Welcome back!



Forgot password?

Don’t have an account? Subscribe now

My Michael Moment was the collective screening rounds to get into the program. I was blown away by the time, energy and cost to screen people and find just a few clients.

I applied with a class colleague and we went through the same process. When I received the 5 page feedback letter my admiration for Michael only grew. He provided very detailed advice on what I needed to do.

Sadly, my class mate was unsuccessful but this impressed me more. To think that Michael went through all that trouble and provided a feedback letter made me realize Michael was serious about his intent.

I am still in the program and loving every minute of it. I learn new things every day and feel I am growing professionally and ready to take on MBB come March 2013.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

I asked Michael about the MBA case competition and he said I should forget about it. I did not believe him and he provided a long explanation which went something like this…

“To win a case competition requires skills very different from that required to obtain an MBB offer. Case competitions require research, power point, formatting and team work skills which will not be required in a case interview. It will also take up a lot of my time, effect your grades and lead to no meaningful reward.”

Michael also pointed out that people who win case competitions generally do not get MBB offers. That was a statistic I found hard to believe at the time, especially since so many other major sites were telling me to do it!

I am sad to say I did not believe Michael, entered 4 major case competitions, hurt my grades and ended up with no offers. That was the last time I ignored Michael’s advice. For round 2 at MBB, at least I hope to get a round 2, I follow his advice like scripture!

Thanks for believing in me Michael.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

A Michael Moment? Hmm…there are so many. And some saved me money and esteem.

For my second round interview with AT Kearney in South East Asia, the company asked if I would be in Malaysia soon and wanted to know if I would be willing to fly in for my own cost. I was excited and thrilled, and ready to go online to spend a few hundred dollars to book the flight and hotel. It seemed normal to me.

When I told Michael about this over Skype, he became upset about it. I had thought he was upset me with! Thankfully he soon clarified the direction of his anger!

He repeated this a few times until I understood the point. I should never pay for my own trip because it implies two things. I am desperate for the position and because it is a double-standard from AT Kearney. If they knew I was desperate for the job, I would lose any chances of getting it. He also felt they would not ask a student from a better school to pay their way. He asked me if I wanted to work for an office with such poor standards?

I was actually quite desperate and it was hard to see Michael’s point that the time. Like many of his lessons, they are not obvious and I needed to think about it. I very reluctantly agreed and asked AT Kearney to pay for my trip since it was a cost I was incurring for them. They refused.

Michael seemed fine with it and we just continued through. In my interactions with MBB I followed Michael’s advice closely. I made every firm think I was heavily in demand and they needed to reach out to me. That worked very well, especially with Bain.

“Image counts. Grades are important but only when packaged with the right image and desperation is never good.”

That was my Michael Moment. Making a decision from the basis of desperation is a bad idea. Thanks for teaching me that Michael.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

I think it is a swell idea of your team to collect the best moments with clients. I hope you will publish some of these stories.

You will probably not recall this moment but it was a turning point for me. I was alone at Wharton, no family in the U.S., I had no money to fly home, all my friends were away for Christmas and I was planning my applications. I sent you a message at 6:15pm EST on Christmas day and never expected a reply.

You sent me a message on Skype and offered to call me. That was a pretty amazing response to take your clients so seriously. We had a short call but you told me something which placed my situation in perspective and gave me the energy to push through.

You said that great people are never happy.

“They are extremes with no friends. They have sharp edges and they have no friends. They see things others cannot see and are ridiculed for it until they can make their ideas work. One of the great myths of the media is that successful people are happy. No successful person is happy. Successful people are flawed – deeply so.”
 

You told me the story about George Stalk’s presentation skills and Kenichi Ohmae’s first McKinsey engagement. You told me that all successful people lack confidence, which drives them to succeed, but they don’t show it. You ended of with the line I will always remember –

“Never compare your true self to the image others project. It is not a like-for-like comparison and you will always come off worse.”
 

On that day in my state of mind I was most receptive to your advice. That really helped with my confidence to know I was important enough for you to speak with on Christmas day.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

My Michael Moment occured after I had received offers from BCG and McKinsey and was trying to debate the best choice. BCG offered me 15% larger package overall and a higher signing bonus. I sent Michael a short note on Skype explaining my decision and intimating that the extra money would pay for a nice vacation with my wife. I received a note saying that money was not everything and I should choose the firm which I felt had a partner who could personally mentor me. Michael gave me 4 things to think about:

• I would only progress to partner if a partner took me under his wings and mentored me. I should think about which firm was not more likely to do that.

