Pharma vs. Econ Consulting

Hey guys,

So I am a graduating senior from UC Berkeley with several different offers and I want to know what you guys think. I've narrowed it down to 3 that I'm considering:

ZS Associates
IMS Consulting Group
Compass Lexecon (econ consulting)

I'm not sure if I'm interested in Pharma, so I'm leaning towards doing the Econ consulting job. All pay similarly, and are all based in the Bay Area. I know on Vault ZS is the best, but that is hardly the only thing I want to base my decision off of. I'm probably interested in pursuing my MBA down the road too.

Any suggestions?

Comments (5)

DaveWinkler, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would find out which office/business fits you best on a personal level. Ask around the offices to find out what the "political" atmosphere is like, dress code, work/life balance, benefits, etc.

You could also see what kind of opportunities each of these places might lead you into. think about what your mid and long term goals are and if one of the companies will help you reach them.

Did you fly over my helmet?
Best Response
jankynoname, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know anything about IMS, so can't help you there, but I would take the Compass job. Econ consulting will give you much more breadth, as you'll be working on cases across all industries. It will also place better into top business schools than ZS, and arm you with a strong valuation/stats/analytical writing skillset. You'll be working alongside very high profile expert witnesses (probably top economists at Haas and Stanford), so you'll be learning a lot and should be able to secure some strong reco letters. Hours in litigation consulting tend to be good as long as you aren't 2-3 weeks out from a filing deadline, in which case, your life will suck. But that's probably only like 3-4 times per year.

Congrats on the offers!

SinoMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My gf works at pharma consulting and I at Econ Litigation. Hours and pay are similar but otherwise It's two completely different worlds.

Exit opportunities are going to be a bit different: for econ litigation, it's a combination of PhDs in Econ, Law, Business Schools, or other consulting business. They do very well in terms of grad school since litigation firms work with many of the experts who are professors at top schools. It's very quantitatively rigorous. If you enjoy econometrics or statistics, it may be a good fit for you.

For pharma consulting, your exit opportunities will be a mix of graduate school as well as lateral into industry for pharmaceuticals companies. I know that for ZS, they do a lot of market research and salesforce work. It's probably more prestigious and better known than IMS.

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calbear2012, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you all for the really fast responses! I've been thinking about the decision a lot today (deadlines coming up) and I don't think I want to lateral into the pharma industry in the I'm definitely warming up to the idea of working at Compass.

The 2 main things factoring into my decision right now are: people/quality of life and exit opportunities. The hours and the workload, based on what each firm has told me, is lower at Compass, and being able to work closely with the experts (many of which are Berkeley profs) is really exciting.

For those of you familiar with Econ Consulting, how does Compass compare with say Cornerstone, Bates White, CRA or NERA? I'll be working in antitrust and was just curious.

Thanks again!

swordfish24, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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