Which internship would you choose?


#1

My ultimate goal is to hit FO, whether it be S&T or banking (would prefer banking).

I’ve been given offers and I’m split between two internships.

I’ve been offered an internship position in the finance division for a BB. I’ve yet to have been assigned a product group so there is a lot of ambiguity, but its clearly middle/back office.

I’ve also been offered a role in the S&T fixed income division of another BB. The internship itself is being marketed as more of a FO one, although I’m not too sure of this myself and would appreciate the advice of those on here.

From my understanding, it basically consists of working closely with Sales (seated on the trading floor if it makes any difference). Job includes performance analysis, product reporting, following up on market news. What I can recall is that there is a “lot of number crunching” and was a very “numbers oriented job”.

So the fixed income role is essentially a support function for the Sales force. It helps sales conduct daily routines of client maintenance and producing call reports. It entails a lot of reporting to senior management and entails a breakdown of performance by client and products.

There is also compliance work to meet the rules set out by regulators.

Another aspect of the role would be research–identifying new opportunities and clients. This would mean going through external sources and finding credible information on where the institutional buyers are and what their strategies entail.

So there you have it, the role comprises of both reporting and research.

On the other hand, I the Finance internship at the other BB pays substantially more and is part of a much more structured program. I’ll have classroom training, go through midterm reviews, be assigned mentors, the whole nine that comes with structured summer internships. Unfortunately, I have yet to find out which product area I’ve been assigned to.

So from a long term career perspective, if my aim is to get into a FO role, which internship should I choose. On one hand, the earlier internship is quite ambiguous and can be played as a FO role whereas Finance is clearly back office.

With my limited experience and knowledge, I can’t really discern which would look better come next summer for FT roles. On one hand, the later internship was marketed as more of a FO role whereas the first one is clearly a back office one (at least on the CV). The kicker though, is that the back office gig pays substantially more (I’m based outside of the US, so this could probably explain it. Perhaps I’m being put on a local package vs expat, not sure).

From a working environment perspective, I’d probably have more fun at the Finance gig by far, but I’m willing to grind it out given that its only two months and would happily take any abuse that comes along the way. In the end, I want something that will set me up for FT recruitment.

So given the circumstances, how would you go about making a decision?

Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Firstly, if this is an internship, whatever role you get is going to be a support role and not a front office role, no matter what you pick.

With regards to internships, personally I would select the one that looks better organised and gives you more experience. If you are an ad-hoc sales support role you will not get that much experience, although you might make contacts.

I suspect both roles will involve a lot of number crunching and sitting in front of a spreadsheet.

Sales requires a certain sort of personality, one which is not that common. If you wanted a front office role, you may also want to consider investment banking or trading as well. If you are certain you want to work in Sales, then do the sales role. If you would consider/prefer to do investment banking instead, I would go for the finance role. Accounting experience is a very useful thing to have.

What are your thoughts?


#3

I always suspected that it is always easier to make jumps across the FO, whereas if you’re in a MO/BO role, it would be much more difficult making the jump. So even if its sales, if the end goal is banking, I would presume that the Sales support role would be more beneficial given that it is technically a S&T internship.

What do you guys think?


#4

All internships are useful and either would help your CV and future applications. However if your ultimate goal is to do FO Sales or Trading, you should probably go for the front office sales and trading internship.

Also consider the firms though…internships often lead to job offers, so if you prefer a particular firm you may want to chosen them, regardless of the role.