• 15% + higher immediate salary translates into very little over a 5 to 10 year career. I should think about the lifetime value of the decision and not the short term value.

• A firm that pays more will have a reason for doing that. No one is that generous. I needed to think carefully about the gap for which the money was compensating. Was it training, the type of engagements etc.?

• Don’t pick the firm that likes you, pick the firm that wants to develop you. In the long term, my personal development would be more important.

It pained me at the time, but I turned down the BCG offer and chose McKinsey. No one agreed with me and my wife had to settle for a Florida vacation over Aruba!

That is my Michael Moment, he took my career seriously even after getting me in – beyond our contracted relationship – and I still count on him for advice. Michael is willing to be the lone voice of dissent if he cares about you.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

A client from South-east Asia wrote 3 memorable moments from our coaching.

I think 3 traits describe Michael for me — utmost professional integrity, excellence and valued relationship. This story is about the 3rd trait:

My “Michael Moment” came when I had finished the case coaching program, having spent ~4 months, and 15 hours being mentored by Michael.

That day, I received the email decision from the consulting firm I was applying to. Sadly, I was unsuccessful in my application.

Of course the first thing I did was shared it with Michael, and after some comforting encouragement from him, he said one the most inspiring words I’ve ever heard:

That for him clients are friends.

I understood this when I later on chatted with him. He provided me with guidance and resources, beyond the scope of what I had assumed as the “formal business contract” of the program.

Michael, I am so fortunate to be your client and your friend.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

My Michael Moment happened during a pitifully sad email I sent to me him asking for advice.

I was a Fulbright Scholar studying in the US and my applications to LEK, Deloitte, Monitor, Oliver Wyman and Booz had been rejected. I wanted to know what to do since MBB were much tougher and the weaker firms were turning me down!

Michael found it very amusing and mentioned that my early choices preferred consultants with consulting experience and sector knowledge. MBB preferred students without consulting experience and sector knowledge and being rejected by the others probably indicated I was a good fit for MBB! Just like that the sun came out in my life and I was happy again! That happened 2 days before my own birthday so I am happy to return the favor for Michael.

My other moment occured when I was scared to apply to New York. Michael gave this very funny analogy. He said the McKinsey New York office was like the most glamorous fair lady at the prom. Everyone wanted to dance with her but everyone was too sacred to ask. So she ended up getting too few offers! I thought that was really funny, but he was right. I would not be in New York without this and other great analogies.

Thanks again Michael.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

My best Michael Moment took place after I was placed at McKinsey and 8 months after I left the program.

It was my very first engagement and I felt miserable. Everything was going over my head and I was putting out fires hourly. My planning was shot with holes and my plan was to simply give the engagement manager what he wanted when he wanted it. A bad strategy indeed, but I had no choices.

Michael and I arranged to speak on that first weekend and we had a long chat about the engagement, my role, my planning documents, objectives and so on. We worked out a good plan and Michael explained each step I needed to follow to take control of the work . He stressed accountability at all times, which is different from responsibility – a lesson for me.

The moment occurred when Michael told me about his own first engagement and how badly that went. I was pleasantly surprised by that story.

I had assumed all partners were perfect and had these fairy tale careers. Michael found that funny and said that is how I should distinguish between true seniority/success versus a facade.

Partners don’t need to appear perfect because they are already partners. They have achieved what they wanted to in the firm and do not need to maintain any image. They will openly discuss their failures and weakness with you.

He gave me a few resources to prove this point. He said junior candidates focus on perfection because they think that is what is required. He stressed that I did not have to be perfect, but I should learn from my mistakes. This was a great call for me because he helped me realize making mistakes were fine, provided they were once-off and I could fix them. My philosophy on consulting changed for the better.

I have many other stories but this is the most recent and with the greatest impact.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

Here’s my thought for the Michael moment.

I have this habit of speaking in long winding manner while answering some questions. Michael taught me a technique to answer using one sentence only and provide a crisp reply.

This has helped me not only in answering questions in a succinct manner, but more than that it has helped my performance in a different manner as well.

I applied this technique in my office for making presentations. I started summarizing every slide in one sentence. This approach won me much appreciation among my superiors for making good quality presentations.

We have published the most useful client feedback. Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information, and we may alter details to prevent such disclosure. Some client feedback may be lightly edited for grammar, spelling or prose, though we never alter or remove any information. Clients in our consultants coaching program are forbidden from sharing sensitive client data with us.

We are using cookies on our website

Please confirm, if you accept our tracking cookies. You can also decline the tracking, so you can continue to visit our website without any data sent to third party services.