Freshmen private wealth management internship?

chubbybunny's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 297

First Question:

I've saw that many freshmen did a private wealth management internship during their summer, and although they didn't learn anything particularly "useful", it did help in the long run. However is an internship for private wealth management typically paid or non-paid? If paid, then how much?

What are some freshmen-friendly firms for private wealth management? Some of the posts I saw that some freshmen did their internship at UBS and Merrill Lynch

The Benefits of a PWM Internship as a freshman

Completing a private wealth management internship your freshman year is a good way to show an interest in finance. It's functionally a resume building internship. It provides you with opportunity to put a recognizable name on your resume as well. Shooting for a bigger name is always better but don't be afraid to accept a "Tier 2" firm.

You can often find these types of internships on your campus recruiting site and job boards. If there are none available through these avenues then try emailing managers at all your local firms. These positions can pay anywhere from nothing to 15 dollars an hour. Pay between the 8 and 10 dollar range seems to be the most common.

from certified user @ZIRH

I did a Merrill Lynch PWM internship during my freshman summer before sophomore year in Beverly Hills. Didn't do much, but learned alot about capital markets and retirement planning, muni bonds, and alternative investment.

Great resume builder, went to get a boutique bank internship then landed myself a SA gig with a good MM shop. It was unpaid, and parking in Beverly Hills was extremely expensive, but I knew it would help getting me to somewhere else, so I stuck with it.

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Comments (113)

Jul 18, 2010

I interned at a complex office for Merrill Lynch in Global Wealth Management last summer (I was a rising junior). Mine as unpaid and I worked with some guys from Duke and UNC who were unpaid as well. There were some kids in the office that were paid but it's because their parents knew one of the Financial Advisors there. Basically, if you're really really good acquaintances with an FA or VP (or even MD) that makes solid money, you have a shot at being paid. As for the rest of us, it's 40 hours a week of photocopying, answering phones, and filing stuff.

I actually did a few semi-important things in regards to the BoA merger as BoA people came in. Not every day was completely dull. And one of the FA's I became good friends with came and spoke one night to my Business Student Association so that was eventful.

As far as freshman friendly, everyone is friendly when you're willing to work for free.

And Miami will be interesting. I'm hoping to find an IB job next year in NYC and convert to a Knicks fan (as the fucking bobcats have a worse shot at winning a championship than I do at getting an IB job).

Jul 18, 2010
  1. I did ML/UBS/MS pwm summer after freshman year. Got paid $8/hr. Unpaid for a freshman year internship is ok. Ain't gonna be fun though.
  2. No idea about NYC but try your school's job board first, then google maps search for pwm in your area.Cold call like crazy.
  3. Miami won't make the finals.
Jul 18, 2010
  1. I did ML/UBS/MS pwm summer after freshman year. Got paid $8/hr. Unpaid for a freshman year internship is ok. Ain't gonna be fun though.
  2. No idea about NYC but try your school's job board first, then google maps search for pwm in your area.Cold call like crazy.
  3. Miami won't make the finals.
Jul 18, 2010

Dude you can find PWM on craigslist.

And fuck no, Lakeshow all the way. Maybe if the heat were able to get Fisher, they would be competitive against the lakers.

Jul 18, 2010

I did a Merrill Lynch PWM internship during my freshman summer before sophomore year in Beverly Hills. Didn't do much, but learned alot about capital markets and retirement planning, muni bonds, and alternative investment. Got to analyze different mutual funds, and had to compile a list on pros and cons for each. Quite a good experience, considering I haven't taken any finance classes yet.

Great resume builder, went to get a boutique bank internship then landed myself a SA gig with a good MM shop. It was unpaid, and parking in Beverly Hills was extremely expensive, but I knew it would help getting me to somewhere else, so I stuck with it. I got invited back for $11/hr during the school year, but I wanted to do something else.

Go for it, it's a great internship as a freshman. Only prob is that there are alot of office politics in wealth management offices, i've experienced it and heard it from alot of my friends who did PWM internships too

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Jul 18, 2010

im doing UBS PWM right now and its unpaid, even though the main FA is one of the top advisors in the country. you probably wont learn too much, but it depends on how much attention the FAs are willing to give you. but PWM for freshman yr is great for your resume, dont fret too much...there are ppl who are superseniors and in law school working in my office...just be glad you're not one of them. if you're really looking to learn something useful go for a boutique i-banking internship, but its gonna be tough

Jul 18, 2010

Any internship is better than non early in the game. You will get a solid name on your resume, learn how to interact and deal with professionals, show up on time, etc. It will also give you good references for your next internship.

