Tips for Getting an internship in Investment Banking as a freshman

Hey all,

I wanted to reach out and ask for any tips you all may have for freshman aiming to land IB internships for the summer.

YES, I'm well aware that this isn't easy (which is why I'm asking for tips). But for those like me who are determined to try, what are your best tips as to where I can find potential opportunities, how to ask for an internship, how to pitch myself (considering the fact that I'm a freshman with basically no solid experience in the field), etc.

Comments (55)

Best Response
Oct 13, 2017

Unless you've got family in high places, not happening. Don't even bother. Try getting any other solid finance experience instead (PWM, corporate finance etc).

To infinity... and beyond!

    • 4
Oct 13, 2017

I hate to argue, but I know a kid who had one his freshman summer. We go to a target school but not Harvard level.

Oct 13, 2017

If you target various regional boutiques, you might be able to get something, but that's highly improbable as well. Most of the times, you aren't even considered since you have 0 experience whatsoever.

Obviously, there's nothing wrong with trying, but you'd have much better chances as a sophomore (since you're from a target).

To infinity... and beyond!

Oct 13, 2017

Always nice to get career advice from a 17 year old.

Feb 12, 2018

deleted

    • 2
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Oct 13, 2017

Try reaching out to local boutiques next semester/quarter. Introduce yourself, explain why you're interested in their firm, and if they don't explicitly have a job posting up, just inquire if they might be open to having an intern for the summer.

To the extent that people are receptive, I think the best thing you can do to position yourself is to emphasize that you're a hard worker and you're eager to learn. No one expects freshmen to know anything and they most likely aren't going to be giving you anything terribly complicated to do, so you just need to convey you have a good attitude and can be helpful with even basic stuff. (but it would help you stand out if you learn some basic accounting/finance, if for no other reason that to demonstrate interest)

If you don't need to be making money, you may end up getting opportunities with places that are open to having you there to learn a few things but aren't prepared to pay you (wouldn't mention this in your intro email though)

To Buzz's point though, certainly cast a wide net. The main goal for a freshman is just having reasonably relevant internship experience

Oct 13, 2017

Thanks for your response.

I'm not under the belief that I have to get an internship in IB or extremely confident that I will be getting one. It's more like I just want to try my hand at it you know? In the past I've often followed the likely and avoided the unlikely, but I realized that I have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying for the unlikely.

So far I've reached out to a few boutiques (though I'm not sure if I did so the right way): I've managed to get a VP of IB at one of the boutiques on board to talk to me about IB (I did mention I was a freshman).

As far as experience/education goes, I'm taking a financial accoutning course that I think has given me the basics. But on top of that, I'm starting to read some books on IB (methods of valuation and all)and trading.

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

Be happy landing anything finance-related. Or you could.........not. you're a freshman

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Feb 12, 2018

...except the junior accountant for the neighborhood lemonade stand.

Feb 12, 2018

Nobody will really take you seriously as a freshman, but you can try to get some PWM stuff.

Feb 12, 2018

In your emails / cover letters / phone calls just say you are a student at XXX University. Make sure the focus is on the skills you can bring to the table, not what year in college you are in. Of course, you can't lie about it or leave it off your resume, but that doesn't mean you can't avoid the subject. Sometimes, if you prove to be promising, they might not even notice you are a freshman.

I know this works because I was very recently a freshman

Feb 12, 2018

If you are a freshman right now then you are about 3 months late to the game. this shit it supposed to get sorted out in february/march not finals week.

Feb 12, 2018

Yes I know it's late but I haven't been able to get anything. Would this make me look bad by appearing undecided and not knowing what I want to do if I say I just want any finance-related internship?

Feb 12, 2018
pelikan:

Yes I know it's late but I haven't been able to get anything. Would this make me look bad by appearing undecided and not knowing what I want to do if I say I just want any finance-related internship?

no lots of people don't have internships freshman year but it always helps to start earlier

Feb 12, 2018
pelikan:

Yes I know it's late but I haven't been able to get anything. Would this make me look bad by appearing undecided and not knowing what I want to do if I say I just want any finance-related internship?

no lots of people don't have internships freshman year but it always helps to start earlier

Feb 12, 2018

You're a freshman. Just do something really REALLY interesting that can be a great story. Then on the side learn modeling and show that you know your stuff.

