The Investment Banking Summer Intern Success Guide: Yes, You Better Get My Coffee

115 Comments | Investment Banking - Summer Internships

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“Always carry shoe polish, in case said analyst’s shoes need a shine. Forget your blackberry holster – what you need is a coffee cup holder for more than four cups – this way, you’ll need only make a single trip to Starbucks each morning when you bring your team coffee.”

-..and Some More Investment Banking Summer Internship Donts, The All-Nighter

Despite explaining what you’ll actually do as a summer intern and even how to dominate your investment banking summer internship, summer internship questions have continued to roll in.

Sure, you want to do as much deal-related work and modeling as possible, but how do you get there?  How do you avoid just going to Starbucks and the dry cleaner for me all summer?  (Not that I would make a summer intern do that, of course)

How Work Is Assigned To You

Senior bankers and staffers are more hands-off with Summer Analysts than they are with full-time Analysts and Associates.  Sometimes interns are “assigned” to an Analyst over the summer; in other banks and groups Analysts will “claim” interns to help out on certain projects.

In any case, though, the full-time Analysts give you work and decide what you do.  So you need to keep us happy.

I always have a list of unfinished tasks, but only a few of them are high priority at any given moment.  And as I’ve mentioned before, there are basically 3 types of work in investment banking: deals, pitches and random stuff.

When a summer intern starts working, I will most likely give him or her whatever is at the bottom of my priority list: the random stuff.

Sometimes this means profiles (compiling information on companies and making it look nice in PowerPoint), sometimes it means comps (reviewing financial statements and inputting numbers into Excel) and sometimes it means finding the projected rate of oil production increase in the Alberta oil sands over the next decade.

What To Expect At First

Don’t expect to build an LBO model or draft an IPO S-1 registration statement right away.  You have no technical training, no one knows how competent you are, and who knows, you could have gotten the internship just because your dad is the CEO.

I would laugh if an intern asked about learning an LBO model his first day on the job.  I don’t care how many accounting or finance classes you’ve had or how many $3,000 “learn investment banking” seminars you’ve taken, you’re not going to know how we build models right away, and you will therefore not get that type of work at first.

Take the work you’re given, put a smile on your face, and do it without complaining.  When you’ve proven that you can do the basics well, you will be given more interesting tasks, and when you have proven yourself with those, you will get even more responsibility.

Don’t Screw Up

Screwing up repeatedly will kill your progression toward doing more interesting/useful work.

You might think, “If I’m just starting how can I possibly NOT make mistakes?  I don’t know anything yet.”

The short answer is “ask a lot of questions.”  No one will fault you for asking questions – as long as you ask the right people.

Never ask anyone above the Analyst level a question.  Bothering your MD with a question on comps will invariably make him think you’re an idiot.  Restrict your questions to other summer interns and Analysts.

If you ask questions on anything and everything you’re not sure of, you dramatically reduce the chances of screwing up.

Also, always print out and check your work before submitting it to anyone.  Mistakes are much easier to see when you print out your work, so you should always do this.

A Tale Of Two Summer Interns

Here’s a brief story of 2 interns in my group last summer:

The Worst Of Times

One intern arrived and, due to my workload at the time, he actually got a client-related project to work on.  It consisted of around 20 comps, and although I consider anything with the word “comp” in it to be grunt work, it was at least going to a client for an actual deal.

His task was straightforward: look at financial projections from equity research and enter in a few numbers on a spreadsheet for each company.

He finished and sent me the file – and the numbers were completely wrong.  I don’t mean “off by 0.1″ wrong or “forgot to add back one-time charges” wrong, I mean “revenue jumped around from $4 million to $400 million to $40 million in the span of 3 years” wrong.

Unless it’s a biotech company (and it wasn’t), you could tell something’s off by looking at that for 2 seconds.

After that incident, I rarely gave him much substantial work.  If he couldn’t even copy numbers correctly, there’s no way I could trust him to draft 50 page documents or build multi-property models for casino companies.

The Best Of Times

Another intern, by contrast, had a lot of grunt work at the beginning.  One time I had him do about 20 profiles because I didn’t have time and it was already well past midnight.

Although he had a lot of boring work at first, he rarely made mistakes and when he did, he always fixed them and never repeated the same mistake twice.

By the end of the summer, I had taught him so much about modeling that he knew more than some of the full-time Analysts.

I knew that he was reliable and that if he had more advanced skills he would save me days of time; as a result he learned a lot and performed the best out of all our interns.

