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Alright, student monkeys.

Since I'm lazy, and much of this is the same advice I'd write up, I'm going to repost a solid guide from Reddit. I have tweaked the post to make it more stylistically correct, and added a bit more of a UK focus.

Without further ado:

Friends, every month, many people on this fine subreddit post asking what on earth they need to do to get that good internship, and most importantly, how to act when they're on it. In this post, I'd like to cover some of the basics, having introduced and dealt with interns for the past few years, and being our team's representative on the committee that decides who gets hired. I'd also like to invite anyone with experience, especially those with more time than myself, to share their advice and experience.


Getting an Internship

Transitioning into high finance (which we will consider to be corporate finance/investment banking, wealth management, PE and Hedge Funds, generally front office, high salary stuff) after you leave college or university is almost impossible in London or New York. It is imperative to get an internship or work placement (where you do a year in a bank in between your studies) BEFORE you graduate. Around 90% of new hires are hired straight out college/uni internships.

So, how do you get an internship? You apply online. Make sure you're a member (preferably a board or committee member) of your university or college finance society/club. Make sure your high school grades are excellent, your A-levels are preferably A*s/As (the minimum being AAB-ABB; NOTE: it's NOT the end of the world if you don't have top A-level grades but it certainly makes life easier) and in your first year at university, make sure you are on track for a 2:1 or a 1st class degree. Then, in your second year, apply for an internship in the Summer. You'll still have quite a low chance of getting in though, unless you're an outstanding candidate.

BUT WAIT.

There is another way to get a fast track into banking. The 'Spring Week' internships, available at pretty much every BB and many other banks, offer a week of bull**** presentations and group work for students in their first year at university. You will learn very little useful things at these events, but they look great in your CV or résumé and most importantly, can be a fast track to an internship in the summer of your second year in higher education, which gives you a tremendous advantage over your fellow students who don't decide what to do with their lives until later. These internships often pay salaries that work out to around £45,000-£50,000 annualised, so you can make very good money for a summer of work.

Spring Week applications open in early September to late October/early November, and they are a lot easier to get into than summer internships, so if you just started at University or College, apply now, as in literally within the next few days.

Another important thing is your choice of University. Course largely doesn't matter. You can still make it with a degree in the humanities, just as much as you can with a STEM or Economics degree - although, there is a slight preference to the latter in some roles. It also used to be that you had to go to a super elite university to get in (read: Oxbridge). Today, you can easily get in from the top ones: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, LSE, Warwick, and the likes of: Bristol, Nottingham, Durham, Bath, Cass. It is also possible to get into high finance going to other schools too, as long as your grades are good.

In addition, the most successful candidates are often those who interned or did 'work experience' while still at school, at the age of 16 or 17. Doing this requires contacts or family members in banks, but if you have connections, USE THEM, because just a couple weeks in BoA on the trading floor or at UBS doing debt stuff as a pimply faced seventeen year old can forever change your career for the better. Make contacts, and add them all on LinkedIn. Build a network, and start young.

So, to recap, the ideal flow that will almost guarantee a decently intelligent person a good chance at a grad position in IB is:

  1. Insight programmes/work experience in IB while in high school.
  2. Spring Week in year one of uni/college
  3. Summer internship or travelling/volunteering in year one or work for a startup
  4. Some more small insight days/ work experience weeks (ie. private equity, hedge fund, asset management) while in year two
  5. More prestigious summer internship year two - usually, converted from a previous spring week but still MORE than attainable without one. If you can get an internship at a good fund or PE firm, you are golden at this point.
  6. Secure grad job at end of year 2 internship
  7. Do well in your third year of Uni
  8. Graduate into job


Once inside the bank in a full time job, career progression is extremely simple:

- Analyst
- Associate
- Vice President (Also called Associate Director in some banks)
- Director
- Managing Director.

Above MD there are a whole slew of jobs floating around in a nebulous mix, and so once you reach that level it's more about getting on bank management committees and executive teams and so on.

This is not for everyone- some people do an internship for a full year in-between years 2 and 3. Others do things differently yet again. But if you don't have a solid plan, I offer mine as the easy route.

