How to get into consulting from PHD

Hi guys,

I know PHDs are usually supposed to go into academia, but a previous thread (which I deleted because I realized it was too specific and might reveal my identity to the school, lol) convinced me that the school I could go to for the PHD program has just a much higher prestige factor than the economic consulting firm I would go to instead.

Therefore my question now is that if I know after my five years doing research, I want to recruit for MBB or other consulting opportunities. How should I build my resume during this time? Any specific way you would recommend I network? And any other advice you think would be useful.

More info: operations phd inside the business school, the research will be drawn from companies coming to my professor to solve a problem. Basically academic consulting.

Thanks

Comments (107)

11y 
conrath, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks Redninja. Which PHD traits framework were you talking about? Was it this page?

http://www.mckinsey.com/careers/is_mckinsey_right_for_me/backgrounds_like_yours/other_advanced_professional_degrees/PhD.aspx#top

9y 
Hayek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Litigation consulting (NERA, Brattle, CRA, etc.)

9y 
lmb1234, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I second Hayek. I met someone from LECG who had an accounting Phd at a recruiting event

Best Response
11y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I posted this in a previous thread and am just copying and pasting since it's mostly relevant to you... To the above poster, McK hires more PhD's than BCG. The percent by class might be the same, but McK has about twice as many consultants. Their recruiting for PhDs is also more extensive than BCG. Both hire many, many more PhDs than Bain. If you have further questions, just ask. I went through recruiting last fall, so it's fresh on my mind.

From a previous post of mine... The hardest part for you will be getting an interview. None of my interviews occurred on campus so you won't have to go to the local target school. There were definitely people from non-targets at the same time I interviewed. You should however, inquire about going to recruitment events at the target school only so that you can learn more about the firms and make connections. Connections with the company will help you get an interview. Connections with other students will help you prepare for interviews. Leverage alumni contacts, both from grad and undergrad, to help you get an interview.

Since you're early in your track, here is my advice: - Take a couple econ, finance, management courses as they interest you and fit in your schedule. It'll show that you have interest in business. - Apply to McKinsey's Insight and BCG's Bridge to BCG summer programs. They are short 3-4 day intro-to-consulting programs for PhD/MD/JD students. They are great for making connections. If you are invited, they will give you a first round interview. Even if you are not invited, it puts you on their radar. - If your program allows you, apply for an internship. I've heard from other PhD students that did well in interviews but did not get offered an internship, that they were asked to skip the first round interview and proceed straight to the final round.

MBB does not hire PhD's because they have a specific background, but rather because they are good with numbers and models. That being said, they also need PhD's to have other strong skills too, like communication, leadership experiences, and a pattern of being successful. Your academic accomplishments (fellowship papers) demonstrate that you are successful. Find ways to show that you are a leader and good on teams and you'll have all the traits they are looking for for give you an interview.

  • 4
9y 
BTbanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Single Malt Whiskey" needs to go.

9y 
Neighbor, what's your opinion? Comment below:
BTbanker:
"Single Malt Whiskey" needs to go.
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
9y 
df86, what's your opinion? Comment below:
BTbanker:
"Single Malt Whiskey" needs to go.

Why? It seems to be a pretty widespread interest. Plenty of consultants are into it and I've discussed whisky recommendations with them before. I don't see how it hurts me. It's not like it says JD & Coke. I suppose one could argue it makes me look like a wannabe yuppie douchebag, but isn't that why people go into consulting/finance in the first place?

melvvvar:
none of your interests makes me want to have you around 18 hours a day around crunch time.

What would?

iamamonkeybanker:
OP, what the hell is "molecular cooking"?

http://www.thefatduck.co.uk

phdconsultant:
My first sign of fluff is A+ in departmental seminar. Cripes...no one gets less than an A in those things. They are the most worthless classes. I am left wanting something more meaty.

