Consulting Internships for Sophomores: Step-By-Step Guide

Consulting internships for sophomores


If you’re looking to land a consulting internship for sophomores, then this step-by-step guide is for you.

 

I’m a former Bain Manager and interviewer and in this comprehensive article, we’ll cover all of the different consulting internship opportunities for sophomores in detail and tell you exactly how you can land one.

 

If you’ve started your consulting interview preparation already and are looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course. These insider strategies have helped thousands land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

 

List of Consulting Internships for Sophomores

 

There are a variety of different consulting internship opportunities for sophomores, ranging from programs that last less than a day to a few months. Each consulting internship opportunity has slightly different requirements, intended target audiences, and programming.

 

Bain Sophomore Consulting Internships

 

Bain BEL

 

The Bain BEL program was founded in 2009 and stands for Building Entrepreneurial Leaders. It is targeted at undergraduate sophomores, specifically Black, Hispanic/Latin American, and Indigenous students.

 

Participants can expect to spend a week in one of Bain’s offices, tackle an important business challenge by working side-by-side with case team consultants, get paired with a mentor, and attend social and networking events.

 

Participants will also receive a stipend to cover expenses related to attending this program.

 

To apply, you’ll need to submit a resume, cover letter, educational information, unofficial transcript, test scores, and up to three office preferences. Applications are typically due in February for US participants and in March for Canadian participants.

 

Bain CREW

 

The Bain CREW program stands for Consulting Readiness and Education Workshop and is aimed at sophomores with backgrounds underrepresented in the consulting profession. The program spans 1.5 days.

 

Participants should expect to join an in-person 1.5 day workshop to meet peers, mentors, and future colleagues. Participants will be able to build their leadership toolkit and better understand a career consulting through the various panels and breakout sessions, specifically hearing from women leaders.

 

At the end of the program, participants will have an opportunity to interview for an Associate Consultant intern position.

 

To apply, participants will need to submit a resume, cover letter, educational information, unofficial transcript, test scores, and office preferences. Applications are typically due November 1.

 

Bain Consulting Kickstart

 

The Bain Consulting Kickstart program was originally established as a way to provide initial exposure and a chance to learn about a career in consulting to those whose backgrounds are underrepresented in the profession.

 

The program is targeted towards Black, Hispanic, Latin American, and Indigenous students who are freshman undergraduates in the US and Canada. Participants will join an interactive, virtual series to gain exposure to business leaders and the world of consulting.

 

Upon completing the program, participants will have an opportunity to interview for Bain’s BEL second-year program.

 

Applications are typically due in January. Applicants will need to submit a resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript, and test scores. Following the application deadline, applicants will be asked to submit supplemental essays via a video recording tool.

 

BCG Sophomore Consulting Internships

 

BCG Bridge to Consulting Workshop

 

BCG’s Bridge to Consulting Workshop enables freshman and sophomore students from underrepresented minority groups to explore life as an Associate at BCG. It is targeted towards students from Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous backgrounds. This is not to be confused with the Bridge to BCG program that is targeted towards advanced degree students.

 

The in-person workshop takes place in BCG’s Chicago office for US candidates and BCG’s Toronto office for Canadian candidates.

 

During the immersive workshop, participants will learn more about the firm, meet BCG leaders and consultants, and participate in interview prep to develop their interview toolkit.

 

To apply, applicants will need to provide a resume, optional cover letter, college transcripts, test scores, and office preferences. In addition, there will be a one-way video interview lasting 45-60 minutes. This interview must be completed within 72 hours of receiving the email prompt.

 

Applications are typically due in March.

 

BCG Advance

 

BCG Advance is an interactive, invite-only virtual conference that culminates with an opportunity to interview for a summer internship with the firm. The program lasts one week and is targeted towards sophomore women.

 

Applications are typically due in March and there are two components. The BCG Advance digital application takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. Afterwards, there will be a one-way interview lasting 45-60 minutes. The prompt for the one-way video interview will be sent 1-2 days after the application deadline.

 

BCG Growing Future Leaders

 

The BCG Growing Future Leaders program is a 10-week immersive summer internship program for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students that are sophomores. The program’s goal is to support and develop students from these groups as they prepare to become business leaders.

 

During the internship, participants will be paired with a mentor, participate in training programs, and work as a member of a BCG case team. After completing the internship, participants are eligible for a scholarship and offer to return as a Summer Associate after their junior year.