[By the way, and I won't say much about this, if you have an interview it's usually just going to be a chat, with a few questions about recent events in the financial sector, a bit about your history/interest in banking, a big about the bank in question (the "any questions" section) and so on. There will possibly also be some kind of logic puzzle/non-verbal reasoning test to do online or (I have heard in some banks) in person which essentially requires decent spatial skills, maths knowledge, and reasoning ability. But this is far from the most important part, so don't sweat it.]

Being A Successful Intern

So, whether by hard work or your Dad's buddy at JP Morgan, you've gotten that first summer internship, and you want to make a great first impression. Here are some dos and don'ts.


DO

Always show up on time. This seems obvious, but after a year of college, it can be hard to realise that even 15 minutes of lateness twice a week will be noticed by that one chap in the office, and will be brought up in the evaluation meeting.

Take your older co-workers out for lunch. This isn't about paying (in all likelihood they'll pay for you), but about developing a rapport. There are guys in the cohort who I feel are almost friends by the end of the Summer, and guys who I barely know the name of. If the guys in your team remember your name, they are obviously way more likely to take you. (And for female interns who don't want to look like they're 'coming on' to a male boss, don't worry. Doing anything remotely flirtatious with an intern is practically grounds for immediate dismissal, HR sends about 10 email reminders about this every May, and most bankers are not, in fact, arrogant macho sexual harassers, but*relatively*decent family men who will likely have no interest in you in that way.)

Say Hi to the senior guys in the elevator. Familiarise yourself with your regional (or if you're at HQ, global) executive team. If you bump into the CEO in the lift, which is far from impossible, SAY Hello. Often, the senior guys love hearing from people just starting out, and will be happy to share their own stories. One intern we had a few years ago began a regular email correspondence with our country head over the summer. When he joined the bank full time a couple of years later, he was invited as a junior representative to several senior committees, and rose through the ranks like a bullet. I think he made VP in four years. By comparison, for me, a relatively slow ascender, it took eight.


DON'T

Pointlessly overwork yourself. Every year, I find interns sitting at their desks until one in the morning, browsing the news, because they think they shouldn't leave until we go. This is bull****. Come into the office, work hard, and leave at 6 or 7, unless specifically asked not to. I have sat in a ****ton of meetings in which HR complains that they received anonymous complaints about 'having' to stay in the office for 20 hour days. Every time, EVERY senior banker in room sighs, because no one is encouraging it in the slightest. Junior Analysts? Sure, welcome to the land of no weekend for the next three years. But interns? HR forces us to structure all programs so that there is no potential for overworking. And no senior banker thinks worse of am intern who leaves at 7 instead of 12 in my experience. On a personal note, I tend to believe the former is more intelligent and capable, and thus a better potential hire.

Be a super-competitive jerk. Every year I have to suffer the indignity of hearing intelligent 18 year olds badmouth each other to management as if I'm a primary school teacher. We get it- you watched Wall Street and think you're Gordon Gecko. Thing is, trying to step over your fellow summer interns as if this is the Hunger Games just makes you look like an *******. Be competitive, be hardworking, but let us decide who did the best job. Most banking teams are flexible. They might hire two great interns one year, but hire none the next because they are all substandard.
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This needs to be upvoted 100x
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Alright, student monkeys.

Since I'm lazy, and much of this is the same advice I'd right up, I'm going to repost a solid guide from Reddit. I have tweaked the post to make it more stylistically correct, and added a bit more of a UK focus.

Without further ado:

Friends, every month, many people on this fine subreddit post asking what on earth they need to do to get that good internship, and most importantly, how to act when they're on it. In this post, I'd like to cover some of the basics, having introduced and dealt with interns for the past few years, and being our team's representative on the committee that decides who gets hired. I'd also like to invite anyone with experience, especially those with more time than myself, to share their advice and experience.

First, a bit about myself. I am a VP (more on what tiers actually mean later) in a corporate finance team at a BB in London. for some more background for other UK redditors I attended St Pauls school boarding, and went to Oxford University in the very early 2000s. I have been in this industry for about 11 years, and am 32.

Now, onto some basic advice


Getting an Internship

Transitioning into high finance (which we will consider to be corporate finance/investment banking, wealth management, PE and Hedge Funds, generally front office, high salary stuff)*after*you leave college or university is almost impossible in London or New York. It is imperative to get an internship or work placement (where you do a year in a bank in between your studies) BEFORE you graduate. Around 90% of new hires are hired straight out college/uni internships.

