Practice Makes Perfect: USD’s Management Consulting Association Prepares Students for the Future

"Crack the Case" with Dean David Pyke

“Crack the Case” with Dean David Pyke

Can you crack the case?…

“Your nephew runs a lemonade stand. Yesterday was Monday and he was open from 2pm – 5pm, and sold 2 cups. What should he do differently tomorrow? “ This is an actual question McKinsey and Company asked interviewees. It seems that this question is exceedingly simple to answer at first glance. In truth, it is very easy compared to some exceptionally complex case interview questions that many management consulting agencies ask. That being said, the answer to the lemonade stand conundrum must be structured, convincing and rooted in hard analysis. Consulting agencies expect their employees to be analytical, effective communicators that are able to solve complex problems on the spot.  The case interview is a method of screening people that don’t demonstrate the requisite skills sets needed in the consulting industry.

USD’s Management Consulting Association (MCA), lead by Michael Ellison (evening MBA), is helping students sharpen the skill sets that top-level consulting agencies such as Accenture, McKinsey, KPMG and Deloitte are looking for in prospective employees. To develop it’s members, the MCA offers students an inside look at consulting through the eyes of highly successful industry consultants, professors and our very own business school chief, Dean David Pyke.

Events such as “lunch and learns” with the above mentioned experts, mock case interviews with consultants, and networking opportunities on and off campus are ideal for students hungry for knowledge and seeking self-improvement beyond the class room.  The MCA has grown it’s membership significantly this fall semester as a result of the association’s hard working board members who have put together a robust schedule of events for students. The events add value to students looking for a consulting career and students like me that just want to learn more about a dynamic and challenging industry. Additionally, the case interview preparation that I do with fellow students helps me sharpen my business acumen, analytical skills and interview skills. In just a few lousy attempts at cracking a case interview question, I’ve improved my ability to break down a business problem within minutes, engage the interviewer and present a viable solution. That in itself has been valuable to me as a member. For further information check out MCA on facebook ( , LinkedIn (Management Consulting Association-USD) or email

Written by Paul Pintek, 1st year IMBA student. Prior to enrolling at USD Paul served for 7 years as an Officer in the US Marines.

About paulpintek

Paul Pintek, 1st year IMBA student. Prior to enrolling at USD Paul served for 7 years as an Officer in the US Marines.
This entry was posted in Accenture, Case Interview, Deloitte, KPMG, Management Consulting, MBA Job Placement, McKinsey, networking, teamwork and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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