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Internship first or direct application?

Anonymous A

Hello everybody,

I would like work as a MBB consultant with office in Germany.

Would applying for an internship first and hoping to get an offer right after help maximizing the probability getting the job?

I understand that this heavily depends on my current profile and how I would perform during the internship. I think the original question can be split into:

1) how do the requirements for an internship compare to those for a nomal
entry level position?
1.1) pre-interview
1.2) on interview days

2) What are the offer rates after internships? I assume it strongly depends
on office location and read it can be as low as 40% in the case of Germany.
Has somebody done an intership and can share how tough it is to get an offer this way?

A few more infos:

- I've done an internship as a consultant at a bigger consultancy before (not management consulting but daily close interaction with the client's team) and I'm confident that I will enjoy the work.

- I think I do quite well in most required categories except for convincing proof of leadership

Which way would you choose?

(edited)

Francesco replied on 07/19/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

I believe applying for an entry-level internship would be the best option to maximize your chances for an offer. Answering your questions:

  1. Requirements for interns are normally lower in terms of pre-interview requirements (previous experiences), not always in terms of the actual interview, which is often equivalent to the one for full time positions. Requirements are lower, as the cohort normally joins at a younger age compared to a full time position, where you could compete with people already having working experience. According to the offices, there may be also a higher intake.
  2. The offer rate after the internship most of the time will be between 60% and 100% (as for my experience, when I joined BCG we got a 100%). The main influence factors for that are:
    • Requirements in terms of future projects for the companies, thus for extra resources
    • Your co-hort performance, in case they have to choose a limited number of candidates due to the previous point and in case there are people not apt for consulting.

Below you can find some reasons I believe applying for an internship can be superior to the full time application:

  1. It is easier to be invited for interviews, as the pre-interview requirements are lower.
  2. Even if you get rejected at the application stage, you can usually reapply for a full time position in 6 months – 1 year.
  3. You can expect that if you do not get accepted after the internship, you would have also not passed the trial period after a full time offer, while sometimes if you do not get accepted after the trial period as a full time you may have passed the internship step, since they could still give a second chance with the trial period. The internship thus gives you more chances to land a confirmed full time offer when your superior has some doubts about your performance.
  4. If you do not get accepted after an internship, you will likely have a higher chance to be invited by other MBB compared to the same application without that internship.
  5. It helps to clarify whether you want indeed to work in strategy consulting / that company.

For the previous reasons, I would definitely recommend to apply for an internship.

Best,

Francesco

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