So, how do you get an internship? You apply online. Make sure you're a member (preferably a board or committee member) of your university or college finance society/club. Make sure your high school grades are excellent, your A-levels are preferably A*s/As (the minimum being AAB-ABB; NOTE: it's NOT the end of the world if you don't have top A-level grades but it certainly makes life easier) and in your first year at university, make sure you are on track for a 2:1 or a 1st class degree. Then, in your second year, apply for an internship in the Summer. You'll still have quite a low chance of getting in though, unless you're an outstanding candidate.

BUT WAIT.

There is another way to get a fast track into banking. The 'Spring Week' internships, available at pretty much every BB and many other banks, offer a week of bull**** presentations and group work for students in their first year at university. You will learn very little useful things at these events, but they look great in your CV or résumé and most importantly, can be a fast track to an internship in the summer of your*second year*in higher education, which gives you a tremendous advantage over your fellow students who don't decide what to do with their lives until later. These internships often pay salaries that work out to around £45,000-£50,000 annualised, so you can make very good money for a summer of work.

Spring Week applications open in early September to late October/early November, and they are a lot easier to get into than summer internships, so if you just started at University or College,*apply now, as in literally within the next few days.

Another important thing is your choice of University. Course largely doesn't matter. You can still make it with a degree in the humanities, just as much as you can with a STEM or Economics degree - although, there is a slight preference to the latter in some roles. It also used to be that you had to go to a super elite university to get in (read: Oxbridge). Today, you can easily get in from the top ones: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, LSE, Warwick, and the likes of: Bristol, Nottingham, Durham, Bath, Cass. It is also possible to get into high finance going to other schools too, as long as your grades are good.

In addition, the most successful candidates are often those who interned or did 'work experience' while still at school, at the age of 16 or 17. Doing this requires contacts or family members in banks, but if you have connections, USE THEM, because just a couple weeks in BoA on the trading floor or at UBS doing debt stuff as a pimply faced seventeen year old can forever change your career for the better. Make contacts, and add them all on LinkedIn. Build a network, and start young.

So, to recap, the ideal flow that will almost guarantee a decently intelligent person a good chance at a grad position in IB is:
  1. Insight programmes/work experience in IB while in high school.
  2. Spring Week in year one of uni/college
  3. Summer internship or travelling/volunteering in year one or work for a startup
  4. Some more small insight days/ work experience weeks (ie. private equity, hedge fund, asset management) while in year two
  5. More prestigious summer internship year two - usually, converted from a previous spring week but still MORE than attainable without one. If you can get an internship at a good fund or PE firm, you are golden at this point.
  6. Secure grad job at end of year 2 internship
  7. Do well in your third year of Uni
  8. Graduate into job

Once inside the bank in a full time job, career progression is extremely simple:

- Analyst
- Associate
- Vice President (Also called Associate Director in some banks)
- Director
- Managing Director.

Above MD there are a whole slew of jobs floating around in a nebulous mix, and so once you reach that level it's more about getting on bank management committees and executive teams and so on.

This is not for everyone- some people do an internship for a full year in-between years 2 and 3. Others do things differently yet again. But if you don't have a solid plan, I offer mine as the easy route.

[By the way, and I won't say much about this, if you have an interview it's usually just going to be a chat, with a few questions about recent events in the financial sector, a bit about your history/interest in banking, a big about the bank in question (the "any questions" section) and so on. There will possibly also be some kind of logic puzzle/non-verbal reasoning test to do online or (I have heard in some banks) in person which essentially requires decent spatial skills, maths knowledge, and reasoning ability. But this is far from the most important part, so don't sweat it.]

Being A Successful Intern

So, whether by hard work or your Dad's buddy at JP Morgan, you've gotten that first summer internship, and you want to make a great first impression. Here are some dos and don'ts.


DO

Always show up on time. This seems obvious, but after a year of college, it can be hard to realise that even 15 minutes of lateness twice a week will be noticed by that one chap in the office, and will be brought up in the evaluation meeting.