PWM is perfect for freshmen or people without a finance background. Suck it up and smile.

Jul 18, 2010

I wasn't as motivated at your age but I'm willing to bet you'll be a freshman in everyone's eyes. That being said, if you are dedicated towards joining PWM than show your motivation. I've had a few young (under 20) individuals cold call me and lead to information interviews - it is impressive at a young age. Find a mentor if you can to teach you how to appropriately handle those introductions. Also, don't mix up the roles and types of firms - if you're calling somebody in a client facing role, don't focus too much on hardcore FP&A topics. Again, a mentor can help here, maybe career services at UMiami can hook you up? Again, wasn't as motivated at your age, so unsure.

Don't be afraid at seeking internships at tier 2 firms if you don't get a lot of interest from the top firms. Getting the experience on your resume is most important. I'd shy away from small town shops though, try to get in to a big name firm. The big trust banks (Northern, US Trust, BNY, Wells, etc) are also options - different model than the firms you listed, and different comp out of school, but for an internship it will read well on a resume. You shouldn't be pursuing industry certifications yet but know what the CFA and CFP are and be able to speak about them. If you're interviewing with somebody holding the certification it is a great talking point. More than anything, if you get an introduction, make sure you show up dressed appropriately, write a thank you card or email, be prepared with questions etc. You don't need to be an expert but show you've done your homework.

If you have family connections they play a long way in private wealth. If you have parents or aunts/uncles who are clients at a big firm they should be able to get you in for an interview or an informational session, but don't expect that this will let you walk into an internship - it's just a foot in the door.

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Jul 18, 2010

Thank you for the advice. I have a question about cold calling/emailing as well. Who exactly (job position) do I ask to speak to when thet office secretary picks up the phone? And what do I say once I am redirected? should I say: "Hello my name is so and so and I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. I have a strong interest in the finance industry exemplified in my involvements with club X and activity Y at my university and I would like to gain first hand experience in the PWM sector of the finance industry specifically at your firm because I enjoyed reading about your firms involvement with Projects X, Y, and Z, will you please give me more information on how I can best position myself for an internship at your firm next summer?"
Also if I email them where can I find a particular office manager's email address because when I look on UBS's website, for example, there is a contact us email but it is only in general and is used by everyone from all over the world and is for if I need customer assistance or something.
Thanks for all the help

Jul 18, 2010

You aren't using the search bar enough. Many of your questions can be answered via a quick search. But I'll touch on a few of them. Regarding getting people's emails: formats are relatively standard at most banks (and easy to find). A lot of times [email protected] is valid. As long as you know the contact's name via LinkedIn or wherever, a cold email is easy. Your cold email should be exclusively about career advice and pointers. Don't send your resume and don't ask for a job, you can do both later when asked or once you've developed the relationship.

Jul 18, 2010

Always have a positive attitude. If you're in New York, I would spend a lot of time networking so you can start building relationships for the future.

Jul 18, 2010

I just started interning at ML WM (private banking to be specific) and they gave me a notebook, although I would bring one to be safe.

Jul 18, 2010

Start out with your alumni base and school internship listings. Very often alumni will take students from their alma mater. Otherwise, start with informational interview which may lead to the possibility of being an unpaid intern. A lot of branches are very willing to take on unpaid since 1) they don't have to pay 2) you can do bitch work that they hate doing including compliance, cold calling, and finding new phone numbers of local executives,attorneys,etc...You will also probably do a project regarding some equity research or something along those lines to keep you from being miserable all day.

Jul 18, 2010

I started cold calling boutique ibanks, hf's, and dreaded PWM. No matter how crappy, it's honestly better than nothing. Had an informational interview yesterday at a small pwm, went well. They know you know nothing. Reinforce your desire to learn. Any exp. in an office setting helps. Make sure to tell your story well.. i.e. convince them finance is what you're passionate about.

