Darden Consulting Case Book

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DARDEN CONSULTING CASE BOOK
2012-2013 EDITION

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. The Consulting Case Interview
1. Structure of the Case Interview 2. Frameworks 3. The Math

2. Company Overviews & Interview Processes 3. Practice Cases 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Bike DVD Rental Service in NYC Dry Wall Competitive Threat Organ Donation Case Central Power Chemicals, Inc. Hospital Profitability Contact Lens Manufacturer Growth

TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONT’D)
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. E-commerce in the Airline Industry Big Green Biofuels New Rubber Plant Investment Asian Mobile Service Provider Radiator Lens for Defense Aircraft Capital Investment for Utility Electric Car Manufacturer Growth Miner’s Dilemma Big Truck Company Auto Spare Parts Machine Company Non-Profit Revenue Decline Gas Liquefaction

4. Acknowledgements

THE CONSULTING CASE INTERVIEW

STRUCTURE OF THE CASE INTERVIEW
The consulting case interview typically lasts between 20-30 minutes and consists of the following parts: • • • • • Case Overview / Prompt Clarifying Questions Structure / Framework Building & Explanation Problem Solving & Analysis Recommendation

The interview should be highly conversational and interactive. Depending on the firm, and depending on the round, some interviews can be more structured than others. Please see the subsequent section for more information on firm-specific preferences and formats.

STRUCTURE OF THE CASE INTERVIEW
Case Overview / Prompt
The case interview will start with the interviewer providing an overview of the client and the problem. Take diligent notes during this, as the overview will contain crucial hints and information that you will need later on in the case. Make sure you summarize the key points back to the interviewer to make sure you capture all the information correctly. Also, confirm the objective with the interviewer.

Clarifying Questions
After synthesizing the case facts, now is an opportunity to ask some clarifying questions. These questions should be general in nature rather than specific, and should help shed some light on the client’s customer base, industry positioning, competition, and other relevant macro factors (think Porter’s Five Forces) that will help you with your structure. These questions can also ask for clarification on a term or phrase provided in the case overview, or ask for a concrete benchmark of a case goal (eg. “By revenue growth, is there a specific target or time horizon to keep in mind?”). Do not ask more than 3-5 clarifying questions.

STRUCTURE OF THE CASE INTERVIEW
Structure / Framework Building and Explanation
At this point of the interview, you should ask for some time to sketch out your framework. It is sometimes a good idea to rewrite the objective on top of your framework, and then structure a couple of areas of analysis, with some drilldown where appropriate. Please see the following section, “The Framework” for more detail. After you finish structuring your framework (do not take more than 2 minutes to do this), present your framework (and a hypothesis) to the interviewer.

Problem Solving and Analysis

After talking through the framework with your interviewer, immediately point to the area of analysis that you’ll like to start for. Do not wait for the interviewer to prompt you with “Where would you like to start?”. Choose an area that is more general (eg. market sizing) or that get right to the heart of the issue (eg. for a case that is exploring profit decline, and your hunch is that it’s a revenue issue vs. a cost issue, start off with revenue). At this point your interviewer will present you more information, especially data. In general, the analysis will start off with some calculations or chart-reading, and then will move into a more qualitative/strategic direction where you’re asked to come up with some ideas. Keep in mind that this whole interview should be conversational in nature and listen carefully for hints....
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