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Government: Interns in Consulting

By Experience

The critical thinking and problem-solving skills of government majors make them ideal candidates for a consulting internship.

Consulting Firms

The critical thinking and problem-solving skills of government majors make them ideal candidates for a consulting internship. Depending on the company, consultants analyze and suggest solutions to problems in a variety of areas, including management, computing, engineering, education, and health care delivery. Interns may assist on a project basis to help a client solve a specific business problem, or research and develop strategies for improving a client company for the long term. More specifically, interns devote most of their time to standard industry research, data collection, and number crunching - just think, all those research papers that required your careful analysis have prepared you after all! Most of the big names in consulting have highly competitive and structured internship programs that demand long hours but reward with great pay and an incredible learning experience.

The most prestigious consulting firms hire summer interns who are going into their senior year, and the selection process is designed to take only the best and the brightest. Mercer Management Consulting, for example, hires just a handful of interns to spread among eight offices nationwide for its Summer Research Analyst program. A program like Mercer's will not only allow you to hone your analytical and social skills, but will also expose you to the subtleties of consulting and corporate culture - what better way to see if you fit in? Plus, interns who prove themselves worthy can get their foot firmly placed in the door of a company. If you decide consulting is for you, there's no better way to land a permanent job.

You can find descriptions of internship programs and applications on the web sites of many consulting firms (Mercer, McKinsey, Bain, Accenture). Information is also available at college career services offices, where consulting firms tend to concentrate recruitment efforts. Applications for the coveted summer positions are due as early as November, so plan accordingly.

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