How do in-bank coffee chats work during SA?

Hi everyone, I am curious as to how coffee chats during the summer differ from standard newtworking chats, as I have heard you want to talk to several people at your bank 1 on 1. Are you still telling your full story? Should you ask more casual questions? Are you leaving to actually go get coffee or do you just go to a conference room? There’s no ask right? Thank you

(putting this in IB forum since its more about converting an IBD summer analyst stint into a return offer rather than job hunting)

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Take this advice with a pinch of salt as I interned last summer and converted to FT (which I haven't started yet) and I'm based in London.

For me, I had a mentor and a buddy who reached out for coffee/general guidance throughout the internship.

Everyone else, I reached out to them and most people were very receptive to the coffee. Generally sent them an email with a one line intro and saying 'I'd love to have a chat and talk about what you do etc'- keep it short. They'll confirm, you might do a bit of back and forth to figure out a time and then I'd send them a 15-minute calendar invite (normally lasts longer). Not all these interactions occurred over email, don't be weird- you can talk to people on the desk and ask if they'd be down to grab a coffee and then fix a time by talking to them.

Most of the time, we'd leave the office and grab a coffee (or occasionally a beer if late in the day/week). Most importantly, keep the chats casual. When you meet them say hi, ask how their day is going (don't be pushy) and try and make some small talk/find something you can relate on. You'll go grab a coffee and then normally you both give a bit of background on yourselves, not an interview-like story, just casual. I'm from XXX, I study XXX at XXX, I previously interned at XXX and I'm really interested in XXX (make it interesting and not too granular). 

Then just talk naturally. Ask about the job, what they enjoy, what they've achieved, their path, and maybe what they like and don't like depending on the vibe. Try and talk about non-work things and just to get to know them as a person. No ask at the end really, although occasionally if I wanted to work with them/what they worked on was interesting, I might ask them to shoot me an email the next time they need an intern for something.

This worked for Analyst-VP levels. Directors and MDs are usually more formal and occur only towards the back end of the internship for me. This will probably be in their office, be brief and consist of them asking most of the questions. Again, be natural, be nice and try to relate on something non-work related.

Hope this helps!


Personally don’t think you have to remember every detail.

If you have a reasonably good memory, you should be able to associate people with the things they tell you.

If you really want, scribble some notes down after the chat. Also if following up, remembering specifics are good but don’t weirdly latch on to something very niche.


Just go up to their ask or send them a teams message? And yes, if you are asking them for a coffee chat you will be grabbing coffee with them.


Just don’t over do it. That’s the best piece of advice I was given. Only takes associate/analyst a couple times to come to your desk and you not being there to leave a bad taste. I don’t think I asked for a single coffee chat and still got a return. I was invited on a few and if I wasn’t busy I would go, but I didn’t go out of my way to network.

The people that are responsible for you getting a return will be the people you directly work with. Not the random director you had one 20 minute chat with. He will forget your name the next day and will not even consider vouching for you when the return offers are discussed.


Coffee chats are useless. 

Go work for the analysts and assiciayes, do a great job and they will decide your fate. 

Worst thing I see is interns going for too many coffee chats or trying to chat up MDs. 

We usually dont even join the roundtable discussion on return offers. 

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