Do You Need a Sophomore Summer Internship in College?

big shot hopeful's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 748

So, I'm kind of freaking out that I haven't found an internship yet. It very much is my fault ( I had my head up my ass and missed the boat on applying to the bigger firms that offer their interns training in what they will be doing).

I've tried everything: (i) Career services at my school, (ii) cold emailing companies in the area (I'm from right outside NYC so interning at the local branch of a global brand isn't really an option), and (ii) I've completely exhausted my network, most of them saying they can't really help me until I'm a junior. I've applied to a shit load of semi-related jobs, none of them are really panning out, and I've reached out to close to 50 hedge funds since I know they usually have less formal programs.

So, what do you guys think I should do? I really want to get an FO internship in IB next summer, but I'm worried that by fucking up my situation for this summer, things won't happen for me next summer.

Junior Year IB Internship without Sophomore Internship?

While interning at a Bulge Bracket bank or in any Wall Street role is a great experience to get as a sophomore - it is usually not essential to securing a junior year internship. That being said - you should network to try to secure any type of internship that helps to demonstrate your interest in the industry whether that is doing an unpaid internship at a hedge fund, middle market bank, or private equity fund or working in the finance department of a fortune 500 company. If you can gain an experience that builds this record and pair it with a strong GPA and good extra curriculars you should be in a good place for junior year recruiting.

Our users shared their thoughts below.

mass-banker:

Internships are important if you get them and probably help a whole lot but if you dont have them freshman, sophomore year then its not that big a deal as long as your GPA and Extra Curriculars are good.

gomes3pc - Private Equity Associate:

Sophomore internships don't have to be world-beaters. They just have to show your interest in the field you move into (finance/accounting). Work to build a progression on your resume that shows you have started to develop a career path.

User @7xEBITDA shared a different perspective:

7xEBITDA:

My experience is that the sophomore year internship is extremely important, especially at Ivy League schools where the people you're competing with will all have previous finance experience. Of the people who got IBD internships at my school (EB/BB), I don't know any without prior professional experience, at least boutique consulting, F500, startup, BO BB or IBD at an unpaid boutique.

Good Sophomore Internships

In the absence of an official bulge bracket program our users shared suggestions of what to look for in a summer experience.

User @7xEBITDA shared that the OP should look to work for free in major metropolitan areas or work for starts ups:

7xEBITDA:

Cold email and cold call NYC-area boutiques if you can afford to work for free. Startups can also provide decent experience, so look on Gary's Guide, AngelList, etc. for local opportunities. Indeed.com may still have some relevant listings, and continue to check corporate job boards.

User @panther2k, an investment banking analyst, detailed other experiences such as travel, research, athletics, or public service that would be good resume builders:

panther2k - Investment Banking Analyst:

Study abroad (preferably on some sort of scholarship or prestigious program), research, athletics (if you're a varsity athlete), intensive public service programs, etc. are all things that would be good substitutes. You need to put in extra effort with networking and, most importantly, be able to adequately explain WHY you didn't do an internship. Some people might grill you a little extra on the technicals but as long as you know your stuff those should be slam dunks.

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Comments (177)

Apr 25, 2014

Sophomore year matters less and less depending on how good your school is.

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Apr 25, 2014

Ok, so I'm a non-business/finance major at an Ivy. Assuming I don't come across as a schizophrenic in interviews, or have some other glaring issue, I should be ok? haha

Thank you by the way, hearing that made me feel better about this haha.

Apr 25, 2014

Perfectly fine. Good to see a sophomore worried about their career. It's rare these days.

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May 1, 2015

_

May 3, 2014

The summer hasn't started yet, so there's still time. Continue to cold email and cold call NYC-area boutiques if you can afford to work for free. Startups can also provide decent experience, so look on Gary's Guide, AngelList, etc. for local opportunities. Indeed.com may still have some relevant listings, and continue to check corporate job boards.

My experience is that the sophomore year internship is extremely important, especially at Ivy League schools where the people you're competing with will all have previous finance experience. Of the people who got IBD internships at my school (EB/BB), I don't know any without prior professional experience, at least boutique consulting, F500, startup, BO BB or IBD at an unpaid boutique.

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May 1, 2015

Very Rare unless it was some boutique or some pretty small shop.

Bulge has "internship" programs that aren't taken to seriously, for a few people.

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May 1, 2015

I cleaned pools

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May 1, 2015

Would it help that although you may not have interned at an investment bank, you interned at a very well known Fortune 500 company?

I'm just trying to put myself in the best position that I possibly can with regards to prior summer experience for next summer. I understand prior investment banking internship experience is rare, but wanted to see if the IB doesn't work out for this summer, what would be by best options.

May 1, 2015

Not detrimental at all, I had a banking internship albeit at a very small bank, in my sophomore year but I have friends who painted houses in the summer of their sophomore year and ended up with slightly better junior year internships than me.

If you intern at a Fortune 500 company in a finance related role, you'll already be ahead of the pack and you shouldn't have a problem getting interviews.

May 1, 2015

BBs at my school hired plenty of people with no IBD or even front office finance experience this year. Maybe the fact that we are a non-target for most banks makes this more excusable.

May 1, 2015

I am a first year analyst from a liberal arts college with absolutely NO financial background/internship experience. Granted, it took me just over a year with the company to get into the analyst program, and I am in sales & trading at a broker-dealer (at a subsidary of a top consumer bank). Though I imagine that the opportunities are different for IBD, point is that while helpful, intership experience is far from the determining factor in getting into an analyst position. With that said, we had sophmore and junior interns on our desk last summer. The junior intern got the offer for analyst.

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May 1, 2015

So I am assuming most of you analysts would argue GPA, course schedule, ECs are more important?

May 1, 2015

well if prior relevant internship experience is as witnessed not very important, then, yes, gpa along with extracurriculars and how well you interview are the determining factors.

