Any First Day Internship Advice?

Hey guys,

I'm an incoming junior, and I'm about to start my summer internship at a small (around 20 employees) middle-market investment bank tomorrow. I really don't know much what to expect, but I'm very eager for it to begin. It's an unpaid gig, and l have no previous finance internship experience. I believe I will be one of 2 summer analysts at the firm. My goal for the summer is to learn as much as I can and to try and leave the summer with some great experiences.

Does anyone have any general advice as to how I could best make a good first impression as well as get as much out of the summer as I can? I truly appreciate any advice!

Comments (59)

Jun 1, 2014

Eyes front, ears open.

Jun 1, 2014

Be in the present. Don't drift off.

Jun 1, 2014

Write down everything.

Jun 1, 2014

Like the other posters said, pay attention. Ask questions when appropriate (if you get to sit in on meetings, don't interrupt by asking what could very well be a basic question), volunteer for tougher projects and try to feel out who the nicer more senior people are and become more friendly with them, professionally and socially. There will always be guys who aren't going to notice you're even there and there will be guys who will engage you. Target these guys, try to work on things for them, grab coffee, lunch (even if it's takeout eaten in their office or the conference room), drinks, whatever. You'll start building your network and in a psychological way, if you can get them invested in you in any way there's a better chance they'll help you out in the future.

Jun 1, 2014

Jesus christ...

Jun 1, 2014

??????

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

Jun 1, 2014

I assume this is when they let us choose our secretaries and assistants. More importantly, when's lunch?

Jun 1, 2014

My apologies - i know you're excited. but you're first day will be extremely uneventful. you'll most likely meet your mentors, be shown the office and your cube / desk, and hang around waiting for someone to give you work (which most likely won't happen on day one).

Jun 1, 2014

nystateofmind,

are you answering me? If so I think you might be mistaken me. I was asking a really innocent question and people become really sarcastic and unhelpful, way to go

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

Jun 1, 2014

And no, it is not lehman

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

Jun 1, 2014

Oh and wear a suit on the first day - you can take the jacket off mid-day.

Jun 1, 2014

on the first day, find the biggest, meanest MD you can find and shank him. you won't be anyones bitch and no one will mess with you for the rest of the summer

------

"its the running joke now, we now have fair trade with china so they send us poisoned sea food and we send them fraudulent securities."

------

"its the running joke now, we now have fair trade with china so they send us poisoned sea food and we send them fraudulent securities."

Jun 1, 2014

Thanks for the advice!

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.

Jun 1, 2014

In essence you want to look presentable, have a positive attitude and be willing to work/learn as much as you can. Don't go overboard, but do try to meet everyone and make a good impression.

In all likelihood though, your first day will be fairly uneventful. Actually my first day I almost pulled an all-nighter because I got staffed on a ridiculous pitch with another analyst but that's the exception rather than the rule.

Best Response
Jun 1, 2014

Dress: Business Professional
Bring a pen and maybe some paper. Hopefully, you're moderately proficient with excel, powerpoint and accounting so you can keep up with the training. Make sure you are well rested for training. Other than that pay attention, and be sure to get acquainted with your fellow SA's. You never know who can end up helping you out and if you get the offer, its nice to know most of the incoming full-time class.

    • 2
Jun 1, 2014

Dress: Business Professional
Bring a pen and maybe some paper. Hopefully, you're moderately proficient with excel, powerpoint and accounting so you can keep up with the training. Make sure you are well rested for training. Other than that pay attention, and be sure to get acquainted with your fellow SA's. You never know who can end up helping you out and if you get the offer, its nice to know most of the incoming full-time class.

Jun 1, 2014

Also make sure you bring all the paperwork they ask for, and double check. You don't want to be the space cadet that forgot something and then can't get his ID/log in/etc.

Jun 1, 2014

Bump

    • 1
Jun 1, 2014

Training: know as many excel shortcuts as possible. Any surface level modelling knowhow is a plus. You'll have a few interns who are clueless and will hold the class up which fucks up the rhythm.

On the desk: legible handwriting when writing down work assigned to you. Also know how to map a printer and unblock/replenish paper. It's a minute detail but you don't want to be the guy who's running to his analyst, telling him you can print the book in colour because you don't know how or that the printer is jammed. You can't really do this in advance but know where windows print settings are. Might be worth hitting up your team and asking for an old book just to familiarise yourself with their format preference.

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Jun 1, 2014
Rumplesmoothspin:

Any surface level modelling knowhow is a plus

What's a surface level modelling?

Jun 1, 2014

You don't need to be an expert at modelling. Sometimes people opt for the BIWS/WSP courses and they can be an overkill for a SA gig. But knowing how to format for colours - hardcoded cells, formulas etc helps. Another aspect is to grasp the finance/accounting logic behind the numbers. There is one to read something and take it at face value, another to understand why it's done.

You can go a bit further with Excel by knowing how to work with offset functions, lookups for comps, sensitivity tables and if functions. It just means that when if you're given a throwaway model, you don't spend hours trying to figure out how something like a sensitivity table is created because reading the cell formulas can be limiting in terms of insight. Fyi, I did this.

