How To Tap Into Personal Networks to Secure Consulting Internships

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

Securing an Internship

My first ever internship was with Ernst & Young in their consulting division. The internship was crucial both in terms of getting into the Duke MEM degree and making my profile more "consulting friendly" when applying for consulting jobs.

Consulting firms like any internship experience that reflects your desire to go into consulting. The consulting internship experience on your resume shows that you are smart and analytical.

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Securing an Internship

My first ever internship was with Ernst & Young in their consulting division. The internship was crucial both in terms of getting into the Duke MEM degree and making my profile more "consulting friendly" when applying for consulting jobs.

Consulting firms like any internship experience that reflects your desire to go into consulting. The consulting internship experience on your resume shows that you are smart and analytical.

I identified the consulting firms in India who would want a student not from a top engineering college, but one comes from a  reputable college, has had a great education and speaks knowledgeably. I knew that I had the ability (and confidence) to be successful.

To get my resume to the firm, I figured out where these firms went to recruit for the junior analyst level. Junior analysts are typically recruited at commerce and arts colleges.

Finding Recruitment Spots

I found that Ernst & Young, for example, recruits at Jai Hind College. Jai Hind College was where I did my 11th and 12th. After 11th and 12th, "junior college," which Americans call high school, I went to a 4-year engineering college. The same high school, or the same junior college, also offered a program in commerce an courses in management. This is where I had a good network of friends. The next step was to find contacts from these colleges at E&Y then.

Building Network Contacts

I leveraged friends at junior college to gain contacts of other people at E&Y. My friend Megha knew someone from her program who had made it to E&Y.

In India, I tried cold calling and sending e-mails through the companies Web site, but no one responded. I knew that the resume should reach the desk of HR or the decision maker, so I sent my resume to my friend's contact who then pushed it to the manager who I eventually ended up working for!

After that, I got a call.

The right way to build contacts is to set up a meeting in a social backdrop and say, I have done my engineering and I’m really interested in moving into consulting. I would like to know what is it like to be a typical consultant is and what is the role and responsibility of a junior analyst, a position that I am keenly eying based on my skill set and education.

Once you set up this communication and you have a certain rapport going, you can even request t  meet in the presence of your contact depending on how close each of the relationships are. 99% of the time once you have indicated your interest and have had a good conversation, a person will be more than happy to forward your resume.
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