When and Why To Turn Down A Consulting Internship


There are times where accepting any internship that is offered to you, may not be in your best interest! Listen to Jenny Rae as she teaches when (and why) you should turn down a consulting internship.

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Youtube Audio Transcription:

We work with the top undergrad programs in the US and abroad when people are thinking about going into consulting. And we have two opportunities to share with you about the consulting process. One is before the internship process, and the other one is after, going into full time. And a lot of the questions we get in full-time recruiting are: I had a consulting internship at X, I want to consulting internship at Y, what should I do? And sometimes people have made a grave mistake. So I’m here today to share a little bit about the undergrad recruiting process and why it’s important to sometimes turn down a consulting internship in undergrad.

What firms are looking for:

First of all it’s really essential to understand that consulting firms only
hire a small percentage of their total hires for the undergrad internship process, but their goal is to have 100% of them accept offers afterwards. No matter what internship you take in your junior summer, the goal is that you will have an offer at the end of it that is something that you want. A job that you would desire. It may not be the only job that you desire but it should be a job desire your freshman and your sophomore years. Or for experimentation you should be traveling overseas. You should be doing wild public policy roles and you should be doing things that you never thought that you would do to gain experience. But in your junior summer you really want to have an opportunity that is something you wanted to do.

Not all internships are created equal:

However a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that all consulting internships are created equal and they’re not. Unfortunately some consulting firms don’t have the same branding, don’t have the same training, don’t have the same culture, as some of the top consulting firms. And so if you go to a lower tier, let’s say a tech implementation consulting firm, and then you want to come back and go to McKinsey, they’re gonna be less interested in you than if you had gone to, for example, a brand name nonprofit. Even a finance firm or probably the most popular one that I would recommend could be a fortune 500.

Can you work during your internship?

Another thing that’s important to know is that some people have to work during their junior year internships. I had to, I needed to make money, I needed to live off of that money both during the summer and also in the future year. Pay is going be a component of what you’re going to talk about but consulting firms don’t ask about pay and they’re not going to pay you any difference whether you were paid in your junior summer or not, so if you have the choice between taking a paid internship and an unpaid internship, but the unpaid internship is at maybe a higher more famous fortune 500 brand, or you’re doing work that is more similar to consulting and you’re able to do that, then I would recommend.

How do consulting firms think?:

Finally consulting firms think for the long-term when they’re hiring you. They’re thinking not just about somebody who does a great job on their first 30 or 60 or 90 days on the job, they’re thinking about somebody who really could be great long-term The more that you can develop your own interests, style, and relationships, in your junior summer, the better. Sometimes consulting firms can be great for that but not all consulting firms are, so again if there are other places where you’re gonna be able to really be developed in culture and trained in a way that would be beneficial long term for a consulting firm, do that instead if you’ve got a consulting internship that you’re not sure about taking, and you’re wondering how it’s gonna set you up full time recruiting.

Reach out to us for help:

Please reach out to us, we would love to talk it through with you. We’d love to talk through your options and our recommendations, some of our recommendations will be wild, like you should probably take a first backpack trip across Spain over the summer instead of doing that, and some of our recommendations are going to be very standard and normal. We like to personalize them and we like to share your experience. You can comment on this video, you can reach out to us on social, you can subscribe to this channel, and you can also find us all the time at www.managementconsulted.com

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