I got forwarded this e-mail from a friend at another consulting firm - a student at NYU applying for an internship sent out an e-mail to JPMorgan and despite a very strong CV, has essentially destroyed his chances of ever working in banking or consulting. A few words of advice, as well as a link to an article with the full text below -
Students interested in consulting or banking: When you're a student going through recruitment, it's tempting to tell a firm that you have offers from dozens of firm across the board, all eagerly awaiting your response to the offer letters that they have practically thrown at you and are begging you to sign. I'd like to give you a quick and simple example of why this is a bad idea.
You think your 5 courses and extracuriculars are keeping you busy? Try working in consulting. You think being an entry-level consultant is tough? Try being an associate. The reality is, when you're a new consultant, you only have to manage one way: upwards. The second you hit the next levels in the profession you have to managed upwards, downwards, and to your clients as well. Life gets a lot more difficult.
So what do you, as a manager, want more than anything? A consultant who will JFDI - just f****** do it. The less they have to run after you, error check your work, and tell you what to do, the more time they have for client management, upwards management, and golf. As a consultant, one of the skills that will endear you to your managers is being results-oriented. This means a few things:
1. Figuring out your own workstream. Coming up to your manager and saying "hey, here's my plan for the day and here are my priorities. Is that fine with you?" will give your manager the peace of mind to let you work by yourself.
2. Sending in progress updates. A quick e-mail in the morning and evening with updates will reassure your manager that you're making good progress.
3. Minimizing how much of their time you take up. This means putting together a list of questions to ask and getting through them in a 10-minute call twice a day rather than going to them every hour or two....
A number of firms have "non-evaluative" mechanisms in place to help candidates feel comfortable. McKinsey had their non-evaluative buddies, BCG has a non-evaluative coffee chat, and almost all firms have their "pre-interview dinner". Ultimately, the goal is to let the candidates be themselves and learn about the firm in a non-threatening environment. Below I discuss what the phrase non-evaluative really means.
Building a complete and meaningful LinkedIn profile is important, but what's the point if no-one takes a look? Below is a surprisingly easy way to get consultants to check out your profile on LinkedIn.
Applicable to pretty much anyone in the business world. Enjoy.
This is one of the most common questions that I receive from students - "How do I network with a consultant?" Let's face it, it's a tricky situation with a high upside and a dangerous downside - below I discuss some of the right and wrong ways to network with consultants for the first time.
Unfortunately, getting the interview doesn't always mean getting the offer or even the final round. The following is an excerpt from an e-mail exchange with a Political Science student who used The MCN's resources to secure interviews with McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. While things didn't work out, you can learn from his experiences.