May 1, 2015

I guess it should be put this way....Internships are important if you get them....and probably help a whole lot....but if you dont have them freshman,sophomore year then its not that big a deal as long as all those things above are good

May 1, 2015

obviously if you are a senior going for FT, you will be at a huge disadvantage if you didn't do an IB internship the previous summer

May 4, 2014

Not to add stress but I have to agree with 7xEBITDA, sophomore year summer internship is extremely important. If I were you I would contact every Merrill Lynch within a reasonable radius, say you're willing to work unpaid for college credit. Seen people get BB jobs with just PWM if the rest of the app is strong so work on that.

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May 1, 2015

First of all, great background. Network with the BB when they come by. They do occasionally take sophmores, but any finance related internship will help. Take a look at operations, Asset Management and other areas. You've got a great story to tell, well rounded resume. Network and practice.

Read through the vault guide for investment banking and understand the basics. Read through the bank's career website. Reach out to alum. Don't waste the company rep's time with stupid questions.

May 1, 2015

A lot of BB firms now have sophomore programs. Lehman has their sophomore rotational program that allows you to see more of the firm than a normal internship in one area of interest would. Goldman also accepts sophomore summer analysts; they do the same work as a junior summer analyst, which is an awesome opportunity for someone your age. I hear Bank of America and JPMorgan have sophomore programs as well, but I haven't heard anything specific about them. The time to look into resume drops for those would be ASAP... as in, now.

Other that an, as eric809e said, anything that you can get that you can put on a resume when you're a junior will help a lot. Even cold calling local branches of big banks and asking to shadow them one day a week during the summer while working a real, paying job at a smaller place is great cover letter material.

And make your face known at corporate presentations - I'm not sure if they target UMich but I know at my school it is one of the best things you can do to get your name out there. Then, when all the same recruiters come back next year, they'll recognize you and you'll have a leg up. Half of our summer analyst presentations have already happened and then last half are happening this coming week so if your school is on the same schedule (if it has a corporate presentation schedule), definitely get on that soon.

Good luck!

May 1, 2015

With your school, GPA, and SATs, don't rule out interning at a bank. Might not be BB but you could still get one. If that fails, then look to see if there are any F500 companies near your home and try to intern at one of them in corporate finance or Corporate Development. Also look into PE funds, although I have heard these are often unpaid for interns and if you need $$ this summer that could be a problem. Finally, if those fail look to get a job in accounting either for the government, a tax firm, an audit firm, or a F500. At the very least you'll get a strong financial statement foundation.

Sophomore internships don't have to be world-beaters. They just have to show your interest in the field you move into (finance/accounting). Work to build a progression on your resume that shows you have started to develop a career path. And if you can, after your soph internship, try to get a fall internship somewhere while at school. I got one as a for-credit internship and got to take it in place of a 5th class. You get experience AND have one less class to deal with that semester.

May 1, 2015

Your first move should definitely be to go see a counselor or advisor at ross

May 1, 2015

Adding to Meehgs's list I know that UBS has a sophomore rotational program. A lot of kids are unaware that BB have younger programs, so they are actually less compeitive to get into. Speak to your advisor or counselor because Umich has a pretty strong presence in New York.

May 1, 2015

Sophomore programs are much more difficult than full time or junior recruiting simply because there are a very limited number of spots.

May 1, 2015

Yea sophomore programs are extremely competitive, kids at HYPS and wharton all know about them, and are pretty hardcore about getting into IB

May 5, 2014

I disagree. I did research sophomore year (physics) and secured an IB BB internship for my junior year. Granted, I had a finance position my freshman year summer. Don't underestimate the brand name and OCR of a top school.

May 1, 2015

JPMorgan has a program called "Honors Program." It's a summer analyst internship for outstanding rising Sophomores and Juniors. I hear that they take 20 people total from the whole country, though.

May 1, 2015

Please don't use rising sophomore...you're only trying to make yourself sound older when it doesn't work.

There are a lot of internships actually...just mainly not in front office. Check Doostang and your career center for big banks, middle market, fortune 500 or whatever you want to do. It won't be the most glamorous job but it'll be a nice resume builder.

May 1, 2015

hi

May 5, 2014

It's not the end of the world. Since you go to an Ivy, and I assume you have a solid GPA, you shouldn't have much trouble landing a FO summer analyst gig next year. Try for another 2 weeks to find something, but if you don't find anything go with something interesting to do for the summer so you can at least explain it in interviews.

I worked full-time, doing manual labor 60-70 hours a week after soph. year before a shitty pwm internship the next summer and landed a FO job at a MM

May 1, 2015

bump :/

May 1, 2015

you'll be fine. you just need a 3.5 for cut-offs. Get internships and network

May 5, 2014

How relevant do you guys think the internship should be? Today I interviewed for a data analytics position in the marketing department of a big healthcare company, which has a very well known brand name, and it would be a paid internship. Nevertheless, the data analytics isn't entirely irrelevant; it would be a lot of modeling and doing shit with excel, just not the same stuff that would be done in IB. Later this week I have an interview with some no name start up to do finance and accounting, but again no brand recognition and its unpaid. What do you guys think? It's not even the paid vs. unpaid, its really who important is brand recognition vs. relevance.

May 1, 2015

I will be a rising sophomore and I am going to look for a private wealth management internship in the summer of 09 to prepare myself in hopefully earning an Investment banking internship.

Actually I think you have really good EC's

May 1, 2015

also, you could try looking at a corporate finance internship. right now (the summer between my soph and jr year) im working at GE commercial finance. its basically a less intense version of wall street investment banking.

May 1, 2015

PWM is a standard soph internship. everyone from a remotely decent school has one of these, especially at Merrill lynch gpc (yawn). JPM PB, GSAM, or GS PWM is a whole league above ML GPC or Smith Barney or JPM PCS. look into corpfin or ER for ur sophomre internship. anything with significant valuation experience will impress IB recruiters.

May 1, 2015

Do you still get compensation or a housing stipend if you take a PWM internship? What about at a regional location of a BB?

May 1, 2015

Two data points:

1) Friend of mine @ MS GWM - housing stipend and comp. - a more structured program
2) Myself @ another BB PB - no housing, yes comp

IMHO, the only reason to work for free is to get experience that you believe is very valuable. If that's not happening, and I'd imagine it's unusual in PWM, there's no reason to work for free. In my case, I wanted to get a BB name on my resume and my particular position isn't the typical PWM internship, but that's another story.

