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How to prepare for a consulting job with a top firm

If you’ve recently landed an offer from a top consulting firm like McKinsey, BCG or Bain, congratulations! Now your interview preparations are over, your thoughts are likely to be turning to your first day of your new job. If you’re feeling apprehensive, don’t worry. Following these tips will help you feel calm and confident when the big day arrives.

Brush up on the technical skills of consulting

The work of a consultant requires razor-sharp technical skills, as well very strong capabilities in written and verbal communication. When you’re preparing to start a consulting job, it’s an excellent idea to brush up on your command of both Excel and PowerPoint. You should also polish your written and verbal communication skills.

In addition, you might find it helpful to take a look at our productivity tips for consultants, which will give you some useful pointers for working effectively once your new role has started.

Catch up on your admin – while you can

When I joined McKinsey as a consultant, I was taken aback by how all-encompassing the first few months were. Even for those who are very experienced, the hours in consulting are long and expectations are extremely high. For a newcomer who has to contend with a demanding workload while simultaneously learning the ropes, there is very little time for anything else.

Once your new role has begun, you won’t have many opportunities to catch up on your professional and personal admin, so now is the perfect time to do it. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and ready for all the new connections you’ll make in consulting, and remember to add your new role to your profile once you’ve started.

Prepare your wardrobe and travel kit

Another important task to complete during this time is preparing your wardrobe for your new job.

You’re likely to have a good idea of the dress code of the firm you’re joining based on your experience of the interview process. However, if you’re unsure, you should reach out to your recruiter to ask for clarification. You might also find it helpful to take a steer from our advice on what to wear to an interview with a top consulting firm.

As you’ll be traveling a great deal in your new role, it’s also worth taking the time to prepare a travel kit that you can transport easily between locations.

Get some rest

Finally, we recommend that you use this time before your new career starts to get some rest. Consulting is an exciting but highly demanding job and it’s important to arrive on your first day feeling fully rested and ready to begin.

If a career in management consulting sounds like it might be right for you, you can learn more in our complete guide to the management consulting industry. And if you’re preparing to apply to a top consulting firm, the resume and cover letter templates and specialized advice in our Free Resume Course will help you get your application in great shape.

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