Has my ship sailed?

BatmanAccent's picture
Rank: Chimp | 4

Hi all,

I am a 25 year old, who graduated 2.5 years ago from a lower ranked ivy (Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown) with a 4.0 and a BS in biology. I spent an additional two years after graduation working in the laboratory as a research fellow for a government entity. After my fellowship ended, I couldn't find anything in either the private or public sector and worked for my parents' business where I am now. I don't want to go back to research, but rather take on a consulting position.

I feel like I'm too old to start over and my ship has certainly sailed. It seems all these companies want kids fresh out of undergrad who interviewed through ocr. I'm kicking myself for not having even attempted to go along this path since I feel that consulting work is more of my speed and temperament than research ever was.

If any of you have any advice, I would really appreciate it! Thank you all for your time.

Comments (19)

Feb 9, 2013

4.0?! You're a god damn superstar (I'm completely serious, I wish I had a 4.0). Although my opinions may not matter much because I'm still a junior at a "lower ranked Ivy," I think it's never too late to start anything. You could still make use of your school's alumni network and call people up.

I know there are some people who are naturally better at consulting than others, but I feel like anyone can do consulting interviews because you just practice tons of cases. Since you feel consulting is right for you, go for it. Don't let anything stop you.

Feb 9, 2013

You would probably be a great fit for a top MBA program. You'll be 27-28 (?) when you graduate and that's not too old to enter the consulting/finance world as a post-MBA grad. That's just my opinion though...

Feb 9, 2013
Flake:

You would probably be a great fit for a top MBA program. You'll be 27-28 (?) when you graduate and that's not too old to enter the consulting/finance world as a post-MBA grad. That's just my opinion though...

I thought business schools only take people who have work experience...

Feb 9, 2013
LearningMan:
Flake:

You would probably be a great fit for a top MBA program. You'll be 27-28 (?) when you graduate and that's not too old to enter the consulting/finance world as a post-MBA grad. That's just my opinion though...

I thought business schools only take people who have work experience...

Like I said just my opinion. I always thought there are people with "unique" backgrounds that are admitted (i.e. military, teaching retards how to read, etc.).

Feb 9, 2013
LearningMan:
Flake:

You would probably be a great fit for a top MBA program. You'll be 27-28 (?) when you graduate and that's not too old to enter the consulting/finance world as a post-MBA grad. That's just my opinion though...

I thought business schools only take people who have work experience...

Research fellow and family business - not the most conventional but combined with your unimpeachable academics, you may pique their (top 10 business schools') fancy. Go for it. That is your best path into top consulting firms.

Feb 10, 2013

Depends on what type of consulting firms you are looking at. If you are looking to go into high end strategy consulting, your only realistic bet now is to somehow get into a top 10 MBA a few years down the road and ace the case interviews on OCR. MBB and other top firms rarely even interview ppl outside of standard OCR on campus channels, unless the applicant has specific work experience/ skill set that they are looking for specific projects in the pipeline.

If consulting is truly your goal, you should try to network and get the best corporate entry level job you can, and build up the work experiences first.

I don't work in strategy consulting (work in operational consulting), I graduated unemployed and had no job for 6 months. After heavy networking and getting a bit lucky, I landed the position I am at, and have been here almost 2 years. What I am trying to say is that outside of top tier strategy consulting, you might still have a shot, given that you network like crazy and absolutely murder any interview you get.

Feb 10, 2013

This may be a little bit of a tangent, but I think you should also think about what went wrong the last time you were looking for a job. I find it incredible (literally unbelievable) that someone with a 4.0 STEM degree from an Ivy couldn't get A job somewhere.

Feb 10, 2013
pnb2002:

This may be a little bit of a tangent, but I think you should also think about what went wrong the last time you were looking for a job. I find it incredible (literally unbelievable) that someone with a 4.0 STEM degree from an Ivy couldn't get A job somewhere.

I didn't apply through OCR. Once that chance passes, it's very difficult.

Feb 10, 2013
pnb2002:

This may be a little bit of a tangent, but I think you should also think about what went wrong the last time you were looking for a job. I find it incredible (literally unbelievable) that someone with a 4.0 STEM degree from an Ivy couldn't get A job somewhere.

