The skills needed for investment banking internship, wherever you have the opportunity to, can be challenging but they are not new. For anyone who has had uncommon intentions and aspirations for the position, there is the high percentage that such would have covered over 80 percent of the needed skills.
Internship itself is an open room for growth and the act of gathering skills because it will definitely open you up to several opportunities such as the job description and the professional ethos of the work.
While a large majority of learning will be done during your internship, there are a few things that you can do in the interim to set yourself up for success. Remember, the primary goal of your internship experience is to secure a full-time offer with the firm. With that in mind, our recommendations to prepare for your internship include:
- Stay current with financial news
- Continue to network
- Brush up on skills such as Excel, PowerPoint, and valuation/accounting
- Prepare logistics
While these recommendations are not very time-consuming, they can greatly impact your investment banking summer internship experience.
This may seem obvious, but at least a few months before your internship starts, you should begin to plan for the internship logistically. These items can include but are not limited to:
- Living accommodations (in the event your internship is in-person and in a new city)
- Work from home equipment (in the event your internship is virtual)
- How you will commute to the office
- The area you will be working and living in
- Professional attire
When thinking about living accommodations, most summer analysts tend to find short-term leases either at colleges in the cities they work in or at student housing apartments near colleges. It is typically hard to find a normal apartment complex that will lease for less than a year. With this in mind, you should start looking a few months before you begin your internship.
As you search for places to live, you should try to familiarize yourself with the area and also account for how you will get to the office given each living accommodation you are exploring.
If your internship is confirmed to be in-person, you should learn what the dress code is through informal networking calls with junior bankers. This will give you an idea of items that you may need to purchase before the internship, as you will have limited time once the internship begins to go out and shop for appropriate attire.
In the event that your internship is going to be virtual, it helps to have extra monitors and an external keyboard and mouse, however, you should check with your firm because it is common that firms will send their employees equipment.
There is no need to put pressure on yourself to do a million things to prepare for your internship, but following these simple recommendations will certainly help you feel ready.
Skills Needed for Investment Banking Internship
Below are the list of things you need to know or do when you get this position, or the skills needed for investment banking internship:
Stay Current on Financial Market
Staying current on financial market news is likely something you did during the recruiting process, but following the news and keeping up with market trends should not stop once you accept an offer. You should take a few minutes every day to consume news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and CNBC. It’s important to have a general understanding of what is happening with the economy, stock market, deals, and other aspects of the industry.
If you already know what group you are going to be placed in, following that industry or product news is also a diligent action. For example, if you are going to work in an M&A product group, you should keep up with current deals. The same philosophy applies to industrial news, in the event you were going to work in an industrials coverage group.
Being Mentally Prepared
This skill is very important in investment banking as the profile requires individuals who are extremely focused upon maintaining their work schedule. One needs to be open to working in a team and that too for quite long hours. Though this practice becomes a little edgy for some people, they have to be on a constant smile during the work hour. A charming personality with a positive attitude towards teamwork, team leading or team management is the first skill that one needs to develop as an investment banking intern. Besides, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important and one needs to prepare their physical and mental health for the long working hour by eating and sleeping properly.
Networking is also something that you likely did during your recruitment process and should continue doing after.
If you are placed into a specific product or coverage group, it is a good idea to reach out to junior bankers who you will be working with and introduce yourself before the internship starts. These conversations can be used to ask questions about how to prepare for the summer, the city the internship is located in, logistics, and anything else that you may feel would be helpful to know.
These can be short calls approached similarly to networking when you are attempting to secure an offer. When the internship finally starts, you will have a handful of people who are familiar with you and you can likely lean on them for your questions.
Confidence with Numbers
While it’s more important that you have strong analytical skills rather than be a walking and talking calculator, you definitely need to have strong financial literacy and confidence with numbers to make it in investment banking. If this is an area you don’t feel as confident in, invest in brushing up on your skills before you apply!
Improve on Your Technical Skills
As mentioned, almost all banks will teach you a majority of the things you need to know to do the job well. There will be some level of training typically at the beginning of the internship, however, it is a good idea to brush up on your skills before the internship begins.
As a summer analyst, a large majority of your time will be spent in PowerPoint and Outlook. If you have access to these applications, you should spend time understanding the applications and learning how to use them efficiently. This can entail learning shortcuts and formatting best practices in PowerPoint, as well as how to filter emails and set up rules for your inbox in Outlook.
While the chances that you will do any financial modeling as a summer analyst are slim, you should familiarize yourself with Excel and financial modeling as well. There are numerous free videos on YouTube, such as the Wall Street Prep page.
In the event that you are a Mac user, we strongly encourage you to use a school PC to do your work the semester before you start your internship. Getting acclimated to a PC before you get your work laptop for the summer will put you ahead of the curve.
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