Management consultants are a synergy of 2 roles:
- Quants – strong problem solvers (high IQ)
- Poets – exceptional communicators (high EQ and RQ)
Quants are typically engineering majors, programmers, and scientists who can manage complex concepts in their heads and solve problems instantly. Poets are bright humanities majors, public speakers, debaters, and managers who can communicate complex concepts easily and build lasting relations. It’s extremely difficult to be both, that’s why so few people make it into consulting.
How Poets Can Develop Their Quant Skills
I’ll write about quants developing poet skills, too. But later. Today let’s focus on poets boosting quant skills.
True, you cannot become a quant wizard in a week. Even a year will probably not suffice. It takes years to get the quant mind of a good engineer. But let’s think consulting way. 20% of efforts creating 80% of impact. 20% of effort is getting a few math things right:
- precise computation,
- word problems,
- tables, and
You see, math in management consulting is not rocket science. But you have no right for error. So how do I prepare?
(Lots of) Practice Makes Perfect
Again, it takes significant time to master math, even the simplest concepts. You cannot become a super bodybuilder after 2 workouts. Neither can you achieve the desired proficiency in math after a few sessions. You need to be truly committed.
Below are the tools that will help you master the major 6 areas. They won’t work if you are not committed. But if you truly are, expect wonders.
1 Victor Cheng’s consulting math tool
Topic: estimation, precise computation
Just a warm-up. Reach top 25%. It’s hard, but doable. Some of Flessibilità students did that and solved all problems with computations
2 PrepLounge math tool
Topic: estimation, precise computation
If you do not like Cheng’s took, here’s an alternative
3 Math Tricks app
Topic: precise computation
A must if you want to become a walking calculator. Lots of mental math tricks explained and practiced in lots of exercises. This app does wonders to poets who use it consistently. Available for Android and iOS.
4 Skanavi, chapter on equations
This is the Bible (well, one of…) of all students in math schools. Surprisingly, word problems are more difficult than what you’ll see in a real case interview or PST. If you master all 300+ problems on equations, you are good to go.
5 Advanced GMAT Quant problems
GMAT is not 100% relevant for consulting math because it has lots of redundant stuff (e.g. geometry). But the most difficult problems will get your brain in the right shape to tackle anything.
You can download some of them here.
6 McKinsey Quarterly
You cannot find more challenging exhibits and tables than in McK Quarterly. Just open any 20 articles and start analyzing:
- units of measurement,
Champions Need a Coach
Joining a dedicated Consulting Math course is the right approach for you if:
(1) You need a mentor
You cannot become an Olympics champion without a great coach. True, getting into management consulting is not as hard as winning a gold medal in Olympics. But if a job at McKinsey, Bain, or BCG matters to you and you want to boost your chances significantly, you need a great math mentor.
(2) Your time is expensive
You want tailored high-quality materials, quick feedback, and personalized guidance. You do not have time or do not want to dig it out on your own.
(3) You need a push
You recognize procrastination challenges and want to build an external environment to ensure your commitment.
The Consulting Math Course will give you the following
- Math Foundations necessary for consulting tests and cases: fast calculation & estimation, reading tables, charts, exhibits, solving equations
- 30 hours of in-class prep (Saturday, Sunday) + extra home materials
- Work in a tiny group (up to 6 students)
- Lots of 1-on-1 interaction with a professional math mentor
- Personalized feedback and advice
I hope that my thoughts today were useful to you, and you’ll reach your goal of building a strong quant foundation for consulting. Just remember one thing:
Commitment is everything
Thank you for reading.