How to Get an Investment Banking Internship: A Detailed Guide


How to get an investment banking internship

Want to know how to get an investment banking internship? Read on.

In the last couple of years, due to the global economic slowdown, there aren’t as many jobs available in the corporate world as a few years back.

And investment banks are no different.

These banks are holding their recruitment drives, laying off the bottom rung of performers, and even the paying pockets aren’t as deep as they used to be.

But in every adversity lies opportunity.

There are a lot of investment banks these days that offer a summer internship to aspiring investment bankers.

There are two advantages in it for the investment banks. First, the interns are much economical when compared to a full-time employee, and second, they can offer permanent jobs to the out-performers without having to spend time and training efforts.

How to Get an Investment Banking Internship

How to get an investment banking internship

Typically, an internship in investment banks is of 3 months duration and can last for as long as two years, depending on the profile you work in.

But I can tell you with a fair degree of confidence that completing a successful internship can undoubtedly land you in a permanent job as an investment banker.

Now before I narrate different ways of finding out investment banking internship, following are the three steps to prepare you for an investment banking internship:

1. Know the investment banking industry

Before you embark upon the journey as an investment banker, you need to know what it takes to be one.

You should know the fields of investment banking, the top investment banks, the career path of an investment banker, and the various profiles offered.

To get more clarity on this, please refer to my article Careers in Investment Banking: A Short Guide.

2. Get your skillset in place

You need to know your basics in finance before applying for an internship.

If you are a finance graduate, please go through your textbooks in detail and clear your concepts.

If you are not a finance graduate, and still you want to pursue a career in investment banking, please make sure that you read up and learn the fundamental concepts of finance and gain skills in financial modeling and private equity.

3. Prepare a strapping resume

A resume should be like an executive summary of your skillset and capabilities.

I strongly suggest that you try to be as honest as possible in your resume highlighting your strengths and suitability as an investment banker.

It should not be very long and try to use short, simple sentences with clear cut English (Don’t try to impress the interviewer with your language skills).

Once you have done all the things mentioned above, you are ready to take up an internship.

Let’s now talk about sneaking your way through to an investment bank as an intern.

In my opinion, the following are the three most effective ways of getting an investment banking internship:

1. Online applications

This is the most time-effective and straightforward way of applying for an internship.

Investment banks, both big and small, these days have their website with a Career link and are persistently looking out for economical manpower.

There are usually openings for interns in investment banks and also have walk-ins from time to time.

I suggest, don’t be too fussy about remuneration while looking for an internship, as your ultimate objective should be learning and not earning.

Usually, these banks provide details of the department they are looking to hire for, but if not, you can always call up the HR department and get more clarity on the profile and kind of work involved.

You can sort your profiles of interest by doing a little bit of internet research and apply for a post that suits your career path and objective the best.

2. Networking – Personal and social

If you know someone personally who works in an investment bank, it would be easier for you to get an internship without much hassle.

You can get in touch with that person for applying to his/her company.

Even if there is no requirement in that company, he/she will have some contacts in the investment banking domain and can introduce you to other investment bankers in other firms.

Follow the trail of references until you reach your destination.

This is one of the most fruitful ways of finding an internship.

If you do not know anyone who works for an investment bank, you can always rely on social networking and media.

You can create a profile on LinkedIn as a budding investment banker looking for an internship and can connect to a horde of investment bankers at one go.

All of them might not want to connect with you, but there will be some who would reply and connect.

You can also connect with these people on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

There are a few educational and career-related networking sites such as Twiducate and EduClipper, which can help you connect with people in a particular industry.

3. Get in touch with HR consultancies and placement cells

This is one of the surest ways of getting an internship.

Mostly, HR consultancies are in touch with investment banks for their full-time requirements, but they can also offer an internship to aspiring investment bankers.

You might have to pay some amount initially to get associated with these consultancies, but by paying the price you will get a shot at facing a few interviews.

Some HR consultancies would not charge you initially, but they do it after you get a full-time job after the completion of your internship in the same firm.

HR consultancies will present you in front of all types of investment banks, and you should be open to it.

You should not get affected by the size, revenue, the number of employees, stipend offered and location, etc. of the company.

More often than not, an internship offered by smaller firms provides more responsibilities to applicants than the more prominent firms.

Also, according to my experience, learning is faster in smaller firms as they are usually in a growing stage, and you will be exposed to a variety of tasks and duties.

What Did I Forget?

I hope you got some value from my investment banking internship strategies.

But I want to hear about how YOU plan on using the strategies in your career.

Don’t be shy: drop a comment below right now and share the love!

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