Investment Banking Internships – What should you do before applying for an investment banking internship?

Before applying for any internship, students should attend several networking events, careers fairs, and company presentations, and meet various people from different banks, so they can learn from their experiences and get a sense of each company’s culture. It will also give them the opportunity to get advice regarding the recruitment and interview process.

What is the application process for an investment banking internship?

The application process varies across different investment banks. However, the main steps are the online application and the interview process. Candidates have to answer questions online about their past experiences and academic background, as well as providing a cover letter and CV. In some cases, they will need to pass online tests in order to get selected for the first round interview.

The first round interview will generally focus on case studies, technical questions and your academic background. Second round interviews with senior bankers will consist of questions around your motivation for applying to the firm, as well as your understanding of the industry. Interviews are also an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the company, the job and the culture.

Why are investment banking internships important?

I believe internships in investment banking are the most exciting and challenging experience a student can get. Before joining a specific team, all the interns have a training week in order to learn about valuation, accounting, Excel and PowerPoint tools. Once interns join their teams and start feeling comfortable with the tools, they are assigned real projects and considered as first year analysts.

What tasks will an investment banking intern perform during their internship?

The main task of an intern is to provide assistance to bankers in projects such as pitch books and the execution of mergers and acquisition mandates. Being an intern in an investment bank is being part of a team: interns have responsibilities and can use their initiative. An intern’s specific responsibilities may include financial analysis and modelling, industry research, preparation of slides and other written materials.

What are the benefits of doing an internship with an investment bank?

Internships are an amazing opportunity to develop technical and financial skills and to develop teamwork and communications skills. They also help you to understand yourself and learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. The feedback/review process is very useful in helping you to improve your skills, and you will also see how people value the work you have done. Finally, an internship in investment banking is the best opportunity to discover the place/job you are the best suited for, and your efforts could even be rewarded with a full-time job offer. It is the most exciting and challenging way of starting a career.

Tell us about your own internship experiences!

I chose to join the Consumer/Retail team at Nomura for a summer internship in 2009.

I had experience within the consumer/retail sector, so I had an interest in the M&A Consumer/Retail team. Therefore, I decided to get in touch with the team during the event which was organised on the first day of my internship, where interns could meet with all the different teams. This was a great opportunity to talk with lots of people and search for the best fit.

After talking to many members of the Consumer team, I felt that I would really enjoy working with them. I chose my team because of my interest for the sector, but also because of the people I met. I never regretted my choice and I had an intense internship within the team. I was assigned really interesting projects that allowed me to learn a lot, I was given responsibilities and I met great people who made my internship a precious experience.

In fact, I didn’t have a typical day; each day was different and very exciting. I learned a lot and I got the chance to do lots of different tasks. I helped on projects in the retail sector, but also on assignments in the household, personal care and luxury goods sectors. Once I was able to provide quality company profiles, I started with financial modelling. I was asked to do the IPO model for a UK company in the retail sector. I found this project really interesting, as I had to understand modelling, but also the company financials, business model and strategy.

The other projects I was assigned also included financial modelling (LBO and DCF) and I got the opportunity to develop strong technical skills. I believe that I learned a lot, mainly thanks to the projects I was assigned, but also thanks to the team who were always happy to answer my questions and explain how things work. The team was really supportive of me the whole summer and provided me with the best advice.

How can an intern impress during their internship?

I would give the following advice to interns in order to be successful:

Be enthusiastic. This will make things easier, exciting, and encourage a positive working environment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want to succeed as an intern, you have to understand things quickly and also show that you can be resourceful with the tools and tips people have taught you. The more you ask, the more you learn, and the more responsibilities you get.

Finally, don’t compete with other interns, compete only with yourself. In this business, teamwork is the most precious skill. During my internship, I made true friends and those people made my internship. When you are going through a hard time or when you are assigned a difficult task, other interns can share their experience with you, give some advice or just listen to you. However, you have to look for challenges and compete with yourself in order to constantly improve your skills and learn from the others.

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