Demystifying Consulting Clubs for Freshman
Joining a consulting club can be a pretty stressful task, especially for young Berkeley students who are just starting to get their bearings on campus. We sat down with two of our freshmen and asked them to demystify the recruitment process and to offer their advice to anyone who may be on the fence about applying.
Meet Swad and Anmol!
Swadhin Nalubola is a first-year, bioengineering student currently serving as a Senior Analyst for Phoenix Consulting Group. Along with Phoenix, he is also active in Hall Association and Residence Hall Assembly. Some of his hobbies include listening to music, playing soccer with friends, and practicing the saxophone. Before Berkeley, Swad was a part of multiple STEM-related organizations in high school, along with Student Government and Red Cross. Having worked in research labs throughout high school, Swad hopes to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.
Anmol Seth is a first-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. Alongside his involvement in Phoenix, he is also active in Bears Without Borders and RCSA. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Anmol was passionately involved in numerous organizations such as Future Doctors of America, FIRST Robotics, and the San Diego Youth Symphony to name a few. In his senior year of high school, he was as a clinical intern at Palomar Health which solidified his passion for working in the healthcare industry. Looking ahead, Anmol sees great potential in the rising field of precision medicine and seeks to work at the forefront of healthcare tech.
What drew you to Phoenix Consulting Group initially?
At first, we had only heard of Phoenix through friends - not only did the organization sound exciting, but Phoenix also seemed to be right up our alley. However, it wasn’t until we met the amiable and social members of the organization that we knew this would be a perfect fit. We got to meet people at Cal who had incredibly similar interests and passions as ourselves; we really felt like we belonged here from the beginning. Their “work hard, play hard” mentality epitomizes our ideal undergrad experience, and we have truly seen this reflected in our first semesters as Analysts. Looking back on our early impressions, we both believe Phoenix Consulting was undoubtedly the best possible organization for us to join at Cal.
Having just finished your first semester at Phoenix, what were your semester highlights?
The small moments of this semester shine the brightest. The bonding experiences we shared with the other members were memorable and will stay with us for many years to come. The culture of the community of people in this organization is remarkably warm, friendly, and supportive. From singing our hearts out at karaoke together, to buying an unnecessary amount of boba before meetings, to cliff jumping in Santa Cruz, this semester in Phoenix has truly been one to remember. We can’t wait to see what the next 7 semesters have in store for us.
Personally or professionally, how has Phoenix helped you going into your second semesters?
Coming into Berkeley, we were both set on applying and going to medical school after our undergraduate years. However, joining this organization has been an eye-opening experience on how incredibly diverse and exciting the healthcare industry is. We were exposed to many unknown facets of the healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries that were never mentioned in high school. If anything, joining Phoenix has solidified our passion for healthcare and provided us with valuable and memorable interactions that are hard to come by in your undergraduate experience, such as personally working with doctors and interfacing with executives from Fortune 500 companies. Furthermore, the upperclassman in Phoenix generously took the initiative to reach out and help us finely tune our resumes and LinkedIn profiles, as well as giving us invaluable advice on which courses to take, which research labs to join, and which internships to apply for. We’re incredibly thankful for the opportunities that Phoenix Consulting has given us.
How would you describe Phoenix’s recruitment process? What advice do you have to freshman applicants this semester?Although Phoenix’s recruitment process initially seemed daunting, it turned out to be quite doable. The recruitment events are thoughtfully designed to be fair and bring out the best in every applicant by highlighting their strengths and unique abilities. Not only did the process push us to put our best foot forward, it also gave us an idea of what to expect in future job applications and interviews. Each of us came into a college with a passion for healthcare, and Phoenix’s focus on consulting in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries drew our attention. Interestingly enough, neither of us had any prior experience with business or consulting. The application process, however, very much accounts for this - the members of Phoenix recognized our genuine interest and gave us several opportunities to prove ourselves. For incoming freshman applicants, we would recommend that, regardless of any prior experience (or lack thereof), they should simply be themselves. The recruiting process is designed to identify one trait: a passion for and interest in consulting as it applies to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries.
Practice case interviews (Victor Chang is a god), study hard, try your best and you will do great!
