How important are Sophomore year internships for IB?

Blackhawks4's picture
Rank: Baboon | 169

This summer I am not able to intern due to having to take Spanish at a local CC so I can graduate on time. If you have on campus leadership experience/roles (ie, I am in SGA and have a leadership job on campus), how far behind will you be for banks?

I go to a non target private liberal arts school with a 3.8 majoring in Finance, Economics with a minor in Accounting. This summer I am doing some excel online learning courses and going to be reading an IB modeling textbook to be somewhat productive and working retail.

I am interested in IBD, S&T, and Risk Analysis.

Comments (100)

Jun 4, 2014

Looks like I can shadow a trading firm in Chicago on Fridays from a connection I have. Also I have another shadowing opportunity throughout the week (can fit this in with my work schedule) from a radio oncologist doctor just to keep me busy for the summer. I was a pre-med student till this spring term when I switched to finance/economics.

Jun 28, 2014

very important

Jun 28, 2014

What's a T3 public mean? Like Umich, UVA, or UT-Austin?

I'd say that u should definitely try to find something. Try calling up the boutique regional banks list that's in this forum. A 3.5 isn't actually "decent", especially in this kind of hiring environment. I personally feel that I barely made out with a great internship this summer, and that was with a 3.5 from Wharton. Friends of mine who are sub-3.8 and have no work experience are still jobless right now. And it's probably much worse at a public is my guess.

Work experience can act as a "forgiveness" factor for how good ur school-work is. My internship last summer was a cut above the PWM stuff that a lot of people do, and was essentially wat saved me come recruiting season. From the analysts I've known who do Resume screens, I doubt LSE will do anything at all for u recruiting-wise, so if that's ur reason for wanting to go, don't. Otherwise, u have to make a choice about wat's more important to you.

Remember that with work experience for sophomore summer, the name of the firm doesn't matter, it's what u do that is most important. An internship at a boutique no-name bank is much better than Goldman PWM, even if that's in NY.

Jun 28, 2014

ouch, Berkeley?

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Jun 28, 2014

I would say its a bit important since you have decent EC's and a fair - low GPA. Again, its what you're doing that's important, not the name of the firm. You can do some boutique IB work, but if you can't find one (and don't be discouraged if you do - its very RARE for people to have IB work before BB banking), you could always go Big 4 Advisory, Big 4 Transaction Services, or F500 CorpFin/CorpDev. Don't be swayed by the ML/UBS PWM internships - many people think that they are way ahead of the game b/c of these internships, but anybody who is in the business knows that these internships are pure BS.

Jun 28, 2014

I know people with 3.3-3.6 ranges that got hired into BB's. It's possible, just make sure the rest of your resume is legit.

Jun 28, 2014

I would say 3.3 - 3.5 is normal for kids at target schools who get hired into BBs. I think it's a lot different if you're at a non-target.

Jun 28, 2014

im pretty sure that UMich, UVA, and UT are targets

Jun 28, 2014

yeah from a non or semi target you really need to have a 3.7+

I don't think UT is a target, more of a semi target. Not to bash on all the long horns out there.

Jun 28, 2014

If you're from stern where most people have 2 or more internships (either at boutiques, HFs, PWM, asset management etc) before junior year, then you MAY be at a disadvantage. You might be able to "compensate" for the lack of relevant work experience by having significant on campus leadership experience.

Jun 28, 2014

Get an internship first semester junior year. Summer applications are due in November-December.

Jun 28, 2014

Dude just network. Go find some Stern grads on the street and they'll help you out. Just cause this site glorifies 'The Track' doesn't mean you have to follow it.

Jun 28, 2014

Thanks for the replies - even if I guessthey werent exactly what I wanted to hear. quag_mire: are you saying then that grades themselves cant "compensate" for a non-banking finance internship?

I have to say Im pretty worried now, especially since I cant get an internship during the semester (EU citizen, not US) and Stern doesnt provide alumni databases for Juniors.

Would anyone be willing to take a look at my resume and tell me what my chances are?

Jun 28, 2014

just post it on razume and link it here. I guarantee you will get solid feedback. shit I myself have probably seen 50 resumes and most people on this board have too

Jun 28, 2014

you dont necessarily need an IB internship soph yr although it will definately help you junior year. Just make sure to get one in finance (industry, am, trading, anything). If you dont get an internship try doing something entrepreneurial or even offer to work for free at some place local (preferrably a bank) and work your way up to an internship thru networking

Jun 28, 2014

Definitely helps you stand out during junior year SA recruiting

Not a requirement though

Go the extra mile to keep GPA high

Jun 28, 2014

I would recommend doing a few things during your sophomore year. First thing is to make sure you keep your GPA high. If your GPA is high enough, people will look at your resume. If it is low enough, it doesn't matter what your work experience is, because they won't get past the sub-standard GPA number.

