BP IST or BoFA SnT? Summer internship choice

Hey guys,

Hope you all are doing well, I have recently received offers from both Bank of America's sales and trading division, as well as the Trading & Shipping division at BP. I am a commodity guy but I also have a passion for cryptocurrency. BofA seems to be making moves in its floor to allow more opportunities for Cryptocurrency, but BP is much better at commodity than BofA. BofA's program allows me to rotate between 3 desks, while BP concentrates me on the same desk for 11 weeks. Also, the intern pay for BP is about 50% lower than what BofA is paying me, as for full time I'm not sure if that would still be the case. I feel like both places suit me pretty well, but I am honestly struggling to pick between one of them, I know this question might sound stupid to some of you, but I am genuinely trying to seek for your advice of where I should go. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Both are summer internships.

Comments (21)

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Dec 7, 2021 - 7:12pm

I was in a similar position and chose BP. The comps in commod trading scale exponentially after the first few years of training. 

Internship/starting salary doesn't matter - it's only a few thousand grands after tax anyways. Look at the long-term upside. You can make up for all the salary differences vs BB S&T in one year if you're good and get a trading seat. 

Dec 8, 2021 - 4:41am

Thanks a lot man! Yeh that makes total sense! To be fair, BP's position is currently based in London while BofA based in HK, BofA is paying me 70k pro rata and I'm basically paying no tax while BP is paying high 20k. Just a piece of info if any future friends are curious about their comps at intern lv

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Dec 8, 2021 - 2:52pm

aight so I had the same decision a few years ago - but for FT (both UK) - and I chose the BB

don't regret it one bit

BP's summer converts 50% to FT, and comp then is >30% lower than the equivalent grad at a BB.

Even after getting a phys trading seat (which takes 3-5 years of doing ops/risk/analytics...), comp will still be lower vs. BB - same at senior level

Head of a large crude desk gets $3m at bp... the best MDs at baml a) get paid more and b) there are more of them   

Within BP, derivative traders are paid more than physical - check BP's 2008 Alison Myers lawsuit if you want evidence

Glencore/traf are a different story but downside risk is much greater

Phys commods trading is a great, niche, job, but gets overhyped way too much on this forum

Make 300k at bp for years and then what? no exit opps there - traders take larger size and eventually slow down

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in S&T - Equities
Dec 7, 2021 - 10:41pm

Just 2 cents here - do you want to do commodities for the rest of your career? Really a genuine question btw. If I was in your seat, I would pick the BB. They have a commodities desk and along with other desk across fixed income and equities. I think in the junior level, the more broad exposure you have the better. Also with these s&t internships, it doesn't matter if you like the desk or you have a product in mind - what matters is if they like you + headcount of the desk. I like the odds where I have more chances to meet people in rotational format.

Dec 8, 2021 - 4:48am

Thanks a lot for the reply man! Yeh I'm gonna be honest, I have never traded any energy in my life before getting the offer from BP (still haven't).  I applied mainly because I felt like some skills in trading comm would help me to better trade crypto (sorry if this sounds stupid). With regards to the internship, I am totally with you on that, unfortunately BofA recruited twice as many S&T interns as last year so I feel like this year's return rate is not going to be high, plus the guy who I will be directly reporting to really didn't liked me during the interview (at the end I asked why he was asking me all about crypto nothing about traditional finance market, I assumed he is interested in it too, but he said: "No it's because there's nothing else to talk about on your resume rather than crypto" lol). Tbh, I care less about the product I trade but more on comp at this point, I guess maybe my thoughts are naive, but I feel like once I save up about $1 mil in USD term or something like that, I will probs quit my job and utilize Defi to generate passive income, while doing things that I genuinely love (things like teaching primary school kids Math). Haha I'm offrail, but yes, I will definitely take your words into considerations! 

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Dec 8, 2021 - 6:45am

What is the position of BoA in commodities compared to other BBs?

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Dec 9, 2021 - 6:18am

I'm heading into cryptocurrency trading. Have you thought about applying to the cryptospecific firms if you know a product you want to trade? They're paying very competitively and some have graduate roles available. B2C2, Wintermute, Galaxy Digital, Cumberland DRW, 

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:03am

Hey man thanks a lot for your reply! Yes definitely I'm looking into those, it's just that they don't really take any penultimate year students at the moment, but I'm definitely applying to them after my summer internships this year haha, thanks for the info!

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Dec 9, 2021 - 10:15am

Great point! The internships there are available (Galaxy, Wintermute), but the Graduate Roles are where a lot of things are being built out. Every firm wants to capture new crypto talent to train in-house instead of taking equities guys and having to explain to them the market structure of crypto and how liquidations can come out of nowhere and move spot etc. All firms listed up there do have Graduate roles, and I think if you're looking for an internship you could reach out and give it a chance if you really want to trade crypto, but other than that going for the name brand tradfi bank with a crypto desk will be the next best thing and give you a leg up applying to grad roles for crypto next year.

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Dec 9, 2021 - 3:10pm

Have you thought about the option to spend the first few years at BofA in HK (commodity trading) and exit to Vitol/Glencore/BP/Shell/Trafigura/Mercuria etc?

Dec 9, 2021 - 3:23pm

Sounds like an interesting idea, but usually I'd expect it to be the otherway around no? I thought BP is in general better at comm trading but I could be utterly wrong haha

Dec 10, 2021 - 1:58pm

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