Insights of an Intern

Blog post by Natasha Raffa, SATOV Analyst

The life of a Co-op student can get confusing…school term, work term, school, back to work again… no one seemed able to keep track of where I’d be and when.  But, it means that as an undergraduate student entering my fourth year, I will graduate with a year of valuable work experience under my belt!

I spent eight of those 12 months as an intern at SATOV Consultants.  Management consulting provides the unique opportunity of being exposed to a wide range of industries and to perform many different functions within a very short time period.  Experience that would take far longer to gain in most other industries.

Here are three personal insights that should help you determine if a consulting internship is the right role for you.

  1. You will not be the superstar…right away. Being part of the SATOV team means you were a standout applicant. A culmination of strong academics, past work experience and personality fit made you a must have addition to the team. You are used to excelling at what you set your mind to – you forgot what it’s like to be at the bottom of the totem pole. Your insight and fresh eyes will be appreciated, but the learning curve is steeper than most. Don’t panic! Consulting provides you with fast paced work, challenging problems and exposure to industries you may know nothing about, but that is half the fun. If this role is meant for you, you will thrive. You will make your unique mark in due time. Be patient, your superstar status will come…
  2. Be prepared to swim. You may have had past intern roles where your tasks were limited, you didn’t feel like a valuable team member and you left the same person you came in as. From my first day at SATOV, I knew this wouldn’t be the case. Within my first few hours, I was sitting in my senior manager’s office receiving a brief on my first case. But, the team was there to help, and at the end of the day the best way to learn was by getting my feet wet. As an intern, you will be treated the same as any analyst – from interacting with clients to helping grow and shape the firm, your contribution will be valued. The team will be there to keep you from drowning, but put on your bathing suit and practice your strokes because you will be swimming upstream for a while.
  3. Take it all in. Being an intern is your time to make mistakes and learn. Be curious, ask questions, and take advantage of the smart people surrounding you. Do not limit yourself to just the job and the work. Build personal relationships with the team and get to know them outside of the office. SATOV’s culture is rooted in the close relationships developed by the team. Push yourself to make those connections and expand your network. Invest time in getting the most out of your entire intern experience.

It is important to remind yourself that you earned this experience and not to get overwhelmed. I was lucky enough to complete two internships at SATOV, the second infinitely better than the first – so pace yourself. You will learn to adapt and succeed, just like you have probably done throughout your academic career.

Come ready to leave a different, but better person.