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Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation / Marc P. Cosentino — 7th ed. Library of Congress Card Number First Printing, Here's what's new in the 7th edition 7 Strategy Cases 8 Case Starts Developed by Marc P. Cosentino, author of Case in Point: Complete. Editorial Reviews. Review. When in Doubt, MBAs Turn to the MBA 'Bible.' Case in Point is the Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation - Kindle edition by Marc Cosentino. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC.

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The Case in Point then arrived with its 12 frameworks of analysis, its tips, and the experience feedback of a case in point 7th edition pdf. The Case in Point interview guide is very helpful in the interview process for consulting and you can find the 7th edition PDF attached to this site. You will face something like this. Q&A, your questions. 5 - 10 minutes. Case. 20 - 25 minutes Read Cosentino's “Case in Point” and these extras. • Cosentino.

In addition, if you can find out who will be interviewing you, you should be Googling them to see what articles they have written or issues they are involved with. You can bet that they will be Googling you. In your research, you should be looking for answers to the pre-interview questions see sidebar, next page. What type of consulting does the firm do? In what industries does the firm specialize? How big is the firm? How many domestic and international offices does the firm have?

How many professionals are in the firm? What kinds of training programs does the firm offer? What type of work does an entry-level consultant do? How much client contact does an entry-level consultant have the first year? Does the firm have a mentor program? How often do first-years sleep in their own beds? How many hours make up a typical work day? How is a case team picked? How often do consultants get reviewed? How many consultants does the firm expect to hire this year? How does that compare to last year?

Where do the consultants go when they leave the firm? Is it possible to transfer to other offices, even international offices? The best ways to collect these answers are to: Attend career fairs and speak to the firm representatives. Pull out your list of questions and ask three or four. Make sure that you try to turn this meeting into a conversation.

At the end, thank the reps for their time, ask them for their business cards, and inquire whether it would be all right if you called or e- mailed them with further questions. At this point, no one is going to judge you on your level of company knowledge. They are there to provide information and hype the firm. Often, career services offices will be able to match you up with alumni who are working in a specific industry.

Interviewing past employees can be very enlightening. Attend company information meetings. Snag that interview slot by networking and schmoozing with firm representatives every chance you get. One of the best kept secrets of company presentations is to go early. If a company presentation is scheduled to start at 6 pm, show up at 5: If you show up early, not only will it impress the consultants, but it will allow you to get at least five minutes of quality face time with one of them.

They are more likely to remember you if you talk for five minutes at the beginning of the night than if you hang around until the end hoping for 45 seconds of their time.

Case in Point PDF Needed for Interview Preparation

They are also more likely to have their business cards with them. Remember to ask for those business cards and send a follow-up e-mail. It shows that you have done your homework and have given this interview a great deal of thought. Why Should I Hire You?

This is your opportunity to shine and market yourself. But before you launch into a laundry list of skills and attributes, you may want to simply state that they should hire you because you want to be a consultant. Think of it this way: How would you feel if someone accepted your dinner invitation because their first choice fell through? Students who receive job offers in consulting do so for four reasons: They can demonstrate success-oriented behavior. They exhibit good analytical skills when answering case questions.

They are able to articulate their thoughts, create a positive presence and defend themselves without being defensive. Now that you understand the structure of the interview for the first round, the subsequent rounds are not all that different. The second round is often held at a nearby hotel and usually consists of two interviews, both 60 minutes in length, each with a heavy focus on case questions. During all the final rounds you can expect to analyze many charts.

In addition, some firms give written cases requiring you to not only analyze the information but to design charts to back up your recommendations. There are other kinds of first round interviews. Some firms conduct phone interviews while others conduct group case interviews. First Round Telephone Interviews There will be times when your first round interview will be conducted over the phone. There are several things to remember.

If possible, go to a quiet and private place. Most importantly, you are your voice. That is the only thing the person on the other end of the line has to go on.

Your voice should be upbeat and enthusiastic; speak clearly and with confidence, but not arrogance. Finally, lose the calculator. During a group interview, consultants look more at the group dynamics than how the group answers the question.

Does this candidate have the ability to build relationships, empathy, and teamwork? On one hand, you are a competitor to the other people in the group, but on the other hand, for this moment in time you are teammates.

