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WSO Finance Internship Guide

The new version of this guide provides extremely detailed day-by-day reports from an actual bulge bracket investment banking intern, giving you an inside look of what it's really like to try and secure a full-time offer (over 30,000 words for this part of the guide alone). Encompassing all 9 weeks of the internship, this guide will force you to buckle up and take a ride with him as he navigates office politics and all the staffings thrown his way.

Our author gives you all the juicy details of the competition with other interns, his nightmare assignments and bosses as well as his highs and lows throughout a pressure packed summer. Never before has there been such an honest and unedited view into an interns life at an investment bank. With such a real perspective as a base, this guide is a complete blueprint to getting through your summer finance internship on Wall Street or consulting with success. Whether you're wondering what to wear, how to do your work, or how to manage your money, this 80+ page guide has it all.

Following this finance internship guide will make getting through the your internship as painless as possible, so that you can have the exciting, rewarding experience you deserve.

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The initial sections of this guide include:

  1. Introduction: Why this Guide Exists
  2. Preliminaries: Before the Internship
  3. Clothing: Principles and Guidelines
  4. Training Week
  5. On the Job: Succeeding at Work
  6. Networking and Relationship Management
  7. Procedural: Performance Attribution, HR, and Expense Accounts
  8. After Work: Making Money and Having Fun
  9. The Endgame

These sections are followed by the detailed day by day and week by week account from an actual intern with the following sections:

  • Week 1: Training
  • Week 2: Hitting the Desk
  • Week 3: The Pitch
  • Week 4: Initiation
  • Week 5: The Review
  • Week 6: Lender's Amendment
  • Week 7: Synergy Analysis
  • Week 8: Block Trade
  • Week 9: The War Room

Intern Case Study - profiles of 2 interns, one who got a full time offer and one that was not as fortunate.

From Week 1:

Monday morning arrived in the blink of an eye. Instructions were received ahead of time from HR concerning the logistics of orientation day: what to bring, when to arrive, and how to dress. Several of us met in front of the dorm building bright and early, well ahead of our scheduled arrival times, and set out to meet our makers.
Training week is a relatively straightforward beast and should be treated as such. There are some common pitfalls that you will witness. Your homework or pre-assigned training by HR may or may not be requested; either way, it's good to start your summer strong by coming in ready to go, fresh on common finance and accounting material, with all of your bases covered. Now is a good time to shoot your staffers and assigned mentors an e-mail to introduce yourself if you haven't already.
The training itself is marginally useful, but it is important to remember...

From Week 2:

...At last, we arrived on our floor. The entire floor belonged to our group and is overall structured like a donut. The center is composed of walls, storage closets, and the floor restrooms. The actual donut is where the offices and cubicles are. One can walk in a complete circle around the floor, each with sections of cubicles and offices belonging to senior bankers on the far side. Stepping into the open territory felt like being a zebra surrounded by hyenas in the open African savannah. All eyes were on the standard intern-issue messenger bag touting freshlings.
Before long, Phil, one of our intern sponsors, was on the scene to lead us to our desks. We were early, he said, and we should take some time to ...

From Week 3:

...Brogan slid the two pages he'd just pulled into their respective positions in the deck before handing me the newly created shell, "Any questions?"
I scoured the inner recesses of my subconscious for a remotely intelligent question and came up blank. I looked up at Ted for guidance; he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, "Thanks, Brogan. This'll do it."
Ted walked with me back to my desk after printing himself a copy of the shell. He began to split up the work, "Most of the heavy lifting will already be done by the industry comps. Pull them off the directory, refresh for yesterday's close, and re-output the firepower analysis once I upload the shell. For now, start pulling earnings transcripts released post acquisition for the comparables and I'll walk you through making pro forma adjustments on the comps." He paused briefly to make note of the pages I'd be working on. "Thanks, bud. Let me know if...
"Mind if I drive?" he interrupted.
For a moment I wondered if there was a steering wheel at my desk I'd been completely unaware of thus far in my internship, before deciding that he must be referring to my keyboard. Upon taking my seat, Ted quickly explained to me how to make pro forma adjustments for each acquisition and project the benchmarks forward all while breezing through Excel...

From Week 4:

...In the office at 9:15 AM, about half of the interns had made it to their desk. Two weeks ago, each intern would have been seated and hard at work by 9:00 AM, but by now most of us had learned that the regulars don't really show up until closer to 10:00 AM and nothing really gets done before noon under normal conditions.
"Long weekend?" Chen asked of me routinely. She made it a point to keep tabs on everyone's deal activity and progress over the summer...

From Week 5:

Dinner involved the usual coincidence of free time between Nick, Abe, and I. We took our Seamless to the cafeteria so that we could discuss business openly. A number of events were on the table for discussion.
Nick started, "So I sent my answers back to Kristen for the homework and tried to get a sit down with her to go over some of the questions I couldn't figure out... No reply."
Abe rambled on about an internal project he was working on for global head of our group. It was very administrative in nature, but his passion for the job shined through. Abe was one of the elite of our generation born and bred to be a banker, Wall Street was his playground, and the analyst bullpen was his sandbox...

From Week 6:

Clearly Nick wasn't ready to begin thinking proactively about his situation and needed more time to vent. The weekend had only amplified his feelings of panic and regret...

From Week 7:

...Her office overlooked the southern half of Manhattan and her reputation preceded her. Promoted to VP just a year ago, Debbie was busy trailblazing a war path to the director suite and had no reservations about sacrificing the livelihoods of her subordinates to make it happen. To be fair, she also made it a habit of working associate hours despite her rank, due to a unique combination of determination, overachievement, and neuroticism...

From Week 8:

...We were greeted at the door and congratulated by HR on making it to the end of our internships. They pointed us towards the bar where appetizers and finger foods were being served alongside unlimited booze for the next two hours. I caught up with some interns I hadn't seen since training week. We all had more or less the same experience and agreed that training week really didn't do much to prepare us.
Most felt pretty good about their prospects for receiving an offer but obscured the confidence behind a thin veil of humility...

From Week 9:

I arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule in my favorite suit and tie. I prepared myself one last cup of mediocre coffee from the pantry and waited by my desk for my turn. Abe and Nick snuck up behind me as I whispered a prayer for good measure, and both had folders in hand which I presumed contained full time offers.

From Intern Case Study:

One report of negative feedback is enough to take you and keep you off track, and a bad summer review can be the nail in the coffin if headcount needs are lower than expected.
A common misconception is that a negative review cannot be overcome because first impressions are set in stone. Here's a tip:...

Internship Guide + WSO Resume Review Service$209

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  • Expert Reviewer, Personalized Service
  • 7-10 Day Process, Multiple Iterations
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Internship Guide + Resume Review + 3 Mock Interviews$699

Get Started!

  • Expert Reviewer, Personalized Service
  • 3 One Hour Mock Interviews with IB Mentor
  • Best Package Deal - Save $130