 

To apply, applicants will need to submit a resume, optional cover letter, college transcripts, test scores, and their top three office preferences. The deadline is typically in September.

 

McKinsey Sophomore Consulting Internships

 

McKinsey El Futuro and Up Next First Year Leadership Summit

 

Both of these McKinsey programs are immersive two-day workshops for first-year undergraduate students. The programs are targeted at students of Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous backgrounds.

 

Participants will learn more about a career in consulting, refine their problem solving and leadership skills, and connect with McKinsey leaders and consultants. The workshop typically takes place in April and is in a hybrid format. The first day of the workshop is virtual and the second day has an in-person option for participants close to participating offices.

 

The deadline to apply is typically in March.

 

McKinsey Ignite

 

The McKinsey Ignite program is a half-day program sponsored by McKinsey Women. Participants will learn more about a career in consulting, join a personal strengths workshop, and have the opportunity to network with other participants and McKinsey women.

 

The program is targeted towards first year, second year, and third year students. The program is hybrid and will be either virtual or in-person depending on participants’ proximities to the participating McKinsey office.

 

The deadline to apply is typically in March.

 

McKinsey LAUNCH Leadership Incubator

 

LAUNCH is a multi-day virtual leadership incubator targeted towards second year or third year students that is sponsored by the McKinsey Black Network. The program offers sessions to improve leadership and problem solving. The goal is to empower participants to make a lasting impact in their communities.

 

The deadline to apply is typically in March.

 

McKinsey Sophomore Summer Business Analyst

 

The McKinsey Sophomore Summer Business Analyst program is designed for undergraduate sophomores interested in consulting from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the consulting profession. Backgrounds targeted include Black, Hispanic, Latino, and Indigenous groups, but are not limited to those.

 

In this 10-week internship program, participants can expect to work on client projects, receive mentorship from McKinsey consultants, and receive a week of training to develop consulting skills and industry knowledge.

 

Applications are typically due in October.

 

Other Sophomore Consulting Internships

 

Expedition EY

 

Expedition EY is an app-based interactive learning experience for first and second year students. Students who are veterans, Black, Latinx, Native American, LGBT+, persons with disabilities, and women are highly encouraged to join Expedition EY.

 

The goal of the program is to help students explore EY and the professional services industry. The program typically runs from March to May and participants are eligible to win scholarship prizes. The deadline is typically in January.

 

EY-Parthenon Emerging Leaders

 

They EY-Parthenon Emerging Leaders program is geared towards undergraduate sophomores, with a strong preference for applicants who identify as Black, Latinx, or Native American.

 

It is an 8-week summer internship program offering exposure to strategy consulting. Participants can expect to work on strategic projects, receive mentorship from EY-Parthenon consultants, and engage in professional development activities to enhance their consulting capabilities.

 

Applications are typically due in the fall.

 

FTI IMPACT: Summer Leadership Program

 

The FTI IMPACT program is targeted towards undergraduate sophomores interested in consulting and advisory services. The program lasts one week and participants can expect to develop leadership skills and better understand the management consulting industry.

 

Participants that stand out may receive an early offer for FTI Consulting’s traditional internship program the following summer. Applications are typically due in February.

 

Accenture Student Leadership Program

 

The Accenture Student Leadership Program is targeted towards freshmen or sophomores enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program. The goal of the program is to help cultivate leadership skills and learn more about career opportunities at Accenture.

 

The program typically kicks off in January and runs through the end of April. There are five different program tracks that offer personalized, immersive experiences. These tracks are:

 

  • Student athlete: For freshmen and sophomores currently competing in Collegiate Division I, II, and III sports

 

  • Women in technology: For freshmen and sophomores with a background in technology

 

  • Pride leadership academy: For freshmen and sophomores

 

  • HBCU excellence: For freshmen and sophomores at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

 

  • HSI legacy: For freshmen and sophomores at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI)

 

The top 20 most qualified candidates will be selected for each track.

 

Candidates will be matched with a buddy and mentor to help develop soft and professional skills through a series of virtual learning sessions. The program concludes with a two-day Student Leadership Summit focused on innovative technology, professional development, and networking with Accenture leadership.

 

Applications are typically due in December.

 

PwC Destination CPA

 

PwC’s Destination CPA program is a three-day in person immersive event. Participants can expect to network and build relationships with other future CPAs, PwC professionals, and discover the value of a CPA license and how it can impact your career.

