I graduated from the University of California - San Diego 2 years ago, the bottom of the top 3 UC schools. (Berkeley and UCLA being the top 2 schools) I was a biochemistry major with a minor in economics who was not pre-med. UCSD, although not as well known as UCLA and Berkeley, still has a premier life science reputation with the San Diego biotech community and life science institutes (Salk and Scripps) feeding of it's talent to supply the local industry.

I am trying to break into a few boutique biotech strategy consulting firms (analyst positions) such as Putnam Associates, Health Advances, LEK consulting, Medacorp , the Frankel Group, and etc. However, since most consulting firms are located in Boston/NY/SF and primarily recruit from the Ivy Leagues, I feel my lack of "pedigree" is hurting my chances. My school was about 25% life science majors and about 90% plus were pre-med. I didn't know about consulting as a career option until after I graduated and by then it was too late to do anything about my GPA (3.2), with a 3.8 4th year GPA in upper division and quantitative courses like econometrics and physics.

My options now are:

  1. Try work some connections which I have for a couple interviews at 2 of these firms for their fall recruitment.
  2. Apply later but off cycle
  3. Apply to and hopefully get into the one year masters program at Cambridge University in their Bioscience Enterprise program.

In case one, should I concentrate now on getting a good GMAT score, 700+, to make up for my lack of pedigree/GPA to put on my resume (I do plan on applying to business school in 2-3 years anyways). Or do I practice case interviews heavily until then or both?

In case 2, if I cannot do both or one in the first case , I will likely apply later.

If I can't get an interview or offer (case 1), and am able to get into this program, I will likely go and reapply for those positions again.

As for background for these firms:

2 years of undergraduate research
- supplement course in Business: Introduction to Technology Business Startup Process
- 2 years of Biotech R&D, quality control, and GMP manufacturing experience (trying to leave the lab!)
- Annual attendance at the UCSD Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Conference
- EC included the Biological Science Student Association mentor, and executive position in an IFC fraternity

Any thoughts?

Also, what is the difference between a MBA vs. an undergraduate level case interview?

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