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How 2012 investment banking internships will differ to those in 2011

More puddle than pool

More puddle than pool

This year’s investment banking internships will be starting soon. We have already refreshed your memory as to what previous years’ internships were like. This year, however, there will be be three significant differences.

They can be summarised as: the Olympics, last year’s re-interning interns, pre-emptively small pools of interns.

The Olympics

If you’re interning in an investment bank located in Canary Wharf this summer, the Olympics are going to be a big issue.

Concerned that they won’t be able to get their staff into their offices whilst the Olympics are taking place, let alone cope with hundreds of interns, banks in Canary Wharf have been making alternative arrangements.

Citigroup has arranged for its sales and trading interns to have a 10 week internship with a two week break in the middle, around the Olympics. It’s not clear whether interns will be expected to complete project work during this period.

Rumour has it that another bank (Barclays) has curtailed the length of its internship to deal with the Olympics, although this has not been confirmed.

Citi’s interns with a two week break are probably onto a good thing: they’ll get a rest midway through. “It will be more relaxed for everyone involved,” reflects a graduate recruiter at a different bank. If Barclays’ internships have indeed been cut to six weeks, Barclays’ interns will need to work harder to impress sooner, which could be exhausting.

Re-interning interns

Last year’s intern pools were large and, as revenues deteriorated over the summer, banks made comparatively few full time offers.

Some of last year’s interns have been invited back to complete another internship this summer, explains one graduate recruiter.

“They went off to do extra study and will come back for a second internship this year,” she explains.

Surely these seasoned interns will be at an advantage? No, apparently. “If you’re doing a second internship there’s going to be a huge expectation that you’ll be good,” the graduate recruiter informs us.

Pre-emptively small pools of interns

If last year’s internship pools were big and the number of offers made was small, this year banks have apparently learnt their lesson.

This year, graduate recruiters say they’ve hired a more modest number of interns and hope to make their usual rate of offers. Typically, this means around 70% of the summer class should return full time. Or at least, that’s the idea.

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