What to do in a situation when my previous internship experience went bad?

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New answer on Dec 10, 2019
4 Answers
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James asked on Oct 22, 2019

Hey Guys,

I am currently doing a 1 year masters in the UK and am sending off applications for Consultancy. During my undergrad, I did a 1 year internship at a big name consumer goods company (think P&G, Unilever, Nestle, Johnson&Johnson) in a product supply role. During my internship, I did not enjoy it whatsoever, and my overall performance was mediocre. My manager wasn't happy with me but I didn't get fired as I wasn't terrible either. Obviously I didn't get a return offer.

I am now worried if whatever company I am applying for will contact my previous employer and ask them about my performance and whether or not I got a return offer. Will they ask for a reference or anything? What can I do about such situation? Should I be honest and tell them I didnt get a return offer. I'm worried if they contact my previous manager and he tells them I was "poor".

Any advice will be appreciated

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Deniz
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replied on Oct 25, 2019
BCG | A.T. Kearney | University of Cambridge | 350+ coachees | 5+ years of consulting experience in London, Dubai and Istanbul

Hi,

Background checks do not take place in most of the European offices (in some cases, they do not even ask for your diploma/transcripts). Even if they run the check, there is nothing to worry about as it won't be a performance-related discussion.

Best,

Deniz

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 23, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi James,

as mentioned by Vlad, the background check is on the fact you worked in a previous company, not on your performance. The only risk I see is that one of the interviewers by chance knows your former boss and asks for feedback – I would say this is quite unlikely, thus I would not worry about it.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Clara
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replied on Dec 10, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Disagree with some of the posts below, since MBB does background checks regading (1) academics and (2) past work experience. Actually, it´s done after you sign the contract, and in the contract itself there is a part where it says that if you have lied, they have the right to take it back -same as with the MBAs-.

This said, they won´t ask your previously company for feedback -it´s just too time consuming-. What for sure will happen is a question, as you were mentioning, about why not coming back. In that case, have your answer ready explaining yuor motives and it should be ok (e.g., lack of fit, you realized that particular industry/segment was not your thing, etc.)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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replied on Oct 22, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

MBB companies do the background check but it's not about the feedbacks. They just need to check if you really worked there. So relax, and concentrate on interview prep

Best

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Deniz gave the best answer

Deniz

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BCG | A.T. Kearney | University of Cambridge | 350+ coachees | 5+ years of consulting experience in London, Dubai and Is
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