I've been considering about a career change to consulting for awhile, and found this platform to be perfect to ask the next steps and how I should prepare myself for the options. I appreciate any feedback or comments!
Background: Graduated in one of top 10 universities in US with degree in biomedical engineering (not so great GPA). Worked mainly in personal care & household cpg, as both R&D formulation scientist and product development/project manager, with most recent gig at a global cpg brand. (I wasn't able to find anyone with similar background neither here nor reddit) Total YOE is a bit over 4 years.
tl;dr - working in R&D, want to transition to management consulting without any background in consulting or business. 3 options I think are: try to join MBB, join T2 or T3 and transition to MBB, get an MBA
I've recently realized that I no longer want to work in R&D anymore as we're always considered the bottom politically compared to marketing/sales and not recognized on the products that we formulate & produce. The ceiling for promotion potential is pretty low compared to other industries (almost all c-level positions are occupied by marketing or finance) and the pay potential is not that great either (sub 6 figures for people close to 10 YOE). I really love the job for its science-driven nature and being an SME in what I do, but I don't think it's worth compared to the negatives personally.
I fell in love with consulting due to 2 reasons: I like project managing and working cross-functionally to solve complex issues to ensure successful launches. Also, through investing, I became familiar with financial concepts and I really like the aspect of driving business growth/ development holistically, which has greater impact than R&D, which only deals with front side development. I don't mind long hours as I already voluntarily work OT & weekends
Since it is January, I think it's a perfect time for preparing for transition and I thought my options would be:
1. Try networking & finding a job in MBB as experienced hire - the best choice since I wouldn't be spending money & time on MBA but also the most infeasible considering my background (non-finance/business, non-engineering, non-pharma/healthcare, not PhD/MD/MS) and lack of experience in consulting or leadership.
2. Try networking & finding in T2 or T3 and transitioning to MBB - this option is great as well but after browsing on reddit for a while, it seems that it's almost impossible unless you really have a network pushing for you
3. Study for GMAT now and get into M7 MBA program in 2021 - most realistic option but most costly due to tuition debt + living expense + 2 years of unearned wages. Also, no guarantee that I'll make it into M7 nor MBB post graduation
In your experience and thoughts, what would be the best option right now? Study for case exams and start networking or study for GMAT and focus on applications? Also, am I even eligible for healthcare & life sciences consulting than MBB despite the lack of experience in healthcare/pharma?
Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you for reading this long post!