Rising Star Agenda

Hi Everyone,

After sifting through the many questions people had about how to succeed as a new consultant, I've narrowed down the list of topics to the following:

  • How to Strategically Choose Which Projects to Work On
  • How to Establish a "Trusted Advisor" Relationship with a Client
  • How to Differentiate Yourself from Other Very Smart & Hard Working Colleagues
  • Which Books to Read Before Your Start Date, So You Can Hit the Ground Running
  • How to Communicate with and "Manage Up" to Partners & Project Managers
  • How to Manage Your Time to Do the Things That Differentiate You, While Still Getting Your Work Done
  • The Best Way to Networking Inside Your Firm and Build Your Personal Brand
  • The 7 Most Common Mistakes New Consultants Make
  • How to Communicate Your Point of View, When You're the  "New Guy/Gal"

Please feel free to comment below on what you think of this agenda and if you want to suggest any changes.

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42 comments… add one
  • Enoch Jan 27, 2011, 4:34 am

    Sounds great! Can’t wait!

  • J Jan 27, 2011, 4:45 am

    Must have analytical skills (general frameworks, exact excel skills, etc.) with examples.

    I would love a Knowledge sharing site. Each firm has there own processes, frameworks and methodologies. I am very keen to compare, contrast and learn from all of them.

  • guy smith Jan 27, 2011, 4:50 am

    Sounds great to me, I have found one book useful “Succeeding as a management consultant” covers a live mckinsey engagement. Might be a good one to include in the recommended list.

  • Jakobicek Jan 27, 2011, 4:51 am

    sounds like a comprehensive program for the webinar I am really looking forward to it.

  • JadePink Jan 27, 2011, 4:57 am

    Ways to find a select the jobs you want to work post-consulting?
    How to build strong industry relationship for post-consulting career move?
    How to be on the priority list of headhunters?
    How to maintain work-life balance?

    My questions might be addressed when you answer your original set of questions. But just wanted to flag it to your attention.

    Look forward to your webinar/article…

  • SBD Jan 27, 2011, 4:59 am

    I would like to know how worthwhile it is to learn multiple languages to discern yourself in an international working environment. Will English suffice?

  • Beaauty Jan 27, 2011, 5:04 am

    OMG! My heart literally started racing when I started reading this. Please, Victor, start this NOW! I really seriously cannot wait. Especially cuz my start date is next week Tuesday (thanks to your online videos and emails)! 🙂

  • Beaauty Jan 27, 2011, 5:06 am

    Oh, forgot to mention. I’m starting at McKinsey. 🙂

  • Julia Jan 27, 2011, 5:51 am

    Hi Victor,

    this sounds great. I’m psyched for the webinar!

    I hope you’ll share your thoughts about how to strategize for moving along the career path in your firm in point 1, e.g. tips for finding areas that you can help grow within the firm, when to stop digging around and focus, things like that.

    Thanks so much for your awesome work!

  • john Jan 27, 2011, 6:03 am

    Looks good!

  • Chris Jan 27, 2011, 6:13 am

    Looks fine to me, but I would also be interested to see some information on presentation skills, since selling your ideas and concepts is a large part of what I will do as consultant.

  • Andrew Jan 27, 2011, 6:54 am

    Looks great! Another request:

    How to Successfully Move Office Locations (for Personal Reasons or Otherwise)

  • Sid Jan 27, 2011, 7:05 am

    Looks good, let me know when

  • Nishad Nargund Jan 27, 2011, 7:17 am

    This is awesome. Looking forward to it.

  • McKinsey Sao Paulo BA Jan 27, 2011, 8:38 am

    Sounds great indeed! Looking forward to reading those!

  • Max Lyons Jan 27, 2011, 9:35 am

    Looks great! What about how to grow your network within your consulting firm? How to reach out/who to connect with? How to grow these relationships? This seems EXTREMELY vital to success.

  • Ahmed Jan 27, 2011, 9:54 am

    What about “reading people” skills?
    Most of us have good analytical skills (either qualitative or quantitative). What about the soft skills that we have to stress on??

  • Natasha X. C. Jan 27, 2011, 10:09 am

    Looks awesome!

  • McKinsey Chicago BA Jan 27, 2011, 10:35 am

    Great list of topics Victor! Thank you so much for doing this!

  • McKinsey Chicago BA Jan 27, 2011, 10:45 am

    When will this webinar take place?

  • xelas Jan 27, 2011, 10:52 am

    that’s great victor! cant think of anything more to that comprehensive list you already have!

  • This sounds very exciting !

    If I can suggest something which could be added to this list :
    – how to manage well a first failure or a first bad evaluation ?
    – more superficially speaking, are there any specific “dress code”? I’m talking about brands of clothes, jewelry…

    Thank you for all the good advice you share on your website !

