Federal Reserve Internship?

ChrisHansen's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 616

Anyone know anything about interning at one of the federal reserve banks over the summer? I may apply because it sounds like an interesting gig. Its either that or probably a no name boutique, which would look better for IB? I will be a junior this fall. The application requires 2 professor interviews, I have a couple of professors in mind but I only did well in their classes, not really a personal relationship with them. Would that be a problem? Also any ideas on how selective the process is?

This would be at one of the smaller fed banks. thanks.

How Valuable is a Federal Reserve Internship?

As with all internship experiences, how valuable a Federal Reserve internship is depends on what you end up doing and how much you put into the job. WSO user @Black Jack recommends pursuing the opportunity because:

  • The fed gives you something interesting to talk about.
  • No name boutique isn't all that interesting and you'll be expected to know IB questions.
  • Fed pays pretty well (12-15/hr I believe), hours are not bad (40-50)- not a bad gig at all.

The work isn't always the most exciting from talking to a few former interns, but I know people whose only finance experience was at the Fed and ended up with offers with top BBs. Definitely worth pursuing.

Is the Federal Reserve Selective?

On the interview process, @Black Jack shares his insight as well:

As far as the process goes, they have a GPA cut off of somewhere around 3.2? maybe 3.0? I received an offer from them last winter (pursued something else) with no real experience, but I had a friend apply this year with a contact and he did not receive an interview. Guess it depends- some of the regions are more selective than others.

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Comments (41)

Jan 26, 2013

I promote the Fed like none other on here- particularly if it is in DC or NYC, but the others are fine as well. Most will say that a no name boutique is better, I think they are pretty comparable- the fed gives you something interesting to talk about (particularly if they have you working on an interesting project). No name boutique isn't all that interesting and you'll be expected to know IB questions. Fed pays pretty well (12-15/hr I believe), hours are not bad (40-50)- not a bad gig at all. The work isn't always the most exciting from talking to a few former interns, but I know people whose only finance experience was at the Fed and ended up with offers with top BBs. Definitely worth pursuing.

As far as the process goes, they have a GPA cut off of somewhere around 3.2? maybe 3.0? I received an offer from them last winter (pursued something else) with no real experience, but I had a friend apply this year with a contact and he did not receive an interview. Guess it depends- some of the regions are more selective than others.

Jan 26, 2013
Black Jack:

I promote the Fed like none other on here- particularly if it is in DC or NYC, but the others are fine as well. Most will say that a no name boutique is better, I think they are pretty comparable- the fed gives you something interesting to talk about (particularly if they have you working on an interesting project). No name boutique isn't all that interesting and you'll be expected to know IB questions. Fed pays pretty well (12-15/hr I believe), hours are not bad (40-50)- not a bad gig at all. The work isn't always the most exciting from talking to a few former interns, but I know people whose only finance experience was at the Fed and ended up with offers with top BBs. Definitely worth pursuing.

As far as the process goes, they have a GPA cut off of somewhere around 3.2? maybe 3.0? I received an offer from them last winter (pursued something else) with no real experience, but I had a friend apply this year with a contact and he did not receive an interview. Guess it depends- some of the regions are more selective than others.

Yeah i did see you recommend it in your networking post. by receive an offer, do you mean an internship offer?

Jan 26, 2013
ChrisHansen:
Black Jack:

I promote the Fed like none other on here- particularly if it is in DC or NYC, but the others are fine as well. Most will say that a no name boutique is better, I think they are pretty comparable- the fed gives you something interesting to talk about (particularly if they have you working on an interesting project). No name boutique isn't all that interesting and you'll be expected to know IB questions. Fed pays pretty well (12-15/hr I believe), hours are not bad (40-50)- not a bad gig at all. The work isn't always the most exciting from talking to a few former interns, but I know people whose only finance experience was at the Fed and ended up with offers with top BBs. Definitely worth pursuing.

As far as the process goes, they have a GPA cut off of somewhere around 3.2? maybe 3.0? I received an offer from them last winter (pursued something else) with no real experience, but I had a friend apply this year with a contact and he did not receive an interview. Guess it depends- some of the regions are more selective than others.

Yeah i did see you recommend it in your networking post. by receive an offer, do you mean an internship offer?

Yes- last year the Fed was one of a few places where I tried to secure an internship.

Jan 27, 2013

Interns do not learn very much there

Jan 27, 2013
G.M.Trevelyan:

Interns do not learn very much there

I would say that this is true at 95% of places

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Jan 27, 2013
Black Jack:
G.M.Trevelyan:

Interns do not learn very much there

I would say that this is true at 95% of places

Ah, I don't think you've ever had a BB internship before. Fed internships are not worth the hassle. That's why the people who do real work at those CBs are Grad students; they can make useful econometric models, and excel in large monetary models -- undergrads simply can't handle a Taylor model.

But I have one question: can you even lift?

Jan 27, 2013

i applied for the one at SF. I am from a non-target and made the cutoff. I have no finance experience, but i have job experience. I hope i get it.

G

Jan 27, 2013
gvc1992:

i applied for the one at SF. I am from a non-target and made the cutoff. I have no finance experience, but i have job experience. I hope i get it.

FT or internship? and do you mean GPA cutoff?

Jan 27, 2013
ChrisHansen:
gvc1992:

i applied for the one at SF. I am from a non-target and made the cutoff. I have no finance experience, but i have job experience. I hope i get it.

