Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Unofficial Ranking.

Here is the unofficial, unscientific ranking of three of the Top 4 consulting companies based on the performance of 5 or more of their employees at INSEAD.

(1) McKinsey
(2) BCG
(3) Bain

Booz Allen is not considered competition even by "Siemens management Consulting" and they seem to be getting a not an "as encouraging a response as the other three". Besides, if they are not spending atleast 200 K Euros in INSEAD sending their associates to our classes, they certainly don't belong in the league. I was surprised there are so many from McKinsey in the dean's list and none of them blog as far as I know (again unscientific google blog search of a few names yielded rien). So thats the ranking people.

Here are my theories about consultants
1. They are always cheerful and positive (Lets say thats the exterior)
2. They are analytical and smart.
3. They can learn Powerphrases and keywords faster than the average MBA
4. They can give you amazing stories on why joining Syngenta, Mittal Steel and Pop's soda are some of the best career moves after an exceptional career in one of the BIG three.

Wannabe - why would you even think I want to be a consultant. The INSEAD careerhunt (the expensive treasurehunt) has lead me to believe that I am a "doer" and will take industry jobs of "saving the world" and that too all by myself types. I have about six interviews (some second round, some first round) lined up next month and I am in the Salary negotiation phase in one. So things are still going well in my view and there are more jobs than INSEADers can handle. Thats my view.

About the Jan - July view in the comment. I disown it. I do agree that the internship can be a huuuuuge advantage if used effectively. But thats more for career changers. If you need more I can explain that more.

Gotta run.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spiral Returns

Ok folks sorry for the long absence from the blog. Essentially, I have been sought after by a few companies for first round interviews. In the last three weeks, I have got one ding without an interview. All others chose to interview me. Its kind of interesting to see so many recruiting industry companies extremely inefficient in getting back on what actually happenned in the interviews. Maybe they sadistically expect me to follow-up...but every second day there has been an interview so I haven't done a great job with follow-up. But atleast luckily with a couple of options I have next rounds lined up - so life looks ok. Have been terribly busy and expect to be extremely busy for the next 3-4 weeks even if one in four of the companies interviewing me in fact get back with some second rounds. I am atleast not as depressed as Mr. Anonymous as yet although. I need to admit that there is a wave of negativism striking the campus in general as pipelines are depleting. I think people should realize that if they don't have campus interviews lined up they are better off picking up the phone and talking to alumni in their field of interest. I see some doing that really well already and some who sit and complain about jobs not being served in platters. But the %age of offers already made (including consultants) is not very encouraging but then certain offices are to get back still.

Coming UP: The DS Ranking of Consultants
As I was browsing through the dean's list released for P3, I saw a bunch of consultants and wannabe consultants in the list and I started going through the data and found some very interesting correlations. I am currently doing an "Unofficial ranking of Consultant Quality" that I plan to report out in the next post. The idea is to rank the "TOP 4" consultants based on the performance of their "Alumni" in INSEAD. I can't rank Booz Allen Hamilton because not enough alumni of that company (<5 samples) have actually made it to INSEAD ;-). But I am going to publish a ranking of Bain, McKinsey and BCG based on the academic performance of their sponsored employees in our school. (Trust me, going through the data is a lot of work and there is no way to make any scientifically inference, but then scientific inferences are made by consultants, I am an industry guy who goes with "gut feel" right?). Please note that only the Dean's list is public information (top 10-12 percentile of class) so I am going to put in the effort of sorting through the data to find the %age mckinseyites in deans list, %age Bainies in the deans list and %age BCG ites in the deans list to rank them all.

So to pep up the conversation lets see if all of you commentators are smart enough (including the anonymous ones) to rank the three in the right order. Remember this is pure academic acumen and nothing else :-).

Wannabe - where are you? I miss you when there are polls ;-).

Friday, April 14, 2006

Israelis Rock !

Hello everyone, the Israeli week rocked overall. I have witnessed, the amphistorming, watched a movie and participated in the Passover dinner and had gulped in some israeli yogurt (Tastes the same as the French ones) before rushing for one of the interviews. The star event was the Passover dinner. The ambience, the rigor with which the event was planned and conducted was just extra-ordinary. I got to understand after the process (with about 100 fellow MBAs/Partners and families) the idea of what a passover dinner is and why the dinner follows a certain process and how important it is to the families. It was an amazing experience. The most special part is when the hosts were incredibly hospitable and felt honored to have us around despite being fellow inseaders. Hats off to the Israelis for bringing the experience to INSEAD.

Industry recruitments heating up.

