High school student seeking internship in any finance field

cj5555's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

I was wondering if it is possible to get an internship in finance in high school? I am currently a sophomore and I have never had a job or internship. My resume is consist of volunteer work, test scores, and basically only things that impress colleges. My parents don't have connections in the finance world. I once read on a thread that I should just call a private consulting firm and ask them can I make coffee for the week. Does anyone have any information on this?

Comments (64)

Dec 19, 2016

First of all, you have a massive advantage over most people if you're already planning for a career in finance in high school. Knowing what grades you should be aiming for, internships etc is really helpful when you're starting college.

Anyway, I think it'll be a struggle to get an internship in high school. The only places that would consider taking you are smaller ones without a defined hiring program. And honestly, I think it would be a waste of time at the moment - I don't know if anyone would take it seriously if they saw it on your resume.

I think what you should do now is work on yourself: dedicate your time to extra curriculars that will give you a shot at the best colleges. Develop a competitive and/or useful hobby (sport, chess, editing, coding etc) that interests you and that you know you'll want to keep up in the future; whatever it is, if you're skilled at it it'll be impressive on your resume one day.

In the summer before college starts, maybe work a shit retail job. Get some real experience for your resume (and yourself). In the summer of your first year, maybe you can aim to get an internship at a small brokerage, consultancy or whatever through cold calling/networking. That'll set you up great to get a more formal internship in your second summer of college, which will getting one for your third summer easier again. If you do all this, score a good GPA, can hold a conversation, I think you'd be almost guaranteed to get a great full time offer when you graduate.

And yes, I wish I was saying this to myself at 16.

Dec 19, 2016

Internships don't really matter until you start college (and even then, I don't think most people take post-freshman year internships that seriously either). If you're interested in a career in finance right now, your top priority should be to get into the best college you possibly can. If that means studying for the SAT and building your extracurriculars, then so be it. You won't be missing out on anything, a real job isn't that fun anyways.

Dec 19, 2016

You can try to cold call firms around your area. Most people who get it are through family or friends or someone extremely talented and was heading to HYPS with good starting knowledge of finance.

Dec 19, 2016

What would I be asking them to do? I'm not really sure what kind of work they would give to someone just out of high school. But I'm sure it's not like an internship right out of college.

"A real man makes his own luck."

Dec 19, 2016

I would suggest you enjoy your life before you sell your soul to the system

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Dec 19, 2016

Good for you for having ambition early on, I wish I had that at that age. I would suggest an unpaid PWM internship for a financial advisor - even if its at a shitty Ameriprise or Edward Jones branch. Many students wanting to break into IB end up interning in PWM at some point in their early college career - with no intention of pursuing PWM, but rather using it as a stepping stone to SA recruitment.

Highly unlikely that a bank would take you, given your age. But I would say go for a PWM internship. Start cold-calling advisors around the city and ask for informational interviews - these people are not as busy as they like to make it seem.

Dec 19, 2016

Your in high school still, talk to your counselor and get guidance.

Dec 19, 2016

You have to be 18 years old

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Dec 19, 2016

You can probably get a PWM internship if you really want one during the summer, just start reaching out to some FA's at MM branches and see what happens, the worst is that they say no.

Dec 19, 2016

Don't you have to be 16 or older to work?

Dec 19, 2016

An age requirement was not specified. If you are referring to the Department of Labor regulations, youth under 16 are allowed to work in these sectors.

Dec 19, 2016

Exactly. I highly doubt any investment bank would want to mess with child labor laws - even offering unpaid opportunities would be highly sketchy. You're a high school freshman - don't worry about this stuff until your first year of college. Best use of your time might be to take college classes (if you're really motivated to do something productive), or learn something new. Or just be like most high schoolers and do nothing.

Dec 19, 2016

If you are truly passionate about IB, just wait out a few years. I know a friend who did lev fin at JPM during her senior year in HS.

Dec 19, 2016

Thanks for all your feedback!

Dec 19, 2016

Stop.

Dec 19, 2016

Yea, visit local boutiques and offer to work unpaid/minimum wage. Tell them you just want to shadow and will do anything from binding pitch books to researching industry news

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Dec 19, 2016

They do exist, but will most likely be with very small places.
If you want to go for something more known you better have the family connections

Dec 19, 2016

Stick to miscing for the summer.

My posts will be fraught with grammatical errors since I post from my phone. I will try my best not to post an incoherent babble.

Dec 19, 2016

@"one2three" I haven't misc'd in years, I kept the username because I've used it a ton and its simply the easiest to remember. However, I'm still active on the BB forums because I'm part of the R&D team for a supplement company and consumer feedback is important.

Glad you secured that internship with a hedge fund BTW.

Dec 19, 2016

Probably won't happen, but it can't hurt. Even if you don't get it, you can mention in a later interview that you applied/showed interest in high finance at a very early stage in your career.

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Dec 19, 2016

@"broadstbully" Thanks for the reply! If I were to apply, should I include a cover letter that describes why I'm interested in high finance? I'm afraid that if I do, it'll automatically end up in the TL;DR bin.

Dec 19, 2016

Never hurts to try.

Dec 19, 2016

I run a HF in SF. You can mop our floors and clean the windows.

Dec 19, 2016

Well, Start by identifying your career interests and researching related companies and brands to contact.