The Consequences

Screwing up repeatedly has a chain reaction – no one at an investment bank gossips more than the junior guys, so if the work I give you is completely wrong, every other Analyst will know about it.

Usually the Analysts order dinner and go to a conference room to gossip and discuss the events of the day (you don’t just get fired in conference rooms).

Intern performance is a common discussion topic during the summer.  And don’t worry: even if we don’t discuss interns during dinner, we’ll do it over instant messenger or forward emails to each other all day.

But the real consequence of not doing well in your summer internship is not getting a full-time offer.  In a bear market this can be the kiss of death, though you can sometimes find a way to spin it favorably.

The Good News

The good news is that no matter how poorly you perform in a summer internship, it’s rarely the end of the world.  You can usually still find another internship the next year or a full-time job in the fall when you go back to school.

Still, it’s to your advantage to do as well as possible so that you have more options down the road.

And so that you can avoid being the Starbucks/dry cleaning delivery service.

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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115 Comments to “The Investment Banking Summer Intern Success Guide: Yes, You Better Get My Coffee”


  1. Michael says

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for this great resource. It has been incredibly informative and entertaining.

    I am a rising Systems Engineer at Penn and have recently taken interest in investment banking. My goal at this point is to work as an intern for an investment bank – bulge bracket or boutique – in the summer of 09 – to gain a better understanding of the investment banker experience. One of the issues that troubles me the most however is how little I know about the industry. i.e. valuing a company, DCF modeling, LBO modeling, and other uses of excel.

    Are there any readings that you have found particularly useful to explain these types tasks?

    I apologize for sounding naive, but truly just piqued an interest a week or so ago.

    Again thank you for your help and this great resource.


    • says

      Hi Michael,

      I don’t know of any books offhand that really explain the nuts and bolts of the “investment banker” experience but I have some upcoming products which will do exactly this and a lot more so stay tuned. :)

      Probably won’t be ready until the summer, but if you’re looking for something now I might investigate Wall Street Prep (some free downloads available, full version is kind of expensive) or message boards like Wall Street Oasis.

  2. Adam says

    I think you have a great site and tons useful information. However, I have a quick question – I am starting to look for an internship for this summer and have noticed many companies like Lehman Brothers-Credit Risk Division and Bank of America (for example) have positions posted under the titile “Research Analyst” and was wondering how these positions differed from the more common ” Investment Banking Analyst”.

    • says

      Research Analyst in Credit Risk = more Middle Office work than dealing with clients. So less about advising companies and more about figuring out what risk a certain bank has. It’s less prestigious / less well-paying.

  3. Scott says

    First and foremost amazing blog, I am on break right now for another week and every morning I tend to just sit here reading the posts. Anyway, I am going to start applying for summer internships soon and was wondering considering the market environment and the fact that I don’t go to a target school I have a lot going against me right now. So is it worth it to endlessly apply to every investment bank I can find in the northeast or should I limit myself to an amount. I want this so I really willing apply to everyone and to do anything to get in.


    • says

      I would definitely apply to a lot of banks, but focus on smaller and regional ones rather than bulge brackets, it’s just too tough currently.

  4. Amo says

    This is the first time I’ve been on the site and I have to applaud you on the information you provide.

    I’ve recently got onto a Goldman Sachs 1-week intern program. Its MO/BO and I have no background in finance.

    Is there anything you could recommend so that I could impress in this short time span?

    • says

      Try to get to know a few people really well, and get to know at least everyone somewhat – be likable and personable and make sure you’re on everyone’s good side. With 1 week, it’s really hard for them to judge your work or anything, but it’s easy for them to form an impression of you personally.

  5. Sheldon says

    For a 2nd or 3rd year university student who is about to apply for his/her first investment banking summer internship, what kind of experience is expected? I mean, any job a 2nd or 3rd year university student has is not going to be glamorous (e.g. fast food job). Will this be looked down upon? How are you supposed to “bankify” a fast food job? And how is a 2nd or 3rd year university student’s resume supposed to look (compared to that of someone who is applying full Time)?

    Thanks for any responses!

    • says

      Do the best you can with what you have, focus on projects and other activities that look finance-related and can be portrayed as “Work Experience.”

      There are actually a lot of 2nd/3rd year students who already have solid internships, even without connections and/or other advantages.

      I wouldn’t even bother writing that much about a fast food-type job, minimize it and try to focus on writing about classes/projects that look more finance-related.

