I feel like this is my first day at some strange group counseling session. As everyone looks around nervously, I stand up and finally say, “My name is Paul, and I left academics to become a consultant.” Phew, that feels better.
More and more academics are deciding that the “traditional” path isn’t for them. This blog will discuss the pros and cons of leaving academics to join the ranks of business or government consulting.
It is not for everyone (both the blog and the job). In fact, I would say that it probably isn’t for the majority of those that I met in Graduate School. However, I knew as soon as I first heard that companies actually hire other people to help them solve their hard problems that it was for me. How did I know? Over the course of the blog, I’m sure you will find out, but first let me tell you more about me. Let’s get to know each other here.
1. This is going to be an informal blog. I want it to be driven by the questions you have about becoming a consultant or even questions that you may have about the first few years as a consultant with a Ph.D. You can ask questions or make comments right on my postings.
2. I want it to feel more like a conversation than some high level analysis of how it feels to own your own business and work in the commercial sector. I think those articles are boring.
3. I am sarcastic. Some things I say may sound odd or funny. They are meant to be odd or funny. If they are not funny, then they are probably meant to be odd. If they are neither, then you probably shouldn’t become a consultant.
4. I don’t know everything (don’t tell my wife that), but I will work to find answers to your questions and will credit those who have helped me get those answers.
5. I want this to be fun. I hope you come and read these entries to both learn about consulting and be somewhat entertained.
6. After only 2 years of being a consultant at a big firm, I started my own company (AxHill LLC, www.axhill.com) and some of this blog will be dedicated to the things that I learn on the job.
So come, learn with me, ask me your questions and tell me more about yourself. Each week I’ll answer a few questions or fill you in on the latest mistakes (or successes) I have made all in an attempt to get you to know what it is like (or at least partially like) to be in the consulting world.