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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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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