First off, this is not about how to get a job in consulting.

Guest Student Contributor, December 10, 2013 | 0 comments
Tags: community, career, recruiting, internship, consulting

Ben is a second-year student who grew up in Manchester, England before moving to London to study Law at the London School of Economics. Prior to Tuck, Ben spent nearly five years in investment banking, focusing on a variety of sectors and functions, while taking a keen interest in renewable energy. At Tuck, Ben leads the Consulting Club and is one of the Tuck Rugby Captains (side note: he would love more people to play!). Ben is also a terrible ice hockey player. After graduating, Ben plans to move to Boston to work at McKinsey, where he completed an internship this past summer.

First off, this is not about how to get a job in consulting. There are many great books written about that, including a recent one by Stephen Pidgeon from our own career development office. This is about how the Tuck community comes together in order to help each member be successful and in turn propagates what helps makes Tuck so unique.

Ok, so you’ve decided you want a job in consulting. To take the next step in getting a job at a leading consulting firm, many of which actively recruit at Tuck, you need to be committed to put the work in.

What does that work look like?

Well, it’s different for different people. Some of my colleagues spent a great deal of time getting to know (aka “networking”) the firms to figure out where the best mutual fit lay. Many of us spent significant effort practicing for interviews – a key component of which is “the case”,  a consultant type business situation that tests candidates ability to work through problems, analyze data, synthesize information, and reach insightful conclusions.

Given how selective all these consulting firms are (they are among the most selective of any companies), and the high caliber of my Tuck classmates (you will be constantly amazed by them), I found the preparation pretty daunting.  It didn’t help that I had already had one bite at the cherry when I interviewed for McKinsey out of undergrad and, as a result of insufficient preparation, had blown the interview.

This is where I discovered one of the many incredible aspects of Tuck, and specifically the community that flourishes here. As I described, this process is daunting for many business school students. However, at Tuck, the community provides an invaluable support network that coaches, guides and motivates you throughout the process.

Let’s start with my first case at Tuck as a first-year. I did the case with one of my classmates playing the role of an interviewer and the other evaluating me. It didn’t go too well. In fact, it was a disaster. However, I didn’t feel embarrassed by this case performance because I was able to practice with the security of my own classmates; classmates that held back judgment and instead provide tangible feedback on areas I can improve upon. Over the next several weeks, I joined a large amorphous group of like-minded T’14s who spent hours practicing with each other, in the similar format of you give a case, you receive a case.

Upon arriving back in Hanover in January, the interview preparation goes into overdrive (at least for first years). This is where the strength of the community really blew me away. Everyone at business school is insanely busy - it’s the nature of the beast. However, the second year class, even with their own packed schedules, rallied around their first year colleagues and went into to full time case coaching. Each day, a second year’s schedule would be packed with case prep for the hordes of first years fretting about their upcoming interviews. They do this gladly and take a truly vested interest in another Tuckie’s success.

Fast forward to this past fall semester: some of my classmates were fortunate to have secured jobs over the summer, many more were back riding the juggernaut that is on campus recruiting. Once again, the Tuck community comes together, supporting those interviewing for full times positions with countless hours of volunteer case prep and interview coaching. When you’d hear of a colleague’s success, it would resonate like it is your own. Each member of the Tuck community, to me at least, has always seemed to measure success by the community’s collective achievements rather than each individual accomplishment; we are all vested in the success of each other.

Come January, my second year colleagues and I will be back at it – paying it forward by coaching the first years through their barrage of interviews and providing an invaluable support network in what is a pretty tense time. Like for our classmates this past fall, we’ll be rooting for the success of each Tuckie and our collective community.

If you are attracted to Tuck because of the unique community, that’s great – it’s one of the defining characteristics of this wonderful school. However, due to the abundance of examples such as the one I’ve mentioned above, I guarantee that this community will constantly finds ways to humble and astound you, and that is what truly makes this place unique.

Good luck with the admissions process and I look forward to welcoming many of you as Tuck colleagues!

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