Can just one (unpaid) Internship Lead to a Career in I-Banking???

PBateman2010's picture
Rank: Chimp | 7

Hi All,

I'm currently a junior attending a target (ivy league) for I-banking. I was offered an unpaid/college credit internship with Merrill Lynch in Private Wealth Management; although it is in a regional office, it will be in a big city.

Most students seeking careers in finance will have usually held several internships with finance firms by their junior year. My only previous finance-related internship is being a paid intern for the finance department of a mayor's office. Will this put me at a disadvantage when applying for actual I-banking jobs (and yes, I know PWM is not necessarily within the realm of what is considered to be i-banking/corporate finance)?

Is it likely I would get a full-time offer after my senior year with just the ML internship under my belt? Or should I aim for an internship my senior year? Or apply to law school instead and then try to break into i-banking? Not that this should make a difference (but it might), I'm an under-represented minority (ie not asian/indian).

Any comments or advice?

Comments (17)

May 10, 2010

you should try to get an internship in the fall while going though FT recruiting. If it doesn't work out, you will have some time in the spring to figure out your plans then.

May 10, 2010

Not that I'm the most veteran member here, but I don't think most people here will appreciate you posting the same topic three times.

Good luck with the internship stuff.

-dublin

May 10, 2010
dublin:

Not that I'm the most veteran member here, but I don't think most people here will appreciate you posting the same topic three times.

Good luck with the internship stuff.

-dublin

Did not appreciate it at all. Deleted two of them with no comments. One at a time OP.

May 10, 2010

One internship is usually not enough- especially if it's just PWM. Usually people do that sophomore summer in order to get an ibanking summer analyst position, which leads to FT offers.

My advice to you is to take the internship, and try to get another finance internship (possibly boutique IB) in senior fall- then you may have a chance to find an off-cycle IBD position in the late fall or spring. But a senior internship in the fall won't help you for FT recruiting in the fall cause that occurs as soon as the semester starts and is over by October.

May 10, 2010

If you get interviews in the fall, then it won't matter that you only have one internship. However, with one internship, getting interviews will be difficult, especially if you don't have a high GPA and other things going for you. Play up your mayoral internship - if it's a major city, you can make it seem interesting. Getting a fall internship won't help with recruiting. Also, going to law school in order to get in to banking is retarded.

May 10, 2010

Thanks for the advice. I'll try networking my ass off during this internship to see if I can be put in contact with bankers in NYC offices for Fall FT recruiting. Hopefully I'll at least have a better chance of getting my foot in the door. If not, then I'd take the off-cycle route and do the fall internship. My GPA, extra-curriculars are decent. I managed to get an in-person interview with Goldman earlier this semester, but unfortunately that didn't go through.

To those that were bothered by my multiple posts, I apologize. But seeing as how you're both obviously long-time users, it should've been clear that I'm new to this forum, and I didn't mean to spam. I simply wanted to increase my chances of getting responses. But yeah, thanks for helping me with this "internship stuff", as dublin so eloquently puts it.

    • 2
May 10, 2010

One investment banking internship is enough to land a full-time analyst position. But that one IBD internship typically requires some precursor internships that position you for it. A PWM internship alone will make it extremely difficult for you.

May 10, 2010

What kind of internships are the "precursor" internships?

May 10, 2010

PWM would be a precursor internship, smaller hedge funds, Big-4, some boutique banks could qualify, corporate finance. Anything that shows interest, but doesn't have 100 applicants for every slot

May 10, 2010

Going to law school to get into I-Banking = we-tar-ded.

May 10, 2010

Thanks, Drexelalum11.

May 10, 2010

So PWM would be considered a precursor internship, just not the strongest one?? Haha, why is going to law school not the brightest idea if I want to get into I-banking but still have flexibility for other career paths?

Aug 10, 2010

if u want to get into IB so bad why are you wanting to go to law school to have more career flexibility? law school will do the opposite. if you want flexibility get your MBA.

Aug 10, 2010

I did a PWM internship at Merrill Lynch last summer, worked at a regular job this summer and am going through a recruitment stage at Deutsche Bank. You definitely have a chance if you have only that internship. But as stated above, if I knew then what I know now, i would have done ML sophomore year so I could try and do IB junior year. Also, make sure you're involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. I'm the president of 2 organizations and sit as a budget chair for the student government at my school while also working with faculty to revamp our internship program for B-students.

Aug 10, 2010

I ended up accepting an internship working for a major federal government agency in DC helping with economic research (I'm at work now, and have 3 days left). How will this experience fare in the eyes of recruiters?

Aug 10, 2010
PBateman2010:

I ended up accepting an internship working for a major federal government agency in DC helping with economic research (I'm at work now, and have 3 days left). How will this experience fare in the eyes of recruiters?

You need a good story on why you did the internship and why you want to do banking

Aug 10, 2010
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