The Best Summer Internship Tips on WSO
Another compilation post by my content intern @Lucas_M, we hope you find these helpful!
IBD Internship Experience by @moneymogul" Here is a series of 4 posts by @moneymogul" where he shared his IBD internship experience.
Week 1 of IBD Internship: Training posted by @moneymogul"
In summary, training day is all about introductions and first impressions. Your HR program managers will be in attendance, and you should take a few seconds out of the multiple intersessions to shake their hands.
Equally important is taking the time to meet the other interns around you. If you attend a non-target school, this is the opportunity to plug yourself into the clique of elite institutions and its future Wall Streeters.
I've heard several bankers' accounts of how they still make it a point to meet up with their intern class colleagues to this day. Besides, you never know when you're going to need a favor over the course of the next couple months; it usually helps to have some rapport built in advance. Make it a point to remember everyone's name. Not because they're going to remember yours, but because it elevates you in their eyes when you recount theirs effortlessly at a later date, almost as if they now owe you something as they fumble around their minds' innermost recesses for a remote clue as to your identity.
- 7 silver bananas
Week 2 of IBD Internship: Hitting the Desk posted by @moneymogul"
On each of our cubicles were a new blackberry and an IT manual for setting up our computers and phones. With plenty to keep me busy, I settled down, unpacked, fired up the PC, and began going through the tech guides. There was a surprising amount of information to go through in setting everything up.
I had been forewarned anecdotally by an analyst at the firm to learn how to use the phone as soon as possible for conferencing. Apparently interns are expected to set up calls among bankers and clients, and it is deceptively easy to end up having your voicemail messages broadcasted over the line during these calls – so deceptively easy that it's happened several times before. After abandoning the impossible task of setting up my voicemail box, I set out to activate my blackberry: no problem, IT had already taken care of it. Several others reported differently. My curiosity roused, I went to check that each of my banker applications was functioning. I was unable to access most of them, citing server errors or lacking the proper access permissions. I had a feeling that this was going to come back to bite me in the ass when it came time for staffing.
One particular analyst left a very stark impression on the intern class. Her eyes were droopy, but they weren't always. The spots underneath her eyes were noticeably darkened over the past couple years, and she was about to begin her second year with the firm. "I know you guys are excited about this summer. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you're absolutely certain that this is what you want to do. Okay?" She looked to each of us for a binding nod of the head before beginning.
- 34 silver bananas
Week 3 of IBD Internship: The Pitch posted by @moneymogul"
The team was currently preparing for meetings at a nearby country club with interested strategics and financial sponsors looking to be included in the process. In between the brainstorming messages of senior bankers were formal bid letters mostly from sponsors gradually rolling in throughout the day. I opened each letter with wide eyes amazed at what I was seeing: some of the most recognized names in private equity were making bids for this company I'd never even heard of before and I was getting an inside look at the rationale behind each offer.
The M&A timeline looked like this:
1) Approach potential bidders.
2) Send out teaser materials to interested bidders.
3) Negoatiate and sign Non Disclosure Agreements.
4) Conduct diligence calls and distribute further marketing materials.
5) Solicit first round bids and select second round participants.
6) Hold management presentations and follow-up sessions.
8) Collect second round bids.
9) Review and select finalists.
10) Negotiate transaction contract.
11) Sign and announce.
- 38 silver bananas
Week 4 of IBD Internship: Initiation posted by @moneymogul"
On the home page of the Wall Street Journal, the fruits of our labor reached out to the eyes of readers all over.
The second years blasted their farewells to the inboxes of the entire group, from lowly interns to the vice chairman. They made one final lap around the floor. Laughter and applause were heard throughout. Messenger bags in hand, the alumni exited into the lobby, down the elevator, and out for celebratory drinks and reminiscence before embarking on the next adventures their lives.
Over hundreds of dollars of pizza, the war room filled itself with the newly minted second year analyst class and my own. Upon exodus of the second year analysts, it was tradition for the graduating first year analyst class and the summer analysts to convene for a celebratory dinner and connect personally. By next summer, they would be gone and the chosen among us would be in training. The summer after, we'd be on the other side of the table celebrating with our own summer interns. Time seemed to have its way of shuffling but never intrinsically changing in this industry.
