You Didn’t Get Any Investment Banking Summer Internship Offers. Now What Do You Do?

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Summer Internships Plan BSummer internship recruiting is over.

Bankers have come to your campus, conducted interviews, finished recruiting, and now they’re back to their pitch books.

But you don’t have any offers.

What now?

No Summer Offers vs. No Full-Time Offers

There are 3 main differences:

  • Timing: You have more time to find your Plan B with full-time recruiting – sometimes a year vs. only a few months with summer internships.
  • Options: You have more options if you come out of full-time recruiting empty-handed: delaying graduation, going for a Master’s program, moving to Thailand…
  • Seriousness: While the lack of a good junior year internship will hurt you, it’s less of an emergency than having no post-graduation plans.

Worst-Case Scenario

You find no real internship, so you become a life guard or work in retail for the summer.

Which means that you don’t have to work 100 hours per week, you won’t get horribly out of shape, and hey, you might actually have fun for a few months.

So it’s not that bad.

But it also won’t put you in a good position for future internships, or for full-time recruiting.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to avoid this scenario – even if it’s the last-minute and you don’t appear to have options.

What Went Wrong… Does It Matter?

If you didn’t get a full-time offer, you need to look at what went wrong to plan your next steps: Was it your resume? Your (lack of) networking? Your interview skills?

You can still do this if you’re applying for summer internships… but it’s not as helpful.

A few problems can prevent you from getting summer internships:

  1. Your GPA, especially at more competitive schools.
  2. Lack of networking or lack of networking-in-advance.
  3. Interview skills / resume or too much preparation.

The first 2 are difficult to “fix” on 2-3 months’ notice.

And even if you can “fix” these 2 problems – or even #3 – you can’t get a second chance to prove yourself.

So don’t fall into the trap of analysis paralysis.

What NOT To Do

We’ll start with what not to do, because that’s easier to define.


I’ve run across some people who just expect an internship to fall into their laps even if the magic 8-ball points to “no.”

While miracles are possible, don’t hold your breath: the harder you work the more your “luck” will improve.

Study for the CFA / Get Other Certifications

You probably already know my views on the CFA, but just in case

While studying is a better use of time than doing nothing, that’s like saying that death via the electric chair is better than drowning: you’re dead either way, but one is slightly less terrifying.

The problem with studying or getting certifications over the summer is that you can’t write anything on your resume under “Work Experience” to describe what you did – so you’ll have a big gap on there.

All you’ll get is another 1-2 lines at the bottom of your resume: not a great reward for 500 hours of study time.

If you’re really set on doing these over the summer, you could still do them – but only if you treat them as a side project and you spend the bulk of your time on something that you can actually list as “Work Experience.”

Back Office

If you’re in your 1st or 2nd year in university, the back office isn’t as terrible as some would have you believe – if you can get a middle or back-office role at a well-known bank, that’s much better than a summer spent at Best Buy.

This one gets less attractive if you’re looking for junior year internships, because a back office internship won’t turn heads if you’re trying to move to front-office banking in full-time recruiting.

Filling the Gap: Possible Solutions

So how do you fill the gap, find something worthwhile to do over the summer, and make sure you don’t have a gaping void on your resume?

Delaying Graduation… Again

This is certainly one option – and if you have your heart set on a bulge bracket investment banking summer internship you might want to give it another shot.

But it doesn’t solve our original problem here – what you should do this summer.

So don’t make any decisions until you have summer plans in place – and keep pursuing Plan B options on the side.

If nothing works out, delaying graduation may actually hurt you because banks will say, “So, what did you do last summer? How have you improved since we saw you last time?”

Options Within Finance

If investment banking doesn’t work out, your next best option is something else in finance – sales & trading, prop trading, wealth management, public finance, or corporate finance – to give a few examples.

The only issue here is that many of these also finish summer recruiting the same time that investment banking groups do – so if you didn’t get into investment banking at Morgan Stanley and it’s March, your chances of getting an S&T summer internship there aren’t much better.

The further away you move from large investment banks, the easier it gets to find something else in finance at the last-minute: I’ve been conducting dozens of interviews with readers, and many of them pulled this off against all odds.

How do you find these options?

The same way you find a normal summer internship: job postings at your school (if they exist), alumni networking, and cold-calling, with a focus on smaller places.

Outside of Finance

These options are a notch below the finance ones, but they still beat studying for the CFA or working at Best Buy by a long shot.

In this category, you might think about marketing, sales, or accounting-type roles at “normal” companies, Big 4 firms, or anything else that’s out there.

I’m not going to “rank” any of these because it’s impossible to quantify and because “ranking” is one of my least favorite topics (just after the CFA and GPA rounding).

Just like a lawyer, accountant, or engineer trying to break into finance, you want to get experience that can be spun into sounding relevant.

So if you do accounting at a Big 4 firm, working with financial services companies or helping out with due diligence on transactions is better than auditing Wal-Mart’s 10-K.

At F500 companies it’s still hard to get something at the last-minute, but overall competition is far less than in investment banking.

Keep At It But Adjust Your Focus

You should be doing this no matter what option you decide to pursue – it’s still worth spending at least a few hours per week cold-calling banks and emailing alumni just to see if anything turns up.

If it’s May and you still have nothing, you shouldn’t decide to suddenly spend 80 hours per week cold-calling – at that stage, no amount of effort will produce miracles.

But if you still have a few months left, continuing to network is always worth it.

Go Off the Beaten Path

This is a great idea if you have some time before you start your full-time investment banking job, but it’s not so great if you’re looking for a solid internship.

Banks are biased toward anyone with previous corporate finance experience – so if you’ve done something that looks completely unrelated they’ll be suspicious of you.

If you really want to start your own surf shop or you want to spend the summer climbing mountains, go ahead – but be aware that it’s not much better than the “doing nothing” option in the eyes of investment banks.

This is stupid and unfair because you often do more work and get more responsibility with these options, but that’s just how banks work.

The one exception here: if you can spin this experience into sounding relevant to finance, it may be a good idea. Certain fellowships, study abroad programs, and research opportunities may qualify.

Brand Name vs. Quality Experience

One issue that comes up with all these options is the the brand name of a firm vs. your experience.

Some people think it’s all about brand name, while others say it’s more about the experience you get.

If you’re interested in investment banking (or private equity, or hedge funds…) then you should think about it like this:

For summer internships, brand name within the same role matters more than your exact experience.

So a front-office internship at a boutique will still beat a back-office internship at Goldman Sachs.

But a front-office internship at Goldman would beat a front-office internship at a boutique, even if you work on a dozen deals at the boutique and learn advanced modeling and all you do at GS is fetch coffee for people.

It’s just the way things work: bankers scan resumes very quickly and have a strong bias for brand names and anything that reads “Investment Banking Analyst.”


So, what’s your plan of attack?

First, figure out how much time you have left before internships begin and what the lowest-hanging fruit is: Have you already done a lot of networking in one industry? Do you have good contacts at one firm, or are there a lot of alumni in one field of finance?

Then, start reaching out to your contacts in other fields while you continue to spend at least a few hours per week calling and emailing bankers. You can up this if you have a few months left.

