by Brian DeChesare Comments (575)

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

you_didnt_get_any_investment_banking_summer_internship_offersSummer 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 – fixed income 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).

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Hi Brian,

    I have a good FT offer in London for IBD. Is it worth delaying the offer for a year to do off-cycles at PE firms like KKR, Cinven etc. for more experience and better shot at PE recruiting? – I don’t speak any European languages

  2. Hey Brian. I’ve been a long time reader and have found your site tremendously helpful. Unfortunately, I think I am in the position where I won’t have an summer IB offer. Few opportunities still in the pipeline, but thinking ahead for the worst. I have some non IB opportunities also in the works. If I want to recruit FT for IB, which of the two non IB options would you think would set me up the best:

    – Corporate Development/finance intern at well known Fortune 200 company. (Two potential opps here with separate companies)
    – LMM-MM Private Equity Intern

    It stinks having to come to the realization I might have struck out on IB SA, but looking ahead I know IB is something I really want to pursue. Would really appreciate your advice. Thanks.

    1. I would take the PE internship offer because PE is the closest to IB. The Fortune 200 brand name will help a bit, but CD/CF are still perceived as being more different from IB.

  3. Hi there Brian, have been reading this for a while now and you post great content. I go to a semi target in London, the recruiting for all the London banks seem to be over, apart from a few very small ones. no offers yet but I potentially have a very promising finance internship for a very small listed energy company (AIM exchange) that has a market cap of £200m. Would taking the finance internship at the small company be worth it to want to move into boutique or BB? i also have lots of alumni on linkedin that I have not reached out to yet.

  4. Hey Brian,

    This thread has been stale for a minute, but I am hoping that you’ll see this!

    I just took my first internship at a major CAD IB, so a mid-market US IB. For reference I am in my second year.

    My internship is in commodities operations. I go to a non target, with a decent GPA (roughly 3.5) but this is still a non-target decent GPA. To make myself “standout” I founded a student investment fund and raised about $850,000 in start up capital during the first year. I know that number is pennies, but my theory was to use this plus my brand name ops role to land a summer IB role.

    What are your thoughts on improving my chances here?

    1. Well, what is your goal? Are you trying to move to a US IB, or just work in a US office? The main issue is that summer internship recruiting in the US now starts so early that you pretty much have to be networking already to have a good shot at roles there. If you can do that or start soon, you might have a shot. If you want to stay in Canada, there aren’t that many front-office roles and the students at the top ~5 or so universities there tend to win them. You could use a giant networking effort to break in, but it will be a long grind.

  5. Hello!

    Thank you for the insightful information!

    Background about myself: From a target University in Singapore. Have completed an IBD internship at an in-between-a-banks last fall and will be joining one of the team within corporate finance in a Big 4 firm this winter. Previously been to a few reputable banks with strong brand names, though in the middle to the back-office role. Aiming to get into BB banks.
    Since my junior years, I have been actively attending the networking sessions organized by the BB banks. However, I still face difficulties in landing the first stage of the interview, which is likely due to my low grades – third-class honours. I am left with half of my university years to work on my grades, and I am completely lost. Do I still stand a chance? Should I continue to pursue a career in IB or should I change my career goal? Hope to seek some advice!

    1. Your best options would probably be:

      1) Aim to start at a smaller bank (IBAB, MM, or boutique) because grades will matter less there if you have solid work experience.

      2) Start out at a Big 4 firm or valuation firm and then lateral into IB.

      3) Or, if your grades continue to be an issue, do a Master’s in Finance program at a top university to get better academic credentials.

  6. Hi Brian,

    Great post! I’m left with a decision between GS Salt Lake City (in the IBD Data Resources Group) and Deloitte Audit in NYC for the summer 2021 internship. What do you think is the better option for FT IB recruiting? I’m international so my options are also pretty limited.

    Also, do you think lower-tier BBs like DB would be willing to accelerate my process for a GS SLC offer (assuming I already got referred at DB by an MD)?

    1. I think GS is the better bet here even though it’s not exactly a front-office role because it’s still better than audit. Both companies should be able to sponsor you. Assuming that the environment returns to normal by next year, if you get a return offer, you could try to leverage it into FT offers at other banks, but I don’t know well how it will work because it’s not exactly a front-office role.

  7. I go to a semi-target, and I am currently recruiting right now (August 2019) for 2020 SA roles, I started a little bit late (maybe even too late). I wanna know how I can play my cards right and get a SA role and if I am too late I wanna know what I can do to eventually end up in IB.

    1. Maybe focus on smaller banks that are still recruiting for 2020 summer internships at this stage. Another good bet is to try regional offices of larger banks, since intern quality sometimes varies a lot more outside NY. See:

      If that doesn’t work, think about related roles like corporate finance at a normal company, Big 4, independent valuation firm, etc. and then make a lateral move from there.

  8. Hey Brian,

    What advice do you have for someone in this position, but with regard to starting FT recruiting. I am someone who wasn’t able to get a junior year summer internship, but still looking to start full time recruiting in the summer and fall. Any tips besides networking and cold calling?

    1. It depends on your full profile (university, GPA/test scores, previous internships, networking done so far), but in general, if you haven’t had many finance-related internships, I would recommend skipping IB for now and going for related roles such as corporate finance, corporate banking, valuation firms, Big 4, etc. because it tends to be easier to win those roles, and you can then make a lateral move into IB from there.

      If you have had some relevant internships, you could give it a shot if you’re willing to do a crazy amount of networking very quickly. There is a good example here:

      1. Hey Brian,

        I received an offer for a Corporate Banking SA 2020 position at a respected boutique structured under it’s capital markets group. Since I am a transfer student this will be like my sophomore summer, so I would not be eligible to accept a full time offer here. I was hoping to complete this internship then return for a junior yr internship in IB in 2021, however, given the timing I now realize that I can’t (I would have to recruit for IB before completing my CB internship and they would be upset I’m not able to accept a full time offer after 2020 summer) So if I accept this CB internship it will ruin my chances of recruiting there for IB 2021, and this bank is top 4 in my schools placements. Is the sophomore experience in capital markets worth ruining my chance there for IB 2021? Or decline since I still have some time and hope for something better like IB at a boutique?

        1. I don’t think it matters. I would just accept the CB offer so you can then focus on networking for the 2021 IB internship starting at the end of this calendar year into next year since recruiting now takes place a year in advance. Because of the weird timing, they’re used to students having 2nd year internships already.

  9. Hi Brian,

    Thank you for the information.

    I am a penultimate-year Hong Kong student studying in one of the local Universities. After completing an internship in an investment banking boutique last summer, I was invited by two BBs for phone interviews but yet failed to get any offer. After that, I got offers from a local hedge fund, and I am also having an interview for a middle-office role in one of the five largest asset management firm in the coming week. Assume I successfully land an offer for the MO role, which one should I choose that will gives me a better shot for coming full-time graduate application? And could you kindly give me other advice that may help increase my chance of getting a BB graduation job? (I have recently heard of rumours about BBs cutting headcount due to low level of market activity……)

    Thank you in advance!

    1. I would pick the hedge fund role, assuming it is front office, because front-office finance roles pretty much anywhere beat back or middle-office roles. I don’t know why you interviewed at the other banks but didn’t get offers, so it’s hard to say how you might be able to improve. My gut reaction is that you simply needed more interviews – recruiting is a numbers game, and most successful candidates need to interview at ~5-10 banks (at least) to win even 1 offer.

      1. Thank you for your advice!

  10. Hi Brian
    Thank you for taking time to write these kind of articles, they are extremely insightful.
    In my scenario, I am a foreign student studying at a private school in Singapore
    Which means that I am not allowed to take internships at all in this country
    I am graduating in June this year without any internship related to investment banking
    What career path should I pursue to get a chance to land a job in investment banks as an analyst

  11. Hey Brian

    Thank You so much for the article.
    So if I am studying at a non-target B-School and want to get into IB or a VC/PE firm(eventually to move into IB) and I have not been able to land a Summer offer with any of the big brands. Then what are some of the useful activities I could essentially do to add value to my careers like any short term projects or a part-time investment analyst job? Also, doesn’t it happen that an IB will reject my resume as soon as they see me coming from a non-target?

  12. Hi Brian, thanks for offering so many help to us. I have been using your BIWS since the time I think about a job in IBD.

    I did sales and trading summer internship but unfortunately did not get the return, but now I get an IBD summer internship offer from a BB. I am thinking should I really gap a semester for the internship or I can negotiate and talk casually with HR first before making any decision?

    Thanks for any suggestion!

    1. ??? I’m not sure I understand your question. If you did not get a return offer, but you won an IB summer internship offer, what is there to decide on? Accept the IB summer internship offer and try to win a return offer there.

  13. Hey Brian,
    Thanks for the great blog and sharing lot of interesting materials.
    I have a question regarding career advice. I am a undergraduate student in semi-target Business School in Europe. I did not get any internship in IB (both off-cycle and summer), but I got two options to consider now. I got off cycle internship in M&A division in big4 company, even though it is not clearly stated what I’d be responsible for if being accepted, and another in deal advisory in modelling and valuation also in another big4, who is leading in M&A deals in the region. What do you think would be more useful if I would like to get an offcycle or summer internship in IB later in my career? This off cycle internship would be my first in the industry.
    Thanks for you help and wish you all the best.

    1. You asked this question in another comment thread, and I still don’t really understand what you are asking because the roles sound very similar to me. If one promises more modeling and valuation work, though, that is probably hte better one to pick.

  14. Brian,

    I’m a recent graduate from a semi-target with a mediocre GPA (3.25) and going for a Master’s in Accounting. I have a decent network in my city, but I have yet to land an internship for next summer. I don’t want to start full-time recruiting without prior finance experience.

    On the topic of off cycle hires, is this the best way to land an IB/PE internship with an unimpressive GPA w/ no relevant work experience?

  15. Hey Brian,

    I am a rising senior in a semi target university in the UK. I just completed an investments summer internship at a top UK asset management firm, but did not get a return offer (they are cost cutting and could only hire a few interns). I want to make the switch to IB – do you think it’s possible, since I have no prior IB experience? I am thinking of taking a masters course as well, so that it would make me eligible to apply for 2019 summer internships. I want to apply for graduate jobs but I’m worried I won’t find anything. Also just to give more background I have a 2:1 (upper second class honours) gpa, and a bunch of leadership positions in my uni.

    1. I think it would be difficult to move in directly without prior IB/PE internships. See this story:

      Maybe you can apply for off-cycle roles and get lucky, but normally you need something more closely related to have a good shot. Delaying graduation with another degree could be a good idea here.

  16. Hi Brian,

    I am currently finishing my bachelors at a top100 public university in Europe & I am going to be taking a year off to improve my GMAT score and resume before applying to a MSc in finance at a target school. Since I couldnt land an IB internship for the summer, I am interning at a central bank in a developing country in the department for monetary policy and research. I was wondering if you had any tips on spinning the experience in my resume when applying to off-cycle internships in IB for the spring?


    1. Maybe highlight the analytical work and make it sound like each policy you worked on was “a deal.” But it’s pretty hard to spin this type of experience. Luckily, central banks tend to have decent brand names, so the name alone will help you quite a bit.

  17. Hi
    I graduated from university in 2017 (target school) and work in asset management as an Analyst. However, I would like to move to an investment bank towards the end of this year (I am IMC qualified and studying to CFA). I would like to move into sales and trading. What would you recommend? Is this possible to get into? Would I be more likely to get into IBD considering my job is largely financial modelling?

    1. You would probably have a better chance at IB simply because there are more entry-level roles and your work is more relevant. Making the move is all about networking, so go on LinkedIn, find people, and then start emailing them to ask about the transition.

  18. Hey Brian,

    I am currently a Junior at a non-target business school (think Purdue or Wisconsin). I recently switched out of engineering so my GPA is significantly lower than what I need to get a IB internship/full time (3.3). I worked a Wealth Management Internship at BB (MS) and I have a corporate finance internship lined up at a F500 consumer goods company(think SC Johnson or Proctor and Gamble). I noticed that you said BB IB are biased towards corporate finance position so, is making the switch to a full time position after this summer going to be impossible? If not how can I leverage my two experiences to land me a full time position?


    1. Going from no IB internship to a full-time IB role is extremely difficulty in any environment, but if you have a lower GPA and you’re at a non-target school, it’s even harder. You should probably look at this story to get some ideas for how to win a full-time offer anyway:

  19. Hi Brian,

    I’m a junior at a semi-target still trying to find a summer internship. The good news is that we run on the quarter system, so my summer actually starts mid-June and have a bit more time than usual. However, my sophomore internship at a boutique was really unproductive. Literally all the director made me do was get on calls with prospective clients and relay notes back to him. That’s it. Whenever I asked for technical work I was shot down. Considering I basically did nothing during my sophomore summer, I’ve had a really hard time talking about it in interviews and it will continue to be an issue during my search now. I have a 3.5 GPA and had a previous internship in PWM at a BB. What do you recommend I do?

    Thank you.

  20. Avatar
    Jasbir Mangat

    Hi, I am studying MSc Economics and Finance at Loughborough University (Top 10 in the UK) and my undergraduate grade is first-class in Economics (Not from a good uni).

    I am looking to get experience in IB but i haven’t had any previous internships. I have got work experience in retail and Insurance. I have been rejected by most BBs for IBD summer internships, i really need to get experience during summer, so i can hopefully get into a graduate scheme 2019.

    What strategy should i use? i am quite far from London but I really want to break into the field and just need general advice.

    Thank you

  21. Hi Brian,

    I am a junior at a target and was unable to receive an investment banking summer analyst offer for next summer. I do, however, have an offer at Merrill Lynch in their Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program. Would you suggest I take this, leverage the firm’s network and resources, and recruit for full-time IB positions next fall? Or do you suggest I take a no name boutique IB offer? I have prior experience in private equity and boutique investment banking, but no big name brands on my resume. Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.


    1. That is a tough one, but if you haven’t had a previous big brand name on your resume, the ML offer is probably best. A no-name boutique IB internship wouldn’t add much if you’ve already done PE and IB internships. But working at a firm like ML would give you more credibility and networking opportunities.

  22. Avatar
    Hogan Matthews

    Hi Brian,

    I’m a junior, and I recently received a summer analyst offer from J.P. Morgan in New York for financial analysis in their equity research group. Do you believe it would it hurt me to accept the offer if I want to recruit full-time for investment banking my senior year (as it’s not really an investment banking analyst internship)?

    1. If that is your best option, you should accept it. An ER internship is much better than no front-office finance internship at all. It’s always tough to recruit for full-time IB roles without a previous IB internship, but that’s true regardless of the group you intern in.

  23. Hi Brian,

    I am currently a junior at a non target school with a 3.6 GPA. I tried going for IB but i struck out due to my lackluster networking and my terrible interview skills. I also struck out with a lot of my backup corporate finance internships. Recently I got an offer at All State for their investment team. I did great at their super day. I am a little hesitant accepting the internship offer because of the label of my company being an insurance company even though I wont be doing anything regarding insurance. Do you know anything about these types of internships?


    1. If that’s your best offer, you should accept it. Some bankers don’t have a great view of insurance firms, but at least it is an investment/analytical role that you could spin into ER, IB, and related roles in the future.

  24. As a current high school senior, I’ve decided that aiming for pwm internships would be a realistic way for me to “get ahead” this summer. With no experience, how should I market myself in cold emails and what should I specifically be asking for? I understand that I should email the branch manager, so what kind of template do I need to use when emailing the branch manager? Also, if there is no branch manager or branch manager email listed, who do I contact?

