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How can I get an opportunity for internship interview at MBB as a PhD candidate student?

Lingyi asked on Oct 26, 2018
Looking for solid partners. Currently preparing for healthcare related consulting firms
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updated his answer on Oct 27, 2018
Bain & Co interviewer (~3 years) | MBB-prep focused | Expert: Market Sizing; P&L cases | 50+ coachees at MBB
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Hi Lingyi!

Very good question, and great to see that PhDs also consider consulting!

To be honest, I don't believe there is any standardized position for PhDs as for instance "Summer Associate" which you have for MBAs. This will mostly depend on:

  • Which country are you applying for?
  • Is your PhD in an area relevant for the given firm?

BCG and McKinsey are building specialization earlier than Bain, so if they need in your region/office an industry hire from a specific industry, you will definitely have a chance (you would then have a similar position/role as a summer associate)
I am assuming that Bain will less give weight to your area of expertise, but I might be wrong as they will highly depend on the office/region you are applying to.

In anycase, I would suggest as next steps:

  1. Keep in touch with MBB consultants via linkedIn/social networks in your region/office
  2. Find out if there is a need for industry hire in your field
  3. Prepare for case interview as if you would be applying for a summer associate position
  4. Send your applications not depending on deadlines but more of the companies needs: landing an internship as a PhD is not common and it will be a lot a matter of timing

I wish you the best of luck and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!



Thanks very much! That helps a lot! — Lingyi on Oct 27, 2018

Vlad replied on Oct 27, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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I've never heard of any PHD internships. However, MBB companies are more than happy to hire PHDs, so pls apply directly for a full-time role.


Thank you! — Lingyi on Oct 27, 2018

Anonymous replied on Oct 26, 2018
Looking for partners. Have 1st round Mck interview in August

I tried and was told by all MBB that summer interships are only for MBA candidates. I did, however, attend McK Insight, Bridge2BCG, and Bain AIC. I would definately recommend applying to all of those (they are the closest thing they have to a PhD intership)

Thanks very much for that information! — Lingyi on Oct 26, 2018

Benjamin replied on Oct 31, 2018
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Since you are probably not in the target schools, you'll need to leverage / create your network to make it throught the initial screening process :

- contact consultant on linkedin

- attends events organised by the firm

- meet with the firm when possible (participation in student fairs)

- leverage your personal network if you know people working there


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