Saturday, October 27, 2007

BCG - 24th October, 2007

Date: 24th Oct 2007
3rd visit to ISB this year

BCG Team:
Sachin Nandgaonkar, Partner and Managing Director [Chair of the Career Development Committee in BCG India]
Arvind Subramanian, Principal [Leads recruitment at ISB]
Ravi Srivastava, Principal
Anshuman Biyani, Consultant, ISB Class of 2004 [Senior most ISB alum at BCG]
Marc Weiner, Consultant
Sushma Vasudevan, Consultant
Rahul Kothari, Sr. Associate, ISB Class of 2007
Akshit Shah, Sr. Associate, ISB Class of 2007
Bindya Malhotra, Recruiting Manager

The talk consisted of 3 parts: (i) BCG Career track, (ii) Recruitment process followed by a chat over High Tea and (iii) Case Workshop

1. BCG CAREER TRACK: First Sachin talked about the different roles in BCG and the responsibilities of each of them. The roles are in order of hierarchy are:
Senior Associate
Project Leader

ISB students generally get hired as Sr. Associates and can be described as Diligent, hardworking providers of insightful insights who typically work on a module of a project.
Sachin talked about his role as a Partner and a typical week in his life, about managing client relations and maintaining work life balance. Then Arvind spent a significant amount of time sharing his views on the role of a Project Leader and Principal. Finally Rohini discussed what does it mean to be a BCG Consultant, what does it take to be successful and how the load factor can change over the course of a year.

After that Sachin talked in some detail about Competencies across Career Levels. He highlighted the key attributes at each level that cater to these competencies but being most relevant to ISB students, I have only mentioned the attributes at Sr. Associate/Consultant level. The competencies and the corresponding attributes are:

A. Ideas and Insight - Problem Solving
B. Apprenticeship - Team Contribution
C. BCG values - Role Model
D. Influence - Credibility
E. Client Service - Effectiveness and Interaction

2. RECRUITMENT PROCESS: BCG is looking for 3 basic qualities:

A. Analytics and Insight (Problem Solving) - Structure, Judgement, Rigor, Creativity and Synthesis.
B. Communication and Presence - Listening, Precision, Presence, Relationship Management C. Effectiveness and Impact -Independence, Team contribution, substance, learning and achievement

Your CV should reflect the reflect skills and your differentiating factor.

You should try and bring out areas of strength and comfort for you that can be discussed in the interview. Based on the CV roughly 30-40 people would be shortlisted for interviews. The shortlisting is done by senior BCG people and is very thorough process with great attention given to each application.

There are 6 criteria in the evaluation of the CV:
(i) Academics
(ii) Work Experience
(iii) Co-curricular
(iv) Extra-curricular
(v) Position held (non-work related)
(vi) X-factor (Your USP)

It is ok to mention achievements before college if you find them to be significant.

The interview process is of two rounds and each round is two interviews. The interview is typically 35-45 min with the following general structure:

5-10 min: Personal/Resume based (Effectiveness and Impact)
25-35 min: Case (Problem Solving)
5 min: Questions you can ask (Effectiveness and Impact) Your communication and presence is tested throughout the interview.
After the interview you are categorized into a 2x2 matrix (OBVIOUSLY!!) the
2 dimensions being Hire/Reject and Strong/Weak. Within each you have three levels so finally you will be in one of the 6 categories: H+, H, H-, R-, R,
R+, with H+ being Definitely Hire and R- being Definitely Reject.

Do's and Don't's of the Interview:
DO's: Be genuine, relaxed, take time to structure your thoughts, organize the facts, develop a working hypotheses (it is ok to be wrong in your first attempt to come up with a hypotheses). Be willing to work numbers in a case.
DON'T's: Exaggerat, Fumble with the basics, impose artificial frameworks, ignore given information and clues, get bogged down.

Case Worskhop:
Satish kashyap gracefully volunteered for the mock case and Sachin gave him a real life situation in a manufacturing setting where Satish had to come up with the right product mix strategy (and of course he had to offer other insights along the case as well). After the case we had a feedback from the students and finally the expert opinion of the BCG partners and principals.

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