Each summer, a new crop of students descend onto Wall Street for financial internships.
A killer internship helps you gain hands on experience and expands your network, arming you with the right knowledge for a future finance career.
To help you navigate through the internship hunt, Vault.com surveyed more than 12,000 current and former interns and provided a compilation of the best internships for 2018. The respondents were asked to review and rate their internship experiences based on an assortment of components. On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents scored their internships for five main areas: quality of life, compensation & benefits, interview process, career and development, and full-time employment prospects.
Vault then calculated the rating for each company and ranked them in order. Take a look at the 10 highest rated internships among investment banks, with comments pulled directly from Vault’s intern survey.
Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program
Perella Weinberg Partners is a boutique investment bank that provides corporate advisory and asset management services. It was founded in 2006 by notable investors including Peter Weinberg and Joseph R. Perella.
The firm’s summer advisory internship program received the highest score among the 10 best investment bank internships. It recruits summer analysts and associates to work in “advisory M&A and restructuring practices.” The program lasts for 10 weeks and contains a one-week training session, which hones interns’ skills in modelling and analytical expertise.
Pros: – “Significant levels of work responsibility. People weren’t shy with [about] giving interns analyst-level work, such as modelling. – Fantastic firm culture. Everyone I’ve worked with was positive, cooperative, and welcoming. – Lean teams. Deal teams were small enough that interns were given significant exposure to directors and above.”
Cons: “Hours can be long when you are busy. Addition of homework.”
Advice: “I initially considered pursuing a bulge bracket bank as a sophomore and a junior intern. However, I am very pleased that I had an opportunity to intern with Perella Weinberg. The access to the senior bankers provides you with an industry experience that larger banks can’t provide. The ability to see a project from start to finish teaches a great deal about [the] analysis that you don’t receive at bulge bracket banks that have you churn a great number of reps on the same concepts. Most importantly, the relationships you can build at a smaller firm like Perella are truly what make[s] the firm great. Being able to walk into a firm and know almost every single person that works in the office is special in the finance industry and is something that I will certainly cherish.”
Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program
The New York-based boutique firm offers a 10-week summer internship program, putting interns on a host of tasks including “attending client meetings, financial modelling, industry analysis, due diligence and process management and execution of transactions.”
Pros: “The responsibility was a great aspect. We were put onto deal teams as full-fledged members, and expected to bring our own angle and insights to the table. What came with this role was a large amount of responsibility, which, although daunting at first, was a very candid glimpse at what the full-time job would entail. The training program was also excellent, enabling us to step into these roles with the fundamentals and a solid foundation under us.”
Cons: “The hours can sometimes be long and unpredictable; however, this is something that comes with any job in investment banking. Relative other banks, the hours were actually quite good!”
Advice to potential interns:“While I had a lot of visibility going into the internship because the former interns and current analysts had spent a lot of time talking to me during the process about the experience, I wish I’d known that the interviews for Evercore are more technical and challenging than most other Investment Banking interviews.”
William Blair Investment Banking Summer Analyst and Associate Internships
William Blair, a Chicago-based investment firm, also has a 10-week internship program providing opportunities for interns to learn about the deal process. Interns will get exposure to a wide range of transactions types, including “mergers and acquisitions, public equity offerings, and private equity placements.”
The firm recently poached the U.S. head of credit sales and trading from the French bank Credit Agricole and an executive from JPMorgan to join its fixed income team in New York.
Pros: “We were allowed to work on live transactions as well as pitch projects, also in direct interaction with the clients that are mostly senior management members of US companies.”
Cons: “The fact that it’s near impossible to make plans outside of work in advance, because your schedule is very unpredictable, and [you’re] often at work late.”
Advice to potential interns: “Network as much as possible within the bank and learn the ins and outs of the company. Talk to current and former employees to get unbiased feedback.”
UBS Summer Internship Program
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, offers summer internship programs starting in June.
Pros: “Some of the best aspects to my internship this summer was being apart of a team. I did not feel like an intern, I felt as though I was an equal member of the team. In addition, I loved the fact senior management was very transparent and they were always open to giving all interns advice. Finally, my mentors were my greatest resource while I was an intern this past summer, they were always ready to lend a helping hand.”
Cons: “Challenging to balance the many aspects of the internship: networking, speaker series, work at the desk, familiarising oneself with the rest of the intern class – was ultimately beneficial for the development of time management and organizational skills”
Advice to potential interns: “There are many different placement areas that range from wealth management research to culture development to technical capital markets roles, so if you think you have a strong idea of what you want to do for your career, know that you are not guaranteed your first choice of [the] placement area.
-UBS has a mission unique to other Wealth Management firms and with a strong company culture it is, in my opinion, one of the best internship programs in the industry.
-A full-time offer would mean going through the Graduate Talent Program where you will rotate through 6 areas of the firm over 2 years.”
Baird Internship Program
Robert W. Baird & Co. offers a 10-week program as well as year-round opportunities for students.
The employee-owned wealth management firm allows its interns to get exposed to a wide variety of areas including investment banking, private wealth management, equity research, fixed income, compliance, and many more.
