Today, I am happy to have Khanh P. Ngo, an economic consultant at Analysis Group as the first interviewee of How I got my job in the U.S. We will ask Khanh about how he got his job, his experience with the company as well as many other interesting topics. Enjoy!
(T): Hello Khanh, thanks for spending your time on “How I got my job in the U.S.”, why don’t you tell us a bit more about yourself?
(Khanh): Hi Toan, thank you for having me here today. My name is Khanh P. Ngo and I am currently working as an economic consultant at Analysis Group (“AG”) in our Boston headquarter. AG is an economic consulting firm that provides expertise in economics, finance, healthcare analytics, and strategy to law firms, Fortune 500 companies, global healthcare corporations and government agencies. I came to AG after receiving my degrees from Babson College, where I studied Finance and Philosophy, and Boston College, where I received a Master in Finance.
(T): What is your current position at Analysis Group, which projects have you been working on and what made you choose this job?
(Khanh): New graduates from college or people who have little-to-no experience typically start as an Analyst. For me, among others, the reasons why I chose AG are because of the constant exposure to various practice areas to broaden my knowledge, the opportunity to learn from extremely smart colleagues and leading academic experts, the chance to work alongside leading attorneys, corporate executives, and specialists across industries and a full range of training opportunities. When you first start, there are several classes that help you get up to speed (e.g., Excel, VBA, SAS, Stata, R) and they were taught almost entirely by your fellow Analysts and Associates. This means that, if you choose to, you would be able to teach these classes to future Analysts and Associates at a later time. Many people find this experience rewarding.
As far as the diversity of case works goes, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in cases that range from mortgage-backed securities litigations to disputes surrounding HIV drugs, automobile tires and cable networks. At this early stage in my career, it could be helpful to be exposed to such a diverse range of industries.
(T): Getting into a top economic consulting firm like Analysis Group is definitely not easy. How did you get that offer? What are the biggest challenges during job search?
(Khanh): It may be a challenge if one does not attend one of AG’s target schools. That being said, if you work hard, show passion in economic consulting, writing a research paper, solving problems using economic and financial theories, work on or create things that are out of the ordinary but useful to the communities, and network, you could overcome this challenge.
(T): I would like to know more about how you networked and followed up with professionals as an introvert person?
(Khanh): One of the most important but often overlooked communication skills is listening, and this is an area that an introvert could excel at. People do appreciate others who listen carefully and give them thoughtful ideas and solutions (especially in consulting).
(T): What about preparation for interviews then? It would be great if you could share with us briefly about your phone/on-campus/final interview with Analysis Group?
(Khanh): At AG, we conduct two rounds of interviews: the first round could either be phone or on-campus and the second round is a “super day” on which you have a chance to meet with about five to six people, ranging from an Analyst to a Vice President (“VP”). You may be asked about your background, research interests, passion for economic consulting, or, more specifically, times when you had to collect and analyze large data. The “fit” is very important to the AG culture because this is a demanding industry and having like-minded colleagues helps.
(T): Share with us about a typical day as an analyst at Analysis Group? What is the most challenging and interesting thing about the job? Is there anything you don’t like about the job?
(Khanh): There might be no “typical” day at AG, and the more diverse your case work is, the more atypical a day would become. On a macro-level, Analysts are often the ones who are closest to the data in a case, so you will be expected to deal with data-related tasks most of the time (i.e., cleaning, analyzing and turning data into client-ready formats). Besides, you are also expected to help with many critical aspects of preparing experts’ reports to represent your clients. This is why, unlike at many corporations, your works really matter and they do have meaningful impacts on multibillion-dollar lawsuits.
(T): What is the career path for analysts at Analysis Group? What are the most popular exit opportunities? I notice economic consulting firms like Analysis Group have really good top MBA placement. Do you know why?
(Khanh): After about three-to-four years at the firm as an Analyst/Senior Analyst, you are often expected to go off to get a Master, MBA or PhD. If you get to come back after graduate schools, you become an Associate. AG enjoys close relationships with top academic experts and these could be professors or deans at top-tier schools. In addition, the Associates, Managers and VPs at AG often graduated from top-tier Master/MBA/PhD programs, and they are committed to conducting formal graduate school preparation sessions for Analysts. Finally, beginning in the summer, representatives from the admission offices at these schools often visit and present in our offices. These factors are helpful towards your graduate school application process.
(T): I know that you have been really active and enthusiastic with community development, training and coaching activities while working full time. Share with us your time management secret?
(Khanh): It is certainly a challenge, but, I think if you really want to do something, you will always be able to find time in your schedule to do it.
(T): What’s your plan for the next 3-5 years?
(Khanh): I am considering the MBA route at the moment.
(T): Thank you for your time today, Khanh.
(Khanh): Thank you for creating this page, Toan. I’m sure many people are grateful towards your efforts in creating this community.