The Definitive Guide to Landing Your Investment Banking Internship

If you’ve found your way to this guide, you likely already know that investment banking is one of the most rewarding career paths out there. And you also know that it’s highly competitive. Landing an investment banking internship the summer before your senior year is the most common and direct route to getting an entry-level role upon graduation.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the recruiting process and show you how to get an investment banking internship: the “why” behind critical aspects, general timelines, and key networking and interviewing insights. The ultimate goal is to improve your chances of securing an investment banking internship offer.

Overview of Investment Banking Firms

We’ve found around 100 firms that offer publicly available junior summer internships that can turn into full-time positions upon graduation. There are certainly a good number of firms that only post positions with certain universities or only find candidates through their network. While it’s not always straightforward to group firms into categories, generally there are four types of firms – bulge bracket, middle market, independent boutique, and regional / boutique.

Bulge Bracket Investment Banks

Bulge bracket investment banks are full-service, global organizations that serve Fortune 1000 companies, institutional investors, and governments. These banks tend to have substantial balance sheets – as they do the largest deals and have a high deal volume – and they also have a wide range of different business units and geographically spread out offices, thus making bulge brackets the types of banks with the most employees. These are the largest global diversified investment banks in the word.

Bulge brackets offer an array of services beyond M&A. They cover debt financing, equity research, and sales and trading services as well as private wealth services in their consumer-facing arms. They’re also involved in developing new financial products.

Middle Market Investment Banks

Middle market investment banks serve clients that tend to range between $300 million to $2 billion in market cap. Deal sizes are usually smaller than the bulge bracket space, leading to more transactions. These are intermediaries that do M&A services, corporate restructuring, and debt and equity capital fundraising for mid-market firms. They tend to have a strong domestic local presence in the U.S. and don’t operate overseas. They’re also niche in that they generally work within a particular market sector.

Independent Boutique Investment Banks

Independent boutique investment banks tend to also serve the Fortune 1000, however are typically M&A-focused, helping on either the buy or sell side, and leaner than bulge bracket banks. They often specialize in both a particular industry and a specific transaction type.

Regional / Boutique Investment Banks

Regional / boutique investment banks are also known as regional banks because they tend to limit their operation to a certain geographic area or industry expertise. There are hundreds of these firms spread across the country.

Early Insights Programs & Sophomore Summer Internships

As the recruiting process for your junior summer internship unfolds, there are key activities and accomplishments that candidates should focus on in order to be well positioned for junior summer internship recruiting. Two of the more notable activities and accomplishments include early insights programs and your sophomore summer internship. Others include coursework, fall/spring semester internships and jobs, high school activities, and leadership roles in student organizations.

What Is an Early Insights Program?

Early insights programs consist of a wide range of initiatives and focus on a number of different audiences. While some invite students of all grades, most are applicable only to 1st- and 2nd-year students. Some are only available to Diversity and Inclusion candidates, while others are open to all candidates. They could run an hour or two for one day only, or they might extend over a few weeks’ time for just a couple of hours per week.

These programs typically involve a range of professionals that work at the firm. They provide insights into the company, tips on recruiting, and provide you with a network. For most of them, you must apply and be accepted. And many of them enable you to proceed with their interview process for internships. It’s highly recommended that you apply for and attend as many of these programs as you can. Students that are able to participate in early insights programs and make a good impression are at a significant advantage moving forward in the recruitment process for junior summer internships. In fact, early insights programs can pave the way for investment banking summer internships later on in your undergraduate career.

These programs typically cover most or all aspects of the hosting firm. For independent boutique firms that may be entirely investment banking; however, for bulge bracket, middle market, and other investment banks, it can include Sales & Trading, Equity Research, Investment Management, Operations, and other divisions throughout the company.

What Is a Sophomore Summer Internship?

The sophomore summer internship is your internship between sophomore and junior years. While the junior internship is a highly engineered recruiting process, the sophomore internship recruiting process is a mixed bag. There are several dozen of the 100+ firms that have sophomore summer programs where the objective is to recruit you for the junior summer internship – and ultimately a full-time position with the firm.