FT or internship? and do you mean GPA cutoff?

I applied for the FRB Gold Internship. Yes I do mean GPA cutoff

G

Jan 27, 2013

It's going to look good on a resume, that's as much as I can tell you without you giving us more info (we'd need your school gpa, school name or general ranking by USNews helps, ECs, other internships, what you ultimately want to do, that kinda thing)

Jan 27, 2013

GPA is around 3.5 from a non-target. I'm not even going to talk about my school rank because it's pretty bad!
Very strong extracurricular with a risk management experience from last summer.

Do I have a chance of breaking into FO roles for any of the BB?

Jan 27, 2013

Meh, class rank isn't really important.

There's always a chance to break in, you just have to network. You're located in NYC, which is the perfect opportunity to contact some alumni and try and meet up with them and get some info. Also, remember, coming from a non-target, everyone that went to a non-target is a potential contact (wish I remember who first said that, they deserve credit for it).

I can't say anything about the FRBNY specifically, but I'd imagine that would be right up there with an IB or oeob / congress internship. Lastly, this forum doesn't get much attention, I'd click "Edit" on your original post and move it the I-Banking Bullpen

Jan 27, 2013

i know a guy who worked for FINRA for his junior year summer. He got a FT offer at an elite boutique in NYC. But, he was an accy & fin major with a ridiculous gpa.

Jan 27, 2013

I will non linear derivative your ass.

Jan 27, 2013

I know someone who did that during their Freshman or Sophomore summer and they were able to land a junior year IBD internship offer from (one of GS/JP/MS). He had a lot of other accomplishments though and has a lot of sick connections too so I'm not sure how big of an impact that internship had on his successes.

Jan 27, 2013

as with literally any internship, it depends on what you do

Jan 27, 2013

it depends on your alternatives. In absolute terms, it would definitely look good.

Jan 27, 2013
gtown2wallstreet:

HIGH up at the federal reserve

lol at the cap HIGH. we get it, she is HIGH

Jan 27, 2013

I'm assuming UBS is PWM, not ibd. If you want to work in PE take the PE offer and don't look back. Provided the responsibilities are legit that's an awesome internship for a freshman.

Jan 27, 2013

You know you're probably right. I was going through locations for UBS and saw they had some sort of branch in Richmond and got so excited (never heard of a BB in Richmond) that I didn't look much farther, it most likely is PWM. And I'm leaning towards that PE offer, it's too good too turn down.

Jan 27, 2013
notaspammer:

I'm assuming UBS is PWM, not ibd. If you want to work in PE take the PE offer and don't look back. Provided the responsibilities are legit that's an awesome internship for a freshman.

Definitely. Even if it doesn't turn out to be the ideal place, doing a PE internship your freshman year will set you up very well for IBD or PE later on, much more so than PWM would. Congrats on the offer!

Jan 27, 2013

Yea, I can assure you that there is no BB IBD in Richmond.

Jan 27, 2013

NVO good luck with your prospective opportunity. I should probably start my alumni networking as well! And I didn't think the Fed had opportunities for freshmen

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

Jan 27, 2013

Yeap, rising sophomores are eligible. I'm sure that they show favor towards older applicants, but, with a solid resume/recommendation there's a definite chance.

Jan 27, 2013

PE all the way. Even though you may not be given heavy duty assignments or projects, the exposure is worth it all. I would reach out to the school of business and connect with the alumni mentoring program, specifically asking for an alumni mentor in PE or IB. Its a short list but they have a few,

"Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world...if you do so, you are insulting yourself." -- King Microsoft

Jan 27, 2013

The more internships the better! Take that position and do good at it!

Greed is Good!

Jan 27, 2013
CUBuffwg:

The more internships the better! Take that position and do good at it!

+1

Jan 27, 2013

Do you guys think it might be worth passing up that internship in order to cold call/ wait on something more in line with investment banking? Or just go for it?

Here's the positions description:
The Risk Analysis Unit (RAU) provides the Division of Supervision and Regulation, the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve System, and the broader financial community with timely practical analysis of financial industry issues and trends that have relevance in supervision or policy making via research and analytical papers, legislative and regulatory policy responses, public presentations, and discussion forums. The selected intern will assist staff in conducting research on various supervisory topics. They will also will be required to help maintain and expand the Risk Analysis Unit's Sharepoint site. The intern will help writing VBA code to assemble/aggregate large datasets and produce datasheets and charts for internal Risk Analysis Unit products

In terms of computer skills I'd be getting Visual Basic, more Excel, and Bloomberg Terminal experience.

Jan 27, 2013

Did you end up taking the internship?

Jan 27, 2013

You can rest when your dead. Seriously though, I wasn't aware that the FED worked liked dogs. Pretty sure they work 40 or 50 hours a week tops. And your F500 program won't entail hours much worse than that either. So if your concerned with "working like a dog before starting my full time job with 0 rest in between" than you may not be cut out to work the 80-100 hours per week in banking. I would take the position at the FED as it might help a bit in the future.

Jan 27, 2013

Sounds semi-interesting. Good experience if ever considering working at a global macro HF - a bunch of people I worked with at a HF had internship experience working for the Fed, or central bank of Canada.

Jan 27, 2013
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Jan 27, 2013