Granted, but I figured that there will be a presumption that a PhD will have awful communication skills and I thought that putting that in would go some way to avoid that stereotype. Is everyone at a firm going to know that everyone gets an A? Also, I did once hear of someone getting an A-.

phdconsultant:
At least elaborate on what you did your research on. You spend 5 years on research full time and give it less air time than your 7 month stint as a part time volunteer. How does that experience make me want to interview you? What's kills can you highlight?

Does a consultant really want to hear in depth what I did in my PhD? It's very basic sciency despite the solar cell connection and extremely difficult to point to real applications. I can list some 'discoveries' but I don't understand how explaining that I investigated the temperature dependance of the microcrystalline behaviour of some obscure material will help me. Would you write about team experiences like supervising an undergrad and running a piece of equipment for the group? I figured that the PhD is just to tick the academic box and beyond that they would not be too interested in the details. What sorts of things would you look for here - what points did you use from your PhD on your resume?

phdconsultant:
For the interests....keep the whiskey interest, tone down the cooking or use a more understandable term than molecular, and kill the labview programming. That just sounds weird.

Isn't just 'cooking' too boring? People ask about the molecular and then I explain why you can use liquid nitrogen to make great ice cream, and a lot of people in consulting seem to be very into food. I could just use 'classical cooking' if that is better? What would you consider to be good interests to have?

Anyway thank you for giving some real feedback, I'm not sure if I should be encouraged or otherwise that everyone else only chose to comment on my choice of interests...

Thanks.

9y 
melvvvar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

none of your interests makes me want to have you around 18 hours a day around crunch time.

9y 
iamamonkeybanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:
melvvvar:
none of your interests makes me want to have you around 18 hours a day around crunch time.

LOL. Remember the dude's a PhD which is probably why he has such awkward interests.

OP, what the hell is "molecular cooking"?

9y 
melvvvar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

seriously, labview is an interest of yours?

why don't you just throw on MATLAB?

9y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Let me give you my opinion.... I was once in your shoes.

Nothing in your resume signals to me that you'll be a good consultant... You sprinkle some tidbits of successful things like starting a new lecture series, some student govt stuff, and consulting experience. This is all decent stuff but its also easy to fluff this stuff on a resume. My first sign of fluff is A+ in departmental seminar. Cripes...no one gets less than an A in those things. They are the most worthless classes. I am left wanting something more meaty.

What i am missing from your resume is professional or business experience. At least elaborate on what you did your research on. You spend 5 years on research full time and give it less air time than your 7 month stint as a part time volunteer. How does that experience make me want to interview you? What's kills can you highlight?

For the interests....keep the whiskey interest, tone down the cooking or use a more understandable term than molecular, and kill the labview programming. That just sounds weird.

  • 2
9y 
melvvvar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

include interests that other people can talk to you about. organized sports is a good way to go. some people specifically get into sports so they can talk passionately about something at the workplace other than politics or religion. i am not kidding.

the things you include -- molecular gastronomy, running, chess -- are almost completely solitary things, except chess, which is just nerdy. and really: labview? WTF? seriously: if you are REALLY into labview, raytracing, and calibrating lasers, etc. -- you have to consider whether consulting is the right step for you because it is 5 rungs down intellectually from what you are doing and you will be clinically depressed under a year's time.

  • 1
9y 
iamamonkeybanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look you wanted honest feedback and obviously two things in your resume really stood out. Your lack of "consultant"-like experience and your interests. Now if you want to take a gamble cause it worked for you in the past then by all means do it.

But honestly your combination of a phd, molecular cooking, lab view and then malt whiskey just really makes you sound like a poser.

All the best though.

9y 
df86, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the feedback, here is an updated version:

http://www.razume.com/documents/26993

I've tried to take some of the comments on board and address a few things. I've toned down the interests a bit, and added rowing and squash which are the closest things to real sports I can make an honest claim to be interested in. I could put down soccer, but I don't play so it doesn't seem like a good interest to use.

I've expanded the PhD section and tried to find reasonably consulting-y experiences; Excel models, data collection and manipulation, potential real-world application etc. To make room for these I had to give something the chop so I went for the environmental consulting thing, it seems that it's just too long ago and I've never had anyone comment anything on it so I'm guessing it doesn't add a great deal - was this the right move?

