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CONSULTING CLUB. Agenda. Structure Structure Structure And More Structure. Team. Paul Bednarczyk Russ Needham Nitin Malik Chad Plumb Nathan Windom. Clarify. Structure. Analyze. Conclude. Case interviewing – Basic Steps. A GOOD APPROACH TO CASE INTERVIEWS INVOLVES FOUR STEPS.

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CONSULTING CLUB

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CONSULTING CLUB

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Agenda

  • Structure

  • Structure

  • Structure

  • And More Structure

2


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Team

  • Paul Bednarczyk

  • Russ Needham

  • Nitin Malik

  • Chad Plumb

  • Nathan Windom

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  • Clarify

  • Structure

  • Analyze

  • Conclude

Case interviewing – Basic Steps

A GOOD APPROACH TO CASE INTERVIEWS INVOLVES FOUR STEPS

  • Ensure complete understanding of the question/problem

    • Listen closely to problem definition

    • Ask questions to improve understanding

    • Paraphrase to confirm problem statement

    • Some information may be less important

  • Develop a plan to solve the problem

    • Describe your overall approach

    • Break the problem into discrete pieces/issues

    • State crisp hypotheses

    • Use framework only if appropriate

  • Request information and test hypothesis

    • Walk the interviewer through your thinking

    • Prioritize issues

    • State your hypothesis

    • Ask for a few relevant facts

    • State findings for your analysis

    • Refine your hypothesis

    • Probe further if necessary

  • Synthesis findings

    • Summarize the discussion

    • Develop overall recommendations

    • Discuss trade-offs

    • Relate back to problem statement

    • Suggest next steps

Source: McKinsey

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Case interviewing – Structure

Unstructured thoughts are difficult to communicate and remember

  • List of grocery items I need to buy

    • Apples

    • Milk

    • Bananas

    • Spinach

    • Carrots

    • Grapes

    • Butter

    • Okra

    • Eggs

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Case interviewing – Structure

On the other hand structuring seemingly random thoughts help you communicate better

Things I need to buy for grocery shopping

Dairy

Fruits

Vegetables

Milk

Butter

Eggs

Apples

Bananas

Grapes

Spinach

Carrots

Okra

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The Pyramid Structure helps to effectively structure communications

Case interviewing - The Pyramid Structure

Governing Thought:States the answer to the question raised in the readers mind (hypothesis)

Key Line:

Major points which, taken together prove the answer

Support:

Data and facts which support the key line

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Case interviewing – Sample Problem

Sample problem – How can we improve the rankings of Carlson School?

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Case interviewing – Sample Solution

Sample Structure of a problem we all can relate to

How can Carlson School Improve its rankings

How

By improving the student

quality

By improving the quality of

professors

By improving the

communication with the media

Conducting the rankings

How

Improve the quality

of the intake

Improving the quality of

experience at school

Hiring better

profs

Retain the good

profs

Proving accurate

data

Provide data

on time

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Case interviewing – THE MECE

Always Remember MECE – One phrase you cannot escape from in consulting….

MutuallyExclusive

Do any of the points overlap?

MECE

CollectivelyExhaustive

Have all possibilities been covered?

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Key Question: Should we enter the market?

Case interviewing – New Market Entry (Sample Structure)

Should Budweiser enter cigarette market?

How attractive is the industry?

Can Budweiser make money

in this market?

What are the risks to the

existing business?

Market size

Growth

Customer

Segmentation/

overlap

No. of players

Product

Differentiation

Sales force

stretched too thin

Investment

too big

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Size of the cigarette market in us l.jpg

Case interviewing – (Market Sizing)

Size of the cigarette market in US

  • Assumptions:

  • The population of USA is 300 million

  • The life expectancy is 80 years

  • The population is evenly distributed

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Key Question: How should we enter the market?

Case interviewing – New Market Entry (Sample Structure)

How should Cargill enter seed business?

Do it alone – Start from scratch

Acquire a company

Set up a JV

Time consuming

&

expensive

But, full control

And no baggage

But, quick

Risky – Upfront premium and

Integration costs

Less Expensive

But, less control

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Etc.

Price

Revenues

Volume

Fixed

Costs

Variable

Case interviewing – Profitability (Sample Structure)

EXAMPLE- STRUCTURING A “PROFIT” QUESTION

Profits

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Case interviewing – M&A (Sample Structure)

The beaten down structure of profitability can be use in many situations

Should TATA Steel buy Chorus?

What are the synergies?

What are the risks of the

acquisition?

Revenue

Cost

Acquisition

Costs

Prior experience

  • Assumptions:

  • Goal is incremental profits – This would be the case in 99% of cases

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Case interviewing – Profitability (Increase Revenues)

How can Target store increase sales/revenues?

Increase Prices

Increase Sales/Customer

Sell more per visit

Sell more stuff to the customers

Increase the no. of visits

Increase Sales

New Markets

Increase no. of customers

More segments in the existing market

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Case interviewing – Profitability (Decrease Costs)

How can a manufacturing company reduce direct labor costs for widget production

Use cheap labor

Decrease Cost/Hour

Minimize overtime

Decrease direct labor costs/widget

Reduce no. of people per machine

Decrease no. of hours/ widget

Increase machine efficiency

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Sample Case

  • A large fast food chain has hired consulting club team at carlson school to improve the company’s profitability.

