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Real-World Consulting Experiences: An Intern's Perspective

Written by Rikard du Plessis

What exactly is management consulting? That’s the question I have been trying to eloquently answer when asked by friends or family since starting my internship at BrightWolves SA. It encompasses such a variety of skills and services that one could almost provide a different answer every day.

Ultimately, a management consultant’s goal is quite simple: help your client find a long-term solution to their problem and assist them with the implementation thereof. It’s easy, right? Well, not exactly. Clients could require any one or combination of services, such as business analytics, market and financial due diligence, waste management, custom sustainability solutions, data analytics, or a digital transformation, to only name a few. No one can be an expert in all these fields, making the ability to leverage each team member’s expertise crucial to creating value for a client. This is what the BrightWolves pack mentality is all about.

Becoming part of the pack

On my first morning at the office, I was warmly welcomed by the South African pack with big smiles. I was expecting just one member of the pack to receive me, but the whole team took time off from their work to come and welcome me. After the initial meet and greet at the front door, we headed straight to a coffee shop to get to know each other. From the very first moment they ensured that I feel like I belong. This was the first of many experiences during my first day that demonstrated BrightWolves’s commitment to their values. The INSPIRE values are not only neatly displayed on the website but purposefully lived out by each team member.

The onboarding process in the following week was smooth and equipped me with the basic consulting skills to make a success of the internship. Courses on structuring problems, critical thinking, and presentation skills prepared me for the projects in the upcoming months. I was guided every step of the way and received the needed support from different pack members regardless of how busy they were. No question or query raised by me seemed too trivial for them to give their full attention to.

After the initial training, I was briefed and given an overview of what Domien and the team had planned for my internship. I was amazed at how they had taken specific care to tailor my internship topics to fit my background and interests. It made me feel valued and I was thrilled at the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained at university to real-world problems.

Startup environment with international expertise

The internship experience at BrightWolves SA is unique because of the opportunity to work with senior management and gain international exposure. A relatively small team means interns interact with senior managers every day and can learn from their experience and expertise. The South African pack’s close and very collaborative relationship with the Belgian pack means that interns receive input and guidance from not only local consultants but also from consultants in the European office, providing exposure to international expertise.

Within the first two weeks, I had a meeting with one of the engagement leads, Marnik, from the Belgian office. He patiently explained the business service offerings of BrightWolves to me and helped determine which of these services may be of particular interest to a South African client. I marvelled at the incredible business services that BrightWolves offers to its clients! It was so exciting to engage around topics and processes that have interested me throughout my university career. It felt surreal to be in a meeting with someone as experienced and senior as him within the first two weeks of my internship!

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of working at BrightWolves SA is the constantly evolving and vibrant environment. Since no two problems are the same, your work is seldomly repetitive. This makes for a challenging yet exciting experience each day. Each pack member tackles their work with enthusiasm, inspiring you to do the same.

Interning at BrightWolves SA truly is a splendid opportunity to learn and grow in a nurturing and inspiring environment. I could never have imagined that an internship could be such a fantastic experience!

If you are interested in an internship at BrightWolves, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I would be more than happy to schedule a virtual coffee.


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