Life Science Consulting firms – What to Expect

Your undergraduate or graduate degree is slowly coming to an end? You have a Life Sciences degree but you do not wish to pursue the traditional pharmaceutical or research career? You are a “people person” who has a passion for problem solving? Use your scientific rigor (analytical and critical skills, hypothesis driven methods) in consulting. 

Life Science consultancy firms essentially advise on different aspects including market dynamics, governmental regulations, acquisitions of technologies or startups across life related fields (such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, computational biology). Client companies turn to them for:

  • Conducting due diligence prior to signing business contracts to validate the decision making processes. For example, how will the client company benefit from this startup acquisition? What are the risks associated to it? Can they expect a return on their investments?
  • Reorganisation of a firm’s internal structure or resource allocation: picture this case, a pharmaceutical company’s revenues have dropped subsequently and they want to know why. After analysis, a life consultant realizes that not enough resources have been allocated to the medical affairs department which communicate any drugs and new treatments to the medical sector. This meant that the doctors were not aware of the newly developed drugs and benefits meaning they were rarely prescribed.
  •  Identify a firm’s strengths and weaknesses amongst other competitors. In areas where the company is outcompeted or needs reinforcement, a firm could hire other firms which are more specialized. General market analysis can also be conducted to ensure the client firm stays up to date with the trends and acquisition of the latest technologies. 
  • Aiding with drug pricing: drugs take over 10-15 years to reach commercialization due to all the trials and approval processes needed to ensure its safety. As such, companies depend on drug sales for their revenues and need to be advised on their drug selling price. This ensures that the drug will be sold at a competitive advantage to ensure it benefits the affected patients, cover for all the clinical and development costs but also generate profit to fund future drugs. 

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Interested with any of the above? Students with a Life Science or related degree have a competitive advantage over their peers as they have been exposed to the biological jargon and techniques. To join a Life Science consulting firm expect the traditional CV, statement of interest and if successful interview process. During the interview you will likely be exposed to consulting case interviews, hypothetical business situations where you will be asked to solve a complex problem. These can take up to 45 mins and needed to evaluate analytical, communicational and problem solving skills. Make sure you attempt some case interview examples to boost your success rates.