  6. Elliot says

    You have put together a great site. Incredibly helpful and extremely resourseful, it is quickly becoming my personal academic advisor. Thanks for everything. I am going to be a junior this fall at a top 50 University in NYC. I have a summer internship at a small hedgefund where I work very closely with a former analyst at JPMorganChase. I am gunning for an investment banking internship at Goldman next summer. Any advice? Should I have my co-worker teach me financial modeling? What can I do to set me apart and give me a better chance? Thanks, again.

    • says

      Pick up the phone and start calling people and networking.

      Finance is 99% about social skills, networking, and making people like you and only 1% about technical knowledge.

  7. Drov says

    I am an aspiring banker/trader and was raised outside the US though was born here. I go to college here. I have heard bankers talk about baseball, basketball, football and other stuff that’s unique to American culture. What kind of things would you suggest I should pick up to come off as an interesting guy/not the guy they would hate working with?

    • says

      Talk about travel, your experience growing up outside the US, or something else you have in common… not everyone is a sports fan, so think about your activities and interests and what you might have in common with other people.

  8. David says

    Hi Brian,

    I’m finishing up a master’s degree in econ and international relations and trying to break into i-banking as an analyst without any prior finance experience.

    Do banks offer summer analyst positions to students who have just graduated? Do they offer internships during the school year?


    • says

      Generally no – best option would be to delay graduation. Internships during school year do happen, but mostly at smaller places or in Europe.

  9. Anne says

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks a lot for the great job you do! This web site is awesome, very helpful.

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but it has to do with internships, so it’s not going to be completely off-topic :)
    I was wondering if it was ok to ask for a couple days to think an internship offer over. I mean I interviewed at a local IB and they seemed really happy with my qualifications after the frist interview. At the second meeting they offered me the position and said a few words about the conditions (i.e. working hours, compensation etc) which, quite frankly, left a lot to be desired even for a small company. I asked (in a most polite way, I assure you) to give me the time to consider their offer, got back to them in 2 days as had been agreed and said I’d be happy to take the opportunity. And tah-dah, they said they would contact me later in the day… One week later I got an email, stating that at the second interview they felt I was less motivated (I was just as motivated as during the first interview, I promise) and decided not to proceed with my application. Is this normal for IBs? :) Isn’t it supposed to be a mutual agreement? I demonstrate my skills, they think them over, then present their conditions, and I wouldn’t mind thinking them over, too!

    I am sorry for this extremly long question :) In a word, is it ok to ask for some time to think an offer over, or do you have to admit or reject it right away “not to look undermotivated”? :)

    Thanks so much in advance.

    • says

      That sounds very strange, but I’ve heard of stories like that happening before. If they really think you’re unmotivated / not that interested in the offer, then they’ll have no problems rescinding it. I would always try to make a decision quickly rather than taking a few days to decide – maybe ask for 24 hours at the most.

  10. glenn says

    For me to break into an IB BB internship in the future, which is the best option?

    1. IB internship at a boutique firm
    2. PE internship at a small firm
    3. Corporate Finance Advisory at one of the Big 4s

    Please advice me as I am currently confused in sourcing between the 3.

    Also, my plan is to directly email the MD or the partners. Would it be a good idea to attach my resume?

    I feel like I have a pretty good shot as I am in one of the leading unis in my region (studying finance and accounting), have a 3.7 GPA, and have had an ER internship in a big bank, as well as corporate finance consulting internship at a small firm.

    Which of the 3 option do you think would be best to suit my circumstances?


      • glenn says

        Thanks for the reply!

        Which second option if the IB boutique internship does not work out? Big 4 corp. finance or PE at a small firm?

        And yes, I will directly email the MDs for a possible internship stint, so I guess I will attach my resume with the email.

  11. guitar master says

    Hi Brian,

    For the coming summer, I have applied for several positions in several IBs.
    I has just received an interview invitation for a role in UBS’ equity research division.

    My goal is to get an IB internship actually. I have applied for IB summer analysts position to Citi and Macquarie (about 2 weeks ago), but haven’t heard from them. My status in their career website is still pending. Is it okay to email them and ask about my application?

    What would you do if you were in my shoe?

  12. guitar master says

    Hey Brian!

    Just got an invitation for a phone interview for Macquarie’s IB summer internship position. Do you think that they could ask more technical questions? Or do you think it will be more of a “fit” questions?

