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    Are there any work experience/internship opportunities available in investment banking/private banking/private wealth management for undergraduate first years during the summer as I have about 3 months so would like to make the most of it
    Am I allowed to directly contact banks asking for experience?
    Many thanks
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    Not unless you contact them directly or have contacts. If you are an oustanding candidate then you could have applied to their internship program in your first year (very unlikely however). However there are three first year internship programs that you can apply for that are not in any of the sectors you mentioned, however they would still be better than nothing as they would pay you well and give you transferable skillsets and of course bolster your CV.

    These are; Bloomberg, HSBC retail and Accenture.
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    3 ways to get summer work experience in your first year:

    1)Cold call/email as many firms as you can asking for experience.

    2)Leverage your contacts to try and get you some experience at their firm

    3)Apply formally. epc mentioned Bloomberg and HSBC, but as far as I know the Bloomberg course is two weeks long, and the HSBC internship is in retail banking. There is a handful of middle market investment banks/fund mangers that will take on first years for their summer internship schemes. It's up to you to do the research and scout them out.
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    Plenty of small places would welcome an unpaid intern, just a matter of finding them
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    If you are willing to branch out into slightly different sectors, try consultancy. I did a 10 week internship in consulting in London last year and it helped me get a summer sales & trading internship with CS this year (I am now a penultimate year student). The advantages are that they are willing to accept students before their penultimate year, you get paid relatively well and it's a full summer programme. Also if you apply to AON Hewitt or Towers Watson you can get involved specifically in investment consulting (giving you loads of relevant exposure) and since they're viewed as Actuarial firms you get loads of 'quantitative-ability brownie points' which gives you an edge in the CV-screening stage the following year.

    I'd still say throw a few applications out there as you may well be that exceptional first-year candidate that gets snapped up. But, I wouldn't expend too much energy or hope on it - I actually got the final round with a couple of banks last only to be told "I'm sorry but as you're not yet a penultimate year student..."

    Good luck either way!
 
 
 
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