Banks are awash with interns. Not only are early 20-something university students in situ as summer analysts, but you'll also find late 20 to early thirty-something MBA students hanging around the desks as summer associates. The MBA summer associates are usually a bit more solemn than the summer analysts. They have more to lose - this is their one chance to convert a $97k investment in an MBA qualification into a banking job when they finish the course. Fail, and they'll be back to doing strategy presentations for a pig farm in Iowa.
What does it take to get a summer internship in a leading investment bank when you're an MBA student? We looked at the profiles of this year's summer associate classes at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. This is what you need to know.
If you want to become a summer associate at Goldman Sachs, you'll need to go to a top business school. Think London Business School, think Columbia Business school, think Stanford University School of Business, for example. In some cases, Goldman will seemingly also hire PhDs at top schools like MIT onto its summer associate programme.
The 2014 summer associate class at Goldman Sachs includes its fair share of career-changers, with ex-structural engineers seeming to be a favourite. In New York, Goldman has taken on an ex-structural engineer-turned MBA student at Stanford. In London, it's taken on a former structural engineer who's in the middle of an MBA programme at the London Business School and a former strategy consultant with McKinsey & Co and Roland Berger. In New York, you'll find a former spinning instructor from Seattle who's completing an MBA at the Tuck School of Business, and an-ex officer in the German army who worked as an analyst for RBS and Rothschild before embarking on an MBA at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley.
If you want to become a summer associate at JPMorgan, you will (also) need to go to a top business school. In Europe, Morgan Stanley seemingly likes people from INSEAD and the London Buisiness School (LBS). In the U.S., it's about top schools like Harvard, Columbia and Stanford.
Morgan Stanley's 2014 summer associate class contains several career bankers who are using the MBA as a springboard to a more interesting role. There's a former member of UBS's 'strategic analysis group' who's gained a summer internship in investment banking whilst studying an MBA at LBS. There's also a former corporate strategist from Citigroup, who's done much the same. Several of Morgan Stanley's summer associates are full CFA Charterholders, suggesting the bank rates the qualification and all the hard work it entails. In New York, you'll find a former senior consultant from Booz & Co, who's studying an MBA at Harvard. In California you'll find a former law clerk who switched into 'product development and monetization' at a gaming company and is now completing an MBA at Stanford and working in the technology investment banking team for the summer.
Guess what? JPMorgan only seems to like top MBA schools too. It's 2014 summer associates are drawn from the London Business School, Wharton, and the Kellogg School of Management. There are a few wild cards, however - like the Boston University Graduate School of Management, which ranks 75th in the world according to the Financial Times.
However, as long as you have solid academics and big name schools on your resume, JPMorgan is seemingly willing to think creatively when it comes to recruiting summer MBAs. This year, for example, it's hired a former physician in the UK's National Health Service who's studying an MBA at Wharton after working for a cancer diagnostics company. It also has a former operations director for a chain of cinemas who's working in New York on the finance associate leadership programme. In London there's a former commercial director for an online gaming company who's studying an MBA at London Business School. - With Morgan Stanley also hiring summer MBAs with gaming experience, it looks a little like a stint in online gaming, followed by an MBA, followed by a switch into banking, is becoming a thing.