Raghav Sally is currently a second-year MBA student at IIM Lucknow. He is due to join BCG after securing PPO post his internship with the company. At IIM L, he is a core member of the Consulting and Strategy Club and co-leads the Live projects vertical. Recently, the team launched 'CSC Briefcase', India's first-ever Consult preparation mobile app by a B-school consult club. Prior to this, he had a 22-month stint at BCG as a researcher. He also secured a fast-track promotion. In 2019, he was also awarded the P&G emerging leader. Raghav is a B. Com(H) graduate from Hindu College, Delhi University & was a core member at the Placement Cell of the college.
Personally, Raghav is a firm believer in the rhetoric of Self-belief. He is passionate about trekking and sports in general. He is a keen follower of cricket, FC Barcelona & Formula 1.
How I Bagged A PPO From BCG
1)Hi Raghav, Tell us in brief about how you prepared for summer placement interviews?
At IIM L, preparing for case interviews is almost a 3-4 weeks journey. It started with understanding the basic frameworks used while solving cases. I started with profitability cases, then moved to the business abstract and market entry. I think having strong basics is important before diving into the tougher cases. Once I had my basics sorted and confidence boosted, I moved on to tougher cases and case types like growth strategy, etc.
Another important thing that I did was, I had a case group (2-3 people/friends preparing for case interviews) who used to make each other do cases that they had done throughout the day. We used to discuss the potential solutions and how can we improve the structuring and be MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) while solving.
All this time, I was also creating master frameworks for the customer journey,4Ps, market-entry, and macro analysis. Creating these served many other purposes which included, developing a structured thought process and revision of the structures for the interviews. In fact, some of them have overlapping use in new product development and growth strategy cases as well. So, in a way, we were preparing for them as well.
2) What is the summer internship process like for BCG?
The process for hiring summer interns is similar to any other firm. It starts with CV shortlisting. Once you are shortlisted, a buddy and a mentor are assigned to you who will help you throughout the rest of the process. One can ask both preparations-related as well as firm-related doubts. The buddy helps you in solving some of the cases as well. Then, the firm organizes a Case Solving Workshop for the shortlisted candidates. A week before the interviews, the firm organizes a dinner with Managing Director and Partners which is again another opportunity to interact with the BCG-ers and get one's doubts clarified. Finally, the interviews are majorly case focussed with some HR questions asked as well.
3) What were the reasons you think that you cracked the interview?
I think a sustained effort to practice and revise the cases backed by my self-belief that I can crack the interview are the reasons I was able to crack the interview. There will be many vicissitudes in the whole journey. It is extremely important to stay confident and keep working towards the goal.
4) Tell us about your day-to-day work as an intern at BCG?
The one thing about consulting is that you have newer challenges as well as newer achievements every day. So, there is not much to say about day-to-day work. However, my day used to start with prioritizing my work for the day and a check-in with the team. Then, we had another team check-in in the evening wherein we would discuss what has been accomplished and what is to be done before we close for the day.
5) What according to you, you did right to achieve the PPO from BCG?
Since we were working from home, I think it was very important to be reachable and set clear expectations regarding the scope of the work and timelines. Another important thing is to always ask questions if you are stuck and not sure what to do. There is no harm in asking for clarifications. I had checked with my team around what is their preferred mode of communication. I used the same mode of communication to always get in touch quickly and not waste much of the time. At times, the work assigned has some external dependencies. It is always preferred to get those cleared right away and then one can start working on them once such dependencies are sorted out.
I used to have stickies on my desktop wherein I used to write the priority order of each of the tasks at hand and kept updating their status every 3-4 hours. This way I never missed anything on the plate and was also able to deliver on time.
6) What are the most cherished moments of your internship?
By far, the most cherished moment was when I got a call from the Partner on the case that I was being offered a PPO. However, during the journey of 2 months, the team had a lot of Fun Friday nights where all of us would play poker and other fun games. These are some memories to cherish for life.
7) One piece of advice to the candidates who are looking for consulting roles in BCG?
My only advice to all the consulting aspirants is to always keep believing in yourself and never get bogged down by any downfalls. Instead, they should learn from the mistakes and come back even stronger. Wishing you all, All the very best for your aspirations!
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