Management Consulting Internships: Definition, Benefits and How To Get One

Many undergraduates, MBA students, and others are interested in breaking into the field of management consulting. But how do you start?

The best way to figure out whether the field of management consulting is right for you is to apply for an internship the summer before you graduate. From a consulting internship, you’ll get hands-on experience in the field, meet professional consultants, and see for yourself whether you like the work and are good at it.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of consulting internships. It gives you a place to start as you research the firms to find the top consulting internship opportunities for you.

Important! Please note that the consulting internship roles listed below are open for applications. Some consulting firms have already filled their internship position. As they open up applications later this year, this list will grow. For a more comprehensive list of all firms available for applications, please see this list.

In addition to checking out this list, be sure to see our article on how to land a consulting internship, written by a former McKinsey Summer Intern. Also, see our post on how to write your consulting resume.

How to land an undergrad consulting internship

Benefits of management consulting internships

Management consulting summer internships can be great opportunities for those interested in pursuing management consulting as their future career. Here are some benefits of an internship in management consulting:

You get to work on real management consulting cases

Most management consulting internships allow interns to work on actual cases alongside associates. Interns get to experience the daily responsibilities of management consulting such as:

You learn important skills for management consultants

Management consultant internships help teach you the fundamental skills needed for this career. These skills include:

You get the chance to network with management consulting professionals and firms

Management consulting interns work directly with associates, so they have the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with people already working in the field. Interns who successfully perform their job duties are more likely to leave a positive impression on management consultants. Additionally, many management consulting internships provide development opportunities throughout the summer program, such as offering training sessions or pairing interns with a mentor.

You improve your chances of getting hired as a management consultant

One of the best ways to receive a full-time position as a management consultant is to complete a management consulting internship. Management consulting can be a complex and challenging field, so management consulting firms prefer hiring individuals already familiar with the basic tasks and responsibilities. Depending on your internship experience and your education level, some management consultant firms may consider hiring you immediately after you complete your internship.

What is a management consulting internship?

A management consulting internship is a temporary position in the consulting industry. Interns are typically either current students or recent graduates from an undergraduate or Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Management consulting focuses on helping leaders at various companies analyze and fix complex business problems. Internships in management consulting provide students with direct experience working in this industry.

Management consulting internships often happen over the summer so that students can work full-time hours and learn as much about management consulting as possible.

How to get a management consulting internship

Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of receiving a management consulting internship:

1. Enroll in higher education

Most management consulting internships are only for current students or recent graduates. Current students are often in their last year of university or working toward their MBA.

The undergraduate degrees of management consultants vary. Most management consultants hold college degrees in economics, business, marketing, computer science or a related field. However, some prospective management consultants choose to major in subjects such as history, philosophy, politics or international relations.

Management consulting internship programs do not require candidates to have a MBA. However, having or currently working toward a MBA may help you distinguish yourself during the application process. Its also worth noting that some management consulting internships are targeted specifically at MBA students.

2. Gain relevant experiences

While management consulting firms dont expect their interns to have consulting experience, they often prefer to hire interns with related experiences that have taught candidates how to organize, strategize and communicate effectively. If you hope to receive a management consulting internship, consider doing some of the following:

3. Know the recruitment timeline

Each management consulting firms schedule varies, so check with the firm you want to internship for to ensure you submit your application before the deadline. Aim to have your initial application materials completed before the deadline and prepare as best you can for future application rounds. The recruitment process for management consulting internships typically requires candidates to complete multiple application rounds that might include interviews with various professionals at the firm, essays or presentations.

4. Show your experiences and skills to recruiters

Prospective management consulting interns should not only have relevant experiences and skills, but they should also be able to effectively describe those skills and experiences. For example, if a firm asks you to write a cover letter or answer questions on your application, be sure to highlight experiences that demonstrate skills such as communication, analytical thinking and organization. If you speak with recruiters, try to talk about what you have learned in school, work or other experiences in business strategizing, problem-solving and helping clients.

5. Network

Many larger management consulting internship programs visit university campuses to recruit students. If a firm visits your school, take advantage of the opportunity and attend every information session, presentation, job fair or social gathering that you can.

Even if management consulting recruiters do not visit your school, it is still possible to network with management consultant professionals by methods such as:

Tips for success

While getting a management consulting internship is a significant achievement, its important to continue working hard and demonstrate your skills during your actual internship. Here are some tips for excelling at your management consulting internship:

FAQ

What do management consulting interns do?

Consulting interns will usually be tasked with data collection or will conduct research for certain projects. You’ll work both in a team setting and independently to finish all tasks. Consulting interns are also usually concerned with presenting their research and assisting their managers with ongoing problems.

Do interns at McKinsey get paid?

McKinsey intern salaries are extremely competitive. For the Undergraduate Internship, McKinsey pays its interns around $6,700/month, adding up to nearly $17,000 in total for the 10-week period.

Do consulting interns get paid?

Consulting internships are generally the highest paying of any industry. At top business schools, the monthly median base salary for consulting internships was $11,000.

Are consulting internships hard to get?

Without a GPA of at least a 3.5, you’re going to have a really hard time landing a prestigious internship your junior year, and thus a full-time offer after that. A high GPA isn’t the only thing you need to land a consulting offer.

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