Nye: Learn everything you can, then get the hell out of there before it’s too late.
Ellen: How exactly will I know when that is?
Nye: Ah. That’s for another walk.”
You get an investment banking internship for 2 reasons:
Keep these 2 points in mind, and you’ll pass with flying colors.
Fail to remember them, and your internship will resemble the Hindenburg.
Attitude – Make It Good
Always be eager to learn and do as much as possible.
You’d be surprised how many summer analysts try to leave “early” every day – 6 to 7 PM – when the full-time analysts are there until 2 AM.
If there’s an opportunity to take on a new project, take it.
If there’s a chance to help someone with something, do it.
You do have to strike a balance between being proactive and being annoying, but it’s definitely better to be too enthusiastic than not enthusiastic enough.
You’re only in this for 10-12 weeks – you can sleep when you go back to school.
No, You Don’t Know Everything
Some interns – especially at the MBA-level – come in and pretend they know everything about accounting, finance, and investment banking already.
News flash: if you haven’t done this job before, you don’t know anything about it.
One time an intern said he was an Excel whiz and then didn’t know the Alt + E + S + T shortcut (used for copying styles in a spreadsheet, one of the most common shortcuts in banking).
That statement is key to your career in investment banking – you never want to brag about yourself.
Set expectations low, and then blow them away.
Don’t Screw Up
Or if you do, make sure it doesn’t happen again.
When I’ve already pulled 3 all-nighters in the same week and have been scolded by multiple senior bankers in the span of 10 minutes, the last thing I want to do is fix a company’s revenue projections going from $4 million to $400 million to $40 million in 3 consecutive years.
Always print out and check your work before submitting it – and in your first few weeks, always give it to another summer intern or to a full-time analyst to look at briefly.
It’s better to take too long and get it right vs. finishing quickly with all the wrong numbers.
Service With A Smile
I strongly disliked a summer analyst once.
He was flaky, he kept screwing up his work, and it took him forever to do anything.
But he did one thing right: he was always smiling.
No matter how many all-nighters I made him pull, how much menial work I made him do, or how sleep-deprived he was, he was always smiling.
Analysts are are skeptical of the Smiling Summer Analyst, but senior bankers love such performances.
Eagerness to learn is important, but constantly showing your appreciation is even more important.
So learn to act.
Party With Us, But Don’t Come In With A Hangover
When someone asks you to go to lunch, go.
When someone invites you out, go out – tops down, models and bottles.
Hang out with and get to know everyone you can – but don’t go overboard and come into work with a hangover.
You need to be sober to get a full-time offer.
More on Summer Internships
For even more on investment banking summer internships, check out these articles, tips, and day-in-the-life stories:
- 10 Investment Banking Internship “Don’t”‘s: How Not To Screw Up
- How Summer Interns Get Full-Time Offers
- So, What Will I Do As An Investment Banking Summer Analyst (Besides Get Abused)?
- The Investment Banking Summer Intern Success Guide: Yes, You Better Get My Coffee
- Tips From A Former Summer Analyst And Soon-To-Be Full-Time Analyst
How Do You Get an Investment Banking Internship?
Read the rest of this site, of course – especially all those articles filed under recruiting.
Resume templates, interview questions and answers, networking, and more – you just have to look.
And if you’re looking for even more detailed strategies, check out The Networking Ninja Toolkit for tips on landing interviews at all types of banks.
You’ll get cold-calling templates, email templates, sample informational interviews, and more.
Then, once you’ve got interviews lined up, sign up for The Investment Banking Interview Guide to get hundreds of questions and answers, sample interviews, and everything you need to land offers.