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R&D or Strat Consulting?

#1 R&D or Strat Consulting?
30/05/2009 08:42


So, I'm currently working in corporate R&D for a very big company. Its in a sector I'm very interested in and has a good working environment.

I have an offer to join a strategy firm (often mentioned on here) on a grad scheme. This is kind of going back to the beginning again (I have a PhD) but the reason I'm thinking about it is that I'm quite ambitious and don't want to get pigeon holed as a technical person and wait ten years to get promoted. I'm interested in VC or a senior position in a start-up in the tech sector.

The role I'm in now actually gives me some freedom to to some bus. dev work: Presenting new ideas, finding potential partners, networking and seeking external funding etc.

(I have also done some consulting and finance internships already and taken some finance classes).

Should I stay in the corporate and work my way up, build contacts, maybe an MBA etc. or join the strat firm and hope to leverage my past experience after two years?

PS if anyone knows who can give professional advice on this then give me their email - I'd pay for it.

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#2 RE: R&D or Strat Consulting?
30/05/2009 10:36

strafe to Hello (#1)

I would stay in the corporate sector. If you want to go into consulting, enter at the next common entry point - either post-MBA or as an experienced hire, depending how your corporate career and education develop. Going back to the start will not be of net benefit to your career and will be incredibly frustrating. The experience you describe in your current role suggests that you're not going to be tightly pigeon-holed there (that said, developing a specialism is essential to getting ahead in mid-career consulting, so don't resist it too much).

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#3 RE: R&D or Strat Consulting?
02/06/2009 22:43

Hello to strafe (#2)

Thanks for the advice strafe, much appreciated. Its kind of what my gut feeling is too, although the path Im on seems a bit different to most of my university colleagues. I feel pressure to take the consultancy job just because of the applicant/acceptance ratio.

I like the job I'm doing right now - it's just about not having visibility on where it will take me. Im in an industry that is young but (hopefully) fast growing.

How do people feel about the switch from R&D/science to a more commercial role? I know lots of people do it, but what's the best route? Are you glad you switched?

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#4 RE: R&D or Strat Consulting?
05/06/2009 07:49

hello Hello to Hello (#3)

It doesn't seem like you know what you want. Just because a lot of people apply to consulting isn't a reason to do it, unless your ambition is just to be like your friends...

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