The first step in any internship or job journey is to apply. This is where NYU’s amazing resources came in. I used the Wasserman Center for Career Development, where I booked one-on-one coaching appointments, as well as many résumé editing sessions.
However, the best resource from Wasserman was being able to practice for my interview in a mock interview. In these practice interviews, Wasserman coaches ask questions that typically show up in industry interviews. In my case, these interview questions were tailored for consulting. Then, they walked me through potential answers and how I could improve mine. This practice really stepped up my game and was invaluable in my interview process.
The next step after applying for an internship? Interviewing for it, of course!
I applied to a consulting company in early spring 2022. This is actually pretty late in the consulting industry’s timeline to secure a summer internship. That is, the recruiting season begins in late summer to early fall, so I was definitely on the later side! I used Wasserman’s online recruiting platform, Handshake, to apply to many consulting firms. Handshake is really cool because all the employers on the platform are looking specifically for NYU students. Through Handshake, students can meet with employers one-on-one, attend career-related events, and apply to opportunities all within one portal.
Once I applied, I received an invitation to interview, and then went through two interview rounds! The first round used HireView, which is a software that records as you answer questions. In other words, there isn’t a real person asking you questions. My second round of interviews was a bit more stressful. The process lasted about an hour, and two separate people at the company interviewed me.
My advice? No matter the type of interview you’re going on, do your homework (research!). I looked into current company initiatives and noted which departments were the most interesting. In the interview, I also conveyed how I could have a concrete impact on the team.
In late March I received an offer from the company, which was so exciting! An offer letter detailed the job’s specifics. For example, my letter included the responsibilities of the company and my position, as well as payment information. For this internship, I received an hourly wage, but other internships offer college credit. The letter also described the start and end dates for the internship, the work mode (mine was hybrid), and other important information. I was welcome to go into the Financial District office at any time!
The experience was really great! I was assigned a “coach” who worked in my department. I was in insurance, and she assigned me a few projects. As a marketing intern, I wrote thought leadership pieces. These are articles for other companies to look through about the work being done at the consulting firm, which also included examples of successful projects. I interviewed many senior consultants who had immense knowledge of the insurance industry. Through this project, I also got to network with many people outside the insurance department, such as wealth managers, finance and human resource professionals, and more! Twice a week I met with my mentor to update her on my progress and learn about the different clients she worked with.
I also worked with other interns! We were assigned to pick a project that we could see the firm working on. It could be something like innovative ideas in banking and payments, insurance, and more. We met every week to create a presentation for our proposal. At the end of the project, we pitched this idea to senior executives. They gave us feedback on the quality and thoughtfulness of the presentation, as well as areas for improvement.
Finally, I was given a “buddy” who was an associate consultant at the firm. She had also gone through the internship process and now worked there full-time. My buddy gave me so much insight into the recruiting process for consulting firms. She highlighted the cool projects she worked on now that she was a full-time employee. The best part? She gave me advice on securing a return offer from the firm.
Even though it was a mostly remote workforce, there was a strong sense of culture and community: The company even organized weekly meet-ups, DEI groups, and more. This aspect of the company’s culture was important to me because I really enjoyed the flexibility of the remote work, but also wanted to connect with colleagues. At the end of the internship, all the interns were invited to a summer party! It was so fun to finally meet in person some of the many people I had networked with online.
I realized that consulting was a viable career choice for me. It is a versatile job and can be applied to anything I might want to pursue later in my career. I’m glad I could use my marketing skills during my internship, so I could understand corporate life—especially from a marketing perspective. Through it all, I feel much better prepared for the future. I am also more confident in my interviewing skills thanks to Wasserman.
Really, this entire experience helped me grow and I cannot wait to begin working (and continuing to live) in New York City, which feels like the opportunity of a lifetime! To know that I made it as a successful first-generation, female student in STEM makes me so proud. I have come so far, and NYU has been there for me every step of the way.