May 1, 2015

JPM pb pays 12k a summer. legit. rising seniors only though.

May 1, 2015

so are we saying search for corporate finance > PWM?

May 1, 2015

Just to clarify:

Would the Rising Sophomore/Junior PWM/AM programs be compensated or are we only referring ot the rising senior roles?

May 1, 2015

delete

May 1, 2015

i think a PWN internship is complete bullshit; theres not exactly a whole lot you will get involved with. also, some of the PWN branches will take on 50+ PWN sophomores for the summer just to work on tedious projects the full timers dont want to do themselves
corporate finance at a firm is much more valuable.. at least there is some finance/accounting exposure.

opportunities at hedgefunds and small PE shops are also available sometimes in addition to BB sophmore rotationals.

May 1, 2015

what exactly does one do in PWM anyway?

May 1, 2015

best corporate finance programs?

May 1, 2015
kingbling89:

i think a PWN internship is complete bullshit; theres not exactly a whole lot you will get involved with. also, some of the PWN branches will take on 50+ PWN sophomores for the summer just to work on tedious projects the full timers dont want to do themselves
corporate finance at a firm is much more valuable.. at least there is some finance/accounting exposure.

opportunities at hedgefunds and small PE shops are also available sometimes in addition to BB sophmore rotationals.

i love how kingbling misspelled PWM three times in one paragraph. "PWN"? someone plays a little too much world of warcraft. and as for doing "tedious projects the full timers dont want to do themselves" -- get used to it. from my understanding an IB summer analyst position is 10x worse, and analysts themselves are just doing "tedious projects" that the VPs dont want to do.

agreed, the work as a PWM intern is pretty crappy, but what do you expect from a (usually) unpaid internship? however, you will get pretty familiar and quick with excel, especially if you work on learning shortcut keys like i did. and you can potentially learn a lot about the markets, which isnt directly transferable to IB but it is good for one's own knowledge.

still, as a sophomore a PWM job at a BB firm is very useful in a lot of ways. having the BB name on your resume is sure to give you an edge getting an ib interview as a junior, unless im mistaken. and if you make friends and get to know everyone in the office, you can establish very valuable contacts. Personally, the wonderful people at my Private Banking gig last spring all together introduced me to 8-10 people in IB, and i still keep in touch with everyone.

my PWM internship was very valuable and i highly recommend it to any sophomore, especially during the school year if your school offers a field studies program to get credit for it. but you have to be proactice and know how to network if you want to get the most out of your experience. also working at one of the top banks like GS or JPM helps a lot, my friends at Merrill did not have as positive an experience as the people at GS/JPM.

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May 1, 2015

yeah i totally misspelled that shit

though pwm is definitely pretty bullshit

its better than doing nothing but there are better things to do

May 1, 2015

Emailing sub 500MM hedge funds is an option. In this market, anything to differentiate yourself from the usual BB PWM internship can't be a bad thing. Take it with a grain of salt, but I'm currently a rising junior and was able to get an internship with a very small 200MM L/S equities fund and I am learning more than I could have ever imagined.

May 6, 2014

Go with the brand recognition and pay, unless you think you'll do really legitimate / interesting work and / or the startup's senior guys have connections you might be able to leverage through a recommendation.

May 14, 2014

Figured I'd update you for the hell of it. Got an offer from the big brand firm and accepted it. Thanks for the advice.

May 15, 2014

Congratulations. From my experience you don't need to have relevant internships before your junior year at an ivy; banks just want prestige when it comes to resume screens.

May 1, 2015

I had no soph or junior year internship and got GS/MS FT this year. Of course, you need to have done something substantive... not just sat on the couch all summer.

May 1, 2015
panther2k:

I had no soph or junior year internship and got GS/MS FT this year. Of course, you need to have done something substantive... not just sat on the couch all summer.

What did you do your sophomore and junior year instead of internships? Did you have any finance-related experience going in?

Thanks

May 1, 2015

Definitely don't waste your time with a sophomore internship. Have a fun summer and get whatever job you want junior year. Its easy.

May 1, 2015

Definitely don't waste your time with a sophomore internship. Have a fun summer and get whatever job you want junior year. Its easy.

May 1, 2015

Go fishing. Play basketball. Unless something nice falls into your lap... but don't kill yourself trying to get it.

May 1, 2015

knew a few people who did research/took classes over the summer and received a bb offer junior year

May 1, 2015

Study abroad (preferably on some sort of scholarship or prestigious program), research, athletics (if you're a varsity athlete), intensive public service programs, etc. are all things that would be good substitutes. You need to put in extra effort with networking and, most importantly, be able to adequately explain WHY you didn't do an internship. Some people might grill you a little extra on the technicals but as long as you know your stuff those should be slam dunks.

I'm a busi and econ major so the only exposure to finance I've had is what I've taken in school and learned on my own. It's a gamble and, as with anything, there's a little luck involved. Several people I've spoken with took a similar path so it's more than doable.

In some ways, I think it might be easier to go BB than boutique because they are going to put you through training so they don't care as much about previous banking experience.

May 1, 2015

that answers my question, thank you!

May 1, 2015

I know this post is from a few years back, but I find myself in a similar position as OP as a rising junior with not much finance experience on my resume other than a PWM internship a couple years back.

I have another PWM internship lined up for this summer (as I couldn't get offers from anywhere else) and am also taking summer classes over the summer. Should I work at the PWM while taking class just to have something on my resume, or is it not even worth it to add a 2nd pwm internship to my resume? Should I just focus on my classes instead?

May 6, 2014

ML pwm is for non targets... Waste of time if you go to an ivy

May 1, 2015

How serious about banking are you?

May 1, 2015

I wouldn't take classes, personally. It would show a lack of commitment in my eyes. Your internship doesn't have to be banking, but it should be somewhat related (in Finance). Some people will tell you that you need to get an I-Bank internship, which is simply not true, but you'd be making a big mistake taking classes instead of strengthening your work experience if you're truly committed to banking (in my eyes, at least).

