How to Succeed in Management Consulting by Victor Cheng

persimmon's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 199

Did anyone get it? I was appalled by the sticker price when he offered up the program today. I would have priced it waaaaaay below what he's asking, and I don't care to be apart of his elite networking club.

Personally, I think he takes himself way too seriously for me to be able to take him seriously.

I am wondering, however, if I am mistaken. Anyone who signed up care to share a review?

Comments (46)

Mar 30, 2011

It's funny how until a couple of years ago he just wanted you to voluntarily donate 47 bucks to his favourite non-profit.

Now he is in full steam selling mode. My guess is that his job is not doing great (unlikely, seems like a smart person), or he just wants more.

(what is the sticker price, btw?)

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Mar 30, 2011

$298 to purchase the How to Succeed in Management Consulting program and you are automatically enrolled in his Apex Alliance, formerly known as the Victor Cheng Elite Alliance (or something like that, but it had his name in it).

This networking group is 60 days free, then $147/mo automatically charged to your credit card after that.

Mar 30, 2011

His free stuff is not that great, can't see why one would pay for the other stuff.

In all honestly I think, in his e-mail, he is quite full of himself as well.

Mar 30, 2011

Well, I actually found his free stuff good - it has helped me a lot.
And in his early emails he had some other useful tips.

But lately his thing has been - prepare, prepare, prepare - buy LOMS, buy LOMS, buy LOMS.
And now it's become: be prepared to steamroll work - trough this new program.

Perhaps I am being too nasty. Perhaps.

Mar 30, 2011

I never looked at it that way. I always thought he was a pretty down-to-earth encouraging dude. However, the more I hear him talk and create new programs the more arrogant and selfish I think he is.

persimmon:

Personally, I think he takes himself way too seriously for me to be able to take him seriously.

Haha. How do others in MBB and other top consulting firms view him?

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT

Mar 30, 2011

Guys, don't you think Victor might be a registered member here too?

Mar 30, 2011

He's definitely gone into typical sell-mode: talk about past successes, hint at the great stuff you'll get if you buy, etc., and it's pretty nauseating given that during his free case lecture he made a big deal about how case prep wasn't his career and he was happy to give some free help. Now, he's out there claiming that the free stuff isn't enough and you need to buy more.

I've always thought Cheng was a pretentious dick, and while his emails are definitely valuable, he clearly thinks his shit doesn't stink because he worked for McKinsey for 2-3 years and bolted soon after getting promoted to Associate. The case stuff was clearly his sweet spot, and I'm pretty sure this stuff will be good too, but he holds himself out as some sort of consulting guru when he consulted at a firm that wasn't his own for such a short period of time. He keeps saying that you learn something every day in consulting; in that case, there's a hell of a lot of stuff that he didn't learn by getting out so early.

MABird:

Guys, don't you think Victor might be a registered member here too?

That he may be, but somehow I doubt his ability to harm any of us, and being as he's now a salesman selling his own expertise I think we have every right to criticize him. Maybe he'll take the feedback.

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Mar 30, 2011

Yeah, I agree with everything that's been said about him. That said, I was a part of the original webinar, and the information he doles out is indeed worth at least $300. If you think about it, $300 is less than a day of MBB salary and if you have a good consulting offer his advice does put you a few steps ahead. That said, the networking club is 100% not worth it. My suggestion - get the webinar, don't do the club.

Mar 30, 2011
redninja:

Yeah, I agree with everything that's been said about him. That said, I was a part of the original webinar, and the information he doles out is indeed worth at least $300. If you think about it, $300 is less than a day of MBB salary and if you have a good consulting offer his advice does put you a few steps ahead. That said, the networking club is 100% not worth it. My suggestion - get the webinar, don't do the club.

Did you have to pay for the original webinar?

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Nov 7, 2013

.

Mar 31, 2011

I agree. I also was part of the original webinar, and the information has been extremely valuable during my first year at MBB. Excellent value for $300.

However, I don't want to stay enrolled in the networking club because I'm getting enough support from mentors at my firm.

