Need some answers re: recruiting and other things


I am a rising senior at a semi-target school (BCG and Bain recruit 1-2 per year, McK doesn't, heavily recruited by Big 4). My majors are biology and management.

Anyways, my problem is that I recently decided over the past few weeks that I want to go into consulting rather than grad school/med school. But I don't have anything business related on my resume. I've got good grades(3.83/Science:3.77/business:3.82), honor societies(econ and bio), bio research, other nice EC's, etc...but nothing regarding business. I can't try for anything business related this summer as I already have a research internship.

So my questions are:

  1. Is there anyway I can make myself attractive for BCG or Bain?
  2. If I go to a top med school (just for MD, not MD/MBA) and then try for management consulting, do I have a chance? If so, what positions do they usually start at?
  3. I've always wondered how the bonuses are decided...

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments (12)

Jun 13, 2007

you'd actually do better if you got an MD and then went to them as long as the MD is from a top school. Consulting firms love science & engineering folks, and although in the short term you'd start out at the same salary as an analyst I believe, it gives you a lot more options and makes you much more desirable to the top firms bc you have actual working knowledge of science and presumably the healthcare industry's basic workings then.

Jun 13, 2007

you'd actually do better if you got an MD and then went to them as long as the MD is from a top school. Consulting firms love science & engineering folks, and although in the short term you'd start out at the same salary as an analyst I believe, it gives you a lot more options and makes you much more desirable to the top firms bc you have actual working knowledge of science and presumably the healthcare industry's basic workings then.

Not really. If he had an MD, he'd come in at the same salary as an Associate (B-School grad) at the top firms.

Jun 13, 2007

he's deciding between going straight in, or getting an MD, not MD vs. MBA.

Jun 13, 2007

considering how little Bain or BCG take, and since he obviously has a desire to work there, He has a much better chance with an MD is my opinion.

Jun 13, 2007

I was commenting on the "in the short term you'd start at the same salary level as an analyst" part.

Analyst (McKinsey calls their undergrad hires Business Analysts, Bain calls then Associate Consultants, BCG calls then Associates) refers to an undergrad hire.

Associate (McKinsey), Consultant (Bain, BCG) is generally an individual with an advanced degree.

Also, I really don't think getting an MD is the best way to get into consulting. Firstly, an MD is a huge commitment. It's four years long, rather arduous, and very expensive. In addition, he won't make any connections while at Med school.

On the other hand, he could take a job in industry, work for a couple of years, then get an MBA. He'd have a MUCH better chance of getting into a top MC firm and he would've made many connections in the process.

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Jun 14, 2007

that applies only if he gets into a top MBA, which would require good work experience pre-hand, which it sounds like he has trouble obtaining right now.

While an MD doesn't directly make any connections, it sounds like this guy is pretty confident of his chances of getting into a top school. In that case, an MD would place him in a very good position.

It's the same idea as to why finance and consulting firms love engineering, math, and science graduate degrees IF they can get those guys to be willing to do finance.

Fundamentally though, he should check with anybody who's actually working at these firms to check on what they think of these degrees.

Jun 14, 2007's the situation. My grades, MCAT scores, EC's are top notch and even above average for the majority of top med schools. But med school is more than a numbers game so I can't be definately sure what will happen.

However, I am confident that I will get into one of these top schools; though it might not have a top notch MBA program. Hence, I'm not looking at MD/MBA.

I've already contacted some alumni in the field, but none have responded yet.

But going back to my first question, is there a way I can make my coursework, research, or leadership EC's attractive for a top consulting firm? If so, how would I do that?

Jun 16, 2007

While I understand your thinking, Warhawk, I strongly recommend that nobody go through with an MD just to try and get into mgmt. consulting, as that may be one of the worst decisions/investments an individual could make.

All the flavors: I work for a consulting firm and we have an online database in which you can look up any member of the Firm and their "past life".
Speaking directly of those at or above the Associate (post-MBA) level who have spent most of their time on PMP (pharmaceuticals and medical products) studies; while there certainly are individuals with an MD, there are many more who have the research experience/academic background that you have, even to the extent of a few years post-undergrad work experience in a related role, either at a university or in a Pharma company's marketing or R&D dept.

Unfortunately, there is a strong misunderstanding on this site that you have to work at one of the "right" companies to get into a top MBA...

I'm not going to lie, certainly it helps to have such brand credentials on one's application, but remember that there are thousands of others (and certainly the majority of students)at top 10-15 programs who do not have such "credentials".

Also, consulting firms doing work at pharma companies are not performing the "scientific" work behind products...they are most likely creating strategies for hitting the right markets at the right times, developing proper product mix and getting into as many consumers' hands as possible, and developing internal leadership capabilities in the same way consulting firms do to consumer products it is more about developing sustainable profit sources, enhancing public perception and creating shareholder value than it is about saving lives; potentially disheartening, but certainly true.

Be yourself, continue with good grades, nail the GMAT and find something you truly want to do, as certainly there is a company out there for you...

Above all else, don't be a lemming.

Jul 5, 2007

Hey man,

You sound like a smart guy, but going to med school to get into consulting is pretty crazy. Med school is incredibly expensive and time consuming. You learn how the human body functions. Period. Maybe you'll take a class or two about the industry, but the only real opportunity to learn anything practical you'll have is during your residency, and that will be more about bureaucracy than strategy. I'm interning at a big pharma now and the in-house clinician/consultants are well payed (I believe), but usually older and I'm assuming have spent a large time in practice or doing something else before they came here.

The monetary and opportunity cost of going to med school is far too high, plus you won't be learning anything that will really help you in terms of strategic management. In short, if you want to be a doctor go to med school. If you don't, I'm with the guy above who said to get an phd or something in a hard science/engineering.

Jul 5, 2007

Look, don't go to medical school so you can get into MC. Consulting is a good job, but it's just a job. In the 4 years that you'll be in med school, most of your peers in consulting will have grown tired of their jobs and left to do something else.

Also, if I were interviewing you, I'd question your interest in consulting. And at most places, you wouldn't come in at the MBA level. MBAs are paid what they are b/c of their experience and education. You'd have none of that in medical school.

If you really want to get an MD, go for it, but then be a doctor or go into research or to a Venture Capital firm.

Jul 5, 2007

alltheflavors, i can speak from relative experience; my brother was in the exact same shoes as you, but with a double science major, same grades, and was premed most of college from a top school. he decided last minute that he wasn't sure about med school and wanted to try out business...particularly consuling and maybe PE after that

his route - got into a top 15 med school and deferred. then, got a job at a top MC, (M/B/B). he did this without an internship the previous summer. instead, he leveraged his summer experiences as a premed student and tailored his resume to accentuate things like teamwork, presenting results in front of management teams, and his critical thinking.

you've got great grades. mckinsey/bain will know you're intelligent. you've got to convince them you're interesting and have a desire to develop the skill set they can offer you. also, if you look at the incoming class of new hires every year at these firms, they usually have a strong majority who have done some form of serious community service or set up some impressive community service initiative.

leverage your premed experiences (i'm sure you've done some cool stuff with those kind of grades). be relaxed. don't go out of your way to mention premed at the interview, but if it comes up, say yes you were but you're now interested in consulting for reasons x,y, and z.

i think you've got a great shot...i know the post was a little vague regarding my brother, but if you have any specific questions, PM me. best of luck!

Jul 5, 2007