May 1, 2015

I'm pretty serious about banking. I was really vigilant in researching about this stuff and looking for related internships a while back. But lately I've been sort of thinking of a back-up because it's hard to get into ibanking. I don't really find accounting that interesting so I wanted to get a more quantitative background and try for an MFE in the future as back-up.

May 1, 2015

it honestly doesn't sound like you're very serious about banking if you'd give up work experience to do something else. You have to be committed to do all the bitch-work and a really good way of proving that you will to an MD is doing as much related bitch-work you can to get experience. The only way out of that I'd say is if you opted to do something actually cool or extremely impressive like sleeping with polar bears or win some international breakdancing competition. Taking a math class is not any of those.

just my opinion.

actually, one check someone told me to do to see if you're really sure something is to describe yourself to someone else in one sentence.

eg.

the breakdancing investment banker who spent one year sleeping with polar bears.

May 1, 2015

I would say do an internship somewhere that sort of relates to Finance. An alternative would be to do something extraordinary and unconventional, at least unpredictable like couchy said. I think there was a guy on here who took a summer to work at a prison in Panama or something.

Good Luck

May 1, 2015

I would AT LEAST try to get part-time internships in a Finance role. I'm guessing there's a pretty high chance that the gap could be spotted if you didn't work...

If you do part time, that's legit too because it shows you can handle both.

May 1, 2015

No the sophomore internship is overhyped and not required. I am at a target in the Ivy league but not even the top target in my opinion and as I said before there were kids who did not know what banking was at the start of junior year and managed to land a SA position 5 months later. For target school that are liberal arts colleges they come here because we aren't Wharton, UVA, Haas, Ross, Kelley, Stern etc. which are target schools that are purely business oriented. They like to recruit us because we have the diversity of experience, that we have traveled abroad or worked at the State Department or curated a museum and in general did something different compared to business kids. I've made the mistake of focusing too much on finance in my first and second summers and I have had interviews where analyst would ask why didn't I just go to Stern or Wharton and asked more technical questions. I'd think that my sophomore summer would have been better spent traveling abroad as it'll be a more enriching experience especially if you have had finance experience before.

May 1, 2015

Powa basically capture it - it's not necessary. However, I would argue that it is helpful. I certainly got interviews my junior year because of where I interned my sophomore summer. That being said, you may change your mind about exactly what you want to do between now and full time recruitment - I did; I decided I wasn't interested in IB anymore, but still wanted to do something in the finance world - so putting too much pressure on yourself as a sophomore may not even pay dividends in the future if you change your focus. But maybe see if you can get a fall semester part time internship junior year.

May 1, 2015

not necessary at all.

i would highly encourage going abroad on a school grant, etc. if you can... not only does it put a feather in your cap and give you something interesting to talk about in an interview... but you'll love yourself for making the most of your college opportunities and enriching your worldview, etc... if you can rock something international and finance-oriented, all the better.

do whatever you want, but make sure it's something that you can sell in your interview as a value-add for your future career. (you can spin this / be flexible... but you may not be able to get away with something such as being a camp counselor at camp idontwannagrowup for the 4th year in a row).

note, the kids that do sophomore internships will have a leg up on you on the knowledge / skill set side -- esp in IBD vs. S+T -- but you can close the gap by reading what you can about the industry on sites like this and any worthwhile books to catch up on some basic knowledge... the skills you'll learn on the ground and if you're competent and passionate, you'll learn quickly.

good luck

who is john galt?

May 1, 2015

Probably not, but then you can't get that dank resume.

May 1, 2015

Landed top F500 insurance tech development summer role my sophomore year with under a 3.0. People always comment on the company name and are impressed. Experience > GPA all day boy.

GPA is only a hurdle, you just gotta jump over it boyo!

edit: Take online courses, I know my university had some of the classes online for summer. Take a couple of those and an internship. Bada Bing! Bada Boom!

May 1, 2015

If you can get your GPA above 3.5 and still get the finance experience, that would be best. If you're at a target, you don't need a 3.7 if your experience is good.

May 1, 2015

If online or independent study courses are an option, do those in addition to the internship

May 1, 2015

A higher GPA adds no value if you do not state relevant work experience on your resume next year.

May 1, 2015

If you have a 3.2 gpa, and you don't have a family member (uncle/cousin or closer) at related company, then you have no chance of getting a solid internship anyways. Go to summer school.

May 1, 2015
rpc:

If you have a 3.2 gpa, and you don't have a family member (uncle/cousin or closer) at related company, then you have no chance of getting a solid internship anyways. Go to summer school.

Spot-on.

May 1, 2015
triplectz:

You're not getting interviews with a 3.7 and no work experience even if you're at Harvard. Do an internship.

You clearly go/went to to a non-target. Not to be a dick, but tons of kids from my school that have 0 finance background/internships get interviews because they have solid GPAs- sometimes in completely unrelated majors as well. I would say try to do some sort of either club related to finance or internship throughout the semester, but at the top LACs (I'm including Harvard, Yale, places that don't have finance programs) a high GPA can be enough.

May 1, 2015

It is VERY important. Every internship should build on the one before it.

Here is my progression, as an example.

Fresh summer: Boeing/Raytheon/Northrop aerospace design intern
Soph summer: Boeing/Raytheon/Northrop finance/government relations intern
Junior Summer: Allstate/Farmers/StateFarm finance/investments intern
Senior Winter/Spring: StateStreet/PIMCO/BlackRock portfolio analyst intern
Senior Summer: MSF or will stay at AM firm if offered full-time gig.

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May 1, 2015

I had a good boutique IBD internship in NYC my freshman year, and I'm still competing with many guys at my school.

May 1, 2015

You're not getting interviews with a 3.7 and no work experience even if you're at Harvard. Do an internship.

May 1, 2015

i was in your boat, but i had 4 diff internships going into recruiting at a target with a 3.3. while i was not going for IBD i still have gotten several interviews. get the summer job, and just make sure you get a really high gpa in the spring. my last two semesters have been 3.7+ so my gpa is now closer to 3.5 when it comes to full time senior year.

"Hire character. Train skill." - Peter Schutz

May 1, 2015

I have been around here for awhile now but never posted anything, however, I feel like this thread could help me.

