1. Applying

Who is eligible to apply for The Beacon Fellowship?

All our programs are open to both undergraduates & post-grads, with the exception of a special summer track in Madrid exclusive to post-grads. Students about to enter their freshman year of college are also eligible to apply, provided they’ll be 18 years old at the start of the program.

What if I have conflicts with the dates?

Contact one of our Beacon staff — we'll be able to work with you. Solutions include arriving after the program has started, leaving early, or departing for a short period of time in the middle of the Fellowship.

What if my GPA is not very high?

We evaluate candidates comprehensively. A weakness in one area may be overcome by strengths in other areas. We also factor in your field of study.

What backgrounds do Fellows come from?

Fellows come from a range of academic backgrounds including finance, management, marketing, economics, classics, history, political science, engineering, mathematics, psychology and more!

Do I need to speak the language?

No. The Fellowship is designed for students who only speak English.

How competitive is the application process?

As an educational institution, we hope to include as many students as possible. Therefore, we accept all qualified persons, meaning that you compete only against yourself. So long as an applicant is professional, serious about business, and has a vision for how Beacon will impact their professional path, he/she has a strong likelihood of being accepted.

Is there an application deadline?

There is no deadline to apply, but there are many benefits to enrolling as early as possible.

  1. Enroll early to secure a spot in the program of your choice and make plans for the rest of your summer (i.e. do another internship before/after Beacon).

  2. Students who enroll earliest get first picks on clients and Project Leads once they are announced.

  3. The best flight prices usually occur around 5 months out. Purchasing flights early can save you hundreds of dollars and there are usually more flight options to choose from.

  4. Students who enroll by Oct 18 get a free 3 month Rosetta Stone subscription. A great way to take advantage of being in a foreign country is learning some of the language!

2. the project

Can i do another internship in addition to beacon?

Yes! Most of our Fellows do another internship before or after their Beacon experience.

Jason, a student from Florida State, did Beacon in Madrid this past May, and then completed an 8 week internship with Protiviti in their Fort Lauderdale office. Another alum, Michelle, from Western Michigan University, interned at a private law firm after doing Beacon in Rome, and impressed her boss with the skills she’d developed on Beacon.

Why should I choose to do Beacon?

The short answer is that you get to work full-time under a McKinsey/Bain/BCG alumnus on a project with a real client. Normally, the only way to work with an experienced consultant is go through the extremely selection process to intern or work at a consulting firm. Beacon makes that same experience more accessible to students, and allows them to spend 4 weeks in Europe or DC at the same time.

Another reason is that most internships consist of lower-level administrative work that does not give you a clear picture of either business or consulting, and help you determine if business is the right fit for your career. While these other internships can be good options, The Beacon Fellowship designs its whole experience directly for YOU, rather than the self-interest of the company or client.

Below is a sample resume entry from one of our alumni, alongside a typical resume entry from a regular business internship or study abroad program.

business intern resume.png

Will I be working for McKinsey, Bain, or BCG?

No. Fellows work with a Project Lead who has experience at one of these firms, but neither the project nor Beacon is affiliated with one of these firms. Our relationship with McKinsey/Bain/BCG is limited to hiring Project Leads that have worked at these firms in the past. 

What will my team be like?

We try to assign Fellows to teams according to their interests & experience, taking into account the demands of a particular project. Teams usually consist of around 20-25 students and one Project Lead. The Project Lead will usually break teams into smaller groups of 5-8 for a specific component of the project.

Do I get to pick the client and project I’ll work on?

Yes, if you enroll early! As soon as we announce which clients & Project Leads will be in which city, students who enrolled the earliest will have first picks on which client or Project Lead they want. Due to program availability, it will not be possible for all Fellows to be able to pick, but we work hard to make sure that the Fellow/client pairing is as beneficial as possible for both parties.

What kind of impact can I have in such a short time?

Fellows are able to significantly impact our clients (otherwise they wouldn't bother hosting us!) by solving real problems their facing. These projects may include go-to-market strategy, marketing strategy, consumer or competitive analysis, etc. We work to find projects that offer excellent opportunities for learning about and doing consulting.

Learn more about past projects our Fellows have worked on here.

Will I get an internship or full-time offer from the project?

Although in the past some Fellows have received offers from the client, Beacon does not control the clients’ decision in this regard and cannot promise a offer with the client. However, many of our alumni have received prestigious offers from other firms afterwards, including McKinsey, BCG, PWC, Booz Allen Hamilton & Deutsche Bank.

What is the relationship between me and my Project Lead?

The Project Lead is a consultant with experience at either McKinsey, Bain, or BCG. Their role includes leading the Fellows on the project, training Fellows in dedicated consulting skills, and guiding Fellows one-on-one. The Project Lead brings a myriad of experience and insights which help the Fellows on the project and serve as a resource about the consulting industry generally & best practices in business.

3. logistics

What cities can I do Beacon in?

Our location offerings include London, Madrid, Barcelona, Washington DC, & Budapest. For a full list of the cities we’re currently offering programs in, visit our Locations page.

What are the dates for Beacon?

We offer winter programs (10 days long) before and after Christmas, and summer programs (3 & 4 week lengths throughout the summer). The exact dates vary by location, so choose a location on our Locations page to see our date offerings for that site.

How much does Beacon cost?

10 day winter programs start at $2,749. Summer programs start at $5,349. Choose a location on our Locations page to see the exact fees for a particular program.

Why does the Fellowship cost money?

The program fee covers the program’s operations, housing, excursions, the McKinsey/Bain/BCG alumnus Project Lead, health insurance, some meals, transport on-site, etc.

Beacon is an investment like any similar program. The returns are both short and long-term: Fellows have the immediate joy of being abroad and working on a challenging project, and can also leverage the experience for future internships and jobs.

Do you offer any scholarships, or how else can I make the program more affordable?

Historically, most Fellows afford the Fellowship through a combination of parental assistance, individual work/savings, and fundraising. Each accepted Fellow works with a Beacon team member to brainstorm program funding. See here for options on funding your Fellowship.

What will the housing accommodations be like?

Housing varies by program, and could be a university dorm, an apartment, or international student housing. It could be in the center of the city or on the outskirts. Fellows can expect to have at least 1 roommate, and up to 3.

What sorts of group activities are planned?

Fellows enjoy some group meals each week which Beacon’s staff organize at local restaurants. In addition, Fellows have the opportunity to participate in weekend excursions to nearby places of relaxation or cultural interest.

Will I be safe?

Yes. Fellows’ safety is our #1 concern. We offer our programs in cities that are safe destinations for students. Our international staff are available 24/7 to ensure the students safety, and are familiar with the local area and the city. You and your parents will be provided a direct line to both Beacon’s international & domestic staff should any urgent matter arise.