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Blog posts tagged in guest post

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Interviews

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Sarah Chang is a Columbia University graduate who will be joining McKinsey later this year. I came across a recent post of hers, and asked for permission to reproduce, which she has graciously agreed to.

She catches on to a few things that many students overlook. I always teach students the art of assumption-question, to always link numbers back to the original questions, to ask "so what?" and other tips and tricks that help you stand out as a candidate. It's a long list but worth the read. Her one mistake? Not numbering her points, in true consultant fashion! 

You can find the original post here and some of her other thoughts and musings on her personal site. I've reproduced the post in full below:

CASE INTERVIEWS: WHY THE RIGHT ANSWER IS NOT ENOUGH & WHAT TO DO INSTEAD

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This two-part series is written by David El-Achkar, an ex-McKinsey consultant and part of the MCN's Advisory Board. Haven't read Part 1? Check it out here. David is an engineer by degree, a consultant by experience, and an entrepreneur at heart. He also puts everyone to shame by being the world healthiest man. He writes for his personal blog, which you should absolutely check out here. His full bio is at the end of the article.

How 2 Years in Consulting Both Helped and Hindered My Startup Adventure: Part 2

Now that I’ve mentioned the benefits of moving from consulting to startups, it’s time to talk about the flip side, how consulting made things more difficult.

How Consulting Hindered My Startup Progress

A Large Company Once Said: Just do it!

consulting to startupsA common criticism of consulting is that it’s all strategy and no implementation. Consultants come in, analyze from 10,000 feet above, hand over slides with recommendations, and move on. This isn’t entirely true, but when I compare the work of a consultant to that of an entrepreneur, this exaggeration helps highlight how different the roles of each are.

My experience in consulting has taught me to be very meticulous and thorough when evaluating decisions—sometimes to a fault. On several occasions, I catch myself over-analyzing to the point of paralysis. This can prove to be a dangerous habit in the startup world.

The cost of an error in early stage companies is low. The underlying reason is that small size and nimbleness allows for quick detection of errors and rapid course-correction where needed. Hence, in a startup, I am better off quickly executing on decisions rather than cautiously over analyzing and vetting them. The insights I gain from evaluating actual outcomes are significantly greater than those gained from evaluating hypothetical scenarios. Often times, the best and only way forward is to just get your hands dirty.

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in All About Consulting

Today's post is a guest post from Badreddin Edris, a member of the MCN Advisory Board. After completing his PhD at Stanford and working at Bain for the last couple of years, he's familiar with the sustainability of a demanding lifestyle. He writes today about his tips on avoiding burnout in management consulting. b2ap3_thumbnail_burnout.gif

  1. Prioritization - becoming really good at knowing what is high-value work for your firm and client, and orienting your time to only working on those high-leverage efforts, will avoid needless hours spent doing busywork that doesn't contribute much to the answer you're driving towards. This is something that you learn with experience (pattern-matching) and that you have to force yourself to do on a daily basis (ruthlessly prioritization outstanding tasks).

b2ap3_thumbnail_David-El-Achkar-JPEG.jpgThis two-part series is written by David El-Achkar, an ex-McKinsey consultant and part of the MCN's Advisory Board. David is an engineer by degree, a consultant by experience, and an entrepreneur at heart. He also puts everyone to shame by being the world healthiest man. He writes for his personal blog, which you should absolutely check out here. His full bio is at the end of the article. 

How 2 Years in Consulting Both Helped and Hindered My Startup Adventure: Part 1

After two years spent as a management consultant at McKinsey, serving mega-companies, on mega-company issues, interacting with conservative executives, and otherwise leading a corporate life, I decided to take a 180 degree turn and join the startup world.

I’ll take this opportunity to share early insights and thoughts on the impact my consulting background has had on my current endeavours, and how it has shaped my thinking. In this first post, I will highlight how consulting prepared me to start a business. In the next post, I’ll look at how it made things more difficult, and I will wrap up with some thoughts on managing the transition.

How Consulting Helped me Start a Company

Three years ago, I accepted an offer to join McKinsey as a Business Analyst. Of course, I was thrilled and grateful for this opportunity. But I would only be saying half the truth if I didn’t mention that a part of me was worried; worried that I would brand myself solely as a business/strategy guy. I knew early on that I ultimately wanted to follow an entrepreneurial path. The engineer in me always wanted to keep tinkering and building stuff. I took the job, worked hard for two years, learned a ton, grew professionally, and came out the other end even more determined.

This is my account of how those years spent in consulting helps me today.

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I'd like to begin by welcome the newest member of our Advisory Board, Badreddin Edris.

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A longtime supporter of the MCN, Badreddin is a Stanford PhD in Genetics and is now a Consultant at Bain & Company, where he focuses on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. In addition to winning more awards and being published in more journals than he knows what to do with, Badreddin will be contributing to the MCN on various topics, including how to break into consulting as a graduate student. (Full bio below)

His first post is on the qualities that students must demonstrate in order to break into consulting. As a reminder, any and all posts on the MCN represent a personal viewpoint and are in no way, shape or form intended to represent an employer's views. See here for more details.