In my Harvard Business School classes, the professor rarely called on anyone who had his hand raised while someone else was speaking. Like a business school case class, you are expected to build on what others have said.

You are expected to move the discussion forward, not take it off on a tangent, or move the discussion back because you had a point you wanted to make. Stress interviews. They usually come in one of two forms. The interviewers ask you question after question without giving you much of a chance to answer.

They may even turn rude and snappish. Why do the interviewers do this? They put you through this to see how you react. Can you defend yourself and your answers without getting defensive?

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Can you maintain your cool and your professionalism? Can you handle it if someone snaps at you or will you crumble and cry? The second type is the silent treatment. He might question many of your statements, making you explain even the simplest of answers. Why do they do this? You will be forced to choose between A and B. Again, he does this to see how you react. Do you turn red? Does your jaw tighten or do your eyebrows shoot up?

Clients are going to challenge your findings and ideas all the time. He wants to make sure you can handle criticism when someone gets in your face. Defend your answer without getting defensive. It shows that you are still objective and open to reason. Remember, one of the main reasons corporations hire consulting firms is because of their objectivity. If you can remain objective about your answer, then you are one step closer to being a consultant. There is an old saying about Harvard professors: You need to carry that same mindset into your interview.

Even if you are uncertain, you need to remain confident. Rules for stress interviews: Try not to get flustered. Roll with the punches. Watch what you say; make sure that it is relevant to the interview. Remain confident. Most of these students wanted to work initially in the United States before returning to their home countries.

While many were successful, like their American classmates, the majority were not. Consulting jobs are very competitive and highly sought after. I offer three additional pieces of advice for international students. Be honest about your communication skills. Much of the interview process is driven by communication skills. Are you truly fluent in English? Do you have an accent? How pronounced is it?

A couple of years ago, I worked with a brilliant Chinese student at Harvard. He did very well in the mock case interviews I gave him; however, his language skills, particularly his presentation skills, were poor. While his understanding of English was excellent, his verbal and written skills left much to be desired.

Against my advice he applied to the Boston offices of all the top firms. Think long-term and play to your strengths. I met several times with a Russian student.

Her grades, work experience and extracurricular activities were just okay, but nothing great, so she faced some pretty stiff competition from her American classmates.

She wanted to work in New York.

Her problem was getting the first round interview. We talked about thinking long- term. If she applied to the Moscow office of these firms, she would have a significantly better chance of getting hired than if she focused on New York. She knew the language, the culture, and the economics of the region, and she had a degree from a prestigious American university.

She could work in Moscow for two years, then transfer back to the United States, which is exactly what she did. Come back to campus in case-fighting form. There are many more full-time opportunities than summer positions, but they are still very competitive.

The first step is to secure a summer job where you will be developing some of the same skills you would if you worked in a consulting firm. The second is to practice your cases over the summer.

I had a brilliant student from the Caribbean who had no business experience but plenty of great leadership experience. He received four first round summer internship interviews. He spent the summer working for a large international financial agency in Washington, DC, where he wanted to settle. He spent the summer contacting alumni who worked in the DC offices of the two major consulting firms and invited them out for lunch, coffee and beer. He learned about their firms, and he made great connections within those offices.

Every time he sipped a coffee or drank a beer with them, he asked them to give him a case question. This went on all summer long. When he returned to campus in September, he was in case-fighting form and had many supporters within each firm.

To summarize: Strengthen your communication skills. Come back to campus in fighting form. The firms are worried that if you see a problem with a client, you are going to solve it the same way you solved it when you worked in health-care. They like people who can look at a problem objectively, with no preconceived notions. They will, however, draw on your industry knowledge when building industry files.

The interview process is somewhat the same. The first round might consist of three one-hour interviews, which will have both a personal experience component to it as well as a case. They want to test your thought structure, not your industry knowledge. They will expect you to be more confident than a university candidate, more professional in your demeanor.

Another thing to remember is that you will enter the firm at the same level as a newly minted MBA unless you bring a host of clients with you. You may be reporting to someone years younger. Keep in mind that these firms are meritocracies and you can move up as quickly as your talents allow.