Mar 31, 2011

It's really hard to justify a price of $147 monthly for what's essentially nothing more than membership on a list-serv. As much of a tool as he is, Cheng is normally pretty savvy when it comes to selling his wares, so I'm kind of surprised he over-priced it by this much. It also doesn't help that only a small fraction of the members are MBB and the vast majority are from second tier consulting firms.

Apr 4, 2011
redninja:

It's really hard to justify a price of $147 monthly for what's essentially nothing more than membership on a list-serv. As much of a tool as he is, Cheng is normally pretty savvy when it comes to selling his wares, so I'm kind of surprised he over-priced it by this much. It also doesn't help that only a small fraction of the members are MBB and the vast majority are from second tier consulting firms.

The thing is, despite the sentiment by some WSO users, it sounds like he didn't over-price it. His seminar reached his quota, and I wouldn't be surprised if the recordings are being readily picked up as well.

Agreed - his focus is totally different compared to before when he posted those 8 videos online for free and asked only to support his favorite charity. But I guess you can't blame the guy given prospective consultants' obvious WTP; he was just testing the waters back then. Now he's just like any other entrepreneur that saw an opportunity. People just expect him not to take full advantage of it because of his previous generosity.

And with Cheng, you can probably bet that the seemingly high price tag you are paying for his product will be at least decently worthwhile. He knows the value of repeat customers, and wouldn't risk putting out a poor product if it wasn't remotely worth it.

Proboscis

Apr 15, 2011

Hi Everyone,

It's Victor Cheng here. I thought I'd respond to the many comments made about me, my website and various programs. It seems much of criticism stems from three key areas.

1) Everything on my website at www.caseinterview.com used to be 100% free. There are now a few paid products and this seems to have ruffled some feathers.

2) I've been marketing my newer programs like How to Succeed In Management Consulting ( www.caseinterview.com/hsmc/ ) and this seems to bother some people.

3) Finally, the perception seems to be that I'm arrogant and full of myself... and take myself too seriously.

Let me start by saying I take all comments and feedback very seriously. If anyone would on this thread has more feedback to share with me, please feel free to call me at 206-701-0250 x715 or via email at victor (at) caseinterview (dot) com.

I'd like to address these comments one at a time.

This is my first time posting on WSO, and I think there might be a post size limit, so I will address each criticism in a separate post.

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Funniest
Apr 15, 2011
vcheng:

Hi Everyone,

It's Victor Cheng here.

Thread just got REAL

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Best Response
Apr 15, 2011

Let me comment on why I made the shift from a 100% free website to what is now a "freemium" website (some stuff free / some stuff paid).

Once the free case interview video series I did started taking off, I started getting a lot of emails from aspiring consultants asking me questions about how to do well in the case interview.

Crazy me, I answered nearly all of them -- over 1,000 emails a quarter. By day, I have my own executive coaching practice, so I was answering these emails at night. I'd put my 3 kids to bed and start replying to emails around 10pm and ending around 2:30am.

Then I would get up at 6:30am to make breakfast for the kids and get them off to school.

If you do the math, I was sleeping 4 hours a night for months on end trying to do my best to reply to everyone... again all free.

I got sick several times from the lack of sleep, and concluded this was just not sustainable.

The smart thing to do economically would be to ignore all of those emails from people who were only 1 or 2 interview rounds away, and just focus on my corporate clients where I bill out around $1,000/hour.

But, I found it difficult to just ignore people. So I decided to charge for some of the newer content to make it economically feasible to spend so much time supporting aspiring consultants.

By doing so, I was able to phase out some of the more time consuming aspects of my client work and use that time instead on helping people with the case interview.

At the same time, I have privately donated a portion of product sales to www.kidpower.org (one of the charities I like a lot) and total donations to them are up 200% - 300% from all activities related to www.caseinterview.com

This was my rationale for making the shift to the freemium model. I know some people consider this extremely selfish of me.

The question I have in the back of my mind is this.. my actions are selfish compared to whom?

As of this moment, in the case interview prep market, I:

  • Give away a 6 hour video tutorial on case interviews
  • Give away 300 articles on case interviews
  • Help job seekers in 105 countries each month via my website (99% of them for free)
  • Have helped job seekers secure 300 job offers (1/3 of which was also done for free)
  • Have donated or facilitated tens of thousands of dollars in donations to charity each year.

