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    I am currently in my 2nd year of a 4 year Economics course which includes a placement year.
    I've managed to secure a relevant placement in Corporate Finance at a large professional services firm. So I will be doing that next year, it is also my penultimate year, so I should be applying for summer internships too.

    I have two key concerns I hope you can help me with:

    Firstly, how can I compete in the recruitment process while working? Placement starts in July, ends next July and is FT work, 5 days a week. I mean, sending out applications and numerical tests are no problem as I can do them on evenings and weekends. But my problem would be with telephone interviews - will banks hold these either really early: 7.45am? Or late like 6pm, or on weekends? Otherwise I would have to do them during my lunch hours. This would be annoying as I imagine it will be hard to find privacy for 30mins, I hate doing an phone interview when I know someone can hear me. My thoughts to this are maybe a nearby hotel lobby, really quiet area of department store or really quiet toilet. Any suggestions?
    For assessment centres I would have to use a day of holiday. This may be a problem if it is really short notice, I'm not sure how long my firm would want in notice for me to book a day off?

    Secondly, how should I portray my placement on my CV?
    It is very relevant to an IB career path - working in M&A and capital markets - obviously smaller scale deals than an investment bank though.
    My reservation is that when I apply for internships, I will only be a few months into the placement. So how can I make it seem that I definitely want to work in an investment bank and not accounting/professional services firm?


    Sorry for the essay but it required a bit of explanation lol. Hope some of you guys can help me out.

    Really interested to hear from those who have had this problem, maybe during an off cycle internship or a permanent job.

    thanks
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    (Original post by jonnygates)
    I am currently in my 2nd year of a 4 year Economics course which includes a placement year.
    I've managed to secure a relevant placement in Corporate Finance at a large professional services firm. So I will be doing that next year, it is also my penultimate year, so I should be applying for summer internships too.

    I have two key concerns I hope you can help me with:

    Firstly, how can I compete in the recruitment process while working? Placement starts in July, ends next July and is FT work, 5 days a week. I mean, sending out applications and numerical tests are no problem as I can do them on evenings and weekends. But my problem would be with telephone interviews - will banks hold these either really early: 7.45am? Or late like 6pm, or on weekends? Otherwise I would have to do them during my lunch hours. This would be annoying as I imagine it will be hard to find privacy for 30mins, I hate doing an phone interview when I know someone can hear me. My thoughts to this are maybe a nearby hotel lobby, really quiet area of department store or really quiet toilet. Any suggestions?
    For assessment centres I would have to use a day of holiday. This may be a problem if it is really short notice, I'm not sure how long my firm would want in notice for me to book a day off?

    Secondly, how should I portray my placement on my CV?
    It is very relevant to an IB career path - working in M&A and capital markets - obviously smaller scale deals than an investment bank though.
    My reservation is that when I apply for internships, I will only be a few months into the placement. So how can I make it seem that I definitely want to work in an investment bank and not accounting/professional services firm?


    Sorry for the essay but it required a bit of explanation lol. Hope some of you guys can help me out.

    Really interested to hear from those who have had this problem, maybe during an off cycle internship or a permanent job.

    thanks
    Don't most banking summer internships begin in sometimes between the middle of June and the end of June? Would you be able to leave your placement early to do a summer internship?
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    (Original post by Indus)
    Don't most banking summer internships begin in sometimes between the middle of June and the end of June? Would you be able to leave your placement early to do a summer internship?
    My placement starts on 30th June and ends on 30th June the year after.
    From what I have seen, most internships at banks don't start till early July. The few who do start in late June I could just ask to start later, this has been done by some people.
    Besides, don't some unis like LSE not finish until late June/July? I haven't seen any internships that begin in mid June but I may be wrong
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    (Original post by jonnygates)
    My placement starts on 30th June and ends on 30th June the year after.
    From what I have seen, most internships at banks don't start till early July. The few who do start in late June I could just ask to start later, this has been done by some people.
    Besides, don't some unis like LSE not finish until late June/July? I haven't seen any internships that begin in mid June but I may be wrong
    Last year, most started on either the 18th or 25th June. I know Goldman Sachs was 25th June, Deutsche Bank was 18th June, Morgan Stanley was 18th June, J.P.Morgan was 18th June. This year, RBS is 1st July, so I guess if they kept it the same then you could do there's. BAML this year is 24th June.