    1. Take a look at some of the email/cold call/cold email templates on this site (do a search for those terms). See this story as well:

  25. Hi Brian,

    I was wondering if you could write an article about off cycle IBD internships? I am worried i wont get a good summer internship so will need to do an off cycle internship after I graduate


  26. Hi Brian,

    So basically I go to a non-target school, have worked my tail off to gain applicable experience, and salvaged my gpa up to a 3.7 but for some reason haven’t been able to secure an internship for next summer.

    I have had a couple superdays at top BB’s and networked my butt off but when it comes to interviewing I sometimes get nervous and tend to fumble things up a bit or ramble. I really need advice about what to do as recruiting season is wrapping up and I haven’t secured an offer. Should I try to keep applying to banks and network? I really don’t know what to do and need your help. Thanks.

    1. At this point, it’s better to go for non-IB roles and think about options like search funds/small PE firms, real estate, independent valuation firms, etc. Maybe also get someone to do a mock interview with you and get feedback on what you’re doing wrong. You might get lucky and win a banking offer even at this stage, but it’s not that likely because of the speed of the process now.

  27. Hi Brian.

    Please help me sort my options here. Came from engineering background, and recently graduated in may. Couldn’t get into banking from undergrad, mainly because I couldn’t do any internships due to health issues. So went straight into a master program in engineering/finance to get one more summer for an internship.

    Just had a super day at Citi but didn’t get in. No other bank got back to me. What should I do? What are my options? Impossible to break into IB at this point? Boutiques? Please help me out. I am running out of options

    1. Consider fields outside of pure investment banking… real estate, search funds/other small PE firms, Big 4, valuation/advisory roles. You could go for boutique banks as well, but you’ll need to do a lot more networking, which you may or may not have time for. Non-IB roles will take some networking as well, but it won’t be the massive effort you need for IB.

  28. Hi, unfortunately I’m quite behind with knowing that my future lies with investment banking, my GPA is at a 3.0 and I’m a Junior at the University of Alabama. I switched majors from Bio to Finance my sophomore year and fell behind on classes so I couldn’t get an internship going into Junior year. Since my resume is behind and my GPA is too low to get looks from any front office investment analyst internship, I’m wondering whats my best possibility for an internship this summer? I read this article and I was thinking it would be between back office, or middle office internships and boutiques. But between these I’m not completely sure which option has the greatest potential for me to move into the front office position.

    1. Think about other roles, such as internships at small PE firms, search funds, real estate firms, etc. and think about a Master’s in Finance degree in the future. Big 4 or independent valuation roles can also be good ways to eventually get into the industry.

  29. Hello, I’m interested in an intership in investment banking in the usa starting july 2018. I’m a 4th year (last year) student at the 2nd best business school of france (target school for local banks but don’t if it’s considered that way in the US). I’ve followed the financial track at my school and I’ve also studied math for a semester in one of the best engineering school here (french target school again).

    I’ve done a 6-month internship in a small strategic consulting firm and a 2 year apprenticeship in financial communications for a relatively big consulting firm (not Big 4). I feel like my CV will not be very well regarded for internships do you have any tips for me ? What can I aspire to ? I just want a big name (Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard…) on my resume to be honest, and need to do 9 months abroad for my diploma so I’m very open. Do I have a better shot going somewhere in Europe ? If I get rejected in the US can I apply in the same bank for another country or will I be blacklisted for a while ?

    Sorry for all the questions.

    Great blog, thx for the help!

    1. It will be extremely difficult to win an internship in the US if you don’t have some background there or some ability to network there. If you want a big name on your resume, you have a much better chance of winning an internship like that if you stay in Europe since your school is better-known there. Also, banks in the US don’t really offer 9-month internships (the system is different and they mostly do shorter, summer internships instead). So, stay in Europe or if you really need to do something in the US, maybe just do a study abroad but don’t work there.

  30. Hello, do you have any advice about what I can do this summer if I do not get internship even at big 4 and other big accountancy firms? I was planning on doing some volunteering or working in retail.

    Thank you.

    1. Maybe take finance-related classes at a top university so you gain some networking advantage and get a brand name on your resume…

  31. Hi, I am currently doing my MBA in Finance. I want to pursue my career in Investment Banking.
    After my MBA should I opt for CFA course-preperation academy of Big 4 firm or apply for Graduate program in banks?

    1. The typical path is to get an internship during the MBA program and then accept a full-time return offer from it. Your chances aren’t great if you pursue either of the plans you mentioned.

  32. Hi Brian,
    I will be graduating this summer with a Bachelor in Business from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. I always planned to do a one year Finance master afterwards so I tried to get a summer internship in IB in london this summer which did not work out unfortunately. Next to that I applied to some master programs. So far I got into RSM’s highly selective MSc Finance&Investments Advanced (2 years) and into MSc Finance at Imperial College London (1 year). What do you think is the safer shot: getting into FT without internship in IB yet from Imperial or having another try for an internship at RSM and trying to convert that into FT.
    For your info, I did already internships in private banking, big 4 transaction services, small M&A/finance advisory boutique and 2nd tier consulting firm. i will graduate among the top 5% of my school and my lined up backup this summer are finance summer schools at LSE and HEC.
    Which program would you think yields higher chances to eventually get into IB in London?

    Thank you very much in advance. Greetings from the Netherlands,

    1. If you want to work in London, Imperial is far better. You already have enough internships – you need to get a school on your CV that recruiters in London rank highly.

      1. Thank you, Brian! And then I will apply right away for FT positions or internships for 2018 (even though I would be graduating already)?

        I am currently also thinking about ways to stretch my studies at Imperial to 2 years. As no exchange is possible, I thought about signing up for a part-time master in economics or law (2 years) at City University London in addition to the MSc Finance at Imperial to be able to say that my studies will take 2 years till I can work FT. That way I could use Imperial’s recruitment channels for an IB summer internship, satisfying the condition that I would be in my penultimate year of studying. Do you think that this is a good idea?

        1. Ideally, you can time it so you can complete a summer internship that you convert into a FT offer, but I don’t know the start dates for Imperial. So you may just have to apply for FT roles directly depending on the dates. Potentially, yes, it could be a good idea to extend your studies to 2 years, but I think it might confuse some recruiters (which university would you say you’re studying at?).

  33. Just finished my junior year at a non-target school. I didn’t realize the importance of networking so I got stuck with some financial advisory internship this summer (last minute I was able to get it). I could also work part time at my local Comerica Bank (not sure if that would look good on a resume). I have no previous internship experience besides the financial advisory internship I will be working. My last two summers I was working in food services. My graduation is delayed by a semester so I am seeking for an IB internship for next year. Any chance I can land an IB internship next summer with no relevant previous internships? I plan on teaching myself a lot of modeling and valuation so I can kill the interview process but I’m worried about not even being able to land an interview.

    1. Potentially, yes, but you’ll probably need some type of school-year part-time internship to pull that off. I don’t think you can win an IB internship next year with absolutely no relevant finance internships first.

      1. What kind of school-year part-time internship should I try to go after? I am not sure how to go about that because I have not really seen any available. Also does it help that I participate in my schools student investment fund. This past semester my group made a stock pitch for this company in the energy sector.

        1. Speak with local PE firms/hedge funds, investment firms, etc. – lots of small firms hire part-time interns year-round because they need help with various tasks… see the other interviews on this site.

  34. Hey Brian,

    I am a sophomore with a GPA of around 3.6 from a top public school (the business school within the school), think UMich, UVA, UT, UBerkeley. I do a fair amount of networking and have made some pretty good relationships with people at EB’s and some BB’s as well. I am also involved on campus and have some good leadership roles. I am worried about recruiting because I know that many of my peers have much higher GPA’s than I do, ranging from 3.7-4.0. Will people pass over me because of my GPA or is the networking still useful? I’m worried I’m wasting time and money doing networking trips and the like.

    1. 3.6 is good enough, see my other response.

  35. Avatar
    Ahsan Shaikh

    Hi Brain,

    I am just finishing up my 3rd year at a non-target, and will be graduating next year. I did not receive any summer offer this year, not even mid or back office and I am panicking now. I did not realize the value of networking and started on that process pretty late. I will soon buy your networking toolkit as well. My question is that, I am thinking of extending my graduation a semester more. Do you think that it is a good idea or I still have shot in banking if I network. I know the recruiting season will soon start. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me.

    Thank in Advance

    1. Avatar
      Ahsan Shaikh

      Just to clarify I am from a tri-state area.

    2. It really depends on why you didn’t receive any offers (just networking or something else?) This article covers the trade-offs of delaying graduation:

      If you have no previous internships, it may not be a good idea because graduating one semester later won’t help you much. You need a sequence of internships to win IB roles these days, and you usually have to start that sequence in your first year.

  36. Hi there,

    I’m in my 3rd year at University College London (studying maths on a 4 year MSci degree) and, unfortunately, I haven’t secured any internships for this coming summer. I’m planning to start cold-calling boutiques, but that’s obviously a long shot. Most internship applications have closed by now (here in UK), so I’m a bit lost. I have no idea what to do this summer, but more importantly, I have no idea what or how I should go about getting a full-time position without any internships. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, but my main questions are the following:

    1. Would it be worth applying for a MSc Finance after my degree, just to have an extra summer and try to get an internship? I’m not sure how I’ll pay for it, but I guess I’ll figure it out if it’s worth it.
    2. Given that I study Maths, do I have a better chance at S&T than M&A?
    3. I know you guys might not be able to answer this, but here it goes: are there usually/generally more places for M&A than S&T? I’m more interested in trading, but right now I’d rather go for whatever it is I stand a better chance.
    4. Is it pure suicide applying for graduate positions without any prior finance-related internships?

    Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance! (I’ve been reading the blog for quite some time, thanks for all your work here too!)

    1. You may want to see this article for tips on getting internships at small PE firms and leveraging those for IB internships:

      1) Yes, potentially, but I don’t think you need to do this if you follow the strategy in that article above.

      2) Not really, maybe a little bit.

      3) Yes, there are more spots in M&A / investment banking in general.

      4) Not necessarily, but you usually need at least 1-2 solid internships to have a good shot.

  37. Hi Brian,

    I am currently a junior at a non-target school with a return offer to a growing boutique (more than quadrupled in size over 4 years to 20-30 people) that focuses on M&A, capital markets, and restructuring advisory services in the lower-middle market. I have done multiple seasonal internships here since my freshman summer (I got an MD on the phone and landed the gig after previous S&T and PWM internship experiences), however, I am conflicted because I don’t really know what else is out there. I went through IB and S&T recruitment but didn’t secure anything.

    I don’t really understand the difference in long-term career development tradeoffs from working in lower-middle vs middle vs large cap focused shops beyond the fact buy-side exit opps will be similar to the size of deals worked on and I know I’d be thinking way too far down the road if I cared about exit opps so this isn’t a consideration.

    I guess I just don’t really know what else is ‘out there’ because the career center preaches IB and they don’t know much to be frank.


    1. The main difference is in the exit opportunities – please see:

      If you really want to at an upper-middle-market or above PE firm, you should try to move to a bigger bank; if not, or if you don’t know what you want to do, stay there.

  38. Hi Brian,

    I’m currently a Junior and after being unsuccessful with the recruiting this semester, I managed to get a summer internship in a back office rotational program at a BB firm. In my sophomore summer, I previously had experience working in a large asset management firm. I was wondering If I wanted to try and apply for a full-time position in investment banking, would working in the back office be a good use of my time for my junior summer?

    1. Not really, but if that is your best option, you should probably take it. It would still be better to work at a boutique investment bank if you can get an offer there.

  39. Hi Brian,

    After a long recruiting cycle, I ended up with SA offers from Brown Brothers Harriman in NYC (PE arm), Citi in NYC (ER), and Financial Technology Partners in either NYC/SF (IB). All three companies hire back for FT analysts.

    I am not sure about which internship offer to take, as each offer is clearly very different and would set me on a different career path. I am also not sure of which is most valuable for my resume in terms of FT recruiting: the BB brand name, IB experience, or PE experience. I think I want to gain as much exposure to deal executions, transactions, and modeling & valuation experience as possible this summer.

    I would appreciate any advice on which of my current options will set me up best for FT recruiting in IB. Ultimately, I would like to work at the job that offers me the most exit opportunities and diversity of career options.

    1. We responded to your other comment on the other article.

  40. Dear Mr. DeChesare,

    I am a first year student interested in the investment banking industry. I am reading blogs like yours since I am 15. It is hard to get an internship in my first year obviously but I still want to gain experience in finance to position myself best for recruitment next summer. I already applied to spring week programmes of banks but I am still looking for some opportunities in the summer. A lot of people are recommending to apply for small boutique banks/PE/VE but that doesn´t really help since there is not a lot of detailed information in the internet. I would really appreciate it if you could actually name me names of such firms (maybe you know some specific how accepted first year students in the past).

    Thank you in advance for your time and help. I really appreciate it.

    Yours faithfully,

    1. Honestly, you have to do the research yourself and find firms in your local area. For example, if you live in Milwaukee, you could search using these terms:

      “milwaukee investment banks”

      And then you get these types of results:

      There are so many UK-based examples here too… start here:

  41. What do you think of working at the IMF, Federal Reserve or Bank of Canada? For a 3rd year summer internship if IB doesn’t work out.

    1. Focus on Regulation or Interventilation tools

      1. government intervention tools**

    2. It’s a decent option, but not as good as working at a small PE/VC firm or in a Big 4 valuation (or other independent valuation) group.

  42. I wanted to study master in finance.its a one year program. But i dont know if i should start the school in january or fall for getting summer internships ?

    1. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a one-year program, as you’ll probably have to do a school-year internship, but a January start date would make it easier to do a summer internship, assuming there’s a break in the middle of the year.

  43. Hey,

    I’m currently a junior going to Indiana University, and I’m looking to land an IB internship for Summer 2017. I’m focusing on the boutiques, since my resume isn’t the strongest and I’ve only had an internship at the corporate office of a commercial bank. My questions are 1. Will this internship help me at all in landing an internship at a boutique? 2. Should I pursue an internship in the Manila through a cousin who is at Citibank?

    1. 1) Yes, it will help.

      2) Are you asking about Manila as in the capital of the Philippines? You could aim for an internship there if you want, but you’re generally better off working in major financial centers in developed countries.

  44. I am a rising junior from a non-target school looking to get a summer 2017 IB internship in New York. I have done some networking and am continuing to do so; however, my only internship experience to date is my current one with an insurance company in their commercial lines underwriting department. From everything I’ve read it seems like I’m facing a steep uphill battle. Any suggestions on what I should do to improve my chances or am I not likely to secure an internship in my current position?

    1. You can still win an internship, but you might have to target smaller banks to have a good shot at it. You might also want to consider school-year internships or something similar, so you could get more relevant experience at a smaller bank like that and then move to a larger one for a summer internship.

  45. Hi! I was wondering, how easy or difficult would it be for me to switch to investment banking full time if I have a corporate lending/banking summer internship at a bulge bracket as a junior? (versus a potential no name/small IB internship)

    1. The problem is that it’s tough to win full-time IB roles without previous IB internships these days. It might be possible if you get lucky and find a group that still has full-time hiring needs, but otherwise it might be better to start out in corporate banking and then move over once you’re working full-time there. Going to a smaller IB would be easier, but still might be tougher than moving over after you start working.

