Happy Friday! I have an upcoming interview for a consulting position at Abbvie. Any insights into what consultant roles look like within pharma? I have been applying to other consulting firms but am intrigued to work directly for Abbvie. Any pros/cons to working for firm vs pharma company? TIA!

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Hi! Happy to share some experiences as I worked with Bayer in a similar role. The pros: 1) you feel very connected to the ‘client’ and can see projects all the way through even if you’re not working on them anymore. 2) the exit opportunities are mostly focused on roles within the firm, and to many pharmas the internal consultants are a pool of high-potential candidates that need some more grooming before taking on senior level positions. 3) you will get to know all facets of the company’s operations over time. The cons: 1) you should go in expecting to ‘exit’ into the company after a few years. The whole model is built for that. 2) you bid against external firms but bring a weird value proposition — perfect knowledge and connection to the ‘client’. Oftentimes consultants are brought in to go against the status quo. That’s difficult if you need to play along with the politics as an internal resource. 3) the team will likely be small, and you will likely be staffed with the same people over and over. That can be great or terrible…

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