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Clara

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8

What does Industry experience mean in the JD of consulting roles ?

Hi everyone,

I am from MBA'20 batch and I have 2 offers, one from a consulting firm(consultant, boutique firm) and another from a Pharmaceutical company(Program manager). The program manager offer is almost paying me ~1.5x that of the offer I have with the consulting firm. So, I am confused which one to pick from these 2.

My goal in 2-3 years is to be in the consulting space. So, could you please suggest what should I do in this case ? If I take the program manager role, will it still be possible for me to go back to consulting roles in Life sciences ?

Thank you,

Hi everyone,

I am from MBA'20 batch and I have 2 offers, one from a consulting firm(consultant, boutique firm) and another from a Pharmaceutical company(Program manager). The program manager offer is almost paying me ~1.5x that of the offer I have with the consulting firm. So, I am confused which one to pick from these 2.

My goal in 2-3 years is to be in the consulting space. So, could you please suggest what should I do in this case ? If I take the program manager role, will it still be possible for me to go back to consulting roles in Life sciences ?

Thank you,

8 answers

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Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Congrats for your offer!

I would make myself the following questions to reflect:

  • Which is my long term goal?
    • If consulting, as you say, the boutique positions you better for it -as it seems with the little details we have-.
  • How important money is? Depends on if you have MBA debts, your personal circumpstances, etc.
  • Which Job description excites you more? I would advise you to stay minimum 1 year, so ensure that you like it.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Congrats for your offer!

I would make myself the following questions to reflect:

  • Which is my long term goal?
    • If consulting, as you say, the boutique positions you better for it -as it seems with the little details we have-.
  • How important money is? Depends on if you have MBA debts, your personal circumpstances, etc.
  • Which Job description excites you more? I would advise you to stay minimum 1 year, so ensure that you like it.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi there,

Agree that this is a good problem to have!

Have you done any research/study about how likely these two options can lead to a top consulting offer down the road? Check how the reputation is for the boutique firm, are there many examples of their consultants moving to a better firm? Same for the Pharma company, any one succeeded in making the transition? You can ask a few people in the top firms who would they choose if they have 2 candidates with such profiles.

Also, as other pointed out, do note that for a program manager in Pharma company, 2-year is probably a bit short to position yourself as an expert. You might need to stay a bit longer to be more credible for experience hire.

Hope it helps,

Emily

Hi there,

Agree that this is a good problem to have!

Have you done any research/study about how likely these two options can lead to a top consulting offer down the road? Check how the reputation is for the boutique firm, are there many examples of their consultants moving to a better firm? Same for the Pharma company, any one succeeded in making the transition? You can ask a few people in the top firms who would they choose if they have 2 candidates with such profiles.

Also, as other pointed out, do note that for a program manager in Pharma company, 2-year is probably a bit short to position yourself as an expert. You might need to stay a bit longer to be more credible for experience hire.

Hope it helps,

Emily

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your two offers! This is already great job!

If I were you, I would definitely join the pharmaceutical company as a program manager and take the best offer. After a couple of years, you could still be able to move pharma division of the consulting company, if you' re still willing to.

Wish you best of luck!

Feel free to reach out.
Best,

André

Dear A,

First of all, my congratulations to your two offers! This is already great job!

If I were you, I would definitely join the pharmaceutical company as a program manager and take the best offer. After a couple of years, you could still be able to move pharma division of the consulting company, if you' re still willing to.

Wish you best of luck!

Feel free to reach out.
Best,

André

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Hi,

Congratulations!

Short answer: Yes, it's still possible to go back to a consulting role in Life Sciences.

Longer answer:

  1. Is the consulting role at this boutique your dream job? I'm confused as to whether it's consulting in Life Sciences or not.
    1. If it is, I'm confused as to why you wouldn't take the job your want in 3 years, now.
    2. If it's consulting, but not in Life Sciences, then it can make sense to take a Life Sciences job, to then pivot into Life Sciences consulting
  2. From what I've learned in life, take the most direct path to your dreams...don't let distractions get in the way
  3. Practice what I call "Future Regret Minimization": Picture which regret will be larger (and avoid it)
    1. In 2 years time, when you are a Program Manager, looking over at what could have been in consulting
    2. In 2 years time, when you are a consultant at the boutique company, looking over at what could have been as a Program Manager (and with less $ in the bank)
  4. You can also leverage your Program Manager offer to ask the consultancy to raise their offer. Question: What amount do they need to pay you for you to feel good about taking their offer? Decide that amount, then tell them that's what you'd need.

Extra: Be sure your expectations are the reality (to the best of your ability). How sure are you x job is what you think it is?

Hi,

Congratulations!

Short answer: Yes, it's still possible to go back to a consulting role in Life Sciences.

Longer answer:

  1. Is the consulting role at this boutique your dream job? I'm confused as to whether it's consulting in Life Sciences or not.
    1. If it is, I'm confused as to why you wouldn't take the job your want in 3 years, now.
    2. If it's consulting, but not in Life Sciences, then it can make sense to take a Life Sciences job, to then pivot into Life Sciences consulting
  2. From what I've learned in life, take the most direct path to your dreams...don't let distractions get in the way
  3. Practice what I call "Future Regret Minimization": Picture which regret will be larger (and avoid it)
    1. In 2 years time, when you are a Program Manager, looking over at what could have been in consulting
    2. In 2 years time, when you are a consultant at the boutique company, looking over at what could have been as a Program Manager (and with less $ in the bank)
  4. You can also leverage your Program Manager offer to ask the consultancy to raise their offer. Question: What amount do they need to pay you for you to feel good about taking their offer? Decide that amount, then tell them that's what you'd need.

