How to get a consulting internship
In addition to gaining a first class or a 2.1 degree and possessing skills such as creative thinking, communication and intellectual curiosity, completing an internship in consulting will impress employers. Doing an internship in management consulting will also help you decide if you want to pursue a graduate career in consulting as you’ll discover what graduate consultants spend their time doing.
What are consulting internships?
During an internship in consulting you’ll get a taste of working life, and carry out some of the same tasks that your graduate colleagues will be doing. After a short training or induction period, you’ll get stuck into real work on real projects (with support offered throughout the duration of your placement). Expect to be involved in typical consulting tasks such as collecting data analysis, helping with interviews and preparing presentations. You can increase your chances of getting a permanent job offer at the end of your consulting internship by:
- being responsible
- demonstrating your initiative
- asking questions.
Your internship will help to develop your organisational, time management and analytical skills, and you’ll gain experience of how to work effectively in a team, all of which will help to prepare you for your graduate consulting career. We’ve spoken to past consulting interns to get their advice on how to make the most of your consulting internship.
How do I apply for an internship in consulting?
The application process for a consulting internship should be taken as seriously, with as much preparation, as that for a graduate role. The process will include many of the same elements, such as interviews, case studies and assessment centres. Employers will also be looking for evidence of the same skills they look for in graduates, such as:
- collaboration – can you work as part of a team?
- lear communication – can you explain things easily to other people?
- creativity – can you come up with a solution to problems?
- intellectual curiosity – are you always looking to learn more about the things that interest you?
- enthusiasm – are you motivated to do better and delve into a project?
Prospective interns will also need basic commercial awareness and in interest in how the business world works. Remember it’s not enough just to possess these skills – you need to be able to demonstrate them to consulting employers
When is the best time to apply for a consulting internship?
Internships are usually offered to penultimate year students and take place during the summer between the end of their penultimate year and the start of their final year. The majority of internship application deadlines fall at the end of January; some can fall as early as November, however. Look at the employer profile of the consulting employer you’re interested in to make sure you don’t miss a deadline, and don’t delay applying. You’ll find current open internships advertised on this page.
What if I can’t get a consulting internship?
First of all, don’t panic – there are many more graduate roles than internship roles on offer in the consulting sector so not having an internship on your CV will not rule you out of consideration for a graduate job. We’ve got lots of great advice for you on how to boost your employability, if you can’t get an internship in consulting. There are also other ways to learn about working in consulting, such as insight days (check the employer hub of the consulting firm you’re interested in to these if they offer these), and other ways to enhance your consulting CV.