If you desire to work in the investment banking industry upon graduation, then an internship can boost your chances of getting a good job by more than 50%. In fact, some investment banks would not even offer you an opportunity to work with them except you have previously completed an internship.

What is an Investment Bank?

Investment banks are financial institutions that help corporations, organizations and private individuals to raise capital by acting as the client’s agent and also to underwrite securities. They also assist in the merging and acquisition of companies. The working structure in an investment bank looks like this; new college graduates are taken in as analysts, Post graduate degree holders are employed as associates, as you grow in rank in the firm or bank, you get to junior associate and senior partners position, but these requires a lot of time, input and sacrifices to the firm.

The investment banking industry is highly attractive and as a result, very competitive. Getting a job in an investment bank whether as an analyst or associate is very difficult because of stiff competition. You can be sure that tons of people like you are also applying for internship opportunities with the few top-rated investment banks.

This article will concentrate more on discussing about reasons why a person aspiring to work in an investment bank should go for an internship program in an investment bank and also how to get internship in an investment bank and finally; tips for having a successfully internship training.

Importance of Getting an Internship in an Investment Bank

Internship in an investment bank is more of a vigorous training in an investment for a period of usually lasts from 7 weeks to 12 weeks. The main aim is to give the person a feel of the workload in an investment bank job. Most firms add self motivation and project management training as part of internship.

a. You Build a Network-: Never underestimate the power of knowing the right people in the right places. As you intern in a top investment banking firm, you get to meet a lot of top shots in the industry. You can build a strong network of friends and mentors that will help your investment banking career in the future during the period of your internship.

b. Increases your Chances of Getting a Job-: as I mentioned earlier on this article, securing a job in an internship company is very difficult due to stiff competition, the only way to set yourself apart and increase your chances of getting an job in an investment bank is by going through an internship in a top investment bank. Since you get trained on how investment bank works, employers will prefer to employ you because of your experience especially if the investment bank you did you internship is a top one.

c. You Can Be Retained as an Analyst or Associate-: Some people go for the internship program as college students; depending on how your performance was during your internship period, chances are that the firm or bank will likely retain you after graduation.

9 Action Steps to Take to Get Investment Banking Internship Placement

There are less than 20,000 investment bank positions available world wide each year and over 500,000 applicants apply for the position. You can see that to breakthrough or secure a place in an investment bank; you have to go the extra mile to stand out amongst other applicants and the best way to go about it is by going for an internship in a top investment bank. Therefore, you must look for ways to make your application stand out so that you can be easily accepted for an internship program. Here are some of the things you should do in order to land an internship placement with any investment bank of your choice:

  • Aim for a high GPA: From the moment you get into college, you must make up your mind to study hard, so that you can maintain a very high GPA. This is because most investment banks choose students with very high grades for their internship programs.
  • Prove your interest in finance: You can quickly grab a company’s attention by proving that you have a genuine interest in finance either by joining finance clubs or by taking up internships in other finance companies.
  • Visit the campus career office: Representatives of investment banks often visit colleges from time to time to recruit students for internship programs. So, ensure that you regularly visit your campus career office for advice and guidance on how to get chosen for an internship program.
  • Talk to fellow students: You can also help yourself by talking to other students, especially seniors, who have taken such internship programs before. Some of them would be able to guide you on how to land your own internship offer as well.
  • Network: You cannot undermine the role of networking in landing an internship opportunity in the investment banking industry. In fact, the more connections you establish, the better your chances. Therefore, you should grab every opportunity to establish connections, such as attending events organized by companies you are interested in. Such events can be informational sessions, customer forums, on-campus competitions, and so on.
  • Shadow employees: Another strategy that may work for you is to shadow full time employees. Talk to one or two of them about shadowing them while they work for a few days, at least. You would have been able to gain some experience, which would be useful for you when you eventually land an interview for an internship opportunity.
  • Distribute your CVs: Sometimes, you need to adopt aggressive approaches to ensure that you land your dream internship opportunity. Don’t wait for it to come after you. Rather, go after it. Draft a brilliantly written CV and distribute it to as many investment banks as you can. You may eventually get an interview invitation from some of them who would be willing to give you an internship opportunity. This would work even better for you if you have an attractive GPA.
  • Prepare well for interviews: As stated earlier, it’s very competitive out there. And when you eventually get an interview invitation, you must be ready to beat others to it. Most investment banks usually hold multi-stage interviews with behavioral assessment, aptitude tests, and other competence tests. There are lots of resources on the internet to help you prepare and scale through investment banking internship interviews.
  • Target internship periods: Investment banks typically offer internship programs at certain times of the year. During the spring weeks, they offer week-long internship programs for first year students. And during the summer, they run internship programs for second year students. If you are considering taking up a career in investment banking after you graduate, then it is advisable to do a summer internship program during your second year as it is usually considered during employment.

3 Advanced Tips for Getting Investment Banking Internship without Stress

1. Research for Available Internship Programs-: Most investment banking firms run their internship program during the summer break. You can carry out a research on companies that are planning to run internship programs during the summer break period. The search has to be done early enough to give you enough time to send in your application for the internship. A good place to get information on investment bank internship programs is via the career portal in your college as most firms drop the information on their internship on career portals in colleges and universities around them.

2. Send In Your Application Early-: After you have gotten the information on the

Investment banks that are ready to take in interns for the summer break, the next step to take is to compose and send in your application and Curriculum Vita (CV). Send in your application as soon as you get the notice; being an early bird may give you some sort of edge of others that sent in their applications few days to the deadline.

3. Make a Good Impression During the Interview-: Chances are that you may be called in for an interview by the investment bank or firm; you have to make a great impression on them for them to consider you for the job. Remember to carryout a due research on the firm ahead of the day of the interview to know vital things about the firm like their mission statement and history.

What to expect during an investment banking internship program

Investment banking internship programs are usually very interesting. You get to know how it feels like to work your dream job. You would be involved in a variety of tasks such as:

  • Preparation of presentation materials for use in client meetings.
  • Execution of equity and debt transactions.
  • Valuation of analysis using several methodologies such as leveraged buyout, transaction comparable, discounted cash flows, etc.
  • Participation in transaction executions.

You will be able to partake in many other interesting activities during your internship program. Ensure that you work hard and strive to impress your superiors, so that when you eventually graduate, getting a job where you did your internship would be a very smooth process.

Two Fail-Proof Tips for Successful Internship

Before rounding up this write up, it will be good for me to provide few tips that will help you have a successful intern period. Remember that it is one thing to be accepted as an intern in a firm and another thing to create a good impression on the minds of your employers. As I mentioned above, there are chances that the firm will retain you if you create a good impression on them. Since you will most likely be working under an associate during your internship period, the following tips will help you have a successful intern:

I. Be Willing to Learn and Unlearn-: Having the willingness to learn and unlearn fast will endear you to the hearts of your employers and colleagues.

II. Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile-: If it means staying an extra hour to complete a request task, then do it. The reason is because you may not be working directly under the managing partner or heads of departments. But the associate you are assigned to work under will be willing to chip in a good word or two to the boss about you, if you have this quality. And finally, remember to apply the principle of working smart, not hard.

Ajaero Tony Martins

Founder / Publisher at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Ajaero Tony Martins is an Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer and Investor; with a passion for sharing his knowledge with budding entrepreneurs. He is the Executive Producer @JanellaTV and also doubles as the CEO, POJAS Properties Ltd.
Ajaero Tony Martins

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