By now, most college students have their summer internship plans set. If you got that dream internship at some coveted Wall Street firm, congratulations.Now, there are still about three months before the official work crunch begins, and these three months should not be wasted.
To help you out, Clusterstock has compiled a list of things that you should start doing now while there’s time let.
Proficiency in Excel is crucial to any Wall Street internship--and job, for that matter. Going into an internship with polished Excel abilities means one less week to brush up on Excel if you are rusty. That also means one more week to impress the superiors with faster turnaround.
But also be careful not to over-prepare--interning at a Wall Street firm is sweet, but it's unlikely you'll be building quant models all day. A former Wall Street intern also told Business Insider that it's definitely not worth it to take modelling workshops or the like to prepare for the internship.
This shouldn't be new. Most economics classes in college will have reading the Wall Street Journal as a requirement. The Money & Investing section of the WSJ is the most crucial, and will be informative on the most pressing issues facing the financial industry and also familiarise you with financial terminology. Keeping updated on the news will also be good when you're in need of random talking points during networking.
Dressing the part is a crucial part of making any good impression. But it's also important to remember not to go over the top and be too conspicuous.
Need help? Check out Business Insider's intern style guide with 15 tips that'll help you start shopping.
Also, you'll be making good money as an intern, so reward yourself a little.
Like any other well-to-do corporation, Wall Street firms drug test. We've heard of banks springing surprise tests in the second semester after the offer is given, and we've heard of firms that let the incoming interns arrange the test on their own time.
Whatever the case, stop smoking weed. Seriously.
If you know which group you'll be interning in, it's good to find out exactly how your group works, what the chain of command is, and who the most influential figure in the group is, financial career advice website Mergers and Inquisitions recommends.
That's why it's beneficial to make a friend on the inside. This could be a fellow schoolmate, someone you became close to during networking before the interviews or during interviews, etc.
Source: Merges and Inquisitions
If you're really aching for something to do, two former Wall Street interns told Business Insider that reading books about the industry could be helpful (but not mandatory).
A former investment banking intern recommended Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions by Rosenbaum and Pearl. The other former intern, who worked in sales & trading, recommended The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities by Frank Fabozzi.
Both are working on Wall Street now, so this shouldn't be bad advice.
Source: Investment banking analyst, sales & trading analyst
If you over-network before your internship, you risk spreading yourself too thin and sending mixed signals to people in the bank, according to Mergers and Inquisitions. It is beneficial, however, to figure out one or two influential people in the bank that will vouch for you if you're clamoring for a full-time offer.
Talk to former interns or first/second year analysts, and figure out who has a record of helping interns get offers.
Source: Mergers & Inquisitions
Although interns perpetuate the imagery of overworked Wall Street types, you still need a place to sleep, so start looking for that 3 month sublet that's closest to wherever you'll be working.
Also, there is downtime--and you will want to be drinking and complaining with your friends. So figure out who among your friends will be in the city or will be doing similar internships, you're about to get real close.
Despite horror stories that are shared on the Internet and just stereotypes of the industry in general, you shouldn't panic.
Be positive, relax and get lots of rest. Some Wall Streeters may be harsh, but many understand that you're there to learn and will provide good guidance.