If you’re not getting good results, keep broadening your search to consider anything that’s even tangentially related to finance.

And if nothing works out, find something else cool to do and spin it into sounding relevant to finance.

Or you could just work at Best Buy.

(Kidding, don’t do that).

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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431 Comments to “You Didn’t Get Any Investment Banking Summer Internship Offers. Now What Do You Do?”


  1. CP says


    So I’m a junior and I didn’t get an offer from any IBs. I did get an offer from a corporate finance role and am about to interview for some consulting companies. So what’s going to put me in a better position for full-time recruiting? Or should I risk it and keep trying to find an internship with an IB?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d continue interviewing with the consulting companies and see how it goes. For FT recruiting, having IB experience will put you in a better position. However, most firms’ recruiting season is over. While I’d suggest you to network and increase your chances of landing an IB internship at a boutique/third/second tier (don’t give up), I’d also interview with other companies because having experience is better than no experience. If you end up getting an offer at the consulting firm, you’ll just have to figure out how to spin that to IB

  2. Anonomous says

    Hey – I got the Google offer and posted on here but cant seem to find the post anymore. Sorry! Thanks for the reply though.

    Everyones telling me to stick to Google and progress my career. But don’t they pay less? Even long term? (this not an extremely important factor – just saying).

    I have got previous IBD experience (small boutiques) and this is my first ‘brand name’ internship. People still are telling me to stick to Google long term. Why? Is there something I am missing here?

    Also, does it matter where/what I work in division wise so long as its ‘similar to IBD work’ i.e. forecasting, building models, client relationship management and so on? I can do a MBA and move over? Or stick to Google for as long as I live? haha I will never be on the ‘technical’ side e.g. engineering/development so just wanted to know my options as there is not much info about Google out there.

    If you have any links/resources/comments please do let me know!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Maybe because the quality of life and the outlook for the industry are more promising though I may be wrong.

      Yes, you can always get your MBA after a stint at Google and move back to finance. Having some sort of finance experience at Google, if you want to move into finance, will give you a leg-up when you start looking for roles in the industry.

      • Anonomous says

        Thanks for the reply. I agree with the quality of life/industry outlook comment.

        The issue with Google is that I’m a little confused what they define as ‘finance’. People are telling me to try for consulting/banking next year as it will give me a broader background for the future. Others are saying Google will open more doors. To be honest, I’m not sure what to do long-term. I will, of course, perform as well as I can during the internship and try and secure the FT offer – but long term I’m not sure whats best for me.

        I do want to move around a bit – perhaps move country (ie Google office) – is this possible?

        Also I’m in the UK so the MBA route may not be necessary…?

        Any further comments are greatly appreciated. :)

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Yes moving geographically is possible in Google I believe.

          MBA – depends on what you want to do. If you want to break into/progress in VC/PE, yes you will have an advantage having taken the MBA. It doesn’t matter if you’re from UK or not.

          • Anonomous says

            Cool – thanks!
            So Google London –> Google Mountain View –> MBA –> VC/PE is definitely a plausible route (if I want to leave Google long term)? Is the a better route than IBD –> MBA –> VC/PE or doesn’t it matter?

          • says

            It’s possible, but I’ll warn you right now that it’s tough to get into PE without having worked full-time in IB first. So I think the Google to MBA route is better for VC than PE (your internship will help a bit, though).

        • Anonomous says

          Thanks for the reply!

          May I ask what my (realistic) exit opps are after a Google stint in the business strategy/development etc area (and perhaps an MBA) apart from PE? Could I move to a HF? Could I work in IBD and then move to PE? Could I get into ER? Is there anything I ‘cant’ do?

          Basically – how do I get a quality salary – but still maintain some sort of work-life balance? Or am I dreaming? lol

          • M&I - Nicole says

            As Brian mentioned earlier, you can look at VC roles. You’ll get a quality salary if you break in, and work-life is likely to be better. It may be more challenging for you to break into a HF unless you have experience with the markets/very quantitative. Yes you can still work in IBD then move to PE but your work life balance may not be great. ER – yes you can look at the ER in tech; hours can still be somewhat long.

          • Anonomous says

            Cool thanks.

            Just wondering – would I be better off getting into a BB/elite boutique for IBD in terms of exit opps then as a graduate? I don’t want to narrow myself to VC early on and ‘get stuck’. Not sure what to do. Please let me know what you think.

          • M&I - Nicole says

            It depends on what you want to do with your career. I don’t think you’ll get stuck in VC because I believe there are numerous other options after VC (starting your own company, joining a startup, starting your own fund), and I believe most people in VC love what they do so they probably don’t feel stuck they I may be wrong. If you want work-life balance, I don’t think IBD can offer you that.

          • Anonomous says

            I appreciate all the comments – thank you very much! This website helped loads to help me break into Google (loads of ques I was asked were really ‘banking’ style) so I appreciate it :)

  3. James says


    Just wanted to get your opinion on my decision process for the summer. I am a junior finance major from a non-target school on the west coast that has no investment banking presence whatsoever. I networked hard and made it to final round superday at piper in their NYC office. However, I was extended an offer in their Minneapolis office. NYC is where I ultimately want to be.

    2 questions:
    1. Should I take this in hope that if I receive a FT offer I can negotiate into the NYC office or possibly use this experience as a means to get a FT offer in NYC with another BB or middle market firm?

    2. Do you think it would be advantageous to take the internship over any other options I have since it would be even more difficult to salvage another offer in ibanking as a graduate with no ibanking experience from a non-target school. (assuming I don’t take the offer)

    • M&I - Nicole says

      1. Yes, if you don’t have other offers on hand, I’d take this to 1. negotiate into NY office when opportunity presents itself 2. leverage this experience and apply for other banks in NYC
      2. Yes, if you want to break into IB and you don’t have other offers on hand right now, I believe it is best to take this offer given your lack of experience and the uncertainty of the markets (unless you are in negotiations with another bank and are close to final stage of discussions)

  4. K says

    Hi, I’m currently in my penultimate year in a private university, following a really bad diploma grade in Banking and Finance (way way low GPA, below 2 because I had to retake 2 modules). I have since turned around and have been working really hard in university, but because of my related diploma, I was able to skip a year in my current course of study (Bsc Hons in Econs and Finance). So far, all my job experience has been in marketing and research companies. I have been applying to every single financial institution that I can find here, in Singapore, but we don’t have that many boutique banks/firms that take in summer interns. So far, the only offer for an interview I have had is at SGX, the Singapore Exchange, as either a Corporate Secretarial intern, or a retail sales intern. When you said in your article that a front office position in a boutique bank would be present better than a back office position in a big name firm, would that apply here? There are a couple more smaller firms that I could apply to that deal solely in IB and CF. I am at a complete loss at how I can turn my CV around and get one foot into the Corporate/IB sector. Your advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      That wouldn’t really apply here because SGX is not a bank, and admin/retail sales isn’t the same as MO/BO. I’d look at the smaller firms. To turn your CV around, it will be best if you can gain an internship, paid or unpaid, with a bank/financial institution, in a front office role ideally. I’d also join a finance/investment club.

  5. K says

    Hi there, amazing site btw – I’ve spent hours on it helping me through this season’s recruitment.

