Magdalena Wienken

Insights: Consulting

Magdalena received a B. Sc. and Honours degree in Applied Biology with a focus on Genetics and Immunology from the University of Applied Sciences in Bonn as well as the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She continued her studies with an M. Sc. in Molecular Medicine at the University Medical Center Göttingen and finished her PhD in Molecular Oncology as scholar of the GGNB graduate school. Within her PhD she focused on the p53 independent functions of Mdm2 as a stemness promoting factor and chromatin modifier. After her PhD, Magdalena decided to pursue her career in strategic consulting, working for Accenture Technology Strategy with a Pharma and Biotech focus. She specialized on data-driven strategies, working for the top-tier Pharma companies in the DACH region. She only recently left consulting, continuing her career as a Manger at Definiens, a middle-sized, Munich based company, which specializes on tissue phenomics in the context of innovative Immunooncology therapy.


 Finishing a PhD in Science raises a lot of questions and opens many different doors. Am I going to stay in academia? Shall I change into industry? Which alternative job opportunities are out there? I decided to leave academia for consulting due to 2 reasons: 1) get a broader understanding on the current challenges and opportunities of the Pharma industry and 2) get the opportunity to quickly gain industry and strategic expertise, and work with top management clients in innovative and short-cycled projects. This talk will outline the pros and cons of a career in consulting, the experiences made as well as the challenges that might come along with it. In addition, it will highlight why I decided to change back into science yet again.