    I don't know of anyone starting later at Goldman Sachs, as everyone had to go through the compliance process and then training together. It will be different somewhere like Greenhill though where they only take 6 interns. It is definitely worth checking whether you can actually do the internships first before applying though; nothing worse than getting the contract and it saying you have to be there in mid-June. Many bulge brackets take 150-400 interns and they won't usually bend the rules for someone, from my experience anyway (there may be ways around this).

    Most universities finish in early June or the middle of June. Some of the people at Goldman had literally just finished university when they were starting. Personally I had a good month off beforehand.

    Provided you can do the internships, for assessment centres you're going to usually have over a weeks notice so I guess that you're just going to have to use that as holiday. Sometimes you may have less notice, but you're just going to have to confront that if it happens. Phone interviews are easily done in the lunch break, or some banks (I know HSBC interviewed me at 8pm this year) will interview early/later. Just go outside during lunch or something - you'll find a way to get through the interview once it happens.

    In terms of portraying your placement, in your cover letter and competency questions, surely you're going to talk about how your time at the firm has made you want to go into IBD. Even a few weeks into the placement (and if it starts in June, you can write 'June-Present' when applying in August/September, and it looks like you've done 2 or 3 months) you should be able to say that those few weeks have made you realise you want to be in IBD. I don't really know what the question is here; the work in the professional services firm is basically the same as within IBD, just a smaller scale. You just have to make it clear that you want to work on bigger deals with a bulge bracket bank as opposed to at PwC or KPMG etc; this shouldn't be difficult at all really.
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    (Original post by Indus)
    Last year, most started on either the 18th or 25th June. I know Goldman Sachs was 25th June, Deutsche Bank was 18th June, Morgan Stanley was 18th June, J.P.Morgan was 18th June. This year, RBS is 1st July, so I guess if they kept it the same then you could do there's. BAML this year is 24th June.

    I don't know of anyone starting later at Goldman Sachs, as everyone had to go through the compliance process and then training together. It will be different somewhere like Greenhill though where they only take 6 interns. It is definitely worth checking whether you can actually do the internships first before applying though; nothing worse than getting the contract and it saying you have to be there in mid-June. Many bulge brackets take 150-400 interns and they won't usually bend the rules for someone, from my experience anyway (there may be ways around this).

    Most universities finish in early June or the middle of June. Some of the people at Goldman had literally just finished university when they were starting. Personally I had a good month off beforehand.

    Provided you can do the internships, for assessment centres you're going to usually have over a weeks notice so I guess that you're just going to have to use that as holiday. Sometimes you may have less notice, but you're just going to have to confront that if it happens. Phone interviews are easily done in the lunch break, or some banks (I know HSBC interviewed me at 8pm this year) will interview early/later. Just go outside during lunch or something - you'll find a way to get through the interview once it happens.

    In terms of portraying your placement, in your cover letter and competency questions, surely you're going to talk about how your time at the firm has made you want to go into IBD. Even a few weeks into the placement (and if it starts in June, you can write 'June-Present' when applying in August/September, and it looks like you've done 2 or 3 months) you should be able to say that those few weeks have made you realise you want to be in IBD. I don't really know what the question is here; the work in the professional services firm is basically the same as within IBD, just a smaller scale. You just have to make it clear that you want to work on bigger deals with a bulge bracket bank as opposed to at PwC or KPMG etc; this shouldn't be difficult at all really.
    Thanks for the reply, helped put my mind at ease a bit.
    There is a bit of concern in that a lot of the BB internships will start 1-2 weeks before my end date. If I am lucky enough to be offered a summer internship, I will either try and book the last few days off (if I have enough holiday) or will just have to explain to them towards the end that I am looking into working for a different firm (not sure how they will take that).

    I know HSBC is early July, RBS as you said, but I thought Goldman/MS/JPM/BAML were later than that, so that is disappointing. Hopefully European banks like BNPP will probably be more flexible with start dates.

    Can I ask how you got HSBC to interview you at 8pm? Did you contact them and explain a situation to them or did the slot just appear?
    I take it from this that you have experience with applying for internships while working? If so, did you find it hard to hide it from your boss with booking days off and that? And, were you successful? I can already imagine it being tough preparing for interviews with a full workload.

    Thanks again for the help
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    (Original post by jonnygates)
    I am currently in my 2nd year of a 4 year Economics course which includes a placement year.
    I've managed to secure a relevant placement in Corporate Finance at a large professional services firm. So I will be doing that next year, it is also my penultimate year, so I should be applying for summer internships too.

