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The rise of internship addicts in Chinese investment banking

Internships are a must for students aspiring to work for bulge bracket investment banks, but having only one under your belt puts you at a disadvantage to the competition. A new breed of Chinese students are going to extremes ensure they make the cut – at least four internships before securing an analyst position. This is who you’re up against.

1. Sabrina Chan: Eight internships

Sabrina works as an analyst for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. She did her first internship with AXA in 2009 - while she was still in high school. While studying economics at the University of Cambridge from 2011-2014, she seemed to plunge into series of internships during every holiday period and all at big names like Goldman Sachs, UBS, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Blackstone. She did her last internship in the summer of 2013 (one year before graduation) with Goldman in Hong Kong. The appears to be the one that secured he full-time job.

2. Feiran Wang: Six internships

Feiran studied finance at China's prestigious Peking University from 2009 to 2013. Unsurprisingly, all her internships were completed in Asia, with five in Beijing. Apart from the big brand names like Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and CICC, she also had a two-month internship with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the summer of 2011 to give her a flavour of the consulting world. She also had her last internship with Goldman Sachs one year before leaving university, and landed a full-time job in its investment management division in Hong Kong.

3. Chris Chik: Five internships

Chris spent five years studying business and law at the University of Hong Kong from 2008 to 2013, obtaining two degrees (one BBA, one LLB) upon graduation. He now works as an analyst for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. All his internships were in Hong Kong, but with a quite wide range of sectors from consultancies (McKinsey) to bulge bracket banks (UBS and Goldman Sachs) and industrial groups (Swire). Apart from these, he also worked on a part-time basis for 7 months for a Chinese securities firm called Shenyin Wanguo, conveniently at a time when a lot of big Chinese securities firms are seeking to expand in Hong Kong.

4. Olivia Gao: Five internships

Olivia currently works as an associate with Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. She studied economics and finance at the University of Hong Kong from 2008 to 2011. She interned not only with banks such as Barclays, but also with a Big Four firm KPMG, and across a lot of different aread. At Barclays she gained experience of equity research, while at KPMG she was an assistant auditor. But her most interesting internship is a three-month stint in the summer of 2011, when she worked as an outreach intern at the Mayor's Office in Washington DC, working on Asia Pacific Affairs. She can always fall back on politics.

5. Chenglong (Jackie) Han: Eight internships

Jackie spent his university years at Shanghai Jiaotong University, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in software engineering and finance, as well as a Masters in Finance. He stuck in Shanghai to do most of his internships, except for one in Hong Kong with J.P. Morgan. This was the most decisive one because J.P. Morgan hired him there. On the whole, he has a very wide range of intern experience as well, from information product at Mercer to M&A analyst at GE. He has also worked with venture capital firms – handy for a move to the buy-side later.

6. Yiwei Li: Nine internships

Yiwei takes the crown for the sheer number of internships, but he had six years at university to do them. He completed nine while at Shanghai Jiaotong University, where he completed a Master in Finance. He interned in both consulting firms like the ABC Consulting Association and PwC as well as various banks like Bank of Communications, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Interestingly, Yiwei's first internship had nothing to do with banks. He spent two months with New Oriental Education, China’s largest private education group, in Beijing in the first summer of his university. However, Yiwei went on to do his last internship at Merrill Lynch, which hired him.

7. Charles (Chenyang) Yi: Five internships

Charles studied finance in Beijing's Renmin University, before going on to the University of Rochester in the US to obtain his master's degree in finance. His internships reflect this cross-border study pattern, spanning from Beijing to Hong Kong and then to New York. He interned at a number of different banks, both Chinese and foreign, and also participated in UBS's Young Generation Program Trainee scheme. Whether or not that led to his current full-time job at UBS, we don't know, but Charles also completed one internship for three months at UBS in Hong Kong.

8. Angela Tianqi Wu: Five internships

Angela has a bachelors degree in computer science and master of finance, both from Peking University. She also interned at various financial institutions from banks to asset managers to private equity firms. What's interesting is the industries she has covered. In her five internships with various employers, the sectors she has covered include TMT, food and beverage, education and training, and equipment manufacturing and renewable energy. She now works as an analyst for J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong.

9. Sherrill Shurui LU: Four internships

Sherrill now works as an analyst for J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong. She studied business, accounting and finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 2007 to 2011. Most of her internships were with banks, which is not surprising. But the first internship she had had nothing to do with finance at all. Instead, it was a broadcasting job. She spent 3 months in Beijing, working as an editor intern for the Asia Today program at China's central TV station. It's hard to say whether this type of internship is helpful in getting a banking job. What we might guess, though, is that she was very interested in broadcasting media at that time and probably had thought about working in media upon graduation. The fact that her second internship was done with a venture capital suggests that the broadcasting dream was quickly put to bed.

AUTHORThomas Zhang

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