    I’m from the UK, 2nd year undergrad studying Economics and from UCL (I guess it’s a target school, ranked 4th this year) and I’ve applied to over 30 summer internships and have had final rounds/assessment centres for MS, BlackRock, Barclays and ICAP but just no luck unfortunately.

    My question is, recruitment seasons almost over coming the end of March now in the UK: what do you think I should do?
    I don’t think I can obtain a formal internship at a bank (back or front office) or professional services firm now and I would preferably like to work at a financial firm: my experience contains a lot of non-profit, varied experiences (e.g. microfinance, film directing) already – I believe I need something concretely “finance/investment/market” based this summer to leverage for next season where I’ll be trying again for front office roles at investment banks. Sorry if a similar question has been asked or if the answer is blatantly in front of me.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Thank you for being our customer!

      I’m sorry to hear regarding your experience with the banks; keep at it – it takes determination and patience.

      Perhaps you can contact boutique banks in UK. Otherwise, given your experience with microfinance and nonprofits, I’d look at the European Investment Bank, social venture or other microfinance funds in Europe – you may find these experiences more interesting.

  6. Nitin says

    I tried to apply for a summer internship at a middle market firm and sent my resume via email. Guess what happened: The email that I sent bounced back. Maybe they didn’t check off the “delivery of emails from outsiders” restrictions.

  7. Bryan says

    What would be the difference between an internship in corporate finance and an internship in accounting?

    Also, what do you think would be easier to spin off relevant experiences from: private accounting or public accounting? I know that in general, public accounting provides much broader experiences, yet I don’t see how tax advisory and auditing is really beneficial when aiming for traditional finance roles in the future.

  8. Cherin says

    I know that submitting resumes online through companies’ websites is basically a blackhole, but what can you say about applying through a university’s online career/job portal without much networking? It’s a non-ivy target (some consider semitarget).

    I also asked a question a few weeks ago, on having a gap on my resume due to family reasons and taking time off from school, and Nicole advised that I take on finance courses or projects around my area. It’s a bit hard to describe my situation but for now the best I could think of is to self-study finance (which I am doing). How would I mention this on my resume (I am following your template)?

    Because my graduation is delayed, I will be able to do a junior year internship instead of looking straight into full time jobs. So with everything pushed back a year, my resume looks like I’ve had a PWM internship + leadership activity freshman to sophomore year, and then a leave of absence my sophomore year. Would this lack of sophomore internship hurt a lot?

    • says

      Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. But you still need networking in most cases to see solid results.

      For the gap on your resume, just describe it as a finance class that you’re taking.

      The lack of a 2nd internship will hurt a bit, but it’s not as bad as not having a 3rd year internship.

  9. S says

    So my problem was I got into the game a little late (didn’t know how to break into banking,non-target school only found this site very recently). I have good grades, but am a junior and don’t have an IB internship. I got an internship last summer on the retail side of a pretty big firm, working for a couple of financial advisers,and am currently working part time there while going to school. I don’t particularly want to build my career as a financial adviser, and somehow want to break into banking, however without a proper internship, I was told this was pretty much impossible. What’s my best bet? Should I attempt to apply for work at boutique banks? Is my current internship/job at all helpful for me? Should I just try to get an associate level position after an MBA?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Networking with boutiques will help. Your current job may not be that relevant if you want to break into IB. An MBA at a target may help you retool yourself. If IB is what you’re interested in, yes that may be a better option. And, if you can network with boutiques and convince them to give you a chance, it may help you get your foot in the door.

  10. Julio says

    Hey Brian,

    I am Julio. I am spanish and I am in my fourth year of university. In spain, university last for 5 years so I still have one year and 3 months more of university. During this winter I had several interviews with bulge bracket investment banks(GS,MS,CS,Nomura) but because I was making an internship with a spanish bank during the mornings and going to university at afternoons I did not have many time to prepare for the technical part so I did not get to the 2nd round in most of my interviews. In fact I only did the 2nd round at Nomura but didn´t ace it so I didn´t have the chance to do the final round.
    Because I really want to work on the M&A department of an Investment Bank, when I finished the internship I decide to study a lot the technical staff and ended finding your web. After 1 week I decided to sign up for BIWS Premium and I will sign up for the new Excel course you just mentioned yesterday and probably for oil and gas modelling course.
    I am having a lot of exams and study cases so I don´t have many time and I will probably finish the course during the summer.I am going to make a 3 day course about M&A at Instituto de Empresa (Nº1 Business School in Europe according to FT).I know your course is better, but the teachers of that course at IE have a good background at Investment Banking so I think might be good. I have received a summer internship offer from the Spanish Central Bank and I am going to take it. I am telling you that not to try to impress, just because I am not sure if I am in the right way to receive a full time offer at an Investment Bank next year or if you think that I should make a Master in Finance in a good business school to get an offer.

    Thank you very much for your time and appreciate your advice,


  11. Anonymous says

    Hi, I am in a very weird situation. I’m majoring in Economics and Math right now with an expected 3.5 at the end of this semester (3.9 in both majors). I’m at a non-target school and I’m currently a sophomore. I’m still waiting to hear back from a bank for a finance internship (it isn’t bulge bracket but it is well known). Nevertheless, my issue lies down the road. I plan on going for a master’s program in India two study philosophy because it’s something i’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It’s a once in a life time thing (literally – you can only apply once you complete undergraduate studies, before you are 23 and you can apply only once. It’s extremely selective). I want to go into investment banking after I return from there so what do you suggest I do?

    I’m on a path to finish a semester early (unless I can get an internship during the next spring semester at a bank. In that case I plan on strengthening my resume for junior year recruiting). If I don’t get that internship, I will finish a semester early and hopefully start working and either i’ll be in India or ill continue working once june/july swings around. What can I do? Would you recommend working after finishing a semester early or try to shoot for a bulge bracket internship for the junior year? Also, what do you suggest I could do once I get back? Network with alumni and apply to boutiques i’m assuming. There are summer breaks during that program (I think) and I could apply for internships then as well. Sorry for the wordy post but I just wanted you to have a complete understanding of the situation so you can better answer the question (and not waste your time).

    • says

      Do not try to finish early, the junior year internship is way more important. Yes, start networking as soon as you get back and even contact alumni and such when you’re still in India just to introduce yourself and get the process started.

  12. Sharon says


    I will be a junior in the upcoming fall semester, but I was not able to get an IB internship. There were several reasons to this – I did not know I wanted to do IB until a few months ago and even then, was clueless of how I would break in. I also live in a rural area so I could not find boutiques or any major firms around home, where I would be for the summer.

    Last summer, I did a PWM internship at a prestigious/name brand firm. This summer, I do not have an IB internship but I did find a HR operations internship at a tech firm. HR internships don’t really involve much quantitative thinking (or other IB related skills) but I thought it would be better than nothing. Do you think having this on my resume will be any plus at all, or will it be a waste of my time?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, it would be better than having nothing on your resume. If there’s anything you’ve done which is finance related/shows your analytical skills, perhaps you can list than on there.

