Monday, November 29, 2010

The most useful class for consulting?

I was speaking to a Kellogg alum from the BCG Dallas office over the Thanksgiving break, and we got on the topic of what is the most useful class at Kellogg for consulting. In their opinion, Marketing Research is the most useful class. They said that it is almost guaranteed that you will have to do a survey within your first year on the job.

When I was asking around about this last year, Financial Decisions came up the most often. Now that I've just about wrapped up the class, I can definitely attest to how useful and awesome it is (Prof. Raviv rocks!).

That's why I was a little surprised by their answer, but the more I think about it, the more possible it seems that the class is at least a contender for the top spot. Why? Because when you come up with hypotheses, you then need to find data that you can analyze to prove or disprove your hypotheses. And Marketing Research is one of the primary ways to gather data from/about consumers. Boom! In fact, during the internship I learned about a conjoint analysis that had recently been conducted for a project, leading to some incredible insights (it was a big deal).

I'm a bit bummed that I took Marketing Research during my busiest quarter, so I wasn't able to spend a lot of time on it. Next quarter, I plan on at least reviewing the fantastic course summary that Prof. Lee prepared for us, and possibly looking over the course textbook (although it is kind of a rough read).


  1. I'd have to agree that Mkgt Res is far more important than FinD. Why? Firstly the modeling you do in consulting, or even moreso in investment banking is not as advanced as Fin-D. APV? Never used on the street. Valuations are triangulated across multiple methodologies, the majority of which rely on standard multiples (7th grade algebra). However, for when you do those DCFs, it's far more important that your assumptions going into the model are accurate than the advanced-ness of the model itself. And to validate these assumptions, you will need to leverage your research skills, whether it be picking comps or forensic accounting on whatever asset you're trying to value. is FinD a good class. Yes. Is it the most important class. No. And besides, you will not remember most of the modeling done anyway there after you graduate.

  2. Wow! Thank you very much for the detailed, and insightful, answer. I can't wait to actually get back to work and see all of this first hand.