My school's career listings, although vast, pretty much suck for freshmen. They weren't designed for freshmen in the first place. Out of 20-25 apps I sent out, I received 1 reply from a non-finance related firm. After I discovered the uselessness of the system, I took others' online advice and began cold calling and searching craigslist. Contacted 10-12 companies this way so far, already interviewed at 2.

You will learn a lot more working at PWM that is not a branch of some big bank. I can imagine the slave work you'd be doing there. Stick with a small broker/dealer, work with the top people there, and you will learn a great deal. Don't overlook boutiques btw. I know some WSO people who have gotten lucky in that department and got to skip PWM.

Jul 18, 2010

use linkedin that's how i got my pwm internship + reach out to people you know & who are willing to help u.

Jul 18, 2010

you need to network. no manager would let a random kid who wants an internship have access to private client accounts, you need to have some relation. I mean i wouldnt be happy if some random guy had access to all of my family's finances.

Jul 18, 2010

I got one at a second tier bank doing speadsheets for retail brokers... more interviewers now about my lifeguarding job sophomore year. LOL But regardless... I probably would talk to your parents' friends, or your friend's parents. Thats what I did. Hope this helps.

Jul 18, 2010

Networking will raise your chances. It helps to know more information - if you're from a target, if you have contacts in finance, etc.

Jul 18, 2010

it's a lot easier if you target the firms without very structured recruiting programs. i was able to receive a freshman internship from a local boutique bank, and a lot of it had to do with the fact that they didn't have a structured internship program at the time.

just send as many emails as you can and let your interest and excitement show.

Jul 18, 2010

I had a telemarketing job in high school where I was selling carpet cleaning services, that experience got me PWM internship.

Jul 18, 2010

I did a BB PWM internship after my freshman summer, you don't need any special skills so don't waste your time. I got lucky and didn't even do any cold calling... the actual work still didn't require any skills or knowledge a qualified college student wouldn't already have.

Jul 18, 2010

So how did you guys get the internships? Just by asking around at your local bank branches?

Jul 18, 2010

Also when did you guys start asking around?

Jul 18, 2010

I started after winter break, but before spring break(sorry I don't remember exactly when).

Make a list of PWM offices in your city and start calling each one asking about internships. You'll hear one of the following:
-Sorry we don't take interns
-We start looking for interns around XYZ date, call back then
-Please send me your resume

Good luck!

Jul 18, 2010

My friend sent out mass emails to each financial advisor at the local banks...he sent out about 50, got 3 interviews and 2 offers.

Jul 18, 2010

Cool, you guys are a great help. I was wondering what banks should I target or should I just run and gun everybody?

Jul 18, 2010

Just go door to door bro, Just go up to them and ask them if they will give you a shot, if they say no just ask why once and leave. You will find someone who is willing to give you a shot.

I did this method and instead of PWM I got a VC in SF my frosh year ( but I did intern at a local incubator the year before).

Persistance is all you need, and a convincing argument to why they should give you a shot.

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

Go Bucks!!

Jul 18, 2010
Jul 18, 2010

but how do u get those internships as a freshmen?

Jul 18, 2010

As another freshman at a non-target (though significantly higher ranked than Rutgers)...I am also looking for PWM and the search has been extremely difficult so far. PWM at Merill also seems to have changed their internship structure so that FA's have to pay their interns, at least here in California, and I guess no FA wants to take money out of his salary to compensate some unskilled 18 year old.

Anyway, same question, what is the best way to go about finding a PWM internship for this summer?

Jul 18, 2010

OP, I'm originally from NJ near Rutgers but attending a school far higher ranked (closer to semi-target). I am a freshman too and my search for an internship in PWM has been very difficult too. I can confirm what melokid said; based on my conversations with my classmates from around the country, this change is company-wide. However, it is still worth a try and you can easily find the e-mail addresses of all the branch managers in NJ and NY on their website. Just keep on the grind and email/call/meet as many people as you can and hopefully you get a break. Best of luck.

Jul 18, 2010

this should humble you and make you realize you're a nobody and no stranger is interested in helping you out. You need to develop some real skills but you'll quickly realize that finance is an extremely simple entry level job - anyone with decent math skills can do what an analyst does.