Cheers.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Oct 13, 2017

While it might be almost impossible to land an internship at a BB in your freshman year, it's definitely doable at a smaller boutique.

I was able to do just that, and now on my second year, I landed a SA role with a BB.

Prove the recruiter you are passionate about their firm, and learn the basics of finance so you can show them you are actually interested in the work. Having an internship in freshman year is a great way to get ahead during sophomore summer analyst recruitment. These achievements compound over time, so the earlier you start the farthest you'll go.

    • 2
Feb 12, 2018

What tier bank are you applying to?

GunningForPortfolioManager

Feb 12, 2018

I haven't attended Uni yet, so not applying to anything.

Feb 12, 2018

ok.

its usually not, most big banks wont take you until you are junior. try to go for a pwm or am internship in your freshman and sophomore years, that will look good on your resume when you apply for an IB internship.

GunningForPortfolioManager

    • 1
Oct 13, 2017

Honestly you could also enjoy your freshman summer.

I worked part-time and enjoyed my freshman summer and I still ended up getting an offer.

Its good to be really into IB but its also really not a big deal if you don't get anything finance related.

Feb 12, 2018

c-alex, have you checked out these or run a search:

  • Confessions of a former second year IB Analyst Wrapping up My Stint at an Elite Boutique Investment Bank For reference, I finished my second year ... Time in Investment Banking 1. Workplace Culture When I first started recruiting for private equity ... bearable, and I doubt I could have had a similar experience outside of banking. 2. Learning (for the first
  • What internships should I look for Freshman year? get a 4.0 my first year at college. It's a sure thing just don't question it. How early ... investment banking and went over pretty much everything I've learned from here. Before he left he patted ... (retail banks) I will if that's what it takes to achieve my internship. Thanks. ...
  • AMA First Year CBS MBA Class of 2017 create this AMA thread for prospective students interested in banking/investing/consulting/tech (I have ... decent investing classes in the first semester. 2. The best thing about being in NYC is the school year ... I'm a current first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. OCR recruiting week is ...
  • Investment Banking Analyst: 15 Things I Wish I Knew time to throw one back in the pit. What I wish I knew as a first year investment banking analyst: 1) ... questions. IB Interview Course Here Investment Banking first year IBD First day ... I was writing an email to a fellow monkey who is about to start as an investment banking analyst ...
  • Investment Banking Interview Questions- A Comprehensive Guide the midst of investment banking interview season. I was in your shoes about five or six years ago. ... banking interview- The First Impression 1. The biggest thing I am looking for is humble confidence- ... to get real questions and answer them as a simulation for interviews. The WSO investment banking ...
  • So it's 85K base for the first year, what about 2nd year Salary? Does anyone know what base salaries will be for second years? I hope it's more than 90K! ... investment bank ...
  • I didn't even know what Investment Banking was until my junior year of college lol (Information is key) first I thought about declaring my major as engineering because they made bank bro. Lol. Until I heard ... the drop out rate for engineers, and I decided to just do marketing. It was my sophomore year that ... Investment Banking was. I just didn't know shit because nobody ever told me what it was. I hate making ...
  • 30 year-old breaking in for investment banking positions. If you haven't checked out the IB Interview Prep Course, you ... a regional bank (multiple times) and offered to work for free in their investment banking division. After two ... I started reading about finance; anything I could get my hands on. I also had money for the first time in my ...
  • More suggestions...

Any pros willing to rescue this discussion? @SeekingAlpha180 @SeekingAlpha180 @The_Financiero

Hope that helps.