      1. If I do ultimately want to try to do PE pre-MBA, would you say that it is possible to do so by first going through corporate banking, or would it be better to go through a smaller IB first? I’m tempted to take a smaller IB offer for my junior year internship because everyone says previous IB experience will help a lot for full time recruiting at BBs, and I’m not sure how much modeling or deal/transaction work I would get to do in corporate banking. However, I realize full time recruiting is no guarantee – though a lot of my friends have done so successfully.


        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          I’d go through a smaller IB first because the work is more relevant. Corporate banking can help, but if you have the option to choose between the two I’d go with a smaller IB.

          1. so you don’t agree with Brian? sorry, just trying to clarify things.

  46. Hello! I am a second year student at non-target school in Dubai in major of business finance with low grades so far (it is going up this semester and hopefully it would be better next year) . I applied for summer internships in IB but got no results, networking is not helping as well, people just ignore me (may be because of my non-traditional background, I am from Kazakhstan)
    I have passion to investments and wish to challenge myself with high pressure work environment, but I know that my chances to break into investment banking are very limited. How do you think what industry I should focus on? consulting or wealth management?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d say wealth management given your passion for investments.

  47. Hello,
    My dream is to go into S&T, I am an economics major from a target school and I feel pretty discouraged because of my lack of support and help from the career center in the econ department. I go to university of Michigan and I am always competing with business majors who have a great knowledge of finance, know how to pitch stocks and have the great career center as a resource.
    So, what should I do. I am a junior with no summer internship, I have had 3 sales and trading interviews with top investment banks but I have no gotten them.
    Should I apply to a bridge program? Masters program?
    Preferably ones in Finance that would help with sales and trading.
    If so, do you have any that you recommend?
    If those aren’t a good idea, what internship could I do this summer that would really give me a headstart in a possible career of sales and trading

    1. I would think about something related to the public markets, like private wealth management or asset management or even prop trading, and apply to smaller firms where networking is required to get in. Then, try to leverage that internship into an S&T role down the line… if that doesn’t work, perhaps think about a Master’s program or delaying your graduation, depending on how close you got to an S&T offer in the process.

  48. Hi Brian and Nicole,

    Hope you are well. Its a really tough time to get into IBD now and the only offer I’ve gotten is for Equity Research roles. Would it be easy for me to jump from Equity Research to IBD in the future?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I am not sure about “easy”, but people do move from ER to IBD so yes you can make the move down the line, assuming you make the right connections etc.

  49. Avatar
    Naseem Mansuri

    i wanna do the summer training for 45 days in MBA program

  50. Hi there. I am from a target school in continental Europe graduating next June. I completed a 6 month internship in a no-name London based M&A boutique and will probably be working in another boutique whilst finishing my last semester of uni in my city.

    I am in a difficult situation because I did not get any FT offers and tried to switch apps to summer too late. Now I have 2 options:

    1. Do an Msc, I should have done this in the first place and apply to internship. Now I would have to do another no-name boutique summer internship. Next year I would apply to FT again. Ideally, I would get into a top English school.

    2. Spend a year doing off cycles in boutiques after graduating and try to get into a Analyst programme at some point.

    I think that my main problem is lack of interview skills… (I have had 35 interviews over the past 14 months) What is everyone’s opinion on what should I do? Any comments will be appreciated! Tx

    1. First, I would say you need to go back to previous interviewers and see what went wrong / how you can improve your interview skills… more school and internships are irrelevant if you can’t improve your interview skills.

      Assuming you can improve, I would say you’re better off doing off-cycle internships at boutiques and moving into a top bank from there. I’m not sure what an Msc would really give you if you already have a good school and internship experience on your CV.

      1. Thanks for your input Brian. I agree with your comment… A master is the lazy option that would give me another shot but I don’t feel like getting a £35k loan knowing that I am already prepared for a FT job.

        I will chase interviewers to get some feedback and try to improve my insufficient interview skills. I read your article about how to get feedback – so following your advice there should allow me to get some honest replies and work to improve the stuff that can be improved.

        BTW I had never commented before but have been following this site for several years now. Thank you for the awesome job you and your team do with this site – There is nothing out there that can be compared to M&I: very close to reality, up to date advice and the right mindset transmitted through all articles/resources.

  51. I don’t have a finance internship but I have done a project on Valuations where I actually used multiples like EV, EBITDA and also made use of company comparables approach. Does relevant project work count for either IB or other finance roles/ companies?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes this experience can potentially help, especially if you don’t have any deal/IB experience.

  52. Hello, I am trying to re-apply to internship. Last year, I was a junior and applied to several investment banking internship positions. However, I took a semester off because of family issue. I am applying to internship again this year. Should I make another account to apply to internships or it is okay to use the same account from last year? I wonder if it looks bad that I apply to same position with same account or not. Thank you.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      It is ok with the same account as long as you can show that your application has improved since you last applied.

  53. Hello
    I wanted to ask, I am currently doing a masters program in a top european business school to increase my chances of getting a job. What I wanted to ask is, should I apply for internship roles or full time analyst roles in Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks as I have no previous internship experience. I do not want M&A, but rather, equity research, fixed income, DCM/ECM, etc… Even though I have a strong school name, the competition in my class consists of nearly everyone having internship experience and so I do feel undersized and don’t know how to proceed as I can’t apply for both full time and internship.
    Also, as I don’t mind working on 4-5 different fields including asset management and wealth management, which is the best to apply to in terms of less competition or easier to get in?

    Thank You

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      If you are graduating in May 2016 I am not 100% sure if you can apply for internship roles because banks usually take 1st years as summer associates in Masters. However, if banks are willing to take you on as an intern, I’d apply for an internship since you have no prior experience. Otherwise I’d still try for full time roles and see how that goes. In terms of less competition, I’d say asset management and private wealth management may be “easier” vs. investment banking, sales and trading as well as equity research. These links may give you a better idea:

  54. Hi,

    I am studying at a top target in the UK. I’m in my final year. I couldn’t land any IB BB internships so instead did an equity research internship and followed it up by a front office internship at a boutique PE in Mumbai. My second year grades were not good (lower 2nd). Also, I cannot pursue a Master’s due to financial reasons. Should I apply for a summer internship or should I directly start applying to graduate schemes at top BB’s ?

    Thank You!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d start applying to graduate schemes and see how that goes. Perhaps you can focus on boutiques, and then BBs. Make sure you make good use of your alumni connection.

  55. Hi!

    I am now entering my last year in Uni. Last year I did not get any internship in IBD. In order to find an internship I am between the following 2 options:

    A) Go for a masters and reapply for a summer internship
    B) Apply for a graduate off cycle internship.

    In particular, do you believe that it is easier to secure an internship offer through the off cycle internships? On the one hand the competition is much less than that of summer internships but on the other hand I guess that the available positions are also less.

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d say A is probably best if you are going to a target school, but yes B has less competition though availability is probably less

  56. Hi–great article. I’m currently going through FT recruiting after not being able to secure a return offer because I lacked interest in the current group I was in. I want to move from corporate banking to investment banking. I wanted to know what are some thoughts on reaching out to the IB group on their FT opportunities (I have several contacts). I’m a bit hesitant because the groups, at least on the director level, do interact with each other. Would appreciate some opinions. Thank you.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      No worries about people interacting with each other. In your situation, people would understand why you’re networking and I think it maybe a good idea to reach out to the IB group sooner rather than later especially if you’re going through FT recruiting now.

  57. I’m expected to work in Accounting Big 4 TAS internship in Asia this summer. I’m becoming Junior this fall and concerned if it’d be valuable for my future IB internship/full time recruiting? Would you rather recommend an IB summer intern at a small regional IB firm even though I have little knowledge required in IB?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes it can potentially be useful. If you can get an internship at a regional IB I may take such offer instead of the big 4 one.

      1. Thank you for your reply. My biggest concern of working at a regional IB is that because I barely know anything about Ib nor know how to do valuation things, I might just give bad impressions to regional IB, which may potentially lead to bad referrals.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          No, I wouldn’t worry about this. If they gave you an offer they should know your background etc. I would try your best and see how this goes! Some people get into IB without any experience/knowledge of the sector so you’re not the only one here!

  58. Would working at an Life Insurance company my junior year summer help with FT recruiting? I didn’t get an IB internship unfortunately.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I am not 100% sure how relevant working at a life insurance company is to IB, but you can potentially spin the valuation/analytical work you do in the internship for FT recruiting. If you can gain some sort of exposure to bankers through work/personal connections during the summer, this may help.

  59. Hey m&i,
    I am currently 19 and this fall i will be studying finance in the uk 1st year. My aim in the long term is to work at Long short hedge fund or private equity. However, this summer i have the opportunity to have a prop trading internship. Would putting the intrn on my resume be a problem for banks and funds to hire me becAuse of the different skillset?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      No, I’d still list your internship on your resume because it is useful (the experience is transferrable).

  60. Avatar
    Bob Jenson

    I got an internship offer from both a valuation advisory firm (small), and an offer from a GIANT venture capital fund (Sequoia/NEA/Atlas Venture).

    If I want to go into IB recruiting next year, which would better set me up to do that?

    Essentially……Valuation Avisory to IB, or Venture Capital to IB?

    My intuition is that Valuation Advisory is directly relevant to investment banking (doing valuations of companies), but given the prestige of the venture capital firm I’d be able to network with many former bankers.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d go to that VC fund. Yes it may not be directly relevant to IB but I’d say experience at the fund is invaluable and you can always choose to apply for IB roles next year or other VC roles. While valuation advisory is more relevant to IB, I’d choose the VC fund given what you wrote and the experience

  61. Try companies such as Capital Placement- They offer internships with some Bulge Bracket firms, as well as some boutiques in London, India, Dubai. It might be a good last resort option.

    They charge fee by the way for their programmes, so it is definitely not a first choice!

  62. Hello. I am currently a 2nd year undergraduate student. I got an offer from Citi ICG summer internship program, but I will be probably assigned to the commercial banking division. I really want to get into the IB industry. Thus, I am wondering if I should go and look for small IB boutique internships or stick to this summer internship as Citi has a good brand name. Thanks.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d see if a boutique has roles available for you in the meantime. If not, I’d go with the Citi ICG internship since the brand name can potentially help you.

    2. Hey Benjamin! Is this for the ICG program in Hong Kong?? I got the offer and I am wondering what it is like! Can you tell me a little how your summer internship went at Citi?

      1. HI! Which division are you allocated to?

        1. Did you end up taking the ICG program at Citi? If so, which division did you eventually end up?

  63. Hello. I am a junior, economics major. 3.07 (It is going up this semester and had some tough classes in the past). Currently working at a Banking organization in marketing. Have not landed an internship in IB for the summer. Should I give up on pursuing a career in IB at this point since it is so late. I’ve applied to over 20 different positions at different banks and feel that my gpa has hindered me tremendously. Have also been networking as much as possible (contacting people I’ve met at different networking events).

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes I think boosting your GPA would help, and perhaps if you can apply for a target Masters this may increase your chances.

  64. Hi,

    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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d say equity research at a BB is probably best given the brand name and the valuation work you’ll be doing. In terms of consulting over AM in PE roles, I am not sure why he said that but this should be useful:

      It is hard to give you a broad overview re ranking of roles, but if I’d definitely choose ER in UBS over AM at a lesser known firm.

  65. Hi,
    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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. Thanks Nicole! I can go back to the boutique IB (non NY citi) I worked during the summer, but I think that working in NY would be better for networking and also for the brand name

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Yes you have a point here.

  66. Hi,
    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,

    1. 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.

      1. Avatar
        bilal abduljawad


        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

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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.

      2. Just an update; got an internship at a big hedge fund (long story) but I’m wondering how much the fact that I’m now a final year student going for an internship will stand against me? I’ve gained a great deal more experience than last year, but do you know which major banks either don’t allow final year students or disadvantage them against penultimate year students.

        Many thanks,


        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          I don’t think there are banks that don’t want final year students on board, though many banks prefer to recruit third year students for the summer internship programmes, so you may just have to apply for off-cycle roles.

  67. Hi!

    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?


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  68. 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

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d go after second/third tier firms. I would focus on wealth management for your upcoming role, because your experience may not be relevant to IB/PE/VC firms right now

      1. Like what are 2nd and 3rd tiered; boutique firms? Should I apply normally or send my resume to the HR and saying im willing to work for free just for the experience?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

 may be useful

          I’d apply normally and network with people from such firms on LinkedIn

  69. 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!


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. 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…)

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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!

  70. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d say a summer one maybe best.

  71. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  72. Hi,

    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,


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  73. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  74. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  75. 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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  76. 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…

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  77. Hi!

    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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  78. Hi!
    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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  79. Hello,
    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 ?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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…

      1. Thank you !

      2. 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,

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Yes that can be useful.

  80. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. 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.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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.

          1. Avatar

            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 :(

          2. Avatar

            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.

          3. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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.

          4. Avatar

            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!

          5. Avatar

            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.

          6. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            Ideas on summer internships? It depends on what you’re interested in.

          7. Avatar

            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).

          8. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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.

        2. Avatar

          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?

          1. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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.

          2. 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.

          3. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            If you go to, you should be able to see the packages we offer.

  81. 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

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. Thank you for the reply.

        I am not very interested in that plan B, but I know I need to do something this summer.

        Are there any good resource lists for middle market or boutique banks, or do you have any that would be good for me to look at in terms of recruiting this late?


        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Our interview guide includes a list of banks you can refer to.

          Otherwise, I’d just do a search online.

  82. 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!

    1. yes, the offer I landed is also in HK, but it has offices in Japan, NY, SF, London, Singapore and HK.

    2. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  83. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  84. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  85. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Do a great job. Network internally and externally too.

  86. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. Ok… but what do I do now?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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.

          1. 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?

          2. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

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

          3. 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?

          4. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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

          5. Oki dokie I will keep trying :)

  87. Hey!

    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. :(

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. I replied to this in a new post below by accident – apologies!

  88. Hi,

    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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

      1. 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.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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

  89. Hi,

    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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  90. 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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. Thank you very much for your prompt and detailed reply! I will definitely follow your advice.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole


  91. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  92. 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?

  93. Avatar
    Yifei Yang

    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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

      1. Avatar
        Yifei Yang

        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?

  94. 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.

  95. 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?


  96. 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?

    1. 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.

  97. Hi,

    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?

    1. 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.

  98. 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?


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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!

  99. Avatar


    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

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  100. Hi

    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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  101. Avatar

    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).

    1. 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.

  102. 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,


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Julio, thank you for your comment and for signing up for BIWS Premium! We are deeply honored that you find our course valuable. In-person training have their value, and we are glad you found a training that suits you. The summer internship may help you, though you will be competing against people who have had IB experience. Since you don’t have any IB offers on hand now, perhaps you can make the most out of this internship and use it to break into IB in your final year. If you don’t break into IB your final year, a Masters/MBA may help:

  103. 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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  104. 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?

    1. 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.

  105. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I have not worked in accounting so I can’t say, but pls refer to

      I am not 100% sure because it depends on what you’ve been doing in private accounting, please refer to

  106. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Perhaps you can find another email address from a firm’s recruiter? This may help you.

  107. Very sorry for the double post! Was not intended, stupid web script -_-

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      No worries, please see my response above.

  108. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. Thanks for replying!

        I’m currently trying to contact boutique banks in the UK. Could you give me more information on how I could look into social ventures in the UK? I’m not exactly wealthy enough to do internships abroad.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          You may want to contact the organizations below:

  109. 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.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

  110. Brian,

    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)

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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)

  111. 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!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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.