If this is the definition of what being selfish means, I guess it's a pretty tough standard. Is there someone else in this market that gives away more? Does anyone on this thread personally giveaway more?

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Apr 15, 2011

To wrap up, let my comment on the remaining criticisms.

1) The $298 price for the How to Succeed in Management Consulting program htttp://www.caseinterview.com/hsmc/ is "appalling".

The program is geared toward someone who just got a $80,000 - $200,000/year job offer. $298 is equivalent to the first 4 - 8 hours of pay for such a person. The top firms will be bill out a new Associate at $300 in that Associate's first HOUR on the job.

That investment is something like 15 basis points of one's income for the year... a fraction of a fraction of a %.

So while some would consider the price excessively high, I would argue investing half of your first day's paycheck to make sure the other 364 days go smoothly seems reasonable.

This is to just point out a different perspective on this topic.

2) To the comments about my promoting my products too much, I agree with that. I am currently working on re-balancing that as I think I ended up overshooting the balance I was looking to strike.

3) And finally, on the topic of arrogance. I would appreciate it if someone could give me some examples of when I have done this. I have an archive of all 300 emails I've written in these two locations:

http://www.caseinterview.com/category/articles/
http://www.caseinterview.com/category/success-stor...
I thought I was being very careful about this -- only stating facts and 3rd party opinions about me.

For example, when I was at McKinsey, I was, factually speaking, rated in the top 10% of my start class globally. So out of 100 people, McKinsey determined I was one of their top 10 consultants at my level in the world.

I can see how that might come across as arrogant, but it's NOT my perception of myself. It is McKinsey's perception.

Another example, I serve as an expert source on business topics for reporters at Fox, TIME magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the Wall Street Journal.

These are all factual statements too ( www.victorcheng.com/press )

Now in consulting, it's really important that you establish your credibility with clients so they will take what you have to say more seriously.

I mention these accomplishments not because I think they are important, but rather because the point I make AFTER I mention these accomplishments IS important.

And in general unless people hear the credibility-building accomplishment first, they tend to ignore everything else.

If anyone has suggestions on how to do this in a more effective way, please let me know. I am open to suggestions on this topic or any other that has been mentioned. Please feel free to contact me directly at anytime.

Again my phone number is 206-701-0250 x715 and my email is victor (at) caseinterview (dot) com.

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Apr 15, 2011

edit - read post humorously, not looking to offend anyone. just found this funny.
Victor,
I used your site a while back and found it useful. Have not seen it in quite some time so no comments on recent developments.
BUT
In reading your rebuttal, this made me spit out my coffee laughing:

vcheng:

3) And finally, on the topic of arrogance. I would appreciate it if someone could give me some examples of when I have done this.

(followed 2 lines later by)

vcheng:

For example, when I was at McKinsey, ...

(followed 2 lines later by)

vcheng:

Another example, I serve as an expert source on business topics for reporters at Fox, TIME magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the Wall Street Journal.

Thank you for the daily dose of irony.

Apr 15, 2011

I am on your email list and find those to be valuable. I haven't paid for premium content (yet), but certainly would pay $300 if I was getting to close to actually preparing for a MBB interview. You shouldn't have to point out to anyone remotely qualified to work at a MBB that $300 invested in a $200k salary is money well spent (these same people are willing to spend $150k on an MBA for that same purpose). That said, I can't imagine any derivative of your products being worth $147/mo (at least for me).

Apr 15, 2011

Djfii, thanks for clarifying your comment.

I understand your point that my on-going program for new consultants might not / definitely would not be worthwhile for you at the $147/mo price point. I imagine others might feel the same way -- or at least be uncertain about it.

That's one reason I let people try the program you referring to (Apex Alliance) for two months for free when they buy the How to Succeed in Management Consulting program ( www.caseinterview.com/how-to-succeed-in-management... ) .

That way each person can determine for themselves if it is worthwhile for them, BEFORE having to pay the monthly. My goal was to make the deal as fair as possible.

Military_PE_Guy - thanks for the more specific feedback. Sounds like everything did work out in the end with the PE gig. Congrats.

