Investment Banking Internship Programs

Internship programs that provide you with experience in IB to jump-start your career

Author: Christopher Haynes
Christopher Haynes
Christopher Haynes
Asset Management | Investment Banking

Chris currently works as an investment associate with Ascension Ventures, a strategic healthcare venture fund that invests on behalf of thirteen of the nation's leading health systems with $88 billion in combined operating revenue. Previously, Chris served as an investment analyst with New Holland Capital, a hedge fund-of-funds asset management firm with $20 billion under management, and as an investment banking analyst in SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's Financial Sponsor Group.

Chris graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and earned a Master of Finance (MSF) from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Reviewed By: Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Private Equity | Investment Banking

Prior to becoming our CEO & Founder at Wall Street Oasis, Patrick spent three years as a Private Equity Associate for Tailwind Capital in New York and two years as an Investment Banking Analyst at Rothschild.

Patrick has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and a BA in Economics from Williams College.

Last Updated:January 6, 2024

What Are Investment Banking Internship Programs?

Investment Banking Internship Programs are opportunities for individuals, often college students, to gain real experience within the field of Investment Banking (IB).

Investment Banking (IB) is one of the most high-paying careers and comes with rewards such as great skills development and growth. It also exposes you to a vast network of intelligent people, thus making it one of the most sought-after careers. 

Because there is such a high demand for becoming an investment banker, it is tough to become one. If you want to break into the IB world, you will likely have to complete a summer internship before leaving college. 

It is a challenging career, but once you get in, it comes with great rewards such as a vast networking opportunity, exposure to new skills such as communication, presentation, and analytical skills, and a very high-paying salary. 

One of the best ways to break into IB is to get an internship at a leading Wall Street or City firm. Some of the most highly recognized banks to get an internship at are Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley, Deutsche BankCitadel, and a few others. 

These internship opportunities are highly competitive. To secure a position at one of these banks, you will need to be a top student at a top university or have a unique skill set that sets you apart from other applicants. 

You will need an impressive resume to be considered for a position as an IB intern at a top bank. It should act as a summary of all your skills and experiences. Just make sure that it is not too lengthy and not too short. 

It is also important to network as much as possible throughout your college years. For example, if you know anyone who works in an investment bank, you can utilize your connection with them, increasing your internship chances. 

Key Takeaways

  • Investment banking offers high-paying, sought-after careers, but is extremely competitive. Internships are a common way to break into the field.
  • Banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank offer highly recognized internships. Stand out academically or with unique skills to secure a spot.
  • The internships provide real-world experience, skill development, and valuable networking opportunities, but they demand long hours.
  • They are typically in the summer, but applications start early. Plan ahead, maintain a strong GPA, and engage in finance-related coursework.
  • Early preparation is crucial. Focus on a strong GPA, avoid transferring schools for internships, build your skill set, create a concise resume, and network effectively.

Understanding Investment Banking Internship Programs

Most banks offer an investment banking internship program every summer. They usually hire a limited number of analysts and associates to work for around 9-12 weeks in the bank. 

These internships are an excellent opportunity for both the bank and the interns because the interns get a phenomenal experience getting to see what it's like working in an actual investment bank, and the bank gets to see the interns' skills, work ethic, and personalities.

Investment banks often hire successful interns as employees after they complete the internship, so it is the best way to break into a banking career for students. 

Interns also learn valuable skills while working for the firm during their internship for 9-12 weeks. For example, they learn the skills required for investment banking work and become part of real investment banking deals. 

The interns work with either a product group or an industry group, where they help with transactions and deals that their bank is working on. Even though the work assigned to the interns is entry-level, it is a great experience, and the interns get to be a part of real transactions.  

You should expect to work extremely long hours as an IB intern. The average IB intern works around 71-80 hours a week, so you will get in the office early and leave late at night. 

Goldman Sachs has a rule for summer interns to leave the office by midnight and enter the office no later than 7 am. This puts the workweek at 85 hours if you take the weekend off (which the firm suggests but does not require). 

IB interns work a lot of hours, but their skills improve drastically. In addition, interns are almost always significantly better workers by the end of their internships because of the number of repetitions they had during their long internship hours. 

If you want to reap the benefits of an IB internship, you have to be willing to work more hours per week than most people worldwide. 

Timing and the Application Process

A majority of IB internships are offered over the summer. In addition, some banks offer a co-op internship during the school year, but these programs are only offered at universities that have an already established co-op program with the bank.

The typical internship takes place during the 9-12 weeks of the summer students have off from college. Even though the internship starts in the summer, you will have to apply much earlier. 

The typical timeline for an IB internship looks like this:

  • September - Internship opportunities become available for application
  • October/November - Interviews are conducted, and offers are made
  • May/June - Internships begin and last for 9-12 weeks

Students typically apply for IB internships in their 2nd year of college. That means you need to start thinking about applying very early in your university years, even if you don't know what you want to do for a career yet. 

If you are remotely interested in investment banking, you need a summer internship to break into the industry. However, if you have already missed the opportunity to apply, the odds of obtaining a banking job are highly against you. 

To make the application process easier, ensure you obtain a good GPA in your first year and pick a finance-related major. 

This will boost your chances of getting accepted to an intern position at a bank. Also, take advantage of every opportunity to network with people in the industry. 

During the summer after your first year, it will be beneficial to do something finance-related to start learning the technical side of finance. You do not need to devote a ton of time to this, but just 10 hours of networking and technical prep will help you substantially. 

You can set up informational interviews with people in the finance industry, read books, and complete courses to become familiar with finance fundamentals. 

Once your second university year rolls around, you must stay on top of the recruiting process because it opens almost immediately. Continue to network with people in the industry and begin sending your resume to banks. 

