Monday, October 12, 2009

Consulting firms LOVE Harvard

I arrived in Boston and started in my new lab in the late summer of 2009. When I got here, I immediately started getting emails inviting me to attend all sorts of McKinsey, BCG, and Bain networking dinners and events.

I thought this was rather strange. Two months ago, I received a flat-out generic rejection from interest, application probably not even read. Two months later, I am being wined and dined by major consulting firms. What changed?---the answer is nothing with me, but everything about where I was.

I listened to all the companies sales pitches...all of them said almost verbatim, "You're at Harvard, you must be really smart, you are the kind of person we want to hire." I think I can understand where the elitist, holier-than-thou Harvard stereotype comes from. People here spend years being told they are the best and eventually they begin to believe it.

Despite my cynicism, I loved the work that the M/B/Bs were doing, I loved meeting the people, I loved the idea, I loved the money. I also thought that consulting was about the only career on earth where you could actively apply clinical knowledge, basic science knowledge, and an MBA to a career. Essentially I was sold on consulting and applied everywhere I could (even though I had only been at my new job for a few weeks). After all, my goal of coming to Harvard for a postdoc wasn't to be a great postdoc, but to ultimately get a great job...and if I had to use the Harvard name to do that...I think it's just part of the game you play!

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