Take your older co-workers out for lunch. This isn't about paying (in all likelihood they'll pay for you), but about developing a rapport. There are guys in the cohort who I feel are almost friends by the end of the Summer, and guys who I barely know the name of. If the guys in your team remember your name, they are obviously way more likely to take you. (And for female interns who don't want to look like they're 'coming on' to a male boss, don't worry. Doing anything remotely flirtatious with an intern is practically grounds for immediate dismissal, HR sends about 10 email reminders about this every May, and most bankers are not, in fact, arrogant macho sexual harassers, but*relatively*decent family men who will likely have no interest in you in that way.)

Say Hi to the senior guys in the elevator. Familiarise yourself with your regional (or if you're at HQ, global) executive team. If you bump into the CEO in the lift, which is far from impossible, SAY Hello. Often, the senior guys love hearing from people just starting out, and will be happy to share their own stories. One intern we had a few years ago began a regular email correspondence with our country head over the summer. When he joined the bank full time a couple of years later, he was invited as a junior representative to several senior committees, and rose through the ranks like a bullet. I think he made VP in four years. By comparison, for me, a relatively slow ascender, it took eight.


DON'T

Pointlessly overwork yourself. Every year, I find interns sitting at their desks until one in the morning, browsing the news, because they think they shouldn't leave until we go. This is bull****. Come into the office, work hard, and leave at 6 or 7, unless specifically asked not to. I have sat in a ****ton of meetings in which HR complains that they received anonymous complaints about 'having' to stay in the office for 20 hour days. Every time, EVERY senior banker in room sighs, because no one is encouraging it in the slightest. Junior Analysts? Sure, welcome to the land of no weekend for the next three years. But interns? HR forces us to structure all programs so that there is no potential for overworking. And no senior banker thinks worse of am intern who leaves at 7 instead of 12 in my experience. On a personal note, I tend to believe the former is more intelligent and capable, and thus a better potential hire.

Be a super-competitive jerk. Every year I have to suffer the indignity of hearing intelligent 18 year olds badmouth each other to management as if I'm a primary school teacher. We get it- you watched Wall Street and think you're Gordon Gecko. Thing is, trying to step over your fellow summer interns as if this is the Hunger Games just makes you look like an *******. Be competitive, be hardworking, but let us decide who did the best job. Most banking teams are flexible. They might hire two great interns one year, but hire none the next because they are all substandard.
This is fantastic. I can't thank you enough

I'm sure an awful lot of people will appreciate this greatly.
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username738914
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Haha, thanks! I want to get this stickied.

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Haha, thanks! I want to get this stickied.

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Is there no way you can get it permanently affixed somewhere?
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I've contacted the mods, hopefully they'll sticky it at the top of this sub-forum.

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I've contacted the mods, hopefully they'll sticky it at the top of this sub-forum.

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Good, it honestly deserves to belong there tbh

You spend so much time on here answering IB questions I'm honestly surprised you get any work done whatsoever.
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Haha, I take some very long procrastination breaks from studying!

Also, I usually answer questions if I'm bored at work (part time) or it's particularly slow.

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(Original post by Princepieman)
Haha, I take some very long procrastination breaks from studying!

Also, I usually answer questions if I'm bored at work (part time) or it's particularly slow.

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Judging by your profile your grades aren't suffering.

Where do you work? Also, you work aswell? That's pretty impressive.
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Haha, thanks!

I work at a telecoms company (think Three, O2, EE), doing sales at one of their stores. It's 16 hours a week, with roughly ~£8-9/hour, quarterly bonuses and monthly sales bonuses.

It beats working at ASDA or Tesco that's for sure.

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Haha, thanks!

I work at a telecoms company (think Three, O2, EE), doing sales at one of their stores. It's 16 hours a week, with roughly ~£8-9/hour, quarterly bonuses and monthly sales bonuses.

It beats working at ASDA or Tesco that's for sure.

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Niiiiccee... Decent pay for a college student if I don't say so myself

I'm taking it you're wanting to go into high finance personally then?

Is Accounting considered low finance then?
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This thread is just awesome!Thanks Prince
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Haha, yeah, it's pretty good. I'm trying to maximise saving up right now as I'll be off to Japan next year to hopefully teach English for a few years.

Yep, hopefully Investment Banking (Private Equity after some years of indentured servitude), or, more preferable but unlikely, strategy consulting.

Accounting is accounting. The subject itself is quite useful for IB (especially corporate finance/M&A), but it's a completely different field. I've heard of people starting off in accounting (audit) at one of the Big 4, lateraling into the transaction services/corporate finance advisory arms then transitioning into IB or Private Equity.

