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Case Studies

 
#1 Case Studies
31/05/2002 00:00

Dave S

Hi I am relatively new to consulting and recently attended an Introduction to Consulting Skills course that was very good. Part of the course involved completion of a case study. I would like to be able to prepare and practice more case studies. Does anybody know of a resource (web or books, literature etc) where I can get hold of some example case studies to practice ?

Thanks Dave S

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#2 Re: Case Studies
06/06/2002 00:00

Isa

Have you checked for the Havard Business Cases?

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#3 Re: Case Studies
08/06/2002 00:00

Isabella Fung

Bain has an excellent section that gives you "interview practice" --http://www.bain.com/bainweb/join/interview/practice_overview.asp,so does BCG (Boston Consulting Group),

http://www.bcg.com/careers/interview_prep/interview_prep_splash.asp

Enjoy...

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#4 Re: Case Studies
10/06/2002 00:00

william johnson

I'd be interested to know more about the course you went on.

WJ

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#5 Re: Case Studies
10/06/2002 00:00

william johnson

I'd be interested to know more about the course you went on.

WJ

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#6 Re: Case Studies
10/06/2002 00:00

Dorothy

Hi Dave

A resource we often use here at work is the European Case Clearing House at www.ecch.cranfield.ac.uk. They give advice in preparing case studies plus access to an entire database of cases.

It's worth a look at.

Dorothy

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#7 Re: Case Studies
10/06/2002 00:00

mike coyle

Tried the Sunday Times Enterprise Network? do a search on line. number of cases with expert suggestions and a good read for some of them. they are grouped in area of interest. Regards, mike.

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#8 Re: Case Studies
11/06/2002 00:00

Ashen

I am very keen to get into consulting and would like to have more details about your course.

Thanks

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#9 Re: Case Studies
12/06/2002 00:00

Dave S

It was a very basic Intro to Consulting skills course - 3 days run by QA training - let me know if you need more details.

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#10 Re: Case Studies
12/06/2002 00:00

william johnson

Yes please dave, more details.

WJ

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#11 Re: Case Studies
13/06/2002 00:00

Ashen

Dave, would appreciate more details if possible. Thanks a million. A

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#12 Re: Case Studies
13/06/2002 00:00

william.johnson

The reason I'd like to know more is I'm always interested in PDN's competitors, and I'm unaware of QA.

If you want to look at a curriculum for Consulting Skills, take a look at our website www.pdnltd.com

William

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#13 Re: Case Studies
15/06/2002 00:00

Mark Roberts

Try subscribing to Havard Business Review. Each magazine includes a case study with responses from selected gurus. If you go to Havard Business School Publishing web site I think you can get back copies of case studies and articles and other resources.

Mark

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#14 Re: Case Studies
20/06/2002 00:00

What to do and what not to do during a case interview

Do

1. Listen to the interviewer and interact with him/her

2. Structure the problem by developing a customised

framework

3. Focus on issues where most impact can be brought

4. Explore a variety of options with creative thinking

5. Demonstrate business judgment

6. Make quick and accurate calculations

7. Synthesise your thoughts and conclude your analysis

Don’t

1. Jump immediately into the analysis without the

proper level of understanding

2. Panic if the answer isn’t readily apparent

3. Defend your own solution at all costs

4. Internalise your thought process

5. Stick to an artificial framework (3 C’s, 4 P’s, …)

6. Rely on circulated cases or use advanced knowledge

Case Interview Dos

Do listen and interact

The interviewer starts by laying out the problem or the question. Regularly during the cases, s/he makes comments to orientate the discussion and drive you to a solution. You should carefully listen to him/her and ask questions to clarify any point. You should also adapt your thoughts, hypotheses and options according to the information communicated to you throughout the case.

Do structure the problem around a customised framework

The interviewer will then ask you how you would approach the question. This is the time to quickly structure the problem and highlight the major areas that you will want to explore. You will even be more convincing if you are able to capture your structure in a simple, yet to the point framework. Do not hesitate to pause for a couple of moments after the interviewer asks the question in order to define your high-level structure.

Do focus on issues where most impact can be brought

The interviewer will potentially let you choose the key issues to explore further. Focus on the ones where you think your recommendations can potentially create the most value. Also explain the logic that drove you to your choice of key issues.

Do explore a variety of options with creative thinking

Once you have chosen the key issues to focus on (e.g. how to increase revenues from new products), you should come up with a couple of hypotheses on how to do this. You will definitely make a good impression by going beyond standard answers, conventional wisdom or generally accepted rules.

Do demonstrate business judgment

The interviewer will ask you probing questions about your comments, hypotheses or conclusions. This is so s/he can test your ability to use your own judgment given – the sometimes limited – information available to you.

Do perform quickly and accurately simple calculations

At some point, the interviewer will ask you to make some simple calculations. Besides the calculation itself, which should be accurate, the interviewer looks at how you integrate what you have discovered so far about the problem into the calculation.

Do synthesise your thoughts and conclude the analysis

At the end of the interview or when the analysis comes to an end, you should go back to the original question. It is then time to summarise, in a few words, your key hypothesis and the options developed and conclude with the most relevant recommendations you would make to the client.

Case Interview Don’ts

Don’t jump too quickly into the analysis

Before starting the analysis, make sure that you understand the question and its main components. Ask further questions if some elements are unclear to you.

Don’t panic if the answer isn’t readily apparent

You are not expected to know everything about every business situation. Therefore, don’t panic if you don’t seem to get ahead or if you are stuck in a dead end. The objective of the entire interview is to discuss your thoughts, present your hypothesis, imagine options, and finally, develop a solution through your interaction with the interviewer.

Don’t defend your own solution at all costs

It might be that the solution you develop is wrong or inappropriate. In this case, the interviewer will make it clear to you so that you can adapt your solution. Do not defend your solution at all cost. On the other hand, you should be ready to defend your approach if you believe it is a good one. The interviewer might just want to test whether you actually firmly believe what you are saying. Be critical and flexible to follow the road which looks most promising to you, even if this means changing course.

Don’t internalise your thought process

The interview is set up as a discussion. Therefore make your logic and hypotheses explicit. A good case interview is not limited to answers and solutions.

Don’t stick to an artificial framework

Some standard frameworks are not always applicable to the business situation discussed. Make sure that you keep it simple and that the framework actually helps you to go straight to the key issues.

Don’t rely on circulated cases or use advanced knowledge

The case presented might be familiar to you: a friend might have told you about it or you might have a specific knowledge in the same area. Most often, this has a negative impact on your performance. We therefore advise you to mention this to the interviewer who will choose another business situation.

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