-Victor

Apr 15, 2011

Alright Dr Joe, point taken. Thanks for pointing it out - no offense taken.

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Apr 15, 2011

I didn't mean to suggest that the particular service wasn't worth $147/mo to anyone - I just meant that it wasn't for me. I would find a lot of value (certainly in excess of $300 worth) in material that helps me ace an interview at MBB. However, I already have a few friends that are partners and engagement managers at the three firms, and combined with the network I would build at whichever firm I ended up at (having already spent the $300, offer in-hand), I just don't see a need for additional services, at any price point. I'm naturally boisterous and prone to accumulating friends in any and all environments. Again, that's specific to me and my circumstances, and it's certainly the case that others might see some value in ongoing material / networking. If they didn't, presumably you would have lowered your price or stopped offering the service altogether.

I guess the intent of my original post was to be more supportive of what you're providing than anything else. I think you're getting bashed slightly harder than is warranted.

Apr 15, 2011

Djfii - Thanks for clarifying the intent of your comments and elaborating on your background. It makes a lot of sense in that context. And as you suggested, there are a lot of people new to consulting who don't have the network of informal relationships that you do, so the Apex Alliance groups was intended to be an additional resource to those who didn't have access to comparable resources elsewhere. - Victor

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Apr 19, 2011

Hi All,

I purchased both LOMS and HSMC program. In fact, I purchased HSMC the first day it came out.

I have always been very wary on internet purchases as they never usually turn out as good as I expect. However, during my case interview prep (still going on now), I read Case in Point, MBA case books, Vault Guide, and NOTHING actually explained how to really structured your approach. When i stumbled across Victor's 6 hour free videos, I knew this was the best prep material out there. Victor's 6 hour video told me that he knew what he was talking about, which got my interested in LOMS. i watched the videos front to end at least 5 times when trying to decide if I wanted to buy LOMS. What it came down to was, if I lost a job opportunity over 300 bucks, I would feel like the biggest idiot in the world. So I took out my cc and purchased it. I can safely say, my case prep ability increased dramatically with this program. In fact, I have been doing case prep with numerous of partners all around the world. Those who have heard of victor have also bought his LOMS and recommended it to me without me mentioning it.

When HSMC came out, I knew it must be good. The 6 hour interviews were good. LOMS was amazing. I even found his bi-daily emails helpful! He knows what he is talking about and he has the skill to execute the material effectively in a presentation making your life so easy.

300 bucks to maximize your chances of getting your dream job? 300 bucks to give you tips on how to outshine your peers in your first year? Easy answer to me.

As to Victor being cocky? I can't imagine how anyone can get that idea. I always see him as someone who is very sincere and down to earth. Just because someone mentions about their success in the past doesn't mean he/she is cocky. Mentioning his successes gives him more credibility on what he has to say. That is very natural in this world. Would you be comfortable buying his program if he was never worked in the industry?

All in all, Victor's programs are amazing and are the best out there. People shouldn't knock it until you have actually tried it.

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Apr 19, 2011

I thought I would chime in as someone who has just recently swapped careers from electrical engineering to management consulting. I hope I don't get burnt too badly by the intellectual horsepower of the other posters.

I've emailed Victor countless times, and he's always replied within a few hours with something substantial. It's important to note that he never once verified whether I had paid him anything. If I didn't find the emails from his mailing list useful, I would have de-registered. If I found his messages annoying, I would have likewise de-registered.

I don't see how Victor is any different from the countless other professionals advertising their services.

Apr 19, 2011

This thread is quite ridiculous. You are basically knocking on a guy for exploiting a business opportunity that he has leveraged for noble means.

"Wall Street Oasis"? Wtf? Stop knocking on Capitalism!

You would've priced an 8 hr program from a leading consulting professional below $300?
It ends up being ~$35/hr.

I ordered his program - found it EXTREMELY insightful and well worth the money. Next time please dont comment on something you haven't even purchased. Empty reviews are not helpful to anyone.

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Apr 19, 2011

i think the last 3 posts are fake accounts

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Apr 20, 2011

You are certainly free to share your opinion :).

I think you are a major troll. Go under your bridge.

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Nov 7, 2013

.

