Recommended content
1.1k

What are finance internships and how they work? A global intern jobs list

In this photo business meeting.

The graduate unemployment problem is age-old: you need the experience to get a job, but you need a job to gain experience. It’s no surprise that so many recent grads end up waiting tables or working in retail to pay off their student loans while grappling to take that first step along their chosen career path. And if you’re a fresh graduate trying to break into the highly competitive industry like finance, it’s even worse.  

To illustrate this point, consider a study done by Glassdoor, which revealed that “On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job.” So, how do you make sure you’re the one who gets the job? In her Forbes article titled “10 Ways To Stand Out In A Very Competitive Job Market,” Bianca Miller Cole argues that one of the best strategies you can use to stand out to recruiters is to gain relevant work experience. 

Additionally, a survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) acknowledges that 91% of employers prefer candidates to have work experience, and 65% of them prefer candidates to have relevant work experience. 

So, given the above, it becomes clear that your chances of getting a graduate job will be boosted if you get an internship while still in college. 

In today’s article, we’re going to focus on internships in finance, since it’s one of the most competitive industries to break into. 

So, what actually is a finance internship? 

A finance internship is a program offered by companies, nonprofits, and even governmental organizations to possible employees. Interns can work either part-time (less than 30 hours per week) or full time (30-40 hours a week). Finance internships usually last between one and four months, but some internships can last up to a year. The duration is generally agreed upon by both the intern and the employer early in the process. The goal of a finance internship is to get acquainted with the financial industry.

What does a finance intern do?

Regular duties and responsibilities for a finance intern include generating and analyzing financial reports, taking notes during meetings, preparing statements, and assisting with research and data entry. A finance intern might also perform administrative work while shadowing members of the finance department as they perform their duties. 

Do finance interns get paid? 

Internships can be both paid and unpaid. Whether you’ll get paid and how much depends on the previous experience (if any), skills, year in school (whether you’re undergraduate, graduate, or an MBA student), type of position, type of employer, and location. 

What are the benefits of a finance internship?

There are many benefits to completing a finance internship. Here are some of them:

Gain work experience and increase marketability

Though academic credentials say a lot about your work ethic and abilities, employers prefer candidates that have experience relevant to their hiring position. Notably, 91% of employers responding to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ survey said that they prefer candidates with work experience, and 65% of the total group indicated they prefer candidates to have relevant work experience.

With this in mind, an internship allows you to take on tasks that will be expected from you at your future job, so at your interview, you’ll be able to tell the hiring manager, “Yes – I can handle that. I did it at my internship.”

Apply what you learned in the classroom

College learning can only take you so far. Internships are a great way to apply the knowledge from the classroom to real-world situations. As an intern, you will be enabled to apply theories and concepts you’ve gained from different classes in real-life situations, thereby reinforcing these concepts.

Make new connections

You can make many new professional connections through an internship experience. Networking is often one of the best ways to land a new job and a primary way to learn about unadvertised job opportunities.

In fact, according to a survey done by Lou Adler, the CEO and founder of The Adler Group, between 60 and 85 percent of jobs are filled through professional networking.

Gain valuable recommendations

Your internship supervisor has seen your talents and abilities in action and is an excellent reference for prospective jobs. Other people with whom you work closely at your internship can also serve as references for your future job hunt.

Meet people with similar interests

Finance internships introduce you to other students or recent graduates who share your passion for the industry  — which certainly helps both your career and social life. 

Gain professional feedback

One of the best ways to improve your performance is to ask for feedback from supervisors and coworkers. However, it is essential not to be defensive. If you accept the criticism offered, you can improve areas that you need to strengthen, and you will be a more desirable employee later.

Increase confidence

Even if you had a job before or during college, you probably don’t know what the day-to-day experience of working in finance will be like until your first internship. When you choose to intern, you’ll first experience what it’s like to work in the office environment, interact with supervisors, colleagues and stakeholders as well as what it’s like to handle customers or clients. All of this could be beneficial to your future career. 

When to apply for finance internships?

Generally, vacancies for most finance internships open around September/October and close in December the year before you want to start interning. If you’re hoping to intern at mega-corporations like IMB, you will want to attend the Fall Career Fair at your college and start the internship application process there.

Be prepared to wait for your resume to get processed for months. On the other hand, if you want to intern at a smaller company or a startup, the process is different. The majority of small companies are likely to hire interns 2-4 weeks before the end of the school year and the hiring process is faster as well as more personal. 

How to increase the chances of getting a finance internship

Résumé: If you still don’t have a professional résumé on hand (or haven’t updated it in ages), you need to start working on it immediately. If you are still in college, go ahead and visit the career center. A career counselor should be able to assist you in putting together an effective résumé. They also may have examples of résumé templates and layouts that you could use to make an excellent first impression.

Once you assemble your résumé, look at the internship that you want and make sure that you include items related to what that company is looking for. For example, if they look for someone with experience using financial software, you should include your experience using Excel, Mint, Personal Capital and other programs. 

