Consulting Internships Abroad?

Currently, I'm a Junior at a Semi-Target university in the United States (Top 25 US News Rankings) majoring in Systems Engineering and Economics. Two summers ago, I studied abroad in Spain for about 10 weeks and gained near fluency in Spanish. While many firms recruit at my school for positions in the United States, I have yet to find companies recruiting for positions outside of the United States.

How should I go about looking for GOOD internships abroad in locations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, etc. with notable consulting firms? My GPA is a little bit on the low side at a 3.0.

Comments (5)

Oct 6, 2014

This will largely depend on:

1) Your resume (track record)
2) Ability to get a work permit

I wouldn't be too optimistic unless you have some sort of factor that can get your application out of the pile. This could be language skills, some valuable experience (previous employment with MBB?), location proximity (your best bet was actually getting something in Spain that summer) or perhaps a very committed alum, who will vouch for you.

In Spain right now the employment situation is pretty harsh, and even the local graduates struggle to get a job. Also I've no idea, how a work permit would work for an American.

With regards to Asia, having lived in one of the cities you mentioned, I can tell that Asians are obsessed with GPA and Ivy league. The competition for internships in those cities is incredible and they have piles of US educated (or local crop of the cream) kids with perfect GPAs and native fluency in local language lined up for the top internships. Don't waste your time unless you really think you have a solid shot, because of *a,b,c reasons*.

If I were you I'd start first by looking at where is it realistic to get a work permit- get it easily or work without one as an unofficial intern. Then you'd definitely want to consider places where your skills are most relevant - Latin America might be a far better bet than Asia with your Spanish. In my experience, South Americans love Western kids coming from good schools. To land a solid internship you are still likely to need connections though, unless you apply to the limited intern positions as advertised on online recruitment systems. No experience within that region, but I've landed most of my past interviews (also MBB) by applying directly online also for positions abroad, so I don't see a reason why it would be different.

Oct 6, 2014

The majority of consulting firms have international offices. Many of these firms offer an "internship abroad" or global experience that will allow you to spend at least part of your internship in a foreign office, if not more. From my experience, first you have to accept your offer in an American office then apply for the international program.

I would ask the recruiters of the firms you are interested in if they have a similar program. These are competitive programs, so you have to distinguish yourself from other interns to get in. However, your Spanish fluency will be a big plus, but you will likely be sent to a Spanish speaking country if you get into the program.

Oct 8, 2014

I have a friend who got hired as an intern at BCG (Europe) but she had to do an internship abroad (university obligation). That's why she was put on a case in Marocco together with a partner. So I suggest you should just apply for a position in USA and ask for a project abroad.