Could being a summer associate help you land a job after graduation?

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If you're a business school grad student, chances are you've just spent the last eight months in the classroom. And now that summer's here the last place you want to be is in some cubical or conference room crunching numbers as a summer associate for a financial services firm. Or is it?

Sure, you're missing out on the beach party action, but look at all the on-the-job training you're receiving not to mention some invaluable access to Wall Street giants. Plus, if you are one of the lucky few to be accepted into a summer associate program, chances are you have your mind focused on one thing - returning to school with a job offer to start work as soon as you graduate.

Well, you may not want to put your resume away so quickly. According to an eFinancialCareers survey, less than half (49%) of Wall Street firms expect to extend offers and then only to 10 percent or less of their summer associates.

We surveyed nearly 160 firms in an attempt to learn where the hiring was taking place. Here's what we found:

· Operations - Operations is a multi-faceted area delivering execution speed and streamlined processes to banking, sales, trading, and asset management. Currently, operations job postings on eFinancialCareers have grown more than 80%, as compared to the prior year.

· Debt/Fixed Income - After 15 straight months of job postings growth in this category, it's not a great surprise to find this is a summer priority. Interest rate products, credit products and even mortgages are all sourced from this group.

· Corporate Finance - Wall Street competes to offer the best advice for corporate balance sheets including share repurchases, financing strategies, derivatives, and cash optimization

· Research - Associates will help generate fundamental research and analysis of companies, industries, markets and economies. In this category, eFinancialCareers job postings have jumped 53% year over year.

· Compliance - Former regulators and enforcement officers can populate this department and teach summer associates the complexities of ensuring compliance in a global financial firm. With regulatory reform still being implemented, there will be plenty to talk about.

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