On Friday 21st March, Princeton alumni Kirk Saari ‘99 hosted a one-day Princeternship for ten current Princeton Undergraduates at the Management Consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
The purpose of the Princeternship was to orient the students to consulting as a profession, to provide insight into the recruitment process and the lives of consultants. The day was divided into several sessions each hosted by different alumni. There was a session, which provided an introduction to consulting and what the job is all about. This was followed by a demo on what consulting interviews consist of and a discussion on real life cases dealt by Oliver Wyman. To cap the Princeternship off, there was a networking lunch with all the alumni.
Overall the experience was very enlightening and helpful. All the alums were very honest. They were open to any and all questions as long as they did not violate any legal contracts!
The Princeternship answered a lot of questions. Primarily it burst this big bubble about consulting interviews and consulting as a career. Some of the findings were very much contrary to what I had imagined them to be. For example, I had imagined the office environment to be very uptight and formal. To my surprise, the dress code was business casual and there was more of an entrepreneurial and innovative work environment – certainly something very different than what I had expected.
The best part of the Princeternship for me was the mock consulting interview that one of the alumnus ran with us. The students were divided into two groups and we were given a previous interview question. Each group worked together for a few minutes and then presented their solution. Eventually, the alumnus gave us feedback and walked us through the actual solution. Personally, I felt the exposure greatly beneficial. I had heard a lot of different rumors about consulting interviews and now I have firsthand experience.
My advice to future Princeterns is that they should definitely apply for a Princeternship if they find one of interest. Some specific research and questions before the Princeternship really help. I realized that the alums were very honest and this is a great chance to get those minute questions answered that are at times harder to ask at info sessions or career fairs.
Personally I really enjoyed the Princeternship and would like to thank Career Services for taking up this initiative. I would really encourage other students to make the most of these opportunities, as they can be extremely helpful and informative.