Getting a graduate job at investment bank with no internship/experience


Hey Wikijob. This is my first post on the forums so go easy!

I’ve just finished my second year of uni studying maths at a decent university (not oxford or cambridge). I didn’t manage to get an internship this summer, or work experience anywhere. It’s looking like I might be getting a first next year ad I have generally good A Levels (ABB). I have heard stories that unless you have an internship there’s no point applying to Investment Banks for front office roles or grad schemes. Is this true? …and if it is, what can I do?

Looking forward to some help!



I am in the same boat here, recent graduate, no experience, are you applying for an internship at Rothschild?


It is really useful to have an internship or work experience. It looks like you know you want to work in IB if you have experience, and it means less work for the firm too - you need less training because you already have an idea what to do/ what you’ll be doing.

I know people who have got jobs at investment banks without experience, and actually with academic qualifications not as good as yours… but they did get those jobs before the credit crunch, when there were more jobs about in IB.

If you really struggle to get a graduate job at an IB there are a couple of things you can do:

  • You could apply for accounting and try to get a job at a good accounting firm, get the ACA or ACCA and get trained up and then re-apply for IB in three years with all that experience behind you. IB’s and consulting firms love applicants with accounting experience - and doing all this to get in to IB shows you really want to do it, also a very attractive characteristic for an employer.
  • You could apply for middle or back office roles at Investment banks, and once in, try to move to front office. (See this article - - about doing exactly this).

For more information on Internships, have a look at these two articles [[Internships]] and [[The importance of internships]]. Also have a look at the [[Investment banking]] section. Good luck!


I wouldn’t worry. Having an internship is a great benefit, but really they are just looking for bright people. If you get a first on your degree course then you should absolutely apply- and apply a lot. Make sure you apply not just to the [[bulge bracket]] banks but also to smaller institutions (see [[list of investment banks]]).



I have been called for an interview for the Rothschild LT internship for the IB division.

Was the interview very technical or more competency based ? Was there a lot of commercial awareness ?



Good luck christabelle, let us know how you get on.

I applied for summer internship , never heard back


Thanks Dangerousrave !! Any tips ? I should be reading up on the deals, researching the company and also brushing up on basic DCF and Comparables methods, WACC etc ?


I think you pretty much got it covered, I would say prepare for the competencies which often make or break interviewee.

the thing with DCF comps and other skills. they are easily acquired. It is there to make sure we turn up to the right interviews instead of say an interview to become a Vet or dentist and vice versa.

DCF comps, etc you either know it or you dont.

fingers crossed for you.

Don’t leave easy points on the table, like why us, what makes you think you will be good at this, tell us a time where you… bla bla bla . Those are bang on questions that are gonna be asked. so make sure u have the polished answers with oratory skills like Obama! (without the teleprompter of course)


Haha thanks a TON dangerousrave ! Will keep you posted !