Learning Curve Internship Consulting

Luc

Hello fellow preploungers,

Recently I was asked "What do you want to learn here?" when I applied for an internship in a consultancy. It turned out, that this is quite a good question imo. What do you think are the biggest opportunities for students during such an internship to increase the individual knowledge/competencies?

Kind regards,

Luc

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Dolf replied on 11/28/2016

Hi Luc,

Good question! Here some ideas:

  • Solving complex problems and structuring uncertainty
  • Working with a highly capable, small team and learn to achieve high output in short time
  • Understand typical problems large corporate clients face in today's environment; get involved in high-stakes topcis/projects/decisions (as opposed to joing large companies in line functions)
  • Getting to know how decisions are made in big companies and how they work
  • Build technical skills: Building models, developing and structuring top-management presentations, presentation skills
  • Learn fast by continuously iterating through new projects in new teams, and getting instant feedback from team members

While the question is clearly about what you want to learn, I think it's never bad to also think and add how you can contribute to the consulting firm's and clients' success while you are learning.

In the end, consulting is no business school and clients pay the bill ;)

All the best!

Francesco replied on 11/29/2016
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (800+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Luc,

I think Dolf and Elias have provided an excellent list; I have presented below some additional areas I directly experimented during my internship

Time management:

  • Learn how to deliver results respecting deadlines, cutting unnecessary details
  • Understand how to estimate what you could actually achieve given the deadline you have
  • Learn how to define appropriate work-life balance

C-level interaction:

  • Understand how to participate (although not interacting directly) in management meetings of billion-dollar-companies with the right attitude
  • Learn how to interact with people with a lot more years of experience that you have with the right attitude
  • Understand company cultures and values and adapt to them

New skills:

  • Become a pro with Excel
  • Become a pro with Power Point
  • Develop knowledge of 3-4 completely different sectors in 3 months

Team working and communication:

  • Learn how to communicate with a superior and with peers
  • Develop listening skills and ability to double check your own analysis
  • Understand how to use your point of strengths to help your team to achieve the best possible results

Best,

Francesco

Elias
Expert
replied on 11/28/2016
Experienced consultant, now running own consulting business

Hi Luc,

I second everything that Dolf has said and add:

  • See if the consulting life with its constant travels, high pace and often grueling hours is the right thing for you

Cheers,

Elias

Luc replied on 11/30/2016

Hello all,

thank you very much for these well structured and informative answers! Your input is highly appreciated.

Friendly regards,

Luc