The grace period for interns had officially ended. With the second year analysts gone, it was now up to us to step up to the plate as interim first year analysts for the remainder of the summer. And ready or not, by late next week it would be made perfectly clear to each of us where we stand in the group. Proving my reliability as a junior resource next week was absolutely essential to the outcome of my summer analyst stint.
- 12 silver bananas
The Best summer internship Tips on WSO Besides @moneymogul"'s internship experience, we have lined up 10 of the best posts offering tips for your upcoming summer internship.
1. A Letter to a Chimp posted by @NiuShi"
Staying caught in the weeds will only make you frustrated if you're trying to go fast. The last thing that you want to do is to change the template of your PPT slides from Sky Blue to Lark Blue. So take a deep breath, and knock that sucker off your to-do list as fast as humanly possible. Learn how to be efficient with the tasks you don't like to do so you can focus on the big things, the things that matter to you. Keep your head up and your eyes on the prize.
Patience is perhaps your greatest asset that you don't know you possess in abundance, my little chimp. Know the difference between what you can control and what you cannot. You will amaze yourself by how stoic and even-tempered you will become.
- 24 silver bananas
2. Performance of Top Tier vs. Bottom Tier Analysts (Q&A in Comments) posted by @WallStreetPlayboys"
If you touched it you are responsible. Remember that if you are at the bottom of the totem pole, you're going to be thrown under the bus quickly if things go wrong. Therefore if you are working on a pitchbook and an associate decides to create 2-3 extra slides… Check them. No matter who creates the additional item, check it anyway because if it is incorrect you will be blamed. Naturally, you will have conflicts at some point in the process, but you need to minimize them.
Clean Modeling. This is the final step and quite difficult to accomplish at all times. When working with your team try and jot down how to build the model so a new set of eyes can quickly navigate the spreadsheet. Take the time and do the following: 1) minimize input cells, 2) build model out to simple inputs/formulas allowing the user to change input cells, 3) set up to be printed clearly, 4) clear labelling of actual numbers versus estimates, 5) set up to print all items cleanly.
- 20 silver bananas
3. Q&A: Managing Director in the M&A and PE business w/ 20+ years experience posted by @WallStreetOracle"
"How to succeed as a woman in investment banking?"
You can't let it bother you that other people look at you differently than if you were a man. Not much you can do about that. But you can make sure you dress and act professionally at all times--while not stifling your personal style. And, similar to what your quote says above, as a woman you have assets that men don't always have in the same way--and I don't mean physical assets. Women tend to be stronger collaborators, able to build consensus instead of going for ego-based conflict (sorry men, I know I am going to hear about this one, but there are things you are better at too.).
Take note of colleagues and superiors that are treating you differently and find mentors within your firm and outside of your firm that can help you build networks of colleagues to rely on. Make sure to ask for promotions early and find out what needs to be done to get one.
And be careful about following the group from the conference into the men's room. I did that once. We miss all of the best parts of the conversation, but there are some places we still shouldn't go.
- 19 silver bananas
4. 7 Practical Tips for Entering 1st Year IBD Analysts posted by @narby"
Don't treat the $25 meal allowance as a target that must be met. Yes you would be leaving money on the table, but sometimes less is more. $25 of anything, even sushi, is a lot of food. Though there are things you can do to counteract this (have a naturally fast metabolism, get a gym membership and use it frequently and right before eating that $25 feast). Saving food for lunch the next day is always an option.
Pay what you must for fast, reliable internet. Invest in a good keyboard, mouse, chair, and at least 1 large monitor. Buy a quality set of earbuds with a quality microphone. You want to be able to take calls and work from home as much as possible in as comfortable of a manner as possible. (Note: this is not the case for groups where facetime is important, nevertheless you should still invest in the above => no group I know expects facetime on weekends)
- 15 silver bananas
5. The sell-side 15 - how to stay fit yet still fit in posted by @big unit"
Tips on client dinners:
- Most of these dinners will occur at a steakhouse in Tribeca or Midtown. I can't explain it, but for some reason no one takes any risks when it comes to new restaurants - you'll probably go to one of 3-4 steakhouses every couple of weeks for the entirety of your sell-side S&T career. So be prepared for that.
- Get veggie appetizers to offset the red meat. Bacon strips are great, but you need fiber.
- You don't have to scarf everything down when you eat.