    I am thinking that I should focus on “my story” in this kind of interview. I have read almost every interview article in this site, any last advice?

    Point me to the most important thing that I should remember.

    • says

      It will probably be both, but your story is the most important part so I’d review the related articles and make sure you have that down.

      • guitar master says

        If I am asked about the technical questions, I think my weakness would be coming from the modelling questions. I mean, I have had previous financial modelling experience from my equity research internship before, but it was more of a forecast model (IS, BS, CF), valuation model (DCF, multiples).

        I have never made a merger or LBO model before. What is the quickest way to learn about these models so at least I know what to talk about during the interview?

  13. yee says

    Hi, your site had provided a great deal of information written in a manner that is interesting and at the same time simple enough for anybody to understand!! By the way, I would like to know that if someone without a finance background..or in other words..from a completely science background would be able to get into investment banking? After all, there are bound to be situations during the interviews where you are required to discuss about certain industry-relevant situations and case studies right?

  14. Astrid says

    Hi M&I,

    Thank you for the plethora of insightful information in investment banking. I am currently seeking to get an internship and I wanted to ask for your advice.
    I don’t go to a target school (undergrad for finance), I don’t have a 4.0 gpa however I have modeled a CDO Cubed and found the correlation of the default of the underlying assets and I have solid understanding of business and finance. I applied to a summer internship at Suntrust in Atlanta. I got through the first round of interviews and next is lunch and 2 hours of interview afterwards. What should I expect to be interviewed on next? and What are my chances?

    Thank you so much for your thoughts!

    • says

      I would expect mostly “fit” questions – they will assess whether or not they like you, want you to be part of the team, etc. You have a good chance if you’ve made it to this point.

  15. adrian says

    Hi M&I

    So now it comes down to 2 summer internship offers:
    1. Standard Chartered – Project Financing
    2. IB Boutique, IBD

    Which one should I take? I am aiming for a bulge bracket IBD internship next summer!

    I am worried about taking the IB boutique because the brand name is just not there. Standard Chartered is more recognizable but not exactly investment banking.

    Thanks loads!

  16. shadow says

    Hi M&I,

    I’m currently interning in a boutique which I began last month. But the office is very small, team of 5 directors and 3 interns including myself. No analysts or associates. Bit of a silly question but wanted to know what sort of things should I be learning? I’ve done company profiles, research on potential targets in the IT security space, client presentations (template added with some analysis of the firm, e.g. revenue, share price graphs) and use of trading multiples. One major project I was asked to work on included DCF, football fields, trading multiples and recent transactions w/ multiples in the sector. But it was a mere updating process with this year’s numbers as the proposal was made last year. And because of the very tight deadline, I didn’t ‘learn’ anything or was shown anything, just blindly updating last year’s spreadsheet. Is this experience normal or should I be learning more?

    Thanks a lot.

    • says

      That is quite normal, often interns don’t get to do that much. I would just focus on learning more about valuation yourself, where to get the numbers from, and so on – if they don’t give you work specifically, try to learn on your own by building a valuation from scratch.

  17. Jason says

    Hi, I’ve gone back to school and will have a business degree with a major in management with many bioscience courses within the next year. I had previously worked in construction and in the oilfield and feel I’ve learned a lot about these industries. However, I recently took my first finance course which sparked my interest in the stock market. I did my first assessment of a Uranium company which I figured was greatly undervalues and within three weeks, the stock rose ~45%. Also, there are many aspects of investment banking which appeal to me personally. I’m looking for an internship, preferably in Germany. I imagine I’ll want to work as a financial analyst for a few years, but could see myself wanting to start my own fund eventually. What advice would you give me?

    • says

      Target small/local firms at first and focus on anything in energy/metals/mining so you have a good background story to tell. See everything under Recruiting at the top of the page for more.

  18. Aqsa Ali says

    Hi M&I,
    I just came across your website an hour back or so and have been hooked to it … AMAZING articles … You are doing a great job!
    It is a one-stop site I was looking for.
    I have no specific question right now , just wanted to thank you for the excellent work!
    Thanks and keep it up!

  19. Kevin says

    I have an undergrad degree in Finance from a tier 3 university. After working in accounting and capital budgeting for a fortune 500 company for 4+ years, I realized this is not what I want to do. I’m dying to make a career transition into i-banking. I just started my part time MBA at a tier 1 school (top 20 in the US) a few months ago.

