Careers one-on-one: Matt Vellacott, Partner in NY, interviews Mo Choudhary, Intern

Sept 2018

Why did you decide to become an intern?

I’m studying Economics at New York University and have one year before I graduate. To get a full-time job offer in economics or finance, it’s crucial that you do internships.

 

Why did you choose consulting – and why us?

Around three years ago, I started my own company but it didn’t work out. We did a good job of sales but we lacked the fundamentals, like understanding the industry we were operating in. Consulting was a good pivot from that because it teaches you analytical thinking, which sets you up well for any kind of professional career.

I did an internship in management consulting first, helping governments and small businesses with governments contracts. It was very relationship-based – I didn’t have much control over what I did and wasn’t able to apply stuff I’d learnt at university. The kind of strategic consulting that Plural does is more helpful to businesses. You’re dealing with high-profile clients all the time and you get to map things out, understand the market and make an impact.

 

What did you expect from your internship and how did the reality compare?

I thought it’d be a classic intern role, where you complete remedial desk research without much guidance or strategic analysis. And I expected to sit in a room for interns!

The reality far exceeded my expectations. I sat inches away from the rest of the team and they trusted me with tasks that were crucial to the construction of the final report.

(My slides ended up in final decks with client, for example.) Trust definitely makes people perform at their best.

 

Can you describe a typical day?

  • 9/9:30am: catch-up with London and/or discuss work plan with the NYC team. Everyone at Plural does a very good job of going over the high-level reason for each task. They also make sure the intern understands what’s going on with the project from start to finish.
  • 10:30am: Begin tasks – mostly desk research, market research, segmentation, competitor landscape analysis and slide writing.
  • 12:30pm: Typically, a catch-up with (and handover from) the London team as they’re set to leave the office.
  • 1:30pm: Team lunch!
  • 3pm-end of day: Continue with your designated work and improve your ping pong as much as possible.

 

What did you learn that will help you in your future career?

I gained a ton of skills at Plural. These included software skills, such as Excel and think-cell, which are useful everywhere you go. I also learned how to approach a problem strategically and break it down into sub-components to build an argument. And I learned how to present my thoughts in a strategic and cohesive way. The training on the hypothesis tree and slide heading writing were particularly great takeaways.

I got a lot of field experience, too, travelling to Texas and Philadelphia to attend events, carry out competitor intelligence and research exhibitors. It was super cool.

I’d be happy to stay in consulting for the time being, but I’m also looking into finance because it’s so complementary. In the long term, I potentially want to start my own business again. My time at Plural has given me the fundamentals to do that.

 

How would you describe the culture and atmosphere?

Plural’s culture is definitely its backbone and will continue to help it attract some of the best interns as it grows. Every co-worker at all levels makes a point of having a personal relationship with the intern, which is very encouraging. It also means the team is excited to come to work and even remedial tasks seem fulfilling. Finally, the New York team was super receptive to feedback and any suggestions I made in the project. This is a major plus for the learning experience of an intern.

 

Would you recommend an internship at Plural?

100%. As an intern, you look for the place you can learn the most and have people who are rooting for you. Plural is perfect for both. Everyone’s wrapped up in your success just as much as you are.

Overall, I’d describe my time at Plural as a great learning experience, with a great culture, a brilliant group of people, and a lot of coffee. Hey, that should be the new company slogan!