Participating in a Consulting Internship: My Experience.
This bog was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Gyda Sumadi ‘18
What to expect as a consulting intern. Note: this is my perspective working for a company in which the consulting lifestyle is 100% travel, and you are staffed on a client site. Other internships opportunities and experiences may differ from mine, but may have relevant themes or similarities.
Logistics: Consultants generally fly in Monday morning (sometimes Sunday night if their presence is urgent) and fly out Thursday night. Therefore, expect consultants to come into the office a bit later on a Monday, 10:00am to noon. Also, consultants typically fly out Thursday afternoon. This means, if the team is on schedule, Friday is a work from home day.
Long Hours: My normal hours ranged from 9:00am to 8:00pm, or later. Every day was extremely packed and busy, I almost had no down time considering I was acting as a full contributing consultant with immediate work stream responsibility. Meaning, infrequent lunch breaks! Often times, the team enjoys going out for dinner, so expect to be home at 11:00pm or later on a social night. Usually, this occurs midweek and is important in regards to team bonding.
Travel: As an intern, I flew between Boston and North Carolina, for orientation and final presentations. This was supposed to mimic the travel lifestyle of a consultant. I was staffed on a local project, but there is opportunity for interns to be on a project that requires travel. It just so happened there was a great project lined up for me in my local city of Boston.
Big team, small room: Often times, teams are given one conference room to work in. The reason is because clients do not have endless space to give every consultant a cubicle, in addition to the fact it is team-oriented assignment. Therefore, sitting in close proximity is beneficial but there is a lack of privacy as everyone can see what you are doing/looking up on your laptop.
Client facing: Expect to have a lot of interaction with the product owners (client lead), as they will constantly be poking their head through the door to check up on the status of the project.
Team members rolling on and off: Often times, consultants are not staffed for the full length of the project but rather for an allotted time where their contribution is needed. Therefore, there will be people rolling off and depending where the project is in its timeline, new people may join the team to replace those who moved on to the next project.
Exposure to Partners/Executives: Often times, consultants get the opportunity to gain face time with partners and executives.
I hope this article gave you insight into the consulting lifestyle! It is not for everyone, but it’s a great way to learn about many industries in a condensed time!