University Freshman: Internship Hunt

First year in semi-target in Canada, looking to get an internship in anything in finance, preferably PE or IB, but I'm not a choosing beggar. In the past 1 month, I have sent out around 150-200 cold emails, and have gotten an interview at a fintech venture capital firm. I think I may have gotten it because I recently completed an internship in tech as a full stack dev. Not having that much luck in my cold emails other than the typical: Look at our website for postings.

I have gotten my resume checked by upper years, and the finance committee at my school. I also somehow got the Wall Street Prep premium package for free, so I am completing the course which will teach me valuation methods. First case competition, my team and I won 2nd place, being the only 1st year team to come in the top 3, let alone become finalists, and the only team to do a DCF. Competition was hosted by a bank. 

I really want an internship, what are some things I can do to increase my chance of getting a reply on cold emails, as well as, straight up getting internships.

Region

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (9)

Nov 16, 2021 - 6:42pm
Nov 20, 2021 - 7:19pm

I got my freshman internship through cold calling/emailing and was in a similar boat to you. I would highly recommending keeping your emails short - they should read it in less than a minute. Additional, show what differentiates you from others and how you would create value. A lot of firms on the smaller side don't normally have internship programs, so you will need to convince them not only you are the best candidate, but they should even take an intern in the first place. Lastly, try to get them on the phone. The more interactions you have with people, the more they will remember you. 

200 emails/calls is a very impressive number for this early. I would expand the firms you look at to include PWM. Lots of generalist exposure and prop 50% of the IB SA I know did PWM their first summer.

  • Prospect in CorpFin
Nov 20, 2021 - 11:24pm

A couple questions: What do you say when you call? Do you ask for the recruiter? What do you say to them? 

Also, this is the email I currently use. Do you think I should change it?

Hello {{name}},

My name is ***** and I am contacting you today to inquire about any openings for summer internship programs. I am currently enrolled at the {{semi-target school}} pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a target graduation date of 2025.

I feel that interning with your company would provide me with invaluable real-world experience and allow me learning opportunities that would create a solid foundation to build my knowledge off, as well as provide me with a chance to put my education into practical use. In previous internship experiences, I have gained experience as a full-stack developer and assisted in designing programs tailored to the clients' specifications.

If you are available sometime soon, I would love the opportunity to speak with you. Then, I can learn more about {{firm}} and discuss the potential of participating in an internship program with you.

I have attached a copy of my resume. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

*****

Most Helpful
Nov 21, 2021 - 12:36am

What do you say when you call? - You should have targeted deep engaging questions which you really want to know. This way you show your knowledge of the market while also gaining information. For example, "With inflation looking quite high going into this next cycle and multiples already well above their mean, how are you hedging your portfolio?" 

Do you ask for the recruiter? - None of the firms I looked at freshman year had recruiters. They were all smaller firms with 3-4 to maybe 10 people. 

What do you say to them? - Here is how I would change your email template with comments in ().

Hello {{name}},

I am currently a freshman majoring in XXXX at XXXX uni. I was wondering if I could set up a brief call or meeting with you to learn more about {firm} and {your role}. In addition, I am interesting in interning in {type of firm} and would greatly appreciate any insights into recruiting as well. 

{The next two sentences should be targeted to the firm and person you are emailing.} 

If you are available sometime soon, I would love the opportunity to speak with you. Then, I can learn more about {{firm}} and discuss internships within the {type of firm} space.

I have attached a copy of my resume. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

*****

MAJOR NOTE: The strength of your questions which massively affect your hit rate. 

Nov 22, 2021 - 6:15am

From my experience, I would include ways to contribute to the firm - rather than what is in it for me. Tailor it a bit to the company and have a good guestimate; BB are out of the league so don't bother, some companies could be actively looking for interns and they have higher chance.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Nov 21, 2021 - 12:35am

What do you say when you call? - You should have targeted deep engaging questions which you really want to know. This way you show your knowledge of the market while also gaining information. For example, "With inflation looking quite high going into this next cycle and multiples already well above their mean, how are you hedging your portfolio?" 

Do you ask for the recruiter? - None of the firms I looked at freshman year had recruiters. They were all smaller firms with 3-4 to maybe 10 people. 

What do you say to them? - Here is how I would change your email template with comments in ().

Hello {{name}},

I am currently a freshman majoring in XXXX at XXXX uni. I was wondering if I could set up a brief call or meeting with you to learn more about {firm} and {your role}. In addition, I am interesting in interning in {type of firm} and would greatly appreciate any insights into recruiting as well. 

{The next two sentences should be targeted to the firm and person you are emailing.} 

If you are available sometime soon, I would love the opportunity to speak with you. Then, I can learn more about {{firm}} and discuss internships within the {type of firm} space.

I have attached a copy of my resume. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

*****

MAJOR NOTE: The strength of your questions which massively affect your hit rate. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Nov 21, 2021 - 1:48am

I was able to get my freshman year internship through university connection in my club. But I also had the opportunity to interview with several NYC and SF boutique IBs. I didn't even email anyone, just straight up gave a call at the numbers on their websites (I used to think that cold calling didn't include emailing). They told me to send in my resume by December and be ready to interview by January, and the interviews weren't hard considering they were small boutiques. So, my suggestion would be to find boutiques in NYC and give them a call (assuming you have work authorization to work in the US, otherwise try Toronto).

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Nov 21, 2021 - 11:21pm

Impedit libero asperiores eos commodi fuga. Veniam ut itaque voluptas dolores.

Cupiditate fugiat voluptas adipisci et nam. Laborum ipsam incidunt aut modi quia. Perspiciatis sed vel sed.

Id doloribus quas consectetur vel aspernatur unde. Et aut aut ut aut consequuntur. Quidem dolores unde consequatur sed vitae voluptate sint dolorem.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

November 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (234) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (144) $156
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (512) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (392) $83