 

The program is geared towards sophomores that are accounting majors pursuing at least 150 credit hours. In addition, applicants will need to apply and receive an offer for an internship with PwC in order to receive an invitation to Destination CPA.

 

The program typically runs in April.

 

Deloitte Discovery Internship

 

The Deloitte Discovery Internship is designed for freshmen and sophomores to experience different client service businesses at Deloitte. Participants can expect to receive personalized mentorship, professional training through Deloitte University, exposure to real world projects, and networking events.

 

Applicants must have definitive plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a business, accounting, economics, STEM, or related field. Those who identify as Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, or two or more races are encouraged to apply.

 

KPMG Embark Scholars

 

The KPMG Embark Scholars program consists of an 8-week internship featuring training and rotations within KPMG’s Audit, Tax, and Advisory practices. Candidates can expect to work on a spectrum of assignments across different practices.

 

Applicants must have completed at least one semester of coursework at the time of application and must have at least three additional semesters left before obtaining their degree. So, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are all eligible to apply.

 

Applicants who identify as a member of either traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups within the professional services industry are encouraged to apply. This includes Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

 

Applications are typically reviewed on a rolling basis, so it is better to apply earlier than later.

 

Capgemini EPIC Skills Workshop

 

The Capgemini EPIC Skills workshop is focused on providing underrepresented minority sophomore students exposure to management consulting. Participants can expect to network with consultants and leaders at Capgemini, participate in a group case study, strengthen their business skill set, and receive tips for acing consulting interviews.

 

Applications are typically due in February.

 

Other opportunities

 

While the list provided covers many prominent consulting internship opportunities for sophomores, there may be additional programs offered by smaller consulting firms or boutique consulting practices within larger organizations.

 

Additionally, some consulting firms may offer region-specific or niche internship programs that target undergraduate sophomores.

 

To ensure comprehensive coverage, you should research consulting firms in your desired location or industry focus areas and explore other consulting internship opportunities for sophomores.

 

Why Get a Sophomore Consulting Internship?

 

There are many reasons to get a sophomore consulting internship, including getting a head start developing skills needed for consulting, expanding your network, improving your resume credentials, the potential to convert into a full-time offer, and the opportunity to see if consulting is right for you.

 

Get a head start developing skills needed for consulting
 
 Securing a sophomore consulting internship provides early immersion into the consulting industry, allowing you to start developing essential skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and communication.

 

By gaining hands-on experience in the consulting industry, you'll get a head start developing essential skills needed for consulting, positioning yourself ahead of your peers as you progress in your consulting career.

 

Expand your network

 

A sophomore consulting internship offers an extraordinary opportunity to connect with other consultants at the firm, from junior consultants to senior partners. Building these relationships can provide valuable insights into the industry, mentorship, and potential future job opportunities.

 

Improve your resume credentials
 
 
Adding a reputable consulting internship to your resume can significantly improve your resume credentials. With one consulting internship under your belt, you’ll be much more attractive to other consulting firms for junior year consulting internships or for full-time positions. This helps set you apart in a competitive job market and strengthens your candidacy for future consulting roles.

 

Potential to convert into a full-time offer

 

Many consulting firms use their internship programs as pipelines for recruiting top talent. A successful sophomore consulting internship can lead to a full-time job offer after graduation. By proving your capabilities, adaptability, and cultural fit during your internship, you increase your chances of receiving a return offer, providing a solid backup option for future consulting recruiting.

 

Opportunity to see if consulting is right for you

 

A sophomore consulting internship offers valuable firsthand exposure to the consulting industry's realities, challenges, and rewards. It allows you to test your interest and fit for consulting work, helping you make informed decisions about your future career path.

 

Whether you confirm your passion for consulting or discover it's not the right fit, this experience provides valuable insights that will shape the future direction of your career.

 

What Does a Sophomore Consulting Internship Look Like?

 

A sophomore consulting internship is typically comprised of three different aspects: training, case work, and social events. The combination of these three components makes sophomore consulting internships a fulfilling and fun experience.

 

Training

 

Sophomore consulting internships typically begin with training sessions lasting anywhere from a few days to a full week. Training sessions usually last the full day, starting from 8-9AM and concluding anywhere from 4-6PM.

 

During these training sessions, interns will get an orientation on their firm, learn essential business knowledge, review essential math skills, and learn the methodologies of how consultants at the firm work.

