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A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs

August 1st, 2009 11 comments

In this three-part series I’ll give you a how-to for getting an interview, preparing for it, and dazzling the interviewers once you’re across the table. These are the main topics we’ll cover:

Leaving academia and joining consulting firms is a something many PhD students (myself included) are getting interested in. Firms like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Associates once hired mostly MBAs but are now branching out to hire MDs, lawyers, and PhDs.

I wanted to make a big impact with the skill I learned during my PhD. I got excited when I heard about consulting because it promises just that. In the next three parts, I’ll take you through the big lessons I learned while preparing and interviewing: How to get an interview, how to nail the case, and how to dazzle them with your experience.

Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume gives you pointers to polish that scruffy science look off your C.V. and generally control your “personal brand” so that interviewers are impressed with you long before you walk in the door.

Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof talks about how to approach the case and how to practice so that you can shine while others look dull. I’ll give you some simple exercises that will improve the structure and creativity of the “case” portion of your interview.

Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass covers an important and often overlooked portion of a consulting interview… talking about yourself! I know you have some amazing stories to tell. This sections shows how to make your stories say the right things about you.

Please enjoy!

Disclaimer: I recently went through the application and interview process with a top firm, came out with an offer, and signed it! In this series, I share my experience and give some ideas for people on a similar path. However, at the time of writing (July 2009), I do not have any inside information on how any company conducts their hiring. These are just my thoughts!

Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume

August 1st, 2009 1 comment

This is the first part of “A PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” because personal branding and resume building can help you the most! Having a great resume and a powerful personal brand is necessary to get in the door, and if you do it right, you may have the job before you even start talking.

First I’ll talk about how to build your brand, then I’ll share my tips on resume writing.    Click to continue →

Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof

August 1st, 2009 5 comments

So far in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” we’ve covered how to work on your personal brand and write a resume that will get you an interview. Now, it’s time to get bulletproof for the interview itself.

Case interviews are an interview tool that consulting companies use to gauge your analytical skills. Essentially, the case interview involves answering an open-ended question about a business problem. The interviewer gives some background on a (hypothetical) company that needs help. Then the candidate talks through an analysis and solution.

I’m going to show you how to rock a case interview.    Click to continue →

Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass

August 1st, 2009 No comments

We have talked about how to get an interview and how to nail the case section. The last step in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job” is discussing your personal experience in a way that is clear, compelling, and shows that you’ve got what it takes to be a consultant.    Click to continue →

Categories: Academic, Consulting, Tips Tags: , ,