How to Get a Job at BCG

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Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group is a respected leader in the management consulting industry. It was founded as a one man show by Bruce Henderson, a graduate of Harvard Business School. The company has grown through the decades by advancing unique concepts and extending its services to various parts of the world.

If you want to get a job at BCG, here are some pointers:

How and When to Apply

Your cover letter and resume are vital documents that will help you get a job at BCG. Applications for various positions in all BCG offices are accepted online. They will automatically be sent to the target offices for further assessment. University and business school students may submit their cover letter and resume to a designated representative as scheduled. Firm representatives visit select schools so stay abreast of all career-related activities.

Case Interviews

BCG conducts two case interview rounds with three separate interviews in the first round and another two in the second. Interviewers utilize problems that are based on the projects BCG’s professional consultants have worked on. The purpose of using practical scenarios is two-fold: to give you a glimpse of what BCG consultants deal with on a daily basis and to give the interviewers a valid basis for deciding whether you will be a good fit with the company.

If you are competent enough to be called in for an interview, remember the tips below to help you crack the case and consequently, get a job at BCG:

Practice BCG provides a few practice cases on their website. Review them, get an understanding of the problem presented, and take note of how the ideal answers are presented. Sufficient practice will make you more familiar with the process and boost your confidence.
Frameworks and Concepts Using a structure to analyze the business problem is helpful because it allows you to identify the main factors involved and develop an approach to resolving it. Though not always applicable, it is a good idea to remember concepts (growth-share matrix, experience curve, and advantage matrix) BCG is known for and use them whenever possible.
Demeanor During the interview, make sure you appear professional and confident. The thought of being assessed for a management consulting position at BCG seems daunting, but you should always keep your composure. Be mindful of your gestures and facial expressions because they convey nonverbal messages.

Networking Strategy

Establishing connections is an effective way to get a job at BCG. Your contacts are aware of your qualifications and can easily recommend you for any BCG job opening if you have proven you are prepared for the role. Below are a couple of tips for building your professional circle:

Clubs and Organizations Joining groups lets you meet people with the same interests and goals. When you participate in group activities, you give yourself an avenue to showcase your abilities. Those who witness your skills and appreciate your personality will be able to refer you to someone connected with BCG.
Social Media Social media is the modern method of interacting with BCG consultants. For instance, on Twitter, you can follow professional BCG consultants and start exchanging micro-blogs. On LinkedIn, you can join professional groups and participate in discussions.

Learn More

For additional tips on how to get a job at BCG, download this management consulting guide. It describes the general process most management consulting firms use in screening and hiring candidates and outlines what qualities firms look for in applicants. A case interview script is also provided in order for you to picture out what it is like in the actual interview.


How to Get a Job at Bain & Company

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Just like any other renowned management consulting firm, you need to work your fingers to the bone to get a job at Bain. The selection process is tough—a typical Bain office usually receives thousands of job applications and only a small percentage of candidates are invited to interview.

This fact can be discouraging, but if you’re determined to work in the management consulting industry, consider the following tips:

Never Miss Bain School Visits

Bain visits approximately 900 universities located around the world each year. Recruiters usually arrange the event with the career office of each school. Consult with your coordinator about upcoming visits or search for your university on Bain’s campus recruitment web page. Campus visits are a perfect opportunity for you to gain information about Bain’s operations, culture, and values from an insider’s point of view. You will also have the chance to network with professional experts who can provide valuable feedback on how to get a job at Bain.

For Bain reps, this is a perfect time to spot prospective consultants. When attending these events, rehearse your elevator pitch ahead of time and come up with sensible questions; a recruiter remembers someone who practices the art of inquisition. As Voltaire said, “It is better to judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

Understand the Recruitment Process

Generally, those who get a job at Bain are individuals who have excellent problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. An applicant’s passion to make a difference is also essential as unmotivated candidates will never survive in the field of management consulting.

Bain considers the level of the applicants who are interested in breaking into the firm. Their website clearly outlines the requirements, expectations, and interview process for undergraduates, MBA candidates, and experienced professionals. Each level has a different set of documents to submit in the online application. The interview process may also differ but it’s usually a mix of the applicant’s qualifications and case interview performance.

