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If they say 1-3 years that is really light work experience. That tells me they basically don't want somebody with no experience at all but anyone else is welcome to apply. I would think they would be pretty strict on that requirement.

 

If they said 4-6 years and you had 3 years experience, that might be different and possibly more flexible.

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If they say 1-3 years that is really light work experience. That tells me they basically don't want somebody with no experience at all but anyone else is welcome to apply. I would think they would be pretty strict on that requirement.

 

If they said 4-6 years and you had 3 years experience, that might be different and possibly more flexible.

 

What if I have work experience but not in a field that is that closely related?

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Someone always said to me What is written in a job ad is for an IDEAL candidate. Their perfect person.

 

They may not have anyone who fits all their requirements, and it can happen.

 

You may have ALOT, or MANY of the qualifications, but you could still stand a chance.

 

Apply away. If you can make your skills transferable, if you can find a relation between the experience you do have, to what you need, you never know!

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Someone always said to me What is written in a job ad is for an IDEAL candidate. Their perfect person.

 

They may not have anyone who fits all their requirements, and it can happen.

 

You may have ALOT, or MANY of the qualifications, but you could still stand a chance.

 

Apply away. If you can make your skills transferable, if you can find a relation between the experience you do have, to what you need, you never know!

 

There definitely is a relationship I think. I am not applying to any position currently, but I am trying to plan for a possible 'career path change'. I am in graduate school, and only experience I have 'working' is in teaching and what little research I am involved with (hopefully I will have a thesis by the time I graduate which would be equivalent to 2-3 academic articles publishable in academic journals).

 

I am also potentially interested in departing from academia and starting in an entry level position in a consulting firm. But typically they require 'work experience'.

 

But I could say the skills I have (either through teaching, research or even what I teach) could very well be relevant.

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You can't get relevant work experience without getting a job in the field...so you have to start somewhere and hope someone will give you a break.

 

I think teaching and researching in the field would be extremely relevant to actually working in the field. I would apply to every and any job I could. You never know!

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Teaching can translate into training (course development, lesson planning, material creation and testing, results tracking, feedback, etc.), and research translates into most of the stuff consultants are asked to do on a job (conduct assessments, document requirements and scope, design work plans, chart workflows...). I'd ask the consulting company for an information interview about the kinds of jobs they typically fill and how they match requirements. From there, you can design a better resume that maps your skills to some of those functions--and you'll have made some contacts at the firm to whom you direct your application.

 

If things don't fly at that exact firm, you'll have a great foundation for applying with others. Most 'junior consultants' learn somehow, and working cheap to start can help you build your rate later.

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I am also potentially interested in departing from academia and starting in an entry level position in a consulting firm. But typically they require 'work experience'.

 

But I could say the skills I have (either through teaching, research or even what I teach) could very well be relevant.

 

You could say that, but it begs the question: are they? What type of consulting firm is this, and how closely does that relate to the topic of your thesis?

 

For example, a friend of mine now manages a unit within Accenture, who are IT Consultants (formely part of Arthur Andersen). His PhD was in IT, and is directly relevant to what he does now, and in combination with some IT industry experience is how he got the job. If his PhD had been in History, and his work experience was teaching that as a TA, he wouldn't have got past the front door.

 

I think you're going to need significant relevant experience of some sort to have any credibility as a consultant. If they're generic management consultants, then you're obviously going to need business experience; if they're some other form, then you're going to need relevant experience in their specific field. Without knowing that, it's impossible to say whether or not you'll even get an interview.

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[...] For example, a friend of mine now manages a unit within [not sure if allowed], who are IT Consultants (formely part of [...]). His PhD was in IT, and is directly relevant to what he does now, and in combination with some IT industry experience is how he got the job. If his PhD had been in History, and his work experience was teaching that as a TA, he wouldn't have got past the front door.[...]

 

This was the firm where I started, and I didn't have a technical degree at the time. They had a training program for developing bright kids with zero experience in ANY field, and they'd throw these kids onto client sites as part of large teams that blend the newbies in with the senior staff.

 

After a few years I was offered other opportunities and went solo. My early experience was foundational, but I never encountered the kind of structure and standardization this firm employed on any other team afterward. This was good and bad. It gave me a way to structure my own work and later manage my own teams, however it was my flexibility that enabled me to work with resistance to 'that way' of project management and operate accordingly.

 

Non-technical people who can learn quickly are crucial to bridging communication between tech teams and business customers, so I would NOT rule out exploring any type of consulting firm that deals with companies in your field of interest. Nobody comes from the womb fully formed as an expert at anything--and good firms know this.

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When some ads have a requirement that you have 1-3 years work experience in a relevant field, how likely are they to waive that if they like you enough? How strict are they usually with this requirement?

 

 

it probably varies from place to place and how much they strictly need certain credentials or experience.

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it probably varies from place to place and how much they strictly need certain credentials or experience.

 

Exactly. Many employers can afford to be very picky because it's relatively easy for them to raise the bar and get the talent they want. Others find that their expectations were too high, and so will be flexible with their requirements.

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