    I have two key concerns I hope you can help me with:

    Firstly, how can I compete in the recruitment process while working? Placement starts in July, ends next July and is FT work, 5 days a week. I mean, sending out applications and numerical tests are no problem as I can do them on evenings and weekends. But my problem would be with telephone interviews - will banks hold these either really early: 7.45am? Or late like 6pm, or on weekends? Otherwise I would have to do them during my lunch hours. This would be annoying as I imagine it will be hard to find privacy for 30mins, I hate doing an phone interview when I know someone can hear me. My thoughts to this are maybe a nearby hotel lobby, really quiet area of department store or really quiet toilet. Any suggestions?
    For assessment centres I would have to use a day of holiday. This may be a problem if it is really short notice, I'm not sure how long my firm would want in notice for me to book a day off?

    Secondly, how should I portray my placement on my CV?
    It is very relevant to an IB career path - working in M&A and capital markets - obviously smaller scale deals than an investment bank though.
    My reservation is that when I apply for internships, I will only be a few months into the placement. So how can I make it seem that I definitely want to work in an investment bank and not accounting/professional services firm?


    Sorry for the essay but it required a bit of explanation lol. Hope some of you guys can help me out.

    Really interested to hear from those who have had this problem, maybe during an off cycle internship or a permanent job.

    thanks

    hey just out of curiosity which uni do you go to? and what firm are you interning with for the year?
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    (Original post by rickpatel89)
    hey just out of curiosity which uni do you go to? and what firm are you interning with for the year?
    Would prefer not to say anymore about the firm than I already have - large professional services firm, Corporate Finance.
    Solid>Good Russell Group uni, nothing special, studying a relevant degree

    Why do you ask, how about yourself?
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    (Original post by jonnygates)
    Would prefer not to say anymore about the firm than I already have - large professional services firm, Corporate Finance.
    Solid>Good Russell Group uni, nothing special, studying a relevant degree

    Why do you ask, how about yourself?
    i was simply just wondering.

    i will make the assumption that it is one of the big 4, if so, have you considered completing the 3year CA course and try to break into IB as an associate?

    im at nottingham (1st yr) and personally think trying to break into IBD at a top BB or prestigious boutique as an m&a analyst will be extremely difficult unless you can differentiate yourself in a spectacular way.

    did you complete any spring weeks in your 1st yr im kicking myself because i never applied. what kind of things did you pick up on, whilst applying for your placement
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    (Original post by jonnygates)
    Thanks for the reply, helped put my mind at ease a bit.
    There is a bit of concern in that a lot of the BB internships will start 1-2 weeks before my end date. If I am lucky enough to be offered a summer internship, I will either try and book the last few days off (if I have enough holiday) or will just have to explain to them towards the end that I am looking into working for a different firm (not sure how they will take that).

    I know HSBC is early July, RBS as you said, but I thought Goldman/MS/JPM/BAML were later than that, so that is disappointing. Hopefully European banks like BNPP will probably be more flexible with start dates.

    Can I ask how you got HSBC to interview you at 8pm? Did you contact them and explain a situation to them or did the slot just appear?
    I take it from this that you have experience with applying for internships while working? If so, did you find it hard to hide it from your boss with booking days off and that? And, were you successful? I can already imagine it being tough preparing for interviews with a full workload.

    Thanks again for the help
    It is always going to be a risk whether you sacrifice your chances with the professional services firm to try and secure a 'better' internship, or whether you play it safe with the corporate finance role you already have. If you are happy to sacrifice the professional services role, then I guess explaining that you want to work for a different firm near the end would be the best choice (provided it's with a bank where there is overlap); hopefully you get somewhere like RBS, HSBC etc.

    HSBC gave me a choice of a massive range of different dates and times; basically any time within the next 3 days ranging from like 8am until 9pm. Other banks, J.P. Morgan springs to mind, will have a lot less choice as to when you have your interview. With these I suppose you can email and ask for them to either give you a date more like 2 weeks in the future (hence giving you time to take holiday) or a more convenient time after work finishes if possible.

