What are the expectations of consulting interns?

Boutique consulting firms Career Advising covid19 germany intern internship management consulting Munich
Recent activity on Jun 30, 2022
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 26, 2022

Hello! 

I'm about to start an consulting internship at a boutique consulting firm in Munich and I was curious about the expectations for interns. For instance how are interns treated, what level of responsibility are they given, how much prior knowledge should they already have (for ex about certain financial models etc). I've been trying to prepare for it since I'm nervous but I'm not quite sure how to . Any advice and insight would be appreciated!

(Also to those working in consulting in Munich, i'm curious about the COVID situation – is traveling to client sites back and is the situation work from home or everyone's basically back at the office?)

Thanks!

(edited)

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 27, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First: I have a consulting survival guide handbook with 25 key tips for surviving the consulting world. Feel free to message me for it!

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Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough timeFind out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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Fourth: Here are some great prior Q&As for you!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

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Moritz
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replied on Jun 30, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

Nice work and good on you for trying to prepare!

In my mind, you can only prepare for the interview stage. Once you get an offer, you can't really prepare in any meaningful way for the actual job.

Expectation is for you as an intern is ultimately to demonstrate a good attitude and a steep learning curve throughout your projects and OTB assignments.

You're not expected to come with a ton of knowledge or skills beyond what you already demonstrated during the interview stage.

As for COVID, it's pretty much back to the client again!

Best of luck!

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Cristian
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replied on Jun 30, 2022
100% success rate if applying to >2 firms / Honest feedback: no sugar-coating / Success stories ➨ tinyurl.com/43rkxa8f
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Clara
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replied on Jun 29, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Happy to help here, since I was an intern for McK in Madrid, and then continued full time after graduation. 

Something that surprised me is that what they expect from the intern is to really be one more person in the team, adding value almost from day0. 

As with other consultants, there is no knowledge expectation or anything like that, but there is the expectation that you absorb everything from the very beginning and start adding value soon. 

The great thing is that they will give you a lot of coaching and a lot of training. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Ashwin
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replied on Jun 26, 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD

Hey there ,

It will depend on the project that you are staffed on. For interns they will not expect you to have much advanced knowledge on any topic but have a conscientious work ethic and be open to learn and be coached. Typically most projects do involve some type of modeling and slide design so would be good to brush up your Excel and powerpoint skills 

Thanks 

Ashwin 

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Udayan
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replied on Jun 26, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

There is no standard answer to this as it varies a lot by firm but in my opinion the following is usually true. 

  • Interns are usually treated really well and the idea is to make you excited to come back and work in the firm after graduation 
  • As a result you should be staffed in a study with a real need and with clear workstreams that you can drive forward. 
  • You will also be mentored by the manager and by others to ensure that you are constantly learning and grading during your time there.

All in all companies work very hard to ensure that interns have a good experience at the firm. As a rule interns are not expected to know a lot before joining so the more you can bring to the table through excel and data analysis skills the better it will be for you. 

 

All the best, 

Udayan 

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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