ECA Internship: A Post-Graduate Path to Success

What is the PhD Project Manager Internship?

  • The PhD Project Manager Internship is an apprenticeship program designed for PhDs and ABDs that are interested in exploring a full-time Project Manager position at ECA. During the 12-week internship, you will be trained by a fellow PhD as you leverage skills developed in academia and learn to apply them in a business setting.  

  • This program will allow recent PhDs to evaluate what a career in executive search could look like and provide them the opportunity to join ECA as full-time Project Managers who will lead people, manage complex long-term projects, and develop a network of candidates and future clients.  

  • Over the years our PhDs have had a significant impact on our culture, operations, and how we continuously look to improve the client experience, which is why ECA exclusively recruits them for our Project Manager position. 

Interested in joining us?

Enter your info to schedule an interview with one of our internship leads.

Why the PhD Internship?

On-the-job training from a fellow PhD
Direct path to a management position with a strong potential for advancement
Short-term commitment to ensure that ECA is the best career step
Flexible for academic calendars
A compensated role that allows you to work remotely
Two trips to our Santa Monica office, with expenses covered by ECA

As an Intern you will receive:

  • Hands-on experience in leading executive searches
  • A direct track for career advancement in a professional environment
  • A deep understanding of the business world through interactions with leaders in private equity, management consulting, and some of the most recognized corporations in the world
  • Opportunities to apply research, critical thinking, and communication skills in a non-academic setting

What is required to begin the internship?

12 weeks of full-time commitment
Strong interest in a career outside of academia
Recently completed a PhD or expected to graduate within a year
Open to relocating to Los Angeles for the permanent Project Manager role

Why Does ECA Exclusively Recruit PhDs?

Candidates who have the most success in the internship and Project Manager roles exhibit these qualities:

  • Thrives in a fast-paced environment handling complex, long-term projects
  • Enjoys conversing with a variety of people while conducting qualitative assessments
  • Excels in communication and enjoys delivering presentations
  • Is passionate about evidence-based decision making
  • Enjoys managing a team and working in a collaborative environment

PhDs in Leadership Roles at ECA

Steven Haug,

PhD, UC Santa Cruz, Philosophy

  • Leads CFO, M&A, and Portfolio Operations

  • Hosts ECA’s podcasts – Beyond Consulting and Not So Private Equity

Gustav Brown,
Senior Director

PhD, UCLA, Sociology

  • Leads ECA’s Healthcare and CEO practices

  • Serves as a mentor to Managers advancing to Director level 

Eli Castle,
Co-CEO of Talent Compass

PhD, UCLA, Social Psychology

  • Leads ECA’s sister company TalentCompass in helping clients apply an evidence-based approach to growth hiring

Conversations with the Team on Leaving Academia and Life at ECA

Leaving Academia Sandya's Transition to ECA Senior Director


Leaving Academia - Steven's Transition from Philosophy PhD to ECA Engagement Manager


Leaving Academia - Tony's Transition to Business at ECA


Leaving Consulting - Melissa's Transition to ECA and TalentCompass Engagement Manager


Reach out to schedule an interview with one of our Internship Program Leads

Internship Program Leads

Liv Hanninen

PhD, UC Irvine, History

Tony Topoleski

PhD, Northwestern, Russian Studies

Get Started with ECA

Tell us about your hiring needs using the form below. One of our Managing Directors will be in touch to help.

Interested in joining us?

Enter your info to schedule an interview with one of our internship leads.

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