Success Stories - McGill student joining BCG in 2012
Yet another McGill success story - this Finance student reached out to me after using The MCN's resources to prep for their consulting interviews. They received and accepted an offer from BCG in 2012. They've shared some great advice for prospective interviewees as well as some insight into why consulting and why BCG.
Guest blogger here.
I am a finance student at McGill that will be joining BCG as an Associate next fall. In this post, I will describe my background, preparation for case interviews, and experiences with recruiting.
I first became interested in management consulting during a presentation an alumnus in BCG gave two years ago. I was immediately drawn by the opportunity to work on solving complex problems of the biggest organizations, and the chance to gain experience in a wide breadth of industries and functions. Moreover, I have since come to believe that consulting offers the best personal and professional development opportunities. My current interests range from non-profit, clean-tech to media – regardless of what I decide to do in the future, I am confident that consulting will provide me with the core tools and skills to succeed.
My process for case interview preparation was long and thorough. I read Case in Point, HBS/Wharton/Columbia guides, Vault, etc. I also watched/listened to cases from websites such as Victor Cheng and firmsconsulting.com. Most importantly, I rolled through plenty of live practices both alone and with a partner. I cannot overemphasize the importance of the latter. It is the only way to improve your communication skills; structure is important, but worthless if you are unable to explain it clearly and concisely to the interviewer. Also, if you are fortunate to have a sharp practice partner, his/her feedback is a very efficient way to improve your interviewing skills.
I interviewed with three firms and was lucky to receive my BCG offer very quickly in the process (before first rounds for some firms!). My reasons for choosing BCG are simple. First is BCG’s status as a leading consulting firm. Second, and more importantly, I felt BCG was a place where I could really fit in. Every BCG-er I met was warm, and the office very diverse and welcoming! It is hard to pinpoint exactly when I became convinced, but in the end I felt very strongly that I would really enjoy working with the people there!
A couple tips:
1) Always be on top of your game!
Some firms hold interview practices for candidates. In these, candidates are told that they are not being evaluated. Don’t believe them!
If you are like me, your interviewer in the practice may turn out to be your interviewer on the big day! If you impressed during the practice, you will definitely have a leg up over your peers!
2) Be confident!
If you spent the hours and prepared hard, have confidence! I only interviewed with consulting firms this fall – no experimentation with banks, industry, etc. Looking back, this was a lot of help as I was “fresh” and absolutely prepared for the few firms that I did interview with!
Recruiting is long and exhausting. It is busy (I had two final rounds, a second round, and a first round all scheduled for the same Friday) and can be discouraging at times. Do what you have to do to focus and maintain your drive! Personally, I blasted Jay-Z all September and October, and on interview day followed a well-tested routine of a 473ml Red Bull and a Steak & Cheese sandwich at Subway. ENERGY! RAWR!
Hope this was helpful. Feel free to reach out to me! (You can reach me through Khaled)