Cover letter: Always include a cover letter with your résumé to make sure you stand out better to recruiters. According to Sian Havard, the founder and consultant at the recruitment company Milkshake Group,

“All employers and recruiters ask for different things in their application processes, but it’s generally expected that you include a brief, relevant cover letter. If you submit an application without one, it’s likely to be ignored.” 

To read the full article by Sian Havard on writing the perfect cover letter, please click here

Please note: A good cover letter can spark the recruiter’s interest and get them to read your résumé. On the contrary, a poor cover letter might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder.

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, follow a tested cover letter format:

  1. Header: Include your contact information (your full name, street address, city, zip code, phone number and email address).
  2. Opening paragraph: Grab the recruiter’s attention with the top 3 of your achievements.
  3. Second paragraph: Describe why you’re the ideal candidate for the position.
  4. Third paragraph: Describe why you’re a good match for the company. Do you share the same values as the company you’re applying to work for? 
  5. Formal closing.

Reference letters: You should have 2 or 3 great reference letters on hands always. It is good to have an academic reference from a professor or advisor, professional letter from your previous employer (even if it was a summer job) and a personal recommendation letter from a close friend who could comment on your character. Having these available will reduce the hassle when someone asks for one.

How to find finance internships?

Your odds of finding the perfect finance internship increases if you employ several different strategies. Searching for the internship database at your college (if there’s one), networking, attending college career fairs and speaking with recruiters directly, or merely searching online are all great ways to begin conducting your finance internship search. 

Here’s a list of the top 50 finance internships: 

  1. Blackstone Group 
  2. Credit Suisse 
  3. Deutsche Bank 
  4. Goldman Sachs 
  5. J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank 
  6. Lazard 
  7. Morgan Stanley 
  8. Northwestern Mutual Financial Network 
  9. UBS Investment Bank 
  10. BlackRock 
  11. Capital One 
  12. Bank of America 
  13. Visa
  14. Frazier & Deeter Discover Financial Services Internship Program 
  15. Charles Schwab Intern Academy
  16. Finance Leadership Development Program
  17. Bloomberg Finance, Data and Support Internship 
  18. Aetna Summer Associate Program
  19. Vanguard College to Corporate Internship Program
  20. Armanino LLP Audit, Tax and Consulting Internship
  21. Withum Internship Program
  22. CBIZ MHM, LLC Internship
  23. Wipfli Internship Program
  24. Baker Tilly Accounting Internship
  25. PwC Summer Internship Program
  26. KPMG’s Global Internship Program (GIP)
  27. Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program
  28. William Blair Investment Banking Program
  29. Barclays Investment Bank (Americas) Front Office Summer Analyst and Associate Programs
  30. PJT Partners Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program
  31. Guggenheim Securities Summer Analyst Internship Program
  32. Baird Internship Program
  33. Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program
  34. Blue & Co., LLC Accounting Internship
  35. J.P. Morgan Corporate, Asset Management and Corporate & Investment Bank Programs
  36.  IBM Employment Pathways for Interns & Co-ops (EPIC)
  37. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Internship
  38. Boston Consulting Group Summer Internship Program
  39. American Express Company Internships 
  40. McKinsey Consulting Internship
  41. The Coca-Cola Company Internship Programs
  42. Ernst & Young Internships
  43. BMW Summer Internship Program
  44. LinkedIn Corporation Internship Programs
  45. Johnson & Johnson Internships
  46. PayPal Holdings, Inc. Internship
  47. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Summer Internship
  48. Staples Internship Program
  49. Burlington Stores Corporate Summer Internship Program
  50. Accenture Summer Analyst Program

Conclusion

Work experience has become a standard requirement in job advertisements. Employers want to see recent graduates with real working experience through internships. A finance internship can help you stand out to recruiters from other applicants and show your ability to succeed in a professional environment. So, if you’re interested in a career in finance, start applying today.

FAQs

What is a finance internship?

A finance internship is a program offered by companies, nonprofits, and even governmental organizations to possible employees. Interns can work either part-time (less than 30 hours per week) or full time (30-40 hours a week). Finance internships usually last between one and four months, but some internships can last up to a year. The duration is usually agreed upon by both the intern and the employer early in the process. The goal of a finance internship is to get acquainted with the financial industry.

What does a finance intern do?

Regular duties and responsibilities for a finance intern include generating and analyzing financial reports, taking notes during meetings, preparing statements, and assisting with research and data entry. A finance intern might also perform administrative work while shadowing members of the finance department as they perform their duties.

Do finance interns get paid?

Internships can be both paid and unpaid. Whether you’ll get paid and how much depends on the previous experience (if any), skills, year in school (whether you’re undergraduate, graduate, or an MBA student), type of position, type of employer, and location.

What are the benefits of a finance internship?

A finance internship gives you the opportunity to:
1. Gain work experience and increase marketability
2. Apply what you learned in the classroom
3. Make new professional connections
4. Gain valuable recommendations for future employment
5. Meet people with similar interests
6. Gain professional feedback
7. Increase confidence in the workplace

Be first to rate

Join us on Twitter or join our Telegram

Author

Ben Jordan is an experienced author, trader, markets analyst, signals strategist, and funds-manager with a deep knowledge of market cycles and financial indicators.