Feb 12, 2018

PUSH

Oct 21, 2017

If you express enough of an interest to tiny boutiques (no-name firms) who don't have hiring programs, you might stand a chance at a few (possibly unpaid) weeks of experience. I began reaching out to these firms after my first semester as a freshman. I was able to set up some informational coffee interviews and ended up spending two months with a small firm over the summer. Got some fantastic exposure (for a freshman anyway) and was able to leverage this for bigger and better opportunities.

Unless your uncle is Jamie Dimon, this is perhaps the best thing you can do as a freshman. Good luck!

    • 2
Feb 12, 2018

Is this JPM? If it's their freshman honors program, it's probably a referral for there. Still impressive.

Even more so if it's another bank that doesn't have a formal program for freshmen.

On a side note, for anyone who knows, how impressive is part-time work with Houlihan Lokey as a freshman? I likely wouldn't be modeling anything, but it's excel experience and working with restructuring.

Feb 12, 2018
The Boss:

I work part-time in BB PWM. Several weeks ago, my boss (who is friends with head, MDs, VPs of a IBD group) told an entering freshman (of a target school) intern that although she doesn't guarantee anything, she'll try to get him an ibanking internship for next year if business is good. Is it likely that this entering freshman might actually get that IBD internship?

If a rising sophomore gets to work in BB IBD, I think that kid will be a legend on his campus.

There is nothing inherently impressive about anything that is contained in the above. If a kid has an internship at a BB as a rising sophomore, he will have a leg up in recruiting; that is about all. Most colleges, the qb still falls ahead of the intern in the pecking order. Getting an internship is not going to make you Henry Kravis.

Feb 12, 2018

but is it likely that he will actually get the IBD internship?

Feb 12, 2018

LMFAO @Anonymous Monkeylegend on his campus"

Maybe he'll be a legend in the Finance Club...

Feb 12, 2018

ha, definitely a legend on his campus. we had a kid (Yung Woo) at our school who landed a gig at Jane Street as a FRESHMAN!!!! He came back to find that every hot girl at our school wanted to fuck him. even though he had severe acne and lacked the ability to speak english fluently, he ran the library, b-school, and finance clubs. in other words, he was the shit. all of the bball and football players wanted to be him b/c of his legendary status.

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

-

Feb 12, 2018

let me rephrase it, legend among ibanking wannabes. better?

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

-

Feb 12, 2018

No, he won't be a legend. Everyone will assume he got it because his daddy's important.

Feb 12, 2018

so lets go back to the original question, do you guys think my boss was just being polite and will forget about it or do you think he will actually talk to the head of IBD group and get the kid an internship?

Feb 12, 2018

who cares worry about yourself

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

I care cuz I worked as hard as him and the boss didn't say that to me.

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018
The Boss:

I care cuz I worked as hard as him and the boss didn't say that to me.

Unlike high school, you don't get ahead in real life just by "working hard." You actually have to be good at your job as well.

Feb 12, 2018

maybe your boss doesn't like you.

Feb 12, 2018

does your boss even know you're interested in IB?

the kid declared it up front. you're just in pwm.

Feb 12, 2018

Not really that big a deal, at my BB this summer we had a ton of sophs including me. And we even had a couple of people who've been working at the the bank since summer before college.

Feb 12, 2018

so basically this kid is gonna get

BB PWM - HS Senior
BB IBD - Freshman
BB Rotational - Sophomore
BB IBD - Junior

before FT recruiting. You guys think this is usual on WSO?

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

worry about yourself instead

Feb 12, 2018

Stop being so insecure. It's really irritating.

    • 1
Feb 12, 2018

These types of posts are stupid.

Feb 12, 2018

wtf...don't call yourself "The Boss" if you have such low confidence lol

Feb 12, 2018

Do the basics, and read up on all the ib interview guides. The WSo guide is a good one to start with.

Feb 12, 2018

Also, keep in mind any experience you can get as a freshman is bonus. Most people I know studied abroad their freshman summer and had no problem landing sophomore internships then junior summer SA stints. Best of luck!

Feb 12, 2018
Comment
Feb 12, 2018
Feb 12, 2018