    On one hand, I know internship is critical since I have no i-banking experience. On the other hand, I don’t get summer or winter breaks in my part time MBA program, so I can’t take on an internship while I’m in school. Can I apply for internships after I graduate? Do you have other recommendations?

    • says

      Hard to do an internship if it’s an executive MBA program – maybe just focus on networking for the time being, there’s really no way you can do internships if you are working full-time and in the program.

  20. Mark says


    I’m a Junior at a prestigious university that is a feeder into many jobs/ internships in the finance industry. I’m just now applying to banks for summer intern positions. My credentials are solid however they aren’t breathtaking. I’m sporting a GPA that is around 3.3 and no real work experience but have some extra curriculars that may give me an added boost. I’m wondering if there are certain departments that are known to be easier/ less competitive to break into for summer internships within the major banks than others? As a concrete example, the securities division easier to break into than investment banking within Goldman Sachs? Your feedback is much appreciated!

  21. Karim says

    Hey Brian,

    I attend an ivy league university and recently won a Scholarship at a bulge bracket bank. I am a sophomore and so they extended me a rotational offer through all of their revenue divisions for 10 weeks in order to make a more educated decision next year. How do you suggest I prepare for a rotational internship?

  22. jotk says

    I am studying full time at two Universities in Poland. Soon I should finish one and another one in one year time – both are Master program. Will I be able to apply for the Internship since I already have one Master Degree (I will be a graduate and a student as well) ?

    Another question about experience. I have done 2 Internships with BIG4 companies (both in TAX) – will it be considered as relevant experience ?

    I opened a start-up which multiplied its initial capital – would you find it as an advantage ?


    • says

      I would do an internship as soon as possible, so if you’re still in school try to do it before finishing the 2nd program. Yes Big 4 is considered relevant experience. And yes the startup helps as well.

  23. Elva says

    Thanks for this great post.

    I’m about to start my internship soon, but have a question after reading this article. I know it’s not good to always bother seniors for a stupid question. And you suggested “Never ask anyone above the Analyst level a question. ”
    Then to what extent do you suggest to interact with senior bankers? I guess at the end of the day, the senior ppl have more voting right when deciding your return offer?

    Another question is about team selection: One of a Director who interviewed me wanted me to join their team(let’s say Team A) over the summer, and I’m pretty sure he informed the other Director(the staffer) and a VP about this as one send me an email before the sells day reminding me about the team selection and the VP contacted me on Linkedin. However, one the sells day, I didn’t meet many Analyst from their team so I don’t know what are the juniors like in their team. And this team is a big team, but with almost no female at Analyst level. I’m afraid it’s hard to build rapport as we may have very different interests.

    On the other hand, I really liked another team(Team B) because the juniors I met are really nice ppl but the problem is that I didn’t have the chance to meet senior banker in their team.

    In terms of the prestige, Team A is the best team in the bank, Team B is currently expanding with a very famous Head joining them recently. Tbh, I don’t care the prestige or deal flow that much because all I want is to get the return offer and then I have chance to select again. In my case, I think the people, especially the junior ppl is the most factor when deciding which team to join. So in my case, do you suggest me to join Team A or Team B?

    Thanks and regards,

    • says

      I would just go with Team B then. It’s good to meet senior bankers but it’s not 100% essential before you start working.

  24. martin says

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you for your post.

    I am currently in high school, and I will graduate in Apr next year. I have already gotten an offer at the local university (Singapore), and school will start next August.

    How good a chance do you think I will stand in getting an internship offer (I have purchased your Breaking into Wall Street, Networking Ninja Package) at a Asia (looking at both Hong Kong and Singapore) boutique investment bank included in the regional database you have created.

    My plan is to check out their website, and look for contacts within the sites and hopefully send a cold email or two to bankers in the banks.

    I come from a pretty decent high school, and I have a strong portfolio (non finance).

    Appreciate your reply on this :)

      • martin says

        Thanks for the reply.

        Just want to check with you. If I am willing to work for no compensation. Should I state it upfront in my cover letter, or when I cold call the firms? Will that increase my chance in asking for an internship at a smaller investment bank? Thanks!

  25. Michael says

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you very much for posting such a great and informative blog, I have learned and benefited a lot from your essays.