      1. 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. :)

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          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.

          1. 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?

          2. 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).

        2. 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

          1. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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.

          2. 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.

          3. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            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.

          4. 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 :)

  112. Hi,

    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?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      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

  113. Thank you very much nicole, very useful information!

  114. Hey Brian,

    I´m a finance student in my last college year and I seek some advice on how to conduct my career successfully.

    I would like to develop my career on IB, in areas such as M&A or PE. However,I got an interesting offer from the brokerage and markets division of a well known bank, but I´m not sure whether it will help to drive my career towards my objective. I must say that taking an internship directly on M&A or PE while studying and attending college during nights is practically not feasible due to the large working hours of these type of departments, given so, I thought some knowledge on markets and general experience with securities and investors may look good on my CV for the future. Let me know what you think!

    1. It might help, but will not help as much as a real IB or PE internship. I would do it only if you haven’t had better / more relevant experience in the past.

      1. Thanks for the answer, I was also considering either business development at a bank or TAS at a big four. But for these I don´t have any real offers yer, what do you think?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Perhaps work at TAS may be a bit more relevant to banking though I personally think business development may be a bit more interesting though I may be wrong. I’d wait till you get a real offer first – don’t worry so soon!

          1. I agree maybe im thinking too much ahead, but my question was more towards if any of these two positions would position myself better for M&A/PE than the markets internship(which is front office by the way,forgot to mention). Thanks again, really helpful!

          2. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            TAS maybe better fit for IB.

            Re TAS/business development versus markets (front office) role, I’d choose the markets role at the IB because it is easier to transfer internally/to another IB from an IB. While the work at TAS may be somewhat relevant, “But I don’t think it’s necessarily the best group all the time because many TAS groups focus on accounting and due diligence, and you may not get exposed to valuation, financial modeling, or other aspects of the deal. They may also spend a lot of time on tasks that bankers don’t care about, such as making sure that working capital requirements are met when a deal closes.”

  115. Is a consulting intern at Deloitte better than doing intern at PwC? Or what would you say? Will working at big 4 help me get into ib jobs ir nope?

    1. Depends on what the PwC role is – if it’s audit, I would say Deloitte is better. If it’s something like valuation or TAS, the PwC offer might be better. Big 4 helps a bit with IB roles, but obviously it’s not as good as getting an internship in IB / PE / ER / HFs etc.

  116. Hi, I haven’t received an offer from Goldman after the second round interview for a summer internship position (europe). Do you think it’s still possible to get a full time offer for the analyst class of 2014, if I do an intership with another BB this year?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes, I believe so. Try your best to land a BB internship and a return offer this year so you will have an upper hand next year.

  117. Hi, what do you think of equity research at fidelity vs goldman sachs finance division?


    1. If by “finance” you mean the back or middle office, ER at Fidelity is better.

  118. Hi, my name is Nitin and I have a short question to ask. Is a summer PWM internship at AXA/MS/UBS acceptable if a person wants to do IB after graduation. I am currently a junior and have applied to many BB/MM firms and yet did not get any response back.

    1. It’s better than nothing, yes, but you’re still at a disadvantage next to people who completed IB internships.

      1. Yes, but I completed a summer internship at a lower middle market investment bank during my sophomore year. I go to a target school where BB and MM firms recruit heavily.

        1. OK, in that case if you have the banking experience it will probably be OK. Though you will get questions about why you made the banking to PWM move and now want to move back, though any other option you choose will result in the same questions coming up as well.

          1. What about real estate, especially at well-known firms like RE/MAX or Marcus & Millichap?

          2. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            I don’t think your experiences are directly relevant though they may be useful. I believe interviewers are most likely going to ask you why you want to move into real estate and what you know re real estate (demonstrate your passion).

          3. Landed a summer offer with Google (business strategy side of things).
            Will I still be able to get into investment banking? Lots of people tell me I should stick to Google as its better???

          4. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            Yes I’d probably stick with Google! If you want to get back into finance, perhaps you may want to look at the internal M&A group at Google. You’ll still be able to break in, though chances may increase if you have had some sort of finance/IB related/deal experience. I personally think Google may offer you a better opportunity.

  119. Hi Brian,
    First off brilliant site, i’ve been reading it for weeks now! Thank you for all your hard work in creating it.

    I am hugely motivated to work in IB especially S&T and M&A, here is a little background.
    Currently I am a first year on a distance learning program with academic direction from the London School of Economics, reading for a BSc in Economics.
    I didn’t do very well in high school (and definitely don’t have the UCAS point requirement for most internship programs) due to mitigating circumstances. So I ended up moving from the UK to Thailand and have been here for 3 years, I have learnt to read and write Thai. Shortly after arriving in Thailand I started a small engineering company and have been running it ever since along with my full time studying.
    I have landed an internship with a boutique financial advisory firm/boutique bank (British owned) in Bangkok for summer of 2013.
    Do you think achieving great results in my first year at Uni (first class, 3.8+) and my entrepreneurial skills will help disguise my bad high school grades?

    I plan to apply to all the bulge brackets and as many boutique banks as I can in London for the summer 2014. Do you think it is possible to get through the initial resume filtering at the banks considering my situation?

    Is it also possible to apply to internships in other countries such as HK or Singapore or do they take on locals for the most part?

    Thanks in advanced.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes to your first question, though I believe interviewers don’t usually care about high school grades, other than for UK interviews

      Depends – too many factors at play here. I think you’d have a shot at it though

      Yes they do, it would help if you speak Mandarin

      1. Thank you for the quick response. The problem is i’m from the UK, and I really don’t want to redo Alevels just to get an interview, because it may affect my degree class if I need to focus on A level exams too.
        I would If I have to but I wont get results until after application season. So I would have 1 shot in my final year before my intended masters.
        I feel maybe the time would be better off spent networking?

        How about boutique banks or mid range banks, are they less obsessed with A levels and HSD’s than the bulge-brackets?

        Your advice is very much appreciated, Thank you

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Yes. I’d think so. If you do retake the A-levels, you’ll probably need stellar scores to get a first round. This will take a lot of time and energy on your part.

          Perhaps your time can be better spent networking at places around Canary Wharf, London Liverpool Street, Cannon Street

          Maybe. I believe their recruitment process might be less structured. It might be easier to break in if you can network with the seniors at such banks and convince them to hire you.

  120. Hello Brian and Nicole,

    First of all, thank you for all the useful information that you have provided for us

    I am a second year Mathematics student at Kings College London(KCL), I have scored about 50% for my first year and I have a decent grade from my college . I want to apply for an internship in London (risk management or trading) ,and I have heard that if you got less than 60% for your first year, they won’t even look at your application because it will represent your expecting or final GPA too be low. My question is to what extent is it true? and what can I do about it?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Grades are pretty important in the UK so I wouldn’t be surprised. Boost your grades if you can and network lots

  121. Hi Brian and Nicole,

    Thank you very much for all the information provided here!

    I graduated this year from a non-target school and did a summer internship in a bulge bracket in London, but I didn’t get an offer. What do I do now? Apply for internships again? Or go for graduate full-time positions?


    1. Hey – I’m at a target, been rejected for 3 years from IBD, not sure if I should apply again or if its too late. Its my last year at uni (graduate 2013) so should I apply for an internship as I’ve read graduate roles are full? I can’t afford a masters so what do I do with this ‘gap’ year? Thanks!

      1. Avatar
        M&I - Nicole

        I’m sorry to hear. I think you should still try applying for graduate roles, perhaps at smaller/third tier banks/boutiques. I’d suggest networking and cold-calling people. You may even have to look for off-cycle internships just to build up your resume. You can do that through networking and talking to people in the industry. Don’t give up!

        1. This is my 4th year applying for roles in IBD and I’m still getting dinged. (Spring Weeks, Summer, Summer/Off Cycle and now Summer/Grad Schemes).

          I have shown my application to tonnes of people on the WSO forum, people within the industry and the careers service – no one is sure whats going wrong for me. I quote the only BB that I interviewed at said ‘this is one of the best applications we received for a summer internship position’.

          Maybe I’m not clicking with the people within the industry. Maybe I am not qualified for a role in the industry. Maybe theres something I am not seeing. So maybe this industry may not be for me. But everyone I ask has no idea. I have been doing everything this website has suggested with a good heart but something is still going wrong for me.

          I’ve been told to search for other things as there are a lot of opportunities out there. However, I’m getting dinged left right and centre EVERYWHERE and I’m really not sure what else to do as a career as IBD is what I really wanted to get into. I’ve applied for ER, Corp Finance (big 4 etc), smaller IBD boutiques, consulting and so on. Every year my application gets stronger but my hit rate gets weaker and weaker… this year I have had no success (including at firms that offer recruitment help like SEO london!)

          I have been networking but most people give me the generic lines: your at a target so you will be fine, you have a solid resume so you will be fine, its competitive, the economy is down, etc etc etc.

          Time to give up and move onto something else entirely?
          Any ideas what I can do? I’m really upset with this and dont know what to do.

          1. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            I can understand, especially given the economy in Europe. Continue speaking with people and networking – don’t give up. Know your strengths and how you can add value to people.

    2. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      If you’re in your junior year, you might want to apply for full time roles. Not sure if you are qualified for internships again if you’re looking at banks with structured classes/training programs

      1. woops i think it posted above your post lol

      2. The economy line is what I’m constantly told but they are taking people with:
        1) no internships
        2) people who apply online only, on the deadline
        3) people who apply with spelling mistakes, application errors, and people who have not even uploaded their cover letter
        and many many other cases. So I cannot buy the ‘economy is down’ statement anymore… (i don’t mean this rudely). In fact one BB said my application was one of the best they received (and they are a top BB) so rejections from everywhere else make no sense given that the people applying to that top BB probably applied elsewhere!
        Trust me when I say ‘I have seen it all’. I have spoke into so many people. no one has any idea why I’m not even getting to the interview stage. If I bomb the interview then thats my fault. But if they are not even considering me for an interview then thats just weird.
        I dont know what to do now. I have been to everyone I can. My application gets better and better, the value I can add gets better and better, but my hit rate gets worse and worse per year. What am I supposed to do? Trust me when I say no one has applied 4 times in a row (year on year) and still has the level of interest I do…

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Its hard to say because I haven’t spoken with you/worked with you before; can’t coach you on this forum!

          1. Fair point :) Is there something I can sign up to so I can get some advice/help? I’m really stuck here…

  122. Avatar
    Matt Larsen

    Hi Brian and Nicole,

    Great sight! thank you very much for the information.

    So I am technically a senior at a semi-target school (far away from NYC), 3.6 GPA, decent test score. Above average experience (wealth management JPM, some international experience). I pursued IBD last year and got a lot of interview/superdays. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any IBD offer after 30 interviews.

    I ended up interned at a small bank in NYC (BNY, BBH, Bank Street type) and not in IBD. I networked over the summer for full time but it seems like the job market is too slow this year.

    I am thinking about extending graduation to try another round for summer internship. The difficulty is how to approach my old network an HR about extending graduation(why they have to help me another time when I failed once?). Or should I find new people and network with them as if I am a normal junior? What do you think?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’m sorry to hear re what happened – it happens to the best of us!

      Extending graduation may help though there’s a risk that the market may not get better next year

      Regardless of whether you extend graduation or not you should still find new people and network with them as if you are a normal junior

  123. Going into 4th year as an accounting major at a non-target (although accounting program is in top 15 nationally), 3.6 GPA, work 25 hours a week during school year at IT company, worked there 60 hrs/week summer after freshman and sophomore year. Junior year competed in PWC xTax Competition. Several leadership positions on campus in well respected organizations. Summer after junior year interned at top asset management firm at Chicago Headquarters doing variance analysis work. While there took 14 courses through their online university including Intro to Corporate Valuation, Public Comparables Analysis, Acquisition Comparables Analysis, DCF Analysis, Merger Consequences Analyis, LBO Analysis. Do I have any chance of landing an IB internship this summer? If not, what should I shoot for?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Just apply and see how it goes. It may be more challenging since you don’t have IB experience and aren’t from a target but you can still try.

  124. I have read through your page and I am very impressed with all your work and suggestions. And I decided to bring up my case and ask for your advice.
    Ever since my graduation from business school last year, I’ve been staying at home as full time house wife and have not been in work force for more than a year.
    Now I want to return to work and find a job. I am not a student any more yet I don’t have any experience ever since graduation. What is your suggestion for this kind of situation? Out of work force now trying to return?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d figure out what you want to do first and then how your strengths and weaknesses can marry into that

  125. Hi Brian,

    First, thanks for a lot of valuable information on this website. I simply wanted to hear your opinion on my case. I’m a rising junior in a semi-target liberal arts school (GS, UBS, JPM(PWM) come to interview)with a 3.73 GPA, majoring in IR and Econ (my econ gpa is 3.83). I’m part of the school’s financial group that manages a portfolio. I’ve had a few internships my freshman summer, but they were not finance related, though i can drop some big names. This summer, I have an internship at a FT100 insurance company in Boston as a product management summer analyst (front-office)and another one in Asia at Standard Chartered Securities. I do not know the specific department that I’ll be working for yet since I got it through connections, but it won’t be IB-related(M&A advisory) or S&T. In fact, there’s a good chance that I’ll be working in one of their strategic depts. This coming fall I’m also looking to take a course on valuation and familiarize myself with the topic before the interview season. How do you think my chances are in getting IB summer internship at a BB, and what else can I work on at this point?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Your GPA is fine. Having work experience in IB & joining an investment club in your school will help. Network a lot too. Attend all info sessions.

      1. Thanks Nicole for your input. I would like to ask one more question if you don’t mind. I was just wondering if my work experiences that do not include IB experience would put me at a big disadvantage. Is it absolutely crucial to have IB-related experience beforehand if I want to secure the junior summer internship? Or do you think that my work experiences are effective enough and it all comes down to how I can spin them to match IB qualifications? Thanks!

        p.s. there is only one student finance/investment club and it is the same club that I’m part of.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          For junior summer internships – no it is not crucial to have IB related experience but it is useful to have it

          It will be useful if you can demonstrate your knowledge and passion in finance through your work and/or extra-curricular activities

          Yes spinning your experience is important so I think its a combination of both experience & your pitch

          1. Thanks Nicole. Fortunately, I’ll actually be working at Standard Chartered corporate advisory (IBD) dept’s M&A group. Just found out yesterday. I’m very glad that I’ll have some kind of exposure to investment banking, but the downside is that it is only for 4 weeks. What do you think is the most important aspect of the work that I should keep in mind for my junior summer? Thanks in advance.

          2. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            Network a lot. Be a team player. Try to be staffed on interesting projects despite your short period there

    2. Hi Steve, I have the chance to intern at SCB too and would like to know a little bit more about your experience. Any way we can contact?

  126. Just a brief introduction about me: I am currently enrolled in top-10 MBA located in EU. My background is in consulting, mainly strategy and organization for Insurance and Pharmaceutical clients.

    My intention is to move my career to IB. Since I didn’t get any summer internship in IB/ boutique, I am thinking about any IB training program.

    A specific program caught my attention. The name is Global Banking Training. The programme is different from others because they staff delegates to work in a boutique owned by the same founder of the training company. The objective is to teach all the usual IB tools and methodologies on-the-job.

