[Editor's Note: The following comes from our UK Editor but is of interest here as well]
This is the first installment of this year's anonymous investment banking intern diary. The author will be reporting back weekly on what it's really like to spend the summer in the capital markets team at a leading investment bank.
I wake up in a panic. As usual, my alarm seems to have muted itself. This is bad: I'm not about to miss yet another university lecture, but the first day of my internship. NOT a good start.
I spend the next half an hour sweating on my commute to Canary Wharf and am running in my heels to get to the office. I arrive 15 minutes late, but it's thankfully no big deal - everyone's still milling about in the foyer saying hello to each other. Notably, they are mostly boys. I manage to find a few girls eventually, all of whom are looking as stricken as me to be immersed in such a sea of men.
The rest of the day turns out to be great. There's a panel with current analysts, during which - surprisingly - everyone seems initially reluctant to ask questions but ultimately poses the inevitable ones ("Do you have time for a life? What are the hours like?") and receives honest answers ("Barely." "Long.")
The first day ends with a drinks session with our 'buddies.' This is basically a networking session, of which I'm sure there'll be plenty more to come.
The remainder of the first week is spent in a computer suite learning the basics of accounting, how to value a company, and the use of Excel and Powerpoint.
I'm not very computer literate and I feel frankly overwhelmed with the amount we're expected to learn in a very short space of time.
By Thursday, I am knackered. I meet my buddy for a quick coffee and he tells me I have been assigned to a capital markets team. He also tells me that the earliest I can expect to leave the office will be 9pm, but that I can expect a free dinner in the office if I stay past 8.30pm.
On Friday, I have my first day on the new desk. I am pretty nervous and have NO idea what to expect. We are given an overview of the project we're supposed to submit in 8 weeks' time, which is pretty depressing as I barely understand it at all.
Nevertheless, things start looking up as I am introduced to the team and within an hour we are in the pub. Following this, I am introduced to another intern working near me. Depressingly, I note that she is looking at a MASSIVE file of numbers and Excel sheets. This is one hour after arriving on the desk.
I must clearly up my game. This could be an interesting summer. Stay tuned.