Investment banking is one of the most competitive areas of finance.
In order to break in, young Wall Streeters need smarts, tenacity, and the wherewithal to handle the work load and notoriously long hours. Internship experience is also a must.
To help you find the best internships on the Street, Vault.com has surveyed 12,000 investment banking interns to compile a list of best internship programs for 2017.
The respondents were asked to rate and review their own internship experiences based on various factors, including compensation and meaningfulness of assignments. On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents rated their internship experiences in five main areas: interview process, quality of life, career development, compensation and benefits, and full-time employment prospects.
Vault then averaged those five factors for each company and ranked them in order. Following are the rankings for the top nine investment banking intership programs along with comments about the internship we gleaned for each bank.
Goldman Sachs Global Summer Internship
Pros: “The best aspects of this internship were the people I worked with, the work I was given, and the opportunities within the firm. Everyone was willing to answer my questions and work with me on projects that I was working on. There was never a time that I felt like I was completely on my own and struggling to an unreasonable extent. The work I was given was meaningful, and I didn’t feel like I was doing a bunch of mundane tasks. As far as opportunities go, I felt like there were many opportunities to talk with individuals all over the firm from analysts to associates to learn about their jobs. Mobility is encouraged through the firm, which I find appealing.“
Cons: “The lack of social events. My coworkers never organized social events (i.e. dinner or drinks) unless they were sponsored by the dept/company.”
Advice to potential interns: “The best advice I have would be to make sure you read through potential interview questions before you start the process and practice answering them in front of the mirror. Also, for the most part they are not looking for extremely technically skilled interns, so don’t be afraid to go for it and apply.“
RBC Capital Markets Summer Analyst/Associate Program
Pros: “RBC had great people, a welcoming community, and there was a sense of family. Everyone that was part of my team was extremely helpful and we had a lot of fun.“
Cons: “I felt like the structure could have been a little more rigid – it felt as if they just put us on desks (that we wanted) and then the rest was up to us. That aspect of it being up to us has its pros and cons, but if you are not prepared for this style it could be detrimental.”
Advice to potential interns: “Pay the utmost care to the tiny details because they all contribute to the overall goal of giving the client the most reliable information for their financial position. Aim to be the person that supports the team and catches the little things that sometimes get overlooked like font size/footnotes — the client notices and you never want your team to say “we should have caught that”–even if it means comment on someone else’s work.“
Barclays Investment Bank (Americas) Front Office Summer Analyst and Associate Programs
Pros: “The culture and people is the best aspect of Barclays. The people, from junior to senior bankers, go out of their way to be helpful and care more about your success than holding lofty expectations. They really want you succeed and support you in the process. Otherwise, the exposure to many different companies, financial analysis and modeling, working on live deals and with clients was a high point as well.“
Cons: “There can be down-time at times where there is nothing specific to work on which can make the hours drag by, but most of the time this isn’t the case. However, I prefer to be working on something constructive and would often find things to keep me busy.”
Advice to potential interns: “The internship is what you make of it, do not be afraid to step up and continually ask for more ways to get involved/ take initiative in tackling tasks you feel you may want exposure to during your 10 weeks.”