    Have you ever heard about them? My concern is that I couldn’t get any feedback on internet and I am not pretty sure about the real identity of this people organizing the programme and the company itself (both the training company and the boutique). The founder says he has 10+ years of experience in IB. Moreover they ask the whole payment (3600 British pounds) in advance.

    The good thing is that they staff you in a company and they give you reference for future job search, that would be ideal for someone like me because I can put a finance experience in my CV during the summer and I can eventually network with someone in London.

    What do you think? Would you go for more traditional IB training program?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I haven’t heard of them. Readers may be able to give you better suggestions. You may want to check out

  127. I’m a current undergraduate sophomore. I understand the networking and work experienced required during my junior year, but how should I be preparing during this current year? Also, should I be looking for a summer internship at a BB just like I would be hypothetically doing during my junior year?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Sure. Join an investment club. Start networking and attending info sessions. Learn as much about finance as you can and try to build your pitch of why banking…

  128. Hello,

    I go to a semi-target-to-target school and after getting nothing from the internship recruiting process in winter, I got an off-cyclical internship at a regional private equity fund (Not a big-name firm at all) so I’ve been doing it after taking a quarter off. My three-month internship contract expires in late June. I still graduate on time and will apply for full-time positions this year.

    1) Do you think I should extend my internship for at least a month, or rather focus on networking/interview prep over the summer? I mean, if I have no July/August summer internship, will that be questionable for the bankers, even though I have 3 months of finance experience?

    2) Also, what are my chances compared to those who apply for full-time with investment banking internships? Just like IB interns, I am doing a lot of modelling and PowerPoint and I work 70+ hours. Will my PE internship be ‘leverageable’ for FT?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      1. You can extend your internship till July/early Aug and focus on networking/interviewing prep before you start school.

      2. Yes though admittedly experience w a BB/brand name PE firm may look more appealing to interviewers; depends on what you’ve learned in your experience!

      1. Nicole,

        Thanks for your reply! Just to give you an update, I received a DCM internship offer from a brand-name IB branch in my home country. With my intention to land a full-time job in M&A, do you think I should take this internship or continue with the private equity? Is DCM leverageable enough for M&A?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Congrats! You might find this article useful

          Do you have an offer with the PE firm already? If so, you might want to ask them what you’ll be doing for them. If you want to break into M&A, the PE offer may be more relevant though you can also argue that you can transfer internally within the bank if you take the DCM offer

  129. Hi Brian,

    I’m a student majoring in Finance and Econometrics at a target school in Asia, just finishing up my sophomore year. I have a 3.91 / 4.00 GPA and decent extracurriculars but have no previous work experience.

    I made the mistake of applying to only a few firms (and bulge bracket ones at that) and got rejected from without an interview at a single one of them. I realized my mistake later, but even after applying to smaller firms (of which there are very few in my country of study), I was rejected by all of them without an interview.

    As a result, I do not have a sophomore year summer internship and it is unlikely that I will be getting one. I’d be really grateful if you could scrutinize my situation and answer a few of my questions:

    1) Do I have ANY shot with recruiting for my junior year internship without a sophomore year internship ? What can I do during my Sophomore year summer to make myself a more viable candidate ? (I have literally NO family connections – I’ll be the first one in my family who’ll actually finish college. So I’m afraid I can’t leverage anything from that angle to get an internship.)

    2) Given my GPA, would you recommend that I try to pursue a Masters program in order to have a better shot at recruiting ? Or should get ready to delay graduation ?

    3) In your experience, does networking really work all that well in Asia ? I’ve been for several networking sessions and met alumni, but most people cringe when you ask them for their business cards. I actually developed a strong relationship with a VP at a MM bank, which went completely south when I asked him for a referral.

    The job market is pretty dismal at the moment, and I’m honestly scared (and a little disappointed that my hard work’s going to go to waste). I’ve cold called over 50 firms with no good responses. I have no family or personal connections to leverage (unlike most of the people at my college).

    A lot of people have told to give up on IB or even financial services as a career option considering that I don’t know anyone on the inside. However, I genuinely love finance and I am certain I want to work in the industry. I’d appreciate any advice you could give me regarding my situation.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      1) Yes. Join an investment club. Gain unpaid or paid internship at boutiques/2nd-3rd tier firms ideally doing IB work.

      2) Your 3.91 GPA is more than enough. As long as you achieve above 3.6 you are fine.

      3) Yes networking works in Asia, at least it worked for me and my friends.

      4) Do you go to a target? Have you tried your alumni network and your professors?

      5) No, if you really want to break in and are cut out for it, be persistent. Continue networking. Do (1), take finance/accounting classes (better yet major), get some work experience in finance, etc…

      1. Hi Nicole,

        Thanks for your helpful reply. Just 2 questions:

        1) It’s almost impossible to join an investment club in our university post freshman year. I have been unable to even source any kind of unpaid internship. Is there something I can do on my own to show my interest ?

        2) I do go to a semi-target: as in, banks do recruit interns and full time analysts from my college directly – albeit obviously not as much as Ivy league universities. I was wondering whether I should hedge myself by applying for a good Masters in Finance/Economics program (LSE, Oxford, Princeton).

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          1. Why is it impossible to join the club after freshman year? Read up a lot about the markets and don’t give up!
          2. Yes, if you have the time to do so, apply and see how it goes – you never know!

  130. Is analyst exchange program really worth it? The program is 14k for the 3 months program. It used to be 5k for the one week training which covers everything. What is your opinion on the program?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      The program has its merits. Whether you should sign up or not is your call though.

  131. Hey Brian, great site and guides!

    I’m currently a junior at Cornell University with a 3.86 GPA, I’m majoring in finance and I have a internship at IBM in their strategy consulting division. Do you think I have a good shot of landing an IBD full-time position?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Your chances will increase significantly if you can demonstrate your interest in finance either via an internship in a BB/boutique IB or involvement in a finance-related club (investment club etc)

  132. Hi,

    I am not targeting to get in IB, but I am targeting to get into research (fixed income, commodity or macro-forecasting) at IB.

    I got an internship at the Ministry of Finance-Economic and International Division. How would you suggest that I spin this to look appealing on my resume for full-time banking recruitment?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      If you have done any research work at your internship, elaborate on that and discuss your impacts.

  133. Avatar
    currently a Sophomore

    I am currently a sophomore looking to get into investment banking. I wasn’t able to get an investment banking internship for the summer (do they recruit sophomores?) so I am instead doing a 12 week internship/leadership program at Discover Financial. My question is, will investment bankers think less of me/am i at a disadvantage when they assess my resume come junior year because I interned at a commercial bank instead of an investment bank?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I don’t know if they will think “less” of you given your internship though you might want to try your best to secure one in a BB during your junior year’s summer. Know how to spin our story. And yes banks usually recruit juniors for summer internships

  134. Avatar


    I have a GPA of 3.8-4.0 (first class), at a target school in the UK, relevant degree, lots of good linked in/etc contacts, 3 IB internships at boutique, a whole bunch of ECs/sports etc and a solid resume in general (shown it to 100+ people). This year – I only got 1 BB interview (top M&A firm) and they said I had one of the best paper applications they received for the internship. However, I got no other interviews despite having worked with people from BBs for my society work, and trying extremely hard in general (also learnt the BIWS stuff). I now have no summer offer lined up and see time and time again people with lower grades, no previous experience, no connections etc get through and Im getting frustrated and fed up with the industry recruiting methods. This is my third round of applications (spring weeks, summer last year, summer this year) and am stuck because I seem to do ‘the same’ every year – just one interview, which I fail after round 1 over something really small/something they could overlook (and have with other people i know).

    Im not sure what to do now. I don’t want to blindly keep submitting applications and trying when they won’t even ever consider me. I don’t even know what other job to go into because nothing else truly appeals. I have asked contacts whats going wrong and they have no idea themselves. So Im stuck…. Any suggestions?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I can understand how frustrating it is.

      I don’t think you believe that you can achieve what you want, and your beliefs might be sabotaging you though I may be wrong.

      I’d suggest you to visualize you getting the job you want in the morning for 10 mins a day. This helped me.

      While hard work is appreciated, don’t try too hard – go with the flow. This sounds counter-intuitive and I am not telling you to be passive. Continue networking and talking to people. Don’t give up.

  135. Hi,

    I am a junior at a target school. I couldn’t get any investment banking internship and I am thinking about taking a quarter off so that I can have another shot at BB. If I reapply next year, will the banks be biased against me, in resume screening processes and in interviews? I mean, I did networking, got many interviews including a superday, but couldn’t make it through. If they remember me in the process, will that be the reason for rejection? Or are they not going to care as long as I am qualified? Do many people eventually get an internship after trying once again?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      No. Yes. I don’t know the stats! Try again!

  136. Hi M&I,

    I’m a Mechanical Engineering undergrad, currently in 3rd year in Scotland (there are 4 years of undergrad here). I have a strong interest in the financial world and markets and have thus worked with a private equity firm, a wealth advisory/IFA firm and a boutique investment bank and am currently due to attend a spring insight week held by Nomura Securities.
    After applying to nigh on all BBs for a summer internship in London (CS, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan etc.), my applications were unfortunately turned down, due to lack of networking or strength in my application.
    I am now planning on working in a summer program in asset/fund management or in corporate finance in Bombay for this summer.
    My question was regarding whether if I can reapply for a summer analyst internship program next summer (2013)? And thus hopefully end up landing an offer with these BBs. A friend of mine who is at a BB said it is of course possible, just that I would have to state that I planned to defer my graduation/was considering a masters/was planning to travel. If towards the end of my internship, I stated that I had reconsidered these options and was happy to stay in employment, would that be an option available to me?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Sure. However it depends on whether they have enough spots available and whether they really like you or not. If your excuse is that you are planning to defer graduation they might ask you for proof

  137. Hi,

    I am a junior at a target university with a prior finance internship and I am an international student. I am still empty-handed and I am looking at two options. I can go back home for summer and pursue an internship in one of the BBs, or I can shoot for a local boutique or any internship related to finance in the U.S. Which one would be better for the full-time recruiting? I am wondering if the firms would be looking more for brand names than the relevant experience here in the U.S. Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Internship with a BB, ideally in the States would be your best option if you want to stay in the States

      Otherwise, internship with a BB internationally (ideally in a major financial hub) is still better than an internship at a no-name firm unless the work you are doing is directly related to IB work

      1. Thanks for your reply, Nicole. I am a little bit concerned because my prior internship was in my home country and if I do another internship at home again, that means all my internships are local. (Another concern is that the use of English is minimal there, even in BBs, and bankers know that) Can this really be an issue? Or is it OK as long as the internship is at a BB firm?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Yes, this can be an issue. Try your best to look for a role you want in the States in the meantime then. But also keep your option back home open

  138. As if your article was a playbook, I’ve landed post-interview with nothing, but still on two feet and ready to keep fighting. (I’m a junior, so this was the big one.)
    No bulge bracket offers, no good finance offers.
    I have but one backup, and it’s technically not even in finance. It’s really more information. I’m talking Bloomberg. I figure here I’m going to master data and analytics and will perhaps be a better candidate next year for investment banking. In this an acceptable alternative route you speak of in the above article? Or should I seek out something else?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d seek out something that gives you exposure to financial modelling/valuation, even working at a third-tier/boutique would help you

      If you have nothing else on the table, take Bloomberg and try to network with bankers intensively during your time there

  139. International student from Africa, Graduating 2013, No relevant finance internship because of Visa status, Finance major, math minor, non-target state school. 3.7 GPA. I don’t mind middle office risk management as i plan to get into quant after grad school. What are my chances of getting ib or risk and how do i increase them without going out of status (no paid internships). i was thinking of taking advantage of diversity recruitment at GS or other firms. This website has taught me a lot.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Network a lot and know how to pitch your story. Try to land yourself an internship for the summer of 2012. Good luck!

      1. Thanks I currently have three offers all from cold calling and follow up through email(elite boutiques). Do you think one internship is enough to break into a BB of course with networking and the like or should i try to land another one in the fall?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          I think one is sufficient but in this market, it can help if you land another one in the fall (if your GPA can still remain above 3.5)

  140. Hey I narrowly missed out on a penultimate year internship in trading at a major bb because I simply didn’t apply to enough places.

    I’ve been cold calling and networking and have probably secured an internship in finance but not trading.

    To secure a grad-job should I apply for grad schemes in my final year or internships and extend graduation with a relevant masters?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      You should try applying for jobs in your final year and relevant masters programs. Depending on your results, outcome, you can decide then

  141. I am currently a sophmore, a industrial and systems engineer with a concentration in financial systems. So far I have no summer internship possibility. I was wondering what would increase my chances to get into a top IB program the following summer. Would a small office subset off from the corporate headquarters help as a financial advisor in wealth management or sales. Also what about online summer boot camps, or seminars to look good on your resume? Any feedback on how to look better would be great?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Landing your first finance internship would help. Courses – I would recommend you to check out

  142. Hello,

    So I’m currently a Sophomore at a large Public University (not near New York). I just switched my major from Pre-Med to Finance and am obviously interested in IB. I was just admitted to an Investment Group (club of Finance majors in our Honors Business College. We manage over $1 million of real cash donated by alumni in the markets (great experience). I am kind of new to networking for IB but I know that is HUGE in the long run. I was just offered a Summer internship with Morgan Stanley in one of their Wealth Management firms. Now my plan right now is to set my self up the best I can to get into a summer internship my Junior year in a Top Investment Bank. My question to you is should I go with this FA Internship with MS and do my best to network within MS for IB next year…or should I continue to network as it is early February and go for a summer internship with a local Boutique?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Also can you offer any advice on where to begin networking for IB?

      1. Avatar
        M&I - Nicole

        If you do the internship at MS, begin within MS. If not, start with your contacts. Also try cold-calling

    2. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I think the internship at MS will open you quite a few doors so I’d go for that internship, unless you really don’t want to work in WM, or that team in MS. You are taking quite a big risk to forgo your internship for a “potential” offer.

      1. Hello Nicole,

        Thanks for the response! So I decided to go with the Internship with Morgan Stanley in Wealth Management. I really like the team I’ll be working with and I’ll be interning for one man in particular who has been in the business for a LONG time and is well known as the top FA in the Northwestern US. He has many large net-worth clients across the nation. You say to network for an IB opportunity inside Morgan Stanley. What would be your advice on how I go about this? What are some ways I can use my time while at the MS WM firm to network for IB? Methods after my internship?
        I would think that it would be innapropriate for me to ask around about IB while I am an intern in WM…

        Thanks in advance.

  143. Hello Brian,

    I failed to get an internship in an investment bank but got a summer intern at BCG. I still want to get a full-time in banking. Do you think there’s still hope? Btw I’m from target school but without finance experience.

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Yes. Continue networking and applying for finance jobs

  144. Hello Brian,

    I found this website informational and helpful. I am MBA graduate from an average school, didn’t got any opportunity from career service dept at my school and was left-out with single option to make transition as business financial analyst and so far have worked with a leading wealth management firm and currently working as project management analyst at commercial bank. I would like to know that if in future I mention some relevant internship experience then can I avoid mentioning my previous experience on resume as business analyst in order to avoid irrelevance?


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Thanks. Yes.

  145. If I can’t get into an IB internship for the 3rd year; would it be wise to consider an accounting/insurance or any finance related internship?

    Would this really hurt my chances, even if I go to a non-target?

    I’m a tad confused as on here you say it will, yet on efinancialcareers it implies the opposite saying ‘any’ finance experience can help.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole


      No – it is all what you make out of it.

