The last 9 weeks of my internship were intense - we are in a tough deal environment but life was busy! I had no more than 1 day off the entire internship. But with hard work came a great learning opportunity -- I can now understand the three financial statements inside and out, and know how to build an accretion/dilution model. As a policy major, I've never had to do this in classes so for me the internship taught me not only finance but the importance of professional presence. I was contributing my ideas on market trends and economic forecasts during meetings with MDs. I have had experience presenting policy briefs and defending my work in my courses and past internships, so my presentation skills were readily useful -- as my HR reviewer highlighted to me, being straightforward and logical in presenting my insights to bankers is what got me the full-time offer.
There's already a wealth of information out there about what a banking internship is like, but I have found that many resources don't detail what makes or breaks whether an intern receives a full-time offer.
Here's a quick list of the tips and tricks my mentors told to me over my summer -- reminding myself of the following definitely made me confident and composed in my internship:
1. Your supervisors during the internship are judging interns on their ability to pick up finance quickly. This is fundamental to the job - get the model right, ask questions when you don't understand, and do everything better the second time. Don't let mistakes inhibit your ability to perform well -- every intern had errors in their work but it came down to whether interns learned how to improve upon their work.
2. Bankers may take out their frustration or stress out on interns but always remain poised and confident. One time I followed my associate's directions, but I was still yelled at because he realized it was the wrong path to follow -- I responded by being as resourceful and helpful as possible, helping the associate outline the correct next steps. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to have a positive attitude -- interns can bring energy and leadership through their willingness to help.
3. Find a few bankers in your industry / product group who will act as your mentors -- they can make your experience better by requesting you on their project teams. And they can feed you the "inside knowledge" in the group so that you can try to work with people who you click with.
4. There is an element of randomness to the people you work with over the summer, and it's hard to change that if you don't get along with your team. Thus it's very important to do your due diligence - speak with other analysts and get to know how MDs and your direct supervisor like to work - that way you can maximize your chances of getting great feedback from those who write your reviews.
Also, from the flurry of on-campus firm presentations, it is all too clear that full-time recruiting is in full swing. Many requests for resume reviews have come in, and we'll be posting more regularly in the next few weeks (especially with interview tips for full-time interviews).
I'd also like to reward our loyal readers with a freebie given our long break (we were busy at BBs for the summer or working full-time at MBB): The staff will give a free critique to the first three people who 1. share a notable anecdote from their summer in finance/consulting and 2. send along their resume. Send them to email@example.com (for finance) and firstname.lastname@example.org (for consulting).