What should I read if I am interested in consulting?

Welcome to the Wall Street Oasis Reading List for Consulting. Please email [email protected] if you think we should add in additional publications to our Recommended Reading.

Easy ReadsTechnical ReadsCareer Jump-Start
The McKinsey WayManaging...the FirmTechnical Interview Guide
The McKinsey MindThe Trusted AdvisorBehavioral Interview Guide
The Lords of StrategyBCG on StrategyA Look Behind the Wall
Internship Guide
Consulting Case Guide

Easy Reads

The McKinsey Way - Using the Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consultants to Help You and Your Business

by Ethan M. Rasiel

A former employee details the steps and methods that consultants (specifically, consultants at McKinsey) use for day-to-day work. The author concludes the book by giving advice on how to survive "The Firm". A good read for those new to the industry to get an idea of what mindset is necessary and what life will be like.
Howard Rothman:

The McKinsey Way, by former McKinsey & Company associate Ethan M. Rasiel, provides a through-the-keyhole perspective on the way this worldwide consulting institution approaches--and solves--the myriad professional problems encountered by its high-powered clientele.

Kevin Gao (Mangement Consulted):

Written by a former McKinsey consultant, gives you a great in-depth on firm culture and practices. You'll learn things like 80/20 thinking, hypothesis-driven problem solving, etc... [plus], the lessons here are equally applicable across any consulting firm.

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The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm

by Ethan M. Rasiel & Paul Friga, PhD

The McKinsey Mind is Rasiel's co-authored (with Dr. Paul Friga) follow-up to the McKinsey Way. It goes a bit more in-depth into the strategies, tools, techniques, and philosophies that have propelled McKinsey & Co to the top of the consulting industry.
Dana VanDen Heuvel (danvan.net):

The authors segue nicely from their former book, The McKinsey Way, which I also read with interest. The McKinsey Mind has the same chapters as the former, and with those chapters delves deeper in how employees of "the firm" actually go about getting the job of consulting done, at one of the most highly respected firms in the world.

Christopher Bartlett (Harvard Business School):

The McKinsey Mind provides a fascinating peek at the tools, practices, and philosophies that have helped this much-admired firm develop generations of bright young MBAs into trusted Corporate Advisors. But the book's practical, down-to-earth advice is not just for consultants. The disciplined way in which McKinsey consultants frame issues, analyze problems, and present solutions offers valuable lessons for any practicing or aspiring manager.

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The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World

by Walter Kiechel

Kiechel's book focuses on four founders of the strategic consulting industry: Bruce Henderson (founder of BCG), Bill Bain (founder of Bain & Co), Fred Gluck (MD of McKinsey & Co), and Michael Porter (professor at HBS). What better way to get acquainted with consulting than to read up on four of its founders?
The Wall Street Journal:

'The Lords of Strategy' is a clear, deft and cogent portrait of what the author calls the most powerful business idea of the past half-century...


Even though we are only 4 months into 2010, it is pretty likely this is going to be the best business book of the year for me. If you are considering, currently in, or recently graduated from, an MBA program, you really must read this book. If this book had been written 10 years ago, it would have saved me a good deal of trouble making my own career decisions.

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Technical Reads

Managing the Professional Service Firm

by David Maister

A professor at Harvard Business School, Maister provides an excellent resource for anyone involved in the workings of a firm, whether a manager, employee, or consultant. This is a must-read for all prospective consultants
Frederic W. Gluckformer (Managing Director, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=http://tinyurl.com/3qtvcjr>McKinsey</a></span> & Co):

Important reading -- not just for Managing Partners, but for new associates.

<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon.com</a></span>:

Drawing on more than ten years of research and consulting to these unique and creative companies, David Maister explores issues ranging from marketing and business development to multinational strategies, human resources policies to profit improvement, strategic planning to effective leadership. While these issues can be complex. Maister simplifies them by recognizing that "every professional service firm in the world, regardless of size, specific profession, or country of operation, has the same mission statement: outstanding service to clients, satisfying careers for its people, and financial success for its owners.

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The Trusted Advisor

by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford

Maister is at it again, this time leading a team of authors to produce a book which details how to gain your clients' trust... by earning it. It's filled with checklists to help you make sure you're staying on top of your game.
Carl Stern (CEO, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/boston-consulting-group>Boston Consulting</a></span> Group):

An invaluable road map to all those who seek to develop truly special relationships with their clients.