Prepare for the Case Interview

In order to get a job at Bain, you should pass the case interview, a classic tool used to gauge your ability to resolve problems. The interview allows you to apply your critical thinking and creativity to a realistic situation. The interviewer will provide you with slides describing the scenario; you will then have a set amount of time to review the information and write your recommendations.

After you have formulated your answer, you will have a chance to present your solutions. Interviewers might challenge your ideas in order to determine if you can handle a client situation. Be sure that you are flexible, quick, and open-minded. Be calm, pragmatic, and concise in communicating your ideas. There’s no right answer for the case presented. You will be judged on whether you arrived at a solution in a logical manner.

Expect to have a few case interview rounds. As expected, there will also be a fit interview where the recruiter will ask about your experience, education, and values.

Five Steps to Improve Your Mental Math

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old wooden abacus on background working papers

Mental calculation is an indispensable task in management consulting. Even during case interviews, it’s evident that prestigious firms such as McKinsey, Bain, and BCG look for candidates who are number smart—who can analyze and interpret quantitative information without relying solely on a calculator.

Why Improve Your Mental Math

Like most management consulting aspirants, you probably want to enhance your mental math merely for the purpose of acing the interview and creating a positive impression on the recruiter. Perhaps you’re not aware that improving your mental math will enhance additional competencies necessary to a management consulting position:

  • It improves your level of concentration.
  • It enhances your discipline, determination, and endurance.
  • It sharpens your memory and observation.
  • It trains your mind to be active and think logically.
  • It lets you explore options, not just stick to one possibility.
  • It prepares you for analysis and problem-solving.

The skills listed above will help you sail through not only the case interview but also the management consulting lifestyle itself. Working on your quantitative intelligence will help you land a job and advance  your career.

How to Improve Your Mental Math

You can use the following activities to improve your mental math:

Step 1: Master Basic Math Operations

It’s impossible to learn advanced mental math techniques if you’re not skilled in the basic operations, percentages, fractions, and ratios. Start by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing two or three-digit numbers. Then proceed with squaring numbers and using the art of guesstimation. In the long run, you’ll be surprised to instantly figure that 70,154 is a multiple of 7.

Step 2: Practice Interpreting Charts and Tables

For management consultants, mastering basic math operations is useless if not applied in actual scenarios. Grab a chart or a table, analyze the figures, do quick mental calculations as needed, and come up with a sound interpretation. Understand the labels, value scales, intervals, and other stated information in order to make connections and determine which figures to add or multiply. Make sensible estimates if applicable. For instance, from a bar graph that shows the income of a comic shop from 2000 to 2010, you can easily predict the possible income in three years’ time from the bar patterns.

Step 3: Learn Math in Different Ways

There are a variety of ways to learn and/or master mental math. You can read books that teach you several tricks to speed up your computations and provide drills for practice. Another way is reading resources and watching free or paid videos on the Internet. Mobile apps that aim to improve your calculations are also available. A popular example is Mathemagics, an app originally developed for math test examinees and challengers who desire to quickly reach more accurate solutions.

Step 4: Play Puzzles and Brain Teasers


Learning math through challenging games is always exciting. You relieve yourself from the pressure of getting correct answers because fun takes the front seat. Sudoku, a grid popularized by a Japanese company, is an excellent exercise for improving your concentration while engaging with numbers. Brain teasers, logic puzzles, riddles, and other mind benders also enhance your numerical and logical skills.

Step 5: Compute Anytime, Anywhere

Numbers are everywhere. There is math involved in the huge building where you attended a social event or in the blue thumbtack you used in posting a note. When you have idle time, you can simply choose to be mindful of the numbers surrounding you. While in a long queue at a supermarket, observe and estimate how many customers a cashier processes in a day. While waiting for a friend at a bookstore, add up the number of pages there are in a stall.

