I believe scientists who prefer a fast-paced, dynamic work environment should definitely consider a career in consulting.
A passion for science
Raised in a family of medical doctors in beautiful Sardinia, Italy, I breathed their passion for science and human health. This led me to pursue a scientific career, first in human genetics, then in neuroendocrinology, and, finally, obtaining a PhD in neuroscience while specializing in neurodevelopmental diseases. After years in a very narrow field, I needed to broaden my horizons and nurture the entrepreneurial side of my personality, which I was struggling to develop in an academic setting. I became more and more interested in ways to leverage my scientific intuition and approach to problem solving and apply them to business. Management consulting gave me this opportunity. At McKinsey, I was impressed by the freedom we all have to shape our own careers with the support of the whole firm.
Applying a science background to consulting
The transition from the lab to consulting work has been really fun. Coming from a non-business background, I had a month of different kinds of training before I started my first project. The mini-MBA was by far my favorite, as I had the chance to dive deep into business topics taught by some amazing professors. The most important thing I brought from my scientific background has been the ability to distill the results of experiments into a few key lessons and to communicate them effectively.
At McKinsey, I have focused my work on the pharmaceutical space, helping clients to deal with the fast, unprecedented changes they face. I am excited by the challenges of my daily work, by the outstanding colleagues and support, and by the steepest learning curve I have ever experienced. I believe scientists who prefer a fast-paced, dynamic work environment should definitely consider a career in consulting.
Making a difference
The variety of problems we are challenged to solve at McKinsey is incredible, and I have had the chance to work on topics with a real impact, not just for clients but for society as a whole. During my many years in the lab, I focused all of my attention on the details. Here I can get back in touch with the big picture—for example, working on the launch of an innovative drug for a leading biotech company or developing a strategy to face the growing competition in the pharma industry. As a biologist, I have been thrilled to explore the interface between science and business.
University of Basel
University of Bologna
MS, molecular biology
University of Bologna