  13. Patrick says


    I’m currently a junior at a non-ivy target school with a decent, but not stellar GPA (Over 3.5). I was unable to secure an investment banking summer analyst offer and am working in commercial banking this summer. How do you think this experience will position me for full-time recruiting if I wish to secure a FO position in DCM, Research, or IB?

    What steps do you recommend I take over the summer so I can hit the ground running when FT recruiting starts?

    I really appreciate the advice

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I don’t think it is directly relevant. I’d suggest you to network a lot and start reaching out to people before FT recruiting starts to have a head start.

  14. M.K says

    Just been offered a 1-month summer internship at a bulge brakcet (Im a first year). I applied for the investment banking division but the contract says human resources. I really want a front office position, should I politely email them enquiring or just leave it?


    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes you’ll most likely being in HR vs IB if this is stated on the contract. I’d suggest you to gently ask your contact at the bank if you’ll be assisting HR vs IB. If they say yes you’ll be in HR, I’d probably leave it as is because you’re only a first year and you still have 2 summers for IB roles!

  15. ML says


    I have a 3.8 gpa at a non-ivy school, but one that has relatively good IB placement. Although I interviewed with a number of investment banks I was unable to secure an internship this summer. I would still like to work full time in energy IB, and ended up accepting a corporate banking position in the energy group at a BB. How do you think this will position me for full time IB recruiting in the fall?

    • says

      It sets you up decently, but it is still quite tough to win a full-time IB offer if you haven’t done an IB internship. So you would need to find a group that’s actually hiring and had poor intern turnout and/or go to smaller firms or roles outside of pure IB.

  16. William says

    Hello, I am a rising senior, and have a 3.8 from a HYP target school. I was not able to land a banking internship this summer, despite multiple interviews with BB firms, and even a couple of PE firms. I was able to land an internship at a Venture Capital group in Israel, which I am starting soon. I still am aiming for a full-time BB IB position after university, though I realize that this is difficult because I didnt get the junior year BB internship. Any advice for my approach to full-time recruiting?

    • says

      Focus on tech/biotech groups or anything else where VC seems more relevant. Since you’ll be abroad, you should start networking and contacting everyone you know at the large banks sooner rather than later so that you can meet with them and go in for interviews as soon as you get back.

  17. Nick says

    Thanks for the great articles and for answering all my questions.

    My question is this: What can make me stand out on the resume, in terms of courses and skills I can learn/acquire here at school, (I will be a sophomore at a non-target)? Obviously, I plan on loading up on all finance, accounting, and economics courses, but is there anything that is not so obvious? For example, I have heard learning programming, (like Java or C++,) can be huge. I understand this would be much bigger for those interested in S&T, but in terms of M&A, is there anything else?


  18. Failure says

    I failed to get an IB internship. I am interning at a boutique Commercial Real Estate firm ( Asset Management and Investment Sales). I am an international student so there’s no way for me to network into boutique firms. What should I do? I don’t even have enough money to buy the product ( the networking tool kit), because all of my money I’ve earned by selling oranges and cigarettes are used for tuition and rent. I am eating instant noodles everyday, I have 3.2 GPA at the Johns Hopkins University. I’m not sure what to do, I am so stuck and going back to my country is not an option after the money I have invested here.

  19. Yifei Yang says

    Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for the great post!

    I am an international student currently doing my MSc Finance program at a target school in London. My aim is to get an internship opportunity no matter winter, summer etc. However most of the internship program only aims at undergraduate students (according to the website). I know most companies will also allow postgraduates to apply for summer intern, but what about pre-internship, such as those spring week program. Do I have to follow those rules when applying?

    Thank you very much!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’m not sure if they have spring week for Masters student. I’d suggest you to check with the firms you’re interested in. If you want to gain experience outside of your internship, it is best to network a lot because opportunities do come up randomly and the more you network the higher your chances are

      • Yifei Yang says

        Thank you. So that means if the program says it aims at undergraduate students then I am definitely not eligible and even if I do apply they will not consider me at the first place, right?

  20. Anas B says

    Hello, I’ve just graduated with 1st Class Honours (equivalent to 4.0) and have a Masters lined up at the LSE. However my work experience is limited – in fact I have not ‘corporate’ work experience in finance. Because of my cultural background, I have been obligated to work in my past summers in my Family’s business – in Real Estate. The business is international – based in Taipei, Mauritius, and this year, in London. Essentially, I worked on the buyside as an analyst/assistant to my Dad – who is the general fund manager.

    How would this work of for me, if I wanted to pursue a career in IB – given that I lack corporate internships, and that I’ve already graduated from College?

  21. Trey says

    Hey, I’m a sophomore at Uchicago and I didn’t get an internship. I don’t mean banking – I mean anything. I’m scanning files for this dude at a law firm. I have 2 months before school starts, so time is of the essence. What the f*** do I do if I want to even get a chance at a bank next summer?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I can understand your concern. You still have time since recruiting starts in a few months. What you need to do now is to network a lot, speak with alums, and properly plan out your schedule next semester so you have time to attend information sessions and network, gain relevant finance experience (join an investment club), while making sure your maintain your GPA above 3.5 next semester.

  22. EG says

    Hi! First time posting here, I would like to thank you for maintaining such a useful site. I am a junior at Haas/Ross/Stern in the SA recruiting process. However, besides the fact that my GPA (3.6x) is not excellent, my biggest weakness lies in the fact that I have no previous IB internship. I did a finance internship at a well-known non-finance company for freshmen summer, and a Wealth Manangement internship at GS/MS/JPM for sophomore summer. (Other aspects of my resume including finance club, leadership, finance and non-finance awards are competitive) To make up for my weakness, I am working extremely hard on networking thru setting up many informational interviews, and am currently studying hard for SA interviews. Do you think I will be able to secure SA interviews at bulge brackets through working hard on networking, despite my lack of boutique IB experience that other applicants have? Thank you for your honest opinion in advance!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Thank you for visiting our site. Your GPA is fine (its above 3.5, though you may want to get it to 3.8 if possible. But I wouldn’t sacrifice your time networking for to boost your grades though.) Your BB experience, even though not in IB, will be useful. Yes, I think you have decent chances of securing interviews with the BBs’ IB division, especially since you already have BBs on your resume. Not many sophomores have IB experience. Focus on what you have, and focus on why you want to work in IB vs WM in pitches.

