Introduction to Consulting Series

Most management consulting firms incorporate some form of case interview into their interview process. Cases are often viewed by students as daunting and/or intimidating. The purpose of this workshop is to provide an overview of what case interviewing is and how students can practice before the kick‐off of interview season, and run through interactive case interviews in real time.

Image description

Session 1: Consulting 101

Tuesday, June 30, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM EST

Part I: Intro to Consulting
What is management consulting and what skills are needed? This session will provide an overview of the management consulting industry and different functional focuses within the industry (e.g. strategy, operations, human capital, etc.).

Part II: Intro to Case Interviewing and Start Practice Case Interview #1
Case interviews are becoming an increasingly prevalent part of the interview process. Once strictly a practice of management consulting firms, in recent years, case interviews have been more broadly used at firms like 3M, Google, Chevron, Microsoft, T-Rowe Price and Procter & Gamble. This session will provide an introduction to structured problem solving and case interviewing using the FOCUS [1] analytical problem-solving framework leveraging interactive videos to model case interviewing best practices:

  • Framing the Problem
  • Organizing an Analysis
  • Collecting Data
  • Understanding the Data
  • Synthesizing a Recommendation

Session 2: Communicating Like a Consultant and Complete Case Interview #1

Tuesday, July 7, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM EST

This session will start with a lesson on communicating like a consultant using a technique known as the Pyramid Principle. This session will also build upon the intro to case interviewing session from the previous week. We will link some of the core concepts from the pyramid principle to case interviewing and demonstrate the importance of designing MECE (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive) structures.

Session 3: Practice Case Interview #2

Tuesday, July 14, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM EST

In this session we will see an example of a Bain style “interviewee led” case as well as delve deeper into case interview math and market sizing problems. This session will also discuss tips and strategies from the field of cognitive psychology for developing solid business judgement intuition.

Session 4: Practice Case Interview #3 and Networking for Consulting

Tuesday, July 21, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM EST

How can one effectively conduct primary research to learn more about consulting? Effective networking is a critical part of the job search process and doing it well is particularly important to enter the field of management consulting. As part of this session we will conduct a live exercise that demonstrates some core elements of an effective networking phone call. Additionally, this session will include a McKinsey style “interviewer led” practice case interview.

Image description

Series Host: Brendan Boler

The workshop is hosted by Brendan Boler, a Presidential Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Data Science Institute. Boler specializes in management consulting, high‐performance coaching, and talent assessment and selection. He has extensive experience within the fields of management consulting and banking, having worked at Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Throughout his corporate career, Professor Boler was heavily involved in the recruiting process and has leveraged this experience to conduct research on high‐performance coaching, as well as talent assessment and selection. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Strategy and Organizational Behavior from UVA’s Darden School of Business.