Getting a job is all about timing. No matter how qualified you are, if you miss the boat on OCR, you are facing an icy, brutal road in front of you, especially for finance/ consulting jobs.

Only way to overcome this is to network like your life depends on it and hope that some firm will be hiring off-cycle, and get an interview through a contact at that specific firm.

Feb 11, 2013
IvyGrad:
pnb2002:

This may be a little bit of a tangent, but I think you should also think about what went wrong the last time you were looking for a job. I find it incredible (literally unbelievable) that someone with a 4.0 STEM degree from an Ivy couldn't get A job somewhere.

Getting a job is all about timing. No matter how qualified you are, if you miss the boat on OCR, you are facing an icy, brutal road in front of you, especially for finance/ consulting jobs.

Only way to overcome this is to network like your life depends on it and hope that some firm will be hiring off-cycle, and get an interview through a contact at that specific firm.

Out of curiosity, what types of entry level jobs within corporations would I still have a shot at? Federal? I'm honestly just looking for an entry level office job (nothing wrong with cubicles) where I can get an entry level salary and experience to grow.

Feb 13, 2013

As much as you're told to believe that there's a shortage of STEM talent by some certain people, there is, in fact, a glut of the "S". It's a shame that chemists and biologists are lumped in with engineers and computer science people. I know many chemists, biochemists, and biologists who are stuck in their 3rd or 4th year of their postdoc or even on their second postdoc because there just aren't enough jobs for them.

I agree that it is wholeheartedly unbelievable to fathom that some of our nations brightest minds are unable to find a job, but it's the truth. The jobs just aren't there or have gone to CROs or overseas.

In fact, our government is contemplating reforming the visa situation to make it even harder for recent grads of top US science programs to find employment. Of course, that is a can of worms for another day.

More on-topic, I don't think your ship has sailed. 25 is super young, forget what these jokers on here tell you that 22 is old. I'd like to bet that the majority of the posters here are still in college. What area are you in, check out local boutique firms in your area, or if you can, move to a biotech hub. I know there are some opportunities in the Boston area for your background if you can network. I know you don't want to do research, but maybe take a year or 2 and do research at a top academic lab, then leverage that experience for a consulting position.

Feb 15, 2013

My company, a boutique, NYC-based life sciences consultancy (focused on commercial strategy), has an immediate need for an entry-level analyst. We're looking for someone who is personable, driven/hungry, has good learning agility, and is genuinely interested in starting a career in life sciences-focused consulting.

PM me if you're based in NYC and are interested in further discussing...

Feb 18, 2013

yeah, you will easily find a consulting job in a life-sci related consulting firm

Feb 20, 2013

Love seeing chron3k post this, part of why I like WSO so much

Feb 21, 2013

Thanks for posting - I feel like I'm in a similar situation. I'm 26, have an MA in economics and 2.5 years of work experience, as well as various research assistant positions. Had trouble getting a job after finishing my Masters, and then moved abroad for a year largely for family reasons, and so my career has been a bit stop-start.

My work experience is not in consulting, it's in asset management and accounting, but I do want to get into consulting. However, from all I read and hear, it seems like the ship may have sailed for me as well - though I hope not. I'd like to think I still have a decent chance at a top economic consulting firm. If not, then I'm happy to work for a good boutique as well.

I think it's about leveraging your experience somehow. It just feels strange to be considered 'too old' even though you've got all the academic skills and qualifications, as well as some decent work experience to boot.

Feb 26, 2013

If you are shooting for MBB, my advise is to take the GMAT now, apply to top 10 MBA programs in U.S., by the time you graduated with your MBA at age 27/28, you have a very good chance for MBB.

Feb 27, 2013

Sorry to hijack but since we're on the topic of age; is 30 too late to come out of an h/s/w and break into mbb? What about m7 to tier 2 at 30? I lost a couple of years in undergrad due to health reasons but would rather not have to bring that up during interviewing/recruiting [unless asked in which case I do have a semi-rehearsed, legitimate answer]. Thoughts please>>

Jun 27, 2013

I think there is not age restriction on breaking into MBB...I have a friend who attended a top five MBA programs at age 35, graduated at age 37 and now working for level-2 at MBB

Jun 28, 2013
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