Internship Dilemma: How will this be perceived?

bankforbank's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Been lurkin around for a while now and this place is really educational.

Anyways, I need some advice on choosing between two internships.

I've been offered an internship position in the finance department for a BB. I've yet to have been assigned a product group so there is a lot of ambiguity, but its clearly middle/back office.

I've also been offered a role in the S&T fixed income division of another BB. The internship itself is being marketed as more of a FO one, although I'm not too sure of this myself and would appreciate the advice of those on here.

From my understanding, it basically consists of working closely with Sales (seated on the trading floor if it makes any difference). Job includes performance analysis, product reporting, following up on market new. What I can recall is that there is a "lot of number crunching" and was a very "numbers oriented job". My apologies for not being able to recall any more.

With my limited experience and knowledge, I can't really discern which would look better come FT recruitment for FO jobs. On one hand, the later internship was marketed as more of a FO role whereas the first one is clearly a back office one. The kicker though, is that the back office gig pays substantially more (I'm based outside of the US, so this could probably explain it. Perhaps I'm being put on a local package vs expat, not sure).

From a working environment perspective, I'd probably have more fun at the first one, but I'm willing to grind it out given that its only two months and would happily take any abuse that comes along the way. In the end, I want something that will set me up for FT recruitment.

So given the circumstances, how would you go about making a decision?

Thanks guys


Hey guys,

So I managed to gather a lot more information about the internship and would appreciate any advice.

So the fixed income role is essentially a support function for the Sales force. It helps sales conduct daily routines of client maintenance and producing call reports. It entails a lot of reporting to senior management and entails a breakdown of performance by client and products.

There is also a bit of compliance work to meet the rules set out by regulators.

Another aspect of the role would be research--identifying new opportunities and clients. This would mean going through external sources and finding credible information on where the institutional buyers are and what their strategies entail.

So there you have it, the role comprises of both reporting and research.

On the other hand, I have an offer for Finance at another BB which pays substantially more and is part of a much more structured program. I'll have classroom training, go through midterm reviews, be assigned mentors, the whole nine that comes with structured summer internships. Unfortunately, I have yet to find out which product area I've been assigned to.

So from a long term career perspective, if my aim is to get into a FO role, which internship should I choose. On one hand, the earlier internship is quite ambiguous and can be played as a FO role whereas Finance is clearly back office.

Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Comments (6)

May 6, 2008

Can you give us the the S&T job description or PM it to one of us? If it is front-office, then I would hands-down take it over the former. But the ambiguity right now is the problem.

May 15, 2008

Got an update on the job. Please read the portion below "EDIT/UPDATE"

May 15, 2008

This is just my personal opinion on the matter based on the knowledge of "finance" positions. Working in the "finance" department of most BBs is accounting. If you want to be an accountant, go for it. Otherwise I would look closer at the S&T related position. There are a couple of reasons I think you should consider this.
1. The people you will meet in the "finance" department will not be able to assist you nearly as much as the people in the S&T role. If you will be reporting to senior management, if you work your ass off you can impress them and apply for less of a support role next summer.
2. You can creatively spin your experience to make it sound less like a support position. XXX Investment Bank - Sales & Trading
3. Your position in S&T will be more indicative of the actual hours you will be facing FT.
4. I think you will actually learn more about the markets, exactly what your group does, and how to use the tools at your disposal with the S&T position.

Best of luck with whatever you choose.

May 15, 2008

those are both bo positions

May 15, 2008

those are both bo positions

May 16, 2008