Apr 22, 2011

If credibility is measured by banana points or post counts then I would have none as I never come to this site. I am part of Victor's Apex Group and this was posted in the discussion forward which is how i found this. Believe what you want though but you really shouldn't knock something until you've tried it.

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Apr 23, 2011
EdwardKuk:

you really shouldn't knock something until you've tried it.

Prison Rape?

I feel safe knocking that.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Apr 29, 2011
happypantsmcgee:
EdwardKuk:

you really shouldn't knock something until you've tried it.

Prison Rape?

I feel safe knocking that.

WOW! - this comment made my day (serious laughing out loud)...

One more data point on Victor - I think his material is solid (HSMC & LOMS). His approach to shutting down the haters on this thread was pretty interesting as well!

Apr 29, 2011

Wow. Seems like victor is getting a lot of support by users with no previous post history. That's uncommon.

Apr 29, 2011

I think we are going a bit overboard here. While I admit that at first glance it looks like Victor decided to make a few new screen names, I think he would be able to anticipate this reaction, and would hence not go through the trouble of doing it in fear of looking like someone who needs to invent screen names to defend himself.

In fact, I bet he is quite unhappy about this turn of events and the new posters who are defending him, because it really does look like he is spamming the site, and I don't think that is the case here.

Of course, we will never know.

Apr 29, 2011

For what it's worth.. I don't post much (or haven't in the last few years) but my SN is over 2 years old.. That would have been a pretty proactive spam strategy on behalf of Victor.... just saying

Apr 29, 2011

For what it's worth.. I don't post much (or haven't in the last few years) but my SN is over 2 years old.. That would have been a pretty proactive spam strategy on behalf of Victor.... just saying

May 9, 2011

Victor, ignore these bastards and keep up the good work. I was able to proceed to 2nd and 3rd round interviews with your free videos and materials.

May 30, 2012

People will probably discredit me for having "no bananas" but I signed up to this just to comment on this thread.

Victor - I think you're doing a great job and I've found your materials very helpful.

I do think however that you would make more of a profit if you had chosen a lower sticker price. Comparing the price of MP3's with the potential gain of a job offer is not a comparison that students are likely to make.

Being a student I'll let you in on how our mental arithmetic goes:

"It'll take me 2 hours to find this illegally / find friends to share this with... that means I save $150/h...
That's more than I get in the supermarket so yes it is definitely worth the time."

The Internet-generation do not really seem to have that feeling of right or wrong that I think you will have if you've grown up with cassettes and VCR tapes etc.

Now - if the price had been $100... then I don't think most people would have bothered with the fuss.

The good thing for us who are serious about mgmt consulting is of course that your material doesn't reach quite as many so we sustain that little competitive advantage. That's at least how I try to motivate my recently spent $300 :)

Cheers

Oct 1, 2014

Wow.. First off, I have no issues with victor making money from his product. Setting the price is his call. In fact, if he decides to put all his content behind a login page and charge money for membership - that is still his call. I am sure he does not need to be told that a lower price would bring in more buyers.

I have been subscribed to his stuff for a few years now and I feel that his earlier content was much more useful - derived from years of experience in an industry. I thank Victor for doing that. He has,without a doubt, helped a lot of people aspiring to get in the management consulting industry.

Lately, however, I think he has started thinking of himself as an idol. His content is falling in quality. It has blatantly philosophical topics. As far as I am concerned, I do not want to know a management consultant's take on life, philosophy and aging. To me, a management consultant is not an expert on life advice.... I think this is why many people, including myself, find him to be full of himself now.
Company restructuring, management problem solving, quantitative analysis and managing client relationships are a completely different story and I do want to know what MCs thinks about those.

Lastly, there is a very strong correlation between brand new WSO accounts and support for Victor on this thread. It is hard to dismiss that as merely coincidental.

Oct 3, 2014

3-year-old topic, guys.

Oct 3, 2014

Bump

Oct 3, 2014

I've never heard of that particular program but I do know that Victor Cheng is the man when it comes to MC preparation, his look over my shoulder program and case interview secrets book are absolutely amazing and a lot of people have had success breaking into MBB with those two resources. His email newsletters are very insightful as well.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

Oct 3, 2014
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Nov 4, 2017