  23. PC says


    I am currently a rising senior at an ivy league trying to break into ibanking. I am doing a year-long internship (from Sept. to March) right now at a F500 company working as a financial analyst. Because this internship overlaps with the typical recruiting schedule, I was wondering what would be the best approach to landing an ibanking internship for the summer of 2014? Thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d speak with your alum center and get the recruiting contacts of the banks who are going to campus. I’d email all of them and ask them re your situation (and establish a connection). I’d also cold call other banks and use LinkedIn to connect with people. If you don’t have time, send them a short note. And I’d also keep track of the application dates

  24. KV says


    I am currently a senior at a target Ivy League School trying to break into Ibanking. I am an engineering major with a near 4.0, and my school is known for one of the top ten engineering programs in the country. However, I basically have no finance experience aside from a couple classes. I have a solid story and reason for transitioning from technical to ibanking, but not the internship experience necessary to be taken seriously. I have applied to some FT positions and the only place I have interviewed so far is BlackRock (not iBanking obviously, but solid asset management position). My question is whether it would be worth it to go for a 1 year masters of engineering in operations research/ financial engineering or delay graduation in order to try to get a SA internship. Thank you and please be honest!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      This is a tough call. Do you want to do the Masters degree just because you want a Masters degree? If you want to, then I’d do it first. If you want to do a Masters degree to increase your chances of breaking in, I may just delay graduation and try your best to gain relevant finance experience in the meantime. A masters can increase your chance if you’ve been in the workforce outside of finance for a while. In your case, it can help, but having the experience matters most

      • KV says

        Thank you for the quick response. I am more interested in just getting an extra year for a relevant internship experience, but I am not sure if most banks accept seniors returning for a one year masters into their summer analyst programs. Do you know if this is the case? If it doesn’t matter what my student status is, then I would prefer the masters degree for long term career flexibility, and because my school has a masters program designed to be completed in one year after graduating versus trying to get a double major.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          I think some banks do. I’d suggest you to speak with HR because I’ve seen pre-Masters/pre-MBA roles (the summer before the MBA/Masters), at least at funds

  25. Anonomous says


    I’m not sure if you remember me (as many people post here) but I hope you can help me a little. I’m the guy who landed a Google internship for the summer. It went very well and I was told I could return after graduation if I wanted but was good I may find the role boring and should go for banking/consulting by senior people in the team (ex bankers and consultants themselves). The other problem is the full time role is not in a location I want to work in… So I’m trying to find a role in London.

    This is my 5th year applying for investment banking internships (BBs, boutiques, MM firms, everything basically) and still no one wants to know.

    I’m really struggling to see what I’m doing wrong. I even got my cv reviewed professionally and paid. I got it checked by at least 2 bankers per BB I applied to for absolutely anything they could comment on. They all said I would be fine.

    I’m at a UK target, studying relevant finance modules, entreprenurial experience, completed several small banking internships, now have the Google internship and am active on campus. From what Ive seen Im bringing a able package to the table.

    I have spoken to tonnes of alumni, ‘non-alumni’ (lol) and HR professionals (I’m in London). They act shocked I’m not being recruited, say I will be fine just apply online, but there must be something I’m not seeing which is why I’m not even making it to stage 1 of the recruitment process (beyond the typical generic lines eg competition, economy, bad luck – which are all untrue in my experience). I have seen people with much less get through the entire process and tbh I’m exhausted as I’m completely out of ideas of ways to further improve myself without someone giving me a break. I don’t expect a Goldman Sachs IBD internship but at this stage I was hoping I would be in a strong position to be landing at least a couple of interviews at least at small firms.

    What shall I do now? Is it time to accept Ill never get into IBD as an analyst and choose a different career path? It’s sad but I would prefer the truth then more misguided encouragement resulting in even more heartache. :(

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Even though your contacts think you have a good CV, perhaps it can still be improved.If you’ve not had any finance experience before, that may have held you be back a little. And there are other areas in online applications which you need to consider too (i.e. essays etc). It is hard to say because I’ve not worked with you before.

      Perhaps it’s your strategy too. I’d still apply to IB and choose a different career path as a back-up plan.

  26. Anonomous says

    I’ve had several banking internships (small firms) = finance experience.
    I got my CV professionally checked and edited (I paid for this).
    Not all banks even have an application form so it doesn’t explain my lack of interviews there.
    Not sure what you mean by strategy. You can only apply online in the hope they interview you and network in the meantime.
    I have applied for IB and I’m being rejected hence the post.

    Basically I’m a prime example of how everything on this website and ‘breaking into IB’ books/guides is completely wrong. I’m pretty upset as I’ve given 100% every year and seen tonnes of people with spelling mistakes, no interest in IBD etc get through. If I’m supposed to be one of them to get in then sure perhaps this is the wrong career for me.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I am not quite sure where you got your CV checked and edited so I can’t say.

      I’m sorry to hear regarding your experiences. Good luck with your job search.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Figure out how you can improve your application and do that. Network with bankers and gain more experience in finance if you can, even if it is at school.

          • Anonomous says

            Thats what I ask everyone and everyone replies (‘everyone’ meaning bankers, recruiters, uni careers etc) ‘I don’t know’ or ‘you will be fine’. Theres not much I can do with that feedback. :(
            I am networking but the above happens (see other post) – how do I get around that?

          • M&I - Nicole says

            You’ll have to be assertive and press on for referrals. Be persistent and ask more people. Don’t give up.

          • Anonomous says

            I do…. those people do the same thing :(
            Are oyu sure this advice applies to the UK as 99% of people I know who land offers have not ever networked in their life… I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong?

          • M&I - Nicole says

            It applies to a lot of people though it also varies a/c to their situation. But yes I think persistence in networking is key

  27. Tim says

    So I recently received an offer to intern in the corporate banking division at a bulge bracket for the summer, however I want to do IB. What should my game plan be in order for me to break in?

  28. Daniel says

    I am currently looking for the 2014 summer intern. I am an undergraduate at Columbia but my GPA is terribly low (3.0) although my economics and finance major’s GPA is around 3.5. I have experienced finance internships in asset management and research in South Asian region. However, since I eventually want to work in finance-related job in here or Hong Kong, I would like to have an opportunity to get an summer internship in summer. I’d try hard to boost my GPA (possibly 3.2) but what else can I do? I think CFA is not helping much now. Please help me out. Thanks.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Network a lot. Set up info sessions in HK and meet people there. I’d also explore your alumni connection in HK because there should be plenty in the industry there. Yes CFA probably wouldn’t help much in your situation.

  29. Bob says

    I currently have a few offers for summer, but I’m not sure what to take. I want to pursue BB/EB IBD or a top MM group (HL Restructuring, Jefferies Health Care), but got no summer offers from those firms. I have summer offers from the following:
    ~BB back office (operations)
    ~F100 (think: Apple, Intel, Google, J&J) Corporate Finance
    ~2 IB summer analyst offers from boutiques (Not NYC)
    ~1 IB summer analyst offer from a boutique in NYC
    I’m a junior in college (nontarget, but well known) in case that’s relevant.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Congratulations on your offers!

      I’d probably go for the summer analysts offer in NYC or the F100 role. It really depends on the team and culture, though I think both will open you doors down the line. Being in NY also gives you the opportunity to network so I’d choose that over the other summer analyst offers assuming your pay, responsibilities are similar and that you like the people there

  30. hfseoj says

    By the end of the summer intern recruitment season, I only landed an offer in the DCM of a japanese boutique investment bank. But my ultimate goal is to secure myself a FT in a BB in HK (Yes, I am an international student). So do you think this experience will hurt my chance in the FT hunting season due to the relatively low reputation of the bank? Will the experience put me into an advantage if I choose to apply DCM for FT cuz it’s relatively less attractive ? Thanks so much!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I think this experience can potentially help (it wouldn’t hurt you) though I’d probably focus on boutique firms to increase your chances; applying for DCM roles would be easier in your case. You can still apply for other international banks in HK though you’ll be competing against people who have had experience at bulge brackets in the city. You’ll also need to demonstrate your ability to speak Mandarin as the language skill is important in capital markets.