Yet despite how simple it is, no one is going to give up their time to teach you. Teaching yourself might help you grab some attention but a book is nothing like the real deal - mainly speaking you will make a million mistakes starting out. It's guaranteed.

Anyone who hires you is doing it out of charity. You offer no true value to them beyond administrative tasks.

Approach with the mindset that you are only going to get hired because somebody likes you and trusts that you're hardworking/ intelligent enough to get the job done. You don't get a competitive finance role just because you think you're smart. Most of it comes down to who likes you.

You need to get into the right mindset. THen you'll find the internship...

Jul 18, 2010

Find Merrill lynch offices in your area and ask about any internships. Simple as that really.

Jul 18, 2010

Firstly, I want to affirm that you're on the path to being rockstar just by giving a shit this early (as a non-target). Congrats.

Talk to your cousin starting now. You know better than us the appropriate ways to approach him - he may prefer directness, in which case you just ask outright about the job. Either way you go about it, you want to establish yourself as a journeyman. Either he can help you with the summer internship or he can't, but the goal is to make sure he understands your position and can help you when he's able to.

Aside from your cousin, though, make sure that you do network with as many people as possible.

Jul 18, 2010

it is never too early, start now!

Jul 18, 2010

Use the alumni database and reach out

Jul 18, 2010

call a branch office and ask to speak with someone regarding internship opportunities. don't hold back. that's really the easiest way to do it and it almost never fails.

Jul 18, 2010

Also look into boutique IB, their intern hiring is oftentimes seemingly random.

Jul 18, 2010

Make a list of firms. Cold call and e-mail them. Don't stop trying until you score a few meetings/lunches. Have a awesome freshman year GPA. Go get it.

and connections help too.

Jul 18, 2010

I was in the same position as you. Non-Target school and wanted to see what PWM was like. As a freshman I broke into MSSB with a year long internship. I did it by calling and sending emails to FA's and asking if they would be interested in teaching me about their business and that I was looking for an internship. Currently I work in PWM, the best way to find us is at a local networking event or charity event. There is always someone in PWM at those types of events as they try to build up their businesses.

Jul 18, 2010

I was in the same position as you. Non-Target school and wanted to see what PWM was like. As a freshman I broke into MSSB with a year long internship. I did it by calling and sending emails to FA's and asking if they would be interested in teaching me about their business and that I was looking for an internship. Currently I work in PWM, the best way to find us is at a local networking event or charity event. There is always someone in PWM at those types of events as they try to build up their businesses.

Jul 18, 2010

I got mine by cold calling an advisor. Try that. Which office are you looking at? I can try to help. I'm an advisor at Merrill.

Jul 18, 2010

My advice is that you mention about the internship in the email

Jul 18, 2010

good luck!

Jul 18, 2010

You should be mentioning the internships...PWM isn't like MM or BB Ibanking. You literally just email asking for a summer internship.

Jul 18, 2010

Wouldn't. Makes you sound desperate.

Jul 18, 2010

Don't email individual FAs, email the branch managers. And you still have time. I didn't secure my (paid) PWM internship sophomore year until late March.

Jul 18, 2010

Cool thanks

Jul 18, 2010

You can find them on Craigslist.

But really - you should just relax before college. The summer before my freshman year, I woke up at noon everyday and just chilled with friends till late nights. Didn't do anything.

Jul 18, 2010
bumpthethread:

You can find them on Craigslist.

But really - you should just relax before college. The summer before my freshman year, I woke up at noon everyday and just chilled with friends till late nights. Didn't do anything.

Wish I'd done this back then instead of interning.

OP, once you get into the frenzy of finance internships, free summers are over.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

Jul 18, 2010

.

Jul 18, 2010

Use the search function on the top right corner. There are many similar threads on WSO about internships for freshmen.

Jul 18, 2010

Do it as early as you can - so the summer before freshman year is great.

PWM is typically the pre-cursor to IB internships. You don't really do anything too substantial, and everyone knows this, but it'll get your foot in the door. Not saying that you'll definitely get an IB internship after your freshman year, but having a MS PWM internship absolutely helps.

Jul 18, 2010

Network (LinkedIn), and Cold Call (Use google maps).

