Starting my first IB internship in October: What advice can you give me?

First of all, I would like to thank the members of this forum for constantly providing free knowledge on this forum. WSO has been an incredible resource and without it I wouldn't have been able to secure this internship.

That being said, I am starting my first M&A boutique internship in October. What are the things I should absoloutely know going into this that aren't covered during the recruitment process?

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Comments (6)

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Sep 12, 2018 - 8:14am
  • Your internship is a 10 week/12 week job interview. Expect to be always "on" and to be exhausted by the end of it.
  • Intern work tends to be more boring and routine than real IB work. But we need proof you can tie your shoes without getting your dick stuck in the ceiling fan first. It's not worth it to give you a model that we'll spend more time fixing than it would have taken to do it ourselves.
  • Once you start getting real work, you know you're doing well. But this might not happen, you might end up being a salesforce data entry monkey for the summer. That happens. Pretend you love it.
  • Do everything you are asked to do, and then do 10% more. Find work, create work, add value - but only once you've completed everything that others have asked of you. I don't care if you built a new LBO model template if you didn't remember to order donuts for the client meeting. But if you ordered those donuts and then decided to order both regular coffee and decaf coffee to go with them, you're golden.
  • Find out who is on the intern committee. Get coffee with them.
  • Get coffee with your mentor often (once per week maximum, once every other week is perfect, once per month minimum). They're your mentor, but also probably writing a report on you, too.
  • Every e-mail you get, respond within five minutes - if only just to say "got it!"
  • You're stepping into one of the the most intense and rewarding careers in the world. You're starting off in a boring place doing work that most people don't want to do. Stick with it! IB is about a series of victories, some of them are short term (just finished the deck and there were no edits!), some of them are medium term (just closed the deal!) and some of them are long term (just retired with FUCK YOU money at 40!). Smaller wins lead to bigger wins. As long as you're moving forward, you're doing fine. But don't ever stop moving forward.
Sep 12, 2018 - 9:54am

Thank you very much for your detailed answer. Can you elaborate further on what exactly you mean by "real work". Do you just refer to financial modelling or simply every task that has some kind of importance?

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