Business analysts must use their skills to help organizations decide on the best possible strategy. It’s a complex job with a lot of variables to consider, which means a lot of education and training. Many aspiring business analysts try to start out with an internship—but which internships pay the best?
According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data, the companies paying the highest rates to business analyst interns are financial and consulting firms; tech companies aren’t well-represented on this list, with the exception of IBM and Amazon (we’ll put aside how financial and consulting firms have spent the past few years arguing that they’re actually tech companies):
If you’re interested in a business analyst internship, keep in mind that such openings are highly competitive, and many companies have their interns locked down six months in advance. The application process is also rigorous; at Amazon, for example, applicants for business analyst intern positions must have solid knowledge of business analyst tools and programming languages such as SQL and Excel, as well as the ability to think “strategically and tactically.”
The interview portion of a business analyst internship will likely feature technical questions to assess your abilities. Hiring managers also want to ensure you have an actual passion for business analysis. To that end, you should come prepared to explain why business analysis interests you as a profession, along with stories about how you’ve used your critical thinking skills to analyze and solve past challenges.
All analysts must have “soft skills” such as empathy and communication, as they’ll frequently need to work with stakeholders throughout an organization, so be ready to explain how you’ve applied your interpersonal abilities (both written and verbal) to secure buy-in, resolve disputes, and accurately convey complex concepts.
As you consider the broader arc of a business analyst career, keep in mind that skills such as strategy analysis require constant updating; what you’ll learn in an internship is a good foundation, but the learning will never stop.