Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trying something new

Your client is a New York State Health Commission who coordinates organ donation amongst the state’s hospitals. In recent years, the demand for organs has been greater than the supply so the Health Commission has hired you to increase the number of annual organ donations in New York. How can we solve this issue? Can we increase the number of organ donations in New York (in non-nefarious ways, of course)? Do we understand the factors that determine the number of organs donated in New York each year?

You may be thinking....Wait did I read that correctly? Why are some policy makers coming to me, asking how to INCREASE the number of organ donations per year? This is an introduction to a case study. Some of these case studies may cover fairly silly topics, but the way you structure and approach your arguments and thoughts are critical. Case studies, therefore, are the prime meat and bones for a consulting interview. 

What is consulting though? A consult is a professional who gives professional or expert advice in a particular area. Depending on his or her expertise, consultants can specialize in IT, management, human resource, marketing , finance, technical engineering, science or many other fields. The role of consultant can fall under one of two general categories: internal or external consultants. Internal consultants are people who operate within an organization but can be hired by other departments. External consultants, on the other hand, are temporarily employed externally by another firm or agency.

I explored possibly going into consulting earlier this year. At the career fair, I talked with some of the top 3 firms like Bain and BCG. Their "pickup line" is that you can be working in a cheese factory, figuring out how to package and sell your cheese more efficiently one week and the next week, you could be working in fashion. You could even have the chance to facilitate the merger between two companies! Bleh. That seems no fun. There is a point, when you are trading goods, it seems that you just implement specific conditions specific to each product and make sure you minimize the cost. Needless to say, I wasn't entirely convinced.

Within these last couple of weeks, however, I was forced to do some job searching after my research funding fell through. During this time, I looked into consulting again but with the focus in pursuing medical and biotechnology consulting. I picked up a copy of Case in Point, the bible for MBA students. Flipping through this book, along with another case study book, I started to really enjoy the problems. Like problems that you see on your MIT problem sets, case study questions require you to digest the material given to you and structure your argument. Case studies, however, do not provide all the information that you need to finish the case. You need to ask the proper questions in order to get the right information. After miserably failing a couple of these cases, I finally started to catch on... but none the less I really enjoyed finishing these puzzles. 

Starting my junior year of high school, I have been doing research in some sort of setting. From working in hospitals to dark matter research, I have had the opportunity to explore novel areas of research with some of the best scientists in the world. For the longest time I really enjoyed research. Within the last couple of weeks, however, I have become a bit weary of research. With funding issues and the long hours of work that is not immediately useful, my time doing research within the past couple of months has started to get under my skin. I think that I need some time away from the lab, but my time in consulting will not serve as a new defined path away from medicine and research. Consulting will give me great exposure to the business in medicine and biotechnology that hopefully will boost my drive to pursue medicine and give me traits unique to other medical school programs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.