Feedback Intro To Problem Solving 2011

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  • 1. +MBA ConsultingCurriculum 2011-12:Feedback on Problemsolving Workshop Introduction to Creative Problem Solving for Case Interviews J-P Martins Head of Consulting Careers October 2011
  • 2. + Intro  This session is an introductory workshop, run for around 160 first year MBAs  It aims to give an experiential introduction to what a case interview is, and a simple 4-stage process to apply in tackling all cases (this will not solve the problems – it is a process, not a framework or structure)  The workshop is completely outsourced to Booz and Co, who deliver it using staff and sponsored students as facilitators  Booz does this at zero price – it gives them a very early contact point with a key recruiting pool  The event is the kick-off event in the MBA course ‘Creative Problem Solving for Case Interviews’ – further events include  Presentations on practical tools and techniques (entirely devoted to a range of structures and frameworks) and on advanced/differentiating approaches  Small group practice on a case  3 x 1:1 mock case interviews for every student  This year, following pressure from MiF students, we opened signup to MiFs  The venue was switched form LT6 to RCOG a week before the event – signed up students were informed and the Career Central entry changed  RCOG does not allow drinks to be taken in by students
  • 3. + Summary  The event was very positively received  Room for improvement exists  Definitely need to add breaks, access to hot drinks  Communicate better – aims, logistics, what this is and what it is not (eg 1:1 practice, recruiter networking etc)  Consider whether it is appropriate to invite MiFs – the event is pitched at MBAs and may not be up to MiFs’ standards of problem solving  50% of students that mentioned the name of the consulting firm got it wrong, naming Bain and BCG instead of Booz. Consider better promotion (although slides, handouts were labelled and there was a big banner at the front!)  Improve consistency and number of table facilitators  Improve Ops support – late venue change and table layout were not ideally handled  Ultimately, we are constrained by lack of access to students and budget here. The workshop needs to be a full day, and to cater for demand of 150-180 students, near the start of term. Problems arise from trying to squeeze it in to ½ day, being constrained as to when we can hold it (clashed with Booz’s 2nd year interviews) and having no budget – we are delivering this at essentially zero cost
  • 4. + Intro to Consulting Careers: 98% would recommend it strongly The format and content of the workshop 1 23 30 were excellent The presenters and facilitators were 21 24 27 engaging and informative The event was well organised - logistics 1 27 26 and venue were appropriate I would strongly recommend this event to 1 15 37 next years first year MBA students 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Disagree Strongly Disagree Agree Agree Strongly Response rate: 53/144 (37%)
  • 5. + Comments
  • 6. + Comments: format and content Too basic for my own needs but might have been informative for first- Comment from a year MBAs MiF One of the best workshops delivered by career services to date The practise sessions were good, as well as the mock demo. However, due to the large group sizes it is difficult to understand entirely how it would work in practise. However, for an intro session this was probably OK Great introduction with the focus on led practise
  • 7. + Comments: presenter and facilitators Zaid (our facilitator) was outstanding I was very impressed by the Booz & co staff. In particular the main presenter Phil Coghlan was very clear and structured in his explanation of how to tackle cases Strong Lauren was friendly and effective, giving us a very systematic approach The facilitator at my table was excellent Presenter was very strong. Facilitator did not seem to always have a strongest language skills The presenter was great, but our group instructor was really disappointing, didnt share inputs from her experience as a consultant but just navigate the Mixed discussion between the students. It turned out to be just a forum of students talking about strategy I was surprised that the presenters did not have more impact - given the importance of this factor in consulting interviews. They were competent, but not as engaged and enthusiastic as I would have hoped Weak Facilitator in my table could have been more informative, otherwise ok The facilitator at my table was hugely disappointing
  • 8. + Comments: logistics and venue Tables good! Great to have tables - better than a lecture theatre Include a 5-10 minute bathroom break - 4 hours can be a long period without one But give us a But should have scheduled short break break! Would have loved to have access to some tea/coffee during the session! Perhaps coffee or a short break would be helpful - i was digging deep after 4 hours straight on a friday afternoon Good to have some coffee available next time The venue was appropriate for the format of the session. However - the venue on career central was incorrectly stated as LT6, which then conflicted with the reminder e- Venue/comms mails. Additionally, I find it frustrating that the RCOG does not allow drinks, and then the coffee provided at the event was only for the facilitators. Whilst this is a small point, problems I would have appreciated having coffee in the morning - I had in fact bought a coffee along not realising that the venue had changed and had to leave it behind not drunk There was no clear message saying that the workshop was transferred to the ROCG. In portal it was still LT6. Many people went to the wrong place and ended up arriving late at the workshop Clearer communication of the room change would have been appreciated It felt like the tables had a few too many people at them- we had to find extra chairs so Too few everyone had somewhere to sit facilitators/ However, there was not enough for one facilitator per table and after 5 mins our table groups too large had to alert Booz that we were lacking someone. Also, the venue was a bit too cold - small comment but it was the view of most of the other people
  • 9. + Comments: overall recommendation Good for people like me with no crack a case experience. I would not recommend it to people with consulting experience As a basic foundation in case interview technique this was extremely helpful. I look forward to building on the experience in future sessions I am a MiF student Very useful intro for those who have never seen cases before
