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CAPS Snapshot:

Consulting 1

Company Description: Small Consulting Boutique Firm Pharmaceutical Strategy Consulting Title: Consultant Age: 27 Years in industry: 4 years in life sciences consulting; 6 years in health care consulting Education: BA, Psychology/Pre-Med; MA in Epidemiology/Health Studies (MAPSS) Hours per week: 50-70 Entry level salary: Approximately $45-$48K: 1. How did you get your first job in this field? Recruiters from NAME came to UofCs campus during the year I graduated from MAPSS and I submitted my resume directly to that recruiter who invited me to interview in their Chicago office. After undergoing a series of case study interviews (unrelated and related to health care) with 4 senior management team members, I received an offer through the Chicago office. I requested a transfer to the New York office, and after interviewing in NY (no case studies, just meeting people to ascertain fit), I was granted the transfer and an offer in NYC. 2. How do most people break into this field nowadays? Networking and college campus recruiting is still the best way to get in. HR departments at large consulting firms are swamped and without context or a name behind you, your ability to stand out or be noticed is a lot harder. 3. What is a typical career path in this field? How often are there advancement opportunities? Is most advancement within or across organizations? The typical career path for an undergraduate entering the job market is Research AnalystSenior AnalystAssociate ConsultantConsultantSr. ConsultantEngagement ManagerVP, PrincipalManaging Director. For an MA graduate (Non-MBA), the path starts at Senior Analyst typically. For an MBA graduate, the path starts at Associate Consultant. Sometimes a PhD will also enter at the Associate Consultant level as well. There is great opportunity for quick career advancement within consulting. A typical timeline is for one person to spend 1-3 years in each role before advancing to the next level. As an Analyst you develop analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills through data analysis in Excel and Access, and create most, if not all of your work/client deliverables, in Power Point format. As an Associate Consultant all the way to Sr. Consultant, managerial skills become front and center. In particular, communication skills (with clients and with the team), and the ability to manage upward as well as downward within the firm, becomes more critical (in addition to the critical thinking and

the ability to develop stories that answer the Burning Platform questions/issues for clients). 4. What do people in your field look for in a candidate? (Skills, personal qualities, etc.) Bright, problem-solver, critical thinker, team player, ability to remain calm in stressful situations, solid work ethic, person ability, professionalism. Case studies are generally given during an interview to gauge most of the qualities mentioned above. Case studies are business questions that are posed to a candidate during an interview. The candidate is asked to devise a plan to answer that business question and walk the interviewer through their logic and thinking to get to that business resolution. Most large consulting firms have examples of case studies on their career websites. All degrees are welcome, but in particular, Ive found degrees in Math or Science are preferred because they tend to reflect analytic skills. An MBA is preferred, but thats not to say one cannot start after Undergraduate training and work their way up the ranks. (It just might take a little more time!) 5. What personal qualities are necessary for someone in your job to thrive? See Answer to #4. 6. What advice do you have for someone with a bachelor's degree looking to enter this field? What about someone with a master's or doctoral degree? Depending on what you like, there are consulting firms that specialize in certain areas. However, the norm is that a consulting firm (e.g., BCG, McKinsey, Accenture, etc.) hires people to be generalists, with exposure to consulting in multiple industries. As an undergraduate, bigger consulting firms that offer a gamut of consulting offerings to multiple industries is your best bet. (Smaller, more specialized firms dont typically hire undergraduates AND it gives a person entering the work force a low-risk opportunity to explore). For those with Masters degrees or doctoral degrees, you may want to consider specializing (e.g., health care, IT, international tax, retail, process, strategy, etc.). 7. Are there any books, journals, web sites, resources, associations, etc. that someone looking to break into your field should be aware of? The web sites for Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Deloitte Consulting, Cap Gemini E&Y, etc. are good places to start. 8. What do you like best about your job? The fact that my value is in my ability to think. Each project is unique and different so I am constantly being challenged. There is great satisfaction in providing a client with information he/she did not have and seeing the value of our work. (Even better when things get implemented down the line!) 9. What do you like least about your job? Sometimes the hours get long and it can be very frustrating/stressful when you dont come up with answers so easily. Maintaining positive team dynamics can be challenging when working with different personalities and work styles.

10. What is your typical day like? 8:30-9:00 am Arrive at the office 9:00-9:30 - Catch up on emails and phone calls., read news 9:30-7pm (or later) Multitude of activities including, work on deliverables/decks, conduct team working sessions, create graphs/slides, have a discussion with a client, read a research article or therapeutic area report for background on a new project, present final deliverables to a client, etc. Typically, crunch time occurs right before a project is due, with 5-7 work days before the project completion ending after 9pm and the rare all-nighter! But for the most part, hours are typically 50-60 hours/week. Putting hours on the weekend becomes greater as you become more senior in the firm. But, generally, weekend time is really only typically put in the weekend before a deliverable is due.

Note: This is only ONE persons experience- find out more information about this career before you make a decision! Next Steps for More Information: Conduct informational interviews with alumni and others in fields you are interested in. o For information on how to conduct an informational interview, see: http://caps.uchicago.edu/resources/handouts_informational-interviewing.html. o For alumni contacts, see: https://alumniservices.uchicago.edu/Careers/network_main.asp?SSLChecker=TRUE o For more networking ideas and sources, see: http://caps.uchicago.edu/resources/handouts_networking.html Research the industry and the job positions. For research tools and resources, see: http://caps.uchicago.edu/resources/ Meet with a CAPS career counselor- call 702-7040 for more information. Attend a CAPS program or event- meet with other people already in this industry, or other students with similar interests. Check the CAPS calendar for upcoming events: http://caps.uchicago.edu/