Best Sophomore Summer Internship Rankings

I know this has been posted about before, but I don't think there are any specific rankings of the best internship for sophomore summer. Excluding diversity programs and notwithstanding personal interest/fit, how would you rank the following common sophomore summer internships based on how good they look on an IB resume?

Small boutique IB

Private Equity (excl. Search Funds)

Search Fund

Hedge Fund

Venture Capital

Corporate finance/FP&A/Treasury

Corp Dev

Equity Research

PWM/Asset Management

Corporate Banking


Comments (31)

Most Helpful
Mar 12, 2021 - 5:09am
TREBITDA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Assuming you're focusing on what is preferential to IB during your junior summer from purely an experiential standpoint (not name brand), then I would say "transactional" finance internship put you in the best position. By transactional, I mean instances where you're working on deals that require a lot of man-power and resources for that one project. These deals should require the whole sphere of classic supporting processes, including analysis/valuation, marketing, due diligence, and client facing actions. In terms of whats both available and well received, the best internships as a sophomore for junior IB are boutique investment banking and private equity, including buyout, growth equity, and venture capital. I and all of my IB friends went to a non-target undergrad, but had internships that captured the things I mentioned up above. We all built marketable skills that we could directly apply to what interviewers were looking for during interviews. This is not to say that other finance internships aren't helpful, but I think they're less ideal for investment banking. For example, if you work for an asset manager (and I apologize in advance if I'm incorrect on this I don't work in AM), I presume that you work on a ton of small projects at high frequencies, in terms of adding or selling securities idk, but I assume that you're not spending weeks or months evaluating a potential growth investment or helping push that sell-side mandate to the finish line. While you might get good technical experience, you're not getting traditional deal exposure and there's a lack of marketing to your work.


  • 6
Mar 13, 2021 - 4:18am
TREBITDA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know a ton about the actual recruiting aspect of it, but I think CorpDev would be good and certainly is an easy input for the "why IB question?". The only issue is that I know CorpDev teams rarely close transactions (not from a lack of "deal flow" perspective like we think in IB but more so you obviously don't just churn out deals when you're a principal in the transaction), so it might be hard to get good transaction experience. In addition, and I'm just generalizing here, I would imagine its very possible to not get good technical experience while in CorpDev, at least at in intern level. All in all, I still would say it's an excellent role for a sophomore to try and propel into junior IB internships.


  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Mar 12, 2021 - 3:26pm

Some killer sophomores at top targets are able to get MF PE. Diversity kids can get BB IB. Also your experience at a search fund can differ wildly between funds. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 18, 2021 - 12:31pm

Honestly not even killer, if you're a legit competent diversity candidate at a top target, you should be nailing Advent/KKR/BX/AKKR/Apollo/Clairvest/Oaktree/Ares/Vista/Sixth Street/CVC/TPG/etc., all of whom take kids after their first or second year of uni (a lot through Girls who Invest program, definitely shoot for this if you're a woman, great program). If you're diversity and at a top target, it's incredibly common to fall back on BB IB soph summer programs.

Also definitely wanna bump what the person below said about university endowment, ESPECIALLY if you're at a target which probably has a sizeable endowment. I know friends who worked at HYP's endowments after their first/second years who ended up hopping straight to MF PE analyst programs

Mar 18, 2021 - 10:47am
Cheese Couch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Best kept secret, your university endowment. Get connected with them freshman year, they are an amazing resource for learning about the buyside generally and all the different asset classes, and are professional networkers (asset allocators).

Great experience on the resume sophomore summer, and an awesome resource for future buyside recruiting (whether it is connections to funds or asking their opinion on opportunities you are deciding between). Plus, most of the investment committee are happy to chat with the interns and are big shots in the IB/HF/PE/AM world.

  • Prospect in AM - Equities
Mar 18, 2021 - 4:00pm

You really can't rank them. From my experience, the most selective/competitive sophomore internships at my school were some well-known PE/HFs, while the regional boutique IBs were looked down upon. As a sophomore who ended up taking one of those boutique IB internships, I felt inferior on the "prestige ladder". When it came time for IB SA recruiting, however, it was so much easier for me to prepare bheviorals. While all of my peers at the prestigious PE/HF sophomore internships had to come up with elaborate answers to why they want to go into IB and were constantly grilled by unconvinced interviewers on why not stay on the buy-side, I never had to deal with any of that. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 18, 2021 - 4:07pm

Name brand buyside internships are the top choices for the most competitive sophomores at targets. Most of them only take diversity candidates, usually through girls who invest, but the best of the best nondiversity kids will be able to land them too. Places I've seen soph resumes with include Baupost, Vista, Oaktree, Ares Credit, Farallon, Starboard Value, Cerberus, KKR Credit, and a smattering of respected hedge funds like beachpoint, scopia, abdiel, etc. Apollo shut down its soph program. The people that do these internships disproportionately wind up at the MF PE analyst programs or PJT RSSG for junior summer. Other good kids will do the soph BB IB programs, and the decent ones will find roles at smaller regional or middle market PE / IB / HF firms. What you do soph summer matters both more and less than people think though -- having one of the buyside or BB names really helps get an interview, but once you get to the interview stage, there are always kids doing the MM non name brand internships that get great offers because they're well prepared and hard working but just weren't well enough connected, or a student at the right school, or the right race / gender to get a top buyside or BB soph offer.  

  • Intern in IB - Cov
May 31, 2021 - 3:03am

yes but not being able to answer that question for yourself is not a good look

May 31, 2021 - 3:43pm
bastogne, what's your opinion? Comment below:

>>credit focused place

>>Lindsay Goldberg

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 30, 2022 - 8:44pm

There are plenty of real estate internships for sophomores, and the work is similar to that in IB

Nov 25, 2022 - 3:24pm
Purple9988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Nov 25, 2022 - 3:26pm
Purple9988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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