Asking for an Internship directly in Cold Emails?

For some context, I am a freshman at a non-ivy target school looking to get any type of finance internship (local IB, search funds, PWM) this summer.

As I am in the process of cold-emailing the directors of these firms, I was wondering if I should ask for a coffee chat (phone call or zoom) or if I should directly state that I am looking for an internship this summer. I realize I am a little late for summer internships, so I feel like informational interviews may take too much time, but please give me your advice below.



If its HR —> intern program

If its anyone else —> coffee chat and let them offer it to you

Imagine you are the MD at a boutique and some random 18-19 yr old ask you for an internship. It would feel like a) they are entitled b) have zero human skills or c) you think that your role at the bank is handing out internships


Thanks for the feedback. Honestly I asked a good amount of my friends and the general consensus is pretty mixed. I guess the reason for being more direct is that it is already March and I am searching for a summer internship. Also, in my cold email, I say that I want to connect with them to talk about any potential internship opportunities, so hopefully it doesn’t sound like I’m expecting a handout. Finally, I feel like most MDs will see through my “coffee chat” and expect me to ask them for an internship anyway so I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting their time. Please feel free to respond and point out any flaws in my reasoning. Thanks

Most Helpful

I emailed a dozen or so boutiques in my area. 3 responded. 2 said ask again later, and 1 gave me an offer. It ended up sucking, but I got to put IB on my resume. So I’d say go for it. 

This was my cold email 


My name is Redacted, and I am an undergraduate at Redacted studying business with a concentration in finance. I am strongly interested in investment banking, and I have been working on my technical skills relating to valuation.


I am currently searching for any M&A or Capital Markets experience during the fall 2020 semester (August – December) and would like to speak with you about any potential opportunities at bank during that time. For reference, I have attached my resume.

I wrote that during the summer after freshman year, and it’s not the best format, but it worked for me. 
Also in general, search funds *love* unpaid interns. 


Ask for both. Developing connections now could help in the future. Never bad to make a few more friends either and just learn from others. Expressing your interested in an internship is very helpful as well; better to get to point in email. Some may respond that they don't have an internship, but would be happy to talk. Keep up the hustle


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