Industry interviews are all coming in. Unsolicited interview requests are coming in too. I had two industry interviews this week and three more next week. I haven't received any dings after the consulting one. Thats got to be good. I am extremely happy with the pipeline. I would actually like to accelerate time if there is anyways to see what happens at the end. With many consultants having arrived at decisions, the campus has individuals more focused on the job search or "enjoying" the rest of INSEAD as they already have offers.
At this point, I am almost certainly anyone with a decent amount of focus on what they want and having enough contingency plans to actually have atleast a job on graduation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It happens only at INSEAD

As the P4s live life interview to interview, it feels to be a bystander. I have applied to a total of 6 companies so far. Have interviewed with two, dinged by two and waiting to hear back from 2. This is like the bottom 10 %ile of P4 pool interms of activity level. Meanwhile here is an update from L'Ecole.

It has been a good week overall, without naming names, I screwed up the case interview with one of the big 3 consultants ! Well isn't that what happens when you haven't practiced a single case until 18 hours to the interview? Well whatever you call it, it was a good experience to go through the consulting experience.

About the subject for this post...well the ISRAELI WEEK is here. Perhaps this is the only school in the world to have a backtoback Israeli-Arab week and today its my turn to watch a movie that will be some form of Propoganda. lol. Not really, the Israelis have a movie tonight on "indian and moroccan immigrants" to Israel. It should be fun to watch. There is their traditional dinner tomorrow. The israelis were also nice enough to do an amphistorming for the P4s which typically doesn't happen with the other national weeks because doing amphi stormings in electives is a cumbersome affair

Friday, April 07, 2006

The McStory

If Mckinsey has its way - certainly the 1 billion chinese people will aspire to do an MBA. Mckinsey claims that there is a need for 75 K managers in china and there are only 4000 that make the "mark". Now what is mark, I will let Mckinsey answer.

What the gazillion smart corporates like GE/ Syngenta / Philips / Mittal have realized is they could hire at the bschools instead of letting the consultants charge a premium for doing something they can do themselves with a few MBAs. But the question to the MBA aspiring for a general management degree is - whether the MBA graduate will be motivated enough to sweat it out in these environments (in GE maybe, but in Mittal less so) without the carrots and sticks that come with a consulting career. We need to wait and watch for a few more years before we can answer that question.

I think I will write a book review post soon. Just finished reading a couple of them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Interview Day coming

The campus is starting to fill with P4s in suits. The interviews are in full swing. I have seen no one on campus who has told me after an Interview - 'I cracked it, I think I am going to work for consultant X'. NO ONE. None out of some 20 odd people I have been asked. Does that mean I have sucker friends? Or is everyone being modest? We will know.

Otherwise, classes and presentations are proceeding at a reasonable pace. Guidant was here yesterday. I was happy to see some very interesting people. I am not sure with the uncertainity prevailing with the merger if there will be enough enthusiasm (many P4s seemed to place the bet on mittal steel instead of guidant yesterday since the presentations were at the same time). We will see how it all turns out.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Where are the sundays?

Thank you all for the wishes. I am glad the recall value of my recruiter is reasonable within Europe :-). Now that someone called Siemens a boring company, I think I should apply to them. They just sound and feel too German for me. From conversation with these european companies, I feel the German companies are the ones that are most unlikely to recruit MBAs. So haven't spent a lot of time investigating them.

Life is moving quite fast. Sundays have stopped being weekends. I have cases to read and group meetings to attend today besides writing a cover letter so that I can focus the "recruitment energy" for the rest of the week on the interview preparation / attending a couple of presentations. This week we have companies like Guidant, Amex, Mittal Steel, Carrier visiting. That is more impressive than a consulting list atleast to me :-).

Career Fair
INSEAD for the first time in its existance conducted two career fairs. One for boutique consulting companies the Friday last week (we had Accenture in Boutiques :-)) and then we had one industry career fair this week. Amazon, GE, CEMEX, Philip Morris were amongst the 20 odd participants we had. I think it was fairly well organized and I atleast got a couple of interesting leads.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Week full of activity

Amazing number of things have happenned this week. The arab week continued to be great. Lot of arab dressed girls, amazing food (including the arab dinner / party), a special visitor to campus (Camel) and a great souk (market). It was fun and it still was one of the grandest national weeks we have had in the year. Needless to say, getting dressed in a thoub was exciting for the dinner / party.

About the company that mattered most, it already invited me for an interview (did they read my blog?) and I am excited about it. I also got invited by one of the top consultants to interview. Atleast 2 of the 4 consultants seem to have a process to see through uninterested people. So as you might expect I got dinged. One of the several hunches was indeed right. As my friend wannabe wants a clue...let me just call it a "European Conglomerate" reinventing itself currently.

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