Thanks,

df

9y 
df86, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just thought I'd post a quick update on this for anyone who's interested - I know there are a few PhD students who come to this board from time to time. I applied with a resume very similar to the one I posted above on August 16th, albeit with a few minor changes. I also met (in person) with people working with every firm that I applied for, as well as talking on the phone with several more.

I used LinkedIn to reach out to people, generally trying to find some connection such as alma mater, or a common acquaintance but in many cases it was purely speculative with no prior connection. I'd say overall I had about a 50% success rate in getting people to give me some of their time, although when there was an obvious connection and/or an introduction this was close to 100%.

I applied to seven firms, got one interview, and one offer - from a well-known company. I don't know exactly how much case practice I did but I'm sure I must have done (and given) well over 100 mock interviews.

9y 
StrongMan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just one small addition, list your thesis title, so they can have an idea of what you've worked on. Also list the titles of your published papers and cite them correctly.

It is not about the title that you have, it is about how much money that you have.
11y 
persimmon, what's your opinion? Comment below:
conrath:
Wow thanks! that's exactly what I needed.

You should award him with a silver banana.

9y 
iamUNC, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Definitely a fair amount of information out there.

Here's a start. http://www.phd2consulting.com/

11y 
conrath, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It seems my school lets me take MBA courses and graduate with a dual-MBA PHD, do you think that would help? Especially considering I would have no work experience because I'm hopping into the program straight out of undergrad.

9y 
devildog2067, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am a PhD consultant at an MBB firm, and I happened to have a free couple of minutes, so I took a quick turn through your resume and looked at it through the lens of our scoring metric (I can't share the actual numerical score for obvious reasons).

First impressions: lots of good stuff here, but overall this resume is a mess. Voice is inconsistent, grammar/punctuation not so great, etc. Good news is that this is easy stuff to fix.

Your academic stuff is generally good. You say "lower ranked Ivy" but don't say which one. At my firm, we actually do have a list of "these are the top 10 schools for each of these majors" and it matters whether you're at one of those schools or not. GRE score is good although V600 is a bit low (nothing you can do about that, so don't worry about it). No grad school GPA included, which implies it's not great, but again nothing you can do about it so no big deal.

Under experience you have really great stuff, but it's also the place where you have the most work to do to tighten up your resume. For example, the second bullet under "research assistant" is fantastic, unique, and interesting--yet it starts with the bland word "traveled". The fact that you "traveled" to XXXX is not the point! The point is that you drafted proposals to their government. You need to restructure to highlight the relevant parts. The third through fifth bullets are much weaker, and the last one is entirely redundant of the stuff that's listed in the first section--you should move that information up to that section and delete this bullet.

Basically, you have a pretty strong resume for a PhD applicant--work experience, breadth of activities, a couple of cool things you can talk about, and generally good academics. You need to do a LOT of proofreading and tightening up, but you're off to a good start.

9y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll take a chance to weigh in here as another MBB consultant...

I will echo devildog in everything already stated. On your follow ups... 1. I had 550V. When I score resumes I generally don't award credit for verbal scores. I will only take points away for really low scores. I may not be typical though. 2. If MBB actively recruits at your school for phd candidates you should be ok. There isn't anything you can do to change where you go to school so don't worry about it. 3. Grad school GPA is a metric I usually skip when reading a resume. I had classmates taking seminar classes where all they did is read a paper each week and discuss it to get an A while I was busting my balls in nonlinear mixed integer optimization and complex analysis to get a B. To me, grad school GPA is irrelevant and while its part of the score, I refuse to score it.

One last note, a lot of your experiences are academic which is often harder to sell in the resume screen. Research assistantships just look softer/less flashy than corporate jobs on paper (it may not be true) but keep in mind you have one chance to make the impression. You may want to consider how you postion yourself. Stay focused on your impact, influence of other people, etc. I think you are not far off in the current state but could re word here and there to make more impactful.

