thank you for the quick feedback; this information is very helpful. As I have been dedicating my energies to researching business schools I haven't quite put the effort into learning the differences between different consulting firms yet.

And thank you for the tip on internal strategy. I have spoken with a couple of 2nd year MBA's who are taking internal strategy positions with AMEX and Samsung after graduation that sound awesome, so that has definitely piqued my interest.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 01:10
BeyondCasePrep wrote:
Hi chains,



If you really want to avoid the travel and like strategy, I highly suggest the internal corporate strategy roles within F500 companies - although they typically want you to have a few years of top tier consulting experience beforehand. Many former consultants leave for these types of roles.

Feel free to reply or message us with any questions! And please check us out on facebook:



Hi BeyondCasePrep,

Thanks a lot for the wonderful posts. I want to know more about internal consulting/ corporate strategy roles.
What is the process to get into such roles? Can a person get such kind of role after a leadership/ rotation program at a particular company?
What kind of professional background/ knowledge do the companies seek for such roles? Can a good general management program help one get there?
Do the companies recruit directly for internal consulting role?
I am keen on such roles post MBA. I want to get into a leadership program and then work as a internal consultant. Are such roles offered to international students?
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 01:15
chains1910 wrote:
Thank you for the quick feedback; this information is very helpful. As I have been dedicating my energies to researching business schools I haven't quite put the effort into learning the differences between different consulting firms yet.

And thank you for the tip on internal strategy. I have spoken with a couple of 2nd year MBA's who are taking internal strategy positions with AMEX and Samsung after graduation that sound awesome, so that has definitely piqued my interest.


Hi Chains1910,

Would you mind sharing the info you received regarding the internal consulting positions. I am keen on such kind of roles.
Why did the said folks chose internal consulting positions? What background did they have?
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2013, 08:35
Scarecrow,

Generally speaking there are a couple ways to get into the corporate strategy groups of large companies. The most prominent is that these teams often recruit ex-consultants, especially from the MBB firms. The MBB firms all have internal job boards for consultants looking to leave / or who are counseled out and there are many of these types of postings there.

Some companies such as Samsung and Amex directly recruit on campus at the top ~15 MBA programs for corporate strategy roles. Any top b-school would give you access to these types of opportunities. The interviews will be very similar to what you would experience applying to the consulting firms.

The last way is to work at a firm and then try to transition into the corporate strategy team from there, although this is a much more difficult path as you will have to convince the corp strategy team that you have the background / skills they are looking for. These teams often have a very strong preference for consulting experience, especially at the MBB firms.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions, and be sure to check out our facebook page for tips on how to prepare for consulting interviews.
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2013, 05:35
scarecrow wrote:
chains1910 wrote:
Thank you for the quick feedback; this information is very helpful. As I have been dedicating my energies to researching business schools I haven't quite put the effort into learning the differences between different consulting firms yet.

And thank you for the tip on internal strategy. I have spoken with a couple of 2nd year MBA's who are taking internal strategy positions with AMEX and Samsung after graduation that sound awesome, so that has definitely piqued my interest.


Hi Chains1910,

Would you mind sharing the info you received regarding the internal consulting positions. I am keen on such kind of roles.
Why did the said folks chose internal consulting positions? What background did they have?


Hi Scarecrow,

Though I'm sure Jeff and Ari are much more knowledgeable on the subject than I am, I'd be happy to share what I've heard. The friend at Samsung is in Korea with them right now and coming back soon to start his 2nd year at Kellogg. His pre-MBA background was in consulting with Deloitte and he had a fair amount of international experience, particularly in Asia. I'm not sure what his responsibilities have been since I haven't talked to him since just before he left.

The person at AMEX, I met at Georgetown McDonough admit weekend last year, so I know less about his background but more about his role. He interned in an internal strategy role at AMEX between his two years at MSB, and was returning after graduation. He said his responsibilities were highly project-based, similar to a consulting role, just within the AMEX family of products. For instance, he worked for a few weeks on the Centurion Concierge product line trying to get cardholders to take better advantage of the concierge services.

FWIW, it seems like Georgetown seemed well connected to AMEX in this regard, so if that's a company you want to target that maybe a school to look at. I would guess it might be tough with some other top companies though.

Hope this helps!
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2013, 06:36
BeyondCasePrep wrote:
Fuqua is a great place to go if you are interested in consulting. All of the firms come to campus, and people go to offices all over the country. I believe it is one of only a handful of core schools for McKinsey, meaning that there is a full-time McKinsey person on campus throughout the recruiting season (I believe HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, and Stanford are the other schools with this distinction but I could be wrong).

I would say about 100 people, or roughly 25% of the class, are serious about consulting. Most people who were serious received at least one offer from MBB or Deloitte. The best place for actual hiring numbers on on their website, as they change every year.

McKinsey gave out around 60 interviews, BCG around 40, Bain maybe 30 or so, and I'm not sure about Deloitte but I'd guess between 50 and 75. However, this changes every year and includes a mix of domestic and international students, especially for McKinsey, which has a very strong overseas presence.

The consulting club at Fuqua is great. They put out a new casebook each year, which is usually one of the better b-school casebooks, organize events on campus, and visits off campus.

All told, one can expect at least 10 or 15 opportunities to interact with each firm prior to an interview invite. With that many opportunities, the burden is really on the applicants to get an interview - as many as possible - and perform well.


Hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any other questions, and please visit our other threads as well.

-Ari



Chicago Booth and MIT are also core schools. I know this because even though I'm not interested in consulting, I've been contacted by McKinsey recruiters and will be on a webinar with them tonight talking about firm culture.

To see if your MBA school is a core school, go here - http://www.mckinsey.com/careers/your_ba ... mba_degree
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Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2014, 05:55
Hi BeyondCasePrep,

I just wanted to ask if other standardized test scores on top of the GMAT could help your profile to get that interview.

For whatever reason, I enjoy standardized tests and have done well on the SAT (ages ago...), passed both of my professional engineering licensing exams, and did fairly well on the GMAT (although I'm debating about taking it again just to break the 750 barrier). I'm thinking about taking the LSAT for the hell of it because I downloaded a practice exam while I was studying for the GMAT (heard the CR and LR questions are equivalent to 700+ GMAT questions) and found the exam interesting. I was also thinking that if Bschool didn't work out (not getting into my top choices) I might try Law School.

Anyways, I noticed that the McKinsey's application pages had spots for other standardized tests and I didn't know if putting forth a bunch of random standardized test results would help your chances in getting a good enough score for the interview.
Re: ask BeyondCasePrep – consulting information from MBB alumni   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2014, 05:55
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