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Why You Should Not Choose Management Consulting as Your Career Path

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businessman sleeping on laptop
Management consulting isn’t for everyone. The high salary, intellectual working atmosphere, and fast-paced environment are intended for applicants who pass the standards established by major and boutique firms. Before you exert your time and effort in pursuing a management consulting career, it’s wise to ask yourself if this is the path you truly want to take.

The perks offered by McKinsey, Bain, Booz, and other firms can be overly tempting, but you can’t be motivated solely by these extrinsic factors. The motivation must come from within, otherwise, you won’t be productive or satisfied in your position.

This article points out a few reasons why the management consulting industry may not be right for you.

Work-Life Balance

It’s undeniable that the demands of management consulting necessitate professionals to spend more than 50 hours a week at work. This hectic schedule not only affects personal relationships, but also leaves little to no time for pursuing interests and hobbies. Because of the volume of work, some consultants are obliged to finish a report, create a presentation, or engage in other work-related matters in order to meet strict deadlines. Consultants turn down countless invitations to significant occasions and dinner with friends. If you’re not ready to endure these sacrifices for career advancement, consider your backup plans.

Comfort of Home

In most cases, traveling is an indispensable part of management consulting. If the client is located in another city or country, there’s a great probability that you’ll be travelling a few times a month to source information from and coordinate with the client. At first, the idea of traveling can be exciting, but it can quickly become a physically strenuous activity. You’ll have to withstand flight delays, navigating through a foreign city, and the discomfort of being away from home. If you don’t enjoy being on the road, the fatigue can impair your quality output, enthusiasm, and sociability.


Consulting may entail utilizing your rational processes, but you must also be highly sociable in order to  gather facts, converse with your client’s employees, discuss issues with your team, and communicate with  top management. You need to reach out to get things done. Interdependence is the key to adjusting to the demands of the profession. If social interaction is not your cup of tea, you’d better consider alternative careers.

Job Application Process

The management consulting job application is a tough process. The market has an abundant supply of qualified candidates ready to fill vacant positions. With that said, you need to double your efforts to break into the industry. Research, networking, taking tests, and case practice interviews are just four of the preparatory steps you’ll need to take to write an effective resume, ace the written tests, and expertly answer interview questions. Most likely, your first application will be rejected. Your patience and commitment will be tried and tested. If you’re not ready for this type of competition, management consulting is probably not for you.

Considerations in Hiring Management Consultants

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There are many qualified applicants vying for a single position at BCG, Bain, or other management consulting firm. To determine the best of the best, recruiters look at a number of considerations to help them make their decision.

Firm Characteristics

Each firm possesses unique characteristics that distinguish it from the others. In assessing applicants, recruiters give substantial consideration to the individual goals, needs, and priorities of the firm because they must hire candidates who can adapt to these characteristics. If the recruiter places an applicant with a firm in which he or she is ill-suited, the oversight will cause:

  • Employee dissatisfaction;
  • Lack of focus;
  • Less productivity;
  • Disloyalty; and
  • High level of employee turnover.

Recruiters must strategically match applicants and firms. For firms that value leadership, the recruiter looks for applicants with management skills; for firms that randomly assign employees to various parts of the globe, an employ who is willing to travel and relocate; and for companies that place an emphasis on achievement, the recruiter hires candidates who are goal-driven.

Nature of the Consulting Job

Hiring management consultants also require the recruiter to assess the capability of the applicant to assume the responsibilities of the job. The recruiter evaluates whether the candidate can meet the following demands:

Intellectual Activities Capability to engage in highly intellectual activities. Management consultants are hired to identify problems and find solutions.
Long Work Hours Willingness to work more than 50 hours per week in order to deliver timely output, which means less time for friends and family.
Frequent Travels Readiness to travel from one town, city, or country to another. Traveling can be exciting at first, but after a few years weekly business travel can cause physical fatigue.
Other Demands Ability to handle all aspects of the position — from data gathering with potential customers to presenting reports to clients and upper management.