- Don't talk with your mouth full, and if there is a lull in a conversation, order a round of drinks - particularly if you are the lead on the dinner (smaller account, or covering for more senior guys)
- DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING TO GO
14 silver bananas
6. The 10 commandments for surviving your summer internship posted by @DM123"
Dress the part: Invest in the minimum amount of suits and dress shirts. I would argue you need 3 suits and 7 dress shirts. Don't wear anything too trendy. A trendy tight dress shirt might look cool in the dance club but it'll send the wrong message to the MDs: "oh he's still a kid because he dresses like one".
Don't tell anyone your career plans are different than your current job: Even if you landed a tier 2 job that everyone uses as a stepping stone to something better, don't tell people that this is your intention. Your employer needs to think that this is a perfect fit. If your actual goal is to work for a hedge fund, tell that to potential hedge fund hiring managers – don't say anything to people in your current job. Despite what they may promise, they probably can't and won't help you get into a different department, or a different company.
- 9 silver bananas
7. How Not To Screw Up An Internship posted by @Jared Dillian"
As I've travelled around, nobody loves their job more than traders and bankers, even though you'll never hear a rah-rah speech about it. So, as an intern, if you know enough to ask the right question, that shows that you are informed about what is going on and that you care about the industry, too, then you'll get me talking and we'll have a nice conversation. And maybe I will remember your name. Crucially, the idea is to be informed rather than to sound informed.
- 8 silver bananas
8. 5 Things to Help You Stand Out at Your First Internship posted by @TurnerNovak"
Go from "I think" to "I know" This was something my most recent boss put on every one of my performance reviews and it helped me tremendously. Always work to know things, as opposed to thinking you know. If you are getting new tires put on your car, do you want your mechanic to say "We replaced your tires, I think you should be good to go" or would you prefer "We replaced your tires, you are good to go!" Avoid saying things like "I think it was around 95%", and instead say "It's 95%". This does not mean lie and say you are certain about something, which could be even worse than saying you think you know it. It means you should understand what you are talking about, and research and prepare for every meeting.
Think from your boss's perspective Think about the final product of the work you are giving to your boss. In most cases, he/she will have to pass your work on to their boss. The better you do, the more time it saves for your boss. In my most recent position, my boss had me write a lot of her formal business letters and her presentations because she trusted that I would put something together that she would not need to edit. I always took in mind the audience (her boss, customer, supplier, etc.) and tailored specifically to them.
- 7 silver bananas
9. The BlackHat Interview: 2/4 posted by @BlackHat"
What do you do to relax or take your mind off work? My favorite hobby is probably MMA and/or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's a very demanding sport physically, but also mentally. Sparring in Jiu Jitsu is really like a chess game, and there's way more strategy and planning in MMA than people give it credit for. I love being able to work on certain finesse techniques and try to set people up in certain positions, so it actually compliments my job pretty well. And let's not forget, when you want to blow off some steam there's no better way to do it than by kicking someone/something in the head. Aside from that I also love a good glass of wine and am a big movie fanatic. I used to play a ton of poker online too but unfortunately we can't do that anymore…
What keeps you motivated? The only thing that really keeps me motivated is that every day in finance is a little different, so life doesn't get too monotonous at work. And like I mentioned, I'm motivated to learn [somewhat] useless information, which you tend to gain a lot of when you're becoming an expert in several different businesses and spending your entire day reading and talking to a variety of people associated with the business or industry.
- 5 silver bananas
10, Summer Analyst at a boutique - the right experience? posted by @Newspeak"
A couple of my projects included checking over a few large model for mistakes but I have not been tasked with building one of my own. I did one set of public comps and one set of M&A comps. Other than that, it's been a lot of bitch work.
Examples of what I do every day:
- Updating a spreadsheet with PE/Strategic buyer responses/emails and sending it out in periodic updates to the client.
- Doing research and due diligence for potential and live deals
- Doing screens on CapIQ for PE/Strategic buyers that match certain criteria and then checking the list manually to see if they actually fit our client.
- Making vCards for the senior bankers when they get a new contact
- Researching random obscure things for ad hoc projects.
- Adding charts and graphics to powerpoints
- Sending out road show meeting calendar invites
- Sending NDAs
- Summarizing and explaining sets of documents to senior bankers
- Nagging MDs every few days via email to get in touch with their contacts at PE funds so they can move to the next stages of the process with them.
- Listening in on phone calls with the client and potential investors
- 1 silver banana