Last night we held an event for investment banking interns in London, our amazing attendees had the chance to hear about the experiences of former banking interns and to network with each other and the FreshMinds team. We had attendees currently on intern programmes with RBS, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse all sharing their experiences and getting the inside scoop from our guests.
Here are our thoughts on how to ace your internship:
• Be enthusiastic! Show your keenness and excitement to be working at the company. This will help you stand out from the crowd. Companies hire people who will be ambassadors for them.
• Be a sponge. You have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals so make the most of this. Everything is a learning opportunity whether it’s learning how to do something or how not to do something.
• Ask intelligent questions. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something or why something is done in a certain way. Questions show enthusiasm, interest and intellectual curiousity.
• Impress everyone. As an intern, you are being watched and judged every step of the way. Sorry, but it’s true. Make sure you are constantly focusing on making the right impression.
• Be professional. Our clients always ask us to find them exceptional candidates who are ‘office ready’ and ‘client ready’. Show them that you know how to conduct yourselves in a professional environment and you can represent them well in front of their clients.
• Network, network, network. Make sure you build relationships with everyone you work with. Be memorable for the right reasons. Get involved in the social aspects of the business but remain professional at all times whilst allowing your personality to shine through.
• Take feedback on board. And, act on it. This shows you have a willingness to learn and if you can respond positively to constructive feedback, it displays maturity and self-awareness.
• Proof your work. You will be working long hours and you will be taking in a lot of information. Make sure you pay attention to detail. Proof your work a few times to make sure it is completed to a high standard. Mistakes are not forgiven easily.
• The importance of work ethic. Show that you are happy to put in the hours if need be to complete the work to a deadline and to a high standard. Resilience in the workplace is hugely important in today’s market. This shows commitment to the task at hand.
• Embrace ‘grunt’ work. Humility is a great trait. Make sure you don’t turn your nose up at work that may seem menial or not as intellectually stimulating as other types of projects. You need to show that you will muck-in, get your hands dirty if it means getting the work done.
We thoroughly enjoyed the chance to meet the interns, and look forward to similar events in future. Keep an eye out for any upcoming networking opportunities!