Consulting internships require high-level problem-solving skills by using quantitative data. But, what exactly is consulting? How do you break into the industry as an undergraduate? The perfect way to start is by participating in a consulting summer internship program.
What is Consulting?
Consulting uses their own knowledge and experience to give assessments, breakdowns, and instructions to organizations and individuals.
There are different consulting firms within the consulting industry.
The Top 5 Consulting Firms
This ranking was done by Consulting.com in late 2019. The firms are ranked by revenue, prestige, growth & employee satisfaction.
Accenture works with 19 different industries. They connect across business functions for continuous innovation for customers’ needs.
Capgemini focuses on services like transformation & innovation, digital services, cloud services, technology operations, and business services.
Tata works on purpose-led growth by building the core, innovating business models, and grow via purpose-driven ecosystems.
Cognizant believes that “technology must not only support your business. It must advance it.” Therefore, they focus on innovation and the digital aspects within a company.
Deloitte’s consultancy is focused on trusting and utilizing that within a business. Their main purpose is to be a financial auditing firm.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC is another financial auditing firm.
To hear more about PwC from a PwC consultant intern:
Other top consulting firms not included in this ranking are Ernst & Young Advisory, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company.
What Do You Need to Get a Consulting Internship
The first thing that someone in the consulting industry needs is strong math and quantitative skills. The job is focused on problem-solving, and an intern should come in with skills but then develop them further as an intern.
There is a variety of different majors that are eligible for consulting internships. Many people believe that majors within business schools are more eligible, that is not entirely true. Although, some majors are better contenders than others. The top majors for consulting internships are economics, engineering, finance, psychology, political science, computer science, physics, and chemistry.
Before starting a consulting internship search, an applicant should have a general idea of what type of consulting you want to do. The big areas are management consulting, strategy consulting, healthcare consulting, technology consulting, and human resources consulting.
An applicant has to be on-top of the consulting internship schedule. They mostly recruit college juniors and seniors, and 1st year MBA students. The undergraduate interviews run from August through October. The MBA interview begins in January.
To get an interview, an applicant should prepare three to six months ahead of time. During this time, a student should take an easier course load during recruiting because of the intense process.
The process is rewarding because consulting is in the top two fields that turn internships into full-time positions. This still is continuing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some are operating solely remote in the summer of 2021.
After gaining this basic idea of what a consulting internship is and why you want to be on a consulting team.
How to Prepare Your Resume for a Consulting Internship
Since the consulting internship opportunities are so competitive, an applicant wants to constantly be refreshing their resume and being prepared.
In terms of academics, an applicant needs a high GPA, ideally over 3.8 GPA but anything over a 3.5 GPA will get an applicant considered.
Being involved on campus and off-campus is important. An applicant should be in three clubs, keeping only one for Greek life. In those clubs, focus on getting leadership roles and experience. This will make an applicant stand out.
Along with clubs, an applicant should have a form of a college job. Even if it is not a job that is relevant to consulting, any job looks good because it means an applicant is gaining good overall skills. If an applicant wants to get consulting experience, look into externships and pro bono consulting work.
A resume is important, but make sure those skills are translating on LinkedIn because it will be public for recruiters.
While there is a push to get an internship in the summer following your junior year, do not expect internships to come junior year. There will be more opportunities that are opened once an applicant is an undergraduate senior.
For further consulting internship advice, consider getting a mentor to assist you with reviewing your resume and assisting you through the interviewing process.
The Interview Process For Consulting Internships
The interview process is more intense than other summer intern positions. The first round consists of two phone interviews. They will be 30-minutes of behavioral skills and 30-minutes working on a case study.
To prepare for case study portions of interviews, use Case in Point and caseinterview.com.
If an applicant progresses to the next round, it will be a series of three to four interviews with an associate or senior partners.
What Do Consulting Interns Do
Consulting internships are placed in groups where they solve problems for clients. At times, it will be entirely group work. But, other times, the problem is broken into parts and they will solve individually and come back together to discuss.
The problem is solved by doing internal research and analyzing data. While in the group, a consulting intern is expected to communicate well to team members and then present to other individuals in the company. Finally, the solution is presented to clients in client meetings.
Skills to Gain from Being a Consulting Intern
When doing work for a consulting firm, they will develop a wide variety of skills that are necessary for growth in the company and different industries.
They will continue to develop their problem-solving and communication skills. Persuasive communication skills are necessary for working in consulting. In this role, consulting interns must be comfortable being uncomfortable because they will frequently be in high-pressure experiences, and receive a lot of feedback from others.
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