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lizjoseBy Liz Abello, Assistant Director, Employer Strategy & Jose Santos, Associate Director, Student Career Advising

If you have chosen to study abroad this fall and are interested in consulting internship recruitment, you’re on the path to developing skills that consulting firms value! Adaptability and global competency are key to being a successful consultant.

Consequently, going abroad should not prevent you from participating in consulting internship recruitment. Recruiters have shared that, like on-campus candidates, quality of application is the determining factor in whether or not a student gets an interview.

We would be misleading you if we said that consulting internship recruitment while abroad is easy. Being abroad will require additional preparation, but it is possible; students have successfully secured a consulting internship while abroad. We know you can do it, and NCA is here to support you throughout the entire process.

Employer Perspective
Consulting firms handle study abroad candidates in one of three ways:

  1. Most firms will have study abroad candidates apply through the normal fall recruitment process and will interview the candidate virtually for first-rounds.
  2. Some firms will have an accelerated process for study abroad candidates. For those studying abroad, a firm will have an earlier application deadline, will conduct in-person interviews in a regional office during the summer, and will extend an offer before a student goes abroad.
  3. Rarely, consulting firms will choose not to interview a study abroad candidate because they value an in-person experience.

Preparation
Since you will most likely be leaving for your study abroad program in August, it is imperative that you start preparing early! NCA has created a Consulting Internship Recruitment Preparation Timeline for Study Abroad Candidates (PDF) to help you maximize your summer. You do not need to inform consulting recruiters that you will be abroad since this will be on your resume. Remember, your career adviser is available to meet with you via phone, Skype, or in-person.

Interview Logistics
First-Rounds
NCA can technologically support first-round interviews and will work with you and the recruiter on logistics. If you are selected for a first round interview:

  1. Sign up for an interview slot in CareerCat that works with the time zone in which you are living or will be travelling.
  2. Email the recruiter and Liz Abello (liz.abello@northwestern.edu) to remind them that you are studying abroad; share your Skype account and international phone number in case there are issues with internet connections.
  3. Review NCA’s Best Practices for Consulting Virtual Interviewing (PDF).
  4. Log into Skype at least 5 minutes before your assigned interview time, and NCA will call you via video conference to start the interview.

Second-Rounds
For second-round interviews, companies typically do one of the following:

  1. Interview you virtually, much like the first round.
  2. Bring you to a nearby international office for an in-person interview.
  3. Fly you to a domestic office for an in-person interview.
  4. Wait until you are home in December to interview you in-person.
  5. Continue the interview process in-person during winter quarter.

Second round logistics are at each company’s discretion. NCA is always available to help you navigate this process.

Next Steps

  1. Make an appointment with your career adviser to discuss consulting internship recruitment while abroad.
  2. Review NCA’s Consulting Internship Recruitment Preparation Timeline for Study Abroad Candidates (PDF).
  3. Review NCA’s Best Practices for Consulting Virtual Interviewing (PDF).

Good luck!

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