Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah And James As They Reveal The Strategies You Should Follow To Be Hired As A Management Consultant

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah discuss the Management Consultant career for PhDs with panelists who have successfully transitioned into those roles
  • Next, Isaiah and James reveal the scope of Management Consultants in combating the job challenges that PhDs will face in 2021
  • Finally, Isaiah and James explains how Management Consultants work to solve business problems

From This Week’s Show…

Why PhDs Make For Great Management Consultants

This is one of the top career tracks, a lot of PhDs are getting hired in. We came from different academic backgrounds like organic chemistry and education but wanted to learn something beyond our academic horizons and once we started it fit like a glove.

It does not matter what your background is or how certain you are about being a management consultant. As far as business acumen training is concerned, it is definitely crucial as it can get you hired into management consulting. But in order to acquire the business acumen or breakthrough in this field you don’t need an MBA.

As PhDs, we basically have no idea, we are  always closed in our labs, in our bubble doing research and the only worry is to make reactions happen or progress research further. So even after working in the industry for a year, I still had a lot of gaps in my knowledge, in terms of industry, how problems were solved in business and industry, what management consulting was? how these big decisions were made on a higher level about mergers, acquisitions, promotions, the analysis and the problem breakdown were still an enigma.

After I went through the management consulting training I realized that it is like a fast track for all the business knowledge that you never gained during your PhD.

Scope Of Management Consulting In Combating The Job Challenges Of 2021

Management consulting has tremendous value in a decentralized framework, in a lead thinking approach to all types of business and real world problems. It extends beyond businesses; profit and nonprofit, for example, education, government and other NGOs.

I think that there is tremendous value in having this structure of frameworks that allow you to take on any problem at any level of ambiguity, regardless of your own level of expertise, because you have learned the problem solving process.

There are thousands of companies that hire management consultants. There might be different titles, different types of consulting – at times broad at time narrow niches. 

Many companies are trying to revamp their strategies. The pandemic pushed us through the equivalent of five or six years of digital change, digital transformation. Of moving everything into the digital world, into remote work. Whilst  a lot of industry experts thought that this would happen at some point, it has happened and we adapted through the jump. 

That means that all types of companies are having to completely rethink how they would mobilize their workforces, how they would keep their employees happy, and, on the front end, how would they make their services, or products available to the people in this new world.

A delivery service door dash, became an IPO last week,  something that was really accelerated because of the pandemic. 2021 is bringing all these concerns to the industries: from local restaurants figuring out how to deliver their product to people during this pandemic to a massive software company trying to figure out how can we get our services, products to the people without going in front of them physically, how can we sell online? How can we present more of our value proposition digitally?

So, there’s tons of stuff. And the industry is growing massively and so are their concerns in the pandemic. Management consulting steps in and gives you an objective, acts as the objective outside observer. 

The Value PhDs Add To Management Consulting

As a PhD,  you’re incredibly valuable. A study from McKinsey reports that there is a massive deficit, about 20% in the job market for people who can research and analyze data correctly.

I have seldom seen PhDs who were scared to jump in management consulting as they did not have any business background. But at some point, it clicks that PhDs pick this stuff up so much faster than MBAs because you already have the problem solving skills. You think about how to solve problems in a very similar way. And especially if you’re working in the hard sciences or social sciences, you have a commitment to using logic and evidence, to find an answer to a problem. And that’s exactly what people want out of a management consultant. 

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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