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Consultant from Physics

#1 Consultant from Physics
07/02/2012 19:07



I would like to ask if someone has suggestions about going to consultancy career coming from the academic world (physics).

Does it make sense? how likely is that one can get a decent position at the beginning?

Anyone with direct experience or knowledge about other people doing that?

As a brief summary of previous career, PhD in physics and postdoc at top-level US university.

Thank you in advance for your answers


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#2 RE: Consultant from Physics
08/02/2012 16:25

rc to artep (#1)

Physics? Choose your field of competition to play to your strengths.. Get some financial modelling under your belt and join an investment banking risk practice (EY, Deloitte , OW et al) as a quant consultant. Then leave after 2-3 years market experience to join Goldmans/Morgan Stanley....

Or join Accenture and do process mapping, your call....

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#3 RE: Consultant from Physics
08/02/2012 16:54

marsday to artep (#1)

actually you could just leave out the quant practices and go straight to the banks - IB has an appetite for people with your background and the PhD route is well trodden. Risk would be an option - typically market given your strong quant education - but frankly I wouldnt even go there, get yourself into the quant team of an IB working on developing trading models. From there you can look to make the jump to front office.

plenty of books around which will teach you some essentials of financial modelling. just grab a couple of those and get some grounding in it - but if you can do post doc in physics it wont be much of a leap.

consulting wont really give you all that more in variety of work if you join an EY or OW etc than a bank will, and the money will be considerably less. if you dont fancy banking of course then you could look at using your education in data insight and statistical analysis in consulting, eg in customer insight analysis for a consulting firm or think tank.

or there's always teach maths or physics - always need more of those. money isnt good at all for what teachers do, but I imagine an enormous sense of fulfillment (assuming its not all about the money).

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#4 RE: Consultant from Physics
08/02/2012 17:27

baykus to artep (#1)

First off, I should say I agree with the advice to skip consulting altogether and head to the banks.

If your hear is set on consulting, then from personal experience I can tell you it's quite doable. I've posted on this before - summary :

- Very few places where recruitment will see your PhD as an advantage - McKinsey actively targets PhDs, most other generalist shops will start you at same level as an undergrad (of course this doesn't mean you can't use your experience once in to advance faster)

- In fact, many consultancies may be wary of hiring you unless you are very convincing in your desire to start from the ground level and be a happy consultant. The reason is that right now you're a respected academic in your field - tomorrow you could easily be doing mind-numbing work that doesn't stretch your analytical skills. and PhDs tend to adapt badly to this chance and quit consulting.

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