There are several other reasons for firms providing sophomore summer internships. Some want to give back by providing good experiences to students before they begin recruitment for their junior summer internships. Others simply have work that needs to be done. There are also an increasing number of firms – mostly private equity – that like to get out ahead and build long-term relationships that are centered around recruiting candidates for full-time positions that begin a year or two into their careers.

Outside of this select group of highly organized processes, recruiting for sophomore summer internships is all over the place. Students typically get internships in accounting, start-ups, boutique consulting and investment banking firms, wealth management, and a number of other types of companies.

Junior Summer Internship Recruiting Process

The process of securing your junior summer internship in investment banking typically begins your freshman year and continues until you win your junior summer internship position. For some students, that can be as early as into the second semester of your sophomore year, and for others, it can continue into your junior year. Getting a junior summer internship takes a significant amount of time to navigate. Students must plan ahead and know what firms are looking for in candidates so that by the time opportunities begin to roll out, they’ve made their applications as competitive as possible through relevant experience and creating a network within the investment banks where they desire to work.

What Is a Junior Summer Internship?
The junior summer internship is the most common path toward a full-time position in investment banking, private equity, and other competitive front-office finance roles. They usually last between 10 and 12 weeks, depending on the program. You’ll be fully immersed in a group or division while also learning about the firm’s culture as well as the responsibilities that come with an investment banking analyst role.

How Does the Recruiting Process Work?
Applications for junior summer internships in investment banking typically begin to come out during the fall of your sophomore year — more than 18 months before the actual internships begin. There will be a flood of applications during the winter and spring months of your sophomore year, which is when many students win their junior summer internships. Applications will then continue coming out into the summer after your sophomore year and the fall of your junior year.

How Hard Is It to Land an Investment Banking Internship?
When applying to these positions, the most prepared candidates will have already had one or two internships on their resumes, performed extensive research on the firms they are most interested in joining, and built relationships with professionals at five or more of their top firms.

This is an extremely competitive process, so it’s best to start thinking about structuring the path to winning your junior summer internship by the time you’re entering your sophomore year. You should apply to and subsequently accept offers to as many early insights programs as you can, as these positions will better your chances in securing your junior summer internship.

If you attend a university with a deep network of alumni in the industry and/or selective investment banking-focused organizations, you have a substantial advantage. If you don’t attend a university with a deep investment banking legacy, do not become discouraged — you definitely have a shot. However, your path will require additional networking and supplemental learning.

Why Do You Need an Investment Banking Internship?
If you don’t land a junior summer internship, it becomes significantly more difficult to break into investment banking, private equity, and other competitive fields in finance after you graduate. In addition, many of these companies use the junior summer internship as a gateway to full-time employment at their firms.

Application Timeline

Below is a comprehensive breakdown by year that provides a much more detailed look into how this process unfolds.

Freshman Summer and Fall Semesters Sophomore Year
The recruiting cycle for junior summer investment banking internships typically gets started with applications for early insights programs emerging in the summer before your sophomore year and continues into the fall semester of your sophomore year. Many of these are for Diversity & Inclusion candidates, but some of them are open to all candidates. There are a handful of junior summer internship applications that come out during the fall semester of sophomore year, but few, if any, interviews.

Spring Semester Sophomore Year
Once January or February of your sophomore year comes around, expect a lot of investment banking applications to be released, with interviews beginning soon after that. There is a flurry of activity from February to April as students head into finals and begin to think about and look for upcoming opportunities to land for the summer. This timeframe is when many middle-market, independent boutique, and bulge bracket investment banking summer analyst offers are made and accepted.

Sophomore Summer and Fall Semester Junior Year
If you still don’t have your junior summer internship lined up by the time your junior year rolls around, don’t give up hope. During the summer before and the fall of your junior year, many firms are likely to post quite a few applications. Some bulge bracket firms wait until the summer to post, and there are quite a few regional and boutique investment banks that don’t post until the fall of junior year. Additionally, we often see quite a few positions re-post during this time frame.

