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  • Understanding the norms of consulting vs. grad school

    Michelle Stohlmeyer, PhD
    Career Paths
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    When I first started to prepare for consulting interviews, I, like many non-MBA graduate students, remember trying to learn business frameworks. I would get the 3 Cs (customer, company and competition) confused with the 4 Ps (product, price, promotion, place) and I never totally grasped Porter’s Five Forces. In reality, none of the frameworks worked that well, and I found I was better off focusing on the key questions. However, as a tribute to my earlier confusion, I offer up my 5 Cs as for comparing the norms of consulting vs. grad school: curiosity, collegiality, collaboration, control, and communication. Curiosity The desire to spend four or more years of one’s life in graduate school shows intellectual curiosity and a commitment to these endeavors. In grad school, the effort is typically focused on a single topic and ...