Advices for a 4-month internship potentially leading to full-time position - Tier 2 firm

Accenture Advice full-time internship LEK Consulting Oliver Wyman Roland Berger Simon-Kucher & Partners ZS Associates
New answer on May 11, 2021
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 11, 2021

Hello everyone,

To summarize the situation: Graduating from a Pharm.D + MSc in Business from a top french school, I applied to a Tier 2 firm for a Consultant position in Europe, even if they were asking for 2 years experience that I don't have. I went successfully through the whole process but in the end they told me that because I still don't have the experience required they will offer me a 4-month internship leading to a full-time position if it works well.
I accepted the offer and will start early June and my objective is to stay in this firm with a full-time position in the end.

My questions:
1. Is there any way to be sure they will consider me for a full-time position after this internship? (Contract, ...)
2. Should I apply for full-time position for other firms in case of this not working out? I guess it's a yes, then what timing? (If too early I'm afraid I will not be able to use this experience the best way for my resume and potential interviews. If too late I may have a big delay between the end of internship and starting of position or miss the recruitments slots.) Other concern is that I may be "banned" of these firms for the moment since I didn't pass the screening for most of them, except 1 MBB and 1 other Tier 2.
3. How could I prepare the best for this internship so I start full-speed at the beginning and have the best chances to get the full-time position? Typical question, I know. I have 6-month experience in a small consulting firm but without PPT/Excel training whatsoever, everything learnt by doing but I don't feel very confident on that point neither on the "processes" and ways of working of a big and structured firm.

Thank you very much in advance for your advices and help!

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 11, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

1) They wont gurantee anything (full-time offer) now but you can land one provided you do a cracking job during the internship. Think about following:

  • Show that you are credible and learn quickly. Show that you have picked up the content knowledge & can be called upon to get stuff done
  • Prove your reliability by delivering high quality work, on time or ahead of time
  • Build relationship & trust as much as you can with your manager and colleagues. They must like you
  • Come across as switched on, full of ideas, eager to learn

2) Yes, apply for other positions in parallel. Having learnt from this current experience, be careful when applying for roles that demand a few years of experience

3) There is tons of advice in the Q&A forum. Please search

All the best & congrats.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 11, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!

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First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook (added to the end)

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Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this

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Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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Fourth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

===================================================

Consulting Survival Guide

The essentials

1. You need comrades – your people for the really good and the really garbage days. Find them and stick to them.

2. There’s almost no such thing as a rule. Whatever it is, you can find an exception.

3. This job is inherently stressful, and you are not going to be the first person to struggle with stress. Consulting firms have mechanisms in place to try to keep consultants from burning out. If you are struggling, reach out early.

4. There will always be pressure, but not every task will make or break the bank. If the success or failure of the project relies solely on the one slide you’re making, there are bigger issues going on.

5. Having a life you are happy with is more important than being the perfect consultant. Figure out not just what is critical at work, but also at home. Knowing what is most important and when will help you strike the right balance.

The practical stuff

6. Keep a one-page version of the case story up-to-date every couple of days.

7. Group emails get poor responses.

8. Be careful about adding Partners and Principals to Facebook.

9. Always bring solutions, not problems.

10. It can help to share your recent review form in your regular feedback sessions.

11. You learn so much more when you are fully transparent about what you don’t understand.

12. If work expands to fill the time available in which to do it, then limit the time available.

13. Remember number 4 and number 5? If you find you’re working until 1am every night, take a look at your balance. Unless you’re working on a “make or break” task, try to leave early enough that you can pause, get a decent night’s sleep, and come in fresh the next morning.

The unspoken truths

14. You will do your best work once you are okay with being fired.

15. Your Project Lead/Principal is not inside your head. Learn how to communicate and guide their attention to what they need to know. Work to their style and your life will be easier.

16. Reputation is extremely important – over-indexing to achieve good first impressions at the start of a project (and your tenure as a consultant) can create a lot of goodwill you can cash in later.

17. You have to stand up for yourself. And people will respect you for it (98% of the time).

18. People’s perception of your performance is just as important as your performance.

19. Over time you will develop a reputation amongst the upper cohort – they talk to each other about consultants (just like we talk about Principals and Partners amongst ourselves).

20. Communication is as important as content. Communication isn’t what you say, it’s what they hear.

21. Being good at the qualitative aspects of consulting (presentation, communication etc.) is significantly more important than being good at the analysis/excel/quantitative side of consulting.

22. Your career development advisor is not a purely objective mentor; what you tell them will impact their perception of you.

23. Success is 80% work, 20% timing. Opportunities can be random, but you also need to know how to place yourself.

24. Consulting is a confidence game. Always have a strong opinion, lightly held.

25. Once you hit 12-18 months tenure, you have more power to say “no” than you think you do.

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Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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