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Top Reads to Break into Consulting and Succeed

By Daniel Nguyen

Unlike careers in medicine, law or priesthood, one doesn’t require seven, eight or ten years of education to break into consulting. However, it might often seem that way. Statistically, more and more top business school grads are gravitating towards a career in Management Consulting, so competition has never been tougher. Here are some books that have helped tremendously in preparing me not only on how to break in to consulting, but how to succeed once I got there.

  1. The McKinsey Way – Ethan M. Rasiel

Quick Glance: The McKinsey Way gives you a quick glimpse into the life of a McKinsey Consultant. The book discussed in simple terms how to run a meeting, how to sell yourself, your business and your ideas, and how to train yourself to think like a consultant.

Why Read? Ethan’s shallow dive into the McKinsey way lessens the learning curve associated with many consultancies.

  1. Case Interview Secrets – Victor Cheng

Quick Glance: Considered to be the bible for preparing for case interviews. Whether you are brand new to the process or a seasoned vet, this book is the gold standard in giving you the tools to better structure your thoughts, apply logic throughout a case and present and synthesize ideas effectively and coherently.

Why Read? Case Interview Secrets walks you through each stage in the case interview process and the examples at the back are good primers to the real thing.

  1. Smarter, Faster, Better – Charles Duhigg

Quick Glance: In this book, Charles Duhigg uses captivating real-world examples to convey ideas on how to improve yourself, your way of thinking and even your business.

Why Read? A big part of consulting is being able to convey ideas to clients using anecdotes and stories to be more relatable and effective.

  1. HBR’s 10 Must Reads: The Essentials

Quick Glance: The Essentials are precisely that – the basic requirements of business knowledge that you need to understand how businesses operate in their respective ecosystems.

Why Read? You are often expected to learn quickly when placed on a new study or engagement. Having a working business knowledge can provide the necessary context to help make sense of things.