Applicants’ Competencies

Of course, a recruiter must ensure an applicant has competencies that will benefit the consulting firm. A few of the competencies which consulting recruiters look for in an applicant include:

Knowledge What knowledge does the applicant possess regarding business, marketing, and management consulting? Does he effectively apply case frameworks? Is he aware of mergers and acquisitions, company expansion, or product development processes?
Skills What abilities has the applicant developed? Is he analytic enough to identify the central problem? Does she have the skill to communicate ideas confidently in front of many people?
Abilities What innate capabilities does the applicant possess that can help him/her perform consulting duties? Is he open-minded to exploring various possibilities? Does she have a natural aptitude for managing stress ?

Social Connection

Recruiters rely heavily on networking when hiring management consultants. They consult their contacts for referrals and testimonials of candidates they know. This strategy has been proven more reliable and cost-effective for many firms. This is the reason why applicants who have an extensive network have an edge over other candidates. The more people they know, the more recommendations they can get.

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How Management Consulting Firms Hire Consultants

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Career race

Management consulting has been a dream industry for many candidates, despite the extreme competition during the selection process. Recruiters receive thousands of applications each year even if a large percentage of the pool is rejected.

The challenge for you is to prove that you belong to the cream of the crop. One way of making that possible is knowing how management consulting firms hire candidates. The awareness allows you to direct your application in a more effective way.

Job Advertisement and Recruitment

Recruiters implement various strategies to attract capable applicants. Some of them are the following:

Online Application McKinsey, Deloitte, BCG and other consulting firms accept job applications online. They usually allot a career section on their website where you can upload cover letters and resumes.
Online Job Platforms Many firms make use of online job platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed to post vacant positions. At times, they also announce openings on their social media profiles. Boutique and smaller consulting firms use this option more than top tier consulting firms.
University Recruiting Recruiters visit universities during job fairs and other career events where they can introduce their firm. At times, firm reps are also invited by consulting clubs to share consulting trends. To learn how management consulting firms hire at campuses in detail, you should consult your university career office.
Activity Sponsorship Some firms sponsor a dinner, a sports event or a simple gathering where they can spot and converse with qualified candidates in a natural and relaxed setting.
Referrals Networking plays an important role in this field. When firms have an opening, some prefer not to advertise it. Some recruiters just communicate with their contacts for referrals. For them, this technique has always been cost-effective and reliable.
Direct Applications Like other companies, the HR departments of management consulting firms accept direct applications (sent by mail or email).

Resume Screening

Due to high turnover of employees, firms continually conduct screening of applicants. Recruiters go over the information on the submitted documents and decide if the applicant is worth scheduling for further assessment. They will probably also look you up on LinkedIn. Don’t be fooled though – a recruiter will initially spend very little time screening your application – maybe less than a minute. Quite often, a recruiter can immediately spot whether an application is interesting or not.


Some management consulting firms skip this selection tool and just proceed with the interview. Many, however, administer a combination of the following tests to screen and sift applicants:

Numerical Reasoning Test This measures your logical ability to interpret quantitative data in tables, graphs and charts.
Verbal Reasoning Test This gauges your capability to understand passages and infer conclusion from a printed material.
Personality Test The results generally indicate if you can fit the demands of the position and culture of the firm.


A consulting interview consists of two parts and mostly you will have both parts in every single interview.

Fit Interview The questions focus on your skills, abilities, education, experience, involvement and behavioral inclinations.
Case Interview In this type of interview you will get a business case. The recruiter will expect you to come up with sound recommendations towards the end.

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Management Consulting vs. Private Equity

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Portrait of successful businessman and business team at office

Are you considering management consulting and private equity as your career options? It’s difficult to break into both fields because of high required qualifications, large applicant population and challenging recruitment process. We will discuss both career options in this article and hopefully provide you with some new perspectives.

The Difference between Two Industries

Management consulting is the act of helping companies improve their efficiency and productivity through intensive research and analysis of presented business problems. At the end of the project, consultants come up with sound recommendations for the client. Resolution of the problem signifies the end of the project, and consultants are then assigned to other clients of the firm. Consultants are paid for the quality services they render.

On the other hand, private equity (PE) is a financial sponsor that invests in operating companies. PE professionals source funds from investors, such as insurance companies, pension fund businesses, foundations, etc. and they use the money in purchasing shares of private companies. Private equity firms gain money from the management fee they receive and share in the profits earned by their equity fund.

