A business consulting internship can look different depending on the situation. Many consultants are self-employed and are sole owners and operators of their firm. With this situation, an internship will look similar to an apprenticeship. The experienced consultant takes the intern under his or her wing, training and working with them. Other consultants work in established consulting firms that employ several to many consultants at once. Interning in a company like this will probably be similar to having an entry level job, but little or no compensation for the work. Still other consultants are employed by corporations for in-house consulting. An internship in this situation will probably feel like a mix of the two, especially is the intern is given duties but also assigned to learn from a specific consultant at the company.
In all of these situations, the intern is basically learning the way that one consultant or company performs the business of management consulting. While this is an excellent learning experience, an even more ideal way to learn how to become a business consultant would be pair this business consulting internship with a certification training course at the same time. Participating in the two programs simultaneously allows the student to learn about best practices and either see them demonstrated or see what problems occur when they are not practiced. As they learn about structuring consulting assignments, they can see it put into practice by the consultant they are assigned to.
Unlike college degree programs, business consulting certification courses do not last for years. Some of the best can be completed in less than six months. University programs cost thousands of dollars while courses culminating in certification can cost less than a thousand dollars. Depending on the format, a business consulting internship can partner with one of these classes very well. Some courses are extremely flexible because they are all online. This allows students who are working or interning full time to complete coursework in non-working hours.
Coursework typically includes reading assignments, video lectures, study guides, and memorization aids. The course not only trains students to become business consultants but also prepares them for the comprehensive certification exam. At the conclusion of the business consulting internship paired with the training course, emerging business consultants have a very respectable resume and a certification credential. They are prepared to advise companies on the basis of research, scholarship, and experience. If they choose to go into business for themselves, the course will have prepared them to find and retain clients, building a foundation for a successful future.