After many semesters of ISE classes and spending summers working as a project management intern at a small tech start up and as a supply chain operation intern, I have decided that I want to move into the field of consulting. In a nutshell, consultants provide expert opinions, analysis, and recommendations to their clients. In this job they play the role of fixers, objective troubleshooters, and help prevent problems and improve performance. These are all skills I feel like I have learned and grown in my previous internships and ISE major classes. After several applications, interviews, and offers, I have signed at PWC as a technology consultant for this upcoming my summer between undergrad and grad school. While there is no set pathway to getting an internship, I wanted to share a few things that helped me with the consulting recruitment process as it looked different than my other internship recruiting experiences.
- Start Early! Applications and interviews for major consulting firms tend to be much earlier than other companies. I had already signed my offer while some of my engineering friends were hearing back for first round interviews. Consulting applications typically close late August-early September.
- Learn the structure of the interview! Consulting interviews tend to look a little different from other engineering internship interviews. In addition to a behavioral interview, there is something which is called a case interview. This is a type of interview used to judge the candidates problem-solving and analytical abilities. The most important part of this interview is to show how you think and would approach a client problem if hired. I recommend practicing this as much as you can before the actual interview.
- Update your LinkedIn! This might sound like a given but is hugely important. LinkedIn is the space you can provide more detailed information about things that might not fit on your resume. LinkedIn can also be very helpful when doing your background research on the company you’re applying for.
- Reach out to people who currently have the role you are looking for! There are many different types of consulting so talking to people who currently have the job will help you figure out which is best for you. Talking to others can also give you a more realistic idea of what you can expect to do in the position.
- Utilize USC’s resources! USC has many resources to help students land internships. The first one to check out is the Viterbi Career Center. Not only can you find job postings, but you can also get help on your resume and interview prep. The next resource to check out is the Viterbi Career Fair. Here you can actually meet some of these companies face to face. Next, I would recommend joining Viterbi clubs. I was actually inspired to apply to PWC after they came to talk to the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering student organization. Lastly, I would recommend reaching out to peers and professors. I learned a lot about consulting by talked to my friends who had already had consulting internships!
At the end of the day everyone’s path to an internship looks different! USC has so many amazing opportunities to offer, but it is important to remember to go look for them and take advantage of them. Best of luck in your future recruiting endeavors!