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I received a PhD from a top UK uni 2.5 years ago and have become self-employed since then, is it worth trying to apply?

Application consulting job phd
Recent activity on Feb 20, 2019
3 Answers
1.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 20, 2019

I joined a startup after graduation but it went bust after 6 months. After that I chose to be a retail future/option trader at home. At the time I had done quantatitive trading as a hobby for a while and was happy to do it as a full-time job.

Now I am considering to apply for a job in management consulting industry.

I wonder given my situation how likely I would pass the CV screening and get invited for test/interviews? Since the preparation would invole months of dedicated work, I might not start the prep at all if it is unlikely to happen.

Thank you in advance for your advices!

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replied on Feb 20, 2019
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Short answer is of course "only way to know is to try".

Longer answer: PhDs are in high demand, since you've learned how to build a hypothesis and rigorously prove it + use logic & math in the process. Indeed, I often think PhDs and JDs have the perfect background for consulting, often much more so than MBAs.

You've also done a start up thing, which again is an appealing profile. You may have to work on the story telling a little bit ("trading stocks from my couch because I had no other job" is not what you want people to hear).

I suggest you reach out to friends / current consultants with a PhD, who may be able to guide you through the application and support the candidacy. Also, please understand the odds are always stacked against you (under 1% of candidates get an offer nowadays apparently), but it takes a lot of time and effort to be "ready": many of us studied well over 100 hours ahead of the interviews. A perfect profile will never be a guarantee you even get invited - but if you haven't started preparing by the time you apply, you will probably not be ready by the time you come in for the interviews. I highly suggest you start the prep today.

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replied on Feb 20, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Several points here:

  1. It really depends on how you present your experience. Even being a self-employed options trader can have a lot of achievements
  2. The likelihood really depends on your resume overall, so hard to assess without seeing it
  3. Try getting a referral to increase your chances. More of the referral here:


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Jan replied on Feb 20, 2019
RWTH/ETH/Stanford trained freelance consultant preparing for MBB+ ACs

Similar situation here. Would be interested to get an opinion on that one.

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Guennael gave the best answer


Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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