  • 3
9y 
Anonymous., what's your opinion? Comment below:

If MBB recruits at your university's B-school at the MBA level, you can also approach the recruiters there, since you're applying at the post-MBA level. Even if it's not the same recruiting team, they can direct you to the right people.

11y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, taking courses and getting a dual degree would be helpful. Without work experience, you need a good convincing story when you're asked in an interview "why consulting? shouldn't you be doing research?" And believe, they will ask that to a PhD.

The courses or MBA will demonstrate that you have business interests. I went straight from undergrad to grad school with no work experience other than research internships and took some business related classes in grad school and did well in recruiting.

  • 1
9y 
drp1991, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You should get a PhD if you are really passionate about Marine Biology. Going into a PhD with the purpose of joining a consulting firm later is wasting a few years of your life. Why not join consulting now? If you can't get a role in consulting now, work in the industry, make some $$, go for an MBA and then go into consulting. Just my 2 cents

9y 
hazaxel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank your the answer. I really like Marine Biology but not so much to go into academia. I would like to join consulting later in life but when I see all those PhDs in molecular biology etc it scares me a bit. :S

9y 
Alfred Ayman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Consulting firms primarily hire PhDs for the expertise in their field. Molecular bio, neuroscience, and genetics PhDs are hired by consulting firms because they are in demand (the firms have clients in those fields).

There is no doubt that you will probably find a couple marine biology PhDs in consulting. But these will be few and far between.

You can't just get a PhD and expect to break into generalist consulting. If you want to consult on marine biology topics go ahead and pursue a PhD but finding a job will not be easy and will likely be in a small firm that does specialized work.

9y 
Le Chiffre, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have to disagree. I'm interning at a tier 2 firm and I've come across quite a few phd's from a wide range of fields not just those that are considered booming right now. The majority are STEM but you do find a few economics types even meet a pol-sci one. Almost all of them were hired into generalist consulting roles and all have the similar reasons like the op: love their fields but hate the idea of staying in academia. Like the previous poster says it is difficult but not impossible. The requirements are the same, raw intellectual power (as evident from your undergrad grades, strong leadership and ECs at all levels in your development and good business acumen (as phd this one is particularly important as they need to know you know how the real world functions outside of academia). Kill your phd, get yourself published in some reputable journals, do some notable ECs and network network network! You'll stand a good chance at a generalist associate role

  • 2
9y 
devildog2067, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Alfred Ayman:

Consulting firms primarily hire PhDs for the expertise in their field.

This is false.
Molecular bio, neuroscience, and genetics PhDs are hired by consulting firms because they are in demand (the firms have clients in those fields).
This is false.
You can't just get a PhD and expect to break into generalist consulting.
This is false. My PhD is in particle physics. The last partner we elected in our office has a PhD in near-eastern archaeology. PhDs get hired at MBB for their generalist skills, not for their expertise in their fields. Some of the other consulting firms have different models (LEK hires into a "life sciences specialist" track no matter what your PhD is in, OW hires at the same level as an undergrad) but no consulting firm hires PhDs for what they studied in grad school.
9y 
Alfred Ayman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

PhDs in economics and poli-sci are pretty different than marine biology. At the very least with a PhD in marine biology people are going to typecast you a lot faster than with an econ or poli-sci PhD.

If you're truly interested in marine biology you're better off working as a consultant for a few years then doing a PhD when you want to do something you're more interested in.

9y 
hazaxel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I understand your point but I would really like to complete my education with a field I like and then join consulting, it doesn't have to be specialized consulting I would be happy working as a generalist :)

9y 
naivephd, what's your opinion? Comment below:

as someone who actually enjoyed his PhD and is now in MBB, I'd strongly advise against going into a Ph.D. program with the expectation of moving into management consulting later. If the program you will join is any good, it will take a lot of work and effort just to do reasonably well, and if you don't absolutely love science, you'll be extremely miserable.

Why not do a master's in science, and then an MBA later?

