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Thoughts on ZS (SIAPC) vs Health Advances (Sr. Analyst) for someone going in from a PhD in life sciences?
Curious about differences in type of work done, WLB, exit opps? Obviously ZS is much bigger and may have more recognition, but is the work a bit further from the science than HA? Also, can there be differences in job security? I appreciate any feedback!

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I joined HA as a Sr Analyst post-PhD and my experience has been very positive. Good WLB (it's rare for me to work over 50 hours/week, and usually when I do it's because I wasn't particularly focused or efficient). Most teams are flexible with scheduling and understand if you don't want to work the typical 8-6 but prefer to break up your day a bit more to more convenient hours for you (like I take a break to chill or workout almost every afternoon for an hour or two). Vacation time is respected and encouraged. I like the casework, and there's a pretty wide variety so it's hard to summarize. Just general strategy focused work in our main segments of pharma, med tech, diagnostics, and digital health/health IT. As a Sr Analyst you don't get to have a focus area, but you can rank your interest levels in various sectors and join the business development team for that area. Exit opps are pretty typical I'd say for life sciences in Boston or the Bay Area. Pharma and biotechs of various stages, VC, hospitals and research institutes, that kind of thing. Job feels pretty secure since we're really busy and actively growing to keep up, so they're definitely trying to hang on to the people they have. I'd be pretty shocked at layoffs, and if someone were to be let go for a performance issue there would definitely be lots of conversations about improving first. Happy to answer other questions!

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I heard back a couple days later for references and then about a week later got an offer

As a current PhD at ZS, if you come in as a generalist in the Experience Space, you can be staffed on a wide range of projects - some of these can be close to the science (in our R&D practice, Oncology vertical, Cell & Gene Therapy vertical, Pipeline & Launch Strategy, for example) but there is also a chance you can get stuck for ages on some random sales project with no science (like I was). Given the risk of getting staffed on a long and unappealing project at ZS, I might advise HA for science/projects. I do think ZS has good name recognition (can't speak to HA) and potentially greater job security given how big and diversified ZS is relative to the boutiques. ZS, please fix PhD staffing - it's so bad

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Can't speak to Health Advances, but ZS has a breadth of project work that is very science oriented (R&D excellence/Biomedica research groups) to commercial-focused, and everything in between. You'll have opportunity to explore the whole range or focus on areas of interest when you join.

In the Pipeline and Launch Strategy space, we have a lot of Opportunity Assessment work that explores the scientific and commercial potential of assets.

(SIP is something of a catch all term for a track for hires who have a mix of quant and qualitative skills, vs Decision Analytics which is more focused on hires who bring a heavily quant skillset)

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The work at Health Advances covers the breadth of our industry and provides an opportunity to gain expertise in multiple sectors. Our work is highly bespoke and less "rinse and repeat." Like all during the pandemic, WLB is a struggle, though we are working hard to get back to normal. Exit opps are strong, as is upward mobility in the org.

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I meant SIPAC (associate consultant)

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