One of the first steps to starting a career in investment banking is securing an internship. Large investment banks such as Barclays, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and many others offer internships to undergraduates and recent graduates.
These internships are extremely competitive, as only 2-3 percent of applicants are accepted. Therefore, it is important to know the cutoff dates for applying and allow yourself ample time to complete the paperwork, tests, essays, interviews and other requirements.
Investment Banker Career Trajectory
A successful investment banking intern will typically go on to accept an entry-level role as an analyst, whether by direct hire with the same bank following an internship or by applying to jobs with other banks. You might also receive a signing bonus at the time of hire, potentially catapulting you to a six-figure salary in your first year.
Analysts often pursue MBAs en route to becoming associates and, ultimately, senior leaders with titles such as VP, Managing Director or Partner. Associates at investment banks can take home upward of $200,000 per year; executives, as much as $500,000 per year. The road to these impressive salaries starts with getting your foot in the door as an intern and making a strong impression.
What to Expect as an Investment Banking Intern
An investment banking internship will enable you to gain hands-on experience with foundational responsibilities such as conducting research, compiling reports, building financial models and creating presentations. While internships in other fields can be largely administrative by nature, investment banking internships are packed with value and treated as first-year analyst positions.
Many investment banks welcome their interns with a training week. This is when you meet the team you will be joining, get familiar with the culture, and become comfortable with the tools and concepts you will be using during your internship. Your time as an intern will be exciting, challenging, informative and rewarding—all at once.
There is always the very real prospect of receiving a full-time job offer at the end of the internship, although that is by no means the defining measurement of success. In addition to your performance, the “right time, right place” factor is at play. If an offer is not extended, don’t be discouraged; you will have the knowledge, experience, resume and connections from your internship to apply to analyst positions with confidence.
Investment Banking Internship Dates and Deadlines
Investment banking recruiting is ongoing. However, the traditional internship season is during summer from June through August. The timeline is generally as follows:
- October-January: Summer Internship Applications Due
- January-March: Summer Intern Interviews
- April-May: Summer Intern Acceptance Letters
- June-August: Summer Interns Onboard
- August-September: Full-Time Offers to Summer Interns
Exact internship deadlines vary by bank and division, and are usually available online. Be sure to check directly with the banks to which you wish to apply.
Wiley Investment Banking Course
Looking to build a career in investment banking and land your dream internship? Wiley’s Investment Banking Course can help you learn the ins and outs of the industry with best-in-class content, bite-sized lessons, a comprehensive study guide and more.