I'm a sophomore at a non-target applying for some IB Summer analyst internships at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (both of these are catered to sophs/juniors). I'm a double Econ/Chem major, 3.98 GPA, VP of my school's Economics and Business society and I've got tons of scientific research behind my back.

Question is, what do these big firms look for when selecting summer analysts? Do they look closely at rec letters?

One more thing: each and every one of them has this "Must have demonstrated a strong interest in financial markets" and I'm not sure how to convey that.

On a totally unrelated note, have a great new year :)

Comments (6)


As a sophomore, and more importantly being from a nontarget, it will be very difficult to get an internship in IB. GS and MS will be next to impossible for most everyone as a sophomore (even in these specific programs). However, you seem to be taking care of business in the classroom which will help you a lot next year. If you haven't already, start to reach out to alumni who work in banking. They will be able to give you more specific advice with regard to your schools recruiting environment than most posters here. Best of luck. You seem like a good candidate, especially next year.

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I'm in a similar situation as you. It's tough to sum up in one post so I will say this:

It's all about contacts when you come from the non-target. If you don't have someone who will vouch for you, 99.99% chance you won't get it, and don't be optimistic and assume you'll be the .01% lol. You can dream, but post on here to confirm the reality of any situation haha.

Steps that help people in our position that I was told by a banker at GS

1) Get the WSO Networking Guide and know it all. Most importantly your story and your elevator pitch.
2) Network like shit. Get contacts at all bank and cover them for months.
3) Get the BIWS Interview Guide and know it all.
4) Leverage your contacts to get the Interview.
5) Kill the interview with your BIWS knowledge. Many targets won't know half as much as you if you go through all the Advanced sections of BIWS
6) Repeat 2-5 for all banks and make sure you know "why bank x" for each application.

It will be tough to make it in this late from a non-target as a sophomore if you do not have contacts, but I am not going to deter you from trying. At the end of the day, you just have to do it and it is a crapshoot, so try your best.

Also getting backups from local boutiques is not a bad idea for a summer gig. Or maybe a small PE/HF shop that will take you which you can then leverage.

Good luck!


noone is on the other side reading rec letters, cover letters, etc at these large banks, especially not at GS/MS. you need a connection (preferably a senior one) within the company to refer your resume to HR, and you might be selected. that's the literally the only way in from a nontarget. of course how you go about getting/making/developing your connections is up to you (networking events, ask family friends, etc)


If you have connection with a GS/MS senior vp in let's say Chicago/Boston how can that person help you out for a program that's in NY?

In reply to Falcon

If you have connection with a GS/MS senior vp in let's say Chicago/Boston how can that person help you out for a program that's in NY?

have them refer your resume to HR in NY.


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