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Scientist in Consulting? Any opportunities?

#1 Scientist in Consulting? Any opportunities?
24/04/2003 00:00

Andy Roberts


Just wondering if any of you guys can help me... I've been interested in getting into management consultancy since graduation, but have never really known what opportunities there are for someone with my background...

I'm a chemistry graduate (1st class, Uni of Manchester 1999) and am currently working as a research scientist for a top 5 drug company. I am proficient in computing (I set up and maintain websites and DBs as part of my job), but don't want to become a "hard core" IT consultant, although I do enjoy IT in all it's forms... particularly the strategic thinking behind system implementation.

What sort of companies (if any) would cater for someone with a scientific, but business minded, person like me? I don't mind re-training, but would like to think that my research/problem solving experience can help me.

Thanks for any feedback.

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#2 Re: Scientist in Consulting? Any opportunities?
25/04/2003 00:00

Lawrence Wood

Hi Andy

I am a geologist by training and have been an Information Management Consultant for a couple of years. Like you, I am very interested in the business strategy side of IT within the scientific community - in this case, exploration not chemistry. I am thinking of a career change into one of the Big Four but I simply do not have the skills or experience to get in there yet (I am 31). So I cannot offer any help (sorry!), but I can offer empathy - you're not the only IT-interested, non hardcore techie type out there! Good luck to both of us!

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#3 Re: Scientist in Consulting? Any opportunities?
25/04/2003 00:00


Hi I wish you every success in moving into managment consulting. There is plenty of scope in the work to match your interests and I am convinced that your consulting will be all the better for having a background outside pure consulting. The place to look would be firm(s) currently consulting to your company, or at least in your field. Get to know them: your company/industry knowledge will be a fair exchange to get to know their perspective. This is your opening to understand what you can offer an consultancy, who is active in your field and to build your own network. Target them and who knows what it might lead to. Meanwhile, build your reputation in your own field of expertise, publish articles, speak at conventions etc. V good experience in advance of the move.

This approach certainly works - it's the route I followed to move from Coca-Cola to the (then) Coopers & Lybrand (later PwC). Bear in mind, however, that it is much more likely to succeed when consultancies are expanding and looking beyond the usual places for experienced staff. Now is a great time to start the process.

One caveat - please be clear about your personal balance sheet. Consider the costs as well as the benefits of your move.

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