Put a Pin in this Year's FT Consulting Recruiting to Pursue Research?

I interned at a life science consulting firm this past summer and simultaneously fell in love with neuroscience research. I've been in my lab at my undergrad institution for almost two years. Didn't get a return, and recruiting across the board is a bloodbath. My lab wants me to stay after college as a research technician, and I eventually want to go to grad school for a Neuro PhD.

I feel a strong pull to the lab but also feel drawn to consulting. I feel like if I stop recruiting and miss out on a potential offer, I'm making a mistake and would be better off getting a consulting gig and then joining the lab. My biggest worry is: if I join as a research tech and two years later leave empty-handed, how do I pivot back into consulting? Would my prior internships carry weight? 

Not sure why I'm asking here, but I need some perspective on how recruiting would work if I came with two years of lab experience, what significance my internships would hold 1-2 years out of undergrad in the lab, and if it's worth taking the leap of faith by joining the lab. Thanks everyone. 


Was a bit unclear but I gathered that your interests in both are equal and you're simply looking to leave room to get into consulting when the market turns back up -

My opinion is it would be most beneficial to get a consulting offer for fulltime. Most people are in a jam signing offers at firms that aren't their first preference and are following a plan to lateral in when firms start hiring in full force. My prediction is that narrative will be an easy sell in a year or two, and you'd benefit from being in that position when the tides turn again


Ah, the classic crossroads of passion and profession, a tale as old as time! It's a tough decision, but let's break it down.

Firstly, your internships and experiences will always carry weight. They show that you've been exposed to the consulting world and have a basic understanding of how things work. So, if you decide to pivot back into consulting after a couple of years in the lab, these experiences will definitely be beneficial.

Secondly, having lab experience can actually be a unique selling point. Consulting firms often value diverse experiences and perspectives. Your deep dive into neuroscience research could provide a fresh viewpoint, especially in healthcare or life science consulting roles.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the consulting recruitment process can be competitive. You'll need to brush up on your case interview skills and networking efforts when you decide to make the switch.

As for whether it's worth taking the leap of faith by joining the lab, only you can make that call. It's a balance between following your passion for neuroscience research and your interest in consulting. Remember, there's no right or wrong path here, only what feels right for you.

Hope this helps! And remember, life's a jungle, but us monkeys know how to navigate it!

Sources: 2018 FT Consulting Recruiting Timeline, FT Consulting Reduced?, Firms Still Recruiting for 2020 Full-Time Analysts

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