DeciBio Consulting is a strategy consulting and market intelligence firm that works with companies of all sizes across the life sciences industry, and specifically those with a focus on precision medicine.
This boutique firm was founded in 2013 and has quickly expanded to serve clients across the globe, conducting engagements in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
What sets Decibio apart? They are industry participants, not just industry observers (e.g., DeciBio Ventures). The firm claims that its “focused expertise, global reach, specialized team, and data analytics sets us apart from our competitors.” All DeciBio consultants have a degree in a life sciences field, and 100% of the firm’s cases focus on clinical diagnostics, research tools, pharma and biotech, and health technology markets. In addition, 70% of the firm’s consulting projects involve a global research perspective.
The firm is known as a great place to start a career – whether your long-term focus is biotechnology or consulting more broadly. In this article, you’ll see what sets DeciBio apart in the industry, pros/cons of DeciBio careers, compensation potential, and much more. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents:
- DeciBio Consulting Key Stats
- DeciBio Consulting History
- DeciBio Consulting Careers
- DeciBio Practice Areas
- DeciBio Industries
- DeciBio Office Locations
- DeciBio Career Path
- DeciBio Exit Opportunities
- DeciBio Consulting Culture
- DeciBio Consulting Internships
- DeciBio Consulting Interview
- DeciBio Consulting Salary
DeciBio Consulting Key Stats
- Decibio Consulting Website: https://www.decibio.com/
- Decibio Consulting Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
- Decibio Consulting Number of Employees: 50
- Decibio Consulting Number of Locations: 4
- Decibio Consulting Chief Executives: Stephane Budel, David Cavanaugh, Andrew Aijian, Miguel Edwards, Steve Beuchaw, Elle Nouveau, Pranay Madan
- Decibio Consulting Revenue: ~$15M
DeciBio Consulting History
DeciBio is a very young organization compared to its peers in the space. It was founded in 2009 by Stephane Budel and David Cavanaugh.
However, the firm makes up for its lack of history by taking an innovative approach, most notably offering a variety of platform-based services, such as lab tracking databases and discovery portals. DeciBio also launched a subsidiary, DeciBio Analytics, in 2019 to cash in on the downstream opportunities to collect and crunch data on behalf of its clients.
The company’s rapid growth over a short, twelve-year period demonstrates its belief in entrepreneurship and self-motivation. While it is no longer a start-up, DeciBio is still very much a consulting firm with an entrepreneurial feel, something many find appealing.
DeciBio Consulting Careers
Careers at DeciBio are highly lauded by folks inside the firm. Let’s discuss.
DeciBio Practice Areas
DeciBio only has two practice areas:
- Market Intelligence
The industries that DeciBio Consulting services are:
- Research Tools
- Clinical Diagnostics
- Pharma & Biotech
- Financial Services
DeciBio Office Locations
DeciBio has two office locations in California. The company is headquartered in Century City (Los Angeles) and prides itself on being accessible by the Metro Line and conveniently located close to USC and UCLA.
A second office is in downtown Oakland. The Oakland office houses 25% of its staff and is a bit younger and more “scrappy.” Remote work is an attractive component of DeciBio’s culture as well, and the firm is intentional about ensuring that remote employees can attend company social events and other gatherings.
The firm recently opened an office in New York City as well as a satellite location in London, UK.
DeciBio Career Path
The DeciBio consulting career path looks like this:
Analyst > Senior Analyst > Associate or Life Science Expert > Senior Associate or Senior Life Science Expert > Project Leader > Senior Project Leader > Principal > Partner
There are essentially two teams to join at DeciBio: Consulting and Data/SaaS. The consulting path is less data, programming, and analytics driven, but both paths require a life sciences degree.
An MBA might break in at a Sr. Associate level but placement is determined on a case-by-case basis; PhDs usually break in at the Life Science Expert position. The firm offers a traditional consulting firm hierarchy on cases but with growth opportunities for all case team members (e.g., analysts help build models, conduct interviews, and present to clients their first year on the job). While teams are structured with multiple, hierarchical levels of experience, there is open visibility and access to the partners for everyone on a team and in the firm.
DeciBio Exit Opportunities
Working for DeciBio can lead to a wide range of exit opportunities. This includes higher-level positions with other companies in the precision medicine or broader life sciences space – in internal consulting, corporate strategy, or other leadership roles.
