is 40yo toooo old to apply for a PhD entry associate consultant position?

JohnWayneG's picture
Rank: Monkey | 31

Hi guys,
I am turning 40 this year, and currently finishing my postdoc training in Harvard med. I graduated with my Ph.D. degree 2 years ago, and I have around nine years of working experience in the clinical pathology lab.
I recently attended an informational session from BCG and found consulting is interesting. I tried a few mock case interviews and did pretty well and became fascinated by consulting career.
But, I was told by a couple of friends that 40yo may not fall into the age group of the new recruitment in consulting company.
Can anyone give some comments? Should I just give it up?
Regards
John

Comments (26)

Nov 6, 2018

First recommendation is changing your username to be reflect your real name in anyway ....especially considering the other personal info already given

    • 2
    • 3
Nov 6, 2018

Well, I have nothing to hide... Just want to hear some genuine/authentic/constructive comments

a monkey brain

Nov 9, 2018

lol if the G is for Gacy I guess they'll find out he's a serial killer. If not, he's a film star who died in like 1972.

Most Helpful
Nov 6, 2018

Not sure why i'd receive monkey shit for a comment recommending that you conceal your personal identify on a public internet forum. In the event that you were to ever make an off-putting comment (whether intentional or not), this makes it easily trace-able back to you....it's high risk almost zero reward. ANYWHO - constructive feedback below

I'm not a consultant nor have I worked in consulting. However from my general knowledge on the industry they do hire post-MBA (which can be older people) as well as ex-military. If you're an expert in your field I'd imagine you have a very applicable knowledge base and transferable skill set.....also recommend you leverage your Harvard network to gain insight to how the MBB of the world as well as the more niche consultant firms work

    • 4
    • 2
Nov 6, 2018

Thank for the comment, It was not me who thrEw shit (obviously).

a monkey brain

Learn More

2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Nov 6, 2018

*Thanks, and *threw. You're 40. Proofread your work.

    • 1
    • 25
Nov 7, 2018

Hi BatemanX3, thanks for the awesome feedback. Give you bananaaaas~
Any comments about the networking? I am currently working on case interviews in the consulting club.
Regards
John

a monkey brain

Nov 6, 2018

The short answer is No, you are not too old - I know people at BCG that started in mid-late 30s following a post doc. There were also a couple of people at Bridge2BCG that looked to be close to your age.
However, at that age, do you want to be traveling every week, away from your family, working long, stressful hours? I think that is generally why you don't see many people entering consulting in their 40s. But if you feel up to it, and make sure you make it clear in your interviews that you are excited for the lifestyle, you will not be turned down just because of age.

    • 1
Nov 6, 2018

Related to the above, consider life science focused firms. Generally they have very low travel requirements and there are a huge number of them based in Boston.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2018

hi Research-Server, could you nominate a couple of them, please?
Regards
John

a monkey brain

Nov 9, 2018

At my firm (MBB) it is entirely possible, as long as you do well in interviews and prove you're motivated in pursuing a career in consulting. Having said that, there's a few points that you should consider before making the jump:

  • Lifestyle: are you comfortable travelling 4/5 days per week and averaging 70/80 hours of work per week?
  • Age of your peers: if you were to enter at the post-MBA level, most of your peers would be aged 28-32 and a very good portion of your seniors, even Partners, would be younger than that. Are you okay with that?
  • Type of work: as an externally-hired Associate/Consultant, expect to be treated as an Analyst during your first 6/12 months - that means you'll be making very few decisions and most of your work would be executional (i.e., producing pptx slides, doing analyses in Excel, taking care of logistics/printing, etc..)

Good luck!

    • 2
Nov 9, 2018

Thank you! Abrix,
I have considered the points you listed. As a postdoc at Harvard, I do work 80 hours plus a week under enormous stress. The lifestyle was not an issue. About the age of peers, I have no experience with young bosses. It could be an issue if the discrimination from above. But as professionals, we work with each other for the company. The last point is the type of work, as long as I have the chance to move to another end of the spectrum, I would not complain about it at all.
I really appreciate your answer. It encourages me a lot. Now, I need to work out my strategies to get my ass into a consulting career.

a monkey brain

Nov 10, 2018

First, it is not too old. You should see those doctors who have completed their residencies....

As a Harvard person, have you subscribed to harvard graduate consulting club? heard they are awesome and provide a lot of opportunities. I have seen people way older to come to info session. So don't be afraid and talk to a recruiter.

    • 2
Nov 9, 2018
Comment
    • 1