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.
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