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:
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:
I wish you the best of luck and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
MBB offices in the US all have a PhD-specific internships/workshops (Advanced Degree Candidate internships).
Look up McKinsey Insight, Bain ADvantage, and Bridge to BCG. McK Insight is a one day workshop that grants you a first round interview. B2BCG is a 3 day workshop that also grants you a first round internship. ADvantage is a 5 day internship that requires a first-round to be selected (and if selected for the first round interview, they will set you up with a consultant who will give you a coaching session), and that grants you a final round internship on the last day of the internship.
These workshops/internships would be the easiest route for a PhD candidate to get into MBB. Otherwise, you can apply during regular summer recruiting for a full time position. For McKinsey, you can also apply for their ~10-weeks summer associate internship (same as the one an MBA student would do). For BCG and Bain, they do not have summer internships for PhD candidates.
In addition to this, being part of a target school as a PhD candidate isn't as important as for an MBA candidate or an undergraduate student.
You have many great answers here but I think I could provide you with a lot more information specific to you.
First of all, I wouldn't advise that you do not apply for an internship. Instead, I will suggest that you apply for the real job -- go for the associate role. But only do this when you are ready. And by ready, I mean you are ready for a case interview. You do have many great resources here but I'm afraid many coaches here don't deal with candidates of your kind. If they do, I'm not convinced (with all due apology and no pun intended to anyone) they can address many of your deepest fears and myths as a PhD candidate; which is why I will recommend The Consulting Offer 1 by Firmsconsulting. The Star candidate in that session is Felix, a PhD Candidate currently at Mckinsey.
Second of all, you do have a lot of work to do and if you are currently in your PhD program, I will suggest you start now. Please, do not start to network until you have done your resume and truly understand what consulting wants from candidates like you (again, this is where The Consulting Offer 1 works incredibly well). I have used the service and still using and I am excited that this will work for you.
Thank me later
If you do have any more question, I'd be happy to answer them.
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
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.
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!
Thanks very much! That helps a lot!