Case Study Preparations for Consulting Jobs

16 Feb , 2015 Mindset

Case Study Preparations for Consulting Jobs

So it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post. Where was I? I think the question should be, “where were you MENTALLY in the last few weeks?”

Truth, my mind was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I was boggled down on that depression, I was bitching to the universe every morning about all aspects of life and just generally feeling like shit. Bitter, nasty and depressed shit.

So last week, I gave myself a challenge. I was not allowed to wake up and bitch and whine until I had breakfast. I don’t know about you, but when my body goes into starving mode, I think the stresses, the anxieties and everything amp up – because my body is also feeling stressed, “OMG, we don’t have fuel, we’re going to die”. Hence the same theory of why people say you shouldn’t starve yourself when on a diet because your body will restore more fats.

Anyway, moving on, I actually did start to feel better. I actually didn’t end up bitching and whining any more and generally felt better.

I don’t know what happened.. by Friday, I started to research on YouTube, “Stragey Consulting, Strategy planning process” and from that I ended up watching “Case Interviews, Case Study tips for McKinsey, BCG and Bain”. I clicked watch anyway.

My findings:

At first, I was confused. There were so many terms and so many frameworks that they used to solve a problem that was given in one sentence. I kept watching and was fascinated by how they solved the problem like “Why is pepsi making a loss during summer when the demand was higher”. The solution is freaking awesome! I thought to myself, wow, when will I be able to do this.

Then I started to think back to the problem I was given at the dream job interview. I took out a piece of paper and started to map things out in a similar way. It still didn’t give me an answer.

I was super curious and super enjoying watching these videos, so I kept watching. I was starting to get obsessed.

Two days on, I watched around 10 to 15 videos that were around 30 minutes long and mind boggling that my brain felt so tired on these days. I slept like a baby and had naps randomly during the day because my brain was so tired.

The result:

Eventually, on the night of the third day (yesterday), I took out a piece of paper and used the “Decision Tree” framework, the goals-strategic planning method and normal profit framework and got into the case I was given at the dream job interview.

In 15 minutes, I was able to come up with the solution. I finally understood where innovation stepped in and I knew exactly where to take the organisation.

I was super dooper totes happy!

I didn’t feel dumb any more! YAY!

I felt that passion and burning desire to do more of these. They were so fun! 🙂

How I effed-up the Dream Job Case Study Interview:

This morning, I watched another few more videos that taught you how to communicate your thoughts and how to speak at the interview (or consulting situation).

Now, I knew exactly where I went wrong. It wasn’t so much the answers I gave because I was able to give good answers. What I did wrong was that I didn’t address the key component of the question which was “SHOW YOUR APPROACH”. I didn’t show them my approach, I just gave them an answer.

It brings me to the specialist maths days in year 12 when you needed to set out your work and then do the ALL of the working out. Otherwise, how does the marker know that you weren’t cheating.

The other thing I learnt from these videos is that, it doesn’t matter whether the answer is right or wrong. What matters is you showed them how you got to the answer because if you can show them that  you can solve this problem, you are showing them that you can solve any problem. Also, the way you communicate your findings show the how you will be with the clients. They are thinking, can they trust you with their clients whom are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for your work.

Also, I didn’t know how to integrate my style into the consultation process – all the “does this align with you”, “am I on the right track?” all the stuff that I do when I am facilitating a workshop.

I feel so mind blown. I feel the boost in confidence because I can answer the question and now with the frameworks I learnt, I can show them how to answer a question and how we can find the solution for the direction to get the results. If only I had done all this BEFORE the interview. I would’ve got the job!! DAMMIT!!

Where you can find these Case Study Preparation training videos:

Before I get further into my story, here are the links to the three consulting experts that I have found to be the most useful.

– Start with these guys first as these break down how to solve the problem: MConsulting Prep on YouTube

– Move onto these for more complex cases: FirmsConsulting on YouTube

– Go here if you wanted to learn more about the goals/mission strategic planning method (this is just ONE way of doing things, there’s heaps more): Jen Lachman on YouTube

Ok, now here’s the dilemma:

I still have that offer to do the MBA at RMIT and I am still thinking about it. (Grad Cert in Business Administration and then a chance to move into the MBA)

I know that in the long run, I want to be a consultant. I know in America to be a consultant, you need to either have extensive experience in your field as a business analyst or have experience as a BA and have an MBA as well.

In Australia, it’s not that much of a big deal. What I’m thinking about is…. the MBA is sold to give you your 2 years of corporate experience that I don’t have. You also meet other people and build contacts/networks.

If I did the bachelor in business management, I will not be able to get the 2 years of corporate experience (unless a miracle happens and I somehow get a full time job this year). AND if that doesn’t happen, I will be at home, again, everyday studying online.

I’m not even thinking of the MBA as a credible thing any more but thinking of it as a business degree with corporate experience and also a better ticket into consulting.

Another thing I’m thinking about is, as of next month, I will be presenting small business workshops, and this may lead to the potential of getting consulting work with some clients (maybe). So doesn’t this make more sense to do an MBA than to say to the clients, “Oh I’m getting the bachelor’s because it’s just the formality of having a business degree”.

Also, if I ever wanted to teach business, I won’t be able to because I will only have an undergraduate.

FUCK… all the things I’m thinking of point me to the MBA.

I guess, what I’m trying to work on now is, How will I deal with the emotions or thoughts if things didn’t go the way I want it to go. For instance,

+ MBA is costly, what if I don’t get a consulting job afterwards, will I regret it? (maybe..?)

+ What if I end up with a start up job with an MBA and people think nothing of it? (I’m actually ok with this)

+ What if the MBA with the design thinking stuff comes out soon and it’s actually better than the one at RMIT? (If it does come out in 2016, I can still transfer)

+ The MBA is a generalist business course and you won’t be a specialist. (The BBus Management is also a generalist course with a leaning on management. It’s still not as business or job specific as accounting, finance, economics, business systems etc. I told my cousin I was doing business management and the first thing is asked was, what job can you get? I said, nothing. LOL)

+ You will be looking at a $48k bill on your HECS debt plus all the other stuff that you haven’t paid for. (It’s a lot but I can pay it off for the rest of my life right?)

+ Your friends and family will think your annoying for changing your mind constantly and doing something that so many of them have said not to do. (At the end of the day, it’s your life that you are living and not someone else’s. If that was a problem, why did you end up doing fashion anyway, despite your parents not wanting you to go in that direction?)

+ The bachelor degree is safe. Costs less and it will be the same business course, offering the same information. Will it get me to my dream as a consultant? If I’ve been looked at once for a junior consulting role without the business degree, I’m sure I will get another chance with a business degree.

I’m asking the Universe, please show me a sign so that I know which pathway to take.

The deadline is, MARCH 2nd to enrol in the GradCertBA and I have to exit the BBus by March 11th (census date). So basically, don’t make life hard right, my decision needs to be made by the end of this week for everything to fall to place (20th Feb 2015).

My thoughts are, if I’m still not convinced and still thinking about the MBA, to go with that inkling cos only then will it stop. But my fear is, I’ve finished semester 1, finished with the GradCert and then think, I should’ve just gone with the BBus.

Don’t you just hate that!

Karen

PS. The superstitious me is also waiting for CNY to come so that I can stepped into a better Year of the Goat and then make a decision. The Year of the Horse was SOOOO BAD for me. I’ve also refused applying for jobs until then because I don’t want to have any more rejections man. lol

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