Spring Semester Junior Year
Junior summer analyst positions continue to come out during the spring semester of your junior year as well. One thing that surprises us as we monitor applications is how many positions would expire and then pop back up weeks or even months later. These situations typically arise when positions are not filled. Firms often close applications thinking they are done recruiting only to re-post these same positions after realizing they still have a spot or two to fill.

The Hiring Team’s Mindset

Investment banks want to hire summer analysts who will be valuable additions to their fast-paced teams. Interns are expected to make positive contributions to the overall success of the business while being independent, self-directed, and supportive.

The recruiting process begins for summer analyst candidates well before applications are posted. Junior bankers (incoming analysts, analysts, and associates) — i.e. your most direct peers — are the individuals who are typically screening new candidates.

Whether you’re having an informal coffee with a junior banker or a final round interview with a senior banker, it will be important for you to demonstrate and clearly communicate the following characteristics.

Financial Acumen
Demonstrating financial acumen is where you establish your credibility. School work alone isn’t enough. The best candidates have experiences that show they have a foundational skill set in finance and accounting.

Attention to Detail
Hiring managers are seeking out candidates with strong attention to detail. The work investment bankers do tends to be extremely high stakes, and one small error has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the pitch or deal you’re working on. Your meticulous attention to detail will be instrumental to the success of your team and overall organization.

Intellectual Curiosity
Investment banking is a field in which you’ll continue to learn new skills as time passes. You need to demonstrate that you have the aptitude to be a “forever student” in approaching the problems that you’re solving at work. That means you go into situations assuming that you don’t have all the answers and that you’re looking to learn, listen, and ask thoughtful questions.

Action Orientation
Successful investment bankers have a bias towards jumping into challenges, facing them head on, and pushing solutions step-by-step. You must be prepared to take control of a situation without waiting for someone to tell you what to do.

Writing Skills
As an investment banker, you will be in constant communication with your teammates and partners inside and outside of your organization. The ability to present your ideas through writing is crucial. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can write in a way that is not only grammatically correct but also succinct and concise.

Investment banking requires a great deal of resilience. Stress, long hours, competing ideas, difficult clients – all of this contributes to burnout, and so you must find ways to center yourself and stay on task. It’s important to always hold an executive presence and not allow the things that you cannot control distract you. You must be able to bounce back whenever faced with adversity.

Collaboration Skills
Investment banking is a highly collaborative field. Work is constantly getting passed around to be iterated on, and so you have to be available and willing to jump in at any given moment. Sometimes you’ll be way outside your comfort zone with what is being asked of you, but the team will need you to roll up your sleeves and figure it out. You must have a ready, willing, and able mindset, and you must possess strong interpersonal qualities.

Research Skills
Investment banking is a career path that requires strong research abilities. This means the ability to develop a thesis, gather evidence, offer support, and logically defend your thesis. If you are unable to demonstrate these qualities while networking early in the process, your resume could end up in the bottom of the pile.

The best way to demonstrate these characteristics is through your accomplishments and experiences. In the next section, we’ll help you form your pitch and story as you navigate through these conversations.

Your Resume and Story

In order to land an investment banking internship, you must have a compelling resume and be ready to tell your story in a way that connects your candidacy to the investment banking analyst role in addition to the bank you are interviewing with. Below are a set of strategies that will help you through the interview process.

Know Your Stories
Resumes are meant to be a place for you to demonstrate your strengths and differentiators rather than an exhaustive listing of your activities. Your resume should be your menu of options for stories to communicate in your interview.

If an interviewer asks about a bullet point on your resume, you should have a story behind that bullet point that demonstrates at least one of the characteristics the bank is looking for in candidates.

The best stories will demonstrate several characteristics investment banks are looking for simultaneously. For example, you could discuss steps that you took to build a 20-page presentation for a market research analysis to show how you arrived at a sense of conclusions based on initial assumptions. This one experience shows action orientation, attention to detail, intellectual curiosity, writing skills, and research skills.