  146. Hi,

    I’m a 2nd year undergrad at a Canadian business school looking for a summer internship, ideally in IB. However, it’s rare for second years to get offers so realistically any internship at a bank/firm on the front-side.
    I’m just wondering what exactly I should be doing at this point to increase my chances of landing an internship? I realize I am a bit late to the networking party.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Join an investment club. Learn to trade. Understand investment banking and learn valuation. Network with people from your school who will be joining the banks you are interested in working for. Attend banks’ information sessions.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I will definitely start on those.
        I realize that a lot of the boutique/smaller firms do not actively recruit – should I be cold-emailing them at this time to ask about any summer opportunities?

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole


  147. Hello Brian and Nicole,

    Just out of interest, a quick question regarding internships and the recruiting process.

    In your experience of recruiting, was there ever a time where someone without an internship was accepted over someone with one due to other merits demonstrated in their application? If so, can you provide an example?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Can I clarify your question? Suppose Jon and Tom are applying to bank B. Jon has no internship experience at all. Tom has experience with bank A. Have there been examples in which interviewers choose Jon over Tom?

      I don’t know of any personally because Jon is a hard sell over Tom if Tom has had good internship experience w a BB’s IBD division. It depends on the quality of the two candidates as well as the quality of the internship experience Tom, in this instance, has.

      1. Hi Nicole,

        Yes, that was my question. Perhaps I should have clarified it; are there any other ways to demonstrate a candidate is ideal for banking as opposed to having had an internship? Perhaps it might be better to give you some idea of my background so you can answer my queries more effectively.

        I am a recent BA Economics and Chinese Studies graduate with a Double First Class Honours and College Scholar award from a reasonably respectable university (among top 200 in the world). I am now studying for a Master’s degree in Economics at the same college. I spent my penultimate year studying at Shanghai University, China, which made me fluent in Mandarin Chinese. I also speak Arabic and French. I am the financial officer at a university society in my college and I am currently trying to improve my CV through doing business development for smaller companies (e.g. the student banking promotional project that was discussed on another page).

        My only problem, though, is internships are not normally offered to students doing a Master’s degree. It would not have been possible for me to get an internship in China as there was the visa issue, as well as the fact that the semester dates for Shanghai University clashed with internship start dates. So, is it now the case that since I don’t have an internship, banks will just discard my application regardless of any other achievements I may have on my resume? I was at a networking event at my college and spoke to Bank Of America and Citigroup; they were not so insistent on an internship for as long as a candidate can show other skills that could potentially prove just as valuable. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

        Also, I just have one other question that I hope you can clarify. While this site discusses under the heading of investment banking, is this being used as an umbrella term for all kinds of functions within the bank? e.g. Corporate banking, Private banking, Global Markets, etc?

        Thank you for your time; I appreciate your assistance with my questions.

        1. Avatar
          M&I - Nicole

          Hi Michael, thanks for your message. Can you please limit your questions and comments to one paragraph max? Otherwise, I’d suggest you to take a look at our coaching services page.

  148. Hello M&I,

    I am currently completing a gap-year internship (between my penultimate and last year of study) in a European bank which will end 3-4 months before the summer internships to which I have applied. Due to local regulation, my current contract can’t be prolonged. Do you think it’s possible to ask for “extended” summer internships? If yes, is it best to talk about it during interviews or after being accepted? If I can’t get any extension, what do you recommend me to do during these 3-4 months?

    Best regards

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I don’t think extended internships are common though I’ve heard of such cases and you should try and ask for an extension

      If not, try to land another internship or take courses related to finance / IB but the former option is more appealing

  149. Hello Brian,

    Just one quick thing I wish to clarify regarding internships. I was at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Presentation recently and one of the recruiters stated, “Approximately 70-80% of interns are converted to full-time hires”.

    Does this mean that those applying to the graduate programme are not necessarily in competition with those who have done internships, as interns if successful are offered full-time roles? Obviously, this will mean fierce competition for the 20-30% of roles remaining, but does it also mean that anyone who applies to a graduate programme directly is more likely to be up against those candidates who have not done an internship?

    Best regards,


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Not necessarily, given some interns might want to switch divisions and they might be competing w other grads for roles in that particular division
      Not necessarily, because those without internship experience who apply to graduate programs at A bank might also compete with others who have done internships at B bank

    2. BAML conversion rate isn’t that high, even though they often claim it is at info sessions. I’m interning there now and HR just told us that the conversion rate is more like 65%

  150. Hi,

    I am a senior at a non target who was able to network my way to 5 initial interviews with BBs and smaller prestigious firms. I only received one final round interview and unfortunately did not get an offer. I also have an offer from a small consulting firm and a Big 4 valuations group. At this point I am leaning towards delaying my graduation as I feel my previous experience (with the Big4) will lend itself very well to landing an internship, whereas it seemed just short for a ft offer. I was wondering what you believed was the best route to ending up in a bulge bracket?


    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Sorry to hear but you did a great job for making it to the final round!

      I guess you can delay graduation though there is a risk that you might still not be able to land a full time offer just FYI. Not sure if internships are easier to get than full time offers but if you really want to work in a BB and are willing to delay grad, go for it!

  151. Hi,
    I have question. I did internship in process advisory at kpmg and private equity fund of funds and real estate asset management. Currently I am studying at ESCP Europe (one of top business schools in Europe). I am fluent in russian and german. Do you think I have chances for an M&A internship? If not what would increase my chances most (which kind of Internship)? Thanks

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Not sure of your chances because I don’t know of your presentation skills and how you sell/pitch your story to interviewers. what wld increase ur chances? Networking Network like a ninja

  152. Hi Brian/Nicole, if there are no investment banks in the area where I go to school, is it more relevant during the school year to intern for the endowment manager of a well-respected Ivy League school, a fixed asset-oriented boutique private equity/capital management firm, or a bulge-bracket asset manager primarily focused on trading securities? And which one do you think would best prepare me for an IB internship next summer? Thank you very much.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Depends on which area you are more interested in and the type of work you will be doing for each. I’d say the PE firm wld be more relevant to IB. Also make sure you get along w the teams. Finding a good boss is very crucial at this stage of your career.

      1. Thank you Nicole.

  153. Hi,

    I have a very big question. I am now entering my 2nd year at a Target Business School in a well-known University. I just decided this summer that I want to be a a financial analyst by the time I graduate. Looking into your site for about a month provided me with a lot of useful insight, however, I’m still not sure about what kind of job that I’d be doing if I manage to get an internship next summer (meaning i have to start networking and applying by now). What can I possibly do at big banks as someone who just finishes 2nd year undergraduate?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      You can intern at different departments as long as they have openings. I’d go to the website of the banks, figure out which depts I am interested in working for and network with people in such departments. I’d also figure out my strengths/weakness and find out which dept suits me best. Speak to as many people as possible, network, and you’ll have a better idea. Hard to guide you more on this forum

  154. Hello Brian,
    I’m in the undergraduate senior year (BS in Finance), GPA 3.6, at a >150 ranked (State) University with no Investment Banking summer internship and zero “networking”. Just have some part time job (18 month) as “assistant” in a very small accounting firm and in retail shops (6 months). I plan graduate in June next year being 19, but reading all these posts I got panic as for my real possibilities to get into Investment Banking. So, what would be my best option: 1) make window for 1 or 2 summer internships before graduation, and in the meantime go for another Finance related major?; 2) to graduate as planned in June 2012 and go for an MSF (1 year program) making window for at least 1 summer internship?; 3) Any other option available?… I also plan to go for an MBA after 3 to 4 years of full time job experience in I.B. But, what’s my best way to start? Thank you for all your great advises.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      I’d say 2 is better cause you can still make room for a summer internship and you have another degree too.

  155. Hi, I didn’t get a summer internship in investment banking, but instead I got an internship at Goldman Sachs Dubai office within their Finance Group which isn’t a back office sort of job, but rather a middle office internship with a lot of accounting related work. I’m considering delaying graduation in order to get another shot at investment banking summer analyst internships. What would you recommend?

    P.S. Your website is great!!

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Hey congrats on getting the internship w GS’ Finance Group. Yes I know it might be your dream job for now though you can always try to make a move to banking from the Finance Group. This article might help you out

      I can’t say if you should delay graduation or not.

    2. Hi, Your site is amazing. I wish I visited this site 5 months before!I am a junior in a target IVY business school with GPA> 3.9. Though I had couple of BB interviews for Equity Research related positions I could not secure a summer internship position. Now I accepted an internship position with a Big 4 in Advisory and transaction services in a Middle East country.I am really apprehensive about landing a full time position in a BB. Do I stand a chance of making it to a BB in Equity Research or IB? Would appreciate your comments.

      1. Avatar
        M&I - Nicole

        Network a lot and prepare well for FT recruitment going forward. Know how to spin your experience at TAS. You have a decent chance at a BB though it can be challenging since you’ll be competing with people who have summer internship experience at BBs

        1. Thank you Nicole. Would a TAS internship with Big4 in a Middle East country would be a disadvantage for someone looking for a FTP in a BB in US?

          1. Avatar
            M&I - Nicole

            Not a disadvantage, but I think IB interviewers might not necessarily find your TAS experience useful

  156. Hi, I didn’t get any investment banking internships but did get an internship at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney doing Global Wealth Management. It is basically a place with financial advisers and brokers. How would that look in applying next year for full-time investment banking offers? Like 0%?

    1. Still helpful… do a search here for wealth management internship to see a few reader interviews.

  157. Hey Brian,
    First of all I need to thank you for this site. I followed all of the cold calling advise and landed a Investment banking internship at a small boutique. I was freaking out because it was early June and i didn’t have an offer but everything worked out.

    I am wondering if working at a small investment bank will put me at a disadvantage during full time recruiting? I know it doesn’t make any sense for me to think about this now but will someone working at a well known firm in PWM or corporate finance have an advantage over me? I am also an economics major and feel that banks will prefer accounting and finance majors instead. Is there anything I can do in the meantime that will improve my chances (besides networking, which I started a few weeks ago)?

    1. Yes slightly but it is much better than nothing – about the same vs pwm and corp fin and others

  158. Hi,

    I have a question here:

    I’m a rising senior. I don’t have any finance-related working experience nor internship.
    I have my own trading account. I do trading stocks and Forex myself sometimes.
    What do IB people think about this if I put this (Independent Trader) in the working experience category?


    1. It’s fine but your chances aren’t good if you don’t have internships – almost easier to do a Master’s program at this stage

  159. Hello Brian,

    I have a question with regards to options this summer. I just finished my 2nd-year of undergrad (Finance) with a very good GPA and work experience so far, and didn’t get any investment banking summer offers (summer offers for 2nd-year students are rare in Canada, unfortunately).

    I’ve got two options now. I could go work at a hedge fund / PE shop, where I’d be doing mostly due diligence research on an industry sector where they’re making an acquisition. The form is located in a different city than the main banking hub in my country (Toronto), though, so it would put a dent in my networking.

    The second option is that I’ve been accepted to do intensive summer coursework at the London School of Economics in Econometrics and Competitive Strategy/Game Theory. That would only be for the 2nd half of the summer though, which would allow me to spend a month in Toronto networking. It’d also be the only international experience on my resume.

    So, what do you think would be the best option to pick with a view towards picking up a banking internship next year?


    1. If you still have 2 years left go with the HF / PE firm as you still have time to network after you finish that internship

  160. hi, Brian. I’d appreciate any kind of advice. i’m deciding on two internships for this summer.
    1) investment banking boutique firm in ny
    2) investment management/private wealth management boutique firm in hong kong

    which one do you recommend? is there going to be a big difference between these two when I try to go for a junior summer intern ship at BB? Thanks!

    1. If you want to stay in NY or the US in general, pick #1. If you want to stay in HK, pick #2.

      1. thank you for your reply.

        How about in terms of industries – rather than locations? Which one would be better if I want to get a job in 1) investment banking 2) s&t?

        1. They are similar. But most people would say NY is better for IB since you see all different deal types there whereas HK tends to be focused on ECM as opposed to debt and M&A deals.

  161. Avatar

    Hey Brian,

    My background: junior from a non-target liberal arts school with 2 internships in PE and VC at an emerging market (Vietnam). I am still naked this summer in the U.S. Would you advise me to go home and take the summer offer from one of the biggest IB firms or camp in NYC and keep cold calling people while attending classes at NYU or IB Institute?

    Would it hurt my chances for full-time recruitment if I do not have any internship experience in the U.S.?

    Thanks man,


    1. That is a tough one. If the offer is at a bulge bracket bank in Vietnam, I would probably take that. If it’s with a smaller or lesser-known firm, then you’re better off staying in the US and continuing to cold-call.

      1. Avatar

        Hey man,

        Thanks for your help. What do you mean by Buldge Bracket? Are we talking about the GS, JP, MS or more like say top 5 IB firms in Vietnam? (most of BB firms here do not have huge presences in Vietnam)


        1. Bulge bracket as in the well-known international firms you mentioned, top 5 IB in Vietnam would not work as well unless they are somehow known outside the country as well.

  162. Which is better for a summer internship?
    1) Boutique private equity firm
    2) Corporate finance role at KPMG
    3) Equity research role at small boutique fund management firm (Does it matter if it’s sell-side or buy-side?)

    1. I would say #1 is best because it’s PE, but if you want to do Big 4 afterward then #2 is the best. Equity research wouldn’t help as much as PE assuming your goal is IB or PE.

  163. 1, from your point of view, which company provides a better growth opportunity in the long run. Finance manager @Microsoft China or middle office associates @Citigroup Hongkong? (Same compensation, and since citi’s is a middle office job, do not think there will be a big bonus)

    2, as for the citi job, it is the Financial Management Associates program (FMA); it is a rotational middle office program. Associates will take 3 rotations among treasury, strategy, M&A (internal M&A), financial planning/ analysis, audit/risk control functions, and will become VP if they can graduate after 3 rotations(18 months).

    a. What are the chances of switch from this to front office jobs, like capital market after graduating from FMA?

    b. I am 35 years old, is it worthwhile to give up a leisure&stable job @Microsoft and work my ass off for a possible better future?

    1. Probably Finance Manager at Microsoft China since it sounds like front office.

      It is difficult to switch into the front office from MO or BO – search here for “back office” or “middle office” to see why. At this stage you’re probably better off just going with Microsoft unless you want to make a lot more money in the future.

      1. Thank you very much! Brian

        1. Would you please elaborate a little bit about why “Finance Manager at Microsoft China sounds like front office”? I thought it is more like a senior accounting job.

        2. People told me that it is easier to switch from commercial/operational banking, such as Citigroup Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, to a finance job at a corporate. But it is hard to transfer from a corporate finance job to a banking job. Do you have any comments on that? Thanks.

        3. If I keep staying at the commercial/operational banking job@ Citigroup Hong Kong, Normally, what is the long term development opportunity and compensation growth comparing to the corporate finance job @Microsoft China?


        1. I really don’t know as it depends on what exactly you would be doing, so would need more description. I am not sure we are using the same definitions for commercial/operational banking and corporate finance but it should not be that difficult to move over. I can’t really answer your last question as I just don’t know enough about Microsoft China or commercial banking to say – this site is really about investment banking and private equity and while I try to answer other questions when possible, sometimes I just don’t know enough.

  164. I am currently finishing my sophomore year at The College of New Jersey, a non target school. I have an internship with a small financial advisor just to receive some experience and boost up my resume. However I want to know what would be my best way to boost my resume for investment banking in order to receive an investment banking internship next year?