  • 10. + What should we do more of? ‘Nothing’ – 18 comments N/A (x 9) Nothing (x 2) I thought that everything was well organized. I dont have any specific recommendations for improvements Nothing. The timing of the day was perfect. 4 hours was a sufficient time to cover everything. The pace of the main BCG senior associate was very good It was really helpful It was Booz! Honestly, keep it the same For 4 hours of time… this was just perfect. Nothing more Was well balanced, adding something wont necessarily improve Perfect
  • 11. + What should we do more of? ‘Cases’ – 15 comments More live interviews More detail on different case types might have been useful (eg. what different types of outcome/answer could you expect from each case type?) Analyse more scenarios/cases. Exercise on a case where no pre-existing framework could be applied Give examples of problems that require different structures to analyze Structures and case studies More practise in smaller sessions - but understand that this is difficult to facilitate whilst allowing most people a chance of attending the workshop too Analyze more types of cases during the session; however given the time limit this was not possible More example cases to take away to look at Examples Practice of cases, although this would have required more time Cases Different structures I would have liked one more case study something on the lines of M&A, but I do understand the time constraints Maybe one or two more cases so that we could be exposed to all types Use of different frameworks instead of mostly focussing on profitability framework
  • 12. + What should we do more of? ‘Breaks’, ‘feedback’, ‘1:1s’ Have access to hot beverages Have tea/coffee Breaks, drinks Break I think it was good the way it was. Except that there could have been a 15 minute break for those who had to go to the bite and get a coffee Get students involved more, engaged more. We worked well on the cases Alternative within our groups, but the presentation of the answers was incredibly dull. The presenter can help move things along in this respect. facilitation The session was quite balanced between theory and practice. I think every benefited from the group interactions. Would have appreciated more feedback from facilitator on approach and examples of better approaches More feedback, more details on approaches Got students to work in pairs in each table in the framework building phase, rather than having all 7 or 8 people dive in at once, perhaps? One-on-one Time for another case, maybe a verbal case interview with one person Students are More one on one training guaranteed access to More one-on-one sessions 1:1s later in the course
  • 13. + What should we do more of? ‘Other’ It would have been good to know that this was a workshop aimed at first-year MBA students and The MiF again thus very basic in content. Many of the MiF students who are in the process of interviewing already (myself included) found this workshop not very helpful due to its basic level. Knowing that in advance we could have allocated our time more efficiently. …but this wasn’t More of these kinds of workshops. The facilitator was open and gave us insights into the Booz style about Booz of interviews. If we could do the same across the board, with as many companies as possible, the cases, it was potential applicants will have a strong base before the recruitment season starts next term. about cases in Thought process training general… time for another case, maybe a verbal case interview with one person Later in the More one on one training course! More one-on-one sessions Possibly have a break between the two case studies to talk to the people from Booz casually about Other general consulting information opportunities – Informal chat / Networking this is training I think that less students per instructor would have helped a lot
  • 14. + What should we do less of? ‘Nothing’ – 36 comments N/A (x 9) No problems really Nothing (x 7) All ok - (x 3) Nothing really…very good session. Thank you None (x 2) Everything was informational, and had no . (x 2) room for reduction No specific recommendations This was a great workshop, I learnt a lot Everything was useful, thanks! from it. I would keep most of the elements of the workshop. Thanks! It was really helpful Nil Everything was good Perfect I am yet to see a wide variety of events offered by career services to make a No qualified comment here
  • 15. + What should we do less of? Audience participation Less repetition (plenary), more The main speaker had a tendency to bring things back to his own ideas and the discussions he had with his group, rather than letting other ideas and conversations develop breakout (plenary) Less discussion after the group work which might have left time to cover another case It felt like the wash up after we went through the first case was a little repetitive with multiple groups saying the same thing – one group summarising might have sufficed Less time for Less time on audience participation breakouts Shorter discussion of cases afterwards, since we have discussed the outcome with the facilitator at the table Perhaps a couple breaks would have been nice, the afternoon was too long More (!) breaks The content was good. The pace should have been quicker and students should be more engaged Faster pace Maybe shorten the time to solve a case on the tables in order to be able to see one or two more examples of potential structures Less time doing the initial excercise in which we had to separate Profits into Cost and Revenue and then analysing Porters 5 Fs. It felt too long and not adding much value And it’s Booz, not Bain! The collection of opinions around the tables was time consuming and did not add too much value. Most of the value derived from the cases discussion in our own table. The Bain consultant at our table was fantastic. He ran through the case as if it was a real interview and he provided specific feedback to each single of us
  • 16. + What should we do less of? Faster pace, The second case in our group was finished in half an hour, therefore I felt that less time could have been allocated to this part of the session – and maybe allow more time for another practise shorter workshop Too much time spent solving the case. We were done in 40 minutes and just sat around for 20 more waiting for the allotted 60 min to be over It could be shorter Letting people ramble - quite a few examples of people focusing on detail or process rather than listening Better students to a question and answering Short workshop – full day is better Longer workshop