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MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university

 
#1 MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
06/03/2007 22:36

DreamSky17

As a Ph.D in computer science, I feel really frustruted at this moment (not just from the writing-up).

I dont think the academia suits me best. Thus, I have determined to start a career in the business-oriented consulting position, and I am confident I will be learning fast and doing well if the chance is given. However, considering my engineering working experiences and scientific research background, most of my fellow researchers started to make fun of me even since.

Moreover, I understand most Ph.D who got offers from MC firms are most likely from top-tier or reputational uni. I am doing my Ph.D in a really ordinary university (probably "unknow" for most people here). Is my chance to get in MC really small?

In fact, some of my friends told me not to compete with thousands of "big guys" in the market for the MC entry, before my confidence gets destroyed fully.

I am a person who never gives up dreams. I know I will be still struggling to get in the MC career. However, I will fight for it. At least, believing something is always better than "no to belive sth"............

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#2 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
08/03/2007 05:02

Beng to DreamSky17 (#1)

You're in a tough situation. While some on this board might tell to you not give up hope, I think you should just expand your horizons and look into hi-tech companies where your degree and background might be more valued.

Big 4 don't actively recruit PhDs. MBB do recruit PhDs (and JDs, MDs, MAs, etc.), but from the more reknown unis. If you're deadset on joining a MBB-type firm, I suggest going back for 2 more years of schooling and getting an MBA from a top-tier B-school.

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#3 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
08/03/2007 13:08

DreamSky17 to Beng (#2)

thanks for the message and the effort to tell me a negative fact in such a positive way :-) Well, I am not really looking for the MBBB-type firms as I know the reality.

I just need a chance to get in the "consulting" door.

I am not saying scholar life is not good...but personally, I think it is time for me to have some change in my life...

ps: I guess ATTITUDE is more important than a lot of things, as a person.

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#4 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
08/03/2007 13:16

fish to DreamSky17 (#3)

maybe quant analysis is more your thing?

how's your computational analysis?

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#5 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
08/03/2007 13:28

DreamSky17 to fish (#4)

If what you meant was "quantitative Ph.D entry" in the IB field, I had a quick thought a couple of weeks ago. Well...my immediate reaction probably told me the story that IB is not really a place that attracts me most (based upon my belief to help and support the others), I have to say.

I understand determination is one part of the story...and the reality is another part of story...

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#6 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
08/03/2007 13:32

DreamSky17 to Beng (#2)

Besides, to do a MBA from a top-tier B-school is in the scope of my future plan. However, I would like to learn various and deeper business insight and important business models in practice first.

I believe this will help me a lot not just on my application to top-tier B-school, but also my personal development for my long-term career.

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#7 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
09/03/2007 00:34

p to DreamSky17 (#6)

Dreamsky, I empathise completly. I am a final year PhD from a Uni outside the top 10 and in a subject unrelated to business. However, I have just nailed a position within a 'big 4' consultancy and am ecstatic about it.

I too had reservations as to how well I would compete against students from Oxbridge/LSE/Warwick and the like. But with all due respect, I found it quite a level playing field during the interviews and beat off many top students to gain my position.

Don't let your mates put you off - I guarantee you if you don't give this a go, you'll regret it. No need to listen to their small minded jealous rantings. If you don't get in, well you gave it a shot atleast. At the end of the day, as a PhD student, you've got some nouce about you. And with a couple of years on undergrads, maybe you've got something else to offer companies. Focusing on what you can offer and how you are different to your peers is a very important interviewing skill. But remember not to go into consultancy just because you're bored of academia - you have to have some interest in business and how they work.

My advice: definitely go for it. What have you got to lose...? The only time your university may count for anything is during the inital screening process. And if your grades are good - maybe you've got a shot. Once you're at the interview stage, it's anyone's game.

Best of luck mate.

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#8 MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
09/03/2007 09:55

Jo to p (#7)

I totally agree with P.

I am a final year biologist ( phd) and have just got a job in a good strat firm.

Just make sure you really draw out the positives of a phd, and remeber the bottom line is that you are probably 3 years older than everyone you are competing with, and will be much more confident, espically under fire! Don't get dispirited if you only get a few interviews - just remember to make the most of them.

The interview really come down to good preparation. Spend time craking those cases before hand!

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#9 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
09/03/2007 20:43

DreamSky17 to Jo (#8)

Congrad. to both of you and thanks a lot for kind encouragement. I can only say that the reason to move to consultant is not because I am bored of academia. That is the place where I can see I have a potential in the future (at least from my viewpoint after having done a careful and long thinking process) .

