Requirements and/or advice for an internship in consulting

internship management consulting selection criteria
Recent activity on Aug 13, 2018
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 13, 2018

Hi everyone, I am momentarily seeking for advice concerning my first-moving step into consultancy. This can be through either a starting position, but also a short-term internship

As of this moment, I graduated with distinction for my BBA in the Netherlands (8.7 out of 10). For this study I did a study-related internship and minor abroad outside of Europe. Additionally I have performed my thesis at corporate level, and have one start-up on my name that I have established paralel to my study which is momentarily awaiting a good future.

After having completed everything, I applied and got accepted for a business school studying for my master in strategy (business administration).

Beginning this year, I got fascinated for the consulting branch and its dynamic environment. Several books were bought, cases were made, and also news was followed until now.

Therefore I need your advice: How can I make my first-moving entry in consulting? At this moment I am 24 years old, and have no work experience in consulting except to all my self-study. Which consultancy firms would be recommendable to start with for me (as an intern or starter)? I have applied at the first vacancy I have seen at MBB for an internship, but without succes. Any ways to improve chances, or perhaps topics to put emphasis on?

Thanks a lot in advance!


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replied on Aug 13, 2018
Ex-Oliver Wyman with 100% interview success rate - specialized in female career coaching

Hi Anonymous,

typically, there are two types of door openers, when it comes to getting into strategy consulting:

  1. Relevant experience in multiple well-known companies in strategy-related positions + excellent grades
  2. "Top of class" grades, e.g. among top 5 students throughout your entire academic career

Most applicants who are invited for consulting interviews belong to group 1 - they have excellent grades (as you do) and have gathered practical experience in different firms. When applying for full-time positions, some experience in consulting (or another strategy-related field) is required as long as you have a business background. You should have gathered this experience (or at least the greates part of it) at well-known firms.

Usually, there is a chain of door openers - this means e.g.

  • First internship(s) during your Bachelors (does not need to be consulting-related) - part of this should be done at well-known firms (try to use that first internship at some smaller firm to get into, for instance, a well-known bank or corporate)
  • First consulting internship - try to get into tier-two consultancies or big four. The big four usually offer a large number of internship positions each year.
  • (Ideally) An additional consulting internship at tier-one consultany - you may use this chance to already receive a full-time offer by showing an excellent performance during your internship
  • Apply for full-time positions at tier-one consultancies

Each of these steps will make it easier to take the second step, not only because your CV becomes more attractive to tier-one consultancies, but also because you gain valuable experience that will help you to figure out whether consulting really is a job you wish to work for full time.

With regards to group 2: This is very rare - in selected cases, candidates show a super strong academic profile where the requirement for practical experience is dropped.

Hope this helps!



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Bart on Aug 15, 2018

Hi Dorothea, thanks a lot for your detail advice. In the Netherlands most masters take one year, and therefore it is also difficult to do an internship during this period. Would it make sense to also perform this internship after the master, in order to land at a position in a tier-two consultancy?


Jay replied on Aug 13, 2018

Try your start-up for a few months with full commitment to see where it goes. You can always get a coporate role since you got great GPA and entrepreneurship experience.

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Bart on Aug 13, 2018

Hi Jay, thanks for your advice. My start-up however is an autonomous platform governed by a few people aka friends. As of this moment, I am concentrating on going in consulting first and have this for a few hours in the weekends.


Dorothea gave the best answer


Ex-Oliver Wyman with 100% interview success rate - specialized in female career coaching
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