Saturday, April 10, 2010

MD/MBA Careers in Consulting

I'm covering highlights from the Association of MD/MBA Programs (AMMP) 8th Annual Conference. This morning's session on "MD/MBA Careers in Consulting and Entrepreneurship" was an excellent presentation by Spencer Borden, MD, MBA. Dr. Borden is the Senior Managing Scientist at Exponent, Inc. Exponent is a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex technical problems. He gave some great suggestions on how to get involved in medical consulting. Given that consulting ought to be focused around your expertise as a medical professional, how do you prove your expertise to your clients? Here are some practical tips:
  • Leverage your publications and case studies
  • References/recommendations from clients
  • Show knowledge about trends in the industry (perhaps you can do this by blogging)
How do you market yourself?
  • Network like crazy and use social networks
  • Reach out to 3 new contacts each day
Selecting a prospective client:
  • What type of firm has a business need your services?
  • Who could hire you? You must establish a personal contact within the firm since most cold calls don't work.

Other tips/comments:
  • Learn about "Proposal Writing 101" so that you understand the basics of writing proposals for clients.
  • Planning on working on your own? Do you research to learn how to start your own business and make sure you understand the pros/cons of working on your own.
Working in a consulting firm:
  • Your contacts will 
  • Have you considered some non-financial goals?
Non-traditional strategies:
  • Volunteer and leverage current events as a springboard
  • Constantly look for a "Plan B"
Questions from the audience:
  • How can medical student groups get involved in consulting?
  • Suggestions about specific consulting firms?
I find that many students who are pursuing joint MD/MBA degrees have strong interests in consulting. They want to work for McKinsey, Bain, or BCG(Boston Consulting Group) and build thriving consulting careers.

Speaking of consulting, I've been listening to some great business podcasts from iTunes and iTunes U. I've got these podcasts loaded on my iPod and I listen to them as I drive to and from work. One podcast that comes to mind was by Ron Nicol (BCG Executive Committee, Duke Fuqua alum, and a Fuqua Scholar) and he was speaking on the Duke University Fuqua School of Business Distinguished Speaker Series 2008-2009. These recorded lectures go all the way back to 2005-2006 on iTunes U, so if you're interested in listening to some great business leaders, I'd encourage you to visit iTunes U and the podcast section on iTunes. You don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts since you can listen to these lectures or view them directly on your computer.

Make sure to return in a few weeks to find a hyperlink to Dr. Borden 's slide presentation.

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