Break Into Business Without a Business Degree

  • The go-to guide for candidates without Business degrees
  • Develop business acumen and avoid common pitfals
  • Written by Life Sciences PhD and former McKinsey consultant Bernard
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Are you a student or researcher without a Business-related degree looking to break into Business? "Break into Business without a Business degree" is the ultimate career transition guide. Packed with real case studies, the most relevant Business content, insider tips, exercises, and interviews with former management consultants, the book adds the first-hand experience and insight that is often missing in the standard careers materials. The book covers all career transition steps, from choosing a new career, building the right skills, writing Business-ready CVs and preparing for interviews, especially case interviews. As a career transition does not end when you land a job, the book has a dedicated chapter with behavioural and on-the-job strategies to help you avoid common pitfalls that former academics face when entering the Business world. 

How Is This Book Structured?

The book has five main chapters:

1. How to set yourself for success

This chapter deals with how to approach the career transition whilst you are still at university—how to develop the right skills and behaviours and go about job hunting. You may skip this chapter if you are at a later stage in your career transition (i.e., about to have job interviews or already secured a job).

2. The building blocks of Business

This is the most content-heavy chapter of the book. We will break companies down into their component parts and explore the building blocks of Business: Strategy, Organisation, Finance, Marketing and Sales, and Operations. You may find this chapter slightly unexciting, so I ask you to hang with me until the next chapter, where you will see how these pieces fit together when solving real Business problems.  

3. How to solve problems in Business

We will break problem-solving apart and deep-dive on the areas where academia and Business differ the most. We will gain insight into how senior executives make decisions and how to develop a Business-ready communication style.

Importantly, I will show you how to think in Business, so you don’t need to rely on pre-made frameworks and formulas, which abound in the literature. The chapter has plenty of examples and exercises to consolidate the learnings.

4. How to showcase your skills

After you build the relevant skills and behaviours, you need to communicate them in the best way possible. In this chapter, we will cover:

  • How to write a Business-ready CV: highlighting the differences between Business and academic CVs so you can make the right changes;
  • Competency based interview: I will provide you with a framework (an improved version of the STAR framework) to ace this interview type;
  • Case-study interview: we will apply the problem-solving tools developed in the previous chapter to solve a full case study, including an in-depth discussion.

5. How to thrive in a Business environment

This chapter deals with common challenges faced by students after getting a job, and how to overcome them. Full of testimonials, focussing on how to build on existing strengths and developing new behaviours to succeed in your new role. This is a very important chapter, as the transition does not end when getting a job. We will cover mental health topics and more tactical approaches to ensure you are effective and fulfilled in your journey.

About the Author

Content Creator
McKinsey & Company | Expert Coach |Five star rated |First-principles approach to case studies

Bernard is a former McKinsey & Company consultant with a Ph.D. in Cancer Research from University College London (UK) and is currently working in the Biotechnology industry. 

Bernard is an experienced case interview coach, having helped several clients secure full-time positions with MBB firms. His mission is to empower clients to think for themselves and enjoy solving cases with curiosity and an open mind. He developed an unique approach blending scientific and Business thinking that has proven very effective with coaching clients and in his career. 

Bernard is passionate about empowering students and researchers without Business-related qualifications to transition successfully into Business. He has given several talks and seminars at leading universities globally, written articles, made YouTube videos and mentored more than 100 students. 

Bernard also loves playing basketball, travelling, entrepreneurship, meditating, DJing and playing the guitar.

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