Jul 18, 2010

pick a firm. find their number. call. that's the only way it will ever happen. they want to know that you're good on the phone and can hold a conversation. it might be too late but definitely give it a shot. i'm a freshman and will be doing my SA at UBS. good luck!

Jul 19, 2010

UBS is really sick. I'm gonna pick up the phone on Monday and rake up on long distance charges. Thanks for the advice guys.

Jul 19, 2010
Montreal-2-WallStreet:

UBS is really sick.

I think it's safe to say that has never been said on wso before.

Jul 19, 2010

This thread is full of fail.

I win here, I win there...

Jul 19, 2010

calm down kid

Jul 19, 2010

You're a freshman, no point in getting an internship at this point. Have some fun. You'll have plenty of time to get an internship next year and STILL be a bit ahead of the curve. Take the time to learn a language or turn yourself into a more well-rounded person. Finance is, after all, about relationships you build, and the best way to build those relationships is to be well-rounded as a person.

Also, people bash UBS a lot because of their investment banking and the fact that they got ravaged for evading taxes on behalf of their clients. It is not the best company to work for, though it is still respectable to have on a resume (especially as a Freshman/Sophomore)

Jul 19, 2010

It's not too late, because so many PWM gigs aren't from structured recruiting. Just call and get the interviews you need.

Jul 19, 2010
A Posse Ad Esse:

It's not too late, because so many PWM gigs aren't from structured recruiting. Just call and get the interviews you need.

while there generally isn't any form of recruiting, many PWM offices limit the amount of SA spots to a very small number (a total of 3 at mine) and thus they may be full by now... but, do give it a shot

Jul 19, 2010

Yes, but PWM is typically non-paid, meaning if you're someone who's going to be a value-add, they won't say no because they already have a handful of other froshies.

Jul 19, 2010

1. You don't have to rush things, you should just enjoy the summer. You will have plenty of time to work your ass of once school starts.

2. It would probably be somewhat useful when applying to internships in the beginning.

Jul 19, 2010

I know a lot people on this site might disagree but....

Just hang out this summer, theres more to life than IB, and if you already know what it takes to get in(which you outlined above) just wait until next summer to get an internship. Go travel, read books, play golf, whatever...once you get in the real world youll be begging for a few months to do whatever you want, dont spend one of your last full summers filing and cold-calling with hopes of making SA recruiting easier 3 years from now.

It will be incredibly easy for somebody

1. At a target
2. With two previous finance internships
3. With a (presumably) high GPA

to get an IB SA internship in a good group, theres no reason to kill yourself over it at the age of 17

Jul 19, 2010

One of the best summers of my life was the last summer before college. Enjoy it, get laid, party, spend time with friends, and worry about finance later.

Jul 19, 2010

I think internship experience in PWM would help you getting your first IBD internship. Realistically though, I doubt you'll get MM IBD experience after your freshman year, and BB IBD experience sophomore year, target or not.

Jul 19, 2010

If you can get it, I would do it just for one month or two. You can travel/do whatever afterwards, but I would recommend doing it (while enjoying yourself during the internship, it won't be more than 40 hours/week anyways)

Jul 19, 2010

Definitely try to get it. It's never to early, and you'll have a big leg up once you arrive on campus.

For reference, I just graduated and am trying to do a PWM internship, wish I had earlier!

Jul 19, 2010

A PWM BB internship is fine, and useful.

You can also try to network your way into a boutique bank, PE, VC, or something else.

Jul 19, 2010

Yes, you should be able to get a decent boutique plus experience in sophomore year summer if you can do freshman pwm

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Jul 19, 2010

Other than a PWM internship, are there any other non-diversity summer programs that Freshmen have a chance at which are organized by BBs? (Meaning other than through networking with boutique IB and PE/VC firms, are there structured summer Freshmen programs?)

Jul 19, 2010

Depends on the branch location and size. I'm interning at BB regional branch in NYC and it's paid. However, I'm sure a more unstructured PWM internship in a small branch would be unpaid.

Jul 19, 2010

We now have to pay our interns -- PWM at a BB

Jul 19, 2010

Thanks

Jul 19, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong, but any job at a BB will be paid. Large companies that take its internships seriously will always pay. However, if it's some weird off the books thing, it probably won't be.

Jul 19, 2010
Jul 19, 2010