We’ve been asking you to submit your internship-related questions via our Facebook page. If you Like the page, you can submit your question. A real investment banker or real trader will respond (depending upon the question). Here’s the latest question and the latest answer.
I’m currently a first year undergraduate, going into my second year in September. I did not secure a spring week or work placement, what advice could you give me to gain an internship for next summer?
Also any advice if I did not secure an Internship would also be much appreciated.
Thanks for your question – it’s a good one and I’m sure your situation is not at all unusual in today’s tight job market. When I went through university some time ago Spring Weeks were a relatively new phenomenon and they weren’t at all as important as internships in getting to the final goal of a full-time offer. Nowadays, sadly, they’re starting to look like a prerequisite to even getting a final year internship.
My best advice for you is that you try to do something in a finance-related field. That way, you’ll have something to write about in your applications for internships.
Think of it like this; screening application forms is boring, so anything which catches my eye immediately earns my interest. I want to find to more about the obscure commodity trading house you worked for, or the wealth manager where you had to do find out all about Thai inheritance tax law. Those might just be areas where the next profitable trades are.
Make it fascinating, or even slightly less mundane, and I’ll want to meet you.
If you can’t find anything in finance, do something business-oriented at least. Or if your degree is not in a field of finance (maths or engineering for example) do an internship in that area itself. This is important because whilst my industry is open to people who haven’t studied economics or finance, I’ll want to understand your motivation for NOT becoming an engineer just as much as the reasons why you DO want to be a banker.
The same advice applies if you aren’t able to get an internship in the second year. Do something finance-related first and talk about it in an interesting way. If you can’t find anything finance related, do something and expound upon why it really wasn’t for you.