Second, try and get an internship with some bank that has a recognizable name. Even if it is in something like PWM or a back-office role, its good for two reasons. First, those reading your resume will see the name and will read more closely, it just looks good. Second, while you are in that internship you can express your interest in IBD, work your tail off and then have your boss put in a good word for you if they know someone in either IBD or HR within that organization.

If you can't get an internship, take a job where you can network. I worked as a Caddy at a very high-end golf club and networked with everyone I met. Ended up helping me get an internship the following summer (and I made some pretty solid cash).

Jun 28, 2014

Getting a summer internship is always a great idea at all levels. And if you work hard enough you can find one. There are many many boutiques out there that would love an intern. I've said this before, but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of small boutiques and if you look long enough and are committed to make it happen at all costs, you will get an internship. PM me if you want some suggestions.

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The time is now, seize the day ...

Jun 28, 2014

By boutiques you mean specifically IB boutiques?

Best Response
Jun 28, 2014

No, a flower boutique.

Idiot.

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Jun 28, 2014
SirBankalot:

No, a flower boutique.

Idiot.

Good one...asshole.

Jun 28, 2014

In addition to IB Boutiques, look at smaller buyside firms. I interned at a small mezzanine fund after my Soph year and b/c it was so small got some outstanding modeling and deal experience. I believe this realy set me apart in the interview process. I'm sure the experience is similar at small IB boutiques, but on the buyside EVERY DEAL IS LIVE, at least until you decide it doesn't fit your investment criteria, mgnt team sucks, etc. and stop pursuing it.

Jun 28, 2014

Wow thank you so much for all the comments. It seems like I should bust my tail this winter break contacting as many firms as I can. One more question, if you guys don't mind, is how technical do these sophomore internship interviews get (just in case I do recieve one)? Do I have to a very good understanding of all the valuation models, DCF, merger models, and LBO models?

Thanks again!

Jun 28, 2014
JMon:

Wow thank you so much for all the comments. It seems like I should bust my tail this winter break contacting as many firms as I can. One more question, if you guys don't mind, is how technical do these sophomore internship interviews get (just in case I do recieve one)? Do I have to a very good understanding of all the valuation models, DCF, merger models, and LBO models?

Thanks again!

You're only a Sophomore, they're not going to expect you to know that stuff inside and out. I just went through two BB SA Superdays and the only financial stuff they asked me was what I should have known based on my work experience and coursework. What they're really gonna be looking for is that you are sharp, are a hard worker, and are interested in the business/want to learn.

Jun 28, 2014

Hi,
I'm looking for boutique firms in London? I recently received an interview from SEO. great interview. luckily i was interviewed by the chairman of seo so im really really hoping I can nail this internship. it will change my life. I waited 2 years for this day. yea i know.
but i need a backup incase I don't get it.
can anyone know where i can start looking for boutique firms..and how to find them?especially the buy side.
ok im an engieering major. study abroad student from us. top 50 in the college list and i want to do something this summer productive. anything i can get even unpaid would work. just want to get my foot in the door.
please help.

Jun 28, 2014

A legit sophomore internship will definitely help you land way more internship interviews at good banks. Is it necessary? No, but it really helps to increase your chances of getting selected for an interview as you'll stand out from all the over sophomores that traveled abroad or worked part-time during the summer.

Jun 28, 2014

Also, I go to a target with a high GPA

Jun 28, 2014

I can't tell if this is a troll thread or not.

  1. Sophomore summer already began so you're stuck with what you have.
  2. You're getting relevant experience that you can talk about.
  3. No recruiter expects a sophomore to get a top HF internship second year, nor is it likely to happen.
Jun 28, 2014

Not a troll thread,WallStreetBulldog, I am just extremely scared because most people from my school getting IB at BBs have beyond amazing work experiences.

Jun 28, 2014
invest17:

Not a troll thread,WallStreetBulldog, I am just extremely scared because most people from my school getting IB at BBs have beyond amazing work experiences.

