Jesse Scott and Jillian Robredo spent summer 2021 working in our New York office as part of our internship programme. We asked them about their experience at Plural Strategy.
Update: in September 2022, Jesse and Jill returned to Plural as Analysts.
Why did you choose a consulting internship at Plural?
Jesse: I always knew I was interested in consulting –it is based in problem-solving and gives you exposure to different things. What set Plural’s internship apart for me was their commitment to treating interns as analyst consultants. They delivered on that.
Jill: As a Math major I am comfortable with numbers and data. However, I knew I wanted to be in an industry that would give me exposure to a breadth of different things – consulting is a good mix of analysis and client-facing work. I was challenged when I was preparing for the casing interviews, but I also enjoyed it which was a good sign.
What was the application process like?
Jesse: The application process was fairly standard. The interviewers were friendly, and we got feedback sessions at end of interviews which was useful.
Jill: I joined one of the information sessions before applying. Of all the companies I interviewed at, Plural was the only one that gave feedback sessions after every round. This was really helpful because it gave me the chance to improve for the succeeding interviews. It also shows that Plural really values people – we hadn’t even joined the team yet and they took the time to make sure we learn and grow as we move forward in the process.
Any advice for applicants?
Jesse: It’s all about preparation – make sure you strengthen technical skills and beyond that, general interview skills. Try to be comfortable during the interview and realise the interviewer is just another person.
Jill: As cliché as it sounds, just be yourself! With Plural it was easy for my personality to come out. All the people who interviewed me were really nice. The transition to working at Plural was then easy because I was myself during the interview process.
What did you expect from your internship and how did the reality compare?
Jesse: I wanted to work for a smaller firm to get my feet wet. What I didn’t expect was that I was working as an analyst within a team. The team placed trust in me and treated me like a consulting analyst.
Plural’s ‘buddy system’ helped with the potential challenge of working over zoom and across time zones. The pandemic gave people practice working remotely and building communication skills. To work in a global team you need to be diligent, transparent and have open communication channels.
Jill: My expectation was to get coffee or do administrative tasks but at Plural they actually treated me like an analyst. I was placed on a seven-week project. At first, it was scary that they gave me responsibilities early on, but looking back, it pushed me to step up and step out of my comfort zone, and I now know what to expect as a full time consultant. The team guided me throughout the project, but they also trusted me to handle a work stream on my own which gave me a confidence boost.
It exceeded a lot of my expectations going into the internship.
What did you work on during your internship?
Jesse: The project I worked on was a great way to ease into consulting. I was able to see the entire market sizing project from start to finish. My typical day involved analysis, looking at customer data, identifying trends, preparing slides for client presentations and collaboration with the project team.
Jill: I worked on a Commercial Due Diligence (CDD) project for an events company. This is one of Plural’s core sectors and I found it a particularly interesting industry after Covid-19. I worked with the project team on desk research, scheduling and conducting client interviews, finalising the client presentation.
What would you say is the most valuable thing you learnt during time at Plural?
Jesse: Communication skills. There’s no better way to learn this skillset besides experience.
Jill: Having previously done a data science internship, I was naturally more comfortable with data. The project I worked on at Plural gave me more experience in qualitative analysis. That was the biggest growth area for me.
What was the best part of your internship?
Jesse: The people I’ve met. Applicants should consider this as a top priority -it’s so important to be happy with who you work with.
Everyone made me feel welcome, so I always felt like I was able to ask questions.
Jill: I really love the people at Plural. The New York office is small — it’s a tight-knit office. You can ask anyone for advice, even if you’re not working on the same project.
Personally, the main highlight was the daily catch-ups with my project team. It was a great way to start the day! Even if some were in a different time zone, it was easy to communicate and feel closer to the people on my project, or anyone in Plural, because everyone was so approachable.
Would you recommend the internship?
Jesse: Definitely! It’s a great place to get valuable experience and experience is the best teacher. Plural has a unique culture, it’s informal with a flat hierarchy. This gives you more access to the Partners.
Jill: 100%. If I could do it again I would! I was trusted and given responsibilities early on. It was a very good learning experience.