I am at a semi target (top 20 but not top 10) with no family connections to finance. I am looking to go to BB IBD for summer after junior year. I am currently a sophomore with a 3.9 and searching for the best way to get some experience this summer.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

May 1, 2015
golf308:

I have been around here for awhile now but never posted anything, however, I feel like this thread could help me.

I am at a semi target (top 20 but not top 10) with no family connections to finance. I am looking to go to BB IBD for summer after junior year. I am currently a sophomore with a 3.9 and searching for the best way to get some experience this summer.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Basically in same position last year (S&T instead of IBD). Applied for 90 different internships, with maybe 5% being connected through alumni/friends/family. Got four interviews, and two offers. Only advice I have is to apply for literally as many as you can find.

May 1, 2015

I mean it really depends. The economics and history double major at harvard has less to worry about than the finance major at podunk university. I think it's really situational, but honestly I think every college student thinking about finance should do an internship early on their academic career. However, whether or not you're interested in finance freshmen year is a different story. I think that any competitive internship freshmen year is good. Working at the UN freshmen year, even as a finance/economics major still looks good, interesting and all that. Good luck!

May 1, 2015

Do summer school. If you want finance experience during the year, email some tenure-track finance professors at your school and see if you can get involved in some research. More of an activity, but that couple with some finance/investment clubs could help make up for a lack of experience.

May 1, 2015

Get the GPA.

I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. -John D. Rockefeller

May 1, 2015

go ham and do both. Betch.

May 1, 2015

This one is easy, get the GPA up.

3.5 is the unmentioned watermark, you should do whatever is necessary to inflate your grades up. We don't even bother really going through all your classes. We will however ask for your grades in finance courses.

May 1, 2015
admin:

This one is easy, get the GPA up.

3.5 is the unmentioned watermark, you should do whatever is necessary to inflate your grades up. We don't even bother really going through all your classes. We will however ask for your grades in finance courses.

and what happen when they see a blank summer on the resume?

May 1, 2015

Go for an internship. The experience on your resume is much more valuable than the grades. Since you still have time work on your GPA in the spring semester

May 1, 2015

For entry-level, GPA is tops.

GPA>Experience>BS ECs

May 1, 2015

At my school (target), no one below a 3.7/3.8 got first rounds. Maybe an exception or two for some people with connections/great networking. I did a study abroad program over sophomore summer, no relevant experience freshmen summer, and landed top-tier BB IBD. GPA is more important in my opinion.

May 1, 2015

OP, how do you plan on getting your grades up that much? Just wondering. I was in the same boat. Sophomore with approx 3.1, got a summer internship at Alternative am firm in fund admin.

I've been getting 3.8's for last 4 semesters and now only have just a 3.51 (once credits start piling up, it becomes relatively impossible to increase your cumulative) and have had two more internships, one at a bank.

Still, not one interview for an analyst position. But I'd have to say GPA for now. you can get an internship during the semester or next summer.
Regards

May 1, 2015

So the issue with the blank summer resume could be resolved.

1. Take classes in the summer, if possible have them focus on finance and get very high marks.
2. After that you want to go and get an internship while in school immediately in Finance. As close as possible to what you want to do (appears to be banking).

Now he should definitely try to get an internship in banking etc for the summer, but being honest its going to be very hard with a 3.2. Guess it was a bit of a foolish assumption to think he/she wouldn't get an IB internship but that's pretty much the case given the background. A sophmore is very very young.

If the OP wrote "IB Internship or summer school" okay the situation is a complete 180... However the immediate response given should tell you how hard its going to be for him to even get an interview as a sophomore with a low gpa, just read the 3.2 in there and if that came across the desk it would be going into the no pile. It wouldn't even land on a decision maker's desk because the HR team/auto scan filter would sift out the sub 3.5 in the first place and toss it. It would also likely reject the sophmore standing as well.

So end of the day go ahead and apply, there are always exceptions, however best to position yourself for long-term when the most important internship season shows up (summer junior to senior year)

Note: to hammer in the impact of an internship. **Generally** A person with a sub 3.0 but somehow landed a MM/Boutique IB summer analyst role and got an offer would be a better candidate than a 4.0 with no finance experience.

Because as you all know, the job isn't all that hard mentally.

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May 1, 2015

...

May 1, 2015

Try and land an internship. If you can't at least you got out there and built up your network.
Experience is key, as is networking. GPA is great but it is secondary.
I got an internship after my freshman year at a no name wealth management firm. While it isn't anything to gawk at, it is something I am able to build off of and talk about when looking for an internship this summer as a sophomore. I usually try to focus on how I learned to work with clients. It also shows that you have initiative and true interest in finance.

May 1, 2015

Some random MM internship is better than nothing.

May 1, 2015

y don't u go travel/have some fun instead ?

You remind me of this guy, courtesy of "The All Nighter".

"So, today is the day HR assigns mentors to analysts in the starting class of 2007. All the bright, starry eyed graduates are in their best suits, in the lobby of the firm's headquarters, with bright shiny nametags stating the firm name and a big smiling photo of the fresh from university analyst. Little do they know that these smiling photos will serve them as reminders of the life and enthusiasm they once had, when they compare it to the face they see at 4 am in the elevator mirror.

Their shirts are super starched, their shoes are so shiny, you can see your reflection perfectly in them. Everyone has a fresh haircut and looks sharp. First day as an investment banker is a day to impress.

You make your way to the reception area and look through the numerous nametags until you find your assigned mentee. There's a huge smile on this guy's face, that you almost want to run up and put on a pair of shades to protect your eyes from the glare coming off his freshly polished teeth. After an overly enthusiastic handshake, you introduce yourself, and learn that it is such a pleasure to meet you. He has always wanted to rub shoulders with the high and mighty investment bankers like yourself. How exciting. You scratch your head, wondering what this kid is on. You certainly don't have the same level of enthusiasm each morning when you look yourself in the mirror. Sure, you look like an i-banker, you sound like and i-banker, you dress like an i-banker, but so does every other i-banker! As is that a good thing?

Damn. This kid has got issues.

