Finance Internship and Industry
Finance is a field that many want to work in. It gets a lot of attention from the media and will always be made out to be an elite job where people always wear suits, have high base salaries, and often work obscene hours. From those who want to do Financial Planning & Analysis at a general corporation to those who want to be bankers and analysts, there are a myriad of positions to hold that fall under the category of Finance that are vastly different. Anyone who does get a job in finance, however, must decide if they are going to work at a financial institution or not and understand that not everyone who works at a financial institution will be doing traditional financial work either.
Finance Recruiting takes place in the Fall of every year, for the most part, with recruiting moving earlier each year. The best time to start looking at the largest corporations that offer finance internships is in the Summer, so that you can be adequately prepared for recruiting season.
How do you prepare for recruiting? What does recruitment season even mean?
Preparation for recruiting requires two main things, research and contacting people.
Research is required so that you know what you want.
You must be able to answer the following questions:
Why do I want to go into finance?
(As opposed to another industry. This is a high level question and the answer is determined largely by personal and subjective reasons)
What do I want my career in finance to look like?
(What kind of job do you want to work right out of college and how does that align with the ideas of your ideal lifestyle during your mid and late 20s)
What kind of company do you want to work at?
(A list of target financial institutions or corporations, the industry vertical you would like to work in, and why a company and an industry are desirable to you)
Financial intuitions usually focus specific industries and perform financial evaluation within those industries. For example, working at Boston scientific doing Financial Planning & Analysis would put you in a medical device company that operates in both tech and healthcare. Another example would be Piper Jaffray’s Boston office, a mergers and acquisition investment banking group that specializes on tech companies. These are both very general examples of how specific office and companies have unique focuses. In order to obtain that internship or full time job you are looking for, you must first know what you want, which will only be achieved through research.
Reaching out to financial professionals is the best way to learn the ins and outs of a company. If you are not sure what a specific office does or how a company is structured, the only way to know is by reaching out to those who would be familiar. Networking via emailing, phone calls, or LinkedIn messages are sure ways of taking steps to achieve a higher level of understanding. Once you complete your independent research and know what you are looking for in a company or job in finance, you will be able to naturally guide these conversations.
Starting off a career in finance is a step by step process that takes time, effort and understanding. Those who take each step and spend the time will reap the rewards of getting their full time job or dream internship.