Demonstrate Your Accomplishments
Bullet points on your resume should demonstrate your accomplishments and should reflect a bigger picture narrative. If you have a great story that demonstrates your action orientation, it should be on your resume. If you have a great experience on your resume, you should have one or several stories about that experience that demonstrate characteristics that are attractive to investment banks.

Use the Situation, Task, Action, Result Method
One approach that works well is the S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result) Method. Describe the situation, the task you were required to do, what you did, and what the result was. Only the action and result should be on your resume, whereas the situation, task, action, and result should all contribute to a story you tell that relates to the experience on your resume.

Your Pitch

You should be ready with your personal pitch for two settings: networking and interviews. It should feel natural. Think “show don’t tell.”

The Networking Pitch
The networking version of your pitch is typically somewhere between 15-60 seconds and can vary depending on the situation. The goal of the personal pitch in this sort of setting is to take the listener from “don’t know, don’t care” to “we should talk more to this person.”

The Interview Pitch
Most investment banking interviews will kick off with some variation of the questions “tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume.”

A good answer to this opening interview question is typically 1-2 minutes. The goal of your answer is to demonstrate that you are a strong candidate, that you are a great fit for the investment banking analyst role, and to create momentum going into the rest of the interview. Many candidates fall into the trap of listing out a chronological order of everything they’ve done since high school and don’t take the opportunity to differentiate themselves going into the rest of the interview.

A good answer to this interview question includes a unique accomplishment that not many other people can say and covers 2-3 of the character traits banks are looking for in candidates. You should also explain the “why” behind 2-3 important decisions you’ve made that led to that accomplishment. And then segue into laying the groundwork for why you want to go into investment banking as well as why you are interested in the firm where you are interviewing.

Is the Role a Fit?

While there’s a wide range of questions you may get in interviews, there are some key themes you’ll encounter that you should be ready to address.

Why Are You Interested in Investment Banking?
Your answer to this question provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you know what investment banking is in a way that connects to your experiences.

Why Do You Want to Work for the Particular Firm and Firm Type Where You Are Interviewing?
Middle market, independent boutique, bulge bracket, and regional/boutique firms are all very different from one another. Within each of these groupings, the firms can be different from one another as well. It’s key you build an understanding of these nuances and be able to articulate them well in your interviews.

Tell Me About the Investment Banking Analyst
How you answer this question will show how much you actually know about the role you are interviewing for.

Networking with Empathy

Networking is a critical and necessary screening tool for investment banks and an essential method for candidates to differentiate themselves and learn about the firms they are interested in. Generally it will be very difficult to win investment banking summer analyst positions if you aren’t effective at networking.

Why Is Networking Important for Banks?
Ultimately, investment banks are risk averse. In terms of recruiting entry-level talent, it is difficult and time consuming to identify and recruit qualified candidates who are willing to roll up their sleeves and learn.

The more sought after the job is, the more difficult it is for banks to use standard resume gathering and interviewing as a screening tool. These firms use the process of networking to discern who is serious about their organization and the analyst role.

Your Networking Goals
You can use networking as a powerful tool to advance your candidacy. Beyond helping you get more interviews and opportunities, networking will help you make more informed decisions. If you’ve connected with bankers at 15 firms, you’ll get a sense for which firms are most attractive to you and why.

Networking is about building trusted relationships with people and learning from them. It is purpose-driven advice seeking. For the select group of firms where you really want to work, you should strive to create a strong group of advocates at those firms who will increase your chances of getting an interview and, ultimately, an offer. Without these relationships, your chances of getting an internship or full-time role go down considerably.

How to Get Started
Everyone starts somewhere. Some students have a head start because they are at a university with a significant number of alumni in investment banking or they have a parent, family member, or neighbor who is an investment banker. Other students are starting from a blank slate.

Regardless of where you are in terms of your network, we recommend getting started with friends, family, older students, professors, or club members – whomever you can connect with. You never know what will be successful, so you have to put yourself out there.

