Workshop on How to Get a Job in Consulting
Archana Murali, a recent graduate of the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Program, spoke to graduate students on March 5th about her experiences landing a job in consulting. Murali will start a job as a life science consultant at Putnam Associates (Burlington, Massachusetts) this spring. She completed her graduate studies at Dartmouth in Professor Patrick Dolph’s laboratory where she studied prion disease in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies).
Murali started the session by giving an overview of the type of work that consultants perform. Broadly, consultants give advice about business decisions by analyzing data, presenting findings, and giving recommendations. She explained that to be a consultant you need strong communication and analytical skills and the ability to work well in a team and as a team leader. She stressed the importance of building your resume early and gaining leadership and business-related experience. Murali’s first step towards securing a consulting job was enrolling in a Tuck School of Business course: Contemporary Issues in Biotechnology. She also took advantage of the many Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) workshops on science communication where she learned how to communicate her research to a non-scientific audience. To gain consulting experience, Murali joined the Social IQ Consulting Club and the Graduate Consulting Club (GCC) at Dartmouth.
Murali stressed the importance of networking early on. At the annual Dartmouth Career Fair held in the fall, she spoke with recruiters from many consulting firms and was then able to refer to them in her cover letters. She also reached out to several people through the Dartmouth Alumni Career Network. Murali applied to most consulting firms via DartBoard, a resource for Dartmouth alumni and enrolled students to search for job postings and recruiting opportunities.
Murali discussed the two types of consulting interviews that one may encounter: case interviews and fit interviews. She advised students that it is important to practice case interviews early and often. The GCC is a great resource to get in touch with other students who are interested in consulting and with whom you might practice cases. The fit interview aims to assess your “fit” with the company. Fit interview questions commonly asked include: Why should we hire you? Why are you applying to this company? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in ten years? You can prepare ahead of time for these types of questions to ensure a smooth interview.
Murali recommended that students interested in consulting take advantage of the following resources:
- Tuck Courses/Info sessions
- Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL)
- Social IQ Consulting Club
- Dartmouth Graduate Consulting Club
- Graduate Studies Office
- Dartmouth Career Services: Career Fair and DartBoard recruiting
- Dartmouth Alumni Career Network
- Best-selling book, Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc P. Cosentino
Overall, the session was very informative for students interested in pursuing consulting careers.
by Amanda Balboni