The seminars followed one another, week after week, so it was very easy to compare them. The very first thing I noticed was the atmosphere and general feel of the room. The difference was quite striking:
There are a number of transferable skills that you can take from your degree and/or PhD but there are some differences in how you'll apply them.
What else do I need on my CV
For the big 'profits' companies, the interview process is arduous and usually comprised of several different sections and online tests. Check out the website of the bigger companies: they usually describe their interview processes in detail. Expect online tests (which you can practice on-line beforehand), 'stress-days' - where they check how well you can prioritise by bombarding you with emails, face-to-face interviews with partners and high competition.
The consultancies and research firms that were discussed at KCL and formed the basis of this post were Deloitte, McKinsey, The New Economics Foundation, Social Pharma, Forum for the Future, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI). I'm sure you can work out which camp each belongs to...
Updated 24-02-14:You can also get unpaid consultancy experience as a PhD student/graduate by working with Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable. They provide opportunities to get some work on your CV but the assignments are sometimes quite time-consuming and they aren't paid. I replied to a job advert for 10-15 hours a week that, in reality, was as much as 20-30 hours in weeks with big deadlines. Nonetheless, I think it's worth checking out if you can commit the time and want to get some experience.