  31. Phillip says

    Little backstory:
    I am currently a senior at a well known business school. I would have had all the IB opportunities I could handle, but I didn’t know I wanted to do IB until this year. I was slow through fall recruiting and just started to really ramp it up this semester. So I have been networking with alumni and have mostly been looking at small regional boutique banks. I am also behind on credits, so I will be doing an extra semester. But that has worked to my advantage, as I have more time to break in and will just be looking for an internship this summer, not a full time job.

    So first question, are there any middle market or prominent boutiques still doing summer internship recruiting?

    Second, as far as a plan B goes, would an internship with the title “Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services” be relevant to recruiters? It is at an IB (im not sure what their exact classification would be) but not with thier IB division. They have IB, Valuation & Financial Options, and Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services divisions and this internship is with the dispute division. The description highlights skills similar to those i read in IB job description and mentions creating pitchbooks and things of that nature and M&A disputes is listed as one of the possible types of disputes. Will this type of internship have skills that are relatable and that I can spin into IB? Or is this one of those back office jobs your post talks about.

    Thank You

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes they do, but you may have to approach them and get your name out there. Emailing the MDs there would help.

      Plan B internship isn’t too relevant though you can try to transfer internally or try to spin it in a way that is appealing to other IB roles. I’d say this is more back office related.

  32. lseactuary says

    I have a problem that I don’t know how to solve. I have been networking, asking for referrals etc but they all say recruiting is over so they cannot help/I’m graduating this summer so I’ve missed the deadlines/recruiting cycle. Several have stopped replying as they think I’m a waste of time as its taken years to ‘break in’. I’ve been applying everywhere I can – big banks, small places etc. I even tried other industries e.g. consulting, F500 etc. Nothing panned out and I didn’t land even one first round interview. All my contacts do not know what else to advise and don’t know what’s wrong when they see my application/speak to me. I seem to tick all the boxes (target school, good grades, relevant experience) yet my strategies are not yielding results. I cannot afford a Masters, or take out a loan because of my unique financial situation, so will be unemployed from June. I have followed everything on your website but don’t seem to have progressed and am wondering where I’ve gone wrong/where to go from here. Where do I go from here please?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      First, I’m not quite sure how you present yourself to others/interviewers so I can’t say. You have to get your pitch right, and this is key. Secondly, other than big banks, have you come up with a list of 20-30 boutique and third tier banks and contacted their MDs/Ds/VPs? Even though recruiting cycle is over, some of these smaller places maybe looking for an extra pair of hands. If they all reject you at first, be persistent. Follow up in two weeks or so and ask if their situation has changed. If not, ask them for a referral. And I’d focus on one industry you’re most interested in first. And then move on to the next industry so you can stay focused. It sounds like you can focus a bit more. If you have good grades, are from a target school and can present your case well, I think its just a matter of time and slight change in strategy, as suggested above.

      • lseactuary says

        I have spoke to VP’s (loads of alumni) who actually say I come across well and they wished I had phoned a few months back so they could fast-track me. The issue is recruiting is over so their hands are tied. As for smaller places – I’m working on this at the moment and definitely following the strategy you mentioned. They typically ask for experienced hires or rear me onto the bigger banks. I only applied to other industries because I was worried I wouldn’t land anything for the summer/after graduation.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Press on with the smaller banks. Tell them you want to work there (vs. BB) and tell them why. Be persistent. Ask them if there’s any project you can work on or help out with.

          • lseactuary says

            I did – I even offered to work for free so there was no risk for them in testing the waters. I get comments like we don’t do that, we don’t have office space, or they are done hiring/no more help needed and so on. I’ve even got through to a top recruitment agency for IBD who interviewed me – liked me and referred me to several boutiques- but I was rejected from all. They are not sure what’s going on. I’m still networking but everyone remains confused which leaves me confused as to next steps. What do I do now as it looks like I have nothing for the summer. Starting to feel like 4 years of effort has just gon down the drain :(

          • lseactuary says

            Any further ideas? What do you recommend I do if I’m unable to land anything for the summer? Won’t it reflect badly on my previous experience/make me be in an even worser position as all my previous internship experience will be old. Thanks.

          • M&I - Nicole says

            If you aren’t able to land anything for the summer do something very fun – join a program abroad or something so it demonstrates that you’re an interesting candidate and you can spin that in during FT recruiting. Yes you maybe in worse off position if you sit around and do nothing.

          • lseactuary says

            I agree with you. Do you have some ideas of what other candidates have done to show they are an interesting candidate? It will help me get some ideas. Thanks!

          • lseactuary says

            Can you please let me know of any ideas? I’ve been researching but I can’t seem to find anything very fun/interesting to be honest.

          • lseactuary says

            Oh I meant ‘interesting things’ – I have looked into voluntary work etc but everything I am interested in costs quite a bit of money (e.g. volunteering abroad).

          • M&I - Nicole says

            Yes, this is something you’ll need to take into consideration. Otherwise you can always try a local internship at a finance firm. You still have a month or so to look for one.

        • lseactuary says

          Won’t it just look bad though? MM IBD –> top brand name F100 firm –> some random no name firm internship doing ‘finance’? Not even sure how I would spin the last thing. A general problem I’m having is I have brand names on my CVs so cold calling/emailing smaller firms doesn’t work well for me as they think 1. If they didn’t get into the bigger firms there’s probably something wrong with them (they assume I landed an interview because I went to a target uni/hbe a strong profile overall which is actualy untrue as I landed no interviews) 2. Clearly just using our firm to get to a bigger firm eventually (it’s very hard for me to convince them otherwise even though I give a pretty solid pitch – as said by a couple of MDs themselves when calling). What do you suggest I do?

          • M&I - Nicole says

            To clarify how this site works: we attempt to answer comments and questions free of charge, when possible, in the interest of serving this community.

            You have asked a significant number of lengthy questions, and it costs us staff time to respond to your questions – as a result, there is a limit on what we can answer for free in response to these types of in-depth questions.

            We also have customers of our courses and coaching clients who pay for more access and support because they have in-depth questions that require answers.

            While we balance that with the “free” side of the site so that this community remains useful even if you have not signed up for anything, again, there is only so much we can answer for free.

            On your question:

            – If you don’t have any BB experience, I’d say a top MBA maybe best bet if you don’t already have it/haven’t considered it already. This would be useful for PE if this is your ultimate goal.

            Again, if you require more in-depth responses, please sign up for one of our courses and/or coaching services and we can provide services that are more suitable for your needs there. This is about all we can help with via brief comments on the site.

          • futurePE says

            Sorry I didn’t realise I was annoying you. Please let me know which package I can purchase for some in depth advice and I will certainly purchase it. Appreciate it.

