Here is the fourth video & associated commentary in our Cultivating a Consultant series.
As mentioned in the previous videos, the case interview has a very particular structure that requires lots of preparation. Students from Ivy League schools have plenty of resources available to prep for the case interviews. Also, since there are many alumni from these schools working at MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain), it is relatively easy to find people who are willing to advise and prep students.
Students from non-target school need to do additional effort to ensure they find the proper amount of resources to prepare for the case interview.
- The #1 resource that students need to put a lot of focus from the beginning is networking. Networking has different components:
- Friends and family: Although not everyone has friends or family in consulting, every student needs to reach out to all their friends to ask either for a mock case or an introduction to someone in consulting who can give a mock case.
- University resources: Most people from non-target schools discount the networking potential of connecting with career services and alumni. Students should reach out to every single alumni in consulting asking for recruiting and case interviewing advice.
- LinkedIn: Networking through LinkedIn is not as effective as reaching out to a friend in consulting, but it gives you access to thousands of people in the industry. Reaching out to random people in LinkedIn is a numbers game: if you send messages and invitations to connect to 100 people, 10 may reply back, and 5 of those could offer to connect with you over the phone. These are just hypothetical numbers, but the key message is that you should reach out to as many people as possible, keeping in mind that only a small percentage will reply back.
If you already know that you want a consulting job, there are only two ultimate goals you want to achieve with networking. (1) Get an interview, (2) Get a mock case. Both goals take time to achieve. Don’t expect to achieve these two goals during the first networking call. Plan to have a first call for an introduction, and at the end of the conversation ask if it would be possible to schedule a second call to do a mock case.
Keep in mind that networking is a process that requires lots of time, dedication, patience, and organization. However, the ROI of the time you invest in networking is infinite. You never know the positive effect that a single LinkedIn message to a random person could have on your career.
Here are the remaining four resources in Alex’s Top 5!
- Case in Point
- PrepLounge: Peer to peer case interview practice
- Evisors: Practice case interviews with professionals at a low rate
- Victor Cheng
- Subscribe to his daily email
- LOMS (videos series of case interviews examples)
- Math mental fast
- Case interview secrets (book)