Generally, being decent with Excel is the biggest advantage. Not returning your spreadsheet looking like a twister mat helps. Or simple etiquette like commenting in cells so your analyst knows where you plucked the numbers from.

You really don't need to set the world on fire. Just show you're competent and that your efficiency is improving. Ask questions when stuck. You can be the most prepared intern in the world and still be a pussy when stuck on a problem and delay seeking help, which only eats away at your learning time and the analyst's sanity. Don't be the kid who has to call IT because your calculations aren't updating, only to realise it's set to manual. You'll spend 15 minutes on the phone and then another 5 minutes headbutting a wall.

Jun 1, 2014

Mostly learning the basics of your cooking station - where the various ingredients and cookery is located, etc.

You can't kill the guys you trade with

Jun 1, 2014
j0rd3n:

What was the first day of your baking internship like?

First day of baking internships is a real mess. Sometimes you add too much sugar and sometimes you just bake it too much. But with constant practice, things fall in place eventually.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Jun 1, 2014

Very nice haha

Jun 1, 2014

Gordon Ramsey was a total d!ck and fired half the interns after we fucked up the desserts.

Jun 1, 2014
GrandJury:

Gordon Ramsey was a total d!ck and fired half the interns after we fucked up the desserts.

They put me in the scallops group. Messed that up and was unable to transfer to salmon.

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

    • 1
Jun 1, 2014

Way too many cooks in the kitchen. The place was a shit storm.

Jun 1, 2014
j0rd3n:

What was the first day of your baking internship like? What did they have you do?

Also, what were some, ER, memorable experience during your internship? I've heard many horror stories - are they true?

Yes there are plenty of horror stories that are true. During my first baking internship I accidentally knocked an open can of tomato paste into the deep-fat fryer and didn't clean it out. The next morning we came in for our shift and turned on the fryer without looking inside. The tomato paste in the hot oil caused an explosion and shot hot oil all over my classmate's face! She's still scarred to this day.

Jun 1, 2014

Thanks for the laugh, guys! Sorry about that typo - but thanks for the link, jbone24!

Jun 1, 2014

Who cares about meal size.
Smaller boutique kitchens > (stomach) bulge brackets. You will learn sooo much more at a boutique baker and be able to play a larger role in meals. Mega-kitchens and other Private Etiquette firms care more about your role in the meal process.

Jun 1, 2014

as someone who went to a top target for his undergrad (think five guys, whataburger, in-and-out), I'm kind of appalled at all the non-targets I've been seeing during my kitchen selection process. The most common kids I saw at my superday were from Wendy's/Arby's. There were even a couple from the big state schools like McD's/BK.

Even a kid from Taco Bell :shudders:. I

I really hope this isn't a new trend.

EDIT: I'm also curios about exit opps post baking. Do most people go directly to top-tier restaurants or straight to the buyside (think Paula Deen/Emeril Cutlery)?

Jun 1, 2014

I dunno, you could end up looking like an incredible tool if you are the only person wearing a suit though.

Jun 1, 2014

denim/trousers with formal boots, a crisp shirt and a smart sport jacket (or blazer)...now that's what constitutes atleast a first day at a business-casual place. Then just move along with the trend there.

Jun 1, 2014

Obviously some of you interned at a business casual bank. Do people wear suits the first day?

Jun 1, 2014

no. first day is going to be training anyway. who do you want to impress, the hr girls? If you really feel like you need to dress up, wear a suit, bring a tie in your pocket. If you see other people dressed up, throw it on

Jun 1, 2014

For training? No.

For your actual first day in the office? Absolutely.

You can always take the jacket off and leave it in your cube anyhow.

Jun 1, 2014

always dress business casual unless told otherwise

Jun 1, 2014

Wear a suit and wear a tie. No one has ever been fired in the history of IBD for dressing too formal.

Jun 1, 2014

While we were told to wear business casual on the first day, the majority of the summer class showed up wearing suits. Blame it on the high-achieving nature of the people in IB.

Jun 1, 2014

"Blame it on the high-achieving nature of the people in IB."

i'd call it by other names,.

Jun 1, 2014

such as toolish nature?

Jun 1, 2014

yeah that'd be closer.

Jun 1, 2014

Or blame it on the fact that some people want to work in an environment where people dress formally rather than in the style of some 90s dotcom.

Jun 1, 2014

wearing a suit is a hell of a lot easier than deciding what combination to wear for business casual. it might just be laziness/too broke to buy new clothes.

Jun 1, 2014
Jun 1, 2014

It is not at all about preperation as you'll be expected to know nothing, it is 100% about your attitude and willingness to work. Just remember that as terrible as it may seem at the time it is only 10 weeks long and at the end you will be far far happier to have gained an offer than upset that you lost a summer

Jun 1, 2014

Save every e-mail and be very organized from day one. It will make your life a lot easier.

Jun 1, 2014
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Jun 1, 2014
Jun 1, 2014