6/13/11

Hi Everyone,

I was offered an internship by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which would involve working at a retail branch. It is with the global wealth management division, which serves clients with net worths of under 20 million. How does this internship stack up perhaps against some of the more well known internships like PWM at some bank like UBS, RBS, Morgan Stanley, Lazard, etc? Thanks!

Comments (46)

6/13/11

In terms of PWM internships, I think MSSB is a great option. Good brand, large firm, etc. I did a PWM internship at UBS once and it wasn't all that great so I'd assume the MSSB one would be at least as good if not better.

Financial Modeling

6/13/11

Great place to gain experience and good brand name. Comparatively any large bank whether it be ubs or merrill lynch they are all the same in terms of reputation.

6/13/11

I interned at smith barney before it was MSSB, if you do a good job you need to specify to them how they can help you. You probably dont want to start off in one of those offices after you graduate, but you can try and get them to network your way into MS.

5/21/12
88888:

I interned at smith barney before it was MSSB, if you do a good job you need to specify to them how they can help you. You probably dont want to start off in one of those offices after you graduate, but you can try and get them to network your way into MS.

I hate to post on year old thread but I had to say something. @8888 you say that RGTrader can use this internship with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to "network your way into MS". What you are failing to realize is that MSSB is a part of Morgan Stanley so there is no reason to use the internship to network INTO Morgan Stanley. MSSB is just a sector of the huge financial service firm that comprises Morgan Stanley. MS is organized into Institutional Securities, MSSB and Asset Management, including S&T, IBD, GCM etc.

So RGTrader, you are already in Morgan Stanley. This experience would allow one to network throughout the firm to other sectors such as IBD.

6/13/11

It's one of the most recognizable names out there, clearly its a good internship. The fact that you were able to land this type of position without having the wherewithal to know its good is what baffles me.

6/14/11

Hey guys,

thanks for the response. The reason I was not sure where its relative "status" was is that it involves working at a branch in a smaller city, which I assume isn't as "prestigious" as working in a corporate setting.

5/22/12

not true. Know many people who have interned at Smith Barney and it essentially operates as a separate division. Yes, you can get introductions, but its not at all easy to transfer to IBD. You will need to go through the same extensive interview process as everyone else. Minimal advantage, except for being some finance experience. I know a few people who were rejected for their summer internships in IBD after working at smith barney for a summer

5/22/12
skdude:

not true. Know many people who have interned at Smith Barney and it essentially operates as a separate division. Yes, you can get introductions, but its not at all easy to transfer to IBD. You will need to go through the same extensive interview process as everyone else. Minimal advantage, except for being some finance experience. I know a few people who were rejected for their summer internships in IBD after working at smith barney for a summer

When you say that you know people who have interned for Smith Barney are you talking about before the 2009 merger of Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management Group that created MSSB?

I know that getting into IBD is not an easy task even with a finance related internship. Although I would think that doing a Wealth Management internship within Morgan Stanley would make it a whole lot easier to network through MS for IBD opportunities as compared to applicants with experience in outside firms.

I'm only interested in this topic because I am actually doing a Wealth Management Internship with MSSB through their National Program this summer. I also happen to have hopes of getting an IBD internship next summer. Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated.

6/4/12
Roxborough:

When you say that you know people who have interned for Smith Barney are you talking about before the 2009 merger of Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management Group that created MSSB?

I know that getting into IBD is not an easy task even with a finance related internship. Although I would think that doing a Wealth Management internship within Morgan Stanley would make it a whole lot easier to network through MS for IBD opportunities as compared to applicants with experience in outside firms.

I'm only interested in this topic because I am actually doing a Wealth Management Internship with MSSB through their National Program this summer. I also happen to have hopes of getting an IBD internship next summer. Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated.

I hate to rain on your parade but it's going to be hard to transition from WM to IBD. They are two different divisions of the company that require two different skill sets. WM at the end of the day is mainly a sales position. You don't really do a lot of financial computations. In order to transition to IBD, you would need more solid analytical skills with an established finance background. (DCF, Valutions, etc.) The main thing you will be doing at MSSB in WM is cold calling and the most math you will be doing is counting the number of calls you make and divide that by the number of people who hang up in your face.

I speak as someone on the inside who has started out right after college. Don't get me wrong, it's great experience if you team up with good FAs. But, as far as going from WM to IBD in one year...only in your dreams.