    1. Try to work at a local boutique bank, either unpaid or part-time during the school year.

  165. Brian,

    I am a sophomore at a target university, and I was not able to land any boutique/MM internships for this summer.
    However, I have an offer for a back office position at a large hedge fund. Should I take this position even though the skills do not translate to ib or should I be cold calling more boutiques? If I do take it how will this look on my resume when I go for junior year recruiting?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. If you’re just a sophomore I would take the back office HF internship but keep networking and try to get a school-year internship set up with a local boutique

  166. Brian,
    I’ve definitely enjoyed reading your website over the past few months of the recruiting process. You’re probably the best person to ask for advice from at this stage. My situation is this: I’m a junior with a 3.7 GPA at a semi-target school (Ivy, but not Harvard/Princeton/Yale), spent three summers at a boutique consulting firm and one in the back-office at a mutual fund (auditing); I also run a ~$200k/yr company. Unfortunately, I didn’t get many interviews in i-banking: I applied to the eight Bulge Brackets that recruit at my school (several give out only 2 or 3 interviews) and one boutique, and only got interviews at Barclays and the boutique (I also got a Goldman Sales & Trading interview, but whatever). I got to final rounds at both places and didn’t get an offer from either. I had a few other interviews, from consulting firms to investment advisors, but none of them panned out despite advancing to two other final rounds. I followed up with every rejection and was told that I had the credentials and did well with the few technical questions I was asked, but it came down to who would be the best fit.

    So, I ended up taking an offer from my old consulting firm, this time to work in my choice of their Asian offices. However, I found out yesterday that they were unable to secure work permits for me in either country I was considering. I can still work in the home office but I spent three years there and it probably wouldn’t add anything to my resume. Definitely something to keep in my back pocket, though.

    It’s March 30 and I don’t have an internship. I know if I don’t do something attractive this summer, my GPA and activities and past experiences won’t really matter. I need to find something, and quick. I don’t even know where to look, though–OCR at my school is over, and there isn’t much in the way of relevant positions left on the job board. One thing that’s plagued me in the process is that I have no family or friend connections in the industry–I tried the whole networking thing, but it didn’t get anywhere with anyone.

    So my question is, now what do I do? How do I salvage this awful situation? How do I find out which firms still have front-office positions that are hiring, and how can I get to the interview stage at these places?


    1. At this point I would spend a month or two cold-calling local boutique banks (or expand the region to cover nearby cities) aggressively (there are several interviews/case studies on this under Recruiting). If that doesn’t work, I would take the consulting offer.

      1. Brain.

        I’d just like to say what a great help this site has been. I networked as aggressively as I could and totally redid my resume according to the template you have posted. I also created my personal ‘story,’ something that I didn’t really have before because I didn’t really think I had one. It turns out I was able to draw on past to create something approaching compelling, and using your tips worked in my strengths from prior experiences. After a lot of work and a good bit of luck, things seem to have worked out positively and I will be doing banking at a bulge bank this summer.

        I just wanted to thank you again for providing this incredible resource free-of-charge. It proved to be much more useful than the advice of friends, career development folks, and even the Vault Guide.

        Thanks again!

        1. Cool glad to hear it and congrats on the offer.

  167. Hi Brian,
    First I want to say that you’re doing an amazing job, you’re a true lifesaver. I’d appreciate some advice on my situation, if possible.
    I’m at a non/semi-target university (top30 undergrad, BusinessWeek) with a below average GPA. I’ve had the option to do two six months internships, and my first one was at MSSB PWM, and my second one, which I’m currently on, is an AM firm ($6 billion AUM). Last summer I didn’t have an internship because I was focusing on a social entrepreneurial venture, similar to Tom’s Shoes, and I wasn’t interested in IB at the time. I graduate in April 2012.
    I feel like the best option for me would be to delay my graduation by one semester, which will give me the opportunity to get an SA offer next summer and raise my GPA, which I believe I can raise to 3.5-3.6 before graduation. Is this a good idea?
    Also, will the fact that I didn’t get an internship after my sophomore year hurt me? Can I somehow benefit or spin my social entrepreneurial venture, especially if I manage to raise capital for it? I know being an interesting person could sometimes make or break an interview, so would I stand out, in a good way, if I put the venture on my resume?

    Thanks a ton for everything!

    1. Yes delaying graduation is probably the best idea. You can spin what you did into sounding relevant to finance especially if you did fund-raising

  168. Hi there,

    I am a second year student at a not target but still well regarded university. I did not manage to get a front office internship in investment banking despite much effort. Ideally I wish to go into investment banking but have managed to get an internship within finance at a very large american BB bank.

    What are my chances of getting the following jobs after I finish university.

    1) Financial advisory graduate role at Big 4 accountancy
    2) Graduate role at BB
    3) Graduate role at Boutique
    4) Summer internship at BB or boutique and take a year out.


    1. You can’t get an internship after you’ve already graduated. Big 4 is the easiest of those, boutique is harder, BB is the hardest.

      1. Thanks very much for your answer, you have a great website going here, I wish i found it earlier. will BBs and/or boutiques consider people for investment banking full time recruiting with a finance internship.

  169. Hey M&I,

    I secured an internship at a FT 500 company in marketing and general management after I did not land a finance internship. I have the opportunity to do another mini-internship at a small boutique investment bank. I really want to remain very competitive for the full time and I went to a top 5 undergrad, go to a top 7 business school, and was a former military officer. Please give me some any suggestions I what I should do. Should I say no to the FT 100 company and do a summer internship at a no brand boutique bank? Thanks.

    1. Can you do both? Maybe negotiated the mini-internship to start after your main internship ends, or ask if you can do it part-time / during the school year.

      1. If I cannot get the summer internship for the small boutique bank, I would be able to do a internship for a small PE firm. Would that be a good way to go? And would I be able to get full time interviews (will keep on networking)?

        1. Yes a small PE internship is a good idea and you could still get FT interviews

  170. Hi,

    I’m studying business administration in vienna/ austria since Oct 2010 ( first year) and i really want to work in finance.
    I couldn’t land an intership so far. Since Jan 2011 i have a job (20h/ week) as a call center agent at unicredit. Most time i call retail customers to convince them to meet their advisor, who plans to sell them something. i also take care of stock exchange orders and customers that didn’t pay their credits in time.
    Networking didn’t went well so far and most BB in Germany / Austria ask for 2nd year students.
    Should i contiune cold calling and hope for an internship? Or would it be better to continue working and list one year of work experience in my CV by 2012?

    thanks for your help!

    1. I wouldn’t worry too much, you will start having better luck next year… most of the time banks only want 2nd/3rd year students.

      1. Thanks!
        What do you think of my call center job? Will it be useful for appyling?

        1. It’s not terribly useful but no experience hurts.

  171. Hey M&I,

    I am a student in my penultimate year of college at a target school in California. Even after a few second round interviews at major BB’s, for whatever reason, I was not extended offers for SA positions. I mostly attribute this to my lack of relevant experience as my previous work experience has mostly been in accounting and I my immediate competition was diluted with mostly Business Administration majors (which I am not).

    Anyway, I did manage to get an offer at a small, unknown boutique in San Francisco to be a mergers & acquisitions analyst. They told me they have deal flow in the $10-50 million dollar range. I do feel that working at a small place would allow me to even sit in on some deals on the sales side, which certainly wouldn’t happen at a major BB and I surely would be busting my tail this summer working long hours. However, I also managed, through some networking, to get a back office position with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in one of their regional offices in Silicon Valley. The MD of the group down there is apparently pretty prominent in the Investment Management community. Nonetheless it’s by no means an official program and they can only pay me for no more than 20 hours a week.

    My goal is gain relevant experience so I can land a FT analyst position in Investment Banking at a BB when I graduate. I’m basically caught up between choosing the more relevant work experience in M&A or brand recognition from a less relevant field of work at MSSB.

    Is there anything else or any due diligence that I should be putting in before I make my decision. Anything at all is much appreciate. I love reading your work, by the way; it has been invaluable during this whole process.

    1. Take the boutique, front office work is far better than back office at a larger bank any day of the week.

  172. Hi Brian,

    I recently obtained an IB internship at a small regional bank that has very good deal flow. Will this be any help to me in terms of breaking into a BB IB role during full time recruiting versus if I were to take an Investment Research role at a BB this summer instead?

    Hope my question was clear enough. Thanks for your help!

    1. Could go either way on that one – I’d say those are about the same, though arguably the BB name outweighs the fact that the boutique work is more relevant. Either will help you get full-time IB interviews.

      1. Thanks! Going with the regional because I like the work and the people :)

  173. Avatar
    Cuong Nguyen

    Hey Brian,

    Thank you for your website. Been following this for a year. I am a fan.

    I am currently a junior at a non-target school, and have a decent chance to get an asset management internship with Robert W. Baird. Just wonder if I can use this to break in IBD at Baird later and my chances at other firms. Would I be better off to take an IB internship at a lesser well-known banks?

    Thanks a lot.

    1. IB internship at lesser-known bank > asset management at Baird > non-finance internship

  174. Hi just looking for some advice,

    I’m currently a Uk student and I didnt manage to secure any internships with the big banks this summer. Is it worth applying to graduate schemes without this specific experience?

    I mean I do have experience in finance, but I dont want to apply and not got anywhere with my apps!

    1. Yes because in Europe internships at large banks are not as common, always worth a shot to apply

  175. Hey M&I Lovable !

    I did internships at VC and an Equity Research Firm, but did not get an FT offer upon graduation. I graduated last May. I do have contacts at Lazard, and Evercore etc.

    Is it too late to apply as I already graduated? Should I accept a no name regional IB offer? What should I do given the recruiting season?

    1. It’s tough to apply if you’ve already graduated; you can still reach out to your contacts but focus on smaller boutiques.

  176. Hi!
    I am doing an internship in invetment banking.
    Would like to know that what are the qualifications required to get into investment banking ?
    Secodly, what are the various positions I can apply for in investment banking ?

    1. See the FAQ ( for answers to these questions, also the Banker Blueprint.

  177. Hi, great opinion! I feel like I’m lucky to find this website before I graduate as your opinion refreshes me after I read through a couple of your posts, it’s amusing! Well I think I totally get stuck because I can’t secure any summer interns in financial industry, I desperately hope you can give me some opinions.

    I’m currently studying a finance course. Although I get a 1st in my 2nd year but I’m studying in non-target school in the UK with poor A level results in my home country, the result was ages ago as I’m a mature student with a couple of years work experience in marketing. There I managed people as a marketing manager and consistently achieved sales target which I think it sounds good in some points but it’s not related to finance. As i know getting a graduate job is very competitive especially I don’t have any finance experience, what I’m planning to do is to network like crazy (I totally ignored this point before and thanks for your previous posts), and I planned to study CFA level 1 in my 3rd year as I thought qualification is so far the only way to show me I’m suit to this industry. However, my career advisor strongly recommend me not doing this and you mentioned in “Stuff Investment Bankers Don’t Like: The CFA, Your Activities, Your Ph.D., and More” it’s not a good option too. I don’t know what to do to increase my chance of getting into banking except applying through graduate program and networking (i want to work in corporate finance or wealth management), especially after reading the comment that Kenneth left about the CFA post, at which he has similar background with me that he was an engineer and wanna change field by studying CFA, but you told him banks prefer fresh graduates instead…

    I know finance experience is far more important than anything that’s why I applied loads of summer interns to gain experience, but they all turned me down without interviews (i only got 3 interviews out of 50 applications). I’m a bit lost because now I can’t even start the very first bit…I don’t know if its because I’m a mature student, not a native english speaker, don’t have excellent A-level exam, don’t have impressive covering letter. I don’t think I will know the answer so I simply tried improving each area to maximize the chance of getting a job.

    Nevertheless, I will still work hard to apply for grad position to see if there is any luck this year. On top of that, I think I had an interesting background because I joined exchange program to Beijing and New Zealand when I was in high school, I quitted my previous uni and did my marketing job, I backpacked to Australia for a year after quitting my job, I was an active team member in some societies in uni. So, from your experience what do you think my chance of getting into an IB or any company in financial industry? or what else I can do to increase my opportunities besides the normal grad job application routine? Thanks very much.

    1. I would go for a top Master’s program in the UK, US, or Europe to get a better brand name and better access to recruiters, and then go for internships while you’re there

      1. Thanks M&I. But if I can’t afford a master program, what else I can do to maximize my chance? Are bankers interested in people like me (regarding to my marketing & travel experience) or they prefer young fresh grad? Thanks :)

        1. I would try to move into related finance positions like PWM, asset management, maybe even middle office or trading work at a bank, think about working for a few years and then go to business school. Bankers tend to be quite rigid in their views so it’s difficult if you have a non-conventional background.

          1. Thank Brian. I’d like to ask you 2 more questions :)

            As I mentioned before, I’m from a non-target school in the UK. I think because I did not network at all and so I did not secure any intern this summer. As its already end of august, I’m a bit confused if I should concentrate on grad job applications and networking for next year grad opportunities, or I should cold-calling local banks to try if I can get anything for a month in sept (school starts in oct)? although my current course is highly finance related, I’m afraid if I did not have any summer interns I will not be selected for grad position interview. What do you think?

            Also, I was kinda like a co-owner of my previous small cap firm, but only concentrate on sales and marketing part. Do you think I should mentioned ‘I ran a business’ or ‘work as a marketing manager’ instead? I don’t know which one sounds better for bankers.

            Thanks very much~

          2. If you’re graduating in spring 2011 and cannot afford a Master’s program, then you should focus on cold-calling and networking for full-time offers since FT recruiting takes place in the fall. You can just say you were co-owner of the firm and explain what you did.

  178. Hi,

    I decided to commit to go into investment banking late into my junior year, and I had already decided to study abroad in Israel. After an informational interview with a boutique VP, he pretty much said, it’s nice to have that exp, but it won’t help you at all in breaking into I-Banking. So, I cancelled around May, but by then it was too late to try to get a summer internship. What the VP did advise is taking accounting classes because he was saying how more banks are looking to hire students who are already familiar with financial statements and the market.

    So this summer, I decided to take on summer school and take an accounting class and other finance classes to free up my senior year schedule.

    During my senior year I will only be taking 3 classes per quarter which gives me a lot of time. Considering that I’m at a non-target school that is 1 hour away from ibanks (I’m in Riverside, CA and most banks are in Irvine or LA) with a 3.4 gpa, I was wondering if interning throughout the academic year is plausible / feasible and how I should approach it if it is. Do banks even do this? Is this not a suggested route (taking full-time load of classes with an internship)

    1. It is feasible to do school-year internships but the problem is you’re starting quite late – you can still do it and try to convert them into full-time offers, but you will be limited to smaller/local places.

  179. Hi Brian,

    I will be an Accounting senior soon in the fall, but want to work in the IB after graduating. In the past, I interned at a back office of Citibank, and currently interning for Finance Department of an entertainment company.
    I am having a chance of getting an 4-7 week internship at JP Morgan Chase in Asia. My first question is if this internship gives me a chance in IB of America since it happens in Asia.

    My second question is that I have a few months left until getting out of school. I know some people working in the target companies, but my relationship with them is at superficial level. Should I wait until I finish my internship (at the end of January)to approach them since my GPA is under 3.5 right now.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing your wise words,

    1. Yes the international internship will help since JP Morgan is global. I would still approach your contacts now because fall-time recruiting starts in the fall and you don’t want to wait until January.

