99% of non junior year internships are bullshit and shouldn’t be required.

I'm an executive member of an on campus organization and we run interviews for one of our more advanced sections and we recently finished up our first round. We mostly try to recruit sophomores and younger for these positions so that they can hopefully be the future of the organization. We don't expect great technical knowledge from most of these students yet we've had to consistently lower our standards because it's just not there. They can't name valuation methods past the most simple comps, haven't heard of DCF models, can't describe time value of money, and while we didn't ask them accounting questions I doubt they would know. However the most baffling thing about this is how many of them already have internship experience - PE, IB, WM, VC - and I just don't understand how this has become a qualifier for "involvement". I have no idea how you can spend a summer at a firm and be clueless about basic concepts that are the backbone of the job. 
 

Not to mention that most of these internships are unpaid grunt work for resume fodder - no student should be expected to work for free scrolling through excel data all day just so they can write "worked on M&A transaction" on their resume. Especially when someone who actually worked hard and self studied will end up with far more applicable knowledge. 
 

So the question is, why is this still taken into account for jobs? I'm sure those reviewing resumes know that it's bullshit, yet it's still something asked about on every interview. 

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Comments (3)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 8, 2021 - 11:46pm

A lot of the early college internships are exclusively reserved for diversity students.

I feel like it's main function is to serve as a pipeline for eventual full-time diversity hires so management can say "X% of our new hires are not white males lol"

Sophomore internships also show you had grit networking. Since they are so hard to get if you're nondiversity it does show you must've grinded hard to land it (regardless of your technical skill set)

Believe me brother, I know how you feel. I was in a similar club and could speak circles around some of the others when it came to valuations/technicals. Guess it didn't matter cause they still got top BB/EB and I struggled heavily to get a MM.

  • Prospect in Research - Other
Sep 9, 2021 - 1:24pm

I disagree about the diversity aspect. This may be true for the sophomore internships at established firms but it is relatively easy to get an internship at a small PE/VC/IB shop or search fund. The problem is that these internships are more than often using students to do their gruntwork rather than teaching them or training them, where you become an excel slave just for a few sentences on a resume.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Sep 9, 2021 - 3:54am

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