The junior summer internship recruiting process can be a daunting endeavour for undergraduates looking to break into top banking and consulting firms. As the inaugural class of NYU Shanghai, our class was faced with the challenge of navigating the recruiting process without upperclassmen in our college to help us out. I recently completed a summer banking internship and am writing these tips to help underclassmen find their way through recruiting. With no further ado, here is a brief list of the steps to consider throughout the process – from the application to your offer.
Before beginning the junior year summer recruiting process, try to learn as much as possible about the industry in which you are interested. There are so many ways to do this – taking classes, joining clubs and organizations, reading relevant literature, or interning during your freshman and sophomore years. Aim to have a solid idea of the typical day-to-day life of an analyst / associate in the industry of your choice.
Personally, I found Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) to be one of the most useful (and fun!) organizations to help students navigate the different career options available. BAP is an international honor organization with an NYU chapter based in New York at Stern. Students mock interview each other, peer review resumes, discuss the interview process, and much more. It’s also a great way to make friends! If you choose to study abroad in New York for a semester, consider attending a BAP event.
2. Reach out
As you begin to narrow your search, reach out to former interns and current analysts at the company you are considering. It is really an advantage to speak or meet with the professionals over a call or coffee rather than just drop a resume through an online portal.
For one, it offers you a chance to attach a personality to your resume and introduce yourself. More importantly, meeting with professionals will help you determine whether or not you can see yourself fitting into the unique culture and environment of the firm or group.
Try to ask questions about the job that you can’t figure out from a Google search. If you are applying for coverage banking roles, does the industry group do their own M&A analysis, or is there a separate M&A group that handles the modeling?
One additional detail I found myself interested in was the office layout of each group – do they sit on a trading-style floor or are there cubicles? Do analysts sit together in a “fish bowl”? Who sits in private offices, and are senior team members accessible? Understanding the layout may help you get a sense for the culture and hierarchy of the organization.
Banking and consulting are notorious for having challenging interview processes with several rounds. Once you’ve secured an interview, learn more about the firm’s own interview process. I’ve encountered a variety of interview types – open bar pre-interview social events, group interviews, Skype and phone interviews, superdays, and consulting “case” interviews. Be sure to have an idea of what to expect.
Many students use interview prep guides to review the technical information typically tested in banking interviews. Though these guides can be a great first step, they should be just that – a first step, not the sole resource. By all means, use these guides to test your knowledge and ensure that you are on the right track, but don’t just memorize words from the guides.
4. Accept the offer and prepare for the summer
Once you’ve interviewed and secured an offer (hopefully a few!), reflect on what is most important to you before accepting. Are you focused on being in a particular city or region, or are you most interested in landing in the group of your choice?
Before diving into the internship, consider speaking to your soon-to-be co-workers and mentors to ask what you can do (besides any formal training) to prepare for the summer. I’d recommend you stay up-to-date on the news – especially in the sector or product group in which you will be working. Also, if you have the time, it can’t hurt to sharpen your Excel skills so you can hit the ground running for any technical tasks.
Best of luck to all underclassmen on their search, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any additional questions about the recruiting process or my experiences as a summer analyst.
Class of 2017, NYU Shanghai
Incoming Full-Time Investment Banking Analyst, Morgan Stanley
IBD – Equity Capital Markets Summer Analyst, Goldman Sachs