One way you can introduce yourself is to say you are a student looking to ask questions and learn. For example, you could mention that you are really interested in investment banking and are excited to learn from professionals in the industry. You will be surprised by how many people are willing to speak with you. However, don’t feel bad if someone doesn’t respond. Keep trying.

Show Confidence and Humility
When networking, it is important to strike a balance between being confident and humble. Your intent is to explore and learn. Avoid coming off as pushy or arrogant, but don’t be afraid to act confident in your candidacy for the role you are pursuing. Nobody owes you anything. Always thank the other person and remember that one day, you will also pay it forward in supporting others in their career journeys.

Conversation Tips
When networking with investment banking professionals, it’s important to research the firm they work at before engaging in a conversation. It could really hurt the individual’s impression of you if you ask a question that is easily found on the firm’s website or a recent article.

Ask probing questions and always look for opportunities to ask memorable and thoughtful follow-up questions. Let’s say an associate you’re speaking with says, “We just closed a deal last week, so I finally have a bit of breathing room.” Instead of moving on to talk about your resume or story, ask what type of deal it was, what their role was, or what the hardest part of the deal was. This is a great way for you to learn and show your genuine interest in learning about the firm.

Stay Organized
Staying organized and diligent is half the battle with networking. If someone says that they have a connection for you and they haven’t gotten back to you, wait 2-4 weeks and then send an email or text to follow up.

You should have a spreadsheet or some sort of organized system to keep track of your contacts and relationships. Networking is a marathon, not a sprint. As you have more conversations and contacts, things get jumbled up, so have a way to stay organized and take notes.

Standing Out in Interviews
When you are going through interviews at a firm where you’ve built trusting relationships, you have an opportunity to shine. Just name dropping a bunch of bankers isn’t enough. In fact, doing that could hurt your candidacy. When the interviewer asks you to walk them through your resume, get out ahead of the interview by weaving in the top few reasons why their bank is one of the top banks you want to work for. Your answer should include information that is difficult to get outside of having relationships with bankers at the firm.

This also demonstrates why it’s important to stay organized and take copious notes after your networking conversations. The night before your big interview, you’ll want to review notes from calls you’ve had with professionals from that firm so it’s fresh in your head. You can’t be expected to remember everything you learned about the firm from memory.

Determining Which Bank Type Is the Best Fit
As your networking progresses, you should start to get a feel for the different bank types (bulge bracket, middle market, independent boutique, and regional/boutique firms) and which might be a better fit for you. Factors that could determine this include your geographic preference, personality, and interests. It is also typically influenced by your network and university. There is a complex ecosystem of firms and universities.

Firms tend to have a consistent group of core universities they recruit at. Typically, the number of core universities for a firm is correlated to the number of analysts they hire each year. Universities can have anywhere from 1-50 firms that consistently recruit their students. However, many firms recruit interns and full-time analysts from universities outside their core recruiting universities, so don’t give up hope if you are interested in firms that don’t recruit at your university. It just means you may have to work a bit harder.

Generally, you will want to narrow it down to one or perhaps two firm types. Then once you’ve narrowed down the firm type, you’ll want to develop a list of firms you are interested in and do your best to connect with as many bankers at those firms as you can. If you apply to firms where you haven’t connected with a single banker, it will be much more challenging to get an interview.

Staying in Touch with Your Relationships
Regardless of how well a call or coffee chat went, the banker you connected with may forget the conversation or overall impression they had of you after several months pass by. Staying in touch with your network will help you stay fresh in their minds and at the top of their list when future opportunities arise.

Similar to your first point of contact, it’s important to maintain your impression and reputation in all of your future exchanges. Whether you know it or not, an interaction with an individual is an interaction with their respective firm, so it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism while also being casual enough to facilitate an ongoing relationship. If you rub one banker the wrong way, you could put yourself in danger of jeopardizing the application process with that firm.