Extra: Be sure your expectations are the reality (to the best of your ability). How sure are you x job is what you think it is?

Book a coaching with Vai

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While it is still possible to move from industry to consulting role at a later stage in your career, I find the transition much difficult as compared to moving from another consulting firm.

Further, your industry experience may not count at par with consulting experience. For example, if you have 2 years of industry experience, you may only receive the credit of 1 year towards future consulting roles. So if your long term goal is to get into consulting, It is advisable to get into consulting early.

With regards to 1.5x pay difference at a starting stage, don't just look at starting salary but also draw a parallel with how your compensation will develop in future in different scenarios: let's say 5-10 years into your consulting role vs 5-10 years into industry vs first few years in the industry and then switching into consulting.

Accordingly, take a call

Best wishes

While it is still possible to move from industry to consulting role at a later stage in your career, I find the transition much difficult as compared to moving from another consulting firm.

Further, your industry experience may not count at par with consulting experience. For example, if you have 2 years of industry experience, you may only receive the credit of 1 year towards future consulting roles. So if your long term goal is to get into consulting, It is advisable to get into consulting early.

With regards to 1.5x pay difference at a starting stage, don't just look at starting salary but also draw a parallel with how your compensation will develop in future in different scenarios: let's say 5-10 years into your consulting role vs 5-10 years into industry vs first few years in the industry and then switching into consulting.

Accordingly, take a call

Best wishes

Book a coaching with Thomas

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If your goal is to end up in consulting, I am more included to recommend the consulting offer. This is because joining a consulting firm a few years after an MBA is not very common and the processes and "pyramid" are not designed for this. Additionally, it is too soon to be an experienced hire.

If your goal is to end up in consulting, I am more included to recommend the consulting offer. This is because joining a consulting firm a few years after an MBA is not very common and the processes and "pyramid" are not designed for this. Additionally, it is too soon to be an experienced hire.

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Hi there,

congratulations on your offers.

If your goal is to be in consulting in 2-3 years, why don’t you just take the consulting offer?

In case you meant something like “be in MBB/Tier 2 consulting”, I would simply check which of the two companies give more options to land there based on their alumni (in general it is easier to switch from consulting to consulting, but it also depends on the boutique).

I don’t see the difference in salary as relevant given your goal, if the boutique helps to land in MBB later on and the pharma company doesn’t.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

congratulations on your offers.

If your goal is to be in consulting in 2-3 years, why don’t you just take the consulting offer?

In case you meant something like “be in MBB/Tier 2 consulting”, I would simply check which of the two companies give more options to land there based on their alumni (in general it is easier to switch from consulting to consulting, but it also depends on the boutique).

I don’t see the difference in salary as relevant given your goal, if the boutique helps to land in MBB later on and the pharma company doesn’t.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on your offers! It's never a bad problem to have to choose between two attractive offers.

I will split my answer in two sections
1) Info you might be interested in
2) Questions to consider to help you make up your mind

1) Info

  • Switching from industry to consulting is risky: Going into industry and then joining as a senior consultant or project manager has significant risks because consulting requires a specific skillset that you have not practiced in industry (e.g. storylining, clean and quick slide making, clean and quick excel making) - I have seen many senior new juniors that were experts in the field but failed miserably because their junior consultant could outperform them in all consulting aspects.
  • 1 year of consulting experience is equivalent to 2 years of industry experience: Assume you join consulting today as a consultant - you can be a senior consultant in 1.5-2 years - However if you go into industry, consulting companies will only consider you for a senior consultant role if you 3-4 years of experience.

2) Questions for your to consider in making up your mind

  • Does your salary comparision includes all benefits? (insurance, bonus, etc.)
  • Do you see yourself staying in this boutique consulting firm for the next years? or do you have another target consulting in mind? Are there alumni for your boutique firm that are currently working in your target consulting company? (this will help almost guarantee an interview)
  • Do you see yourself being a pharma expert on the long run? it might be good to get that experience now to build for an expert career in the future - Bear in mind though the coversion rate of years of experience and that you would need to practice consulting hard skills before you start applying to switch to consulting.

I hope this helps.

Best

Khaled

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on your offers! It's never a bad problem to have to choose between two attractive offers.

I will split my answer in two sections
1) Info you might be interested in
2) Questions to consider to help you make up your mind

1) Info

  • Switching from industry to consulting is risky: Going into industry and then joining as a senior consultant or project manager has significant risks because consulting requires a specific skillset that you have not practiced in industry (e.g. storylining, clean and quick slide making, clean and quick excel making) - I have seen many senior new juniors that were experts in the field but failed miserably because their junior consultant could outperform them in all consulting aspects.
  • 1 year of consulting experience is equivalent to 2 years of industry experience: Assume you join consulting today as a consultant - you can be a senior consultant in 1.5-2 years - However if you go into industry, consulting companies will only consider you for a senior consultant role if you 3-4 years of experience.

2) Questions for your to consider in making up your mind

  • Does your salary comparision includes all benefits? (insurance, bonus, etc.)
  • Do you see yourself staying in this boutique consulting firm for the next years? or do you have another target consulting in mind? Are there alumni for your boutique firm that are currently working in your target consulting company? (this will help almost guarantee an interview)
  • Do you see yourself being a pharma expert on the long run? it might be good to get that experience now to build for an expert career in the future - Bear in mind though the coversion rate of years of experience and that you would need to practice consulting hard skills before you start applying to switch to consulting.

I hope this helps.

Best

Khaled