How to Get to the Dream Job

Management consulting firms, like McKinsey, Deloitte and Booz, may consider applicants who don’t have previous consulting experience. They even recruit at universities and business schools to scout for students who are competent enough to do the job. On the other hand, private equity firms often employ applicants who have an MBA degree and experience in a closely related industry, such as investment banking, corporate finance or management consulting.

In both fields, networking is an important move to get a slot in any firm. Headhunters and recruiters may look at your winning job application but still, your documents would appear more credible if they come with a recommendation or referral from key people. Try to list the names of those who can help you with this. If you’re still a student, join sessions, workshops and networking activities organized by your private equity or consulting club.


Both firms follow almost the same recruitment process. It starts with resume screening, then psychometric testing and finally interview rounds. The interview phase is divided into two: fit and case interviews. The fit interviews consist of questions formulated from the resume while the other one focuses on your technical and problem solving abilities.

  • Management Consulting – Candidates are given a business problem, and they are expected to come up with a logical, acceptable structure and analysis. Cases provided are similar to what consultants deal with every day. To ace this phase, consulting frameworks must be utilized to structure the answer logically.
  • Private Equity – Interviewers assess your general understanding about investments. They may ask you to come up with a SWOT analysis or ask your opinion about an investment in a mobile phone company. In the later rounds, you may be given a leveraged buyout (LBO) case to resolve. Further, most firms will ask you to join a dinner or drink with the senior partners or CEO to get the final approval.

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Management Consulting Networking Questions

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Networking plays a great role in the field of management consulting. Many are called for interviews or are employed because of the recommendations they get from key people in the industry. Hence, when you attend a networking event, be sure to seize the opportunity.

One way of preparing for gatherings participated by recruiters and management consultants is through preparation of sensible questions. This somehow creates an impression that you are critically-minded, levelheaded and interested in exploring the field. The questions you pose should also draw out an informative answer to help you in your career preparation.

Networking Questions

Below are some useful questions you can ask at such networking gatherings/events.

  • What types of clients and projects does your firm (or office) have? This question feeds you information about the everyday life of consultants. Remember that offices within the same consulting firm might have different focus areas and clients, so you can make a follow up question about it.
  • Can you tell me more about the recruiting process? Top-tier management consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and Booz post their recruitment process on their website. If you have enough information, skip this question. However, if the available information is too limited, utilize the opportunity to ask for more details. Inquire about the tests they administer, the number of consulting rounds a candidate have to undergo before he or she gets hired, etc.
  • What do you like and dislike most about your job? This is a smart question because it gives you an idea about the pros and cons of management consulting, particularly at the firm of the person whom you’re talking to. The answer will help you discern if you’re ready to accept both the perks and drawbacks of the position.
  • Tell me something about the consultants in your firm. This light question asks for a personal opinion about his/her colleagues, but at the same time, it gives you a hint on the culture of the firm. Does the answer talk about teamwork or does it only emphasize the long work hours they spend at the office? Read between the lines and you’ll get an idea about their values.
  • Can we stay in touch after this event? This question is important because the person might be helpful in the future. Don’t forget to ask for his/her card before you part ways. After the event, send an email and thank him/her for the time.

Networking Tips

Be an active listener. Don’t be preoccupied with the next question you’re planning to ask. Listen attentively and formulate your follow up questions based on the actual conversation. Nod, make eye contact and use short responses to indicate that you’re listening. Don’t interrupt in the middle of his/her explanation. Further, be confident yet relaxed. Don’t be too formal or too casual. Interact naturally, as if you’re talking to a friend. That’s the best way to keep the conversation real.

