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Marshall Casebook 1

Marshall Casebook 1

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Published by Tony Almeida

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Published by: Tony Almeida on Jul 31, 2012
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Marshall Management Consulting Club
Practice Case Workbook I
Version 1.0
Fall 2001
 
Contents
Tips on Case Interviewing 2
 Tips to help you crack the case every time (Wetfeet) 2Tips to prepare for the case interview (BCG) 2How to Solve A Case (Mercer) 3Case Commandments (Casequestions.com) 4
Practice Cases 7
 Cases from Vault.com 7Cases from Deloitte Consulting 22Cases from Casequestions.com 28
 
 MMCC Casebook IFall 2001 Page 2 of 42 Version 1.0
Tips on Case Interviewing
Tips to help you crack the case every time (Wetfeet)
Listen carefully to the material presented. Take notes if you want to, and be sure to askquestions if you are unsure about details.
Take your time. You're not expected to have a brilliant solution to a complex problem onthe tip of your tongue. If you need a minute or two to collect your thoughts and workthrough your answer, say so.
Offer a general statement or framework up front to serve as an outline for your answer.Although the framework can be something as elaborate as a 3C (customer, company,competition) model, it need not be anything more than something like: If you're askingabout declining profits, then I'd want to check into factors affecting cost, and factorsaffecting revenues. On the cost side..." As you proceed with your answer, draw on theoutline of your framework.
Home in on key issues. Many interviewers will be checking to see if you operate by the80-20 rule, which means you should first address the broader issues that will get you 80percent of the way to a good solution.
Orient your answer toward action. Theory is good for the classroom, but it won't fly in aboardroom. Clients want to know what steps they can take to solve a problem, not pie-in-the-sky philosophy.
Think out loud. The interviewer is looking as much for evidence of a logical thoughtprocess as for a brilliant conclusion to the case problem.
Be conscious of resources. A lot of consulting work involves figuring out how you aregoing to collect the information you need to answer a question—without costing the clienta fortune. If it relates to the problem, ask your interviewer about the budget, capital, andother resources that the client can allocate to the solution.Above all, have fun with the case! Consulting is really like a steady succession of case interviewquestions. To do well, you need to enjoy the intellectual challenge of analyzing tough problemsand coming up with reasonable solutions.
 
Tips to prepare for the case interview (BCG)
We want you to do your best in the case interview. Here are a few tips that may make adifference for you!
Structure
 
Follow a logical structure. We suggest you approach the case by following these fivesteps to generate a hypothesis and supporting arguments.1. Listen closely to the situation and to the questions you'll be asked2. Firmly establish your understanding of the case3. Create an approach that focuses on critical issues and guides your analysis4. Analyze the problem. Ask the interviewer focused questions and evaluate thesituation5. Clearly summarize your final analysis and conclusions
 
 MMCC Casebook IFall 2001 Page 3 of 42 Version 1.0
Think out loud so that the interviewer understands the direction of your thinking. You mayalso want to write down your findings and assumptions.
Remember, there is no "right" way of doing a case; nor is there a single answer. If youhave demonstrated the way you think, you have done all you can to "crack the case."
Attitude
 
Interact with the interviewer. The case should be a dialogue, not a monologue.
Pace yourself. It's important to not rush to conclusions.
And perhaps most important, relax and have fun.
 
How to Solve A Case (Mercer)
Most case interviews follow a similar pattern. They begin with some background on the case andthe challenge posed by the client/interviewer. You then may be able to ask a couple of clarifyingquestions if necessary. Then it's up to you to determine how you'll analyze the case (whichframework, structure or strategy) and get started.
Step 1. Get information
 
Listen to the problem
Ask clarifying questionsSometimes the interviewer may leave out a key piece of information and see if you notice. Thatleaves the perfect opportunity for a clarifying question. Be careful, though—don't spend too muchtime asking unstructured clarifying questions. Try to limit them to two or three key questionsbefore moving on to the next step and creating a structured approach.
Step 2. Create a structured approach
 
If appropriate, consider a framework you may have studied
Make sure the framework covers the areas you consider important to the case—alter theframework as necessary or just create your own
At the very least, highlight various conceptual "buckets" into which you can organize yourthoughts (industry information, customers, competition, etc.)Do not make the mistake of forcing a framework on a case. Remember to trust your commonsense and analytical abilities rather than blindly applying frameworks regardless of theirapplicability.
Step 3. Walk through the framework
 
Generate key questions to begin the investigation and analysis of each part of theframework (or each "conceptual bucket")
Starting with the broadest areas, ask just enough questions to probe into each concept orstep of the framework, without delving too deeply or getting off track

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