In fact, you want to enter at that level; it will give you time to get your sea legs and establish yourself. One last note on preparation: Be familiar with business terms and trends. Please refer to the Consulting Buzzwords section, p. You should also read The Wall Street Journal every day to keep abreast of national and world news. In other words, climb out of that academic shell and join the rest of the world. Your familiarity with business terms and trends will make it easier for you to communicate with the interviewer and demonstrate your interest in business and consulting.

Case Questions A case question is a fun, intriguing and active interviewing tool used to evaluate the multi-dimensional aspects of a candidate. They do ask case questions Case questions are the same way. Some of my students, even after they got the job, would come into my office and ask me to give them a case.

They loved doing cases. To them it was no different than working a crossword puzzle. They loved the intellectual challenge, and they learned something new every time they did one.

Often, consultants work under great pressure in turbulent environments while dealing with seemingly unmanageable problems. It takes a certain type of personality to remain cool under pressure, to influence the client without being condescending and to be both articulate and analytical at the same time.

As we said earlier, the business of consulting is really the renting of brains, packaged and delivered with an engaging and confident personality. So as you work through the case, the interviewer is asking herself: Is the candidate Before we look at some cases, it is best to understand The Case Commandments.

Follow these rules and your case interviewing life will become much easier. Listen to the Question ] Listening is the most important skill a consultant has. What are they really asking for? Pay particular attention to the last sentence — one word can change the entire case. Take Notes ] Taking notes during the case interview allows you to check back with the facts of the case.

Summarize the Question ] After you are given the question, take a moment to summarize the highlights out loud: It shows the interviewer that you listened.

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It allows you to hear the information a second time. It keeps you from answering the wrong question. Verify the Objectives ] Professional consultants always ask their clients to verify their objectives. Even if the objective seems obvious, there could be an additional, underlying objective. When the objective seems apparent, phrase the question differently: Are there any other objectives I should know about? Ask Clarifying Questions ] You ask questions for three main reasons: You should ask basic questions about the company, the industry, the competition, external market factors and the product.

The further you get into the case, the more your questions should switch from open-ended questions to closed- ended questions.

You start to get into trouble when you ask broad, sweeping questions that are hard for the interviewer to answer. Organize Your Answer ] Identify and label your case, then lay out your structure. This is the hardest part of a case, and the most crucial. It drives your case and is often the major reason behind whether you get called back. We will spend more time on this in Chapter Four. If you make a statement that is way off base in an interview, the recruiter will wonder if he can trust you in front of a client.

Manage Your Time ] Your answer should be as linear as possible. Answer from a macro level and move the answer forward. Stay focused on the original question asked. Work the Numbers ] If possible, try to work numbers into the problem.

Demonstrate that you think quantitatively and that you are comfortable with numbers. When doing calculations, explain what you are thinking and how you are going to do it. Take your time. Is she trying to guide you back on track?

Pay attention to her body language. Are you boring her? Is she about to nod off? Is she enthralled? Being coachable also means asking for help when you need it. If you run into a wall, lose your train of thought or are just in over your head, ask for help.

If you were working on an actual project and got stuck, she would much rather that you ask for help than waste time spinning your wheels. Brainstorming without commitment, as consultants call it, allows you to toss out uninhibited suggestions without being married to them. It gives you the opportunity to review all the options and eliminate the inappropriate ones.

Recruiters want people who are excited by problem-solving and can carry that enthusiasm throughout the entire interview. Review your findings, restate your suggestions and make a recommendation. Students are often afraid to make a recommendation, thinking that their analysis was faulty, so therefore their answers will be wrong. There are no wrong answers.

Just make sure your answer makes good business sense and common sense. Whether fun or frustrating, all case questions are valuable learning experiences. Some brainteasers have a definite answer; others are more flexible in their solutions. Interviewers are looking to see not only if you can come up with a good answer, but also whether you can handle the pressure. Do you get frustrated, stressed and upset? The key is to keep your cool and try to break the problem down logically.

It makes you human and more fun to be with.

Below is an example of a brainteaser with a definite answer. The Bags of Gold There are three bags of gold. One of the bags contains fake gold. All the bags and all the coins look exactly alike. There is the same number of coins in each bag.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

The real gold coins weigh one ounce each, the fake coins weigh 1. You have a one-pan penny scale and one penny, which means you can weigh something just once. You load the scale, put the penny in, and the scale spits out a piece of paper with the weight. How can you tell which bag has the fake gold?

