It is a ridiculous myth to assume the world is fair and females have an even playing field with males. Females, especially in emerging markets, face unique and trying obstacles during the case interview process. Firmsconsulting has always been fairly direct in telling the truth as we see it to ensure female clients have the correct expectations, understand the hurdles they will face, and are armed with the correct training to handle their interviewers. This podcast explores this topic further.

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9 responses to Advice for Aspiring Female Consultants

  1. Hi Hannah,

    We really appreciate your comments.

    We will not have support customer service staff handle client interactions, so you will always have direct access to us. It does mean we deliberately take fewer clients, but we prefer this model.

    In a few weeks we will announce some changes where we will stop doing some things just so that we can keep our very hands-on approach to speaking to clients directly.


  2. Hi Michael,

    I strongly believe in living to your highest standards as well. Like we discussed previously, shortcuts bring short-term success but future loss. I do believe (and there already is evidence: many new clients like me come from word of mouth) that FC is in the right path to become the dominant career-advice source for consultants.

    I also believe that FC will continue to maintain your highest standards even when you are highly successful. Many startups lose their ethical roots once they become popular, they then find ways to make more money by shortcuts.

    Though I worry that once FC becomes so popular, we won’t be able to reach you as easily. Gotta take advantage of it now…haha



  3. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, I would recommend some make-up. Not too much but enough to enhance your features. Hugo Boss is also a good choice since it is affordable and has a good fit.

    We are trying to hold ourselves to a higher standard Hannah. We do not always succeed but we strongly believe we can do better.


  4. Correction:…”ignoring their appearance will actually put them at a DISADVANTAGE…”

  5. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the tip. For the female readers: I highly recommend Calvin Klein (for now at least). The cuts are well fitted, the design is classy and professional and they are more affordable.

    One more point you didn’t mention here but is equally important: female professionals should always have some minimal makeup. No makeup or too much makeup is perceived as not as attractive/likeable.

    Some women think that they shouldn’t worry too much about their appearance since it’s the work that counts. But ignoring their appearance will actually put them at an advantage. A woman who shows respect (not obsession) for herself will be respected and vice versa. And like it or not, human beings are visual beings. So become an intelligent/capable AND attractive professional, that is a powerful combination.

    Thanks for your focus on gender equality, Michael. And not just that, I saw that now you do the school-blind and financial aid for your program as well. It really means a lot to see that you, Kevin and others TRULY CARE about your clients and not about making money. Thank you.



  6. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, you can wear dresses to an interview. That is fine. Nothing frilly though or too provocative.


  7. Hi Michael,

    Just to validate, that means that I can wear professional dresses on the interview (and not just during work days)?

    I also agree that female professionals should wear more dresses. They make the wearers more attractive, show more confidence, respect for oneself and demand attention.




  8. Hi Hannah,

    We actually INSIST our female clients and partners wear professional dresses + belts and NEVER suits. Suits make you look very young while professional dresses make you look more executive.

    So dresses are better and if you must wear suits, skirt suits are acceptable.

    You will notice Alice in Season 2 is wearing a dress with a belt, and a jacket since it was cold in the room.


  9. Hi Michael,

    Very good talk as usual, thank you.

    One comment and one question.

    Comment: it’s true that women suffer more from inferiority complex. I always (half-jokingly) tell friends that I have to be more arrogant like men.

    Question: you mentioned suits and I saw the female candidates in your show only wearing pant suits. I don’t like pant suits for 2 reasons: one-it makes me feel like I’m trying to look like a man and two-I prefer to keep my femininity with skirt suits/well-fitted classy work dresses (think Calvin Klein). So is it okay to do that?




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