 

Topics covered may include:

 

  • Data analysis

 

  • Research

 

  • Presentation slide making

 

  • Client communication

 

  • Industry-specific knowledge

 

  • Relevant software and technology platforms used

 

  • Professionalism

 

Training sessions may involve a combination of presentations, workshops, interactive exercises, and role playing led by experienced consultants and trainers.

 

The goal of training is to equip interns with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to contribute effectively to consulting projects.

 

Case work

 

The majority of sophomore consulting internships is spent on hands-on involvement in real world consulting projects. After training, interns will be assigned to project teams led by experienced consultants, where they will work collaboratively to address client challenges and deliver actionable solutions.

 

Interns are placed on projects based on a combination of their interests, skills, and the firm’s needs. Depending on the internship duration and structure, interns may rotate through multiple projects or focus on a single long-term engagement.

 

Interns are put on real projects, contributing to an actual case team. They’ll do work that is similar to work that a full-time consultant would do, but their scope will be more narrowly defined and carefully selected so that the task is clear, straightforward, and interesting.

 

Throughout the consulting engagement, interns are exposed to various aspects of the consulting process, including client meetings, data analysis, research, strategy development, and presentation preparation.

 

Interns may be tasked with conducting market or industry research, analyzing data, creating presentations, and presenting updates to the team under the guidance of mentors.

 

The typical day of case work starts at 8-9AM and concludes anywhere from 5-12PM depending on the scope and intensity of the project.

 

Social events

 

In addition to the professional aspects of a sophomore consulting internship, firms recognize the importance of fostering a supportive and engaging community among interns. Social events play a crucial role in building camaraderie, networking opportunities, and a positive internship experience.

 

These events may include welcome receptions, happy hours, team-building activities, team lunches and dinners, mentorship programs, and social outings.

 

Interns will have the chance to connect with other interns, consultants, and firm leadership in a more casual environment, exchanging ideas, experiences, and perspectives. Social events often facilitate informal mentorship relationships, where interns can seek guidance, advice, and career insights from experienced professionals.

 

By participating in social events, interns not only strengthen their professional networks but also cultivate lasting relationships that extend beyond the duration of the internship.

 

What Consulting Firms Look for in Sophomore Consulting Interns

 

Consulting firms look for six key skills or qualities in their sophomore consulting interns: analytical skills, communication skills, teamwork, ownership, adaptability, and resilience.

 

Analytical skills

 

Consulting firms highly value interns who possess strong analytical skills. These skills involve the ability to gather, interpret, and analyze data to derive meaningful insights and recommendations.

 

Sophomore interns are expected to demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and qualitative analysis, including statistical analysis, financial modeling, and market research. Effective analytical skills enable interns to approach complex business problems logically, identify patterns, and develop data-driven solutions.

 

Communication skills

 

Exceptional communication skills are essential for sophomore consulting interns to convey complex ideas, findings, and recommendations effectively.

 

Strong verbal communication skills enable interns to articulate their thoughts clearly and persuasively during client interactions, team meetings, and presentations.

 

Additionally, proficient written communication skills are crucial for drafting reports, presentations, and client deliverables with clarity, precision, and professionalism.

 

Teamwork

 

Collaboration and teamwork are fundamental aspects of consulting projects, making teamwork a critical skill for sophomore consulting interns. Firms look for interns who can collaborate effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, leverage collective expertise, and contribute to team objectives.

 

Strong teamwork skills involve active listening, constructive participation, and the ability to resolve conflicts diplomatically. Interns are expected to collaborate seamlessly within project teams, share responsibilities, and support team members to achieve project milestones and deliverables.

 

Ownership

 

Consulting firms seek interns who take ownership of their work and demonstrate a proactive approach to project responsibilities. Ownership entails a sense of accountability, initiative, and commitment to delivering high-quality results.

 

Interns are expected to take ownership of assigned tasks, manage their time effectively, and drive projects forward with minimal supervision. Taking ownership also involves being resourceful, proactive in seeking solutions to challenges, and demonstrating resilience in the face of setbacks.

 

Adaptability

 

The consulting industry operates in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, requiring interns to be adaptable and flexible in response to changing circumstances. Consulting firms look for interns who can thrive in ambiguity, quickly assimilate new information, and pivot their approach as project requirements evolve.

 

Adaptability involves being open to feedback, willing to learn new skills, and adept at navigating unforeseen challenges with agility and composure.