  • Kat V Jan 27, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Awesome. Can’t wait.

  • Aditya Jan 27, 2011, 12:33 pm

    super..waiting for the first post!

  • Dave Jan 27, 2011, 12:41 pm

    The list looks great.

  • Ankit Jan 27, 2011, 12:46 pm

    superb questions…. i cant wait keenly following the emails for a long time and they helped me land with my first technical consulting job…

  • Cosmin Jan 27, 2011, 12:48 pm

    Looking great..

  • Associate Jan 27, 2011, 12:50 pm

    I think you should include these:

    1) How to proactively seek out feedback mid-case. My first case I had a rude awakening, because my consultant didn’t bother to give me feedback during the case, but I didn’t ask for it, either. I then turned it around and have been doing well ever since.

    2) How to determine the balance between figuring out things on your own, and going to clarify direction. So many times I’ve beat myself up, only to find that what I was doing wasn’t that important, or that I could’ve gotten re-routed if I had gone to consultant earlier. But you also can’t go to them every 5 seconds…so where is the balance?

    3) A prioritized list of things to focus on. There’s so much to learn at once, what should you focus on first? My suggestion is to focus on the “concrete” things first (i.e., research resources that are available, learning your firm’s PPT / Excel standards cold, your firm’s QC checklist, etc)

  • sudeshnadey Jan 27, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Sounds great!!

    Besides it would be great if you could also add few dos and don’ts on making consulting power point presentations. Since I am in my final year of MBA and will be joining Deloitte in strategy and operation division in a few months time, I am very much interested in knowing how to present case findings and recommendations to the client in a comprehensive yet graphically appealing way.

  • Neha N Jan 27, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Hi Victor,

    The list looks good. Other valuable additions could be:

  • Neha N Jan 27, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Hi Victor,

    The list looks good. Other valuable additions could be:

    – Must-know stat and excel tools
    – How to sell your skills to the client – Some of the firms have the culture of letting the client interview the candidate, what is the right way to go about it.
    – How to make a good first impression on your team?

    Your articles have been of immense help. I look forward to this one, since I just joined and these pointers would be of great help.

  • Greatlist Jan 27, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Great list!

    What about networking within the firm, but abroad?

  • Julian Jan 27, 2011, 4:20 pm

    It sounds really good. I’m looking forward to it!

  • Serhiy Jan 27, 2011, 5:47 pm

    1. How to ensure that you get usefull feedback – from clients, peers, bosses
    2. How to structure projects that proper balance of client engagement / support is achieved
    3. Managing client expectations in a way, that you are able to exceed them.
    4. How to lower client expectations in non-offensive way, when expectations are unreasonable.
    5. Managing client relationship

  • EF Jan 28, 2011, 12:25 am

    Hi Victor,

    The list look great!

    Someone once suggested to me that I should become the encyclopedia of the firm that I work for. For instance, I should know at least the major studies/engagements my firm has done, major leaders in the firm, the past good and bad major events in the firm, etc. In your opinion, what would be the best ways to do this research?


  • Cem Jan 28, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Looks great, can’t wait to read your posts ! Thank you very much again for all your guidance

  • Zahoor Jan 29, 2011, 1:20 am

    Hi Victor,

    The list looks good. In addition to the aspects listed above, I would like to suggest the following:-

    1. How to deal with irrational and uncooperative clients when seeking data, buy-in or implementation of certain initiatives

    2. What are the varying degree of skills required based on the type of case (segmented by function) – strategy, operations and organizational transformation are three most common functional cases that consultants typically work on – For e.g. In a strategy engagement, greater emphasis is on XYZ skills (quantify if possible) vs. In an operations engagement it is ABC skills


  • KP Jan 29, 2011, 1:38 am

    This might have been mentioned already, but to enhance the doubt:
    How to COOPERATE well on a team while COMPETING well as an individual for that limited 10% or 5% “ask to stay”…you know, a little touchy issues like whether to share certain info or not…

  • sophie Jan 29, 2011, 10:45 am


  • Pete Jan 30, 2011, 1:24 am

    This is a great idea.
    I am looking forward to learning more about this subject.

  • Thomas Feb 7, 2011, 3:24 am

    What about establishing a solid mentor relationship with a senior manager?

    Just finished the duet The McKinsey Way/The McKinsey Mind and it seems to be a powerful success driver in the Firm.

    Thanks for the hard work!

  • Morgan Feb 7, 2011, 7:04 am

    I would like to hear what you think are the key skills that a new consultant can practice before beginning work in order to give them a head start.

    I wondered if you could give any advice on how to manage some sort of work life balance without appearing uncommitted to the job.

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