William F. Stasior (Senior Chairman, Booz-Allen & Hamilton):

This book is engaging, enjoyable, and absolutely on target. It is packed with truth. The Trusted Advisor will guide success not just in the advisory professions but in leadership and life as well.

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The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy: Classic Concepts and New Perspectives

by the Boston Consulting Group

A book on strategy by one of the leading strategic consulting firms. This is a must-read for anyone aspiring to get into MBB.
Dr. Elijah Chingosho (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span> Review):

The book reeks of the outstanding ideas developed by this iconic consulting firm which the company executive and students of strategy will find very useful and perceptive. The book, among other things, shows how to analyse a firm in the marketplace, formulate and execute an effective strategy, getting people excited about the strategy, how to use strategy to take advantage of opportunities, among other informative ideas.

David Sheen (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span> Review):

I must say the BCG guys did it again. This book is a great compilation of classic strategic concepts. A book that replaces a lot of others on my self. It is nice and easy to read. Very nice book.

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Career Jump-Start

Technical Interview Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This 80+ page guide, produced by WSO and written for WSO's users, is a compilation of the most common technical questions encountered in Wall Street interviews.

Just got the new technical guide. By far much better than vault. Very detailed (80+ pages) with charts, graphs, etc. I'll be reading this at least once this summer in prepping for fall interviews.

<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/goldman-sachs>Goldman Sachs</a></span> S&T VP:

The new Wall Street Oasis Technical Guide provides questions and easy to understand answers for all the questions I typically ask when interviewing a candidate. The additional questions expand the guide, and the new charts are an added bonus for easily remembering the crucial concepts. If a student really knows all the questions in this guide, they are sure to nail the technical section of their interview.

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Behavioral Interview Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This 56 page guide, produced by WSO and written for WSO's users, is a compilation of over 100+ of the most common behavioral / fit questions encountered in Wall Street interviews with detailed advice and examples.
<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/credit-suisse>Credit Suisse</a></span> M&A Analyst:

All I can say is I wish I had the Wall Street Oasis Behavioral Guide before I went into my banking interviews. I was well prepared for some of the fit questions that came my way, but others challenged me. With the extensive number of questions in this guide and the sample answers, I would have felt prepared to handle almost anything.

MIT Sloan MBA Student ('09):

I didn't read Wall Street Oasis Technical and Behavioral Interview guides until after my first year in my MBA program, and frankly they contained everything I had spent the last year learning to get a job on the Street. I highly recommend them to anyone preparing for an interview, finance or other. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than an MBA (not to mention faster and more to the point).

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A Look Behind the Wall - An Overview of Six Wall Street Career Paths

by Wall Street Oasis

Wall Street Oasis has collaborated with its most knowledgeable users to provide one of the most detailed, entertaining and insightful publications to hit Wall Street in years.

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Internship Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This is a complete guide to getting through your summer internship in finance or consulting. Whether you're wondering what to wear, how to do your work, or how to manage your money, this 30-page guide has it all. Following this guide will make getting through the summer as painless as possible, so that you can have the exciting, rewarding experience you deserve.

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Make Your Case: Master consulting interviews

by Wall Street Oasis

This 133 page guide is the only tool you will need to master the consulting case interview. This guide was created to provide prospective management consultants a thorough review of the consulting interview process so they can successfully land that competitive position at McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other top consulting firms.
<span class='keyword_link'><a href=http://tinyurl.com/3qtvcjr>McKinsey</a></span> & Co Associate:

This guide is an accelerator for anyone preparing for management consulting interviews. It is packed full of unique insights because the author harvested contributions from recent MBA grads who succeeded through the case interview process and are now working at the best firms in the world! It's like getting coached by an insider - READ IT! I'll have a copy on my desk.

Former Associate, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/bain-company>Bain & Company</a></span>:

The Wall Street Oasis guide to case interviews is exceptionally well structured and highly relevant to the case interview process. It clearly explains how to approach the case interview and provides interviewees with the most important tools and frameworks to succeed in a case environment. The examples closely mirror those of real cases and help interviewees to get comfortable using frameworks to solve complex business problems. I only wish I had read through this prior to interviewing!

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