Master of Management student Dharaa Chandrasekaran takes us inside her consulting internship.
Taking classroom knowledge into the workforce is a great way to explore career paths and specialisations that suit one’s interests. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020, I was searching for internship opportunities to gain experience in consulting.
I came across an internship opportunity with SJS Strategy as part of the Business and Economics Internship subject offered by Melbourne Business School. I was uncertain about completing an internship online, but I wanted professional experience in an organisation. My hesitations vanished once I commenced in the position, and I knew I was at the right place. My three-month internship was with two other students who worked with me as a team. It was a highly immersive experience and I was able to work closely with the directors. Their mentoring and guidance helped shape my consulting skills and enlighten my career goals.
I was directly involved in their client engagements and felt as though I was a valid and impactful member of the SJS Strategy team. This opportunity gave me the experience and knowledge I was looking for. SJS Strategy is a ‘Scenario Planning’ consulting firm. Scenario planning was new to me and I was eager to learn more. Scenario Planning is a powerful tool which organisations use as a pre-strategy method to build structure in uncertainty to realise strategic goals. Going through the scenario planning cycle while working on the project gave me a better understanding of the product. The work involved extensive research and analysis on trends, survey outputs clustering, workshop facilitation, and documentation, which gave me a well-rounded experience. This experience changed my perception that the key skills required for a consultant are limited to research and problem-solving. I learnt that writing, communication, and facilitation are equally important skills for consultants. Besides these skills, my teamwork and leadership skills were also tested as I worked in teams and led our projects.
The Master of Management at Melbourne Business School equips students with a strong foundation across business disciplines, along with specialist training in organisational management. Hone your skills in managing innovation and change, motivating and leading people, and how to develop strategies for national and global markets. Find out more about the Master of Management.
Not only did I get a chance to experience real consulting, my team was part of other operations of SJS Strategy’s business. Since SJS Strategy is in its growth phase, we had the opportunity to work with the directors in growing the business. We helped enhance their consulting toolkits, manage other programs and contributed to marketing activities.
When entering the world of consulting, you need the best training and skills to help you put your best foot forward and stand out from the mass of talent who work alongside you. Thanks to my internship with SJS Strategy, I developed both my technical and soft skills. The experience helped me assess my strengths and weaknesses, and see where my skills might take me in the workplace. Overall, this experience was immensely valuable and was good preparation for my future career.
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