How important are Sophomore year internships for IB?


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 - 7:43pm

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 - 2:31am

Importance of sophomore internship (Originally Posted: 02/27/2008)

I'm currently a sophomore applying to internships in finance/industrial engineering (my major), but I'm not having much luck. If I do find anything, it probably won't be that good. I also don't have any prior experience other than waiting tables. How important is having prior work experience when applying for junior internships in consulting/trading? I really want to do LSE over the summer but I'm afraid that having no work experience is really going to hurt me for next year, will it? My stats are otherwise decent (3.5 at T3 public, decent ecs).

Jun 28, 2014 - 2:32am

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 - 2:34am

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 - 2:39am

Importance of Sophomore Internship (Originally Posted: 06/15/2010)

I am a rising Junior trying to break into IB, and I this summer I am a finance intern at one of the largest record labels' audit department. I applied too late to other places, and this was the only internship I could secure. This internship is entirely unrelated to banking and IB, and I am wondering if this will really hurt my chances for securing a SA in IB next summer. Is really important one have relevant work experience prior to SA, or will I still be able to compete with everyone else? Is it possible to just get an SA position by GPA (3.9 from Stern), or does it need to be coupled with banking experience?

Thanks for your help guys.

Jun 28, 2014 - 2:40am

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 - 2:43am

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 - 2:45am

Necessity of a sophomore internship? (Originally Posted: 12/20/2009)


I am a new member to this site (seems to be loaded with incredibly helpful information). I was wondering how important a sophomore internship is at a semi-target school like Ross (UM business school)? I have heard from some at school that if you don't have a sophomore internship at an IB you won't even get an interview from the BB banks for junior internships. Is this true? And if I can't get a sophomore internship this summer, what do you guys recommend that I do to make myself more of an attractive candidate?

Thanks a lot!

Jun 28, 2014 - 2:46am

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 - 2:48am

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 - 2:49am

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.

############ ############ ############ The time is now, seize the day ...
Jun 28, 2014 - 2:52am

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 - 2:53am

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 - 2:56am

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 - 3:04am

Internship for sophomore summer (Originally Posted: 07/20/2015)

I am going to be a sophomore at Farmer School of Business (Miami OH-- guessing that is considered a semi-target school?) and currently have an internship at a S&P 100 company and interested in investment banking. What types of internships should I be looking at for next summer to use as a stepping stone for a solid junior year internship? I am from the midwest but wouldn't care if I had to go to Chicago or out east for an internship. Thanks for the help

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:06am

Still get BB junior year internship w/o sophomore internship? (Originally Posted: 07/20/2010)

Is it still possible to get into a relatively good division at a BB w/o a sophomore internship? What should I be doing during the sophomore summer to prepare? I'm from a semi-target.

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:07am

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 - 3:08am

Sophomore looking for an internship! (Originally Posted: 10/11/2014)

Hello everyone!

I've lurked here for some time now. I'm a sophomore at the University of Rochester, majoring in econ and math. I have a 3.85 gpa with leadership positions and involvement in the student-run investment fund. Gauging from my results from the first round of midterms this semester, I'm doing well in my current classes and if it continues (knock on wood), I will end the first three semesters with a ~3.9. What internships should I be looking to score for the 2015 summer? I looked at wealth management internships and they mostly want juniors/seniors (UBS, MS, etc.). I also don't want to commit to an internship which doesn't help me with my intended career in banking. I've looked around on previous threads and opinions differ greatly. I'm also an international student with EU citizenship (if that helps and if european internships are "good"). I also see threads that differ on the status of the U of R (semi target vs non target). There are also some internships posted through the CC link for public finance banking internships at JP Morgan and MS (preferred juniors).

Thanks so much!

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:11am

Sophomore Summer Internship - Guidance on possible future? (Originally Posted: 09/26/2010)

Dear Wall Street Oasis Members,
I look for guidance on a possible future in i-banking. I am a sophomore at a semi-target school (think Duke, UNC or Virginia) and I have received an offer for this summer at a Big 4 accounting firm in audit and an offer for commercial banking at a well known institution. Which offer would put me in a better position to land an ibanking job? Does it matter which one? I'm slightly leaning towards the Big 4 offer but would appreciate guidance.

