Cold emailing to ask for internship - Template Advice

Hi all,

I'm not getting many replies back from my emails and I need advice. I know that there are many proven emailing templates, but I am hoping to create my own. I am about to start sophomore year at a non-target and I am hoping to secure an investment banking internship for 2021.

"Hi Name,

My name is Name and I am a rising sophomore finance student at non-target looking for summer 2021 student opportunities in the investment banking industry (see attached resume for reference). I came across your email via the company company website.

I am very interested in hearing about your experiences with company. If possible, would you have time for a brief ~15 minute phone call to get your guidance?

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you,

Best Regards,

signature"

Is there anything I can do to improve my response rate?

Any advice would be helpful!

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Comments (19)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in PE - Growth
Aug 16, 2020 - 4:47am

I'm assuming you're shooting for shops with a more informal recruiting process.
From reading your template, I don't feel like you're being succinct and selling yourself well enough so perhaps that's why you're response rate is low.
I would suggest you restructure your email to something along these lines:

"Dear _____

I am writing to you to see if [FIRM NAME] is interested in taking an intern in its [SECTOR/COVERAGE/PRODUCT] team for the summer of 2021.

[Paragraph on relevant skills you have and where you got them from, whether it's from past experiences or extra-curricular activities. Start this paragraph by stating your university bio and conclude with saying your resume is attached. This paragraph needs to be impactful and concise]

I understand that the current environment is not ideal for recruitment, but if your team is currently experiencing high activity, then I could be of assistance,

[Line about how you want a call to discuss the opportunity]

Kind regards,

signature"

I'm not a big fan of using the email to also build a personal connection by asking about their experience. I prefer being transparent and keeping the focus on recruitment and using the interviews to build rapport. Feel free to disagree

The most crucial aspect of the cold emailing process is following up. Make sure to reply to your email 5-9 days later, if you don't get a response, with a short 2-3 line email reiterating your interest and request for an interview.

This is how I managed to get my current internship. I reached out to 60+ firms, got about 8 responses and 2 interviews. I would like to point out that I was applying for 2020 internships from April-June of the same year so I imagine that the response rate would have been higher if I applied almost a year in advance instead of 2 months. Also be prepared to get tested on your technicals, I was given a 2 hour LBO case study with 12 hours advance notice so expect anything.

Final note: You only need one "yes" so keep that in mind whenever you feel your spirits fall.
PM me if you need a list of investment banks for lead generation.

Aug 16, 2020 - 9:46am

This is fine advice in your case where you were applying a few months ahead of starting and frankly didn't have the time to beat around the bush and get to know people at the firms. Given how early it is and that OP is looking for summer 2021 roles, I can't imagine any firm with an unstructured process (any firm apart from the banks that recruit interns each year) is going to have an answer. With that in mind, better to do the dance and "network" vs directly asking for an internship at this time. You can obviously mention on a call about internships and would likely get a response that they won't hire / decide until winter / spring. Sets you up well to reconnect with those people then. Let's be honest, any full time employee who gets an email from a college kid knows that they are likely looking for an internship, so even in not directly being outright about it, there is not going to be much confusion from their perspective.

To the OP - your template looks more or less fine. Cold emailing with no connection to the person whatsoever is a numbers game, so just keep at it. Small nits - would mention your resume at the end "for your reference," would probably remove how you got their email, and would ask to get their advice on recruiting for roles in the industry (or something to that effect) in addition to learning about their experience at their firm.

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Jul 27, 2021 - 4:45pm

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