Internship application in Asia

Application Asia Hong Kong internship Shanghai Singapore
New answer on Oct 30, 2023
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 21, 2017

Hi guys,

I’m from Germany and I want to apply for an internship in strategy consulting in Asia, preferably in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

What differences for the CV and motivational letter compared to Germany do I need to consider when applying?

Are the differences maybe less for German consulting firms, e.g. Roland Berger or Simon-Kucher?

Many thanks in advance!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 27, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


Theoretically, anyone can apply anyhwere. The question is why you are relevant for the role and whether the firm perceives that as well.

  • You have personal/family ties in that region
  • You have previously spent time in that region
  • You speak the local language

If it's not one of the three, there is really much less reason for the firm to take you over a local.

Singapore works in English so thats fine, but remember that everyone wants to come to Singapore so competition is very high.

All the best!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 30, 2023
#1 McKinsey Coach by rating & recommendation rate

Lots of great answers below. 

Indeed, focus on offices which have a lot of internationals already. 

Then start networking with several of those internationals to figure out how they managed to get hired there. 

Here are two guides that will teach you the basics for identifying these profiles, reaching out to them and then conducting the actual calls:

Once you undertand what they did, it's going to be become at lot easier to prioritise your own set of actions. 



Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with the previous answers, the key two elements you should work on to get an internship in Asia area:

  1. Target a country where language is not an issue
  2. Manage to find a referral for your application

Also, you should keep in mind that in case you manage to join a firm, you may find challenging to network internally with colleagues and senior consultants due to the language barrier. This could create a problem for your career growth until you become fluent in the local language.

Given the previous points, some options you may consider are:

  1. Target Singapore, where English is one of the official languages (expect strong competition there though)
  2. Target Australia joining a company with offices in Asia, then move to Asia after 1-2 years with internal relocation (assuming you want to stay in Asia in the long run)
  3. Target Germany joining a company with offices in Asia, then move to Asia after 1-2 years with internal relocation (assuming you want to stay in Asia in the long run). If that turns out unfeasible due to the distance, you may consider an MBA in Asia in a business school with a strong brand name (eg Insead)

For all the three options, as mentioned, having a referral could help a lot.

Hope this helps,


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Anonymous B replied on Sep 21, 2017


I haven't applied to the locations you mentioned in your question, but having studied for two years in Shanghai, I can tell you there might be something else to consider before CV and cover letter: language.

Unless you are taken for a special project, those firms strickly require you to be fluent in the local language. To my knowledge, the offices with less rigid requirements are the ones in South East Asia.

In terms of CV and cover letter, they follow the international formats, so not much to change compared to applications in Europe.


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Julien on Sep 21, 2017

Currently working there and I can tell you that language is important. Further, I think what really helped me get my foot at the door was having a referral cuz they place an importance on fit.

Benjamin gave the best answer


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Content Creator
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer
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