If you’re heading into Deutsche Bank’s front office for an internship this summer, you should have the eventual goal of converting it into a full-time offer. Internships are the main recruitment vehicle for investment banks – conversion rates vary between 60-100% – so making the most of your time there is imperative.
We spoke to one former intern in Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division, who managed to secure a full-time job. 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?
1. Be prepared to work long hours
Like most investment banks Deutsche Bank has revised its policy of working interns into the ground in the wake of Moritz Erhardt’s death in 2013. This means interns get at least four weekend days off a month.
However, Deutsche Bank demands long hours from its interns nonetheless – typically 9am-12am, according to our intern – whereas corporate broking (attached to IBD at Deutsche) – typically demands working hours of 7am-10.30pm.
2. Don’t expect to get classroom training through the internship. Do be on best behaviour
Deutsche Bank, like most investment banks, is in the midst of a cultural revolution, and will not tolerate the sort of behaviour that has tarnished its reputation recently. Expect this to be communicated to you during your indoctrination.
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. – In other words, Bloomberg terminals, Thomson Reuters’ Datastream system and Factset investment analytics tools.
3. Don’t expect to be able to hide in a large group of interns
There were five interns on Deutsche’s UK M&A team, but this is one of the larger teams. Smaller groups only had one or two interns. This gives you a chance to impress, but also means that the pressure is on.
4. Do expect to do some menial tasks. Do pay attention to detail while you’re doing them
Consider it a method of easing you into investment banking, but the first few days on the job will be spent on preparing a lot of half-year reports on particular companies for clients – something our intern describes as “semi-automated”. Although straightforward, it requires attention to detail and there’s the potential to make mistakes – this, essentially, is the test.
You’ll also be expected to produce data for inclusion in some “basic slides” for a client presentation – for example, finding information on competitor companies in various countries, which can then be sent across to the presentation team.
5. Do make the most of your buddy
Despite the recent case at Barclays of a second year analyst taunting the latest intake of interns, your analyst ‘buddy’ should be your closest confidant. At Deutsche, each intern is given a buddy – usually a first year analyst – as a mentor and those analysts are in turn given a certain amount of leeway in their workload to help 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.
6. Make the most of any 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.
7. Do make sure your individual project is the best it can be
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 learned 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.
8. Don’t focus on technical efficiency and neglect to make yourself likable
It sounds like a cliché, but investment banks really want to see evidence of you being a ‘team-player.’ 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.”
9. Do be prepared for harsh moment of judgement at the end of the internship
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.