How to land an internship as a college freshman with no experience?

As mentioned above, I am a college freshmen at a nontarget school whose only experience is working at Raising Canes, a catering service, and Cutco (lol spare me the pyramid scheme jokes). What is the best way for me to land a summer internship? Cold emails? Cold calls? Go to business fairs? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (72)

Best Response
Sep 12, 2017 - 9:30pm

What city are you in? If it's Dallas, then maybe I can help.

Here's what you should do, just being honest. Spend your freshman summer or freshman during the year working in either insurance or financial analyst.

You'll learn more about sales in that small time, that it'll impact the way you live your fucking life. It's greatness when you learn the skills early on. I would suggest financial advisor because you'll find people who can work with your schedule, and it's going to be finance related. Maybe if that even means going insurance but then studying for your licenses.

That first summer internship is meaningless, but it means a TON. When you do that internship or part time job during the year, make sure the network with people on Linkedin. It can mean you have a connection to a connection who has a connection type game. If you play that, you'll not only get into good jobs you have a great professional career. Alumni, people who could mentor and just start a little bit of a business relationship. Even if it's also based on your skills a the job your'e at.

Now how to get those jobs? Easy. Buy a good fitting suit, watch about 12 hours of public speaking and sales techniques on YouTube and then go financial advisor office to office, or insurance agency to agency. Ask them to take you on, because you're willing to do what it takes to win, and learn. Highlight your sales interactions (clubs, talking to irrate customers at Raising Canes, etc.) and just win the interview.

When you apply to banks or boutiques or any type of sophomore year internships, you already have some work experience ON TOP OF killing it on campus. If you can do both, you'll be in a great place. I know people who did this model, and it helped tremendously with interviewing, having confidence and knowing more about business.

Also apply to other jobs, and if you really want to.. go into the offices of places and drop resumes. It might seem outdated, but as a freshman you're going to have to be different and just find the person willing to take a chance on you honestly.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller. "Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL
  • 5
Sep 12, 2017 - 9:36pm

What internships should I look for Freshman year? (Originally Posted: 07/30/2017)

I've decided that maybe working as a telemarketer isn't for me. I know I'm going to get a 4.0 my first year at college. It's a sure thing just don't question it. How early should I be networking and whom should I reach out to? I have PWM firms in my area and I feel like I have a great chance since I'm amazing at interviewing, I don't sweat or get nervous. I dont want to come off as a try hard with no life, rather, someone who the people at the firm would love to have around as the intern and is enjoyable. I fit that mold perfectly and I come off as smart according to most people I've met.

I have so much drive now since I'm embarrassed of working a typical Summer job (dishwasher). I saw a very rich dude come in and we started talking. I told him I wanted to do investment banking and went over pretty much everything I've learned from here. Before he left he patted me on the shoulder saying "You're too damn smart to be working here." He smirked and left. I have so much drive I will do whatever it takes. If I need to wait outside BofA or Wells Fargo (retail banks) I will if that's what it takes to achieve my internship.

Thanks.

Array

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Sep 12, 2017 - 9:45pm

You're a rising freshman?

Is it too late to go to the T50 school?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 12, 2017 - 9:46pm
Isaiah_53_5:

You're a rising freshman?

Is it too late to go to the T50 school?

Yes I am. I'm going to a local CC first for financial reasons. I got accepted to a t50 schools but parents said no since I had to pull out private loans.

Array

Sep 12, 2017 - 9:50pm

Have some respect. This is at least the Genghis Khan of troll.

in it 2 win it
  • 1
Sep 12, 2017 - 10:18pm

I've just been looking through threads... the one thing I'm going to say is, there's being confident, and then there is being cocky. Everything you think you know, you don't. My honest, personal advice is stop saying that you are amazing at everything. It looks bad and you won't get anything with that attitude because no one wants to be around a cocky person.

  • 1
Sep 12, 2017 - 10:20pm

Oh my god calm down and breathe. You have so much time.

