Cold email mistake

famejranc's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 3,913

So I'm trying to find an unpaid spring or summer internship in investment management and have been sending this email out to small companies: "Hello, My name is X and I am studying Finance at Y . I'm reaching out to see if your company has any internship opportunities. I've attached my resume. Thank you, X ." I figured it would be good because it's simple. Wrong. The people who have responded have just said "No. We do not have any internship opportunities at this time." Should I respond with "Would you be willing to take me on as an unpaid intern?" and then give some more details about planning on taking CFA L1 this June and wanting to learn more about investment management?

Why didn't I just say that in the first place?

Comments (11)

Nov 5, 2018

One guy congratulated me on my "academic and real world endeavours" how do I salvage this and turn it into an unpaid internship

Nov 5, 2018

I have the same cold-emailing format actually. Quick back-ground of myself, and if they have any internships that are open. Asking for an informational-interview is good as well.

Miss me with the "Would you be willing to meet up for coffee and bagels to discuss my passion for finance?"

But, uh, to make myself useful. I've always felt like offering to be un-paid is a hit or miss. They will either laugh at you for underballing yourself to the point where you'd work for free, or see how bad you want it. I feel like the hardest part for a firm isn't the pay but rather training you, and finding work for you to do.

    • 1
Nov 5, 2018

This is for sure the truth with the unpaid deal. The money is realistically irrelevant on their books for any decent sized IB firm. The TIME is what is important. I've been an analyst in IB for 2 months but I can already see the lack of time VPs and up have. Sometimes my VP doesn't answer my deal question for 4 hours. I've seen my associates emails when he screen shares something to help for 20 minutes. It doesn't stop.

Now just imagine the directors and MDs and the magnity of what they're managing and if the group does bad, it's nobody's fault but theirs. The money is irrelevant to them. Find a way to show them you'll save them TIME and not be a resource that will suck it up. My biggest factor I hit on for my interview was that I can manage myself and when things go wrong, I'm the one people come to. Try to fit those things into your approach and I guarantee it will help tremendously.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2018

bump.. how do you guys think I should follow up here

Nov 7, 2018

I think that's a question you should ask yourself, buddy boy.

    • 1
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Nov 7, 2018

thanks bro

Nov 7, 2018

Putting myself in their shoes - you are not answering the most important question of all. WHY? Why are you reaching out to me (besides the obvious)? Why should I help you? Why haven't you provided me more info?

I'd extend the email. Be articulate but there needs to be some substance. I am majoring in xxx and I came across your profile on LinkedIn. I've spoken with others who have done internships at similar firms and they have told me its been instrumental in their drive to continue with a full-time finance career. yada yada yada. Your thought process makes sense - be short and don't take up too much of their time - but I think in this case it is to your detriment to be THAT short.

In regards to an unpaid internship - Do those actually exist anymore? You don't need that garbage. I would entirely remove unpaid internship from your lexicon.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2018

Thanks. I'll provide a bit more info about planning on taking CFA L1 this summer and wanting to gain experience in investment management. To address the other part - I've never had a finance internship and keep fucking up interviews. Just need to get my foot in the door somewhere and I figure that offering unpaid to companies that don't have formal internships could work if I'm persistent about contacting a lot of small RIAs. And if I can find something in Kansas City, Boston, or Chicago I'd have a place to live so it doesn't matter if it's paid and that's what I'm targeting

Most Helpful
Nov 8, 2018

I will help out. Answer something like the following:

" Thanks for your response. I understand you must be extremely busy and might be reluctant to hire an intern, even if it is an unpaid internship, as training would be time consuming. However, I must insist that I would be able to add value to your team throughout the summer. I have taken the time to teach myself, to the best of my ability, how to properly make company profiles, value a company and build a CIM. To highlight this I have taken the liberty of attaching a valuation of Company XZY that I did on my free time.

Please let me know if you reconsider the idea of having an intern.

Many thanks,


Build out a complete presentation and get it verified by someone from the industry and attach it to the email. If you dont know how, take the time to learn and do it right. I guarantee attaching this PDF will increase the likely hood of you landing an internship considerably. Also, you will learn a lot while doing it. Feel free to PM me if you want some pointers.

Best of luck

    • 6
Nov 8, 2018

thank you sir going to get to work. can't pm at the moment, but will shoot you one once I am able to for some pointers

Nov 9, 2018