      1. Thank you for quick response, bro. You are doing great things for novices. God blesses you.
        My current GPA is 3.4, and I definitely will try my best to boost it up to 3.5 next semester. However, right now it’s still 3.4…Does that hurt my chance?
        Also, my home country is in Asia. So, I am not sure if an internship will be counted as an international one.

        1. A higher GPA is better but a 3.4 won’t kill you

  180. Hi,

    I’m a rising junior student at the UofC. I’m a Econ/Math major with a 3.8. I got an internship at CS the summer after high school in their research department through connections, but had limited responsibilities. Last summer, I had no job. This summer, I’ve been working at a compensation consulting firm, pulling data off proxies (this was the best I could get). Then, I’ll be heading home to work at HKMA, the Hong Kong version of the Fed, which sums up the extent of my finance-related work experience.

    My question is: how would I best spin this? It seems my work is getting less and less related and not that relevant anyways.

    1. I would skip the CS experience since it’s high school and just start off by talking about compensation consulting, then say how that got you interested in learning more about finance which led you to the HKMA

      1. So Credit Suisse won’t matter even though it’s brand name? How about using it as my “spark”?

        1. Or, since my experiences seem to be more research oriented, I could say my Credit Suisse research experience got me interested in doing research in finance. However, I’ll then show how through each experience, I’ve become more and more interested in investment banking.

        2. You could but then you need to explain how you got more interested in finance despite evidence to the contrary – and it’s high-school experience so they won’t take it seriously. Maybe mention it briefly in your story as your “spark” but don’t go beyond that.

  181. Hi,

    I’m in my senior summer at a target school (HYP). I’m in a very difficult and time consuming major and as a result my GPA is low (3.3). I am currently interning in the Business Development department of a Federal IT company in DC. I’ve studied abroad for a semester in Denmark and have also spent a summer studying in Italy. I’ve also worked at a Rare Books library and have been involved in a few light extracurriculars including entering a competition with my schools entrepreneurial institute. I was wondering if this could potentially be enough to get me an interview at a boutique investment banking/consulting/s&t firm. Also what experiences should I hight in my resume/cover letter.

    1. That sounds fine, larger banks will be tough with a lower GPA but boutiques are do-able… definitely highlight the bus. dev. experience and then use the study abroad experiences as your “interesting” facts.

  182. Hi,

    I graduated with a BSc a few months ago, and am starting a relatively well known, 1 year master’s program in September (i.e. BB banks recruit on campus). I tried very hard to find a banking internship for this summer, but was unsuccessful.

    So far I’ve taken the GMAT (it was required to get into the master’s program) and scored in the 99th percentile. I plan on finishing your financial modelling course (BIWS), and taking a course to improve my secondary language.

    I wanted to ask if the above will serve as a sufficient explanation if I’m asked what I did in this time? During my BSc, I worked as a software developer for 2 years and then ran my own business for 1 (so the gap between graduation and the master’s is the only time when I’ve not been busy, so to speak). I’ve heard that internships are less important/common in Europe (where I’m from), than in the US, so I haven’t completely lost hope.
    Grade wise, I’m OK (probably a ~3.6 on the US scale – cum laude here), but not excellent.


    P.S. I’m really enjoying your BIWS course so far.

    1. I think if it’s only a few months, that explanation is fine. As you said, in Europe internships aren’t quite as important so it’s not the end of the world. If you can find some kind of part-time volunteer work or anything else that looks more formal, that might be a good idea as well.

  183. I’m a sophomore at college now and my options for the summer are between working in treasury/corporate finance at a F500 company doing market forecasting or doing operational risk research at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Which one do you think would provide for more relevant skills/give me a better chance for an investment banking internship for junior summer?

    1. Probably the F500 company

  184. What about MBB? I have received an offer to be an intern at McKinsey this summer (I did not manage to get something in IB). Should I accept it or keep looking?
    Currently, I am waiting for an answer by a local brokerage company regarding the possibility of doing a summer internship in financial analysis there. However, I have no great hope on this.

    1. Yes, definitely accept McKinsey. Much better than a brokerage firm or something outside of finance.

  185. I am a junior at a non-target majoring in Math (3.9 GPA) with a previous career goal of becoming an actuary and working as an actuarial consultant after graduation Since my freshman year I have held 2 insurance internships (one as an underwriter, the other as an actuary) and this upcoming summer I have accepted an offer to work at a Big 4 in Manhattan as an actuarial consultant.

    However, I have grown interest in investment banking and although its too late for a summer internship in banking, I was curious of my chances of getting a full time offer after I graduate. It is my understanding that most BBs, after their deep cuts, are rebuilding, and may look outside their internship class (a little more than in the past) for FT offers. I was just curious of my chances since I’m coming from a quantitative (albeit non-finance) background but do have decent knowledge of markets, valuations, etc

    So basically I want to know if it’s possible to land a full time offer at a BB after graduation?

    1. It’s honestly very difficult to get an offer at a bulge bracket bank AFTER you’ve already graduated, unless you’re lateraling in from another bank. Your better bet is to go for a boutique at first and then move up from there.

      1. Hi,

        I am in a similar position. I just finished my MS in Actuarial Science, had four years of actuarial work after college. I was a horrible undergrad (2.5 gpa), but used my network to land a really great actuarial job. I have passed all my exams and performed well (3.9) on my MS. Now I am looking into getting into IB. I know with my experience I would be a long shot, but I do have a very good relationship with a head of IB Asia at a bulge bracket bank. I haven’t yet made him aware of my interest in a career switch, but was wondering if it is even worth bothering since my undergrad record was so poor. Frankly, I’m going to try no matter how you respond, but I was just looking for a little positive reinforcement haha. Thanks for the wealth or resources on the site.


        1. Sure you can try with that much work experience they might not care

  186. Brian,

    I’m currently a junior at a semi-target school (i.e. it’s of the same caliber as the target schools but almost nobody actually interviews here). I managed to get a few interviews but nothing came of them, so I’m spending this summer at a boutique management consulting shop which, though it works with a couple of financial services firms, doesn’t work with them in a finance-related capacity. Is there any way that I can somehow make this sound relevant when it comes time for IB recruiting in the fall?

    1. Spin it so that it sounds like you worked on a lot of quantitative projects and/or play up the financial services part, name-drop, and don’t talk as much about what you actually did

  187. Hello,

    I am currently in my junior year at a non target school and at this point do not have any summer offers at a top bank. I do have an option to work for a company oversees in Malaysia for the summer through an exchange program at my school. The firm has advertised itself as a boutique corporate finance advisor that is independent and focused in mergers & acquisitions and raising capital. I was just wondering if this company would be considered the same thing as a boutique IB, and also if you think the experience could give me a shot at getting in at a bigger bank after my senior year, assuming good grades, networking etc? Thank you for your input and for the great site.

    1. It’s not exactly the same as IB but it will help and it’s your best option at this point so I would go for it

    2. Avatar

      may i know which bank are u referring to?

  188. Nice article,
    I was wandering what my options are.

    I am currently in 1st year at UCL. I did not apply for the spring week for various reasons. Next year I want to apply for S&T internships.

    I want to prevent having a gap on my CV over the summer. I am considering LSE summer school or working at some office, possibly bank. Since I do not have any work experience I am more inclined to take the job. What do you think?

    1. I would take the job just to have some work experience on your CV.

  189. Hey Brian,

    If you work at a very small IB boutique over your junior summer, what are the chances of flipping that into an interview/offer at places like DB or CS for FT?

    1. You will definitely get interviews at those places (assuming you’re at a top school / have some means of networking), but after that it’s really up to you. Any kind of banking experience on your resume will usually result in interviews elsewhere.

      1. Thanks, I just wanted to be sure I actually had a fighting chance.

  190. I started college as an Electrical Engineer, but I recently switched into a double-degree in Economics and Finance. At the time, I never in my dreams thought I’d want to do i-banking, so I accepted an offer for a program management internship at a marketing software company in December. However, even though I now regret my hasty decision, I can’t bail out because I’ve already signed contracts.

    So I guess my question is – now should I explain/spin this in future finance interviews? In addition, what things can I do on the side to still exhibit my interest in i-banking? I plan to buy your BiWS program soon and work my way through it so I’ll be prepared for next year, but I can’t help thinking that I should do something about it NOW as well..

    1. Just say you only got interested in finance recently, and pick some event / person / place / thing that made you interested. Then spin a story about how during the internship you became more interested in investment banking… try to do some personal investing on your own, join student-run funds, and any other organizations related to finance as well.

      1. Sounds good! Thanks for your kinds words of reassurance =)

  191. Hi,
    great site!
    My question (a bit off topic I know) is: I know the target schools in the US and the UK, but what are the IB target schools in Germany! So far I have heard of EBS, WHU, University of Mannheim. Agree? / Disagree? And how would you rank/compare them to the target schools in the US (harvard, etc) and the UK (LSE, etc) when wanting to get an IB job at a BB (but in a german office)

    1. I actually have no idea on that one as I’m only familiar with the US and UK. Outside of Germany they would not be as well-recognized as top US/UK schools, but inside the country they are probably on par with them. I’m not sure on what qualifies as a “target school” there but perhaps another reader will know the answer.

      1. I would say that in Germany any of the above mentioned Universities will give you a good shot at working in IB in Germany as well as actually London, Paris or Zurich.
        Obviously they are not as recognized outside of Germany as lets say LSE or Oxbridge but you will have alumni from all of those working in IB in London or the other above mentioned cities.
        “Target School” might not be the right description in Germany but at WHU for example all BB`s will come on campus, hold networking events and interviews. Same is similar for EBS or Mannheim and their partner schools also range from some Ivy Leagues to LSE for example where you can then also study for a semester and have both on your resume.

  192. Quick question: how long is the gap between submitting a resume and hearing back about a first round interview at either a BB or a decent-sized boutique (HLHZ, Greenhill, Blackstone, etc.)?

    I’m a junior at a non-target school, and I started pretty late in the game (late January). I’m doing my first-round for Goldman tomorrow, but I applied to about a dozen others in early February and haven’t heard back from any of those.

    Thanks for the help!

    1. Can be anywhere from a day to a few weeks – I would definitely follow-up now if you haven’t heard anything in a few weeks.

      1. How would you recommend going about with a follow-up in a situation like that (i.e. sent an email/online application and didn’t get a response)? Would more emails be effective, or should I start cold-calling, etc? I have contacts at JPM, but they’re all in London…

        Many thanks again for your assistance.

        1. Short email first and then call if you don’t hear back in a few days.

  193. Damn, this article makes me mad about myself.

    1. A 3.74 GPA
    2. Target school in Singapore, studying finance and accounting
    3. Experience: equity research internship at a BB, corporate finance advisory internship at an accounting firm

    Been rejected at Macquarie and Citi. Lucky to still have outstanding applications at several middle market and boutique IB though. I have been networking with investment bankers (even had dinner with them!)

    The problem is my interviewing skills man. Gotta work on it, and better start calling up my network!

    1. Sounds like a plan – if you’ve made it that far, it’s probably your interviewing skills that need improvement.

      1. Hey Brian,

        I am now thinking of getting a summer exchange program to LSE instead of trying to get an IB internship this summer. Do you think it is a good idea? I will be graduating Dec 2011, if that matters (I will have one more chance of applying to IB internship next year before I graduate).

        Thank you!

        1. If you have one more shot at internships that’s ok, but I would still “rank” any kind of finance internship above the LSE program.

  194. I struck out for SA positions through our career services, didn’t get hardly any interviews so I obviously have a lot of work to do. As a junior with a lowish GPA, would delaying graduation a semester benefit me if I could bump up the GPA and have another go around for SA?

    1. If you can get up to a 3.4 – 3.5 range, then yes, it would help. But I’d be very careful over what you end up doing this summer if you do delay your graduation for a semester.

      1. Thanks for the help, would a combo of a 2 week study abroad program in Dubai, a local PWM internship, and some online summer classes be a decent idea for this summer if I were to delay?

        1. Yeah that sounds like a good plan

  195. With a sophomore internship at an unknown boutique M&A shop (strong deal flow) and a junior internship at an established MM (Lazard MM/Jefferies/Harris Williams) how easy is it to move to a BB for full-time? I have a lowish GPA (3.5ish) but come from an Ivy (not Harvard/Wharton/Princeton though). Thanks for all your help!

    1. It won’t be too difficult – know a lot of friends who have made that move actually.

  196. Hi, great site and great guide they helped me tremendously throughout the SA recruiting process!

    I was resigned to the fact that the economy was slow and financial companies were not hiring. So I spent all my time networking with the accounting firms last semester. I decided after winterbreak this semester to give bank recruiting a shot in the dark. Due to my lateness to the game I could not land a full-fledged banking job for various reasons (lack of polish, still learning technicals) but I managed to land a Transaction Services/Valuation internship in a very esteemed middle market ibank. In terms of TS this is probably the best group out there.

    How far of a stretch would it be leveraging this summer experience into a full time ibanking offer at a BB or strong MM firm?

    1. You could do it but it will require a lot of networking. MM firm is more likely than BB mostly because you’ll be at a MM bank in the first place.

  197. I couldn’t get an IBD summer internship but instead, I was offered an internship position at my University’s (target school) endowment fund. How do you think this will look on my resume if I’m trying to get into IBD?

    1. Probably not as good as S&T / asset management / boutique bank unless it’s a well-known endowment fund (e.g. Harvard) but otherwise much better than nothing or the Best Buy / travel options.

  198. Avatar
    Leverage Academy

    A boutique investment bank will still give you valuable experience.

  199. Are you sure SA recruiting is over? GS website shows recruiting timeline to be from Feb thru March for interviews and offers to be extended and Lazard’s application deadline for SAs JUST closed on Feb 15th. What banks are you referring to exactly where recruiting is completed?

    1. The articles on this site are intentionally not time-stamped, because the idea is to create content that is valuable for a very long time and is not seasonal / cyclical.

      I happened to publish this one at a time when a lot of banks are done with summer recruiting.

      That said, the line in the beginning is not literally true – I’m sure some banks are still recruiting, but I don’t know specifically which ones / which groups.

  200. Hey Bryan great website,
    I currently work at a middlemarket commercial bank on the east coast selling accounts to the public, (and I am very interested in breaking into investment banking. Now this commercial bank actually has a sister investment bank. My question is: I have been working there for almost 4 years since highschool but have recently been offered to intern at a small trading firm. Which do you think would be the better option to continue working there, or go for the trading firm as far as summer experience? Also is it possible to move into investment banking from commercial banking?

    1. Eh I don’t know that trading would be too helpful with getting into IBD. I would probably try to make the move directly into IBD by networking, which is possible.

  201. Which choice would be better for a sophomore looking to get into BB IBD junior year?

    – BB PWM/AM (I have experience here already though)
    – BB Back-Office/Mid-Office (e.g. Risk Mgmt., Finance, Operations, etc.)
    – Boutique Investment Bank (not too sure how much valuable deal experience I’d get)


    1. Boutique investment bank

  202. I have been heard lot of people talking about the pre-MBA-“or pre MBA intern’? program.
    But I have no idea what is that? Should I just cold call MD and say I want
    do a Pre-MBA ? what the employer expectations are if I apply a pre-MBA program?
    Am I supposed to clean the office floor and pick up laundry for MD everyday?

    1. Usually some MBA programs have well-defined pre-MBA programs… or you can contact local firms and ask about doing something before you start. If you do a Google search for “pre-MBA internship” you can find all th