Transitioning from academia to commercial consulting

Attendees to the workshop: Ethnographic and Semiotic Approaches in Consulting

Emily Levitt,, PhD ’18 Anthropology, led a Workshop for Humanities Scholars focusing on the transition from academia to commercial consulting. Invited through support via Careers Beyond Academia faculty funding, Levitt shared the pitfalls and opportunities that she discovered as she made the journey into consulting for Doblin, a Deloitte business on October 11 at the A.D. White House. She shared with a group of Humanities PhD students and postdocs how her PhD trained her to build an effective research plan that quickly moved her from little questions to big answers.

Humanists are in demand for a consulting team as they are trained to look for themes and patterns in how people do what they do, or buy what they buy. Consulting is a great field for anthropologists who have developed human-centered research methods during their education.

Levitt discussed how innovation consulting is a growing opportunity. Legacy companies are trying to go digital, and an ethnographer can help inform what consumers are demanding as their training has taught them to understand what is behind behavior.

Throughout the exercises conducted in pairs and small groups, Levitt brought participants up-to-date on the terminology she had to learn as she transitioned into the consulting world. She added that she would never have thought of a consulting career during her doctorate, but it is a great place to be and utilize her skills.

Supported by a Careers Beyond Academia Humanities faculty mini-grant.