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General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers

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General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 07:45
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This thread is for general consulting info, such as a day in the life, compensation, work/life balance, etc.



Please visit our other threads as well:

Get the interview

Questions and advice about how to get an interview from the top consulting firms

Interview / case prep advice

Interview prep questions and tips

Firm-specific Q&A

Questions about the consulting firms and their interview processes

We will post tips periodically on the appropriate threads. Each tip will either be general or firm-specific, and we will specify this at the beginning of each tip. We will also use firm-specific terminology in our posts, even if the content is applicable to all firms
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We at beyondcaseprep.com are exclusively recent alums of the top consulting firms, with experience interviewing hundreds of candidates. We are here to answer any questions that you may have, and we also offer a full range of general and firm-specific prep services at beyondcaseprep.com for those who want to be as prepared as possible to perform in the interviews and get the offer.

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Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2013, 14:27
How much can undergraduate analysts make at top consulting firms? How about grad students and MBAs?

A first year analyst can make up to $100K in their first year (~$70K base salary, $5-10K sign-on, $10-20K year-end bonus), while graduate students and MBAs at top firms can make close to $200K ($130-140K base, $20-40K sign-on bonus, $5-10K profit sharing, and $20-50K year-end bonus).
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Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 00:32
How important is the reputation of the firm someone has worked in pre-MBA? In case it is a relatively un-known firm, will strong performance during the MBA and the reputation of the school be able to offset this "weakness"?
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Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 06:28
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Hi Mac,

The reputation of their prior firm is just one of many data points that they will look at. It is not necessary to have a brand-name company in your prior experience. I went to McKinsey without having any recognizable corporate experience prior to b-school.

With that being said, if someone worked at Goldman or Google that will get their resume noticed a bit more, but one could also have a high GMAT, interesting experience or hobbies, leadership experience, public speaking ability, or any number of other attributes that can easily level the playing field between them and someone else who has more recognizable corporate experience.

It is important for ones resume to be well tailored to consulting. Look at the firms websites, think about the consulting role (leadership, problem solving, communication, etc), and highlight what you can from your prior experience.

Feel free to follow up with any additional questions!
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Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 10:38
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Mac,

Just to add onto the prior comment, the prestige of your former employer is just one element of the way that BCG evaluates candidates.

See my prior post below: http://gmatclub.com/forum/get-an-interview-invite-from-former-mck-bcg-interviewers-157458.html#p1254738

Quote:
A question that we often hear is "How do the top firms determine the interview list?"

The top 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.


BCG classifies prior employers into 4 buckets:

Elite: e.g. Goldman, KKR, Google
Highly Selective: e.g. Nike, Deloitte Consulting, AT Kearney, Amex, Credit Suisse
Selective: Big 4 accounting, UBS, TFA, BoA
Other: all other

You get a few bonus points on the resume screening depending on how "elite" your prior employer was. But, to Ari's point, it's just one factor.
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Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:15
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A common question we receive from people who are interested in consulting is "How does the consulting recruiting process work?"



The answer is that it is essentially a four step process, with three filters along the way, where candidates get screened out before an offer is made.

Today we will explain Step One - "Application":



The keys at this stage are to tailor your resume, do basic research, network, and start your case and behavioral interview practice.


Tailor your resume

Consultants love to see quantified impact on resumes. If your prior experience is in real estate, and you managed a portfolio of 100 units, focus on your impact as opposed to your responsibility. For example, "managed 100 units" focuses on responsibility; "increased rent roll 8%" focuses on impact. Focus on impact.

Once this is complete, focus on the highlighting the skills that consultants use in their day to day. For example, communication, influencing, problem solving, and more. Many of the firm websites describe these particular skills - make sure to highlight them in your own experiences.

Do some research

Make sure that you know enough about each firm to have a basic conversation. This shouldn't take more than a few hours - for example, know that McKinsey has offices around the globe and operates as one firm, and that an MBA will be applying for an Associate role, while at BCG an MBA would be applying for a Consultant role. Bain tends to staff more regionally, and Deloitte has its own learning facilities for training and events.

Network

Make sure that you will have enough touchpoints with the firms to allow yourself to make a memorable positive impression. If you attend a program where the firms don't come to campus, you will need to network proactively to create these opportunities for yourself.

Networking is an opportunity to present your best foot
forward with the firms, before you apply. This means making sure your resume is at its best, you've taken the time to research the
differences between the firms, and you have practiced your elevator pitch and your ability to make small talk with the recruiters from the firms.

During networking, focus on quality over quantity. Good networking should motivate someone on the recruiting team to remember and speak positively about you. Keep in mind that each member of the recruiting team will likely meet 20 or 30 people with an hour, so it is very difficult for them to remember you. Be prepared, and focus as opposed to trying to just say hello to everyone there.

Interview practice

Begin to do some very basic case practice. This will help adopt the consulting mindset, and can help narrow your potential post-school career interests. This can entail attending some workshops, reading the first half of Case in point, or looking at online materials.

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It's important to note that the firms are collecting data about you even before you apply. They may have access to your resume through your school's resume book, they collect observations from their recruiting team when they meet you, and they keep track of how well you perform in any "mock cases" they may give you. All of these "data points" are used by the firm (in addition to your actual application) to determine who they want to extend interview invites to.

Our next step will explain the first filter - how the firms decide who to interview. Check out our facebook page next week to learn more:

https://www.facebook.com/BeyondCasePrep.



Feel free to reply or message us with any questions!
Re: General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2013, 14:15
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General consulting info from former McK and BCG interviewers

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