  • 1
9y 
hazaxel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey, I really like Marine Science and I would like to complete a PhD because I want to learn more and do research. However, I am not attracted to life in academia, but consulting. :)

9y 
Workaholic88, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am interviewing at an MBB firm in 1 month and the firm has given me an email list of 90 other applicants who are also interviewing (so we can contact each other to practice cases).

Although most of the candidates are PhD in neuroscience/molecular biology/MD's like myself, there are other majors too. And I actually do see someone on the list who is has listed their PhD in "oceanography" and affiliated with a lab doing very specific research in marine biology.

Good luck and do not be discouraged! It can't hurt to apply and see if you are selected to interview :)

Workaholic88
  • 1
9y 
hazaxel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey thanks for joining the discussion. It's good to know there are marine biologists like me trying to break into consulting. Could you let me know were they successful, please? :)

9y 
naivephd, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Workaholic88:

I am interviewing at an MBB firm in 1 month and the firm has given me an email list of 90 other applicants who are also interviewing (so we can contact each other to practice cases).

The fact that 90 other people interviewed with you should be seen as a disincentive. This is pretty much what I experienced at my target school -- one of MBB specifically interviews a ton of PhD candidates for the first round. But by the time they are done, very, very few ultimately get offers.

Echoing others who have posted here, I would again advise against joining a PhD program with the plan of switching to consulting later. If you are really genuinely passionate about marine biology and do not want to remain in academia, then you should spend a lot of time talking to people who are already in the jobs that you can bank on getting.

As someone who finished a PhD program recently I can tell you that way too many people start a graduate program because it seems to them the logical next step after undergrad. A lot of people who came in with flawless academic records, great achievements, etc leave wondering why they spent 6 years doing something that doesn't guarantee them a stable career at a good salary.

Also, I am grateful to have landed a job at an MBB, but a lot of my very smart, talented friends did not make it, despite very worthy attempts. Frankly, with so many great candidates to choose from, whether or not one person gets an offer is highly stochastic, in my opinion.

Lastly, consulting firms -- especially the MBB ones -- have done a great job hyping their industry so that even people who have zero interest in business get intrigued enough to apply. From personal experience, there are lots of places where scientists can have fulfilling work and good pay, but these jobs don't get the same hype on campus, and have a non-structured recruitment process.

All this being said, I'm really glad I went for the Ph.D. -- just make sure that you are going for the right reasons.

All the best.

  • 2
9y 
VCMonkey01, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It would certainly be possible to get a PhD in marine biology and then break into MBB as a generalist...

That said, this post strikes me as really strange because if you're truly passionate enough about marine biology to go and get a PhD, why wouldn't you want to pursue a career in that field? It doesn't strike me that you've really thought this through. Why do you want a job at MBB?

Array
  • 1
9y 
devildog2067, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You should go to graduate school and do a PhD in marine biology if you are considering a career in marine biology, and for no other reason. Don't do it because you like marine biology and don't know what else to do. Definitely don't do it if you know you don't want to pursue a career. Do not go to graduate school and do a PhD if you want to be a consultant. It is a terrible idea.

Many PhDs leave their fields, and that's fine. If you discover during the graduate school process that doing science isn't exactly what you thought it would be and want to do something else, that's perfectly reasonable. But if you have absolutely no intention of pursing a career in your field of study in academia or industry, doing a PhD in that field of study is just a tremendously stupid thing to do. And frankly, if you can't understand why it's dumb maybe you shouldn't plan on being a consultant after all.

9y 
Alfred Ayman, what's your opinion? Comment below:
devildog2067:
Alfred Ayman:

Consulting firms primarily hire PhDs for the expertise in their field.

This is false.

Molecular bio, neuroscience, and genetics PhDs are hired by consulting firms because they are in demand (the firms have clients in those fields).

This is false.

You can't just get a PhD and expect to break into generalist consulting.

This is false.