Being asked about how he sees his career moving forward at the firm, the kid breaks into a monologue about how he's always wanted to work at this firm, with some of the greatest bankers on the street, learning from the best, working with the best, chilling with the coolest, and serving the richest. This is his dream and he's finally going to live it. Amazing.

You decide to change tact, and ask him about his spare time and what he likes to do with it, as you desperately struggle to find anything you may have in common with this poor misguided kid. You realize, however, this kid has no hope when he tells you that he likes to practice financial modelling in his spare time so that he can be a better analyst when he starts. Weekends? Catching up on all the articles in the week's Financial Times that he didn't have time to read.

Ok, change of track once again. You ask him about networking, fitting in and how he sees himself in the firm's corporate culture and that's when a ray of light appears. The big smile is replaced with a serious face, as he intimates that this is something he would very gladly have your advice on. He has heard that declaring oneself as a minority banker in whatever way, adds value to you as an asset of the firm, as investment banks are keen on maintaining diversity in the workplace.

He reckons, though, that a single minority is simply not good enough, so he wants your advice on how to do a double combo, slotting himself into two or three categories. His plan, is to become active in two ethnic minority programmes at the firm from day one, and also join the gay and lesbian group organised by HR. What he wants from you - to give an opinion on how "unfireable" this would make him!

So here you go, this kid who has gotten custom designed stripes on his neckties, so that they slope upwards as it's "a bull market" does have a sense of humour - albeit not being aware of it himself!

Damn, this kid has got issues "

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

May 1, 2015
StryfeDSP:

Some random MM internship is better than nothing.

Yeah but I don't think that one of these unpaid internships will be useful, since I already have a few internships already..

People get into top banks with much less experience than is parroted around as being necessary. Which makes me very confused on what to do! Typically PWM sophomore summer leads into IB junior summer. From my contacts list, a couple did BO/MO type sophomore internships and managed to get into BB banking for junior summer and one other had no prior experience and only a 3.7 GPA and got into a BB for FO for junior summer . I'm at a state school here, so it might even be more lax at targets like the ivies, but I do know of people with excellent resumes who get shut out of recruiting because of lack of networking/bad interviewing skills, so it's important to work on these vital aspects of getting the job.

May 1, 2015
mudkipz:

y don't u go travel/have some fun instead ?

You remind me of this guy, courtesy of "The All Nighter".

"So, today is the day HR assigns mentors to analysts in the starting class of 2007. All the bright, starry eyed graduates are in their best suits, in the lobby of the firm's headquarters, with bright shiny nametags stating the firm name and a big smiling photo of the fresh from university analyst. Little do they know that these smiling photos will serve them as reminders of the life and enthusiasm they once had, when they compare it to the face they see at 4 am in the elevator mirror.

Their shirts are super starched, their shoes are so shiny, you can see your reflection perfectly in them. Everyone has a fresh haircut and looks sharp. First day as an investment banker is a day to impress.

You make your way to the reception area and look through the numerous nametags until you find your assigned mentee. There's a huge smile on this guy's face, that you almost want to run up and put on a pair of shades to protect your eyes from the glare coming off his freshly polished teeth. After an overly enthusiastic handshake, you introduce yourself, and learn that it is such a pleasure to meet you. He has always wanted to rub shoulders with the high and mighty investment bankers like yourself. How exciting. You scratch your head, wondering what this kid is on. You certainly don't have the same level of enthusiasm each morning when you look yourself in the mirror. Sure, you look like an i-banker, you sound like and i-banker, you dress like an i-banker, but so does every other i-banker! As is that a good thing?

Damn. This kid has got issues.

Being asked about how he sees his career moving forward at the firm, the kid breaks into a monologue about how he's always wanted to work at this firm, with some of the greatest bankers on the street, learning from the best, working with the best, chilling with the coolest, and serving the richest. This is his dream and he's finally going to live it. Amazing.

You decide to change tact, and ask him about his spare time and what he likes to do with it, as you desperately struggle to find anything you may have in common with this poor misguided kid. You realize, however, this kid has no hope when he tells you that he likes to practice financial modelling in his spare time so that he can be a better analyst when he starts. Weekends? Catching up on all the articles in the week's Financial Times that he didn't have time to read.

Ok, change of track once again. You ask him about networking, fitting in and how he sees himself in the firm's corporate culture and that's when a ray of light appears. The big smile is replaced with a serious face, as he intimates that this is something he would very gladly have your advice on. He has heard that declaring oneself as a minority banker in whatever way, adds value to you as an asset of the firm, as investment banks are keen on maintaining diversity in the workplace.

He reckons, though, that a single minority is simply not good enough, so he wants your advice on how to do a double combo, slotting himself into two or three categories. His plan, is to become active in two ethnic minority programmes at the firm from day one, and also join the gay and lesbian group organised by HR. What he wants from you - to give an opinion on how "unfireable" this would make him!

So here you go, this kid who has gotten custom designed stripes on his neckties, so that they slope upwards as it's "a bull market" does have a sense of humour - albeit not being aware of it himself!

Damn, this kid has got issues "

This made me lol, not gonna lie. I definitely agree with this, but how should I explain this gap on my resume? Should I start a finance blog or something?

May 1, 2015
tkid3400:

This made me lol, not gonna lie. I definitely agree with this, but how should I explain this gap on my resume? Should I start a finance blog or something?

Go do something useful. Volunteer at a local charity, travel to the back arse of nowhere and do something which isn't traditional college tourist shite. They'll see plenty of these kids who did nothing but focus on finance once they entered college and as a result have nothing interesting to talk about in an interview or on the job.

You've got internships done so that's ok for next summer, go do some interesting stuff this summer. Apparently a big plus for BB banks right now is volunteer work. Gives you something to talk about in an interview other than your "in-depth" knowledge of financial modelling (which wont even compare to the bankers sitting opposite you).

May 1, 2015
IncapableChimp:
tkid3400:

This made me lol, not gonna lie. I definitely agree with this, but how should I explain this gap on my resume? Should I start a finance blog or something?

Go do something useful. Volunteer at a local charity, travel to the back arse of nowhere and do something which isn't traditional college tourist shite. They'll see plenty of these kids who did nothing but focus on finance once they entered college and as a result have nothing interesting to talk about in an interview or on the job.

