Internship conversion rates at investment banks vary between 60-100%. At Deutsche Bank, assuming you make it into the investment banking division, you have a good chance of securing a full-time job – 90% of candidates in IBD were offered a role at the end of their internship last year, according to one intern who secured a job offer last year.
So, what should you expect from your internship in Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division in London? And how can you go about turning your internship into a full-time offer? Here’s the inside story from an intern who successfully secured a job last summer – and turned it down.
Will I be working every hour god sends?
Kind of, but all-nighters are apparently frowned upon for interns. At the beginning of the internship, the M&A team is careful to explain that the summer is the quiet period, and should you eventually secure a job offer, you’ll be expected to work longer hours. Nonetheless, typical hours for interns in M&A at Deutsche were a still demanding 9am-12am, according to our intern, whereas in corporate broking – which is attached to IBD at Deutsche – working hours are typically 7am-10.30pm.
What training will I be given?
The first week and a half will be dedicated to get you up to speed for the upcoming internship. You’ll have the usual indoctrination into Deutsche Bank’s culture – Deutsche likes to tell interns how committed it is to its investment banking business, and how it’s still the only European bank still strong in all business areas (unlike rival firms, like UBS, RBS and more recently Barclays, which have retreated from certain divisions).
The first week will also teach the principles of investment banking and financial modelling, as well as a crash course in Excel, which you’ll expected to be relatively proficient in anyway. The final three days, assuming you will be going into IBD, are dedicated to learning about your particular business area and getting to grips with the relevant software. This is Bloomberg terminals, Thomson Reuters’ Datastream system and Factset investment analytics tools.
How many other interns will there be?
On the UK M&A team there were five people, but most smaller IBD divisions have one or two interns.
Then it’s all deals, deals, deals?
Not exactly. In order to ease you on to the desk, you’ll first be given the “semi-automated” task of preparing a lot of half-year reports on particular companies for clients, according to our intern. The work is comparatively straight-forward and repetitive, but has lots of potential for mistakes. As ever, accuracy is key to making a good initial impression.
You’ll also be expected to produce data for some “basic slides” of a client presentation – for example, finding information on competitor companies in various countries, which can then be sent across to the presentation team.
Should I worry about hassling people on the team?
No, every intern on the team is assigned a ‘buddy’, usually an analyst, and they are expected to allocate a certain amount of their time mentoring summer interns. Analysts, in turn, are given a certain amount of leeway by their managers, who delegate some of their work to other members of the team in order to allow them to dedicate time to helping interns.
At Deutsche Bank, the same pool of analysts work across corporate broking and M&A, so expect your tasks to vary depending on the workload of the team. Never go in with any expectations of what you should be working on, but embrace any work given to you, no matter how menial, advises the intern.
Will I get exposure to senior bankers?
You should get to meet the managing director in your team within the first week of being on the desk. However, our intern says that he was unlucky enough not to see his MD until six weeks into the internship. Elsewhere, the HR team will organise various breakfast and lunch events where teams of interns get to meet senior bankers. Ultimately, this gives you the chance to understand the various areas of the business should you secure a full-time offer, but will have little impact on the final hiring decision.
What can I expect from my individual project?
In the last two weeks of your internship, you will be expected to work on an individual project (alongside your other workload), which will then be presented to members of the business. This is your chance to demonstrate what you’ve learnt over the course of your internship and why you’d be a good fit.
Within Deutsche’s IBD team, interns were simply tasked with coming up with a compelling case for a ‘fictional M&A deal’. In other words, you’re required to do all the analysis around why a merger or acquisition would make sense for a particular UK company. Any company. And then present this case to three VPs at the bank over the course of one and a half hours. It’s a daunting prospect, says the intern, and the more senior bankers will attempt to pull your case apart. However, as long as you put up a convincing argument and recognise the flaws in your argument, you should be OK, he suggests.
Any other tips for securing the offer?
Simply remember that it’s as much about proving you’re a ‘team player’ as it is your technical proficiency. Ultimately, it comes down to not just getting the job done, but getting on with the people you work with, suggests the intern. “One of the only guys who didn’t get the job was one who had quite a public bust-up with a more senior banker,” he says. “He tried to make a joke, but she was insulted and he didn’t back down. I’m pretty sure she vetoed his hire.”
What about the offer itself?
An HR representative will call you into a room and either hand a contract to you or tell you that you were unsuccessful. Those who don’t make it generally leave the office straight away, despite the fact offers are handed out a week before the end of the internship. “It’s very Apprentice-like,” says the intern.
It’s a two-week exploding offer, so you have to make your decision quickly.