Dec 19, 2016

In my opinion, definitely go for an intern after freshman year. You have plenty of time to party while studying.

    • 1
Dec 19, 2016

I would suggest that you keep that competition win on your resume (as that is probably very significant and the main reason why you got into HYP). I would imagine that it would be a good talking point during interviews/very impressive. As for the business-related stuff, I don't think that is very applicable (especially the stuff from high school), as I am assuming that is either DECA or FBLA competitions.

    • 1
Dec 19, 2016

I would list the competition on your resume, especially since as a Freshman you won't have many experiences or leadership positions. People list high school awards all the time, especially recognizable ones such as AP Scholar with Distinction so you can lump this award along with that section. If the award was one in your senior year or this summer I would list it, otherwise I would be more hesitant. This is because you can make the award seem as if you won it your freshman year which is more prestigious than outright stating that it was won in high school. Although this move is definitely sneaky, it isn't lying and you can always tell your interviewer the truth if he asks about it.

By this I mean, if your award was won this summer you can list it like:

Finalist/3rd Place in the J.P. Morgan International Business Competition 2016

As a freshman you will be class of 2020 so if the award was won 2016 the employer will probably assume it was won your freshman year Fall semester.

Best Response
  • Intern in 
Dec 19, 2016

You're kidding....8th grade finished...

    • 6
Dec 19, 2016

In a couple years you could get a sweet gig (think Dairy Queen, McDonald's, Kroger). It's good to see a rising freshman such as yourself. You remind me of a young Goldstein.

    • 2
Dec 19, 2016

Even if you do an internship won't hold any weight. You'll probably be doing remedial tasks and not worth adding to a resume. DM me if you want some advice tho

Dec 19, 2016

Sounds great

Dec 19, 2016

Peer pressure!!!!!

Dec 19, 2016

What?

Dec 19, 2016

JPMorgan Janitors have a pretty good internship for high school students. After a couple successful internships, you could probably get a job with them straight out of high school, no need to go to college.

    • 1
Dec 19, 2016

yeah play sports or get a job as a caddy during the summer

Dec 19, 2016

I second this. OP you're what, 14 years old? Just have fun in high school and get good grades. Play sports, date girls/guys, do some good extracurricular activities, and work in the summers. As the poster above said, be a caddie (great summer job as a kid).

But yeah to sum it up you're way too young to even think about IB. Enjoy being young because 8 years from now when it's 3am and you're cranking out a pitch I promise you won't think to yourself "damn, I'm really glad I built that lbo model in my mom's basement on a Friday night when I was 14".

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Dec 19, 2016

Admirable ambition, but at this point in life just enjoy yourself and get good grades. If you're really interested in finance/markets read one of the more accessible wall street books (thinking the Big Short maybe) or get a paper trading acct.

Dec 19, 2016

Best thing you can do is get a high GPA, train hard in your sports, possibly look to transfer into a top boarding school or private day school, get accepted to a top university.

Dec 19, 2016

Are you brain dead...take the job

    • 1
Dec 19, 2016

Seriously? This shouldn't even need to be asked. Take the job, get experience on your resume your peers from your year would kill for, and use that to network and get a head start on internships after your first year.

Dec 19, 2016

How did you land this? Through a family connection? I am a freshman in high school and no investment bank has been receptive in the slightest to my cold emails.

Dec 19, 2016

A high school freshman? There's no way that a high school freshman could land a job at an investment bank. College freshman find it extremely difficult to get a decent finance internship, so there's no way that a HS freshman stands any chance of getting one.

Dec 19, 2016
heretoask:

How did you land this? Through a family connection? I am a freshman in high school and no investment bank has been receptive in the slightest to my cold emails.

Are you serious? Have fun during your summers in high school, you can worry about cold calling banks in four years. If you want finance/business experience, start a new club in your school and compete in HS competitions. Just volunteer somewhere fun this summer.

Dec 19, 2016

Just out of curiosity, why is it that you want to go into trading? The only reason I ask is that the majority of undergrad students (soph/junior level) are still struggling to wrap their mind around why they -really- want to get into banking/trading other than for the salary/prestige.

I'm really not trying to bash you or anything. I myself was interested in getting into finance before I started my undergrad, but I didn't know which specific industry until I took a couple finance/economic courses, read a good amount of outside finance/investment books, and interned at an IM firm.

I'm just interested in what sort of thought process a prospective undergrad has on this. By already having the idea that you want to break into this industry, and already have an internship at your stage, you're way ahead of the majority of your class, which is great.

Dec 19, 2016

@StryfeDSP, I've been interested in finance for a long time and have been reading The Economist and the WSJ since I started high school. After reading a few articles on M&I, I discovered derivatives trading, HFT, and algorithmic trading. I realized that trading was perfect for me because its quantitative (if you're trading certain products) and requires you to keep up with the news (which I love doing in my spare time). Also, my uncle is the head of risk-management at a BRIC investment bank and he's taught me a lot about the industry. He's introduced me to various traders and quants that he's worked with.

tl;dr - I've spent a lot of time reading about finance and financial careers on M&I, WSO, and other websites. I've also spoken to a couple of people within the industry, including traders, quants, bankers, and risk-managers.

Dec 19, 2016

take it or give it to me

Dec 19, 2016

Alright, the consensus is pretty clear. Thanks to everyone who posted.

Dec 19, 2016
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Dec 19, 2016