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:13am

Sophomore Summer Internship - Very interested in i-banking (Originally Posted: 02/21/2008)

i am a sophomore and am very interested in i-banking. i have two internship offers so far and don't really know which way to go. i have an offer to work at Smith Barney at the Merc exchange in Chicago doing investment research or work at GE Healthcare in Finance. i am wondering what is the best to make me marketable for a i-banking internship next summer. Thanks for the help.

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:15am

Finance related internship opportunities over summer following sophomore year? (Originally Posted: 05/17/2015)

I want to start putting together a list of possible banks I could intern at following my sophomore year. Preferably anything that has to do with investment banking. I am aware that this will be hard to find, but please list any large banks that hire incoming juniors. Thanks!

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:19am

Which Sophomore Internship to Do? (Originally Posted: 03/10/2015)

Hey everyone, I'm a sophomore looking to get an investment banking internship next year. I've been looking for finance-related internships this summer and have two options:

  1. Equity Research in a mid-sized investment management firm ($20-30B AUM)
  2. Finance Intern (Management Reporting) at very large, well-known financial institution

I think that Equity Research would give me better skills to prepare me for recruiting and i-banking, and the work would be more interesting to me. The Finance Intern work would be a lot of Excel, but just internally within the company. I don't know how much of that might be relevant to banking. The name of the second option is obviously much better, though, so I don't know if that outweighs the experience of the first.

Which internship would look best to bankers looking at my resume and give me the best shot next year? Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:22am

Sophomore Summer Internship - Need some insight (Originally Posted: 12/13/2013)

Greetings fellow primates, I'm in need of your insight. I am a sophomore with a 3.5 at a semi-target in a liberal arts major. I am interested in securing an IBD summer analyst position for the summer before my senior year. Given the sparse IBD opportunities for rising juniors, I have been unable to find an IBD, Asset Management, research, etc. summer internship. But, I do have some human resources internship offers at Fortune 200 companies. If I were to accept one of these offers, how detremental would this be to me during SA recruiting, especially as a liberal arts majors? What types of internships will most of my competition for SA positions have had during their sophomore summer? Any other advice on this topic would be appreciated? Thanks!

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:25am

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 - 3:26am

Sophomore in Need of Internship Advice (Originally Posted: 02/26/2015)

First time poster so bear with me. I am a sophomore attending a public, target business school and I am in the midst of recruiting and wrapping it up per say with a few potential options on hand. I hope that one of these opportunities will allow me to leverage into BB IBD next year as a junior. The options include:

  • Hedge Fund in NYC (not one of the major funds, smaller)
  • F500 Internship in SF
  • BAML GWIM US Trust Administrative Officer Internship in SF (apparently not the same as Branch internship from those I've spoken to, but I'm still unsure

I also have a 1st round phone interview coming up with Lazard's Convertible Securities Group in SF and I've read some pretty bad things about this specific group on WSO which has gotten me discouraged, but if anyone has any advice on how to go through with that interview or about the group in general it would be much appreciated.

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:40am

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 - 3:42am

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 - 3:43am

Internships as a Sophmore? (Originally Posted: 12/28/2010)

Are there any BB/MM investment banking divisions known for recruiting strong sophmore candidates (high gpa, good leadership positions already, 2 Summers PWM experience, etc.)? Or do sophmores who get banking internships almost only get them through networking?

Should I just try my luck cold calling boutiques?

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:47am

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.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:48am

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 - 3:50am

Sophmore Internship Question (Originally Posted: 04/28/2015)

Hey guys I just needed some advice about what to take for my sophmore internship. I like many others want to get into Investment Banking no matter how unlikely it may be. I currently attend a non-target school and am looking to add an internship to my resume. Currently I have the choice of a sales internship with Sprint or an unpaid finance internship at a community center. I am confused about which one would be better for my resume because one is for a well known company while the other is field specific. Thank you for your help!

Jun 28, 2014 - 3:54am

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 - 3:57am

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 - 3:59am

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 - 4:00am

IBD BB SA as Sophomore - Opportunity Afterwards? (Originally Posted: 04/13/2013)

Curious to hear what you guys suggest my end goals be in terms of doing a summer analyst IBD internship at a BB (in NYC) this summer as a sophomore. Obviously I can't receive a FT offer at the end, but I'm wondering how often banks choose to keep sophomores employed part time during their junior year after their SA stint ends. If not does the bank pretty much accept that it's unlikely they see me again for next summer or how does that work? I appreciate any insight on this topic.

Jun 28, 2014 - 4:04am
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