Don't get lost in the WSO/Ivy league elitist attitude; if you try to plan life out in a linear fashion I can almost guarantee you it won't pan out the way you expected. It seems like everyone believes the path to success in finance(and life resulting) is Ivy league>>BB IB>>MF PE>>HBS/GSB>>HF/MF PE. There are a ton of influences, both internal and external that deter people from this path and its not necessarily a bad thing.

There are those who break into MF PE through a non top-tier group(god forbid UBS/CS/Barclays on this forum), people who skip B-school altogether, and people who decide that finance isn't for them and go into technology/corporate strategy post MBA, so on and so forth.

My point is focus on your short term horizon and your long-term one will fall into place on its owm. Focus on what's ahead of you; getting a high GPA, killing your internships, but most of all understanding that there's more to life than just finance.

Jun 28, 2014

You're at a target with a high GPA....

You're set.

Jun 28, 2014

Boutique/MM investment bank.

Jun 28, 2014

try to get any type of internship; are you going to be a sophomore or a junior?

if you're gonna be a sophomore, start networking and emailing local firms, boutiques, etc. get something lined up for next summer.

if not, try to attend as many networking events, finance events, etc. as possible and network your ass off. try to brush up on your valuation knowledge and skills as well, so you can be ready for those types of questions in interviews.

good luck.

Jun 28, 2014

lol

Jun 28, 2014

lol

Jun 28, 2014

Commercial banking between those two, but I'd hold out for a boutique IB

Jun 28, 2014

depends on what your investment work at Chicago is. If its good in terms of the work you do, I'd go for the Smith Barney. but GE corporate finance will probably strengthen your technical skills esp with knowing some finance, accounting, and excel.

Jun 28, 2014

Lehman Brothers Holdings, LLC
Salomon Brothers
Drexel Lambert Burnham
Long Term Capital Management, LLC

Jun 28, 2014

I also want to know about this. Not trolling.

Jun 28, 2014

First post was a joke. All of those are closed down. You're probably better off just doing one in PWM.

Jun 28, 2014

ER hands down

Jun 28, 2014

ER. You're going to miss out on the deal experience bit, but you'll pick up valuation skills and gain industry knowledge, which are still very relevant to IB.

Jun 28, 2014

I'm in a similar boat and would also love to hear from others' experiences.

Jun 28, 2014

Although I am not an expert on this, I think you should hang on to the offer that you already have.
BUT, alongside, keep on doing some aggressive cold-calling and networking. You can land an IBD at a boutique firm as well.

Jun 28, 2014

Secondly, you can leverage this HR gig at Fortune 200 to your favor: probably in a way that you can show that major firms are willing to take you in.

Still, I'd personally try going on for the role that I'm interested in (IBD, Asset Management etc) at a boutique firm, if HR is not something I see myself doing in terms of career.

Jun 28, 2014

Public, target, and business. Only one university is in mind.

Jun 28, 2014
jw.jay.hyung:

Public, target, and business. Only one university is in mind.

Or you can look at his username.

Jun 28, 2014

I would hands down recommend the Hedge Fund. In my opinion, it'll be the best experience to distinguish you from your peers. Also, if New York is your end goal then this would present a great networking opportunity for you to meet contacts in person.

Jun 28, 2014

HF might expose you to more interesting work and opportunities

Jun 28, 2014

HF is your best bet. Good luck!

Jun 28, 2014

HF is your best bet. Most intriguing on a resume and probably give you a relatable skill set.

Jun 28, 2014

for me, i thought i had a very good chance, and got no interviews whatsoever

Jun 28, 2014

for me, i thought i had a very good chance, and got no interviews whatsoever

Jun 28, 2014

Very hard, lots of applicants, very very few spots.

Jun 28, 2014

I do not attend an target school, but have a very good gpa.
What is needed to get an interview?

Jun 28, 2014

for non-target and you should find something.

as for the sophomore programs, you might look into some banks who have specific programs directed towards sophomores..I think JPM has one among others.

Jun 28, 2014

Lots of people have very good gpas. That's why there are 2 lines on your resume for GPA and the rest of the document for everything else about you. GPA is not a benefit whatsoever, GPA only prevents you from getting dinged automatically.

If you are looking for sophomore internship, esp at BB banks, you had better be at a target with strong EC and prior summer work experience, or have solid connections.

Jun 28, 2014

I am also a sophomore that does not attend a target school. I have a 4.0 and spent my last summer on capital hill. Does that help as prior work experience?

