Interview: Yvonne Pao about her experiences at Connect to ClearView
Q) Can you introduce yourself to the readers please?
A) I received my B.S. from Caltech and am currently wrapping up my graduate studies at UCSD’s Biological Sciences graduate program. While I had been curious about consulting as an alternative career to research before I began graduate school, I didn’t pursue it very seriously until I got involved in UCSD’s APD Consulting Club as the Marketing and Technology Manager. As a 4th year, I applied to two immersion programs: Connect to ClearView (C2C) and McKinsey Insight. I was invited to participate in Connect to ClearView after two rounds of phone interviews, and upon completion of the program, I received an offer to become a consultant after I complete my Ph.D.
Q) What was the interview process like for the Connect to ClearView program?
A) The C2C interview process involves two rounds of phone interviews lasting 30 minutes each. They do a brief fit interview, followed by a case interview. To get a better sense of the kinds of cases they want you to solve, please refer to the case on their website. The structure of these specialized life sciences cases is a bit different from the cases you would get from McKinsey.
Q) How was the professional experience at Connect to ClearView?
A) C2C takes place over 3 work days, and ClearView splits the participants into groups of 4. Each group completes an abbreviated case and then presents a deliverable at the end of the third day. How the responsibilities are divided between individuals is group-dependent, but in my group, we worked together on most parts of the case and divided the slides for the deliverable. We were expected to work quite a lot (in the office from 8am-6pm daily), and I dressed professionally. If you are invited to participate in this program, make sure you have a nice suit for the presentation. I learned a lot about what it actually means to be a consultant. I found the work intellectually stimulating, and working in a team was refreshing. Also, the consultants/associate principals at the firm were very involved in C2C, and working with them closely was very informative.
Q) How was the office culture at ClearView?
A) The office culture at ClearView was very welcoming. As I said earlier, consultants or associate principals served as “Team Leaders” (apologies if that’s not the correct term), and they were volunteering in addition to their existing work load. The partners at the firm also made time to have lunch with us, take us to dinner, tell us about their career paths, why they started ClearView, and what they envision for the future of ClearView. Consulting is a demanding career, but everyone I spoke to there seemed very happy with their jobs and work-life balance. Furthermore, the required travel time is much less than you’d see with a management consulting firm.
Q) How was your recruitment process for the full-time role
A) We were already in the recruitment process after being invited to participate in C2C, and I believe we were being evaluated the entire time we were in the office for C2C. I received the offer shortly after returning to lab from C2C.
Q) What would you recommend people to focus on if they want to get into C2C and/or the full time role? How much should the focus be on life-sciences and how should people prepare for that?
A) I would definitely go over the case they have on the Careers section of their website and make sure you understand that. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen many practice cases out there with the same level of specificity as the kind of cases you have to do during your phone interview. In terms of my general preparation for attending the C2C event, I was in the midst of doing a lot of practice cases for other interviews. But, perhaps more importantly, I enjoy reading The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the MIT Technology Review.
Thanks a lot to Yvonne for taking the timeout to answering our questions. We hope that this information will be useful to any one interested in ClearView Healthcare partners and/or the Connect to ClearView program.