My PhD is in particle physics. The last partner we elected in our office has a PhD in near-eastern archaeology. PhDs get hired at MBB for their generalist skills, not for their expertise in their fields. Some of the other consulting firms have different models (LEK hires into a "life sciences specialist" track no matter what your PhD is in, OW hires at the same level as an undergrad) but no consulting firm hires PhDs for what they studied in grad school.

I think there is a bit of confusion over what I meant here. I didn't intend that no PhDs work in consulting outside their field. When you have a PhD in a field that has no possible relevance to consulting it will be easier to break in as a generalist. But for instance, I have a good family friend who worked for a MBB after her PhD in pharmacology and was working big pharma clients for her entire time there.

devildog2067:

You should go to graduate school and do a PhD in marine biology if you are considering a career in marine biology, and for no other reason. Don't do it because you like marine biology and don't know what else to do. Definitely don't do it if you know you don't want to pursue a career. Do not go to graduate school and do a PhD if you want to be a consultant. It is a terrible idea.

Many PhDs leave their fields, and that's fine. If you discover during the graduate school process that doing science isn't exactly what you thought it would be and want to do something else, that's perfectly reasonable. But if you have absolutely no intention of pursing a career in your field of study in academia or industry, doing a PhD in that field of study is just a tremendously stupid thing to do. And frankly, if you can't understand why it's dumb maybe you shouldn't plan on being a consultant after all.

Regardless we agree on the final outcome, even though possible to break-in after the PhD, it is not advisable.

  • 2
9y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:
devildog2067:

You should go to graduate school and do a PhD in marine biology if you are considering a career in marine biology, and for no other reason. Don't do it because you like marine biology and don't know what else to do. Definitely don't do it if you know you don't want to pursue a career. Do not go to graduate school and do a PhD if you want to be a consultant. It is a terrible idea.

Many PhDs leave their fields, and that's fine. If you discover during the graduate school process that doing science isn't exactly what you thought it would be and want to do something else, that's perfectly reasonable. But if you have absolutely no intention of pursing a career in your field of study in academia or industry, doing a PhD in that field of study is just a tremendously stupid thing to do. And frankly, if you can't understand why it's dumb maybe you shouldn't plan on being a consultant after all.

This is 100% correct. I would only add that if you truly have a passion for marine biology but not as a career, it would be a far better choice to do marine biology as a hobby. Take a few random classes in continuing ed, volunteer at an aquarium, buy a boat, join a relevant club. But by no means should any one get a PhD if they have no desire to do that for a career (in any field). The most likely scenario from getting a PhD in marine biology is being pigeon-holed in a narrow field, with small job prospects. The likelihood of going from marine biology to consultant is incredibly small.

  • 3
9y 
brj, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@"devildog2067" is spot-on with his (very direct) insight in the APD/ADC process.

Most PhDs-turned-consultant didn't pursue the degree with the intent of landing at MBB. They generally pivoted around a changed in interests (or disillusionment with academia). To echo what others have said, if you want a career in consulting and are passionate about marine biology, find a way to pursue both. But don't view one as a means to attain the other; there are easier, less resource-intensive ways to go.

9y 
Alfred Ayman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Guess I was mistaken, shouldn't have generalized based on the few PhDs I know in consulting.

11y 
D M, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the info phdconsultant. I was actually thinking about the PhD route for a while (in addition to the billion other ideas I have). It probably won't happen, but it's great to have that info!

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
11y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:
D M:
I was actually thinking about the PhD route for a while (in addition to the billion other ideas I have). It probably won't happen, but it's great to have that info!

One last piece of advice...if you know you want to be a consultant, getting a PhD is NOT a great way to go about it. There are very few PhD programs that are targets for MBB and the process is still extremely competitive. Only get a PhD if you think research or academia is a viable career path for you. You can become a consultant or a Wall St. quant, but you'd better do something quantitative and heavy in real mathematics. Getting a PhD is also a lengthy process. 5-6 years is far more common than 4-5 years.

I will quote a recent letter to the editor from the Economist..."A PhD is someone that forgoes current income in order to forgo future income."

