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Good News For Students: Wall Street Internships Seem Safe

As Wall Street continues to lay off thousands while some investment banking and fixed-income businesses dry up, many financial services firms still say they're planning to maintain their summer internship programs at current levels.

That’s the word that eFinancialCareers has received from a variety of companies such Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley.  Vanguard, the largest seller of index funds, also doesn’t plan any changes, according to Joshua Gandy, a company spokesman. It isn’t clear if hedge funds were in the same situation, although it seems likely that they would be.

Internships are still an invaluable way for students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, to gain experience in the hyper-competitive world of finance and investment management. There are opportunities across several business lines including investment banking, portfolio management and research. Applicants do not necessarily have to be business majors.

In fact, Keisha Smith, Morgan Stanley's Global Head of Recruiting and Diversity & Inclusion says "our programs are a cross-section of business, liberal arts and engineering majors. We believe there is significant value in recruiting talent from diverse academic backgrounds.”

Morgan Stanley and other banks are keen to recruit qualified women and minority candidates and veterans of the armed forces.  Programs vary as to requirements.  Many are based in New York City though there are opportunities in other countries and geographies.

Citiigroup, for instance, offers a program for students in their last year of undergraduate or Master’s a degree program a chance to work full-time to prepare for a career as an analyst.  Those interested in careers in trading or risk management might be interested in a summer associate position at Citigroup’s Global Commodity Sales and Trading business in Houston.

Applicants for Goldman Sachs’ program will need to explain their “motivation for applying” in 300 words or less along with information on their leadership experience.  Morgan Stanley suggests that applicants learn about the firm’s history and be able to discuss the financial crisis.

‘Choose one or two areas of the market that you can discuss with specific knowledge and enthusiasm,” the company said on its website. “No one expects a candidate to be on top of all areas of markets, finance and economics.”

MBA students interested in a career at hedge fund giant SAC Capital Advsisors will need to do more than just show up. They will need to do a “long” and a “short’ stock pitch if they are chosen to be interviewed at the firm’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, according to the company’s website.

As we've written many times before, interns have a leg up on their competitors when it comes time to get hired full-time.

"Our full-time Analyst Programs are generally 65-75% former summer interns,” said Morgan Stanley’s Smith. “Our summer interns are our primary source of recruitment for our full-time programs.”

AUTHORJonathan Berr Insider Comment

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