    I am a year2 undergraduate currently having a summer internship at a newly founded small size PE firm in Hong Kong. I have just started the intern for over one week and been doing data searching & pitch book reviewing jobs. I think the job is great and I like what I am doing. However the problem is that I am working at a temporary branch office of my company and there are only two people here: my boss, who is the vice-chairman of the firm, and me. Every morning my boss came to the office and assigned some tasks to me and then leave to the head office at another place for meeting before the noon. Then I have to work along without any other employees in the office that I can talk and get to known with, which makes me desperate to die and slow on learning progress. I didn’t meet so many problems that you describe in your essay because of there is even no condition for them to happen.

    I don’t hate working along. But I am afraid of being working in the firm for a whole summer without knowing any people except my boss. So what can I do for this situation and what is my best strategy to face it?

  26. Johnny says

    Thank you for this great post M&I.

    My question is: Since I am not studying at an Ivy League (or equivalent), how can increase my chances at landing an internship with a top-tier IB firm?

    Thanks in advance!

  27. alex d says

    Many Investment Banking firms offer professionals whose perspective on any engagement is limited to their background and experience primarily as bankers – a financial perspective singularly focused on a specific transaction.

  28. Mostafa says


    I am doing a two year double degree master in Europe (First year in UK and second year in France). I am currently in the second year or the final year of the program. I would like to apply for internships in London, but most of the banks say that summer internships are aimed only for penultimate year students and if you are in your final year, you,d better apply for graduate analyst program. As far as I know, most of the graduate analyst positions are pre-allocated to interns. What do you suggest? should I still apply for interns or should I go straight for graduate ones. In my program, the core courses have been mathematics and the optional courses have been economics and finance and I have worked my research projects on finance.
    Thank you very much.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Apply straight for grad roles. Don’t think you are eligible for summer internships. You can speak to HR and ask them; some banks might make an exception

  29. Nax says

    Hey Guys,

    I will be doing a BB off-cycle internship for 10 weeks, starting in January. Do all the recommendations also apply for off-cycles or have you experienced differences as an Analyst since there is no accompanying programme?

  30. Andrew says


    I have been screwing up some assignments weeks ago and my supervisors don’t trust me and don’t give me work. However, as my contract is 1-year ( I have been here for 5 months), they don’t seem to plan to fire me in the short term. I feel that I am wasting my time here. What should I do?


  31. K says

    Hi Brian,
    I’m an undergraduate Applied Math major with a minor in Computer Science. I am thinking about applying for some internships in investment banking. I have never taken a Business class or an Economics class. Can you recommend any books to read so I won’t be completely clueless? Is my academic background too far from what they’ll be looking for?

  32. Umair says


    Firstly brilliant website. My internship is coming to an end in the next week. Not being from a target school and not getting into a BB firm going the boutique route was a much better choice. The irony of the situation when i read this post, it was exactly how my internship played out. ask intelligent questions, dont pester the senior partner, dont screw up. I started off doing grunt work i.e data entry, and ended up assisting on a file compiling docs and contacting potential clients. The two previous summer interns i was told were total tool’s. Both of them showing up hung over and all sorts of issues like that. Funny enough both these guys went to target schools.


  33. Arto.S says


    Thanks for the site helped me a lot get internship offers and it’s decision time. I have BNP Leveraged Finance, Lazard m&A and Credit Suisse IBD… thoughts please? which one would be best to market after? thanks again

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Congrats! I’d do CS IBD. However, it also depends on which team you fit well with and like the most etc.

      • Arto.S says

        thanks for your answer! CS IBD has a better reputation than Lazard M&A?? I’m getting conflicting views frm different people…

  34. Ezgi says

    It must have been a cliché for you to hear this but i have to say that great webpage, incredibly helpful!
    Here is my background. I am a Turkish student, currently studying MA in Economics at NCSU in US. My BA is on Translation Studies which has obviously no relations to finance or economics. But I have completed all the core economics, math and stat classes (basically the first 2 years of economics department)in my undergrad years (this may sound nothing important for Americans since students can have minors in here but we cant in Turkey). I have done all these along with my regular schedule at my own department and in 4 years. The problem is that GPAs in Turkey especially in my university are not as high as in here. Mine is 3.03. But my econ+math+stat GPA is 3.45. Do you think I should clarify this on my cover letter or resume? I have 4.00 GPA in my MA in the first semester.
    I only worked at sales and after sales department of my uncle’s construction firm in 2 summers. What i do was only to sell properties to new customers (mostly European) and deal with the problems of the existing ones. since i have not any other working experience these two are the only ones i can indicate in my resume. Obviously i worked at there because my uncle owns the company. The company’s name and my surname are the same so the employer would know that the company relates to me. What would you think of if you see such a resume?
    Here is my story. what could be my chance in an investment banking internship? I may not have BA in finance or economics or math, but i have done the most i can. Now I am taking an investment and portfolio management class in order to learn financial models and tools.
    Another issue is that I have student visa which let me work for a year after my graduation. Do the companies in US prefer US-citizens for internships?
    I am sorry for keeping this very long. I would be grateful if you answer.
    Thank you in advance.