You take one coin from the first bag of gold, two coins from the second bag and three coins from the third bag. Place them all on the scale. If the coins weigh 6.

If they weigh 6. There are numerous puzzle and brainteaser books to be found in your local bookstore. If you are worried about these types of questions, you may want to pick up one of these books. Market-sizing Questions Market-sizing questions surface all the time and can be found during any round of interviews and within many larger business case questions.

On the back of an envelope, figure out Oftentimes during market-sizing questions, all you have to work with are logic and assumptions. There are going to be instances when your assumptions are wrong. Sometimes the interviewer will correct you; other times he will let it go. The interviewer is more interested in your logic and thought process than whether your answer is correct. Everything you say has the potential to be questioned — be ready to stand behind your assumptions.

Your assumptions should be based in some sort of logic. Structure Listen to the question, then determine the type of case, population based, household, general population or preposterous. Base your assumptions on some sort of logic; otherwise the interviewer might press you on how you drew that conclusion.

You can group several assumptions into one number i. Math Estimate or round off numbers to make calculation easier. Write all numbers down. Examples are: How many gas stations are there in the US? How many garden hoses were sold in the US last year? How many pairs of boxers are sold in the US each year? How much does a weigh? Although they seem similar, these are four very different questions.

Here are some hints: They want to see how logically you answer the question. If your assumptions are too far off, the interviewer will tell you; otherwise, guesstimate. Write the numbers down. Half of your brain is trying to figure out how best to answer this question and the other half is trying to remember the sum you just figured. Write the numbers down so you can focus on the process, not the numbers. Population question I live in a town with a population of 30, There are six gas stations serving our town not really, but six divides nicely into If you tried to answer this question based on households or individuals you would quickly find yourself mired in numerous and unnecessary calculations.

Household question The population of the US is million people. The average US household is made up of 3 people, so we are talking about million households. You always want to work with million households in the US and million in Europe. That makes 50 million households.

That narrows us down to 40 million houses that most likely use a garden hose. Garden hoses are relatively inexpensive, so people are likely to have a hose in the front and a hose in the backyard. That makes 80 million hoses. I want to add in another 10 million hoses, which can be found in nurseries, zoos, and other outdoor facilities.

Most of those businesses have at least two hoses. We are now up to 90 million garden hoses. So we take 90 million hoses, divide that number by 3 and come up with 30 million garden hoses sold each year. So, if you divide million by 80, you get 4 million people per age group.

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Children ages 0 - 3 mostly wear diapers, and kids ages 4 - 9 mainly wear jockey style. Add them all together: Ask questions, then break down the elements and make assumptions. Are there passengers on board? Any baggage? Are the fuel tanks full or empty? Any food or beverages on board? Now, just go ahead and calculate the weight of each part of the plane.

Add on the cockpit, bathrooms, etc. I assume that the average weight per foot is 10 pounds, which equals 4, pounds. If the plane is feet long by 25 feet high, then about 10, exterior square feet at 1 pound per foot equals 10, pounds.

The tail, overhead bins, carpet, stairs, wiring, and bathroom fixtures add on, say, another 2, pounds. Now you add up the pieces: They may also pop up in place of stand-alone market-sizing questions during the first round interviews. Think in broad terms; try not to get too detailed. What factors would you consider when marketing a theatrical film? You would have a different marketing strategy for a Baby Boomer film then you would for a Millennial film.

Millennials spend a lot of time online. There are digital marketing agencies that develop social media Is it a branded title, like American Pie, or a new indie film without any brand recognition? This is going to determine the number of screens on which it is shown.

Ads will be placed on network TV during shows like American Idol. Billboards will be displayed as well as signs on the side of a bus — the more traditional movie marketing efforts. If it is an indie film being shown on 50 screens, then the limited budget has to be allocated toward the more viral online environment.

And because technology is changing so quickly, you need to constantly research new ways to get the word out. Business Case Questions Business case questions come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually fall into two categories: Number Cases: There are pure number cases that are really just math problems you are expected to do in your head.