  33. Syrym says

    I remember M&I stated several times that one, who never had an internship, but who wants to do I-banking, should apply for internships at middle size banks. But, there are BBs that offer internships for recent grads (GS in Asia Pacific). Should I try to get internship at one of them ?
    I am considering Lazard. Is it OK choice ? Or should I aim for some another less-known firm ?
    Could you name 5-10 banks to which I should apply ?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes you can try though you’ll be competing against others who’ve had experience in the industry
      Yes Lazard is a great choice and good name
      Top boutique firms: I think its best for you to do an online search because there are so many boutique firms around the world that it is hard for us to select 5 for you not having spoken/worked with you before. Some names you may want to explore are Evercore, Moelis, Houlihan Lokey…

      • Syrym says

        I have one more question to ask. I played basketball in high school and did extremely well. Should I list it also on my CV/interview ? Will it be advantagous ? I mean will it show that I have been a team player since young age and that I have leadership abilities ?
        Kind regards,

  34. Julio says

    It is March 20th. I am a senior with no finance background. Except for creating an investment club at school last year. I know it maybe too late at BB banks. Is there hope for for mid-market and boutiques? I already started cold calling, and props to everyone who does it and it works out to them. I’m working on my nerves right now.
    Thank you.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes you still have some time, even though you’re later in the game. Don’t give up and continue cold calling and contacting people on LinkedIn. Boutiques and MM are better bets

  35. Conan says


    I’m a sophomore hoping to get into investment banking my junior year. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a ton of luck during recruiting season this year and my options are to either intern at a very large, brand name, mutual fund (through a connection), but it will likely be more of a back office role, or I could intern with a very small (3-4 employee) asset management or PE firm. I can’t decide whether it would be better to have the name or the more hands-on experience. What do you think would look better going into next year’s recruiting?

    Thank you!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      While the name of the mutual fund can certainly be beneficial, I’d probably go with the one that offers you the best hands-on experience so you can learn and spin that in interviews. Of course, you may want to make sure you’re doing some sort of valuation and concrete work as well as shadowing very smart people while you’re learning at the small places and not just photocopy/bring coffee to staff.

  36. Kevin says

    Hi! I am a junior with a BB investment banking offer, but from the way the background check is looking so far, it looks like I might have my offer rescinded (the issue in question will prevent me from working at a handful of the BBs, and other FDIC-insured banks).

    If I do lose my offer, what should I do this summer? Since it is already May, the only internships left on my school’s listings are no-name boutique IBs and (very) small asset management shops/HFs/PEs. Should I go for one of these? From the past two years, I already have a boutique investment banking internship and an asset management internship (medium sized firm) under my belt, so I am questioning if another similar internship would add much value. Should I take the summer off and travel? Stay home for “family reasons?” My long term goal is a career on the buy side, and for FT I will try to recruit at any BBs that my record won’t be an issue at, elite boutiques, HFs, PEs, or other decent buyside things.
    Very dejected now and not sure what to do…

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, if you can get an internship at the no-name boutiques, do that. It demonstrates that you are still in the market and are working hard to gain experience for FT recruiting. If however you really want to travel I’d take the opportunity and do that now. Keep your chin up. If the background issue comes up again, make sure you can explain it well so it doesn’t sabotage your chances with other firms – I think this is more important

  37. Leah says

    Hello, I really need an advice on my career plan. Here goes:
    I just graduated out of target uni in London (studies Maths) and am off to LSE to do a one-year MSc Finance and Private Equity.
    Since I’ve had to put myself through uni and so had to earn at least 14k pounds a year, I simply could not apply for IB internships hitherto. (Did tutoring every holiday which pays, surprisingly, a lot more than summer internship at BB)
    So apart from a one-month non-structured summer internship at BNP Paribas M&A team in Seoul four years ago, I have no internship experience in finance.
    And this summer will be the last summer I’ll have to spend tutoring.
    I’m primarily interested in IBD/M&A and I hope to break into PE after a few years in IBD.
    What would be the wise move I’d need to make starting this September?
    1. Try to get an IB summer internship
    2. Try to get an full-time IB job
    3. Try to get a PE internship
    4. Anything else you might recommend?
    I would really appreciate your honest opinion on the matter, thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Since you’re off to LSE for one-year program, this means you’ll not have time for summer internships (you’ll have graduated by then). I’d get an internship while you’re @ LSE so increase your credentials (try to find something that doesn’t require too much time so you can still network). If this doesn’t work, I’d just go straight and apply for a full-time IB role. Your LSE network and credentials should be sufficient. I think it can be more difficult w.o PE experience, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

  38. Tom says

    Hi Brian,
    My offer just got withdrawn because of a bad recommendation from a previous employer. The summer internships begin in 10 days, what are my options? This might sounds a bit desperate but I would really care of your advices.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’m sorry to hear. I’d network aggressively with people on LinkedIn and your alumni database and see what comes up. If you don’t get anything in a month, I’d take some part-time finance roles, or even start studying for some sort of finance qualifications (i.e. CFA for buy-side roles) to show that you were doing something over the summer. I may also take a trip and do something fun to make use of the summer

  39. Dave says

    In the article you said “banks are biased towards anyone with corporate finance experience.” Did you mean biased in a negative or positive way? I have an internship in corporate finance for my 2nd year summer and I’m shooting for an IB analyst internship next summer. Any tips on how I can make the most of it or get more relative experience out of it?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d really focus on honing your valuation and modelling experience if you can take on projects that allow you to do so. Try to gain access to senior management if possible so you can talk about that in interviews. I wouldn’t worry too much about the negative or positive aspect of that line; you have that internship so I’d make the most out of it

  40. Csaba says


    I am a first year university student in a target university in UK, and I have the chance to work in a commercial bank over the summer. My question is, which department is the best to work in if I want to apply to bulge bracket investment bank internships after my second year? Which one provides me with the best learning opportunities (if I am not a finance major) and the best chances later for (front-office) IB?

    I was thinking about Treasury / Treasury Sales?

    Many many thanks in advance,


    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’m not quite sure if commercial banking is the best path to IB, because I don’t think it is too related. Even treasury/treasury sales isn’t too relevant. However, since this is only your first year, I think this is a great stepping stone for you to break into IB. Just join a firm with a decent brand name (i.e. JPMorgan), and apply for IB internships your sophomore year (even then it maybe a bit too early). Just having the internship now will set you apart from may

  41. Jake says

    I’m in a weird scenario, I’ll be getting 2 degrees. I’m already in too deep with management and I’ll be finished with all my classes for that major in may of 2015, however I’m also pursuing a finance degree which I will get in december of 2015. Am I still eligible for a IB internship seeing as to how I’m “technically” a college graduate even though I’ll be getting my finance degree later?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      This is a tricky situation. I’d check with banks’ HR division. I’m inclined to say you may not be eligible for internships given your year, but I may be wrong.

  42. Peter says

    Is it easier to get an off cycle internship than a summer one? I’m going into my penultimate year at university, but my year abroad finished in mid april so i have the option to apply to either, but ofter not both, what do you recommend?

  43. Leo says

    Hello M&I!

    I would like to get some advice if possible for my current situation. First, I’d like to point out that I have 3.2 cumulative GPA (3.6 major GPA), but other than that my resume is pretty sound. I had an internship at a BB Wealth Management division, boutique Private Equity firm, as well as some leadership roles at my university (non-target school).

    I graduated in May 2014 and spent the whole summer looking (unsuccessfully thus far) for a full-time Analyst role. I received one offer that I was forced to turn down, but now I’m starting to panic as time moves forward. I’m getting some back office interviews at hedge funds and a couple front office interviews at BB Wealth Management firms… but other than that it’s been pretty slow.