 

Resilience

 

Resilience is a key attribute that consulting firms value in sophomore interns, given the demanding nature of consulting engagements. Resilient interns demonstrate the ability to maintain composure and effectiveness in high-pressure situations, overcome obstacles, and bounce back from setbacks.

 

Consulting projects often involve tight deadlines and competing priorities, requiring interns to remain focused, determined, and solution-oriented when faced with adversity.

 

Resilient interns exhibit mental toughness, emotional intelligence, and a growth mindset, viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth rather than obstacles to success.

 

How to Get a Consulting Internship for Sophomores

 

There are five major steps to landing a consulting internship for sophomores: create a list of sophomore internship opportunities and deadlines, build a strong resume, network with firms you are interested in, prepare for first round interviews, and prepare for final round interviews.

 

1. Create a list of sophomore internship opportunities and deadlines

 

Start by researching consulting firms that offer internship programs for sophomores. Utilize the internships listed in this article as well as information from company websites, career fairs, alumni networks, and online job boards to compile a comprehensive list of internship opportunities.

 

Make sure to check the eligibility requirements. Some sophomore consulting internships are only open to certain groups, such as women or certain minorities.

 

Pay close attention to application deadlines, as many consulting firms have specific timelines for recruiting sophomore interns. Organize your list by deadline dates to prioritize your applications and ensure you submit them on time.

 

Keep track of any additional requirements, such as cover letters, transcripts, or letters of recommendation, to ensure you meet all application criteria.

 

2. Build a strong resume

 

Craft a tailored consulting resume that highlights your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, and relevant skills. Emphasize any coursework, projects, or internships that demonstrate your analytical abilities, communication skills, and teamwork.

 

Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to describe your accomplishments, showcasing your impact and contributions.

 

You may find it helpful to tailor your resume for each consulting firm by researching their values, projects, and culture, and aligning your experiences with their expectations.

 

Consider seeking feedback from mentors, career advisors, or peers to ensure your resume effectively showcases your qualifications and stands out to recruiters.

 

If you need help perfecting your consulting resume, check out our consulting resume review and editing services to get professional help transforming your resume into one that will get you multiple interviews.

 

3. Network with firms you are interested in

 

Leverage consulting networking opportunities to connect with professionals at consulting firms and learn more about their internship programs. Attend networking events, information sessions, and career fairs to engage with recruiters, consultants, and alumni from target firms.

 

Initiate conversations, ask insightful questions, and express your genuine interest in the consulting industry. Utilize online platforms such as LinkedIn to identify and connect with individuals working at consulting firms, and request informational interviews to gain insights into their experiences and the recruitment process.

 

Building meaningful relationships with professionals in the industry can provide valuable insights, referrals, and mentorship opportunities as you pursue a consulting sophomore internship.

 

4. Prepare for consulting first round interviews

 

Develop a solid understanding of the consulting interview process and prepare for commonly asked questions in consulting first round interviews, including case interviews and consulting behavioral interviews.

 

Familiarize yourself with case interview frameworks, case interview math, and business concepts commonly used in consulting cases.

 

Utilize resources such as case interview books, MBA casebooks, online forums, and mock interview sessions to hone your skills and build confidence. Seek feedback from peers, mentors, or career advisors to identify areas for improvement and refine your interview technique.

 

If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course. These insider strategies have helped thousands land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

 

If you want to be ready for 98% of consulting behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours, enroll in our comprehensive consulting behavioral interview course.

 

5. Prepare for consulting final round interviews

 

As you progress through the interview process, continue refining your case interview skills and showcasing your fit with the consulting firm's culture and values. Research the firm's recent projects, industry focus areas, and company culture to demonstrate your interest and alignment with their goals.

 

Prepare to discuss your past experiences in more depth, highlighting relevant accomplishments and leadership roles. Practice articulating your career goals, why you’re interested in consulting, and why you're passionate about joining the firm.

 

Additionally, anticipate questions about your problem solving approach, teamwork experiences, and ability to handle challenging situations.

 

Continue doing mock interviews and getting feedback from peers to fine-tune your responses and build confidence for consulting final round interviews.

 

Resources to Help You Land a Sophomore Consulting Internship

 

We recommend using the resources below to give yourself the best chance of landing a sophomore consulting internship.

 

Getting a consulting interview

 

 

Passing your consulting case interviews

 

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.

 

  • Hacking the Case Interview Book (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.

 

  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.

 

 

Passing your consulting behavioral interviews

 

  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course: Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer