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Banks' intern classes should be huge this year. They're not

June is summer intern month in investment banks. In theory, banks should be bringing in enormous intern classes this year. In fact, 2021's summer intern classes at most banks are barely bigger than last year's.

Banks don't comment officially on the actual number of interns they're bringing on. However, Goldman Sachs' 2021 global summer intern class is understood to be ever so slightly bigger than 2020's, when the firm brought on 2,800 interns globally. JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank's global summer intern numbers are stable on last year. Morgan Stanley's class is bigger, but only slightly, as is UBS's. Bank of America's is bigger, but it's not clear by how much. 

In a year when banks are desperate for more junior talent to replenish their exhausted analyst and associate ranks and are feverishly poaching from one another, this seems surprising: surely, 2021 intern classes should be bigger than ever?

As we've noted before, this is a function of the lag associated with graduate recruitment into investment banks. - This year's summer intern class will have been determined in late 2020 when things were going well, but there was still a substantial amount of uncertainty about the future. 

The good news, then, is that 2021's summer interns could find themselves part of a highly desired group this summer as banks feed their pipelines. Expect big conversions. Expect, too, the sorts of interbank intern poaching that always happens but could be more prolific than ever as the summer heats up.

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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash


AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Fi
    Finance Hardo 101
    11 June 2021

    likely because they overhired grads last year, with COVID being new and automatic return offers....

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