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Management Consulting E-Book Download

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The field of management consulting industry can be intimidating for some applicants. They think it’s too astounding to be even tried. If you feel the same way, read this article to find out where you can start your consulting endeavor. has a few years of intensive experience in dealing with aspiring consultants through reviewing their resumes and answering their inquiries. Based on our needs and aspirations, the team came up with a free e-book on How to Land a Job in Management Consulting. It aims to help you get started by giving you a view from 30,000 feet. Download it after reading this post and enjoy the following benefits:

Know the Six Success Factors in Management Consulting

The success factors are part of the criteria recruiters use when they’re screening applicants. Each firm may be eyeing those who are a good match for their work culture and goals, but these factors are never omitted from their standard qualifications. Knowing what these are leads to three advantages. First, you will be able to ponder if consulting job is meant for you. Second, you can use it in writing a winning resume. Third, if you make it to the interview rounds, this will guide you in the way you answer the interviewer.

Be Acquainted with the Consulting Recruitment Process

Management consulting firms have different ways of screening and hiring applicants. Some may use numerical reasoning tests while others just proceed with case study interviews after resume assessment. With this fact, the e-book comprehensively explains the steps you’ll take in landing your dream job. It also includes tips and guidelines for you to stand out amongst other applicants. It has even included the types of questions that will be possibly thrown to you during case interviews.

Learn How to Do Well During Interviews

The consulting case interview is the most critical aspect of the recruitment process. As a response to this challenge, the e-book provides a detailed explanation on how to prepare for it. It briefly discusses the importance of case frameworks, the practical ways of enhancing mental math and the steps on how to resolve a business problem. For your additional reference, it also explains how you must physically present yourself to the interviewer. It includes a case example review, too, so you can imagine what it would be like to face an interviewer.

It will just take you about a minute to download the e-book and about an hour to go through it. Within a short period of time, you can get a picture on how you’ll maneuver your consulting dream. As a result, you will be confident in submitting your application to huge management consulting firms, such as Monitor, Mercer and BCG.

There are also two other e-books that might interest you. One explains in detail how to write consulting cover letters and resumes. The other will make you a master in using frameworks during interviews. At an affordable price, you will have additional references in pursuing your career. We are willing to refund your money should the e-books fail to satisfy you!

Do Law Graduates Get Management Consulting Jobs?

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law book

Students go to law school to become lawyers. However, just like many other graduates, some end up working at different fields. One of which is management consulting.

Adam Hoff said that a recruiter once told him, “Management consulting firms love the way law students think, but they love what business school students know.” This line obviously implies that law graduates can be employed for consulting positions in firms like McKinsey, Bain and Booz, provided that they can prove they have the potential and interest to learn the nitty-gritty of business operations. Let’s elaborate this further by looking into four sections.

Similar Skills

Management consultants are popular for possessing problem-solving, analytic, communication and other relevant consulting skills. More often than not, these have also been developed and practiced by students at law school. As they evaluate cases, they have to consider all angles of the story. They must be critical enough to come up with a fair, well-reasoned verdict. They must also have the ability to express their standpoint in words and in reports clearly. Their ultimate decision is what they deem appropriate with regard to the situation and the people involved, something very similar to consulting.

Business Background

Lack of know-how on management principles is a factor that puts law graduates at a disadvantage. Unlike an MBA degree holder, law curriculum has less business subjects, and this may be a hindrance to resolving business cases. However, some firms, like McKinsey, have a mini-MBA program where hired law graduates learn finance, microeconomics and business strategies for three weeks. They contact professors from top business schools to handle the newly employed consultants during their training. Further, the experience in working with other management consultants in a supportive work culture is believed to expedite the process of learning.

Working with Numbers

Mathematical ability isn’t a requirement to get into law. In fact, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) only measures logical reasoning, reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and writing ability. Recruiters would be able to weed out law grad applicants who aren’t comfortable with numbers through management consulting tests or case interviews. Tests usually include in-depth numerical analysis and graphical interpretation and analysis of business scenario during case interviews usually involved mental math, so the proficient applicants can be easily spotted.

Consulting Frameworks

Law grad applicants will also undergo the same recruitment process as others. Hence, they must spend lot of time on mastering consulting frameworks. They may not have a hard time understanding the structure, but since the concepts are far different from typical law cases, they must spend more effort in familiarizing them. It is also encouraged that they apply the frameworks to as many business cases as they can for thorough practice.

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