Girls Who Invest vs Bank of America Sophomore Investment Banking Summer Analyst

Hi! Not sure if this is the right place to post. Someone made a post about something like this a while ago, but I'm going to ask it because many years have gone by and Girls Who Invest has also changed over the years.

I am a sophomore and I was wondering for people's opinions as to whether I should go for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their sophomore IBD program or for the Girls Who Invest summer intensive program, assuming I get into both. Girls Who Invest includes four weeks of finance training in Wharton/Notre Dame followed by a six-week internship with an asset management firm. Their partners include Goldman, TPG, Blackstone, BlackRock, D.E. Shaw, etc. Just to name a few. I have seen their previous classes place well and have heard great things about them. And BofA's sophomore IBD program...pretty self-explanatory and a great opportunity as well.

I am interested in IB and BofA would be a direct internship this summer in the industry. However, asset management is also super cool. As for GWI (Girls Who Invest), I've heard that it has a great network that could be life-long and I can also meet a lot of others girls from all over the country. For GWI, I've also heard it's super fun because you meet so many other girls and the girls have all placed really well for IB banks the following summer (if they choose to go into IB) & asset management firms. However, for GWI, you'd have almost no control in the placement process so you might be placed in some firm that I do not like as much in some random cities.

I guess from the perspective of wanting to go into IB, would you go for GWI or for BofA?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (25)

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 29, 2021 - 2:51am

There are people who either participated in GWI at pretty much every firm and will pull for you today and down the road. I wouldn't underestimate the long term benefits of the GWI network. While BofA is great, in 5 years absolutely no one will care that you did your sophomore summer at BofA, but lemme tell you anyone who was in the GWI program will put your resume on top or give you a referral just because you did GWI. I'd also caution away from the mindset that getting BofA sophomore summer, upgrading for junior summer, FT offer is guaranteed (there was a kid in my SA class who did MF pe their sophomore summer and didn't get get a return offer. Junior SA at my firm (think Bmo/Raymond James/BGL/Tobin co) so a huge downgrade. This kid failed to get a return offer twice lmao.)

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:06pm

GWI, most importantly because it gives you a bugger opportunity set for whatever you decide to do junior summer. Going from GWI->IB is a super easy story to tell and is very relevant experience, it also sets you up super well for AM if that's what you want to do. I think going from GWI->IB would be just as easily as going from BofA->IB (negligible difference in BofA favor maybe), and GWI sets up way better for potential AM. Plus the network you mentioned. GWI 100%

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2021 - 11:48pm

Don't know a ton about GWI, but BofA is a top tier sophomore program. On top of being a mid-upper BB (and you're on the fast track to a FT offer with the sophomore program), tons of people who intern at BofA/similar banks as sophomores are able to move to GS/MS/EBs for junior summer. You'll be at the absolute top of the pack in terms of IB recruitment with a BB sophomore program.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 29, 2021 - 4:24am

Echo this, you are basically sure to get a return for Junior summer and you can do recruiting focusing on just the firms you would take above Bofa. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 29, 2021 - 11:30pm

Absolutely possible (and I'd think very doable). The average kid landing an EB SA for junior summer has 0 banking experience. A kid with experience at a no-name boutique has a leg up, and a previous internship at a reputable bank like JEF will put you miles ahead of most of the competition. 

That's assuming the internship is IB- if it's some other function than I don't think a JEF internship is any different from someone in any other non-IB finance role. Certainly doesn't hurt, but not as impressive as IB experience. 

Jul 29, 2021 - 9:58am

they also have an online program, in which you wouldn't have the ability do that in-person internships, but you still get the learning portion. i'm not sure if you would still have a great network and i'm not sure if you know anything about that?

  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
Jul 29, 2021 - 9:39am

GWI has some very dedicated partners (my AM firm takes a couple every year) and I don't see this changing any time soon. However, if your end goal is IB and you're 100% certain of that then an argument could be made for Bofa as a BB soph internship will set you up nicely for a top BB/EB for your junior summer/FT

Make sure you can get into both and give us an update!

Jul 29, 2021 - 10:06am

Hi! Thank you for your response! I was wondering what your thoughts are on the online program? They have one for students who have offers but i don't know much about it. Would that still be helpful in the sense of helping me with other firms? Or do they only focus on students who went through the summer intensive program?

Sep 17, 2021 - 12:19pm

Hey! I happened to get very lucky and managed to get into both programs! I am still so torn and have no clue what to do. I need to provide a response within the next two weeks, but I am unsure of my decision at the moment and am worried that I will make the wrong choice. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 12, 2021 - 10:41am

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