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Internship application in Asia

Anonymous A

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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Anonymous B replied on 09/21/2017

Hi,

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.

Best,

Francesco replied on 09/22/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) | 100% recommendation rate

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,

Francesco