  • 3
11y 
D M, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haha, that quote is great. When I was looking at a PhD (probably in economics), it was with the idea that I would have the opportunity to be a professor. And then I thought about all the idiots in the classes I have ever taken and realized I would probably hang myself having to be around a bunch of douchey college kids all day.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
  • 1
11y 
conrath, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well actually then phdconsultant, what would you choose in this situation. Cornerstone Research job vs PHD at a top 5 business school where you can earn your MBA simultaneously. I asked in an earlier thread and most people said the business school, but you raised the same concerns that I've had.

9y 
happypantsmcgee, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Where did you get your phd

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
9y 
OneSmartMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Top tier non-US institution (Weizmann Institute), though the name may not be recognized by non-scientists...

9y 
OneSmartMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Ivysaur:
contact head hunters

Thanks for the tip. In my industry I would use a head-hunter only to gain access to hiring managers whom I could not reach by myself through networking. Is it the same in the MBB world or is there particular advantage in the service of a HH here? Any suggestions of good HH?

As for networking, I have just started activating my network in this direction. Is there a minimal level in the hierarchy that I should aim for? Would someone below partner be listened to in the hiring process?

  • 1
9y 
Lilo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why do you want to join MC?

9y 
OneSmartMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Lilo:
Why do you want to join MC?
  1. I have become increasingly interested in strategic issues in the industry.
  2. I have become interested in the economic/business side of the industry (related to, but distinct from 1).
  3. I am considering branching into operations in adjacent areas, including Medical Devices and possibly global NGO's (think Gates Foundation, for example).
  4. Much better prospects for long term financial compensation.
  • The corporate ladder MAY offer 1+4, but only very long term and with high risk.
  • Technical consulting, if carefully managed, can partly satisfy 3+4, but not 1+2.
  • It seems that MC is a good (best?) route...

Any opinions / feedback from the experienced here?

9y 
OneSmartMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any advice on the issue of head hunter vs. personal networking?
What should minimum target level be for networking inside MBB ?

Thanks

11y 
phdconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly, it's like comparing apples to oranges to me. The PhD/MBA path gives you a good education but are you prepared for 5+ years of school, working 60-80 weeks, doing research in some corner of academia that may or may not have any impact on society, and being paid peanuts compared to your private industry colleagues? If the answer is 'yes', then get the PhD and MBA. If no, go to Cornerstone for two years, then get your MBA. You'll be much happier and you'll still have a soul

If you haven't noticed, I'm not big on PhD programs. They are prestigious because you get to called doctor at the end of it, but the knowledge you gain from them is not necessarily worth the time spent in the program. And, if you end up with an adviser that you don't like, or end up without funding and have to teach your way through, it can be difficult experience.

  • 2
9y 
Ipso facto, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You'll have plenty of OCR options for consulting at Yale. Good luck.

9y 
HostileTakeOver, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Ipso facto:

You'll have plenty of OCR options for consulting at Yale. Good luck.

Yes that is quite fortunate and I've already met with some representatives from MBB from informational sessions.

9y 
HostileTakeOver, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Beny23:

Good luck with MC. It's a great career and as a PhD you might be a specialist.

Thanks! I've been looking at firms at L.E.K. that have designated positions, like Life Sciences Specialists, for Ph.D.'s

9y 
Emm_N_Ayy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations! One of my favorite professors during college did something similar, and he loves it. Best of luck to you

9y 
HostileTakeOver, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Emm_N_Ayy:

Congratulations! One of my favorite professors during college did something similar, and he loves it. Best of luck to you

Thanks! If I'm understanding correctly, you're saying that your professor decided to leave academia for consulting?