  35. Undergrad says

    Hi M&I,

    2 questions –

    1. I know you’re supposed to build good relationships with your fellow interns and get on well with them, if they ask for some help on something is it a good idea to help them do it or should I be more ruthless as they are my competition? I don’t want to be an asshole but I also want as best a chance at getting a return offer!

    2. Also what’s your thoughts on best groups at Citi (London)? I heard Consumer/Comms were up there?


    • says

      1. Um, no, help them out – otherwise bad rumors will circulate about you.

      2. Don’t really know for London but those 2 are most likely good, I would just check league tables or search for recent deals

  36. Andrew says

    Just would like to say I appreciate this blog and how you shed light on the etiquette of the industry.

    Also, I am a 2nd year finance student in a state school that feeds mostly into regional retail banks. However, my career goals lie in the northeast in IB. I have a 3.9 GPA, but otherwise do not really know how to market myself to investment banks. I will be graduating early, so this upcoming summer will be my last internship before graduation. Do you have any suggestions for getting my foot in the door so to speak at a wall street type investment bank.


  37. AD says

    Just to give you some context I graduated in political science and went into the buy side for an SWF as a junior analyst for just under 2 years, unfortunately…in those 2 years I was not provided ANY training and was basically given coloring books to fill in. I have since quit, my question is; at 26 is it too late to go entry level @ an IB? Or should I stick to my plan of going for the cfa then going elsewhere? Is there any point in taking a summer associateship? Somehow I feel it’s too late for a game change. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      26 isn’t too late for IB though you are on the older end of most analysts
      Having the CFA will help you if you want to stay on the buy side.

  38. Lloyd says

    Hey M&I,

    I am about to start my internship soon and I am really nervous since my Excel skill is pretty shitty… What kind of books/sources do you guys recommend me to read/practice before my internship starts regarding modelling skills?



  39. Lloyd says

    And one more question: How long (on average) will a summer intern be able to pick up the basic financial modelling skills? Do they normally expect interns coming in to have some basic grasp of modelling skills at all?

  40. Jason says

    Hi, I have basically just got back from a networking session and came across one guy who kept saying that my information systems degree is not valid to break into IB at all. IB being ECM and DCM corporate finance. He suggested a few entry routes in one being the trainee programme. however, I have to be realistic as my grades are bad and wont be making it into the shortlist for any programme offered in Singapore.

    He now goes on to suggest that it is impossible then to get in. How much does the internship matter should I get one from a IB through networking. What is also the sufficient time to intern at. Is it possible to intern for 6 months usually? After I have gained all that internship experience, I am still back to square one like any other graduate out there. DO IB`s accept other equavalent degrees? I am also planning to do a cfa level 1 in the meantime and am not sure if level 1 cfa means much to a company to hire.

    I know that the only way to break into a decent IB is through networking as no programme can accept my low grades. Already done one internship in the past at UBS, although not sure if that is worth much to any employee. Wont they rather opt for another grad with exceptional grades instead for a trainee programme? Thank you for your time.
    All your replies are greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that this is Asia IB and it may run differently from Europe and states as I have been told.

    • says

      It’s not “impossible” people come from all majors. Internships are vital these days. In the US most internships are 3 months but elsewhere such as Europe they may last longer.

      If you have solid work experience and a decent school on your resume your major really doesn’t matter that much… so that guy has false information. At this stage I would definitely focus on networking and getting a good internship even if it’s at a boutique or smaller bank.

      • Jason says

        Is it common practice for graduates to still do internships? I rather get into an internship in the meantime while job hunting as opposed to sitting at home.

        Usually, how does one get a job after an internship stint? Is it more of a cv issue where the work experience shows? Comparatively, which has better prospects? Someone with a really high cgpa less working experience, comapred to someone with a low cgpa but done 2 internships? Thing is, I would still get into an entry level position as opposed to a trainee programme because the cut off looks straight at academic performance.

