I'm a British first-year student. I had a 4-week internship in the spring and a summer internship in M&A.
Hoping for a summer internship next year and graduate role after that. How did you choose between these two? If they were your two choices, at the start which would you choose?
Choosing Between Sales and Trading and Mergers and Acquisitions (investment banking)
Choosing between sales and trading and mergers and acquisitions is a personal choice. You should consider your own skills and preferences and choose accordingly. What are you good at? What do you want to do long term?
If you have an interest in M&A consider exit options and skills. Banking is largely a game of exit opportunities. It was one of the few fields that people enter to exit. That means that most junior bankers long term goals are NOT M&A.
- Private Equity
- Venture Capital
- Long Short Equity Fund
Staying in M&A long term is an option though. Do you have the personality and or skill set to exceed at a high level later in your career (VP and above)? Do you have the ability to synthesize, sell, and connect?
Sales and trading will require similar skills to succeed. Indeed, succeeding (trading) impacts your pay directly. You are operating in a meritocracy and stack up enough losses you may be shown the door. A lot of people who do trading stay in trading (less attrition). The ability to be competitive, take risks, be reasonably good with numbers (if great than quant), synthesize market information.
- Another firm/bank
- Prop shops
- Hedge Fund
from certified user @CaptK
For M&A/PE/VC, your better bet is M&A.
For S&T/HF, you should go for S&T