What you need to Have to Get an Internship in Finance
June 26, 2018
There is no better way to get into a career in finance than to have a related internship under your belt. A lot of opportunities await in financial companies and institutions for finance professionals. And it surely helps if you can add a couple of years of experience in your resume when you launch your career in finance after passing out from university.
While getting an internship in a lesser know firm is not very hard, joining a well known Wall Street firm is notoriously difficult more so if you are not from one of the elite Ivy League schools in the country. Firms like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs accept 1.5% to 2% of applicants to their summer internship programmes with acceptance levels dropping still further to those from non-target schools. However, if you consider some of the biggest names in finance, you will see that they are not from the usual finance backgrounds.
Here are some traits that you need to have to get an internship in finance.
Make out a list of the firms near you and proactively contact them instead of the other way around. You should let them know that you are interested in joining the industry and enquire if they want to take you on as an intern. It goes a long way to prove your initiative and also gives a platform to tell them the type of experience you are looking to gain. In this way you will know if they have anything on similar lines to offer you.
Another way to get a good finance internship is to tap into your known resources. There will surely be some alumni in your school who went into finance. Search those connections and be in touch with them, not merely through a casual email at times but through strong personal bonds. If you have a mentor pulling for you, not only will you get a good internship at a well known firm, the chances are that it might turn into a full time lucrative job if you can prove your worth.
Know your strong points
For getting a finance internship, you should know your strong points. If you do not, spend some time introspecting. Think of the reasons why a finance firm will give you an internship for 3 to 6 months. Evaluate the knowledge base and skill sets that will be beneficial to them. What experience do you have that will help them. Have you faced any challenges that you have ultimately overcome successfully? Is your interpersonal relationship with others conducive to a congenial work atmosphere? These are some of the aspects that should shine through when you face a financial internship interview. Small business advisors in Melbourne or wherever you are located generally look for these aspects before offering an internship.
Internship during school year
Summer internships are the most common in the financial sector and much preferred because you can devote time to it on a full time basis. However, financial firms prefer to take on interns during the school year and they have a point there. There is a great demand for financial consultants and advisors now and there is greater scope to hire you during school year than to spend time training you during summer internship and then send you back to school. The focus is always on going from intern to full time in one go. Look into this aspect when you decide on a financial internship.
Get a range of experiences
Finance is not a straightforward subject and has many ramifications. Hence, to get hands-on experience in many aspects, look to get a wide range of training and responsibilities. If you get an internship in a small form, you will probably work under the owner on a specific job only. But in an enterprise level firm, you will be assigned to a branch manager who will be working on a large number of projects ranging from marketing of financial instruments to portfolio management. Both are important and the greater is your real time experience coming out of school, the more prepared will you be for a well paying lucrative career in finance.
These are some of the factors that need to be considered for a career in finance through a suitable financial internship.