Did you enjoy the program? If yes, how?
Sitting here at the end of the consulting recruiting process, having scheduled my start date with my “ideal” consulting firm, it is easy to say that, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the program. However, this is not a “fun” training program. This program takes a lot of hard work and brutally honest self-assessment.
I remember when I was accepted into the program. I received a VERY detailed letter outlining my profile, resume, case skills, etc. After six or seven pages of seeing all of my development needs laid out in excruciating detail, I was surprised that Michael wanted to train me. After the first couple of sessions, I was sure that he had made a mistake. I was surprised at how little I knew and was quite certain that no sane consulting firm would want to bring me on.
But a funny thing happened after six weeks of dedicated study, practice and coaching – I started getting it. And not just getting how to “crack a case.” In all honesty, that was the least important change. I started understanding what it means to be a great management consultant. I started seeing how the values and principals that attracted me to Firmsconsulting in the first place fit into the problem solving and having real impact.
With this better understanding of why what I was doing mattered, I started performing better. As I started performing better, I enjoyed my coaching calls more and more. Now, at the end, I miss my weekly calls with Michael. I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to Tuesday nights at 7 until the first week after I accepted my BCG offer and wasn’t sitting down for a Skype call with Michael.
What were the most important learnings from the program?
I had three key learnings from this program.
Do you feel the program provided an advantage for you versus your own/other preparation? If so, in what way?
I think Michael’s approach is the single best way to prepare to become a successful management consultant. When I started with FC I thought I was “ready” to be successful, and was looking for some “finishing touches” and help in determining the best way to reach out to consulting firms for interviews. What I quickly learned was that just about everything needed to be torn down and rebuilt.
In the end, I received multiple offers by following this approach. Despite this, I think the best part of working with Michael was gaining a better understanding of what being a successful management consultant means and how to use the problem solving skills he teaches to make a difference with clients.
Can you recall any memorable moments?
There are three very distinct memorable moments for me.
What would you like changed in the program?
I really wouldn’t change anything. Michael is a great coach, he is always professional and lives the values he advocates.
Do you believe your coach was effective?
Absolutely. Ignoring the fact that I received offers from three consulting firms, Michael’s coaching built the skills I need to be an impactful business leader in the future.
Do you personally believe the sessions were tailored for your own development?
Yes. Michael knew exactly what I needed to work on and pushed me in areas that needed development. I noticed that when he would mention an area of concern, the next session would test that area multiple ways. Michael was very responsive, and never took more than 24 hours to reply back to me when I had questions or concerns.
What are your thoughts on using former McKinsey/BCG worldwide practice leaders to coach clients?
I think this approach is good to build credibility, but in all honesty, it isn’t so much the consulting firms the coaches were partners at, as the skills and knowledge possessed by the coaches. The background at MBB gives them a great perspective on the recruiting process, but I found my coach to be an extraordinary trainer and coach – probably the best I have ever worked with.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I found the Firmsconsulting approach to be quite successful. The only advice I would give to prospective clients is that you will get out of the program what you put in. The best coaching in the world will not help you if you do not apply the advice to your preparation and case interview techniques. I found the program humbling at many times, but from that humility came significant learning and improvement. Approach your training like you would approach a consulting project and you will be very happy with the results.