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Advice needed: PhD to consulting

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 1st, 2020 12:37 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 25, 2018
5 posts
4 upvotes

Advice needed: PhD to consulting

Hi all,

I am currently wrapping up my PhD in science (medicial chemistry to be exact) and has been looking into a career in consulting.
I've sought out advice from a few healthcare consultants regarding my CV, all of which address how my CV is too academia-focused.
I do agree with that statement but what else can I do to improve? I have quite a few publications and patent contribution but lack experience.
I'm currently taking courses in business to help improve my resume. I also tried signing up for consulting volunteer opportunities but did not get a response from anyone.

I've started applying to jobs approximately a month ago to both big and boutique firms. I understand that I can't expect much during the pandemic but it is still quite discouraging.

Is it basically impossible to get into the industry straight out of PhD without an MBA/ industry experience? I'm at the end of my academic career and really don't want to be bench-bound.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated! If anyone knows of any internship or open volunteering opportunities, please let me know as well. Thank you in advance!
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2006
1681 posts
1973 upvotes
Congrats on finishing up your PHD. You've only started applying for work so you have to give it some time especially given the current situation. Do the roles that you have applied to require work experience? If so, that might be your answer. Reality is, you aren't the only person applying for those roles, so it may take more time.

Not sure where you are but take a look here: https://www.marsdd.com/work-in-tech/

A lot of start ups and I believe some consulting firms as well. Recall in the past seeing roles that are looking for graduate level backgrounds as well. Good luck.
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2009
586 posts
77 upvotes
USA
Consulting is about credibility. Part of that is achieved through your credentials and part of that is achieved through your interaction with your client.

Your background in academia may mean you can translate lab results into potential business impact so that solves the credentials part of it.

What you need to prove next is how you can work with your client in a way that instills confidence. I think you need some sort of a stepping stone. An MBA may solve that, but what about looking at other methods? Have you considered a stint in Learning & Development (e.g. training others how to use medical software or something else in an adjacent market) or Customer Success (maintaining and increasing recurring revenue opportunities for a B2B company)? These fields often have lower level jobs which can help you build your skills. Notice I said skills, not experience. The skills you have will come through in your interview when the time comes.
Member
Apr 25, 2019
263 posts
111 upvotes
Pimmypoo wrote: Hi all,

I am currently wrapping up my PhD in science (medicial chemistry to be exact) and has been looking into a career in consulting.
I've sought out advice from a few healthcare consultants regarding my CV, all of which address how my CV is too academia-focused.
I do agree with that statement but what else can I do to improve? I have quite a few publications and patent contribution but lack experience.
I'm currently taking courses in business to help improve my resume. I also tried signing up for consulting volunteer opportunities but did not get a response from anyone.

I've started applying to jobs approximately a month ago to both big and boutique firms. I understand that I can't expect much during the pandemic but it is still quite discouraging.

Is it basically impossible to get into the industry straight out of PhD without an MBA/ industry experience? I'm at the end of my academic career and really don't want to be bench-bound.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated! If anyone knows of any internship or open volunteering opportunities, please let me know as well. Thank you in advance!

congratz on PhD. I cant provide any career assistance but remember of a guy who is a PhD in chemical engineering. He lives in Vancouver but could not get a job so he ended up doing stocks. Now he is a famous day trader and has written some books also, you can google him up. His name is andrew aziz

Wanted to say things often turn out to be different than we expect.
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2009
4578 posts
2687 upvotes
Don't let the "you're too much in academia" be a barrier.

I currently recruit PhDs and researchers in tech, but past years I've recruited for biotech/pharma a little bit.

Your interview game must be top notch for consulting, have great examples of working with stakeholders and partners, especially if you have experience working with industry.
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2323 posts
700 upvotes
New Brunswick
You can try policing in Toronto. I remember reading about PhDs on the force.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 6, 2001
15043 posts
2971 upvotes
Stuck in a Box
Consulting hires PhDs all the time. Better have strong communication skills though.

Strong command of language is a must.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
13781 posts
8825 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Male Gigolo with PhD, good money!

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Jr. Member
May 23, 2020
122 posts
46 upvotes
There’s an app called Fishbowl where you can ask consultants those questions.
Sr. Member
May 24, 2007
510 posts
171 upvotes
dentonic88 wrote: congratz on PhD. I cant provide any career assistance but remember of a guy who is a PhD in chemical engineering. He lives in Vancouver but could not get a job so he ended up doing stocks. Now he is a famous day trader and has written some books also, you can google him up. His name is andrew aziz

Wanted to say things often turn out to be different than we expect.
https://www.osler.com/en/team/andrew-w-aziz

This guy? Looks like a lawyer to me.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 25, 2018
5 posts
4 upvotes
bhrm wrote: Don't let the "you're too much in academia" be a barrier.

I currently recruit PhDs and researchers in tech, but past years I've recruited for biotech/pharma a little bit.

Your interview game must be top notch for consulting, have great examples of working with stakeholders and partners, especially if you have experience working with industry.
Thank you for your reply! Since you were involved directly in recruiting, do you mind sharing what you look for in a candidate?
I've read up on articles and such but it would be great to hear from someone with experiences.

I know some companies put your resume through an algorithm and look for keywords while others have someone sifting through. What kind you things do you look for when you were recruiting for biotech/pharma?
How do I get noticed enough to proceed to the interview stage?

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