Case-like number cases are about numbers. What percentage of the market share do we hold? With that we can make 39, units. What is our approximate cost per unit? How much are our labor costs? How much is your stock worth? Your commission is 2. Institutional investors hold 25,, shares.

What is the approximate percentage of shares held by institutions? By , the European Union population is expected to drop to million. What percentage change is that? Go figure: Try to estimate some of the percentages in your head, and then work out the others without a calculator. Round off the answers as you would during a case question. Worth noting, These are from a fifth-grade math test.

Every three minutes an American woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. How many American women will be diagnosed this year? One woman every three minutes equals 20 women an hour.

Twenty women diagnosed an hour times 24 hours in a day equals woman a day. In Brazil, each airline is allocated a certain number of landing spots: Airline C goes out of business and its landing spots are distributed proportionally to the other airlines.

How many spots does each airline get? You find the percentage of landing spots each airline has without C.

Next you figure out what percentage of the spots C used to have. Add them up and they total This is a popular case and one that has repeatedly turned up in interviews. Nine out of 10 students think this case is about competition.

They focus their answer on strategy and alternatives to dropping the fee. The first part of this question is not relevant. How many card members does Amex have? What is the average amount that each card member spends annually? Amex has 10 million card members. Amex Revenues: Amex card members would have to more than double their purchases to make up for the loss in fee revenues. Amex would have to more than double its card members from 10 million to about 25 million in a short period — say, two years.

Is that feasible? It took Amex 25 years to reach the 10 million customer base it currently has. So doubling it in two years seems unrealistic. My advice to Amex is to keep its fee in place.

This is a straightforward question. Listen to the question. Business Strategy and Operations Cases: Some business strategy and operations cases should be answered in less than 15 minutes. These are referred to as mini-cases.

An example: GE has invented a newlight bulb that never burns out. It could burn for more than years and never blink.

See answer on page A regular case question, like the DuPont case below, could take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes to answer. It could be a market-sizing question and a strategy question all rolled into one, such as: DuPont has just invented a lightweight, super-absorbent, biodegradable material that would be perfect for disposable diapers. Estimate the size of the diaper market and tell me if Dupont should enter this market and if so, how?

Monitor was the first to pioneer the written case. Since then they have added a few new twists to the process. The interview can go something like this: You arrive for the interview and are handed a written case usually about five pages: You are given 20 to 30 minutes to read and take notes. More often than not a discussion ensues. Chances are you will be touching on the same points you would if given a verbal case.

The consultants watch closely to see how you interact with the other candidates. To top 2. These are designed to improve relevant legislation, law enforcement, international cooperation and customer due diligence see Methodology. The overwhelming majority of countries assessed with the updated methodology so far — marked by an asterisk in the Basel AML Index — have received dramatically lower scores for effectiveness than for technical compliance. The increase may partly be due to improved detection mechanisms and more availability of data.

Another factor is changes in the Financial Secrecy Index, which automatically assigns a raised level of risk to countries with a large share in the global financial sector see Methodology. Even beyond that, many low-risk countries have issues that need to be addressed, for example related to beneficial ownership or politically exposed persons. Recent money laundering scandals involving countries that are rated as low-risk countries on the Basel AML Index are a case in point.

To top 4. For example, despite improvements in indicators relating to corruption, financial transparency and public transparency, Slovenia still deteriorated in its overall score due to a huge increase in its financial secrecy rating. Taking a holistic approach to tackling money laundering issues is therefore essential.It is not possible to provide shear reinforcement in extruded Hollow Core slabs.

Some business strategy and operations cases should be answered in less than 15 minutes. Now that you understand the structure of the interview for the first round, the subsequent rounds are not all that different. Join Us.

Number Cases: How would you feel if someone accepted your dinner invitation because their first choice fell through? Tumor metabolic parameters [maximum standardized uptake value SUVmax , metabolic tumor volume MTV , and total lesion glycolysis TLG ] were retrospectively assessed in a consecutive cohort of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer patients undergoing primary chemo- radiation.

Pull out your list of questions and ask three or four. The proposed beam is designed to be used with precast columns, hollow-core planks, and a cast-in-place topping to create a moment- Structure Evaluation Engineers, Inc.

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