This week, we have reviewed My Consulting Coach’s Case Academy. It is part of The Cambridge Consultant’s efforts to help you find the best preparation materials for becoming a consultant.
Case Academy is a comprehensive program that aims to cover every part of the process of preparing for consulting interviews. It is the first in a series of reviews about consulting preparation sites.
- Case Study Foundations
- Problem Driven Approach
- Case Study Building Blocks
- Efficiency Tools
- Problem Driven Structure in Action
- Fit Interview
- Closing Thoughts / Areas for Improvement
The My Consulting Coach curriculum centres on teaching their ‘Problem Driven Approach’ and how to implement it within the context of applying for consulting jobs. The program is structured like a roadmap, which definitely helps make the path more approachable when it’s separated into discrete, consecutive modules. The review will follow this intuitive approach.
The intuitive user interface for My Consulting Coach’s Case Academy is one of its fundamental strengths. It allows easy visualization of where you are on your preparation journey. They also offer a free network to find case study practice partners, and if that’s not enough for your prepping needs, the complete bundle includes so many practice exercises.
I often found myself able to string together 30 minute blocks of time in between other work to go through a random business or chart problem. This is a strength of the course. These factors, when used together wisely, do effectively cover many of the key bases you’d want to focus on when preparing for your case interview.
Now, I’d like to take a moment to go into slightly more detail on the key takeaways in each module.
Case Study Foundations
If you come from a liberal arts background, this section will be extremely helpful. Strategy, Marketing, and economics are the three main reservoirs of knowledge that a consultant is expected to know. The exercises provided after are extremely valuable in my opinion.
You have a specific case related to the topic at hand, then you answer around 10 multiple choice questions under time pressure. This structure works really well in drilling in the kinds of common problems and lines of thought you must follow when solving cases. For those new to consulting, I would highly recommend taking the most notes in this section.
An area for improvement would be a greater diversity in the problem types for economic/accounting principles. While some consultancies focus exclusively on “high level” strategy cases, others are also interested in candidates having some technical business aptitude.
The Problem Driven Approach
My Consulting Coach’s proprietary approach to solving cases is insanely effective. If you’re really coming from a zero case prep background, you’re going to want to spend a serious amount of time re-watching these videos and thinking about the exercises.
Particularly the structure related ones; you want to become extremely familiar with these to be considered competent candidate. Luckily My Consulting Coach offers the video on structure for free. You can get an idea of what I mean if you have an hour to spare.
This entire section is basically a deep dive into the theory behind “Inside the Consultant’s Mind”. It honestly nailed the mark.
Breaking up this approach into identification, structure, analysis, and recommendation is fantastic and intuitive. It helps anyone understand a general framework with extensive specific examples on how to do so at every step of the process.
If you’re willing to put out the effort to do and redo the exercises in this section alone, your return on investment is going to skyrocket.
Case Study Building Blocks
Although you now know how to structure your approach, this section is the real money-maker. The amount of concepts covered in this section that you can effectively apply to case practice is mind boggling.
It is simply too much to cover effectively in a few paragraphs, so I’ll try to give you the big picture. You come into contact with many effective mental tools and frameworks to estimate and do math in case studies. Then you meet with multiple specific common types of case studies. You are then able to put together everything you learned seamlessly, with information from past modules. A bit of a mouthful – oh and there’s also an additional section on the role competitive interaction plays in with everything. This is why you’d invest in a program like this. The knowledge you are paying for is so valuable and put together seamlessly.
This section makes all the difference when competing with top candidates. You’re introduced to a wide variety of tools that leverage the fact that there’s a limited domain for case study questions to make you seem really clever.
This section builds on the concepts in previous modules by giving you shortcuts for commonly approached “time burning” activities. Such as when you are building a MECE structure and need to compare multiple options. It can take a while to analyze certain branches of your structure in detail and things can get complicated, fast. Using tools such as differential reasoning you are able to ‘take shortcuts’ by analyzing the situation and quickly adjusting your calculations.
This section also has the most variety and amount of quality practice material, which is definitely useful to master before the grand finale, that is, actually putting it all together to conduct multiple full cases
Problem Driven Structure in Action
This is the super bowl – when all the hard work you put in can shine. But don’t worry, you can always rewatch the videos and redo problems if things aren’t clear the first time. I would personally even recommend chatting with the My Consulting Coach team simply by clicking on the bottom corner of the screen if you ever have a question!
This section covers full cases, multiple example exercises, and amazing videos. You can pause and think about what you would do in the case while also seeing how it was solved and why. This section fine-tunes your skills and really serves as a great stress-test to know whether or not you’re comfortable with a real case interview.
This section is fairly straightforward, but even if you’re already familiar with interviewing for big companies this section is definitely a great refresher before going in for the big day. If you’re new to these sorts of industry interviews, then take lots of notes and understand what the value you bring is as an individual. This course provides you with good frameworks to prepare your answer to common behavioural questions, which is always useful. Bonus points for the video on interview etiquette.
Closing Thoughts / Area for Improvement
My Consulting Coach provides an excellent program which certainly gives you a competitive advantage to break into consulting. This program focuses on demonstrating your common mistakes by teaching efficiency tools and having common themes at different levels. Overall, it makes it more efficient to use this course rather than prepping on your own.
The roadmap they provided teaches a proven methodology for both the case studies and fit/ behavioral aspects of the interview The only caveat is that the ROI on this product is a direct function of your willingness to meaningfully go through all the exercises and learn. The biggest downside and area for improvement by far is the lack of customizability to your specific weaknesses, and it doesn’t differentiate firm specific styles.
Other closing thoughts are regarding My Consulting Coach’s customer service: top notch. If you are ever unclear about a solution, they’re more than glad to provide detailed clarifications. The support system is really great once you’re in the program – that alone has an unwritten value I believe. Even if you are starting from scratch, you have everything you need. Accounting skills, marketing concepts, and strategies.
Investing at the start of your application process is increasingly important. Even for the best candidates, getting help with optimizing your CV and cover letter and smashing the interview stages will be will it for a career in consulting, or the opportunity to move onto bigger and better things.
This article was written by Juan Salazar, Princeton Undergraduate, aspiring management consultant and Intern with The Cambridge Consultant.