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Internship Spotlight: William Zhang, MPH ’24 (Chronic Disease Epidemiology)

October 04, 2023

Summer Analyst Intern ­in Health Care, Analysis Group, Boston; Funding: paid internship

What is your career goal?

I want to continue working in health care consulting, with a focus on health economics, modeling, and machine learning. I am also interested in management consulting in the future.

What were your duties/responsibilities during your internship?

My responsibilities were mostly data analysis and interpretation. I wrote original code, collaborated with other case team members to go over analyses approaches, and attended case team meetings. Another responsibility was to learn – this internship provided mandatory training in Excel, SAS, R, and Stata.

What did you take away from your experience as an intern? What was the value of the internship to you?

This internship experience taught me about litigation and economics consulting, a field that I knew little of before. I attended presentations on antitrust, labor economics, and corporate finance, in addition to those on my background in health economics and outcomes research. In addition to these overviews, the value of this internship for me was to set up many informal coffee chats to learn more about others’ projects (from peers to VPs and partners), career goals, and life outside work.

What was the most rewarding aspect of your internship? What was the most challenging aspect? The most surprising aspect?

The most rewarding aspect of my internship was the friendships that I made, as well as exploring the various project types within the firm. The most challenging aspect of my internship was during the last two weeks, when intern contributions to cases were wrapping up – it can be hectic to finish your project deliverables in addition to side tasks! The most surprising aspect of my internship was the large number of opportunities I had for contact time with senior members of the firm, outside of the already numerous, internship-organized senior staff touchpoints. I was able to chat with the president multiple times, as well as with many vice presidents, and even help organize a dinner/cocktail event at one of the partners’ homes.

How did your first year at YSPH prepare you for this internship?

This internship required me to complete data analyses with the R and SAS programming languages, and the CDE program offered many courses to hone my statistical software skills. Gaining an understanding of health policy and equity during my first year at YSPH was also helpful because it is common for projects within outcomes research to involve administrative claims data, SEER data, and Medicare claims data.

What would you say to a student who’s considering a similar internship?

Consulting internships may involve taking action (e.g., preparing cover letters, seeking informational interviews, case interview preparation) sooner, due to earlier application timelines. Other than being proactive about scouting firms that take on projects/practice areas you are interested in, it is also valuable to network, ask questions, and attend info sessions and events. Some good resources to find opportunities are Handshake, the YSPH Career Management Center newsletter, and the Yale Student Consulting Group.

Submitted by Sabrina Lacerda Naia dos Santos on October 04, 2023