You can find out more about Phoenix Consulting Group at one of our Information Sessions and at our website: phoenix.berkeley.edu
Our Spring 2019 application closes this Friday, February 1st at 5:00 PM PST! Make sure to submit your app before then.
Member Spotlight - Meet Anika!
Major: Public Health & Economics
Grad Year: 2020
Position in Phoenix: Project Manager
Background/Achievements: Over the past few years, my goal has been to learn about the healthcare field from various avenues including research, policy, and business. My previous experiences include researching space travel’s effect on the human body at NASA Ames Research Center and working on health policy as a Congressional Intern in Washington DC. Currently, I work at a business incubator that specializes in healthcare start-ups, and I’m involved with research at a mental health organization. This summer, I’ll be working as an internal consultant at DaVita headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
Why did you join PCG and how has it helped you? I joined PCG because I love the intersection between healthcare and business, but I wasn’t too sure about a career I could pursue within this field. PCG gave me the opportunity to delve more into the world of healthcare and biotech, and it taught me how to apply basic consulting skills to this specialized field. Beyond the skills I learned from our projects and consulting work, the people in PCG have taught me more than I could ever imagine. Everyone in PCG comes from a diverse background, and members bring these new perspectives to the table whether we are grabbing dinner or having a project meeting.
Favorite part of winter break? My favorite part of winter break was traveling with my friends to Portland. We spent the entire trip eating at the best brunch and coffee places all over the city!
Favorite part of PCG? One of my favorite memories of PCG was after Team Amgen's final deliverable, we grabbed some Mexican food and had a picnic on Dolores Park. It was so nice to celebrate with our team and really enjoy each other’s company.
Member Spotlight - Meet Kayla!
Name: Kayla Chang
Major: Mathematics and Intended ORMS, 2021
I'm currently an Associate and Account Manager in Phoenix. Outside of PCG, I work a lot with kids: mentoring Sage, assistant teaching at the Berkeley Math Circle, and coaching debate at the Nueva Upper school. I also am involved in Neurotech@Berkeley. Last summer, I worked at a summer camp startup for middle schoolers of which I was a founding member, directing and managing locations across New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
Why you joined PCG and how it's helped you:
I joined PCG my fall freshman year. Even though I loved medicine and science, I knew I didn't really want a career there; so, I was really drawn to how PCG is the intersection of two different fields. After attending an infosession, I immediately clicked with the diverse group of people. Since then, I've learned so much about how to break down the huge and general problems companies present to us. My Project Managers, Big, and older members have completely reshaped my majors and life ambitions. Socially, I feel like the best representation of how much I love everyone in PCG is how whenever I have free time, I make my way to the Phoenix table just so I can hang out with everyone!
Favorite part of summer break:
My favorite part of summer break was definitely my trip to London— I got to see some really cool things as well as eat some great food (and some not so great food).
Favorite memory in PCG:
One of my favorite memories is how just a few days ago, my team from last semester had dinner and caught up with each other (shoutout to Advent Access Team <3).
Member Spotlight - Meet Andrew!
Name: Andrew Nam
Major/Minor: EECS and Bioengineering, 2019
Position: VP of Projects
Background and Achievements:
I am currently the VP of Projects for PCG and was previously a Project Manager and President. Outside of PCG, I’ve been involved in the BioE Honor Society as well as research in the Fletcher and Maharbiz lab. I was an R&D intern at Accenture for the past two summers, and I’ll be interning at Google this Fall.
Why you joined PCG and how it has helped you:
I actually founded Phoenix Consulting Group. I was really interested in both biotech and consulting when I came to Berkeley but realized that there wasn’t any student orgs that combined the two. I was really lucky to be surrounded by a great group of founding officers that shared my interest. PCG has been a huge part of my college experience. It’s helped me explore the biotech and healthcare space and where I saw interesting opportunities in the future. Also, I’ve met some of my best friends including my roommate through PCG.
Favorite part of Summer Break:
My favorite part of my summer was visiting my roommate in Seattle and going to a music festival in Vancouver.
Favorite Memory in PCG:
One of favorite moments was singing (screaming?) Africa by Toto at karaoke with my project team at banquet last semester.