Pros: “Here were the best aspects: opportunity to work on live deals, well-rounded work, opportunity to work across industry groups, exposure to senior bankers, opportunity to participate in calls with clients, the people/mentors/general culture, atmosphere in the bullpen, the city, and the compensation.”
Cons: “The events and projects with firm-wide interns. Our job, work load, and [the] schedule is vastly different than other departments and often created issues for us.”
Advice to potential interns:”Don’t get too upset if you don’t pick things up quickly, especially if you have zero experience. Things come with time and the people here are very patient and understanding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Lazard Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program
Lazard, the 170-year-old boutique investment bank, provides summer internship programs on analyst and associate roles.
For summer analyst, it offers a 9-week program across a variety of locations including New York, Boston, Chicago, Huston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The program starts with a one-week formal training in New York City and pre-work assigned to all interns.
Its Summer Associate internship is a 10-week program available in the aforementioned locations, except for Boston.
Pros: “The internship is a Generalist program, and getting exposure to different sectors was one of the best aspects.”
Cons: “The workload was often uneven. There were times where I had nothing to do and times where I had a lot to do. Perhaps such is the nature of banking.”
Advice to potential interns: “Make sure to speak with both Restructuring and M&A professionals to determine which group better suits your interests, personal goals, and personality.”
Barclays Investment Bank (Americas) Front Office Summer Analyst and Associate Programs
Barclays’ front-office summer internship programs allow interns to gain experience in different areas – including banking, credit research, eFICC (electronic Fixed Income, Credit & Commodities), equity research, public finance, quantitative analytics, and etc.
Pros: “The culture and people is the best aspect of Barclays. The people, from junior to senior bankers, go out of their way to be helpful and care more about your success than holding lofty expectations. They really want you to succeed and support you in the process. Otherwise, the exposure to many different companies, financial analysis, and modelling, working on live deals and with clients was a high point as well.”
Cons: “There can be downtime at times where there is nothing specific to work on which can make the hours drag by, but most of the time this isn’t the case. However, I prefer to be working on something constructive and would often find things to keep me busy.”
Advice to potential interns: “This will be a challenging internship but it will also show you if you and this career are a right fit – it will push you to the limit and really make you want it.”
RBC Capital Markets Summer Analyst/Associate Program
RBC Capital Markets offers Summer Analyst positions in the U.S., with a focus on a wide array of specialisations, which includes but not limited to municipal finance, corporate banking, global credit, and technology.
On top of those, the bank offers Summer Associate and Summer Analyst positions in global investment banking and global markets.
Pros: “Getting an assignment with a quick turn around time that required all hands on deck and the opportunity to work one on one with a senior banker. There was immediate feedback and getting to see my work in action quickly and have it be successful for the client and the firm was extremely rewarding.”
Cons: “I felt like the structure could have been a little more rigid – it felt as if they just put us on desks (that we wanted) and then the rest was up to us. That aspect of it being up to us has its pros and cons, but if you are not prepared for this style it could be detrimental.”
Advice to potential interns: “How important it is to leverage the people at RBC. it is so crucial to meet people and be interested and show that to everyone.”
Goldman Sachs Global Summer Internship
Goldman Sachs offers students a web of opportunities, ranging from “one-week spring internships” to “eight-to-ten week summer internships.” For summer programs, Goldman hires students to fill its intern-level analyst and associate positions. Through these experience, interns can get a glimpse of what it is like to work at Goldman full-time.
Pros: “The people I’ve interacted with at Goldman Sachs are very collaborative, team-oriented, and friendly. They are willing to help you but also give you the freedom to learn on your own. I like that even the most senior people are willing to meet with interns for a coffee chat. There were MDs who I emailed not expecting a response, but they set aside time to talk about my experience. I also think that interns are welcomed and seen as equals. I integrated on to my team well and feel like a full-time analyst. I don’t feel that I am inferior to anyone on my team because I’m ‘just an intern.'”
Cons: “The hours, similar to any investment banking job are quite challenging.”
Advice to potential interns: “Try to find an HCM recruiter for the division you are interested in, and get them to connect you with analysts in the division you are applying to. Speak with the analysts and show your interest. Many times, analysts will put you in contact with their managers who, if impressed, will work hard to get you a [place] on their team. Even if it doesn’t work out, knowing a greater amount of people at the firm will always be beneficial.”
Bank of America Internship
Bank of America offers internship programs that expose interns in a variety of areas, such as consumer and commercial banking, treasury, audit, technology, human resources, and wealth and risk management.
In addition to finishing their daily work, interns are able to attend “training sessions, informational lunches, and networking events.”
Pros: “The internship is what you make of it. If you choose to not interact with Financial Advisors in the office, you will only complete program requirements and not get much out of the experience. Conversely, an intern has the unique privilege to interact with everyone in the office from all different roles, allowing the intern to gain a broad knowledge of how the company operates in general. Secondly, the corporate culture at Merrill Lynch is outstanding. Everyone is willing to help each other; even those who I have contacted from across the country. Amazing company, I really believe in Brian Moynihan, and hold that Merrill and BoA will continue to great success.”
Cons: “I wished that there had been other interns or speakers in my location to interact with.”
Advice to potential interns: “Have a positive attitude and show a desire to learn.”