You've got internships done so that's ok for next summer, go do some interesting stuff this summer. Apparently a big plus for BB banks right now is volunteer work. Gives you something to talk about in an interview other than your "in-depth" knowledge of financial modelling (which wont even compare to the bankers sitting opposite you).

What's your opinion on the wall street oasis seo internship? It apparently only takes 5 hours per week to complete, and it's more related to helping to build up this site, than just finance, and you get a mentor in Patrick's network at the end, who can advise you/help you out with your resume, networking, etc. It seems like a decent hedge, and it's remote as well. Should I even bother since I already have internships in finance (ie with a MM type firm, small company accounting - ie "corporate finance" - , etc) or should I just party it up, and do interesting things on the side? I'm a good student, I just got into all of this early and was unable to get a good FO position during recruiting this past year (because I wasn't a junior).

May 1, 2015

^Why not do both?

May 1, 2015
tkid3400:

What's your opinion on the wall street oasis seo internship? It apparently only takes 5 hours per week to complete, and it's more related to helping to build up this site, than just finance, and you get a mentor in Patrick's network at the end, who can advise you/help you out with your resume, networking, etc. It seems like a decent hedge, and it's remote as well. Should I even bother since I already have internships in finance (ie with a MM type firm, small company accounting - ie "corporate finance" - , etc) or should I just party it up, and do interesting things on the side? I'm a good student, I just got into all of this early and was unable to get a good FO position during recruiting this past year (because I wasn't a junior).

Party up and do some interesting shit. By volunteer I mean at a charity, not helping a finance related website. They'll want to see you have other interests than just getting into IB. Sounds like a handy internship, it's only 5 hours so means you can do plenty of other stuff too. You'll get a FO role next summer assuming you do good in the app process so use this summer, party and do some interesting stuff you can talk about in an interview. It's really overplayed on this forum how necessary internships are, if you have 1-2 under your belt (like you do) you'll be fine in terms of internships. People who have nothing interesting about them and solely live finance don't make for enjoyable colleagues, bankers realise that.

May 1, 2015

Hey tkid3400! I'd highly recommend applying for the SEO internship, I just started doing it today. It's very straightforward and the work that you'll be doing is essentially reading financial news and connecting finance writers and bloggers to WSO posts relevant to their work, so it's at the very least a great learning experience and good cold emailing practice. Besides, you don't have to list how many hours you spent doing it on your resume but it does pretty solidly demonstrate that you have a real interest in finance. That's pretty good return on investment imo. Throw the perks on top of that and I think you'd be crazy not to at least give it a shot.

Shake off them summertime blues, ya know?

May 1, 2015

I agree with people saying doing something different. The two things that stuck out most on my resume was traveling, and an internship that I got by calling the firm and saying I'd work for free simply b/c I wanted the experience. On my resume I didn't say I worked for free...My interviewers just asked "Oh, how did you get XYZ?" and I told them. They were more impressed with that and the traveling than my most recognizable experience (internship at Big 4). At least you already have some experience from freshman year though. I definitely think that will make you stand out.

May 1, 2015

I can only speak as someone in the same boat, but per advice from an alumni in the industry, I wouldn't limit myself just to just the BB programs. I'm working in risk this summer at a middle market bank but as a sophomore, since it's early, I looked at everywhere that was hiring in finance so that I could gain some sort of finance related experience. Definitely go to all the info sessions/on-campus visits of places that come because that's how I was able to get this offer.

May 1, 2015

Somebody with experience please respond -- I am also curious! Thanks

LA Bull

May 1, 2015

Somebody with experience please respond -- I am also curious! Thanks

LA Bull

May 1, 2015

Nothing is guaranteed even if you have 2 IB internships.

May 1, 2015

Network your tail off and have someone on the inside flag your resume. Then if you're smart enough and can carry a conversation and get them to like you, then you should be fine. It also depends if you come from a target or non target.

May 1, 2015

Bump, can anyone speak to the sort of sophomore internships people at those banks typically have?

May 1, 2015

I don't think it's "typical", but my sophomore internship was also IBD at GS/JPM/MS, and I returned for my junior summer (but to a different group).

Having two summers of boutique IB won't necessarily guarantee you anything, but it will certainly give you an advantage over those without any IB experience at all.

May 1, 2015

@"cogitoergognome" thanks for your comment - what are your thoughts on a PE summer internship instead of a second boutique IB one?

May 1, 2015

It's hard to say without mentioning specific names, but in general I'd say the equity research internship would be a better experience.

May 1, 2015

You'll be okay if you play your cards right. Something important to consider over the summer is how you will logically spin your experiences at the consultancy to why you want to do research and how it was relevant.

May 1, 2015

You should be in good shape. I interned in ER my junior year at a BB from a non-target school with no prior internship in finance (did an operations role my sophomore year). Feel free to PM me if you have questions.

May 1, 2015

........

May 1, 2015

The qualification for taking CFA is pretty flexible. You can take it if the addition of your years of work experience (doesn't have to be finance-related to just qualify for the exam) and years in school is over four years. I've taken two years of gap-year before matriculating.

May 1, 2015

You can try reaching out to those private equity firms that operates in emerging markets such as Leopard Capital and ask for an unpaid summer role.

May 1, 2015

Also, you are only a sophomore. Recruiting season is far from over. Now it may just take some legwork and networking. There is a great thread from a while back talking about this.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/searching-fo...

May 1, 2015

As a sophomore at a target, not getting a BB or EB offer is the norm. Only a handful of kids make it each year. I'm sure your school has a ton of connections at smaller boutique places that would be happy to take you on for the summer. Linkedin is your friend, look at all the kids in your network that are a year ahead of you and see where they interned their sophomore year. I'm sure most of them weren't at the big name firms. Start using the alumni database and reaching out to people, if you're motivated you'll definitely find something in Finance for the summer and thats still a good place to be for a sophomore.

May 1, 2015

If you want to do investment banking, get an investment banking internship

May 1, 2015

As a sophomore I'd say you shouldn't have been aiming for BB's you should be aiming for some regional boutique internships, then next summer start contacting the BB's.

