I just signed and sent out the McKinsey offer. This is something I have not even dream about 4 years ago when I first found about the world of consulting and MBB firms. It was a very long journey. I could not always see how all dots will connect but being driven by ambition was the key, I think.
In this post I would like to share a few thoughts with anyone else who's interested in recruiting with MBB companies.
- My story
- What to keep in mind
1. My story
Starting with the very beginning, I was born in a CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) country a few days after the communist regime lost power. I grew up in a small town, struggling with the problems of the '90s (lost jobs, inflation, small wages). Once growing up, I made it to the best economics university in my country. Although I was sure that was something, soon I discovered there are much, much better universities in this world. In my 2nd year I discovered McKinsey. This is the moment when I was impressed. I realized I do not stand a chance at that time so I didn't even dare to apply.
What I did instead, was to compare what McKinsey, and MBB generally speaking, are looking for and what I have. Thus, I concluded what I was missing. Geez, that list was huge. Among others, I went abroad to a good university and continued my studies, I did some internships abroad and in the process I put some big brands on my CV. There was also a lot of community involvement and participation in corporate events of my target companies. I did all of those without ever knowing if they will ever land me a MBB job or not. But I enjoyed all of them and this was the key. I never knew if dots will ever be connected, but at least I did something that I liked and was appreciated. Whenever I needed motivation I listened to this commencement speech by Steve Jobs: https://youtu.be/UF8uR6Z6KLc .
Finally, 8 months ago I felt that I am ready to try it. I really wanted to work in a consulting company so I applied to Mckinsey, BCG, Roland Berger, AT Kearney, and PwC(Strategy&). The last one was my kind of my backup solution.
Here is the breakdown of my preparation, I will explain each of them.
Action # hours
Research before starting 40
Case interview 110
Cover letter 10
Grand Total 304
* Research before starting: Although I was interested in consulting for a while I did some research for materials to be used in preparation;
* Case interview: Most of it is back to back interviews with other candidates (mostly from preplounge.com) + reading Case in Point (I have up in the middle because I felt it is not for me) and Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng;
* General: Speaking with people working in consulting, preparing applications, reading caseinterview.com and a couple of other websites articles and emails;
* PST: Doing GMAT questions, any PST test I was able to find on the internet + math drills on caseinterviewmath.com;
* LOMS: Listening to LOMS twice (Look over my shoulder audio recordings by Victor Cheng);
* Resume + Cover letter: Looking for tips online + preparing and re-writing my Resume + Cover letter until I felt it is a good one;
* PEI: Thinking about stories and practicing with peers.
* I received offers from McKinsey, BCG and PwC (they actually offered a quite high position given my experience, being well prepared definitely helped);
* I was rejected by Roland Berger and I stopped the recruiting process with AT Kearney when I got the BCG offer.
5. Keep in mind
* Prepare! Do not become a case robot, but do your homework (I did exactly 47 cases);
* Apply to more than one firm. I was rejected by Roland Berger but accepted by BCG and McKinsey. So probably it was not my day at Roland Berger interviews, chance might play some role here. Diminish this role by applying to more than one companies;
* Be organized! I kept a log of what I did every day, including home much time I spent on any task/activity. This helped me to keep track of my activities and realize if I can gear up or not. At some point it might look like you are preparing a lot even if it is not the case. Having a log helps a lot and it doesn't take too much time;
* If you do mistakes during the interview it is not the end of the world. It depends on what kind of mistakes you do and how you recover from them;
* Your interviewers want you to succeed (if you don't receive an offer they end up by doing some effort and getting zero effect => bad from efficiency perspective);
* Do not get frustrated if you are rejected. Keep your motivation, become better and better and that offer will come.
I am not pretending that my way of preparing is optimum or so. I just wanted to share because it might help someone. Think if it can help you and apply whatever parts would help you.
I tried to keep this debrief short, but in the end it is quite long. It seems i have to improve my summarizing skills :))
If anyone has any question, I am happy to help if I can.
Cheers guys and good luck!