Cornerstones of a successful internship

21/09/2018

An internship in strategy consulting is undoubtedly a unique opportunity to experience a steep learning curve in problem solving. But that’s not all, there is more to it. In this blog I share a few thoughts on the important things I experienced during my internship at August a couple years back.

From day one of my internship, I was a fully fledged member of our project team, preparing analyses and presentations as well as participating in the discussions with our client. I was responsible for building a complex financial model, which played an important role in providing guidance for strategic decisions of a major Finnish company. Later, I got to read about the impact of our project in the news, which made the work feel even more meaningful.

Even if at times the project work was tough, I always got the support I needed. My project leader sparred with the modelling logic, whereas other analysts gave some valuable technical support – asking for help was always easy. At August an intern also gets a pre-appointed ‘buddy’ to help with practicalities, and a mentor to provide valuable sparring support for questions regarding the future. I found both of these very valuable for my development and integration.

I enjoyed the feeling of being an integral part of the community and being able to contribute to building overall team spirit at August with my own effort. The benefit of working at a small company is that you really get to know your colleagues, which makes it easier to be yourself. In my experience, knowing your colleagues well also makes the project work easier. When your project leaders know you as a person, your skills and what you have done in previous projects, it is possible to speed up learning and take on new responsibilities early on.

The concrete things that helped me become friends with my colleagues were fairly simple, and yet extremely valuable. Before the start of the internship I participated in the orientation base camp which was also a nice way to meet the other interns. Two weeks into my internship we had the traditional August day that included an interesting seminar and stand up paddling at Töölönlahti, and ended with a crayfish party. Then there were the occasional Friday morning floorball matches, several afterworks, as well as the August Alumni evening. Not to mention all those refreshing games of table hockey, and that one time we went running up and down the stairs of Malminkartanonhuippu with our project team. Not only were these fun events, they also made it much easier for me to truly get to know my colleagues.

Regardless of where you end up applying for an internship, I encourage you to look for a place where you can constantly grow, while being respected for who you are – the kind of place where you can be yourself and feel confident stepping out of your comfort zone. To me, this is the essence of #bravethefuture.

– Kari-Jussi Hyvönen, M.Sc. (Finance), Analyst at August Associates

August Associates are the leading local strategy consultants in Finland. Founded in 2001 we are a firm of 25 capable professionals committed to helping companies rise above the crowd and surpass their targets. Deep customer relationships are at the heart of delivering relevant strategic counsel that is a perfect fit for the organization and their business. Combining experience with non-conformist thinking we go beyond the commonplace, providing solutions that Brave The Future.

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