DeciBio Consulting exit opportunities come about by the leadership skills and industry-specific expertise you develop at DeciBio. The mix of strategy acumen and industry expertise that consultants develop at DeciBio is attractive to companies within the broader life sciences space.
However, there are a couple of downsides to working at DeciBio. One – the firm still battles a lack of brand recognition in the industry, although this is changing. Two – after a stint at DeciBio, you are branded as a “life sciences person.” This is great if you want to stay within the industry, but it makes reinventing yourself much more difficult and all but ensures you’ll have to pursue a top-tier MBA to make that kind of transition.
DeciBio Notable Alumni
Given DeciBio’s brief history, there is a lack of notable alumni that have left the firm and gone on to achieve public success. The firm has brought on significantly more notable figures than it has seen leave for other positions. However, we don’t expect this to be the case for too long. Watch out for the firm to produce several powerhouse alumni over the next decade!
DeciBio Consulting Culture
What DeciBio lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in quality of life and culture. The culture at DeciBio is one of balance and community. While DeciBio means business, the work environment is fun and relaxed and encourages strong relationships among employees. Employees are known for hanging out on the weekends, going on trips, and taking classes together. The firm has a dog-friendly office, even listing various pets as “teammates” on its team page.
DeciBio emphasizes work-life balance. On weekends and vacations, you are generally not expected to work. However, hours are still long, though not as long as at McKinsey, Bain, or BCG. As with any consulting firm, a strong work ethic is valued at DeciBio, where work hours often fall in the range of 50-60 hours a week. Travel at DeciBio is minimal – 2 days every 6 weeks is normal, which is much, much lower than most firms.
Entry-level employees are given a substantial amount of leadership experience early on, giving ambitious young professionals the opportunity for quick career progression. If you want lots of responsibility, this could be a firm where you excel.
DeciBio’s culture is buoyed by the firm’s core values:
- Thought Leadership
- #1 Firm for Innovation, #2 for Firm Leadership, #6 for Firm Culture (Vault)
- Top 50 Consulting Firms (Vault)
- 13th Best Boutique Consulting Firm (Vault)
DeciBio Consulting Internships
DeciBio Consulting offers several internship opportunities that are open to Life Science majors and PhDs. These summer internships take place in the Los Angeles office. Consult the firm’s careers page to find openings and apply.
DeciBio Consulting Interview
The DeciBio interview process is a multi-step process and results in an extended offer less than 1% of the time. Talk about competitive!
Let’s start from the top. ~25% of applicants are invited to a 1st round interview, mostly because the Round 1 interview takes place through a one-way video platform that provides efficiencies to enable this boutique firm to interview a larger and broader pool of talent.
Here are the phases of the Decibio interview process:
- 1st Round: First round consulting interviews take place via a one-way video platform and last for 45 minutes. You can expect a market sizing case and behavioral questions to be the extent of this interview. This platform helps standardize case processes more objectively (and thus fairly). First round interviews for other roles may instead include a live interview (held remotely, via web conference).
- 2nd Round: Second round interviews take place live (remotely, via web conference), with a member of the applicable team or a Management team member and are 45 minutes long. This round includes both a qualitative case and behavioral questions.
- 3rd Round: All candidates will make a presentation to the Hiring Committee in charge of the applicable role. For consulting Analyst through Manager candidates, this presentation is the culmination of a 3+ hour “case simulation” exercise. For more experienced Consultants, this presentation may be the culmination of a take-home exercise. Candidates for other divisions will typically also make a presentation that relates to the job duties for the applicable role.
- Final Round Meet & Greet: Final Round interviews represent a valuable opportunity for candidates to obtain a first-hand sense of the team and work culture at HQ in Los Angeles. Final round candidates meet Management Team members, team members from the applicable division, and the broader team via meetings, lunch or happy hour, and “coffee walks.” You can expect this round to take a half-day (4 hours).
All cases are interviewer-led, and the interview process does not vary materially between junior and senior roles, but we have received confirmation from the firm that it holds more experienced candidates to a higher standard.
At this point, the firm has confirmed that there is no group case as a part of the screening process.
