Associates are at the center of the work we do and are involved in every stage of our projects—meaning that Associates have the opportunity to make significant contributions throughout the course of projects and to the firm more broadly. Associates take on a range of critical responsibilities, which evolve throughout the project cycle:


  • Helping develop project strategies

  • Managing project logistics and coordinating the project team’s efforts

  • Gathering insight via primary and secondary research streams

  • Analyzing quantitative and qualitative data sets to distill key themes

  • Structuring and executing summary reports

  • Contributing to ongoing client conversations


The Associate role is a two-year position, during which Associates progressively earn more responsibility as they master key skills. High-performing Associates will advance to the Senior Associate role in their third year and can expect to start taking on leadership responsibilities within project teams—an opportunity that is unlikely to be matched at other consulting firms. Exceptional Associates will have opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and build the skills required to progress into the Project Leader role.

Why Sterling?

► Work Directly with Senior Staff


We operate in teams led by Partners, Principals, and Project Leaders, who directly oversee and manage Associate work. As a result, Associates have the opportunity to work closely with senior staff members who are invested in their professional development from day one.

► Develop knowledge in a wide range of industries

We are a generalist firm, which means that Associates are exposed to a wide range of industries—SaaS products, industrial goods, consumer packaged goods, education and healthcare technologies, residential and commercial services, etc. Our typical project lasts 2-6 weeks, and Associates often work on more than one project at any given time. Accordingly, it’s not unusual for an Associate to contribute to 20+ projects in a single year. By the end of Year Two, our Associates are likely to have been exposed to more industries than many of their peers will see in their first five years out of school.

► Contribute in a collaborative, entrepreneurial environment


Sterling Associates fosters a collegial environment in which new hires are encouraged to think critically and creatively about the firm's processes and approach. We are always looking for new ideas that can invigorate our work and make us better.


  • Highly self-motivated and self-directed

  • Effective time management and organizational skills: will be comfortable working across concurrent projects with demanding timelines

  • Exceptional critical thinking skills and comfort analyzing a variety of data—quantitative and qualitative, structured and unstructured

  • Attention to detail and keen judgment: can determine which findings are important (and which aren’t)

  • Proficient oral and written communications skills: able to communicate effectively and develop coherent, accurate narratives

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including collaborating well in a team environment

  • Proficiency with Excel and PowerPoint is preferred, but we will work with promising candidates to develop foundational skills

  • Minimum GPA = 3.4—all majors / concentrations encouraged to apply

  • Must be a US citizen or have authorization to work in the US. Sterling Associates does not sponsor international applicants in need of work authorization.

Note to all candidates: We welcome all applicants that meet the qualifications listed above and do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, etc. However, we are unfortunately unable to sponsor candidates in need of local work authorization.

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If you have any issues accessing the online application form, please email for assistance.

For current Seniors and recent graduates, we have two paths: