So I didn't get an Internship...


Hi guys,

I’ve just completed my penultimate year at university, and I was hoping to be heading straight into an already secured internship this summer. Unfortunately, having taken the time and care to complete at least 25 applications to both IBs and professional services firms, I ended up with one telephone interview, which ultimately led to nothing. I know times are tough and the competition is fierce (I only know a couple of people who secured an internship, and that was through family contacts rather than themselves). Even though I’ve still got my final year to go, I already feel that I’m massively behind in the race for a graduate job. I was banking on an internship to really bolster my questionable CV. Other people I know seemed to be applying for the money but I really wanted the experience and would have easily done an unpaid one!

I was just wondering if any of the guys on here have gone through the same thing? Have you got any advice for me? Is there anything I could be doing (other than your typical holiday sort of work) so that this summer is a complete waste for me?!


Getting something in IB would be difficult

As for professional services maybe try a smaller local firm of chartered accountants? It would probably be unpaid but it would be good experience - also maybe use the time to do some voluntary/charity work/travel?


Don’t put too much pressure on yourself NativeTongue, I was in the same position as you applying for internships, but managed to land one after the exams during the June period. What I would advise is start to look at volunteering positions, there’s always something out there, its just how willing you are to go out of your comfort zone. Like Hunter said above ^^, any experience this summer will be a good experience. also start applying now to grad schemes, Deloitte’s has already started so go go power rangers.


Hey jkuk123, it doesn’t seem like I’ve got your luck then as I’ve been sending speculative emails to local firms and the ones that do bother to reply say that they have no vacancies available! I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself but I just keep thinking that if I graduate without any internship experience that I’m going to be job hunting for quite a long time! In terms of the volunteering positions, have you done any personally, and if so, how did you go about it?


It can be hard even getting voluntary positions

you just have to do the same thing and hope some firm will listen - i tried many firms then one called me for an interview and now i go in and do some work there on proper client work

or you could do some voluneteering in some charitable way


Well I’ve signed up to my university’s volunteering society and they send great stuff weekly and keep in touch in the Summer to help students. However all the people who you have to email are at my university so my advice is to visit you’re university’s website and see what they have there.

For example, in this weeks newsletter theres:


Volunteer Stewards or Guides

Open House London is the Capital’s largest architectural showcase is taking
place on 19 & 20 September 2009.

It is a simple but powerful concept: in celebration of design excellence,
700 buildings of every conceivable type, shape and size will open their
doors to Londoners completely for free. For one weekend in the year,
Londoners come together exploring all corners of the Capital, inspired by
the power of architecture to transform the quality of our lives.

We hope you’ll want to join the team as a volunteer steward or guide,
helping to facilitate an opening at a participating building during a
morning or afternoon.

I did a few days of volunteering here and there at various events rather than an internship last summer. Believe me employers love that you have something to talk about. So I hope this helps! If you need more info PM me


Hi there,

Well, I study International Business and during my 2nd year I was applying for number of placements and did get some interviews but I was unsuccessful on each occassion. So there was nothing else for me to do so I considered year abroad through Erazmus and then when I completed one year of Erazmus program I got 6 months work placement. So I did get internship through this.


NativeTongue, don’t despair - there will be plenty of opportunities in the following year! Just enjoy your studies - this is the best time of your life. However in order to succeed I advice you to do the following:

  1. the graduate program application processes will commence very shortly - so try to prepare a good cover letter - it seems like you have a massive experience in writing them - just try to analyze and understand what could be written better
  2. try to attend as much career fairs as you can and get acquainted with as many people from the banks as you can
  3. utilize the linkedin or any other network you can (alumni of your university, your friends’ friends. etc) and meet with as much people as you can during the end of August - September period and try to impress these people, so they could memorise you and somehow help to get an interview with their company
  4. try cold emails/cold calls - at least worth trying to meet people
  5. if you are in a good physical condition and don’t need money do some charity job - researcher for the care services/fund-raiser/participate in support of cancer reseacr like running 10 miles or even go to Africa for a couple weeks to teach theis children - this will differentiate your CV
  6. try to get at least an internship for the next summer or any other period you can - just in case)
  7. actively participate in the social activities of your university - organise some clubs (badminton or emerging markets club, or m&a club etc.) and organise the workshops/seminars for the members by inviting professionals e.g. investment bankers/consultants - these will also differentiate you from others and in addition help you build a network and show your leadership and teamwork skills
  8. stay positive and try to get a distinction
    good luck!

Hey. While, obviously, internships are good experience and good to have on your CV, I don’t think not having one puts you at a major disadvantage. I did a law degree and the only work experience I ever did in professional services was with law firms - yet I landed a grad job with a big prof services firm having only ever sent one application.

Try to do things this summer that are going to develop your skills or make you stand out. Ship out letters offering your (unpaid) services to every firm you can feasibly get to and see if you can get a couple of weeks work experience or something. Otherwise, any sort of commercial experience or voluntary work (are there any charitable organisations around that you’re particularly supportive of?) always looks good.

As others have said, don’t stress too much and at this point focus on getting the best degree possible, getting ready for applications and enjoying your summer :slight_smile: