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What are the most common pieces of feedback you all give to your juniors? I’m curious to hear what other managers tend to fixate on/see in juniors! Also for juniors, what are the most common pieces of feedback you receive?

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I give feedback on how to think about the work, rather than the output directly. Same concept of teach a man how to fish


Have a defense for every input into a model. It should be documented and defensible. May or may not share all assumptions with client, but the justification should be written down for internal review.

I once had a director call a "junior" (3rd year in consulting) for something unrelated to the project and then at the end casually ask how the project was going. The consultant blurted out something asinine like, "The model is built but we haven't been able to find any data for any of the assumptions."

Right after the call the kid called me in a bit of a panic to give me a heads up that our cover was blown and the director might be pissed😂

I explained to him that I had been asking him to share the draft we'd been working on together (which he kept asking for more time to clean before sending) because everything I'd had him taking notes on were the basis for the inputs and I'd been spending much of my time tracking down reasonable assumptions and the Excel "scratch work" was some of the defense as well.

When we presented to the client two days later (early in fast-paced project, first pass at whether the opportunities *could* be profitable) the client, as expected, started asking probing questions about the cost assumptions and justification for price. I had strong answers.

Apparently the consultant had no idea how to sound confident about something with so much ambiguity and uncertainty. Immediately after the presentation, he looked at me wide-eyed and said, "You had a story for EVERY number."
Me: Yeah, that's our job.
Him: Good feedback! Have a story for every number.
Me out loud: Yep. Let me show you some helpful ways to document these in Excel
Me in my head: How have you been doing this for three years and not known you can't give a client a number without a story?

I can only assume he'd been staffed on projects where the analysis was based on lots of quality data, which has seldom been the case on my engagements.


Yeah, I was an MBA hire and from the very start worked on very vague questions, usually related to growth opportunities. Never had the luxury of working from a template (other than creating a few).

But I was pretty educated in math and logic, and I've always been naturally good at making up and telling stories, so strategy consulting seemed like a natural fit.

But yeah I saw a lot of consultants with 2-3 years of experience be given a workstream without a template and struggle, even when the question wasn't overly vague.

While I hate case interviews, that type of thinking to come up with an approach (that's not a memorized framework) is pretty valuable and not something to learn for interviews and forget.

Feedback I typically give juniors at the start or end of the engagement / traits I’ve seen that make people successful

Be proactive, success looks like u telling me what I need to do (I.r. Review this slide) rather than the other way around
- attention to detail - the best juniors always have great attention to detail
- ability to get things done - having a go , even if it’s incorrect, but at least being able to complete the 1st draft of something without leaving anything empty


A manager told me I should be more agreeable otherwise I’m not likely to go far within the firm 🧐

That's petty and my experience leads me to believe it's those people who won't be successful in the long run. You have to build up your team if you want them to stick with you when they have other options. If you want to delight your client, it helps to have great consultants, so treat them well and earn their "loyalty." (Always be loyal to yourself first)


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