6/4/12

On a side note, I have been able to network with people in the capital markets side and some other high level executives. But the firm currently has a hiring freeze except for FAs. But, what ends up happening is that someone goes into the FAA programs. Then, they are required to bring in $3mil in their first year without any real training. But, most FA don't start right out of college. You should feel lucky if you make it to MSSB right after college. The key is to join a team or FA who has $100+ in AUM and leave as much as possible. Eventually, as more assets come in, you will be able to help manage the smaller clients.

6/4/12

I'd guess this is one of the top 5 most answered questions on the forum. Search.

6/4/12

PWM itself isn't that much of a pull...I don't think you learn much. It's more of a filler on your resume (and recruiters know this)

6/4/12

Well you're in Houston.. Network with O&G guys, make $$$ (and have a life at the same time).

6/4/12

no, it's useless. move on.

6/4/12

Do NOT listen to these people and just quit. While PWM can suck and may actually be useless, it is something for your resume and you can spin it. Ask lots of questions, try to take on more challenging projects and get a feel for how the industry works. When networking you can talk about how it was a good intro experience but you were looking for something a little more challenging. It isn't going to be easy but if you network like crazy you will create opportunities for yourself. Since it is too late to find a better opportunity this summer, take advantage of your internship and go make shit happen for yourself. It is a much better plan than giving up

6/4/12

Do it if you have nothing else. It's at least a talking point, but you honestly learn nothing.

6/4/12

hi,
Great post! It is really helpful guide.

6/4/12

Thanks for the responses every one. Gotta say I love the brutal honesty of everyone on this board... its kind of refreshing. I hope this internship won't be pointless. I spoke with the Executive Director of the Branch I'll be interning for and he told me that I will not be doing any cold calling. He said that I will not be interning for a single FA but instead that I will be doing rotations throughout the firm working with numerous FA's, product and trading specialists, business development, and yes doing "meaningful projects" and presentations.

The Houston Morgan Stanley Regional Investment Banking Office happens to be located near my firm so I'll at least be able to network for IBD in Houston which may lead to opportunities in New York IBD(?)

6/4/12

PwM definitely isn't a total wash. I had my first internship with Merrill Lynch PwM during my junior year. It's a good way to start building your resume to lever up to something better. I went from PWM, corp finance SA for fortune 50, then landed a full time IB position.

It's not ALWAYS having the perfect relevant experience, but how you can spin your experience to tell a cohesive story of why you will run through walls to be a banker. If you can get a smaller IB role, then take it. However, don't just brush it off. Try to take initiative by building some type of portfolio optimization model that you can put on your resume and speak into great detail during interviews.

Just make it all tie back to banking.

Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe those who are dedicated.

6/4/12
THE PsYcHoLoGy:

PwM definitely isn't a total wash. I had my first internship with Merrill Lynch PwM during my junior year. It's a good way to start building your resume to lever up to something better. I went from PWM, corp finance SA for fortune 50, then landed a full time IB position.

It's not ALWAYS having the perfect relevant experience, but how you can spin your experience to tell a cohesive story of why you will run through walls to be a banker. If you can get a smaller IB role, then take it. However, don't just brush it off. Try to take initiative by building some type of portfolio optimization model that you can put on your resume and speak into great detail during interviews.

Just make it all tie back to banking.

It only took you a PWM internship and a corporate finance internship to break into IB? Was this through intensive networking?

I'm just interested in this kind of path that's why.

6/4/12

Honestly... go back to pre-med.

Please don't make me talk to you like an asshole...

6/4/12

Yep, but I did do a fair amount of networking with all the banks I had superdays with. Your main focus should be on telling a comprehensive and cohesive story. That was a big strength of mine when I received interview feedback. It's ok to not have the banking experience as long as you can logically show how it led to banking with the proper amount of granularity.

Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe those who are dedicated.

6/4/12
THE PsYcHoLoGy:

Yep, but I did do a fair amount of networking with all the banks I had superdays with. Your main focus should be on telling a comprehensive and cohesive story. That was a big strength of mine when I received interview feedback. It's ok to not have the banking experience as long as you can logically show how it led to banking with the proper amount of granularity.

