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Harvard National Consulting Competition

Angela Son (BCom ’15) – Harvard National Consulting Competition 2014

Time: May 3rd, 2014

Featured Speakers: Oliver Wyman, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Fidelity, Bain, CEB, L.E.K, and APT


The Harvard National Consulting Competition was an excellent opportunity for personal, professional, and academic development. Personally, it was my first time visiting a city in the East Coast outside of Canada, so I was able to enjoy and observe the various aspects of the historical city.

The seafood in Boston is a must-try!

Professionally, I was able to meet students from some of the top American colleges, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Brown, and compete with the head to head. Winning second place reaffirmed my belief that hard work and intelligence cannot and should not be determined by a brand. Lastly, I reaped academic benefits from the competition. We were asked to come up with a five-year implementation strategy for Amazon to use the drone technology. In the process of coming up with the strategy, we had to talk to various technicians, business professionals, and conduct thorough secondary research. Through the process, I learned a lot about Amazon as a company as well as the trends of e-commerce.

All in all, the competition was highly enjoyable and educational. I thank the ExCO team in advance for their contribution to my trip.

Natalie Tang (BCom’15)- Harvard National Consulting Competition 2014

Time: May 3rd, 2014

Featured Speakers: Oliver Wyman, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Fidelity, Bain, CEB, L.E.K, and APT


I am Natalie Tang, a 4th year business student with a specialization in finance. At the end of my 3rd year, I attended and competed in the Harvard National Consulting Competition (HNCC) in Boston. I discovered HNCC through my brother, who is currently studying in Boston University. He convinced me to compete in HNCC with him as an opportunity to immerse myself into the unfamiliar world of consulting and of the east coast.

Prior to landing in Boston, the journey in coming up with a 5-year implementation plan for Amazon’s drone initiative was rewarding. The difficulty of the case was magnified by long distance as the team comprised of a student in Boston, two in San Francisco and two in Vancouver. Through the challenge of finding mutual times and communicating virtually, I learned to appreciate and drive effective meetings, task delegation, and information sharing.

When we arrived in Boston, we were fortunate to live in a Harvard dorm. As we tirelessly slaved away, we fit right into the final exams season. We studied in the Harvard common room, migrated to Boston University’s study rooms and ate at the cafeterias. I still vividly remember the pleasant surprise in discovering the unlimited supply of snacks at night for Harvard students. Team bonds were strengthened through working on the case and exploring Boston city. New relationships were formed as we went beyond our comfort levels in interacting with strangers.

Beyond the excitement of exploring an unfamiliar location, the conference and competition combination led to an enriching and holistic experience. Through the conference, I met individuals from top-notch schools, including UPenn, UMichigan, and Brown University. I networked and attended workshops by professionals from Oliver Wyman, McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. I listened to keynote speakers who described their work and the interview process in-depth. By the end, I had a much better understanding of what a consultant’s work entailed. It was interesting to understand the interaction between consultants and investment bankers / venture capitalists, as well as how our team (which composed of 4 finance majors) approached the case from a different light than the traditional consulting mind.

Through the competition, it was inspiring to hear other teams’ recommendations, their rationale, and the judges’ feedback. I became well-versed in the rising trend of automation, which excited me as a tech junkie. Since returning from HNCC, I have been able to transfer the insights gained to various conversations as well as to my entrepreneurial pursuits.

I would highly recommend HNCC to anyone with the slightest interest in consulting, or anyone with an entrepreneurial mind who wants practical strategic thinking experiences. For the many west coasters who have not been to the east coast, HNCC’s location in Boston is invaluable.


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