        I know one way is getting a permanent spot at yr intern company. What is the other route, with the work experience.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Sure, if you are job hunting ATM, intern first and see how that goes (if given the opportunity). Relevant work experience takes precedent over GPA most of the time.

  41. Hermes G. says

    i have 12 years experiences on consultancy in big 4, in Africa, working in a french spiking area. I get post-graduated in Finance, treasury and financial engineering in France, in not a business school, in the 1999. i am 43, and i think that, now it is the time for me to live my life, in an IB. what should i do, to get into that dream?
    I can feel that Africa is the next emerging place for the world…but i can also work everywhere!

  42. Bruce says


    I hope you still reply to this old post.
    First, thank you for all the info on this site which helped me to break into IB.
    I’m starting my summer internship in Australia in a weeks time. (Yes, it’s summer here down under.) I will fly to the regional centre to meet regional heads in my first two days and there will be Q&A and network events. The firm is a bulge-bracket, but relatively small in Australia, so there probably will only be one or two interns. If I’m the only one, I will certainly be the focus, so I don’t want to screw up.
    What questions should I ask to the heads? Easy ones to generate a lot of discussion, or be quiet and pretend to be smart and know everything? Any tips for networking with other analysts? (I only spend two days with the people there, do I go hot or cold?)

  43. Torrance says

    Hi M&I,
    I get an internship in a bank this summer, how can i get a full-time offer after my internship?

    Many thanks,

  44. DGreen says

    Hey M&I’s Team,

    I will be going into summer recruiting next year (In Canada) and I have secured an internship at one of the Canadian bank’s Market risk management division. Although it’s a capital markets role, I’ll be doing more trading & trading risk related work than IB related work.

    Since I’m only in 2nd year I took the first job that I could get but I’m worried that despite the brand name, the work I do can’t be ‘bankified’. Do you think I’ll still be in good position next year given that I interned in an unrelated divison?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes you are still in decent position given your experience and credentials, though yes you’ll be competing against people who have had experience in IBD so you’ll have to find a way to stand out compared to them.

      • DGreen says

        Thank for the reply. Do you suggest looking at small-medium boutiques during fall to gain some experience? Or is that pointless?.

  45. Navin says

    hello thank you for posting this. It gave me a lot of information.

    I have one question. I would love to learn more about technical and fundamental analysis for stocks . There are a lot of investment banks here in Malaysia,and there are even more departments or division. WHich division in particular gives me more information about analysis on stocks.

    Hoping for your prompt reply. Thank You

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d say equity research or public markets (sales and trading), but research is likely your best bet.

  46. Roe says

    How are you doing? I happen to stumble across this website while doing research about internships. I have a question. I am a senior, majoring in Finance. I am currently attending a small Southern university. MY GPA is @ 2.77. (I was an accounting major, before I switched to Finance this year — thus the reason my GPA is low). What are the odds, that I can get an internship in Wall Street? (Sorry for the vague question, but having just begin to take financial/stock courses, I am learning the ropes of the financial sector…)
    I am a non-traditional student (28), and I have prior, work experience working as a data entry analyst at an insurance company.
    I would really like to work in the financial sector of New York, yet I feel that my GPA might automatically eliminate me. That and the fact that I am not living in NY. Any advice you could give me would be more than grateful.

    And I would have no problem with starting at the bottom. . .

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d say getting into a target school would increase your chances. Otherwise you will be facing very keen competition from people with solid GPA, background, work experience, network, pedigree and presentation skills

  47. Jasper says

    I am currently a sophomore attending a semi target like school. I have a boutique IB offer in NYC this summer.

    My question is how would I be able to get an internship outside of America. I am interested in London, Paris, Hong Kong, South America.. But it doesn’t matter specifically. Would you be able to give me any kind of advice as to how I could network for these kinds of locations and position myself best for next summer?

    Thanks, and great blog.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I think you can use LinkedIn. The best bet is to contact alumni in those cities who are in banking. A lot of them maybe looking or know of people who are.

  48. Antoine says

    I’d like to know what’s expected of an intern (or anyone entering IB for the first time) as far as what skills you possess and experience level? Is it expected that you have had another IB internship before?

    I’m a risk analyst, and I started off as an intern in August. There are many boutique and middle market IBs in my area. What would I be expected to know coming from a position in an unrelated industry?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Not necessarily but good if you do. I think you’d be expected to know some basic finance skills and why you’re interested in doing banking.

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