Investment Banking Internship Programs

A guide to IB internships

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Overview of Investment Banking Internship Programs

Most investment banks offer an investment banking internship program each year, hiring a number of summer Analysts and Associates to work for 9-12 weeks in their offices.  These programs are great for both parties – the interns get phenomenal experience and get to see what it’s like to work at the firm, and the banks get to see the interns’ skills, work ethic, and personality fit, first hand, before deciding if they want to hire them full time. Read an investment banking job description.

Interns get to learn, through practical experience, the skills required for investment banking work. The interns work with a product group or industry group, supporting real transactions and deals that the bank is working on.  Granted, the work itself is very entry-level, but the deals may be very high profile.

investment banking internship coffee
It’s not only just getting coffees!

Timing and the Application Process

The majority of investment banking internship programs are offered over the summer. However, some banks also offer a “co-op” internship during the fall, winter, or spring. Such co-op programs are only offered through universities that have already established a co-op program with the bank or have a rotating academic cycle (like the one that exists at Dartmouth College).

A typical timeline is as follows:

  1. September – Internship opportunities posted
  2. October/November – Interviews are conducted and offers made
  3. May/June – Internships begin (average length is about 10 weeks)

Goldman Sachs CEO’s Advice for Summer Interns

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein offered some advice to summer interns at GS, as shown in the YouTube video below. In the interview, Blankfein describes his personal career path, starting out as a lawyer before moving into investment banking.

Some of his best advice is to have a wide range of personal interests and gather diverse experiences that make you an interesting person to be around.

Additionally, he encourages ambitious interns to be a little less anxious about the process. He draws an analogy to the game of golf, explaining that, “If you grip the club too tight, the ball won’t go as far or as straight. Loosen up a bit on your grip and you’ll be amazed at the improvement!

The video is 41 minutes, and CFI highly recommends watching it!

Internships are Critical for Getting Full-Time Offers

The main reason that getting an investment banking internship is so important lies in the statistical fact that a large percentage of all full-time offers go to interns who are hired back. The bottom line is, if you don’t secure a job at a bank or some other relevant position over the summer, then your chances of getting a full-time offer when you graduate are definitely lower.

There are things you can do to help the situation! The first is to start applying for positions as early in your university career as possible.  Many companies will hire students in the summer after their first year. Even if the job isn’t as high profile as working in IB, it can be used as a stepping stone next year, and the year after that, as you build your way up.

Financial Modeling Skills

One of the best ways to boost your resume and stand out is to get financial modeling and valuation skills on your resume.  CFI offers a wide range of courses, starting with the very basics of Excel and Accounting, and working all the way up to doing DCF modeling and even M&A financial modeling.

These courses will help prepare you for your investment banking internship by giving you the skills you need to hit the ground running.

investment banking M&A financial model

Source: CFI financial modeling courses.

More Investment Banking Internship Resources

Thank you for reading this guide to investment banking internship programs.  CFI’s mission is to help you advance your career and become a world-class financial analyst.  With that mission in mind, these additional resources will help you on your way:

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