    Networking like a horse…alumni, LinkedIn, meeting random people in the financial district of NYC… any suggestions? Thanks in advance!


    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d be persistent and continue to network, and attend industry events in your area. If you aren’t in a major city like NY, I’d fly down and make sure you stay there for a while to network and set up meetings. Otherwise, I don’t have other suggestions since you seem to be networking already. Your GPA maybe somewhat of an issue but since you’re not going through campus recruiting I don’t think it’s going to break you. May not make some application GPA cutoff, but you can still cold call people and get interviews.

      • Leo says

        I am in NY and, like I said, constantly networking. The problem is it’s already end of Aug and I’m worried I will have too long of an unemployment gap. Perhaps there’s more to it than just networking? Or maybe I’m going about it in the wrong way…

        If you were in my shoes, how long would you persist with breaking into IB industry before settling for a lesser role (e.g., accounting, “back-middle office” position at Verizon…)

        • M&I - Nicole says

          I’d persist for another few months.

          I can’t say because I have not seen your resume or worked with you before and it’s hard to pinpoint your issue on this comments forum.

          Good luck!

  44. bilal says

    I will finish my bachelors on May 2015 and will be pursuing a masters at hopefully a brand name institution. Until now I have had 1 summer internship (summer 2014) at a bank holding company in credit and risk management and financial controls division in Bahrain. I have not done IB yet but that is what I want to do. My current university isnt a brand name so the big IB firms are hard to get into but I want to do a graduate summer intern based in the UK. What kind of firms do you think I should go after? What could help me get into theIB/PE field and even wealth management/ VC?

    Thank You Very Much

  45. Sophie says


    I’m a junior trying to break into IB. I attend Columbia, double-majoring in Economics and Biology, and my GPA is near 4.0. My problem is that I have just recently decided that I want to switch from being pre-med to pursuing IB, so I have no finance experience. (My resume essentially just has my research experiences in biology, nothing at all with the word “finance”). Recruiting for summer 2015 BB internships seem to be going on right now and I think I can safely say that my chances of landing one should I apply are very very slim, considering that I don’t have any previous finance experience and have yet to even start networking. I do, however, know someone who would be able to help me land an internship at a boutique bank in NYC.

    So my questions are:
    1) Should I even try to apply for an internship at a BB at this point? Would they even glance at my resume?
    2) Or should I just take the internship at the boutique bank this summer?
    3) I heard that BBs prefer to hire full-time analysts out of their summer analyst pool. So, if I do take the internship at the boutique bank, I think I would be at a huge disadvantage come full-time recruiting season when I’m a senior in next fall. How can I improve my resume and look best to BB next fall for full-time recruiting?


    • M&I - Nicole says

      1. I’d focus on boutique banks and your connection
      2. Yes I’d do that if the opportunity presents itself to get your foot in the door
      3. Not necessarily. In your case, its better to get some experience first as this will improve your resume quite significantly

  46. Chris says

    I’m a second year economics student at a Russell Group university in the UK, trying to get into a trading internship at an investment bank. So far I have been rejected by places and am looking at other options currently. I have achieved a first class in my first year of university and am learning whatever I can from the internet about trading. I have no relevant work experience towards trading or finance (I didn’t attend an insight day, I was too focused on my degree) and have no possible connections into investment banking. I have been looking at prop trading firms with the intention to cold call as many as possible with the hope that I could get something relevant even if its making coffee. I have 4 main questions for you:
    1) With regards to the delaying graduation, I was thinking that if I continued my degree and did a masters degree later elsewhere in a location more prone to recruitment from IB, would this be a good idea?

    2) would you say that applying to prop trading places is a good idea if I want to do trading at an IB, and could you name any prop trading firms with offices in the UK? I have heard that careers and work experience from prop trading firms is detrimental to graduate applications to IBs.

    3) I have the full intention to continue gaining as much knowledge about trading from the outside, so was planning on setting up an internet trading account, are there any particular websites you would suggest I use for trading and for learning more about it?

    Many Thanks,

    • says

      1. Yes.

      2. Not sure about UK-based prop trading firms, but generally prop trading is somewhat removed from large banks. There is some overlap with trading, but it’s still not the easiest transition to make, and some banks may “look down on” the experience a bit.

      3. Again, not sure about UK-based firms but check out Seeking Alpha for more on trading/investment ideas and set up a trading account with whatever site offers the best deal.

      • bilal abduljawad says


        I am graduating in June 2015 with Economics and Finance Degree from the UK from a non top-tier school. I did not manage to get an internship in IB. I will be doing a masters but after that, what is the best way to penetrate the IB market in terms of experience? Does going to Global Banking School for a month in london which teaches extensive financial modelling, valuation, etc… practically its investment banking but you pay them to teach you everything. If i have those skills in my CV of knowing how to do modelling and so on is that enough? Is it worth it paying £4000 for 1 month of learning all that? My masters degree will be from a top tier school, it will be a masters in Finance. What do you recommend I do? My biggest problem is I want to work in a country where I did not attain my degree, I got mine from UK and masters probably in Spain, then I want to work in US or so.
        How Do I Get In the IB/HF/PE/AM :(

        Thank You

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Bilal, if you’ll be graduating from a top tier school for your Masters, I’m not quite sure if the program you mentioned will be too useful for you. Through the target school, you should be able to gain access to bankers, informational interviews and could network for work quite extensively.

          Secondly, if you want to work in the US without a US citizenship, it can be challenging, unless you study in the US which isn’t the case for you. I’d suggest you get into banking say in UK/Europe first, and then lateral (ask for a transfer) internally to the States. Again this can still be challenging but would be easier than trying to get a job in the States without a visa or network there.

          If you can manage to get some sort of IB experience before you start your masters, be it at a local PE fund or boutique firm, that would help. If you tell firms you’ll be doing your Masters at XX (a target school) and are looking to intern, I’m sure quite a few will be responsive. Many firms do take on pre-masters/MBA interns.

  47. Pedro says

    Junior – non target. In my sophomore summer I did an internship at a boutique ib. However I couldn’t land any ib internship for this summer. I did land an internship in asset management at a top BB.
    Should I take the asset management offer? I already have some ib experience from my sophomore summer. My end GOAL is investment banking for full time.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes I’d take the AM offer unless you have something lined up. It’s better to work, versus not doing anything over the summer, especially since you can leverage this experience for a full time role in IB.

  48. YK says


    I’m a sophomore in the process of looking for/applying to summer internships (because I’m applying to positions in Asia the timeline is little different). I’m having a hard time trying to discern what roles will be the most valuable offer to take/focus on applying to more. If I want to land an IB internship in NYC in my Junior year what among: asset management, equity research, PE, accounting, and consulting will be the most valuable experience to have? I thought roles related to finance would be inherently better but I recently heard from a senior director at a PE firm that consulting is in fact preferred over asset management (is this just for PEs)?

    Also how does this “ranking” of roles relate to in terms of boutique, lesser known banks in US vs. BBs? For example asset management at a lesser known bank vs. research position in UBS?

    Thanks in advance!

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