If you're interested in doing an internship in consulting, but don't have previous experience, it's key to build on your strengths and demonstrate to employers that you're eager to learn. You can search for consulting internships on Handshake to first get an idea of what internship requirements are usually included. Many consulting employers offer mini “virtual internships”, that is, online courses, which are usually free for all students in any year. Accenture, for example, offers programs for consultants and developers.
BCG's One Day at BCG, which is free for everyone, is billed as “the perfect opportunity to perform practical tasks similar to those that our own BCGers would perform and get a real idea of what it's like to work at BCG as a strategy consultant.” The sections include market research, data analysis, understanding consumer needs, and project management. Completing one of these courses will demonstrate your motivation and interest for employers, as well as your ability (most courses offer you a digital certificate upon successful completion). They're also a great opportunity for you to get an idea of consulting as a profession and to help you decide if it's right for you. Not all opportunities are advertised, so consider making a speculative call or writing to an employer to offer your services.
Get the most out of LinkedIn: it's a great source of contacts and inspiration. Proactive graduates seeking employment actively use LinkedIn to meet people who work in the professions that interest them, get useful career advice and research careers, find jobs and internships, and submit more successful applications. Recognize that the experience you have, even if it is not “related” to consulting, will be valued by consulting employers. I have two years of experience and am trying to dedicate myself to consulting or enter a good MBA program.
But if you come from consulting, that's not the case: three or four years at Monitor (the point at which you get better or make yourself known) is more than enough experience to enter one of the best schools, for example. I currently work in corporate finance, but I find that my job is not challenging and I regret not taking up consulting when I looked for work in my last year. With consulting firms, I'm going to be at a big disadvantage because none of them seem to be recruiting on campus (the big 4 are). The positions on the Fortune 500 list look great for consulting firms, so their strategy in terms of selecting internships is the right one.
According to Cibyl Research UK, 38% of students interested in advising employers have done internships, usually in summer, between the penultimate and final year of university or, in some cases, between the last year and the start of postgraduate studies. While working in South Africa after college, she contacted a friend who sparked her interest in management consulting. The key time to apply for a consulting internship is usually from October to January in the second-to-last year. Accounting is a good skill set, and if you can establish contacts effectively, you should be able to move on to consulting.
According to my impression (and these are 110% rumors), if you're trying to rise in the consulting world, it's at least as difficult as getting your initial offer.