We have interviewed our two exceptional interns Martin and Elin who have been part of our team this spring. Read more about their experience and what they have learned.
Why did you apply to our management consulting internship?
Martin: I have always been intrigued to try out management consulting as it seems like a job that exposes you to a lot of different industries and companies. As I am currently enrolled in my master’s studies, it further seemed like a job where I could put my theoretical knowledge into practice in several different fields. Moreover, I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about what challenges companies face today in our global, sustainable, and digital world.
Elin: I was looking for an internship that would challenge me and where I would get an opportunity to learn a lot of new things. This together with the opportunity of working together in teams and with many exciting companies going through transformations was very appealing to me. I saw an ad in our internship catalogue and found Ascend to be different and with other values than many other management consultancy firms. This made me curious about the company and as I was looking into the company more, Ascend seemed to be working with the kind of transformational work that I was interested in and had a culture that I felt I could fit into and enjoy.
What was your first impression of Ascend?
Elin: My first impression of Ascend was that it differed from many of the larger consultancy firms. I still believe that this is the case and it is nice that I have been able to get to know so many people, pretty much the whole company, something I do not believe is possible in a larger firm.
Martin: I agree with Elin that Ascend appeared to be a firm different from the more classical and hierarchical management consultancy firms that I had previously come across. Not only due to the size but also as the younger and more outgoing culture creates a very close connection within the company. The employees at Ascend have fun together, both while working and on the different internal activities that Ascend arrange throughout the year. The company is very inclusive and concerned about giving a significant amount of responsibility to all employees – regardless of seniority and role.
What have you been doing during the internship?
Martin: Due to Covid-19, the internship has been very different from what I initially anticipated. I have been working across a lot of different projects within the firm and done a little bit of everything; from analyzing very complex industries (that I had never heard of before), to participating in developing new ads for Ascend. I have not worked with solely one specific client, but rather been exposed to several projects internally which has been valuable for my understanding of the management consulting industry.
Elin: During my time with Ascend, I have been part of a myriad of things. From internal projects with sales material and pitches for both ongoing and upcoming projects, to actual client projects where I have been part of a team on a project spanning from initial research to client presentation. I have been part of different teams in differing sizes, allowing me to both get to know and learn from different persons. In some areas where I have had more knowledge, I have also been asked to share my knowledge by holding presentations and learning sessions for others.
Simply put, we have been doing a lot of different things within different areas giving us a broad insight into what Ascend is doing.
What have you learned?
Elin: I have learned a lot. Of course, there has been a lot of slide making which has stepped up my PowerPoint game, but I have also learned about what it is like to be a management consultant. I have gained a broader understanding of many new industries as well as done deep dives into areas such as AI in sales, and business development within the agricultural sector – a lot of things that I probably never would have learned otherwise.
Martin: As mentioned with Covid-19, mine and Elin’s learning might differ some from previous interns’. In addition to learning about new industries, doing analysis and concluding, I have learned what it looks like when people manage a company during a rapidly growing recession. How leaders with limited information make big decisions (!!) and how employees rethink, restructure and rebuild. Additionally, I have been exposed to situations where more or less everything is uncertain and where all employees help each other make something good out of something bad. Despite being an intern, I have been invited to have a seat at the table, listen and learn how companies like Ascend act when an economy is shaken. All aspects which has given me invaluable lessons in both crisis management but also the importance of culture and strong relations. All things which I appreciate greatly.
To conclude, do you have any other remarks concerning your internship?
Martin: It has without any doubt been different from what I had expected. But overall, I think it made it better to some extent as well. Seeing a company like Ascend deal with a societal crisis has introduced me to deep and rare insights of the company. What I can conclude is that Ascend is a great company with very friendly and inclusive colleagues that always thrive to outperform themselves. I would recommend anyone who wants to try an inclusive management consulting firm to apply for Ascend’s internship as it has been a very valuable time for me here. Both in terms of gaining a clearer perception of how the industry operates, but also in terms of fun.
Elin: I have also enjoyed my internship at Ascend, even if I was initially a bit worried about being able to balance school and work for the three months (it worked out fine and time flew by). I am very happy that I did this internship and would recommend anyone interested in management consulting and Ascend to apply!