Consulting is a choice career for high-achieving young people due to the high pay, broad experience, and powerful alumni networks it offers.
Especially for people struggling to pick an industry or job, going into consulting is a valuable way to get experience with a variety of companies, while developing the sort of analytical skills that are useful anywhere.
It's competitive enough that to get in the door, you typically need more than a high GPA. Many of the top consulting firms get a large portion of new hires from internship programs, which gives them a chance to see the candidate in action.
How do you find the right program that is high-paying and likely to land you a job? Vault, a career intelligence company, conducted a survey of thousands of current and former interns on factors including compensation, career prospects, and quality to identify the most highly regarded internships out there.
Here are Vault's top 10 consulting internships:
1. Bain & Company
The prominent Boston-based consulting firm was ranked in first place last year. It offers paid internships to college juniors, business school students, and law students, as well as some other advanced-degree candidates. According to the company, "the learning curve is steep, but exhilarating," and the majority of Bain interns are hired to work there full time.
2. Bates White Economic Consulting
This D.C. firm focuses on conducting "advanced economic, financial, and econometric analysis" for companies and offers 10 to 20 college juniors a chance to take part in an "intensive" 10-week summer consultant program. There's extensive training and mentoring, and the opportunity, for some, to work at the company's San Diego office. The company ranked 7th last yer.
3. Plante Moran
The Southfield, Mich.-based audit and tax firm has been one of Fortune's 100 best companies to work for every year for the past 15 years. It offers more than 100 internships each year to undergraduates, law and business graduate students, and other advanced degree-seekers in each of its six Midwestern offices.
4. Boston Consulting Group
Last year, the company was ranked No. 2. Interns are full members of a "case team" working for a client, with a similar work profile to what they could expect as a full consultant. The 10-week internships are offered throughout the company's global offices, not just at its Boston headquarters, to incoming college seniors and business school students.
5. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
PwC is one of the "big four" audit, tax, and business services companies, and is based in New York City. It came in 4th in last year's rankings. The company offers paid internships to undergraduates and law and business school graduate students, with an emphasis on training, interacting with staff, and working on client tasks.
Another of the "big four," it came in at No. 3 in last year's rankings. The company offers paid internships to senior undergraduates and law and business school students. Interns get technical training relevant to the particular part of Deloitte they'll be working for, as well as real client service tasks.
7. KPMG LLP
The New York-based firm offers paid internships in its audit, tax, and advisory practices for college juniors and seniors. The company puts a big emphasis on mentorship and client engagement, and it offers a rigorous and consistent training experience regardless of which practice the intern works in.
8. West Monroe Partners
The business and technology consultancy offers paid internships to college juniors and graduate students in its Chicago headquarters. The focus is on client interaction, developing core consulting skills, and mentorship from more senior consultants.
9. Crowe Horvath
One of the largest consulting and audit firms in the country, the Chicago-based firm offers paid internships to college juniors, seniors, and graduate students. The internship program, according to the company, is the No. 1 pipeline for new hires and has a 90% acceptance rate for offers.
Last year, the New York-based consultancy ranked at No. 5. College juniors, seniors, and graduate students get a sense of what it's like to work as a first-year analyst or junior consultant. Some interns get a chance to work on projects for Accenture Development Partnership in developing countries. Graduate interns attend parts of Accenture Management Consulting University and Strategy College along with employees from around the world.
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