Thanks PsYcHoLoGy and BanditPandit for your insight. PsYcHoLoGy I know this may be a reach but would you mind sharing your story? I am just very interested on how you were able to spin PWM towards banking.

I definitly agree that interning with a strong PWM group accompanied by heavy networking is a must. Being in Houston I will for sure network with BB O&G guys as well as many other industry professionals. If I were to lay some good contacts in lets say the Morgan Stanley O&G firm in Houston, how would I be able to leverage such contacts towards getting a Morgan Stanley IBD summer internship next year?

Also do any of you think that with my background (non-target, just switched to Finance Sophomore year, 3.7 GPA which I will improve) that I even have a chance to land a summer internship next year at a Bulge Bracket Bank? If I can only land a summer internship after Junior year at a Boutique/MM firm what would be your advice for getting into a BB? Delay Graduation for BB internship opportunities?

Thanks again.

6/4/12

I wouldn't say it's a total wash either. It really depends on:

1) how good (performance wise) your team is
2) how much quality work they'll give you/you can deliver
3) how well you can speak to 2) during interviews (echoing psych)

Most teams are shit when it comes to this, hence the little love it gets.

  • I got into IB from a PWM gig. Of course, it was with a top team.
6/4/12

Yea no problem, my best friend is actually a sigep so I don't mind.

I just graduated from a large southern state school with my degree in finance and minor in entrepreneurship with a 3.89 cumulative GPA. At my school I became heavily involved in a top business society and worked through several positions on the executive board. Also, I was accepted into the honors finance program and became a business finance TA. My junior year I took a PwM internship while being a full time student, and then did a summer analyst position with a large conglomerate GE/P&G/Siemens. I was also a nationally ranked Olympic weightlifter and placed on the national stage my freshman and junior years.

While acting as the VP of my business club, I organized a business trip to visit with a few investment banks in a large state city. From this, I decided that banking was for me, but I had already accepted my SA position. So, I decided to stick with it because I am a man of my word; and told myself to work hard and learn as much as I could while providing value added projects I could speak about.

I began networking with several banks over the summer, one of then being the one my club visited. I ended up having 3 superdays and accepted an offer with a top MM bank.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe those who are dedicated.

6/4/12
THE PsYcHoLoGy:

Yea no problem, my best friend is actually a sigep so I don't mind.

I just graduated from a large southern state school with my degree in finance and minor in entrepreneurship with a 3.89 cumulative GPA. At my school I became heavily involved in a top business society and worked through several positions on the executive board. Also, I was accepted into the honors finance program and became a business finance TA. My junior year I took a PwM internship while being a full time student, and then did a summer analyst position with a large conglomerate GE/P&G/Siemens. I was also a nationally ranked Olympic weightlifter and placed on the national stage my freshman and junior years. While acting as the VP of my business club, I organized a business trip to visit with a few investment banks in a large state city. From this, I decided that banking was for me, but I had already accepted my SA position. So, I decided to stick with it because I am a man of my word; and told myself to work hard and learn as much as I could while providing value added projects I could speak about.

I began networking with several banks over the summer, one of then being the one my club visited. I ended up having 3 superdays and accepted an offer with a top MM bank.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

The puzzle seems to fit after reading what your credentials were. Despite the state school, you have stellar grades and great extra curriculars. You were pretty much good to go considering you had a lot of networks.

6/4/12
THE PsYcHoLoGy:

Yea no problem, my best friend is actually a sigep so I don't mind.

I just graduated from a large southern state school with my degree in finance and minor in entrepreneurship with a 3.89 cumulative GPA. At my school I became heavily involved in a top business society and worked through several positions on the executive board. Also, I was accepted into the honors finance program and became a business finance TA. My junior year I took a PwM internship while being a full time student, and then did a summer analyst position with a large conglomerate GE/P&G/Siemens. I was also a nationally ranked Olympic weightlifter and placed on the national stage my freshman and junior years.

While acting as the VP of my business club, I organized a business trip to visit with a few investment banks in a large state city. From this, I decided that banking was for me, but I had already accepted my SA position. So, I decided to stick with it because I am a man of my word; and told myself to work hard and learn as much as I could while providing value added projects I could speak about.

