Work experience investment Banking
The vast majority of successful applicants to banking and investment graduate schemes have previously completed a relevant internship – mainly at the same institution. Typically 50% to 70% of graduate hires in banking and investment have worked for that organisation as an intern. In some cases the figure is even higher: 90% or above.
Most banking and investment internships are only open to students in the summer between their penultimate and final years at university, with application deadlines typically falling in December or early January of the penultimate year. For students on three-year courses, that means applying in the autumn term of the second year.
Increasingly, banks are adding an even earlier stage to the process. Many now run spring insight programmes, which provide students with a short introduction to their organisation prior to applying for internships.
These last between one day and two weeks, and are generally aimed at students in the first year of a three year degree, or the second year of a four year degree. Deadlines typically fall in the January of the first/second year.
It’s unclear what percentage of interns are drawn from spring insight programme alumni; however, these are very much thought of by recruiters as the first stage of the talent pipeline, and are designed to give attendees a head start.
Search for investment banking internships and spring placements on TARGETjobs.
What are banking and investment spring insight programmes?
Spring insight programmes – aka spring internships, spring analyst programmes, insight programs (sic), insight weeks or insight days – typically give students an overview of the bank in question, and insights and advice on getting through its recruitment processes. They often include elements such as:
- attending seminars/presentations on different aspects of the business
- work shadowing
- participating in case studies or business games
- attending social or networking events
- learning about the organisation’s internship and graduate recruitment processes and how to succeed in them.
One-day events are sometimes held on university campuses; longer ones tend to be based at the employer’s offices. They are not always paid as such; however, expenses such as accommodation tend to be covered.
With longer insight programmes, students who perform well may be fast-tracked through the initial stages of selection for summer internships, or even offered an internship outright.
Can I still get an internship if I haven’t done a spring insight programme?
Overall, students who have completed spring insight programmes will be a step ahead of those who haven’t in the race for banking internships. Even if they don’t have an offer of a place or a fast-track route, they will have first-hand knowledge of the institution and advice on the recruitment process. However, at this stage it’s perfectly possible to catch up. If you need to do so, develop your knowledge of the banking and investment industry and compile evidence of this. Useful activities include:
- getting work experience in a finance setting
- taking on finance positions at university, eg society treasurer
- developing knowledge of the financial markets
- becoming familiar with the terminology used in the particular banking or investment sector that interests you
- talking to any lecturers or visitors to your university who are familiar with the sector.