It's summer time and many of you out there are likely in your first internship with a consulting firm. Here are 5 things I found to be helpful in converting my internship into a full-time offer:
Demonstrating core attributes / skills:
- Coachability: you don't have to know everything day one, it's definitely not the expectation. However, I think it is important to show that you're coachable and are willing to receive feedback and learn / grow from it. Consulting is generally an apprenticeship model where you learn from coaching and guidance you receive from your teammates and team leadership. So, this core skill of being able to take feedback and act on it in a constructive way is very important.
- Proactiveness: Don't just bring me a problem, spend some time and think through some potential solutions. Even if the solutions you come up with aren't ultimately the ones that are the path forward, it's important in my opinion to demonstrate this willingness to problem solve and ability to think of potential solutions. At the end of the day, Consultants are there to solve client problems, not simply communicate what the problems are to teams and team leadership.
- Ownership: This goes hand in hand with the first two, but this is about taking responsibility and full ownership of a task that's handed to you. There is an expectation that if you're asked to help with a part of a project, you own that piece of the project. That means it's up to you to push that piece of the project forward. Now you may not be able to solve the problem alone (and that's certainly not the expectation), and likely you'll need help from experts or others in your firm or the client organization. But, it's about making sure you're pulling in the right people, asking the questions and finding a way to push toward an answer / solution.
- Energy and excitement for the work: Whether it's your day-to-day attitude or the excitement you convey, this can go a long way. Consulting is hard work and I think firms ultimately want to know whether you really want to be there. is a great time to convey this and show your excitement for the role.
One other thing to do:
- Getting to know the consulting firm and the people.
Outside of the core attributes and skills mentioned above, the summer is also a great time to really get to know the people at the consulting firm and in your specific office or region. Friday's are great days for this. Even now with mostly remote work, I imagine people are willing to do quick 15 minute video calls to connect and talk about their experience in the office. This is a great way to not only ensure that this is the right fit for you, but also build a strong community in your office, something you're excited to return to full-time.
Happy to answer any specific questions as you navigate your summer.
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