My time at PA Consulting was hugely enjoyable because there was a very supportive atmosphere for interns in which to thrive. They really treat interns as potential hirees and that is reflected in the fact that so many interns return to work full time for them, although I did not take up their offer. All employees are genuinely interest in the work at PA Consulting - where consultancy services to improve public sector performance is provided.
As mentioned, I felt hugely valued. The work was remunerated very well and I constantly felt as though I was welcome back. There is a real family feel in the sense that interns are considered to be no less worthy than current employees and rightly so because otherwise they would not find any benefit of hiring interns. Given the level of interest of employees in the work done, this makes for a high level of mutual respect among employees.
Not as much as I originally thought - they rely on interns already having a good knowledge of Microsoft Office and other technical tools. However, I would say that a lot of support was given towards on-the-job learning and there was an emphasis on teaching interns to pick up new concepts very quickly. As such, soft skills such as public speaking and internal teamwork were emphasized, and we had several workshops on these soft skills as well as on the job training.
A reasonable amount
There is limited application of of my internship to my studies. Academically, I study a subject that is not so intertwined with current affairs/business. However, it did teach me how to manage my time properly. Moreover, I feel like I can achieve more within a given day by waking up earlier and packing more into my day. There was a lot of good technical training in tools such as SQL and Python that will prove invaluable as more digital tools are used in the public sector.
Excellent - all interns felt valued. We have all kept in touch with each other and there continues to be a camaraderie even among those who were not offered a full time job or did not take up such an offer. The only thing I would improve would be to have access to more of the internal training that full time employees receive. However, it was understandable that some training remains exclusive to full time employees, as not all interns return to work full time.
It was very well structured - given that PA Consulting have internships for penultimate year students every year, I imagine that they are constantly improving their programme based on feedback on what they are doing correctly/incorrectly. This was really borne out by the fact that they put a lot of emphasis on our opinions of our time there. It was evident that the application progress was rigorously designed to identify the kind of interns that PA Consulting feel align with their values.
Quite heavily for an internship programme. Although we were given little technical training, there were a lot of sessions on presentation skills, how to interact with clients and general soft skills. This I feel is important because many interns do have the technical knowledge but lack on the soft skills necessary to succeed. However, there were some training procedures that remained exclusive to full time employees, and this is understandable since some interns do not go on to work full time at the company.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
The internship enabled me to confirm my interest in pursuing a career in consulting full time. It also helped me to establish that public sector consulting specifically is probably not for me and that I suit more general consultancies slightly better. Nevertheless, public sector consultancies such as PA are held in high regard and it has set me up well for the future. The skills I have gained throughout the course of many internship are transferrable in any consultancy.
There were ample opportunities - mainly in the form of social events - for interns to interact with other members of the firm. There were also several strategy days in which we were able to speak to people at all levels within the company. This I have found very useful in building my network. There were plenty of networking/social opportunities - mostly outside of hours but as mentioned, there were also several strategy days. It was nice to figure out that the company invests in forming relationships with potential full time employees - something that cannot be said of all consultancy firms.
Throughout my internship, I participated in numerous sports - namely football and badminton. I am aware that netball, yoga and other fitness sessions are on offer too. More niche interests are not catered for because there would cost the firm more to accommodate - nevertheless, I did feel PA Consulting invest a lot in people's wellbeing. This is all the more useful because there is a heavy workload in consulting, which makes it necessary for employees to have different out of work activities.
Internship (1-4 Months)
1st November 2020