I began networking with several banks over the summer, one of then being the one my club visited. I ended up having 3 superdays and accepted an offer with a top MM bank.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Very impressive PsYcHoLoGy. That's awesome that you were able to balance a PWM internship with school and end up with the largest European Engineering company in the world for the summer. I'm sure that you were able to spin off your story well in the ibd interviews. Thanks for your time.

6/4/12

Deleted

6/4/12

No problem! Good luck in the hunt!

Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe those who are dedicated.

Financial Modeling

6/4/12

Just out of curiosity, why would someone of your background (target with a highly quantitative/analytical background) be looking to go into pwm rather than something more quantitative where you could put everything you've learned to work?

Not telling you not to do it, just curious as to the reasoning.

Btw-it's definitely a relevant internship. Although it isn't a 100% perfect match, it's definitely highly relevant to the field you want to break into.

6/4/12

Yea, if you do well there and work your ass off, you'll have opportunities. Echo the above question, though. I mean if you love sales that's cool, but since you've taken all those high level classes, not sure why you're looking at going into PWM

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

6/4/12

i agree with the above. If you want to get into PWM I wouldn't waste time on a masters, esp. if you already took some high level quant courses from a target. Instead I'd put that time in building my client base and networking.

but yeah to answer your question..you should be fine Ive seen a lot of people make the move. Just make sure your giving a good impression and work your ass off

  • b
  •  6/4/12

The experience will definitely be favorable for your resume, however, don't expect it to get you a job/internship. No matter how good you look on paper, coming from a non-target, you really need to network your way in. The only exception might be if you're the absolute perfect candidate (although it's debatable, b/c, as it stands, I'm not even sure that banks look at non-target applications... most apps probably go straight to the recycling bin).

Smith Barney is the wealth management arm of Citigroup. Smith Barney is definitely not considered a BB investment bank, but its parent, Citi, is.

6/4/12

thanks for the feedback b

so even boutique IB's only look at target school candidates?

what about say the IB's around the San Francisco area?

my friend who graduated from the same school as mine recently got an offer from Howe Barnes...

another question, how favorable is a math major looked at if you are from a non target? i have heard that banks look at it to 'screen' the more intelligent candidates from the non targets
is it worth doing double major or a minor in math, even though it might bring down your GPA somewhat?

currently i am Economics Major with a minor in PoliScience (i can also finish double major in Econ and PoliSci in 4years but not sure if its worth it)

6/4/12

PWM at Smith Barney isn't a bad job for a sophomore. It shows an interest in finance and the guys at your office might be able to get you in contact with some Citi i-bankers. Just don't go up to them two weeks in and ask. Go to them towards the end of the semester and say, "I really enjoy this internship but I am not sure this is the career path I want; I have been looking at investment banking. Is there any advice you could offer?" A lot of guys at those places can be really open if you approach them properly.

As far as your major, stick with Economics if you will get a higher GPA. Math doesn't look good if it drags your GPA down from like a 3.8 to a 3.6. You want your GPA in the stellar range from a non-target. And if you can, double major. It shows initiative and an interest in things outside the financial world. Hopefully the extra poli-sci classes will also help your analytical skills.

Don't just look at boutiques. Network with alumni from your school, talk with senior people at your internships, find family friends/aquaintances, and even cold call. If you have a good GPA, good ECs, and a few finance internships by the time summer analyst positions become available you should look like a strong enough candidate to get some looks. Maybe not GS/MS but reputable places.

6/4/12

I guess it's better than having no internship, although Smith Barney's probably an excellent firm to work for.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

6/4/12

i worked for Smith Barney from sophomore year to current, did a summer at goldman s&t and am going to Citi in capital markets full-time. It won't get you an internship but will look good on your resume and will show interest in the industry in general...just be able to speak about your experiences in interviews and why you want to do certain things....oh yea, i go to a very non-target school

6/4/12

Sure. When I was a sophomore, I was earning $9/hour as a programmer at a clearing firm. This seems a lot more interesting and should give you a better idea of what you want to do. It may also give you more connections in banking, and everyone will recognize the name.

6/4/12

Wow merunforfun, you literally are in my exact same position, except I am going to be starting at MSSB next week. My question is what type of work would you be doing, the FA i'm going to be working for told me mainly I'd be doing forex and making powerpoint presentations for clients. PM me if you want to talk more about it in detail.

6/4/12

dum vivimus vivamus

6/4/12
6/4/12
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