Another important thing to realize is that your contacts are not just a means to an end. Instead, these are people who are genuinely interested in providing you with guidance, mentorship, and advice that will put you ahead of other applicants who never made an effort to reach out. As a result, it is totally natural and encouraged that you reach out to ask questions, receive clarification, or talk through your current preparation situation with them. It goes without saying that you must also be cognizant of their time and look for the answer yourself before sending an email or asking to arrange a phone call.

In the same way that your contact will provide you with value, try to reciprocate this as much as possible. One suggestion is to send articles of recent news or updates about yourself that you think they might enjoy. Reaching out on a natural interval that is neither too frequent or infrequent is an important way to keep your conversations going and receive support throughout your journey to your offer and beyond.

Prioritizing Inclusion
The investment banking industry is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Keep in mind that the industry is not perfect, but leaders are well aware of these weaknesses and are making efforts to affect change. Recognize that in your networking and interviewing interactions, people may not be perfect.

Be patient, and remember to recognize the humanity of the other person. The other party is learning just as much from you as you are from them.

Application & Interview Process

The Adventis team has been monitoring investment banking summer analyst applications since 2020 and has a network of investment banking summer analysts. We, therefore, have a general understanding of how the application and interview processes will unfold for the Class of 2024 and Class of 2025.

General Timeline for Applications
While we have no way to tell what the process will look like, we can anticipate something similar to past years. What we’ve found is that a few investment banks typically post junior summer analyst applications starting in September of sophomore year. January of sophomore year is usually the first month with a meaningful number of applications. From January of sophomore year through September of junior year, anywhere between 10 and 60 applications are posted on a monthly basis. Once an application is posted, it can remain for as little as a week or two or as long as six months.

Reading Job Descriptions
The content of applications varies from firm to firm. Most investment banking internship applications will include a description of the company and/or group you are applying to. Most applications will also include qualifications required and responsibilities of the role. (See the table below for an example of typical qualifications and responsibilities.) Applications will also include more logistical items such as when and where the internship is and the deadline to apply.

Many students skim the content of applications and move quickly into filling them in. We encourage you to slow down and thoroughly read applications for the firms you are most interested in. How do they position the company? How do they describe the position?  What are they requiring of candidates? How can you better align your resume and interview preparation with the application? Completing this exercise properly will improve your candidacy for investment banking summer analyst roles.

Typical Qualifications

  • Must be pursuing a BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university with a graduation time frame between a specified period
  • Must demonstrate a track record of superior performance in extracurricular and professional activities
  • 5 minimum GPA preferred
  • Must have a combination of strong quantitative/analytical skills, attention to detail, and client focus
  • Strategic and creative thinking; distinguished written and oral communications skills
  • Assertiveness, initiative, leadership, strong work ethic, team focus
  • Ability to learn quickly and take on new responsibilities

Typical Responsibilities

  • Developing and maintaining complex financial models
  • Performing various financial analyses, including valuations and merger consequences
  • Conducting comprehensive and in-depth company and industry research
  • Preparation of presentation and other materials for clients
  • Participation in due diligence sessions; communication and interaction with deal team members

The Application Process

For the most part, firms require you to apply directly to the application on their website. Many firms will post positions and enable you to apply on Handshake, but it is generally recommended to also apply on the firm’s website directly. When applying directly on a company’s website, some companies will require you to create a login to apply, whereas other companies will let you apply on the spot without creating a user profile. A few firms use LinkedIn or other third party websites entirely and do not have applications on their website.

Most applications will include basic information such as name, university, GPA, degree, discipline, phone number, graduation month and year, etc. Most applications will also require you to upload a resume and cover letter. Additional requirements may include submission of your SAT, ACT, or other test scores, confirmation that you are authorized to work in the U.S., and your LinkedIn profile URL.

Firms may ask if you would like to disclose whether you meet the criteria of someone in an underrepresented or historically marginalized group. There may also be special programs for candidates who come from walks of life that historically may not have led to an investment banking career.

Each firm handles its diversity and inclusion strategy differently, but general categories tend to include some or all of the following: Women, Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander, Veteran, LGBTQ+, and Differently Abled.

