Things You Should Know

Skills and Knowledge You’ll Need

A liberal arts education, regardless of major, provides an excellent foundation for consulting, sharpening skills that every firm values:

  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Ability to learn new things quickly
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills (writing, presenting)
  • Collaboration skills
  • Analytic skills

That said, there are a few hard skills and some content areas that would prepare students to stand out as interns or full-time employees:

  • Excel and PowerPoint:  These are the primary tools of business, so mastering them by completing basic and more advanced training modules on LinkedIn Learning before beginning an internship is the best way to become indispensable to your team leader.
  • Business Fundamentals: To prepare for case interviews as well as client projects, it’s critical to understand foundational finance concepts including revenue, fixed and variable costs, profits, return on investment, and payback periods. LinkedIn Learning has great training modules on Financial Accounting Foundations and Business Intelligence.

Prepare Well for Case Interviews 

Most consulting interviews for internships and full-time opportunities include live cases, which require significant advance preparation. Students serious about pursuing a consulting internship or full-time opportunity should begin preparing at least 10-12 weeks in advance of the interview cycle and, after reading through books such as Case in Point and Victor Cheng’s Case Interview Secrets, should practice at least 50 case interviews with peers as interviewer and interviewee.

Use These Resources

In addition to primers on case interview techniques, there are some additional resources that can help students learn more about consulting and prepare for interviews:

  • Colby Consulting: a student-led club with case practice and real consulting projects to give you relevant experiences you can speak about on interviews
  • Consulting Case Prep Google Drive: DavisConnects has created a repository of practice case books from several of the leading MBA programs, recordings of consulting advising workshops, and lists of alumni at leading firms
  • Summer Consulting Case Prep Program: DavisConnects offers a weekly workshop featuring alumni hosts from top 10 consulting firms who walk you through cases and teach consulting concepts
  • Rocketblocks: an online platform that helps students improve their skills with case math drills and live case practice with students of similar abilities around the world
  • ModernGuild: a free consulting career prep program that connects leading firms in search of talent from non-target schools with students
  • Ripplematcha free platform that matches students with leading firms in search of talent from non-target schools

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