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Sample Case Interviews – Company Specific

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  • Position – Business Results Consultant (Internal Consulting), Field Distribution

  • Interview Process

    • Internship (1 Round) – Behavior Based

      • Round 1 (On Campus) – Maybe a Business Case in combination with Behavioral Interview [2 interviewers]

    • Full Time (3 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On Campus) – Behavioral and Resume Interview [ 2 interviewers]

      • Round 2 (Thrivent) – Q & A, Four Rounds with a Business Case & Behavioral Interviews [several interviewers]

      • Round 3 (Thrivent) – Psychological Evaluation (Leadership) [1 evaluator]

  • Special Comments

    • Values and community are important

    • Really need to answer the question: Why Thrivent?

  • Sample Cases

    • Business Case – “You are a company that has an opportunity to purchase a chemical that makes cranberries redder and sweeter. Do you purchase it?” Other cases have been very open-ended similar to this question.

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  • Company: McKinsey & Co.

  • Position: Associate

  • Interview Process

    • Full Time ( 2 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On Campus) – 2 Case Studies & 2 Behavioral Interviews [ 2 interviewers]

      • Round 2 (Mckinsey Office) –3 Case Studies & 4 Behavioral Interviews [4 interviewers]

  • Special Comments

    • Prepare for the case interviews – Practice, practice, practice!!!

      • Focus on quality of cases rather than quantity

      • Practicing cases with the same person is not a good preparation

    • Don’t just dedicate all your effort preparing for the case interview. You also need to spend time preparing for the behavioral interviews

  • Sample Cases

    • Business Case – Sample cases can be found at www.mckinsey.com/careers

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  • Position – Internal Consulting, Strategic Business Development

  • Interview Process

    • Internship ( 2 Rounds) – Behavioral / Case Based

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) – Behavioral and Business Case (2) Interview [1 interviewer]

      • Round 2 (On-Campus) – Behavioral and Fit Interview [2 interviewers]

    • Full Time ( 2 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) – Behavioral and Business Case Interview [1 interviewer]

      • Round 2 (3M Campus) – “Blitz Day” – Behavioral, Presentation, and Business Case Interview [3 interviewers]

  • Special Comments

    • Business cases primarily focus on new market analysis, new product development, segmentation, “entitlement”, sustainability

    • Justify why 3M SBD vs. External consulting

  • Sample Cases

    • Business Case – 3M develops a film that enhances the visibility of stop signs on major highways. Estimate the total market potential, identify the competitive landscape, and select key segments.

    • Business Case – 3M wants to enter a very competitive segment within the pet food industry in which the company has no experience. What challenges exist for 3M, how should they enter this market, and will it be sustainable in the long-term?

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  • Position – Internal Consulting, Global Strategy

  • Interview Process

    • Internship ( 2 Rounds) – Behavioral / Case Based

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) – Behavioral Interview [1 interviewer]

      • Round 2 (Thomson Campus) – Behavioral (2) and Short Business Case (3) [1 interviewer]

    • Full Time ( 2 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) – Behavioral and Business Case (2) Interview [ 2 interviewers]

      • Round 2 (Thomson Campus) – Behavioral and Short Business Case (2) [5 interviewers]

  • Special Comments

    • Need to convince them that you would be capable of presenting in front of executives, some quantitative analysis work experience, a little understanding of law field, sense of humor (need to show some personality and show that you are good fit with group)

  • Sample Cases

    • Business Case – How would you segment the law market?

    • Business Case – Where would you locate a gas station?

    • Business Case – How would you launch a new line of Thomson legal services?

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  • Position – Internal Consulting, Strategy and Business Development

  • Interview Process

    • Internship ( 2 Rounds) – Case Based

      • Round 1 (On Campus) – Ethics Case, Business Case in combination with Behavioral Interview [2 interviewers]

      • Round 2 (On Campus) – Business Case in combination with Behavioral Interview [1 interviewer]

    • Full Time ( 3 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On Campus) – Ethics Case, Business Case & Behavioral Interview [ 2 interviewers]

      • Round 2 (On Campus) – Business Case & Behavioral Interview [1 interviewer]

      • Round 3 (Cargill Campus) – Fit Interviews with senior leaders [3-5 interviewers]

  • Special Comments

    • Ethics is a big focus area for Cargill and one needs to ace the ethics case

    • Justify why Cargill SBD vs External consulting

  • Sample Cases

    • Ethics Case – A competitor is building a new plant and your boss is pressurizing you to “trespass” the construction area and gather competitive information. What would you do?

    • Business Case – McDonalds is asking Cargill to buy a poultry farm in Russia? Cargill has identified a Russian company with good finances? Should Cargill acquire the Russian firm?

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  • Position – External Consulting, Strategy & Operations

  • Interview Process

    • Internship ( 2 Rounds) – Behavioral / Case Based

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) – Behavioral Interview [1 interviewer], Fit Interview [2 interviewers], Business Case [1 interviewer]

      • Round 2 (On-Campus) – Behavioral & Fit [1 interviewer]

    • Full Time ( 2 Rounds)

      • Round 1 (On-Campus) –Behavioral Interview [1 interviewer], Fit Interview [2 interviewers], Business Case [1 interviewer]

      • Round 2 (On Campus) – Behavioral and Fit (2) [1 interviewer]

  • Special Comments

    • Need to convince them that you are a good fit for their culture and that you can handle the lifestyle.

    • Need to convince them that if you found yourself in an elevator with the client CEO you could present yourself and Deloitte in a professional manner.

  • Sample Cases

    • Business Case – How would you restore a foundering hospital to profitability?

    • Business Case – How would you control costs at a call center?

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