Student Corner: The Consulting Club

In 2015, trainees from across the TMC came together to start the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center, an organization that helps advance-degree candidates learn more about careers in management consulting. It offers educational workshops on business basics, resume building and case interview preparation and consists of Ph.D. students, medical students, postdocs and residents from nearly every institution in the Texas Medical Center.

Matthew Dysthe

Members can gain real-world experience through consulting projects and the annual Greater Houston Case Competition, which showcases the skills consulting firms look for in competitive applicants: critical thinking, teamwork, communication and problem solving. Past members of the organization have successfully pursued careers at top management consulting firms.

Baylor graduate school student Matthew Dysthe serves as assistant vice president of finance and operations for the organization. In this role, he helps with advertising events, maintaining the club’s website and handling financial matters for the club.

Dysthe is currently in the translational biology and molecular medicine program in the lab of Dr. Robin Parihar, assistant professor of pediatrics – oncology at Baylor. The lab focuses on natural killer cell-based therapies for cancer, specifically how they can increase the therapeutic efficacy of adoptively transferred natural killer cells. Dysthe’s work focuses on improving the longevity of adoptively transferred cells.

He first learned about management consulting from another student during their lab rotation. Dysthe liked the speed and diversity of projects available to him in management consulting and thought it would be the right fit for him.

“Depending on what type of firm you work for, you get the chance to learn a lot in a short period of time and are exposed to a variety of industries,” he said.

Hear from other Baylor students on the club’s leadership team, including Carlo Cristobal (president), Mayuri Patel (vice president of education and events) and Oscar Truong (vice president of finance and operations), about why they became interested in the club:

Carlo Cristobal, Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences

Carlo Cristobal

I had always been interested in business, so consulting was on the radar as far as career options go. What attracts me the most about this career path is the potential to use my scientific training to help make impactful decisions across a wide range of industries. I knew that a number of BCM Ph.D.s went on to become consultants, but I had no idea how to get from point A to point B until I joined the Consulting Club. The workshops, panels and material from the club provided clarity about what consulting careers are and the exact steps I need to take to get there. The training and resources from the club have also helped me approach a variety of problems in a structured and rigorous way.

I am currently leading the club as president, and this year we’ve lined up workshops and activities to help anyone in the TMC learn more about the business world in general. We had a free, recorded webinar where we gave an overview of consulting careers for Ph.D.s: what consulting is, different consulting companies, and how Ph.D.s can land jobs in the top consulting firms. We have a talented, motivated member base from across the TMC, and we’re excited to have more people join the community!

Oscar Truong, Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Virology and Microbiology 

Oscar Truong

The same interests in problem solving and drive to understand the mechanisms of the world around me that initially drew me to science have led me to explore a career in life sciences consulting. For me, consulting will provide a dynamic environment to use my analytical ability while collaborating with colleagues to pose probing questions, seek answers and solve challenges.

The Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center has provided me with a community of students that share my interests as well as excellent training and resources to best position myself for top consulting firms post graduate school. I lead finance and operations for the group and we are launching a quarterly publication that includes an alumni spotlight, features interviews with consultants and sector/industry reviews. We’re currently looking for new people to join our team to help with our business and market research efforts for this publication!

Mayuri Patel, Ph.D. candidate in Developmental Biology

Mayuri Patel

My journey into consulting was truly by chance. During the second year of my Ph.D. training, I stumbled on the Consulting Club at the Medical Center’s annual Case Competition. Having no prior consulting experience, I participated in the event with unfamiliar faces in a group setting. Though I did not win the competition, I was commended for my strong public speaking skills by the client. It was this energizing experience that pushed me into joining the club where I discovered a place where like-minded members were given the opportunity to explore consulting as a career option.

I am currently the vice president of education and events and am now developing educational programming that seeks to be beneficial for graduate students at all training levels. Though the club had previously provided late-stage students the resources to successfully apply for consulting positions, it is a lack of educational tools for students at all levels that I hope to fill. With our inaugural business basics series, we have participants at all levels learning consulting-related knowledge that is applicable along a broad range of careers outside of consulting. As we continue fostering this learning community and create new content, we’re currently seeking motivated and tenacious people to join our efforts.