May 1, 2015

Or anything else related. It is extremely difficult to land anything at that point at your career because many firms, mine included, won't even look at you.

May 1, 2015

You're a sophomore at a target with a good GPA. You don't need a sophomore banking internship, you'll get interviews next summer no problem.

Get an internship somewhere. Maybe work at a startup, work at a F500 company, or hell even working at a summer camp would be fine. You'll just need to do something productive that you'll be able to talk about in interviews.

May 1, 2015

There aren't a lot of options for sophomores at big established firms. The BBs who do have a sophomore program use them almost without exception for diversity recruiting. The only exception I know of is the UBS President's Internship. MS has the Sophomore Rotational Program which is not explicitly diversity focused, but the correlation between kids who come in through the RBF Scholarship pipeline / Pride LGBT thing and those who are in the Sophomore Rotational is very high.

Long story short, you won't find a long list of name-brand places you can click 'submit' on an online application for. This means you need to take things into your own hands. The good news is that you have a fantastic GPA and go to a very solid target school. More, that school gives you a location advantage that the kids from better schools don't have.

You should spend a couple hours a day for the next few weeks making a spreadsheet with the dozens of middle market investment banks, middle market private equity funds, smaller hedge funds, and various asset management firms that are scattered across the city. Your list could easily be in the hundreds just with firm names. Then you can troll across the websites to see if they list email contact info directly there; surprisingly, many do, even at some pretty prominent firms you'd think wouldn't. Also Google for the email format and see if you can find any places where someone's email is floating around the web. Conference attendee lists are a great tool. RFPs are as well. You'd be shocked how many RFPs are sitting there with no passkey because some shit-tier pension fund has no IT budget and is stuck in the last decade so all the RFP submissions are unsecured PDFs linked to the website somehow.

Build a deep list of contacts at all the firms you found to go after. For those who you can't find an email for, go across LinkedIn. You need to start selling your story to people. Find something you have in common (school, sport, fraternity, etc.), send a short two-sentence email introducing yourself and asking for a brief call, and have your 'tell me about yourself' answer down cold. Do well on the call, follow up and ask for coffee a couple weeks later, and meet people in person.

You should be doing that routinely around the year since you go to school in the city. By the time you graduate you could have had dozens of meetings. If you did just two a week for the next five semesters you'd have gotten to know ~300 people by graduation. That network will be really valuable to you across your career. Right now, it's the first step to getting an internship as an underclassman.

Good luck. It's a grind, but it's doable. Your end result will be a simple function of how much time you invest into the process.

May 1, 2015

I was in a position similar to you last year. I ended cold-calling/emailing heavily through March and landing a spot in early April at a boutique in NYC. I would recommend doing something similar now, and network heavily for junior year over the summer.

May 1, 2015

easier relative to what

May 1, 2015

I think the answer would be yes in pretty much any circumstance. If you were an ER intern, especially at a BB itll help you. Would help you more probably if you were going into S+T than IB.

May 1, 2015

Well the answer is only pretty much yes under any circumstance if you are comparing it to nothing. If you're asking, will working at a restaurant improve my chances of getting an ib interview, I'd say yes, if your alternative is to do nothing.

May 1, 2015

My alternative is going to Germany and having fun with family. Pretty much just party the summer away. I would be doing it at a boutique in SF.

May 1, 2015

Definitely ER then.

May 1, 2015

You can afford to take soph summer off, especially if you come from a good college. If not, take the ER internship and make sure you keep your GPA up. Just take some kind of internship your junior year during spring semester. Getting that name on your resume will help in getting an internship b/w junior and senior year.

May 1, 2015

I go to a school in California that isn't recruited by IB people at all. I am thinking about transferring to another school though.

May 1, 2015

was wondering the same

May 1, 2015

Everyone from my non-target school who break into BB's (bout 2-3 that break in legit w/o diversity recruiting), and even MM's during their junior summer, have 2-3 boutique IB/PE internships before they do so. The way they do so is really to cold call local firms, as most of the firms that they worked at don't have official recruiting processes. I've seen one kid break in with a very well recognized F500 internship (GE Capital) for his sophomore summer, but then again he did diversity recruiting to get that summer internship.

This is different if you're at a target school though.

May 1, 2015

t.

May 1, 2015

When do these boutique firms usually have their intern classes set? I'm assuming that January would be a reasonable time to start calling?

May 1, 2015

I go to a target that doesn't have an undergraduate business program... surprisingly, not that many people here do a sophomore IB internship here (I would estimate 10-15). I think most people who get BB IBD work in PWM, PE, or HF for their sophomore summer.

May 1, 2015

dude your at vanderbilt.
with a bunch of bluegrass kids, ur lucky to get any job. don't be so picky.

apply and be thankful if you get a job. People really look down on hicks like you

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May 1, 2015

Maybe its just me but something seems odd about it. It looks like a very structured program, which is normally a good thing, but I didn't see any real specifics on what, exactly, you'd be doing on the job. Never hurts to apply, but if you get an interview I'd try to figure out exactly what you'd be doing.

May 1, 2015

Douchebag, I'm from Boston. And I am confident that I can get the job

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May 1, 2015

YOu'd be lucky to get any job from vanderbilt...

May 1, 2015

I'm sure it will help, but if you already have a full time job for the summer, then it might not be worth it. Is your summer job related to finance at all? Can you spin it on your resume so it looks like a finance related internship?

The program seems like it could be great for your resume if you don't have anything else. Would you able to do your summer job and this? maybe take two weeks off for this?

May 1, 2015

My current job is working for an internet startup and it has very little if anything to do with finance. I can definitely continue working there while I have an internship... actually that's what I prefer. It's good money, I think it's going places, and I'm very close to the team I'm working with.

That being said, how would the metlife gig compare to other internships I applied to? Waiting to hear from places like BBH, Raytheon, GE FMP (would be great), and some other boutiques.

May 1, 2015

I think other boutiques would be better than Met Life, but if you can't get anything else, then Met Life is definitely better than nothing!

May 1, 2015
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Banking.

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