The firm uses six criteria to determine if prospective candidates are a good fit:
- EQ (a natural finesse)
- Ideation (creativity and breadth of thought)
- Bridge Building (connecting with others)
DeciBio wants prospective employees to be comfortable operating within ambiguous situations in a team setting and will look for this competency in the interview process.
DeciBio Consulting Salary
DeciBio Consulting salaries vary by position and experience. Candidates can expect to earn, at the base level for Analyst positions, around $85,000 per year. That’s lower than top tier firms, but in line for top-rated boutiques. Where it may lack in salary punch it makes up for in other perks and benefits: a generous profit-sharing system, parental leave, professional development stipends, and more.
DeciBio target schools include the following. Remember, the firm requires a life sciences degree of all of its candidates!
- UC Berkeley
- Claremont Consortium
- U Washington
- UT Austin
- Claremont Graduate University
- Cal State+ system
- Cal State – Chico
- Cal State – Dominguez Hills
- Cal State – East Bay
- Cal State – Fullerton
- Cal State – LA
- Cal State – Long Beach
- Cal State – Northridge
- Cal State – Poly Pomona
- Cal State – Sacramento
- Cal State – San Bernardino
- Cal State – San Francisco
- Cal State – San Jose
- Cal State – San Marcos
- Cal State – Stanislaus
- Sonoma State
- Harvey Mudd
- Pomona College
- Cal Poly SLO
- Pasadena Community College
- Case Western
- Johns Hopkins
- Notre Dame
- U Oregon
- U Penn
- WashU – St. Louis
- U Texas – Austin
- Boston College
- Carnegie Mellon
- Charles Drew
- George Washington
- Georgia Tech
- Humboldt State
- IIT – Chicago
- Loyola – Chicago
- Miami – Oxford, Ohio
- Mount Holyoke
- NCSU – Raleigh
- Ohio State
- Olin College of Engineering
- Penn State
- Rollins School of Public Health at Emory
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- Stony Brook
- Texas A&M
- U Colorado – Boulder
- U Connecticut
- U Delaware
- U Denver
- U Florida
- U Georgia
- U Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- U Indiana
- U Iowa
- U Maryland
- U Mass – Amherst
- U Mass – Worcester
- U Miami
- U Michigan
- U Minnesota
- U Nebraska
- U New Mexico
- U Pittsburgh
- U Rochester
- U San Francisco
- U South Florida
- U Wisconsin
- Virginia Tech
- Wake Forest
- Wichita State
- William & Mary
- Yale School of Public Health
DeciBio Consulting diversity programs include Women in Consulting and Queers in Consulting. Both programs are designed to provide support for these communities and to allow for a safe space in which members of these communities can find allies, hear from speakers on topics tailored to specific interests and needs, and participate in firm-wide awareness events.
- Women* in Consulting: Provides a safe space for DeciBions to explore challenges faced by women and gender minorities in the workplace, celebrate all that’s special about being a woman or gender minority, and support each other towards becoming successful role models. In doing so, this group meets monthly and regularly hosts speakers, discussions, and other events for the entire firm.
- Queers in Consulting: DeciBio’s management has a track record of leveraging businesses as a vehicle for social change. Queers in Consulting strives to provide a support system and safe space for those in the LGBTQ+ community. They foster and encourage allyship and aim to host an annual firm wide event.
- ImpactLab: Many DeciBions are eager to improve the public good by expanding access to healthcare. ImpactLab makes strategy consulting accessible to early-stage start-ups that expand access, equity, and inclusion. In doing so, the firm hopes to empower innovations that improve medicine for all patients. Disrupting precision medicine requires investing in innovation that expands access, equity, and inclusion.
- Social Responsibility Board: This Board identifies, prioritizes, and effectuates OKRs that aim to improve DEI, environmental sustainability, and the public good within the firm’s sphere of influence. Example outcomes include: Launching ImpactLab, overhauling the firm’s recruiting process, hosting dozens of mind-opening presentations, increasing DEI-related published content and volunteering efforts, and offsetting the firm’s carbon footprint.
If precision medicine, strategy, and a California flare are your style, DeciBio is a firm worth looking into. The firm may not have the size or brand recognition of the top consulting firms, but the quality of life, culture, and work-life balance at DeciBio are an attractive combination. Give yourself the best shot by working with our expert team to “consultify” your resume and get prepped for the tough DeciBio interviews!
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