    I haven't been on a placement and applied throughout the year, but when I was interning in the back office of a bank the last summer, in the last month a lot of applications were opening (August time before the end of the internship). This meant that a lot of people in the division who had hated back office started applying for front office roles with places like Barclays, Greenhill, Lazard etc (which had opened between July and September). When people had phone interviews we would just go outside, find a quiet spot (yes, they do exist in the city) and have the interview. I remember standing outside the office having a phone interview; it wasn't even lunch and if anyone in the division had looked out the windows, they would have seen me on the phone. Of course, the difference here was that there was roughly 3 weeks of the summer internship left, and no one wanted the back office role, so we were a lot more willing to do something which would compromise a graduate offer - if you're a month into a 12 month placement then it will be different for you. As this was early in the cycle only one person booked time off (think they said they needed to do their dissertation or go to a wedding or something) but most people were just doing phone interviews. Funnily enough, the full time employees did tell us to apply to other places to hedge our risk of not getting a graduate role (but that might have been a sign that we weren't getting offers). Either way, if you do get found out, this might be a good excuse for you; just tell them that you're applying for summer internships with the other big 4 firms (I wouldn't say IBD cause that would be completely different and make you look uninterested in the placement role) to hedge the risk that you don't get the placement converted.

    You'll find it easier in terms of interviews I think. I found that my workload is higher at university than while working; and while working you're basically made to keep up with financial news and stuff, so there is little to prepare on the technical side or commercial side. You just have to brush up on some competencies (and you've probably developed some interesting ones while on placement) and read up on the firm.
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    (Original post by rickpatel89)
    i was simply just wondering.

    i will make the assumption that it is one of the big 4, if so, have you considered completing the 3year CA course and try to break into IB as an associate?

    im at nottingham (1st yr) and personally think trying to break into IBD at a top BB or prestigious boutique as an m&a analyst will be extremely difficult unless you can differentiate yourself in a spectacular way.

    did you complete any spring weeks in your 1st yr im kicking myself because i never applied. what kind of things did you pick up on, whilst applying for your placement
    Spring weeks are fairly useless. They have little purpose apart from fast-tracking you to a summer internship.

    Nottingham is a decent university. Yes you do have to differentiate yourself (perhaps not in a quite so spectacular way though). Bottom line is that you're obviously not going to be a totally rubbish applicant, and you haven't actually applied for anything in banking yet, presumably. So put everything into applying for IBD summer internships next year and see what happens, rather than giving up and settling for big 4 corporate finance already (even though big 4 corporate finance is actually very competitive too).
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    (Original post by rickpatel89)
    i was simply just wondering.

    i will make the assumption that it is one of the big 4, if so, have you considered completing the 3year CA course and try to break into IB as an associate?

    im at nottingham (1st yr) and personally think trying to break into IBD at a top BB or prestigious boutique as an m&a analyst will be extremely difficult unless you can differentiate yourself in a spectacular way.

    did you complete any spring weeks in your 1st yr im kicking myself because i never applied. what kind of things did you pick up on, whilst applying for your placement
    I am at a similar level university to you and study Economics. I missed out on most spring week deadlines as I started thinking about this late on (in my 2nd year atm), I did however apply for 4 summer internships in m&a at RBC capital markets, HSBC, SocGen and RBS (most other banks closed). I got first round interviews at RBCCM, HBC and SG but was rejected by RBS. I then only got through one of these - HSBC - but I didn't get an offer after an AC despite thinking it went well.
    So it is definitely possible for you without spring weeks. I feel that if I had my head screwed on and I had applied in august/sept then I would have got something.
    But anyway, I also applied for placements at the same time as these internships to give me more options. Got interviews at every big 4 firm that was open and some others.

    So, my point is that yes it will be extremely difficult to get an M&A internship but if you put in the work it can definitely be done from a uni like Nottingham. The fact that I got interviews from 3/4 banks after applying late was no fluke, I put in a lot of work. But I fell down at the AC because it was my first one and I feel that if I had another I would be closer to an offer. I mean, I don't know of anyone who has converted their first AC.

    I think that my placement will be real useful because it is very relevant and it gives me a fresh shot to apply for internships - but this time I will be ready in August and with the experiences of last year. I'm not sure what you mean by what you picked up when applying for placements?

    And yes I have thought about the ACA > Associate path but I believe that I can get an internship next summer provided I can get 2/3 ACs. Although I suppose everyone thinks that.

    Good Luck
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    (Original post by Indus)
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    Yeah I see what you mean.
    I suppose I am willing to semi sacrifice the placement. I mean I want to enjoy my time there and get on well with everyone, so I don't want people giving up on me after 2 months. But I also know that I want to work for a full service investment bank rather than prof. services.
    I mean say they offer me a grad job and I don't have a summer internship lined up, I would still probably pass on it and just try for one more year.
 
 
 
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