Internships - How did you land your first finance internship?

How and when did you guys land your first finance related internship?

I'm a freshman in college and I'm looking around for opportunities, it seems most of you were already summer analysts in 8th grade?

Anyways, glad I found this website. As discouraging as it may be (realizing how difficult this industry is) I've learned a lot just lurking old threads.

Comments (24)

Dec 9, 2009

that it's a crapshoot. One of my friends applied to two internships - Goldman prop trading / principle investing and Deutsche S&T internship. Got accepted to goldman, rejected from deutsche. my first intership was soph year

Dec 9, 2009

You can't apply to Goldman Prop trading. Did he apply to S&T and get placed in prop trading? What did he do there?

Dec 9, 2009
chicago__111:

You can't apply to Goldman Prop trading.

Yes you can.

Dec 9, 2009

Also, GS prop isn't even in the same division as PIA.

Anyway, as a freshman your best shot is probably a PWM gig. Reaching out to alumni is also an option.

Dec 9, 2009
drexelalum11:

Also, GS prop isn't even in the same division as PIA.

Anyway, as a freshman your best shot is probably a PWM gig. Reaching out to alumni is also an option.

I've mentioned this on the board elsewhere, but there are 1000 boutiques with summer programs, internships and the like. If you are hard working, smart and responsible not to mention tenacious, you will apply to a ton of places and follow up vigorously and you will land a job. WHATEVER you do, do NOT do a PWM internship. That is a lame job and even though you'll learn something and get it on your resume, you'd be better off getting a real banking internship even if you had to do it unpaid. The internship is worth its weight in gold in terms of experience as an analyst.

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The time is now, seize the day ...

Dec 9, 2009
wsofan2009:

I've mentioned this on the board elsewhere, but there are 1000 boutiques with summer programs, internships and the like. If you are hard working, smart and responsible not to mention tenacious, you will apply to a ton of places and follow up vigorously and you will land a job. WHATEVER you do, do NOT do a PWM internship.

I disagree on both notes. First of all, there are not 1000 boutiques with summer programs or internships. I went to a target school and there are not THAT many boutique banking internships. There were probably several dozen posted throughout the year, but those are more likely to get snapped up by sophomores/juniors. Sure, you can start cold calling all boutique ibanks in the city and try to land an unpaid internship, but that does not mean that with tenacity you can surely get one as a freshman or sophomore.

Secondly, not all boutique internships beat out PWM. A BB name is still gold for a freshman/sophomore and will open doors when applying to the BB summer analyst programs. Sure there are hundreds of boutique companies, but a big portion of them will give you crap experience, so a BB name is better. In the end it's a judgement call. A boutique may be better if you think you will get solid experience. But I would not rule out PWM altogether, as that is how many people network into their BB summer analyst positions.

Dec 9, 2009

for specifically lets say investment banking, would a remote internship be useful for landing future internships?

Dec 9, 2009

I think that is a nice thing for anyone coming from a military background before hitting undergrad. Easy to stand above the competition when the cookie cutter is little to no work experience and just doing well in school vs 4yrs military + excellent academics.

Dec 9, 2009

Highly disagree with the first part. The first internship honestly isn't that hard to get. If it is, either you are setting your standards too high or something is wrong with you.

As someone who did virtual internships, it is better than nothing and better than taking classes, but it is far from close to a real internship. It lacks many things like
1. Office environment
2. Everything is delayed. In an office environment, you don't miss calls and if someone walks into your office you are basically going to be seeing them right there and now. At my current internship, if I emailed my boss the questions I normally ask, he probably wouldn't respond to them within a workday. It's easy to call out right next your cubicle. As such, the work you will be given will tend to be more menial just because your boss can't or doesn't want to deal with a stupid barrage of small, but important questions regarding how to finish an assignment.

Dec 9, 2009

Congrats on taking the first step.

People tend to shit on PWM here due to the fact that you will most likely be doing a lot of cold calling. Cold calling isn't really a bad thing at your level. You will drastically improve your phone conversations which is very helpful for that first round phone interview later down the road.

You may also get lucky and work on some client presentation and excel, but whatever you do, make sure you get a solid recommendation letter out of this internship.

Good luck.

Dec 9, 2009

Bro I know how you feel, I'm also a freshman, and it certainly is a good feeling when you get that offer.

Dec 9, 2009

I cold call...they call me Mr. Appointments in my office lol

Dec 9, 2009

Congrats! BAML PWM is a great first step :)

Dec 9, 2009

IMO the best feeling is that first time they fly you out to NYC and reimburse you for everything. I remember feeling like such a baller hailing a cab to drive me to the hotel room they had reserved for me in Times Square (which at the time I thought was the prime location in NYC, lmao). I also spent $35 on dinner that night b/c I had a $40/day food allowance. Good times...

Dec 9, 2009

Don't say it's "only a PWM internship with BAML," because it almost sounds like you're knocking the firm and the position, and it's a great internship to have. If you're working in PWM, unless you're working for U.S. Trust or their BofA's private banking division, I assume you're just working for Merrill Lynch and not BAML, correct? Well then keep in mind that Merrill is the best bar none at retail PWM.

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Dec 9, 2009

Congrats! This will surely lead to a front office internship at a BB in the future, if that's what you want :)

Dec 9, 2009

Congrats thats awesome! I know people who are juniors and can't even land PWM internship. You can really learn a lot this summer, I did the same exact internship now I have a SA gig at a BB. If you can try to get paired with a younger FA, that way you'll have more of an opportunity to do more value added work and less administrative tasks.

Dec 9, 2009
ronnie22:

Congrats! This will surely lead to a front office internship at a BB in the future, if that's what you want :)

Eh, i dont think its that simple but its a good first step.

JRODG:

Congrats thats awesome! I know people who are juniors and can't even land PWM internship. You can really learn a lot this summer, I did the same exact internship now I have a SA gig at a BB. If you can try to get paired with a younger FA, that way you'll have more of an opportunity to do more value added work and less administrative tasks.

junior and can't get pwm? wtf? but nice work on the SA position especially with the current recruiting atmosphere. for those of you who have had internships at merrill, I hear they like to give out awards for "best intern" in a branch/region? have any of you heard of this? that could be something to shoot for this summer.

OP, I am exactly the same as you, freshman working BAML PWM this summer. getting that bulge bracket name on the resume (yes i know its only pwm) is great. feelsgoodman.

BTW, how easy was your interview? mine was a cinch, 5 minutes of me asking him questions about what they do (cheesy shit I wrote down on my computer beforehand) and another 5 of setting up my actual work schedule during the summer with ML, the guy just flat out asked how much i wanted to work and when.

Dec 9, 2009

I remember that feeling. It was the ONLY but also the BEST offer I got out of the ones I interviewed for. The pay was amazing. I also joined with a good group of other interns and it was one of the best summers of my life.

Born in hell, forged from suffering, hardened by pain.

Dec 9, 2009
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Dec 9, 2009
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Achiever in college from freshman year: Rainmaker.
Hustler in college from junior year: More than you initially hoped for.
Dreamer in college from senior year: Top closer for 4 man boutique in Idaho in toilet lid M&A
Everyone else: Dunkin Donuts.