Summer internships are about to start, so why are banks still interviewing interns?
When it comes to hiring summer interns, banks like to get everything sorted out well ahead of time. Summer internship offers are often made 14 months in advance to the first year university students who successfully complete spring week internships. Any remaining places are filled by students who apply 10 months in advance, during the dog days of summer. Deutsche Bank, for example, will be opening applications for its 2018 summer internships around mid-August this year.
This being the case, you might think it would now be impossible to land a 2017 summer internship with an investment bank. Internships start in around two weeks time. Wrong. Even at this (very) late stage, banks still have spaces to fill.
Some of those spaces may even be in the hottest divisions (eg. sales and trading), in the hottest cities (eg. London or New York). There are unconfirmed reports that Citi, for example, interviewed a first year student at Bath University for its 2017 London sales and trading internship during the past week. Similarly, Credit Suisse is still advertising a summer analyst position open in New York for global asset finance.
Citi didn't respond to a request to comment. If front office internships in London are still available at the bank, however, they're not being advertised. What is still being advertised is an array of 2017 summer internships in Eastern Europe. Citi wants programmers in Poland, markets interns in Bulgaria and finance interns in Hungary. Most of the programs appear to be open to students from outside these countries. All the programs start in mid-June and end in September, suggesting Citi might be getting a bit desperate to fill them.
Despite claims that Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have also been filling gaps in 2017 summer intern programs, there are few visible signs of late hiring at other banks. Notably, Deutsche is looking for quants to do a 'praktikum' (a German-style longer internship) at its quant institute in Berlin, and UBS is looking for equity sales interns and Milan and Frankfurt - suggesting it's trying to fill a post-Brexit pipeline of equity sales staff on the ground in the EU.
Needless to say, it's tempting to draw conclusions from the open intern positions. Although 130,000 people applied for 5,000 Goldman internships last year, are some banks struggling to find quality staff? Does Citi's struggle to fill places in Eastern Europe bode badly for banks' attempts to outsource talent from London? Does Brexit mean there will be more sales internships on the ground in Europe in future?
We don't have the answers, but if you're a student in Europe who's still looking for a summer internship at this late stage, one thing is clear: there are still opportunities in Warsaw and Sofia.