How to prepare for the internship recruiting process

Most IB internships begin recruiting over a year in advance of the actual start date of the internship. This move to hyper-accelerated recruiting is slightly unreasonable, considering most 2nd-year university students don't know what they want to do yet. 

Unreasonable behavior is somewhat common in the finance industry, so you must get used to it if you want to become an investment banker. 

A summer internship lasts 8-12 weeks and is the best way to secure a full-time position in an investment bank. You do not want to miss recruiting season because breaking into an investment bank with no internship is almost impossible. 

If you are determined to get an internship, you should start preparing during the first year of college. The following list includes the most important things you should do to prepare for the recruiting season.

Get A Good GPA In Your First 1-2 Years

You will likely have little work experience by applying for your first summer internship, so banks will judge you based on grades, test scores, and your university. 

Ideally, you want to have at least a 3.7 GPA to maximize your chances of getting accepted as an intern. 

Since your first two years of college will be mostly core classes, take the most accessible classes available during these years and save the more challenging classes for later to boost your GPA in the first two years. 

Don't Transfer Schools To Win An IB Internship

Transferring to a better university to improve your recruiting chances is no longer a good strategy to break into IB. 

Transferring after your first year will make recruiting challenging because you will reduce the time spent networking with alums and participating in student groups at your original school and your new school, which is very important. 

Transferring between your second and third years makes no sense because you will completely miss the summer internship recruiting. 

It is probably not a good idea if you are transferring solely to win an internship in banking. 

If You Are At A Non-Target School, Your Chances Are Much Lower

There is much less awareness of IB recruiters at non-target schools, and the career centers at these schools will not be very helpful in assisting you with the recruiting process. 

If you are at a non-target school and did not start preparing for IB by the beginning of your second year of school, you will probably have to take another approach to get into banking that does not involve an internship. 

You could start working in a different finance-related job, such as wealth management or corporate banking, and then transition into IB later. 

Get An Internship After Your First Year And Utilize "Upcoming" Internships After Your Second Year

Getting a finance-related job after your first year will help you become familiar with the technical side of finance and give you something to write about on your resume. 

This does not have to be a full-time job, but you should dedicate some time in your first summer to learning finance fundamentals. After that, you can either complete financial courses or have educational interviews with people in the industry. 

Network With Student Groups At Your School 

Take advantage of your school's finance clubs, such as investing clubs or business fraternities. These clubs will help you build connections with other students and alumni. 

How to get an Investment Banking Internship

In the last couple of years, due to the economic slowdown, there aren't as many jobs available in the corporate world as there were a few years ago. Unfortunately, the investment banking industry is no different.

Despite the lack of jobs available, there are still opportunities to break into the banking industry, and the best way is through an internship. 

IB interns are trained more than sufficiently throughout the three months of their internship and are often hired permanently by the banks they interned at. To get one of these highly sought-after opportunities, you should do the following three things as a bare minimum to get started. 

Know The Industry

Before searching for a banking internship, you need to know what it takes to be an investment banker. 

You should be familiar with the different fields, the top banks, and the typical career path of an investment banker. You should also know the number of hours you will need to work because the commitment is no joke. 

Get Your Skill Set In Place

Before applying for an internship, you need to have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of finance. You can do this by taking relevant courses at your university and supplementing that information with online courses such as financial modeling and DCF courses.

If you are not a finance major, you will need to spend more time learning the basics of accounting online and get lots of practice with financial modeling courses

Put Together An Outstanding Resume

A good resume should be a summary of all your skills and experience. Make sure that it is not too long and not too short. Be as honest as possible because the worst thing you can do is lie on your resume. 

Your resume should highlight all your strengths that will translate to the investment banking job. Keep it brief; you do not need to impress your interviewer with fancy language skills. 

After completing everything listed above, you are ready to apply for an internship. 

How to apply for Investment Banking Internship Programs?

Applying for an IB internship can be a challenging task. If you know someone who works in the industry, networking with them can make the application process much less hassle. They can get you in the door for an interview, which is often the most challenging part. 

If you do not have any connections within the industry, the following ways are the most effective methods of getting in the door:

Online Applications

The most straightforward and time-efficient way to apply is online. Most banks have a career link attached to their website and are always looking for new talented recruits. They usually open for recruitment at the same time every year. 

Don't look for the best-paying internship because your ultimate goal should be to learn, not to earn a high wage as an intern. 

You can usually research which departments the banks are looking to hire, and you can sort your profiles of interest to find and apply for the position that best suits your career path and interest. 


Whether personal or social, networking is one of the best ways to get an internship opportunity in the banking industry. Getting an internship is easier if you know someone who works in an investment bank. 

You can apply to the company that that person works for and get in touch with them. You want to go into it even if they do not work in the field. They can give you contacts of people who work in the IB division. 

If you do not know anyone in IB personally, you can always rely on social networking platforms such as LinkedIn. This will allow you to connect with investment bankers and ask about the industry. 

Connecting with investment bankers who are alumni of your school will be even more fruitful. 

Get In Touch With HR Consultants

HR consultants work with investment banks and can often get internship opportunities for aspiring bankers. 

You might have to pay for their services, but paying the price will get you a chance at a few interviews, so it will most likely be worthwhile. 

Some HR consultants will not charge you initially, but they will charge you after you get a full-time job after completing the internship.

Getting an internship in IB can be challenging, but you will be significantly rewarded once you are in. Finance interns are paid handsomely, learn new skills, and gain an extensive network.

On average, interns at banks like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are paid $8,000 to $9,000 a month. The pay increases even more in hedge funds like Citadel, where interns are paid on average $14,000 a month. 

Even though breaking into an internship position can be difficult, its lucrative rewards and experiences make it worthwhile. 

Edited by Colt DiGiovanni | LinkedIn

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