I have already started my job application (although only two IT consulting firms). However, I am keen to have a go in MC :-) and of course I will...I think I have a mental preparation to get rejected...it is OK as long as I am learning sth. every time :-)

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#10 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
09/03/2007 20:51

DreamSky17 to DreamSky17 (#9)

Can I just ask both of you.if you get an offer from their graduate scheme (some firms may not make this distinction)?

1. How did you prepare for case studyings? I got a couple of case interview books and am doing some research. But I am still thinking it will definitely help if I can have some practical sessions (e.g. peering case interview)

2. How is the CV-based interview? Is that a different way to say "competencies-based" interview. You know, asking some questions "give me a time...."

3. I am actually 28 years, more than 3 years older than most undergrad I guess...haha...coz I did 3 years full-time jobs in industrial. I have no problem to go to gradate scheme (apart from the fact that some MC firms have already closed their graduate scheme recruitment).

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#11 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
10/03/2007 17:13

Jo to DreamSky17 (#10)

Hi Dreamsky

To ans your Qs-

I am entering my job with the undergrads, only McK & BCG offer higher grades for post-grads ( there may be a few more..)

To prepare- I persnally found the "wetfeet guides" to be the best. Went through three of the "ace you case" ones, the vault "carck the case" and everything online I could get my hands on. BCG have a good interactive case, which can help you get a feel of what you are looking for.

My advice with the case is- the dialogue you have along the way is as important as your actual answer. Don't be worried about asking for clarification, and also takes the promts they will give you ( sometimes they are hinting u should change your mind!).

I found all the interviews ( had almost 10 in all) a pretty positive and although I felt stretched I didn't feel people were trying to trip me up.

Best of luck.

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#12 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
11/03/2007 17:30

DreamSky17 to Jo (#11)

Thanks a lot, Jo :-) I think I will be more determined to have a go in MC and prepare cases more positively...

I always believe that the best interviewer should help interviewees to relax (and therefore they can give their best shot).

ps: whats a lovely day today..the spell of the spring finally comes, particularly after watching a cracking football game and cheering for excited win for England rugby (finally)...haha

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#13 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
28/03/2007 14:52

DreamSky17 to DreamSky17 (#1)

Hi'ya...P, Jo...Any valuable experiences to share with me? thanks....

Or, any further suggestions and tips for preparing for case studyings...I am a little bit bored on writing-up right now...

try to find other stuffs to do :-)

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#14 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
31/03/2007 15:16

DreamSky17 to DreamSky17 (#13)

I've applied two strategy firms (non tier-1 firms) so far, but neither of them invited me for the interview.

:-(

Does it indicate that I may have some problems with my CV and cover-letter...or simple because of my skills-set are not what strategy firms want in general :-(

Any advices

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#15 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
03/04/2007 12:27

Jo to DreamSky17 (#14)

My bet would be your CV isn't up to scratch, or you just haven't drawn out the right elements. Writing a good CV is a skill, but the same one you will need as a consultant.

- Know what they want to hear

-Know how to sell a concept.

Good luck

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#16 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
04/04/2007 10:54

DreamSky17 to Jo (#15)

Thanks a lot, Jo...I am not entirely sure what you mean by @know how to sell a concept@? tailoring CV for specific jobs, or write different statements to present related skills?

I went to see my uni's career service as well as consulting some of my friends. They reckoned my CV is well presented. However, I am going to look at my CV in this easter weekend AGAIN and shall try to improve it.

PS: just a quick questions, when some (USA-based) MC firms ask for CV, do they mean UK-style CV (nor. 2 pages) or more US-style resume (1 page)?....

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#17 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
04/04/2007 11:02

anon to DreamSky17 (#16)

If you're applying to a UK office, go with UK format, and if applying for a job based in the US go with the US format. If in doubt, go with whichever format you're most accustomed to using rather than forcing it to fit a theoretical national standard.

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#18 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
06/04/2007 06:39

miracle to Jo (#8)

I am preparing an interview for a consulting firm. Could you give me some advice on it? do appreciate.

send me email pls.

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#19 RE: MC chance for a Ph.D from an "unknown" university
10/04/2007 13:44

DreakSky17 to miracle (#18)

I guess miracle's question is for the "well-know" annon...as I haven't got any interviews chances with the "strategy-oriented" MC firms yet.

Good luck, anyway!

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