Coverage in Paris

Hello Everyone,

So I have been trying to get into IB coverage roles for sometime now but for some reason haven’t been successful with it. It sucks so bad that I haven’t even been called for an interview.

Do you have any tips/ advice that I can use to get at least an interview call ?

PS. I guess the biggest reason is that I am an English speaking guy with no experience in finance or IB but I do have two yrs ex in IT and am specializing in Finance from ESSEC. Is there anything I can do or are there any companies that I can apply for English speaking roles? I do apply to BNP and Other French banks but they always require fluent French.



This is the real world, not Emily in Paris. As nice as it that would be, I don’t think that you’re going to be able to land a spot unless you speak fluent French. They reject thousands of French applicants, why would they accept you?

*disclaimer I am not French, Frenchies correct me if this is not correct svp


It's well known that it's virtually impossible to land an internship in France, especially with a French bank if you don't speak fluent French as it's an explicit requirement most of the time
I'd say OP's best bet is to try and network with ESSEC alumni since it's a target school with a lot of international students who must have gone through the same experience and can either share tips or even support your application (tried it for myself and it makes a big difference)
Best of luck during your application process 


I'm a French student who managed to secure an offer at a French bank in coverage for January (don't hesitate to PM if you have any question) and I can tell you that you the fact that you don't speak a word of French is a genuine disadvantage, Nearly 100% require you to speak French. 

You may look at international banks that are implemented in Paris, you may have more chances (Japanese banks, ING,..) but even with these it's gonna be very difficult. The main advantage you got is that you're at a target, this may compensate.


I interned in a French bank both abroad and in France and I am currently working at a large asset manager linked to a French bank

Even abroad, people were making jokes that people have to learn French to work there in the long run.

We had one intern for the summer that did not speak French at all (in Paris), but to be fair, it was really difficut for him for private jokes, internal discussion etc even if we are working fully in English

My advice would be for you to contact teams where the MD/Directors or part of the team are not from a French speaking country

Good luck!

Most Helpful

The funny thing is for IB its going to be near impossible but could be more manageable for S&T. Brexit is the reason. I am not sure what the deal (pun intended) is for IB on 1/1/21 if there is no agreement by year end but for S&T it basically means that if you sit in London you can't even email continental clients unless there are very specific structures in place (my bet is there won't be, at least not in time). This is why all the banks have relocated across the EU; to ensure coverage of clients can continue. In S&T actually its quite funny as ex-Londoners have taken over the various trading floors.However, from my understanding this was much more so for the markets divisions, not aware of anyone from IB moving for us. This means that if nothing changes then international banks will continue to see the Paris IB offices as local teams, meaning they will have zero use for someone who doesn't know the language.

It will sound harsh but I think this is something you should have anticipated, it is quite well known that for Paris it is extremely difficult to get a job if you dont come from the Grandes Ecoles, let alone if you don't speak French. Essec is a great brand name which is why i recommend you look elsewhere, look at where non-French alumni have gone and network with them, tell your careers center to get off their ass and help you. You not getting a job from a target school is as much their problem as it is yours. GL


Non-French, non French speaking Gramde Exole student. Got a good finance job with econ background. Is tough but the roles are out there if you just keep looking.


Understand the frustration. Apart from applying for non-French banks (maybe American ones?) and more technical roles (an extreme example is quantitative trader)… Have you considered positions in London? Have seen a bunch of non-british ppl going to ESSEC get into IBD at BB/EB in London.

Tbh, I interned at BNP's IBD here in Hong Kong and I felt the pressure to learn French. Also, most MDs are French (and white). I would guess that local language is even more essential for a coverage role?I also believe for non-native speakers it's virtually impossible to converse with locals fluently without spending years on intensively learning French.


ESSEC non-French student here (Grande Ecole programme)! I did a Coverage internship at SG and all the work at my team was done in English (even my interviews were done in English). However, the team wanted to know if I was able to hold a basic convo with colleagues in French. My advice for you is to try to learn as much French as you can and if you're interviewing for any technical roles get a Training You subscription (watched those vids religiously in French to memorise all the technical Qs in French)


Have you tried landing something in Belgium? Might make it easier to transition in France later on? You could look at big4 or MM banks there


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