  1. Enjoy your summer. Go get laid a bunch of times. Or travel. Something fun.
  2. When you get to college, focus on getting a high GPA and getting leadership positions in ECs
  3. Enjoy your freshman/sophomore year and make horrible social mistakes
  4. Travel abroad during the Freshman summer. Or during sophomore year.
  5. Apply for consulting internships for your junior summer

Is this a troll post and I didn't get the joke?

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:21pm

It is not a troll post. And I understand the part about enjoying the summer, I already have some fun stuff planned. I do believe, however, that in an industry as competitive as consulting- every bit helps. I also know that I would very much enjoy the experience. I have read up on what I should do in college, and I do plan to study abroad. But, I really want some experience this summer. I feel like it would be really valuable and a fascinating experience. Undoubtedly, in the future, I'll be competing with people who have absolutely amazing resumes. So, I want to get every opportunity/leg-up possible.

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:22pm
Aura0505:

Oh my god calm down and breathe. You have so much time.

1. Enjoy your summer. Go get laid a bunch of times. Or travel. Something fun.
2. When you get to college, focus on getting a high GPA and getting leadership positions in ECs
3. Enjoy your freshman/sophomore year and make horrible social mistakes
4. Travel abroad during the Freshman summer. Or during sophomore year.
5. Apply for consulting internships for your junior summer

Is this a troll post and I didn't get the joke?

idk if its a trollpost, but its definitely in the same vein as those "I am 12 years old, is it too late for me to learn programming" posts that have appeared on Quora recently.

To the OP - highschool and freshman year experience/externships dont really add too much value from an HR/recruiting perspective. The main reason to do it is whatever you can personally learn from it. Having a solid summer internship junior year is all the experience you need for FT recruitment.

During first couple of years of college, you should Join a social club or a fraternity/sorority and network, socialize, and develop all the social veins you would need as a consultant.

Just my two cents.

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:31pm

Getting an Internship - Freshman at Cornell's AEM program (Originally Posted: 06/21/2009)

Hey guys,

so I will be an entering freshmen into Cornell's AEM program next year and I had a question relating to investment banking internships. First of all, is it common to get first year internships at all (unpaid even) or are these spots usually reserved for sophomores and juniors?

If so, what classes can i take/activities can i do/jobs can i hold that will boost my chances for one of these spots?

What is the best way to go about finding these unpaid internship opportunities and any other internship opportunities?

I know it is early but thus far, it seems like early success will lead to even more success when looking for actual jobs, etc. so I wanted to get a head start.

Thanks for the help!

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:33pm

Getting an unpaid internship in finance is very realistic for a freshman. I would rely on the alumni who graduated from your program, attending info sessions and passing your resume to the recruiters.

Also UBS has a Discovery Days program for freshman (not an internship), which is like a "sell day" that teaches freshmen about the different divisions of a bank. There is a selection process, and the application is due around January of each year.


Chase Us, Break In
http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot.com/

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:34pm

Thanks for the replies guys, thats really helpful. I'm perfectly fine with cold calling these firms but is there any resource for finding these boutique investment banks? Are there any ones in particular that you have had a good experience with or know for sure recruits interns every summer?

Thanks!

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:36pm

Google = great.

Oftentimes, bulge bracket firms will have local branches that run private wealth and brokerage services. An internship with your local BB branch freshman year doesn't give you many substantial opportunities to contribute but the name on the resume helps and hopefully you'll make some contacts who can will refer you to other contacts within the organization, who will then refer you again... and so on.

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:40pm

probably not going to be easy to get banking as a freshman, unless you are seriously good at sucking dick. even then, you'll also need to have a good gpa (which usually comes easier if you suck dick well). and if you're one of those guys who thinks you actually have to work hard to get things and can't skate by by placating anyone important with a nice hummer, then you're probably not cut out for banking. at least, not anywhere good. i'm sure ubs healthcare would be happy to have you for "discovery" day... maybe they can discover some profits

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (202) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82