11y 
D M, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's a very fair look at it phd. Thanks for the insight. Another reason I love WSO: putting the ideas in perspective.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
9y 
WSO Monkey Bot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi KBarnes, just trying to help:

If we're lucky, maybe these professional users will respond: akshdeep23 @Angus Macgyver" @Zoltan-Patai"

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

9y 
scbsli, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi there,

I am also a neuroscience Ph.D. and I am expecting to finish by Sep this year. I was at a McK event in Germany last Dec and spoke to one of their recruiters based in London. From the conversation, I understood that if you want to get an offer in 2018, then definitely apply before their 2018 cutoff (which is in January). Given the screening, PST, and interviews, the whole process might run from January to June. If you apply at a time later than that cutoff, you will only be considered for 2019. Once being accepted, McK can wait for you up to 1 year to start (heard that from an engagement manager at the event).

I hope the info above can be helpful for your Q1. But also bear in mind that the information I had probably only pertains to McK's recruitment process out of the USA. But definitely do try reaching out to the recruiters in those companies or attend one of their events.

All the best!

9y 
KBarnes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks! As far as I've understood, application is primarily in the late summer/early fall for PhD students in the USA, but even that I;m not sure about... good to know that a year is the theoretical max for waiting to start though.

9y 
Alvin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Consectetur ab ut tempore amet. Fuga minus nemo et. Numquam eaque natus quia. Neque saepe voluptatem minima fugiat. Excepturi vel eaque dolore facere accusantium minima.

Quis qui facilis fugit. Illo officia est animi quos recusandae assumenda eos aspernatur. Repellat quaerat explicabo accusamus maxime dolorem repellat autem. Quod non suscipit excepturi et non delectus. Molestiae a ab odio quod ducimus qui exercitationem officia.

Consequatur est minus voluptates. Illo rerum nesciunt voluptatem at ab. Aut laborum non et ducimus repellendus fugit eveniet.

Eum voluptas temporibus repellendus modi. Ab velit rem corrupti.

9y 
protectedclass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Corporis est cumque harum. Veniam delectus consequatur qui sequi omnis. In consequuntur reprehenderit praesentium est voluptatibus sapiente. Dolorum quidem tempore laboriosam quia ut quam. Accusamus quis et et.

Sit et in nulla ab ea veritatis. Ad ut cupiditate vero eveniet. Nesciunt exercitationem ad possimus est. Sit est eum ut tenetur sit libero consectetur. Eum molestiae earum accusamus nisi omnis.

Autem quo cumque dolores voluptas omnis ut dolor. Eaque doloribus ut aliquam culpa voluptatem distinctio hic.

Harum illum aliquid iure deserunt repellendus rem est autem. Voluptatum eaque aut voluptas distinctio placeat quis consequatur a. Dolor harum consequatur quod et quo dolores soluta sequi.

9y 
Alvin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nostrum et beatae sed recusandae voluptatem tempore non. Rerum et et voluptatem itaque expedita. Consequatur debitis et nihil eum dolorem.

Placeat quidem praesentium qui inventore odio officia consectetur. Magni officiis optio impedit autem et quam quo. Aspernatur ex commodi quia dolor. Non et aperiam et quia dolores voluptates. Sunt voluptates est enim repellendus praesentium ut dolores. Minus voluptatibus eos qui enim.

11y 
D M, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sunt maiores qui autem qui. Et iure ut omnis saepe qui. Nam alias odio praesentium doloremque.

Fugiat et nobis aut sunt vel. Quasi molestiae quo quasi. Voluptatibus ut vitae eveniet voluptas nemo sit.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • LEK Consulting 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • Cornerstone Research 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • McKinsey and Co 97.7%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • Strategy& 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

January 2023 Consulting

  • Partner (4) $368
  • Principal (25) $277
  • Director/MD (51) $269
  • Vice President (45) $244
  • Engagement Manager (90) $222
  • Manager (145) $168
  • 2nd Year Associate (146) $140
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (103) $130
  • Senior Consultant (310) $129
  • 1st Year Associate (510) $117
  • Consultant (559) $117
  • Engineer (6) $114
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (136) $112
  • NA (12) $109
  • 2nd Year Analyst (301) $100
  • Associate Consultant (157) $97
  • 1st Year Analyst (980) $86
  • Intern/Summer Associate (169) $82
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (477) $67