Regular finance is stuff you'll find in the finance departments of companies, even IBs have finance departments who do all the budgeting, financial planning etc. for the corporation. It's part of the 'back office' in that, they don't generate revenue but are more of a support service.



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This thread is just awesome!Thanks Prince
Thanks!

No probs man!

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Thanks!

No probs man!

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Personally I think this is a good piece of advice! Going to sticky it now as this would be useful
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good post
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Alright, student monkeys.

Since I'm lazy, and much of this is the same advice I'd write up, I'm going to repost a solid guide from Reddit. I have tweaked the post to make it more stylistically correct, and added a bit more of a UK focus.

Without further ado:

Friends, every month, many people on this fine subreddit post asking what on earth they need to do to get that good internship, and most importantly, how to act when they're on it. In this post, I'd like to cover some of the basics, having introduced and dealt with interns for the past few years, and being our team's representative on the committee that decides who gets hired. I'd also like to invite anyone with experience, especially those with more time than myself, to share their advice and experience.

First, a bit about myself. I am a VP (more on what tiers actually mean later) in a corporate finance team at a BB in London. for some more background for other UK redditors I attended St Pauls school boarding, and went to Oxford University in the very early 2000s. I have been in this industry for about 11 years, and am 32.

Now, onto some basic advice


Getting an Internship

Transitioning into high finance (which we will consider to be corporate finance/investment banking, wealth management, PE and Hedge Funds, generally front office, high salary stuff) after you leave college or university is almost impossible in London or New York. It is imperative to get an internship or work placement (where you do a year in a bank in between your studies) BEFORE you graduate. Around 90% of new hires are hired straight out college/uni internships.

So, how do you get an internship? You apply online. Make sure you're a member (preferably a board or committee member) of your university or college finance society/club. Make sure your high school grades are excellent, your A-levels are preferably A*s/As (the minimum being AAB-ABB; NOTE: it's NOT the end of the world if you don't have top A-level grades but it certainly makes life easier) and in your first year at university, make sure you are on track for a 2:1 or a 1st class degree. Then, in your second year, apply for an internship in the Summer. You'll still have quite a low chance of getting in though, unless you're an outstanding candidate.

BUT WAIT.

There is another way to get a fast track into banking. The 'Spring Week' internships, available at pretty much every BB and many other banks, offer a week of bull**** presentations and group work for students in their first year at university. You will learn very little useful things at these events, but they look great in your CV or résumé and most importantly, can be a fast track to an internship in the summer of your second year in higher education, which gives you a tremendous advantage over your fellow students who don't decide what to do with their lives until later. These internships often pay salaries that work out to around £45,000-£50,000 annualised, so you can make very good money for a summer of work.

Spring Week applications open in early September to late October/early November, and they are a lot easier to get into than summer internships, so if you just started at University or College, apply now, as in literally within the next few days.

Another important thing is your choice of University. Course largely doesn't matter. You can still make it with a degree in the humanities, just as much as you can with a STEM or Economics degree - although, there is a slight preference to the latter in some roles. It also used to be that you had to go to a super elite university to get in (read: Oxbridge). Today, you can easily get in from the top ones: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, LSE, Warwick, and the likes of: Bristol, Nottingham, Durham, Bath, Cass. It is also possible to get into high finance going to other schools too, as long as your grades are good.

In addition, the most successful candidates are often those who interned or did 'work experience' while still at school, at the age of 16 or 17. Doing this requires contacts or family members in banks, but if you have connections, USE THEM, because just a couple weeks in BoA on the trading floor or at UBS doing debt stuff as a pimply faced seventeen year old can forever change your career for the better. Make contacts, and add them all on LinkedIn. Build a network, and start young.

So, to recap, the ideal flow that will almost guarantee a decently intelligent person a good chance at a grad position in IB is:
  1. Insight programmes/work experience in IB while in high school.
  2. Spring Week in year one of uni/college
  3. Summer internship or travelling/volunteering in year one or work for a startup
  4. Some more small insight days/ work experience weeks (ie. private equity, hedge fund, asset management) while in year two
  5. More prestigious summer internship year two - usually, converted from a previous spring week but still MORE than attainable without one. If you can get an internship at a good fund or PE firm, you are golden at this point.
  6. Secure grad job at end of year 2 internship
  7. Do well in your third year of Uni
  8. Graduate into job

Once inside the bank in a full time job, career progression is extremely simple:

- Analyst
- Associate
- Vice President (Also called Associate Director in some banks)
- Director
- Managing Director.

