Repost from the IE Careers Blog
Ángel Mayoral, Alumni of the Master in Management, class of 2014, shares his secrets on entering a top consulting firm. He is currently working at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company)
How did you find out about this job opportunity?
I already knew about Strategy& (formerly Booz & Co.) before joining IE Business School. It was precisely because I wanted to switch my career from construction to consulting that I choose the Master in Management. Strategy& is one of the industry leaders in the consulting sector, a fascinating business in which firms such as McKinsey & Co., The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co., AT Kearney, or Roland Berger among others compete fiercely to solve problems of top firms in the industry.
How did the CMC and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process?
From the start, my professional goal was as clear as water. Hence, I visited the CMC since week one. I spoke with Lucía Andrés, a former McKinsey staff who gave me the hints to write the perfect consulting CV and Cover Letter. In addition, she gave me the most valuable piece of advice to succeed: focus on the networking. After having my CV and cover letter ready, I started contacting all the IE alumni that I could find using LinkedIn or the IE Alumni Directory, trying to diversify firms. I receive many answers from people from a variety of firms. These insights helped me to understand the sector and the differences across firms.
The IE Consulting Club was essential too. Even though I was not part of the Board of Directors, I actively helped in organizing Sunday Case Sessions and led them during my last semester at IE. During the Sunday Case Sessions, I showed what I have previously learnt to more than 20 people who are today in the middle of their processes – I wish you the best of luck. At these sessions, I met Paola Parra (IMBA student) with whom I met almost daily to practice Case Interviews. Hence, practice and sharing knowledge were key points into the process.
How was the recruiting process: stages, tests, interviews, etc.?
The recruiting process for Strategy Consulting firms is quite homogeneous. Basically:
- You will have to submit at least three documents: CV, Cover Letter, and Academic Transcript. Even though it is not axiomatic, firms tend to discard candidates that are below the top 20% of their class. In addition, you will have to demonstrate strong motivation, knowledge of the firm, and understanding of the sector. My guess is that 50-60% of the candidates are rejected at this step.
- If your profile matches the firm’s needs, you will be invited to a Test; however, not all companies required this step. Now, maybe another 20% of the candidates are rejected at this step.
- If you pass the test, you will be invited to the first round of interviews, which consist in two interviews that include both a fit and a case part. In the fit part you will have to explain your CV, your motivations, the reasons why you like the firm. In the case part you will receive a case about a business situation, a market sizing problem, and/or a brainteaser. Cases include numeric calculations but no calculators are allowed, so review your math! Only 5% of candidates pass to the final round.
- The final round is exactly the same as the first round; however, partners and not principals/managers will be the interviewers.
To be successful, it is fundamental to target as many firms as possible. The candidates’ level is incredible – honestly, I felt like a dumb when I listened to some people’s achievements. In addition, the luck-feeling factor is important in each interview. Hence, practice and do not brake any mirror!
Would you like to share any tips with future students interested in applying to Strategy&?
If your credentials are good and you work on your CV and cover letter, you should be at least considered for the test. IE is a target school for the firm, and many IE alumni work at Strategy&. After that, it just depends on you. I have said it like twenty times through this post, but practice, practice, and practice. If you do it decently and you are an IE student, you clearly meet the “personal standards” required by the firm. Simply be nice, and use the tips that your network has given you; afterwards, you will the next person writing some lines for this website!