Banks are also increasingly requiring additional assessments of candidates. You may be required to answer questions on the HireVue platform, complete a Pylometrics assessment, or fill out a Suited assessment. These additional assessments can play a meaningful role in whether or not you get a first round interview.

Filling in Your Application

The team at Adventis has found that applicants will often rush through filling in this portion of the application, which leads to the potential for incomplete information and typos. We want to offer you a gentle nudge and friendly reminder to give all application sections the attention that they deserve; companies pay attention. Bankers are known for their attention to detail and candidates are often skipped over because of a single typo on a resume.

Firms of all sizes — but larger companies especially — use software that automatically screens candidates based on these bare minimum characteristics. If you are unable to indicate that you meet a basic set of criteria, your application will likely receive an automatic rejection. So it’s important that you get the details right off the bat and do not rush through your application.

Informing Close Contacts of Submitted Applications
If you’ve applied to an investment bank where you have a close relationship with a banker, it’s generally a good idea to stay connected during the application process for that bank. It’s also recommended that you reach out to your contact after you’ve submitted your application. The contact can then flag your resume through the appropriate channel so that your resume can get placed at the top of the pile.

Application → Interview Timing

While monitoring when applications are posted is fairly straightforward, understanding when interviews will be conducted and when these firms will lock down their summer analyst classes is much harder to predict.

There are a number of factors to consider, including:

  • Which university you attend
  • Whether or not the university you attend is a core recruiting university for the firm you are interviewing with
  • Whether you are eligible for diversity and inclusion programs
  • The recruiting timeline of the firm you are interviewing with
  • The size of the intern cohort at the firm you’re interviewing with

It’s a fairly complex ecosystem with many moving pieces. A firm that begins interviewing in February for a cohort of 30 interns may have their intern class filled by March. A firm that begins interviewing in June for a cohort of 300 interns may have their intern class filled by November.

How Many Firms to Apply To
There’s no one answer to how many firms you should apply to. There’s so much beyond your control, so it wouldn’t be the best strategy to apply to only a few firms. If you wanted to apply to 50 or more firms, technically it couldn’t hurt. However, diversifying too much could strain the amount of attention you’re able to spend on each application. We recommend narrowing down the firm type you’re interested in. Are you more interested in bulge bracket, middle market, independent boutique, or more regional firms? If you’re very interested in one of these bank types, you should make sure to focus a majority of your energy on firms that fit that profile. A general rule of thumb is to apply to 10-20 firms.

The Adventis Class-Specific Finance Career Newsletter

Adventis is currently monitoring summer analyst positions for the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025. If you subscribe to the Class of 2024 Finance Career Newsletter or Class of 2025 Finance Career Newsletter, you will get full access to our internship database and receive ongoing alerts to let you know when new applications come out.

These databases include an exhaustive list of investment banking summer analyst roles; however, they also include summer analyst positions in private equity, equity research, capital markets, investment management, and other competitive finance roles.

See all summer analyst positions available for your class

Final Words of Wisdom

Put simply, the biggest factor behind how to get an internship in investment banking is the amount of discipline and preparation you have, combined with your propensity to work harder than your competition.

Most candidates who get to the interview stage, particularly if you make the final stage of interviews, will make a great fit, so the margin between those candidates tends to be very small. You will need every edge you can get. Practicing is key. Get as many reps as you can. Remember that if you want to separate yourself from the competition, you will have to go farther than most are willing to go.

One accomplishment that has provided many students with a strong talking point while networking and in interviews is earning their Adventis certification through the Financial Modeling Certification (FMC) Program. The FMC Program consists of 8 hours of instructional videos that take you through every step towards building your own investment banking-quality financial model.

Earning the certification requires you to build an 8-tab financial model entirely from scratch in under 90 minutes with less than 10 formatting errors and minimal formula errors. Getting certified requires you to practice 5-10 or more times before you’re fully ready for your first attempt at becoming certified. Obtaining the Adventis Financial Modeling Certification shows through your actions and accomplishments that you have strong financial acumen, attention to detail, and action orientation.

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