I recently graduated from the University of Pretoria with a B.Com degree. There was a lot of thinking as to what the next step was, so I decided to further my studies for another year at the Gordan Institute of Business Science (GIBS). One of the main reasons for choosing to study at GIBS was the opportunity to complete a two-month internship at any company during the year. I saw this as a beautiful opportunity to gain some experience and test my knowledge in consulting, an industry I had been fascinated by.
GIBS has a career team that helps the students get their foot in the door of some well-known, excellent companies around Johannesburg. I had ambitions of going into management consulting, so I was earmarking all consulting firms, and out of all of them, Step Advisory stood out. What impressed me the most when applying to Step was how informative the website was. When I was researching the company and reading through the case studies on the website, my appeal for the firm grew, and I knew this was where I wanted to be for my consulting internship. I successfully applied and appreciated the recruitment process, which involved open, professional communication between Step and myself.
As this was my first exposure to true work experience, I was nervous as to what work I would be doing. The first two weeks were full of onboarding activities and assisting with some tasks here and there. The onboarding was excellent as I got to learn further about how the company operates, its purpose and its ambitions which helped me see where my role as a management consulting intern fits into the greater Step picture.
To ensure I was continually supported during the two months, I was assigned a buddy who helped me settle in. Additionally, one of the Managers also voluntarily took time out of her schedule to help me integrate into the office and team, which speaks to the deeply embedded culture and true values of Step… Over the two months, I supported the teams on various projects, working with an array of team members who understood that my role as a management consulting intern was to learn as much as possible. They consistently shared learnings at every opportunity, ensuring I’d come out of the internship with as much exposure as possible.
Rudzani, centre, back row, with some of the Step Advisory team
After the engaging onboarding sessions, the real work started, and I focused on market research for an ESG strategy project with an Associate and a Senior Manager. After completing the research, I moved on to helping with competition submission entries for a Global Bank, which helped me develop great business writing skills, fully supported by a different Manager and Associate. My final project involved data analysis for a customer analysis project, which was exciting and challenged my lateral thinking.
The highlight of my consulting internship experience was attending a strategy facilitation workshop led by our Managing Director. Being in the room with extremely reputable business leaders and experiencing the collective team brainstorming and consolidating strategic ideas was amazing. I also learned important business and professional etiquette: how to conduct myself in similar situations, when to speak and be heard and when to make space and listen to others.
Step’s value proposition to its team is a unique one, in that it’s a hybrid, remote working model. This allowed me the opportunity to work remotely some days, or spend time in the office on other days (completely up to me to choose when to go into the office or not). This enabled me to further understand and up skill in virtual communication, presentation and facilitation skills.
Step’s work has energised me the most through these two months; there were so many good learnings to be absorbed, and the agile nature of the work always kept me on my toes. Secondly, the people at Step are also dynamic and refreshing and were readily available to help me whenever needed.
During my consulting internship at Step, I believe I have gained more than I bargained for in terms of exposure to the industry. This experience has solidified my ambition to be a strategy consultant, as I see many benefits for my growth within this field.
As the first GIBS student to be a management consulting intern at Step Advisory, I would love to see more students aspire to do their internship here in future. My experience at Step rounded up all the learnings from GIBS in a practical manner. I have already advised other people to apply to Step as it is a great place for career development and, more importantly, personal growth.
Step Advisory places a huge emphasis on ensuring that anyone joining the team is the perfect match, between Step and the individual. I implore anyone interested to bring their true authentic and passionate self when applying to join a thriving business. My management consulting internship experience at Step has been an amazing introduction to the world of work and an experience I will never forget.