By members of the NCA finance & consulting industry team, including: Career advisers Maggie Smith and Jose Santos (serving students in WCAS), Rachel Garson Taylor (serving Kellogg CPU students), and employer recruiting strategists Liz Abello and Tory Key
As we approach fall quarter, you might be preparing for internship recruitment in
consulting and finance. Both industries have accelerated their recruiting timelines and will do most of their internship recruitment this fall. If you are not interested in either industry, you will have an opportunity for your own internship search later on in the year.
If you are interested in both finance and consulting, you might be wondering:
Can I go through recruitment for both Finance and Consulting internships, simultaneously?
The short answer: Yes. You can apply for internships of interest in both industries.
A better question might be: Should I go through recruitment for both Finance and Consulting internships, simultaneously?
In choosing to go through recruitment for both finance and consulting, you may want to consider the following:
- Both industries are competitive; employers are seeking candidates who are fully committed to the industry.
- You will need to be able to clearly articulate “why finance” or “why consulting” to an employer, a networking contact, or an interviewer. Your personal narrative will need to reflect confidence, preparation, relevant experience, and fit for each industry.
- The recruiting processes for each industry require significant time and effort. Consider the following elements:
- Tailored resumes
- A professional introduction specific to each industry
- Industry research
- Attendance at different information sessions and employer events
- Specific networking contacts based on the industry
- Industry- specific interview preparation
Success in either industry will require a tailored strategy. Think about your fall quarter and whether you have the capacity to develop and execute two, unique recruiting strategies.
Then, ask yourself:
Am I really interested in both industries?
You might hear a lot of students discuss the finance and consulting industries together, but in reality, the day to day work and overall objectives of each industry differ quite a bit.
If you haven’t already done so, you should research each industry and begin to do informational interviews to learn which industry might be a better fit for your individual interests, values, skills, and career objectives.
You can begin your research on NCA’s website:
What are the similarities and differences between the two recruiting processes?
- Commitment: Both are seeking highly qualified, experienced candidates who are committed to the industry and have demonstrated their interest over time.
- Skills: Both require quantitative and analytic skills.
- GPA: Both have a minimum GPA requirement and are looking for candidates with an excellent academic record.
- Resume: Both require a tailored resume that focuses on quantifiable details and outcomes/results.
- Timeline: Both recruit at the same time; deadlines and interviews will overlap.
- Employer Events: Candidates are expected to connect with employers through information sessions, career fairs, coffee chats, and networking events to demonstrate their interest in the industry and in a specific employer.
- Information Sessions: Both host information sessions on campus during fall quarter to connect with interested students. Many of these events will overlap between the two industries (i.e. a consulting firm and investment bank will have an information session scheduled at the same time), so you would have to choose which sessions to attend.
- Networking: Employers are seeking candidates who have developed relationships with recruiters, alumni, and other professionals as they prepare for recruitment. Networking helps you stand out and is crucial to a successful recruitment process. You should be developing contacts and networking within each industry, if you intend to apply for both.
- Behavioral Interviews: The interview processes each include a behavioral interview component; employers want to get a sense of your previous experience and fit within the industry. Like information sessions, first round interviews might overlap between the two industries.
- The Case Interview: Unique to consulting, the case interview is a substantial portion of a consulting interview and requires significant preparation and practice. If you intend to go through recruitment for consulting, you should be studying mental math, reviewing frameworks, completing practice cases, and working with peers and/or alumni mentors to practice case interviewing.
- The Technical Interview: Employers within finance will incorporate technical questions into the interview process to assess your industry knowledge and ability to perform the basic functions of a summer analyst. Technical interview questions might include valuation, DCF, and basic accounting.
- Focus on the Internship: Finance tends to focus recruiting efforts on summer analyst positions and do very little recruiting for full-time positions. If you are interested in working in finance after graduation, an internship is critical to securing a full-time role. Consulting firms hire for both internships and full-time roles on campus.
- GPA & Academic Experience: Employers in finance tend to require a higher GPA than employers in consulting. Further, consulting employers might be more open to students from all majors, while employers in finance are looking for students with a highly quantitative and specific technical background.
Ultimately, the decision to go through recruitment for one or both industries is up to you.
You should first consider whether you’re equally interested in both finance and consulting. Then consider the amount of time you’re looking to spend on recruiting, and if you have the capacity to really dedicate the amount of time required for each industry.
NCA is here to help with your process. For help deciding which industry might be the best fit for you, schedule an appointment with your career counselor. For assistance developing and executing your strategy and navigating the recruitment process, schedule an appointment with your career adviser.