Above MD there are a whole slew of jobs floating around in a nebulous mix, and so once you reach that level it's more about getting on bank management committees and executive teams and so on.

This is not for everyone- some people do an internship for a full year in-between years 2 and 3. Others do things differently yet again. But if you don't have a solid plan, I offer mine as the easy route.

[By the way, and I won't say much about this, if you have an interview it's usually just going to be a chat, with a few questions about recent events in the financial sector, a bit about your history/interest in banking, a big about the bank in question (the "any questions" section) and so on. There will possibly also be some kind of logic puzzle/non-verbal reasoning test to do online or (I have heard in some banks) in person which essentially requires decent spatial skills, maths knowledge, and reasoning ability. But this is far from the most important part, so don't sweat it.]

Being A Successful Intern

So, whether by hard work or your Dad's buddy at JP Morgan, you've gotten that first summer internship, and you want to make a great first impression. Here are some dos and don'ts.


DO

Always show up on time. This seems obvious, but after a year of college, it can be hard to realise that even 15 minutes of lateness twice a week will be noticed by that one chap in the office, and will be brought up in the evaluation meeting.

Take your older co-workers out for lunch. This isn't about paying (in all likelihood they'll pay for you), but about developing a rapport. There are guys in the cohort who I feel are almost friends by the end of the Summer, and guys who I barely know the name of. If the guys in your team remember your name, they are obviously way more likely to take you. (And for female interns who don't want to look like they're 'coming on' to a male boss, don't worry. Doing anything remotely flirtatious with an intern is practically grounds for immediate dismissal, HR sends about 10 email reminders about this every May, and most bankers are not, in fact, arrogant macho sexual harassers, but*relatively*decent family men who will likely have no interest in you in that way.)

Say Hi to the senior guys in the elevator. Familiarise yourself with your regional (or if you're at HQ, global) executive team. If you bump into the CEO in the lift, which is far from impossible, SAY Hello. Often, the senior guys love hearing from people just starting out, and will be happy to share their own stories. One intern we had a few years ago began a regular email correspondence with our country head over the summer. When he joined the bank full time a couple of years later, he was invited as a junior representative to several senior committees, and rose through the ranks like a bullet. I think he made VP in four years. By comparison, for me, a relatively slow ascender, it took eight.


DON'T

Pointlessly overwork yourself. Every year, I find interns sitting at their desks until one in the morning, browsing the news, because they think they shouldn't leave until we go. This is bull****. Come into the office, work hard, and leave at 6 or 7, unless specifically asked not to. I have sat in a ****ton of meetings in which HR complains that they received anonymous complaints about 'having' to stay in the office for 20 hour days. Every time, EVERY senior banker in room sighs, because no one is encouraging it in the slightest. Junior Analysts? Sure, welcome to the land of no weekend for the next three years. But interns? HR forces us to structure all programs so that there is no potential for overworking. And no senior banker thinks worse of am intern who leaves at 7 instead of 12 in my experience. On a personal note, I tend to believe the former is more intelligent and capable, and thus a better potential hire.

Be a super-competitive jerk. Every year I have to suffer the indignity of hearing intelligent 18 year olds badmouth each other to management as if I'm a primary school teacher. We get it- you watched Wall Street and think you're Gordon Gecko. Thing is, trying to step over your fellow summer interns as if this is the Hunger Games just makes you look like an *******. Be competitive, be hardworking, but let us decide who did the best job. Most banking teams are flexible. They might hire two great interns one year, but hire none the next because they are all substandard.
Hello,
Thank you,thank you,thank you !I appreciate very much your advices and most of all,your time.I will try to do my best !
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Queen Cersei
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oneboy
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Great post, will definitely be good for future reference.
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BruhBru
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Great post, thanks for this. I am currently 16 and will doing a weeks work experience at a small investment bank in July, none of the big boys. Do you feel that it is essential to have a degree to get into high finance or do people ever join straight at 18?
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