Advice for college students looking for something to do this summer...?

In the past couple of weeks I've received a number of emails from college students still looking for summer internships. As an entrepreneur who only spent a brief amount of time in finance, my advice is pretty limited.

I was wondering if any of the older members of the WSO community could share stories about how they conducted a last-minute internship search? Also, it'd be interesting to hear about any alternatives people pursued in the summer that turned out to be worthwhile (took x, y, z classes, traveled to Europe, auditioned for American Idol, etc.).

Judging by the inquiries I've received, any stories or insight people could provide would be much appreciated by the college-aged WSO members and visitors.

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Comments (9)

Jun 6, 2011 - 5:38pm

Not in the industry, still a student, but I'm lucky enough to have access to a number of people who are regularly involved in the hiring process for paid and unpaid interns. Here's what I would do if I didn't have an internship:

Talk to family/friends and see if they know anyone in finance, specifically that has their own small shop or that works for a small shop. See if they'd be willing to take on an unpaid intern. Your chances of finding a paid internship at this point are slim at best, so you might as well go in and offer to work 20 hours/week for free and pick up a part-time job for 20 hours/week if you need the money. If you don't need the money, offer to work full-time for free.

Other than that, cold-call, cold-email, and cold-visit shops in your area to try and pull down an internship. If you're having no luck with finance, at least try and get something in, say, accounting, so you're getting some experience. Good luck guys!

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Jun 6, 2011 - 5:39pm

Last year, I got back from school in early May and hadn't even started looking for internships. I gave myself a job: work Monday - Friday, 9-5 to get an internship. Cold call, email, network and fill out at least 10 applications to whatever finance-related spot I could find on a daily basis. A week before June, I took a well-paid spot at a boutique AMC.

Things I learned: it's all about numbers and serious networking.

in it 2 win it
  • 2
Jun 6, 2011 - 7:25pm
FSC:
Last year, I got back from school in early May and hadn't even started looking for internships. I gave myself a job: work Monday - Friday, 9-5 to get an internship. Cold call, email, network and fill out at least 10 applications to whatever finance-related spot I could find on a daily basis. A week before June, I took a well-paid spot at a boutique AMC.

Things I learned: it's all about numbers and serious networking.

This.

Jun 6, 2011 - 11:10pm

I did some serious cold-emailing and networking, although I couldn't find a SA position as I would of liked I landed a corporate Finance position with a large company.

I would like to get back into Investment Banking, but all SA positions have been filled and I won't be free until September.

Any advice on how to break into IB for a recent graduate?, and what kind of positions should I be targeting?

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Jun 7, 2011 - 10:21pm

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Jun 9, 2011 - 7:55am

A couple years ago, I got a last minute internship with Merrill Lynch in their PWM division (such an honor....). I worked there from 8 a..m until 6 p.m. then worked at a restaurant and if I wasn't working at the restaurant on the weekends (and not at the beach) I would be mowing lawns. Saved up some money (internship didn't pay) and started day trading. This was summer of 09' so I made some significant gains. Didn't learn shit from the internship but it was a good experience to be in that atmosphere (and see the ML bull on the button in the elevator).

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