Consulting after PhD?

A Chemistry/Material Science PhD student midway through his first year here (24 yo). I am wondering if consulting is an option for me as science job in the UK generally do not pay particularly well (and I am not interested in academia). 

May I ask if consulting after PhD is possible/how common is this? How could I prepare myself for it if I decide to choose this path? I go to a respectable but non-target though (think top 10/15 in the UK depends on ranking).

Comments (4)

Most Helpful
Jul 1, 2022 - 7:19am
DrApeman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi There,

I also did a PhD, although in social science rather than hard science, and I am at MBB in the UK, so first of all, this is definitely possible. And one of the partners here has a PhD in physics, so it's not unheard of, even among top brass.

As for what you can do to prepare, I'd suggest approaching it as methodically as possible:

1. Start by reading up on case prep material, watching case interview videos on YT, and browsing the likes of PrepLounge, CaseCoach, or ManagementConsulted for a ton of free info to get you started. It will help you get a better sense of what you are getting yourself into.

2. Look up some case interview prep books (the PDFs are usually easily found online) from NYU stern, Darden, MIT, Wharton, INSEAD and so on.

3. Then, if you are really interested in it, I would recommend you try and contact people at firms you find interesting (MBB, life science specialists, etc.) and see if any of them have a few minutes to spare to talk about their job, their company, and their experience there. You can narrow it down by people with PhDs or by alumni from your school. Look them up on LinkedIn and send a short introductory message asking for a 10 mins chat either online or in person if they are up for it and nearby.

4. If you are still interested by then, it will be time for case prep, so I am linking 3 answers I gave to other threads about the topic and applying in general, I hope this helps.

Links: (1) Case Prep Timeline, (2) General Application Tips, and (3) CV and LinkedIn recommendations.

Also note that there is a ton of info on this forum, and most of it applies widely to PhDs and non-PhDs alike. Best of luck!

Jul 1, 2022 - 7:40am
imonlybaiting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

100% agreed.

To add to that, go check if your university has some sort of consulting society or student consultancy. Best place to network, and will also teach you case studies.

I know a bunch of people who moved into consulting after their STEM PhD via that route.

Jul 1, 2022 - 8:25am
Frieds, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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