Jun 28, 2014

any: I would make sure that my resume says "CapitOl Hill."

I've never seen a resume book for these sophomore programs. Anyone have one and can dish?

I'll be applying next summer from a target with an average GPA (3.6/7), pretty good ECs (multiple elected leadership positions, and not crap stuff like "board member"), a summer at a BB (in Legal) and work during the year at a hedge fund ($6 billion AUM, asset management). Do I have a shot?

Jun 28, 2014

i know jpm has a sophomore program, i believe barclays does as well, and GS has a sophomore spring 1 week thing, in which the best performers have the opportunity to be selected for SA positions.

Jun 28, 2014

Citi and BAML also take sophs

Jun 28, 2014

.

Jun 28, 2014

GS has no specific soph program but pretty sure sophs can apply for junior SAs

Jun 28, 2014

GS actually does have a specific sophomore program. It's called the Sophomore Rotational Program, and it's essentially built around diverse candidates. They'll pull in strong candidates who are young and haven't yet identified a primary interest in finance and they get an 8-week program that rotates them across 4 divisions for 2 weeks apiece. Securities, IBD, IMD, and I can't remember the fourth but I wanna say Ops(?).

You can't apply directly to it but if you're someone they like from superdays/the interview process but they don't want to give you a full-fledged SA slot, they'll offer you that program in lieu.

Jun 28, 2014

Most BB firms have sophomore programs for diversity candidates, however I worked in BB and I met several sophomores across all different firms (many of whom were not "diverse" in the traditional sense). They were at GS, JP, MS, BarCap, BoA, CS, LAZ, etc.

IMO just apply. If you're a strong candidate you will get looks even if you are a sophomore. You may not get into the group you want as the "best" groups will usually only take juniors looking for FT jobs.

A sophomore at my school just wrapped up a summer gig at GS. She just applied through the career services website, no networking, cold calling, etc.

Jun 28, 2014

If you can afford to work for free, then I would take the finance internship. Definitely better to have relevant experience. I don't think brand name plays a part here its not like you choosing between BlackRock/BX/Fido/PIMCO/Goldman/JPM/megafund BO vs. boutique FO.

Jun 28, 2014

If the Sprint program is a leadership development internship, I'd be inclined to take it. Do you have any finance/investment club experience or finance coursework for your resume?

Jun 28, 2014

I do not currently have any finance specific experience on my resume except for a few finance courses and I think the Sprint program is just a Business Sales Internship. I can afford to work for free, I am just seeking the best option to bolster my resume. Would the fact that the finance internship is for a Community Center deter from its value enough that the Sales internship is better?

Jun 28, 2014

Thanks for the advice.

Jun 28, 2014

I wouldn't discount the Sprint program right away. Through SA recruiting I met plenty of senior guys who stressed they loved seeing sales experience of any sort on potential SA resumes because after all, IB is really a sales job. On another note, what you actually do in the job is actually pretty important because it will be a major talking point in your interviews. Because you don't have any finance experience, I would probably take the finance gig. During the internship, you'll want to try to get your hands on as much analysis work as possible though rather than just doing data entry type stuff. You basically want to be able to write "Analyzed [insert metric] to make recommendation that ACC [does something]" as a sub bullet on your resume. Get a bunch of those types of things and you'll be gold. If you do end up taking the Sprint thing for whatever reason, try to get as much analytical work experience as possible ie. analyzing sales data, etc.

Jun 28, 2014

If I am to be honest, I think neither of the two experiences are going to cut it. If you want a crack at IB, I think you'd need to intern at a boutique firm in the fall. Try to figure out which one would help you craft a more logical interest/spark for investment banking.

Jun 28, 2014

Yea I know that neither are really good but for now I am just trying to get an internship on my resume. I've been having trouble finding an internship at a boutique because of my sophmore status; however, I'm planning to get another internship fall semester (possibly boutique) and use these experiences to get the best internship I can during my junior year.

Jun 28, 2014

You'll be eligible to return again as a SA next summer (if you perform well and get an offer), don't think there would be any arrangement for part-time work like you described.

Jun 28, 2014

If you do well in your internship, they will definitely give you a Junior SA return offer.

Irons in the fire.

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Jun 28, 2014

The opportunity is you get a return offer for Junior SA and you shop that around and can get one at a better shop whether its a better BB or Elite Boutique or you can do something unique like SA at BX PE maybe. The world is yours after BB IBD SA as a soph.

Jun 28, 2014
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