I'm finishing up a PhD in communications and audience/user analytics at a major state flagship university and I'm seriously considering going into the private sector as I've always been interested in working as a consultant or in finance, etc. It was a dream of mine when I was in high school but for all kinds of reasons I ended up in social sciences.
I've done some networking but I feel like the transition has been difficult because 1) I don't have any finance background or the domain expertise, and 2) Employers look at PhDs as somewhat "overqualified" and awkward to put in entry-level positions.
I tried to emphasize my research skills and analytic expertise that are very much transferrable when I applied to some positions (e.g. consumer insights or market analysts). However, I think the lack of experience in the industry has been a huge problem.
I've had a few opportunities interviewing at small consulting firms and made it to the final rounds of interviews. In the end, though, I either didn't perform strongly on the case interviews or there were competitive candidates with more industry experience.
I really wish i'd gone to business school instead of the PhD program but at this point as I'm almost done, I really don't think I can afford more schooling, both time wise and money wise.
If anyone has any advice for me, I'd sincerely appreciate it!