Pre-Internships, otherwise known as Spring Weeks, are work experience opportunities offered by banks and financial firms lasting between one and two weeks and taking place within the Easter holidays. Unlike internships, which are almost exclusively targeted at penultimate year students, these opportunities are open to first year students (and second years on a four year course).
Most large banks and investment banks offer pre-internship opportunities across a variety of divisions.
Royal Bank of Scotland
RBS offers spring weeks within both their Global Banking and Markets (IB) and Corporate and Institutional Banking arms.
Division specific spring weeks in Markets, Banking, Operations and Technology.
Selection process comprises of online application (CV, covering letter and competency questions) and an assessment centre (interview and tests).
The week comprises of a day of training and inductions, a days introduction to investment banking and RBS, two days of work shadowing rotations across your chosen division, and a final day comprising of an assessment centre. 80% of spring interns are offered a place on the next years summer internship.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Opportunities are available across all divisions.
Application process consists of an online application (CV and covering letter) and a telephone interview with HR.
UBS offers two insight programmes: UBS Insights and UBS Horizons. Horizons is the Insights programme, but with the added bonus of a sponsored Operation Raleigh trip, as well as a guaranteed summer internship place. As such, it is much more competitive.
Opportunities are available across the investment banking division and also support services (Operations, Technology, Finance).
Application process is an online application followed by a telephone interview (competency based) with a staff member from the division you apply for.
Application process consists solely of an online application (CV and covering letter).
The programme lasts one week, and is based in the JP Morgan London offices.
Offers a Spring Week programmes in Global Banking & Markets (non-divisional).
Selection process consists of an online application form (including CV and competency questions). Following this your application is screened and test invites are sent (note this is different from most banks that send out auto invites to tests). The final round is a motivational based telephone interview.
The 'week' is only 3 days and involves "on-the-floor work shadowing, building tours, seminars, workshops, presentations and networking events with recruiters and business representatives." There is a possibility of being fast tracked to the summer internship programme.
Professional Services Firms
Offers a 3-day Insight Academy at different dates (one in April, one in June and one in September). Location is different depending on the time you attend. Application process includes an initial online application (no questions asked or essays required except for a 300 word summary of extracurriculars). Second stage is online testing when the candidate has to take a numerical and logic test as well as a PwC talent test (i.e. situational judgement tets) and a personality test. Third stage is a competency based phone interview. The list of competencies PwC is looking for is available on their website. One or two straightforward questions will be asked on each competency and a why PwC/why this programme question. Response after the phone interview is usually very quick, one or two days - but sometimes longer.