How to get an internship in Investment Banking/Private Equity as an undergraduate

Hi monkeys,
I will a sophomore in the upcoming Fall semester at a target school who wants to attain an internship in IB or PE for the summer of 2018. I am currently taking summer classes at my school and have two months to kill after they end; I want to spend that time studying the technicalities that are needed for both industries.

My questions are:

What do BB/EB IB firms and PE firms want incoming summer analysts to know?
Any prior modelling knowledge needed?
I assume that most of the interview questions will be behavioral, but any technical questions that they might ask? About what?
How would you go about networking in general? All my attempts to network have resulted in no replies.

Thanks.

Comments (30)

Jun 19, 2017

as a sophomore the most important question is are you female, black, hispanic or LGBT? If not luckily Tobin & Co is probably hiring because a BB internship isn't happening

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Jun 19, 2017

What do BB/EB IB firms and PE firms want incoming summer analysts to know?

Anyways, any other tips you can give me regarding techincal knowledge needed?

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Jun 19, 2017

For a large bank you just need understand basic accounting and valuation methods since they'll train you during your first week. I'm assuming you're a white male so if you get an investment banking internship after sophomore year it'll likely be at a small firm who doesn't have the resources to spend a week training you and doesn't have a research department so they'll expect you to know a lot more.

Honestly, If I knew exactly what to tell you I'd make my own interview guide and sell it for $10 less than the WSO interview guide

Best Response
Jun 22, 2017
thekeyofgflat:

as a sophomore the most important question is are you female, black, hispanic or LGBT? If not luckily Tobin & Co is probably hiring because a BB internship isn't happening

I can see future posts: "Non-target, 4.0 GPA: Currently pretending to be gay to get an internship at Goldman Sachs."

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Jun 23, 2017

I see a future - Pete, a prestigious young white male with a 4.0 GPA from an august institution with ivy on the walls, showing up for his first day at the storied investment bank Sanders & Co. He's elated to be there, but he doesn't quite fit in with all the other young bankers.

He quivers in his bespoke italian suit, Patek Philippe clattering around on his sweaty wrist as he tries to pass for "woke" alongside all the LGBTQ afro-latinx social justice analysts with Skrillex haircuts and Hermes ties embossed with the colors of their school's BLM chapters.

Really, some of the people that post on this forum are ridiculous. Hope they spend as much time getting their 4.0 as they do wondering about whether minorities are going to sweep the SA offer out from under them.

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Jun 22, 2017

Going off this post, is it better for sophomores to aim for MMs and Boutiques rather than BBs?

Jun 22, 2017

Frankly, in my opinion, I don't think it matters; go what you want to go for.

Edit: I've seen sophomores land internships at top BB firms at my school.

Jun 22, 2017

Not to be out of pocket, but if you were the kind of straight white male who gets a sophomore internship at a BB bank you probably wouldn't be asking how to get an internship right now on WSO.

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Jun 22, 2017

There are literally so many threads on this dude. Everything from technicals to what you can do to get the best internship possible.

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Jun 22, 2017

Have a silver banana to rectify what I can only assume is salty shit slinging courtesy of OP.

Why on earth your post would get shit on, I cannot fathom - OP's questions are so boilerplate as to offend those on this site with charitable inclinations.

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Jun 22, 2017

Hi OP - based on your post, I think the most important thing you should know about recruiting for IB is that you look lazy and entitled when you ask busy professionals to waste their time answering the most basic questions about the process - questions that have been answered in the public domain a million times before in more or less the same way.

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Jun 23, 2017

I wrote this post to the whole WSO community, which you should of course know consists of students and professionals (since it seems you have been on WSO longer than I have). I asked, and anyone who has the answer may answer (not just busy professionals), if they have the time, of course.

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Jun 23, 2017

Understood. However the point I'm making applies regardless of the fact that you're also targeting the prospective monkey readership of WSO.

I didn't MS your reply, so I'm responding in the spirit of goodwill. In this industry, people are not going to have a charitable attitude about you as a prospective intern/new hire if they sense that you're not willing to do the maximum legwork to better yourself. As someone breaking in, this means approaching every question/learning opportunity as if it's a precious, finite resource (which in truth, it is), and asking questions commensurate with this value. As a new hire, this means thinking your way through a problem you don't know the answer to, and using your question not only to get an answer, but to demonstrate that you figured out as much as you could with the resources available to you.

For better or worse, people in high-stress, high-learning-curve jobs like this tend to think of "the value of your time" as being positively correlated with your experience/position in the hierarchy. I cannot tell you how many bosses will operate under the latent assumption that their time is worth 10 times what yours is, and so even if they can answer the question in one minute, it is more fair/business sensible to let you spin your wheels for 9 minutes and 59 seconds.

They're not entirely wrong. I come from a legal background, where time is billable. My time is worth quite literally a fraction of my partner's time. Sure, he could answer the vast majority of my questions in short order. But he's got a lot of stuff to do, so why should he bother unless I have exhausted all my other options first?

On a more positive note, on the flip side, people will recognize and appreciate it if you are making a genuine effort to maximize the value of their time. Use this to your advantage.

A better set of questions you could ask:

"I'm trying to learn technicals for a restructuring group interview. I have already read case studies X, Y, and Z. I looked up the threads on WSO and exhausted those. Anybody know of some other materials I'm not seeing?"

"I was watching X's video tutorials on DCF modeling, but I'm getting hung up on the concept of [time value of money, risk free interest rate, etc]. Can someone point me towards some resources that help distill those concepts?"

Heck, it's even fair to say "Hey I want to break in, but I have no idea where to start". Just at least demonstrate to me that you tried something more time intensive than "let me fish for advice I haven't earned". People in financial backgrounds are punitive in this way.

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Jun 23, 2017

Well clearly you don't have the time to do research on topics heavily discussed.

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Jun 23, 2017

yeah those BB sophomore programs are for minorities or kids whose parents are extremely well-connected. You have a few months to figure how to best fake being gay so you will be drippin prestige come next summer.

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Jun 23, 2017

what about for freshman who get these positions?

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Jun 23, 2017
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