Top 5 Investment Banking Internship No Nos

Wed, Apr 4, 2012

Internship Information

You’re starting a summer internship with an investment banking firm. First, congratulations! You made it through a lot of class and homework and stood out among the other applicants. That’s an accomplishment, so pat yourself on the back. But don’t get too cocky, your bosses won’t like that. And just in case, here’s a list of 5 other No Nos for your summer at the investment firm.

1) Arguing with Your Analyst
As an intern, you might feel like you have to prove yourself but arguing with the higher-ups isn’t the way to accomplish that. They’ll respect the knowledge you come with and the experience you’ve had, but when it comes down to it, you don’t anything about how that particular firm runs, and they do. So listen instead of arguing. And if you still think you have a valid point, find a way to broach the subject without sounding argumentative. Frame it in a question and you’ll not only find out of you’re right but you’ll definitely gain a little insight into the firm’s systems.

2) Making the Same Mistake Twice
Everyone makes mistakes; it’s part of the growth process. Expect to make some mistakes, just don’t make them more than once. Double check your math, triple check it before turning in your reports. Ask your analyst any question (don’t go above his head to avoid showing mistakes to the higher ups or asking them dumb questions). Prove that you learn from your mistakes and making them will be no issue.

3) Badmouthing the Competition
No matter what profession you’re in, bad mouthing the competition is just unprofessional. If you want to prove your loyalty to your firm, finds ways to praise their solid work. Compliment your analyst on a job well done and you’ll be putting much more positive energy out.

4) Saying No to Getting Coffee
It sounds cliche by now, but yes, everyone has to get someone else’s coffee at some point in their career, right? So suck it up and just do it. It makes you no less of a person or an employee. Doesn’t every single intern have to do this? You’re not alone. The easier you take on, handle and complete menial tasks, the faster you’ll prove that you’re willing to do what it takes to make in that world. One day he’ll ask you to get coffee, one day he might ask you do finish a report.

5) Acting Immature

If you’re hoping to have a future in controlling other people’s finances and investments, it’s time to make sure you and your own finances represents your abilities. Buy suits. Practice your handshake. Have a solid budget. Where do you invest your money? If you still use photo checks, stop. It’s not the 90s anymore. If you still write checks at all, make sure they represent your professionalism and not what you did on vacation when you were a kid.

Memorize this list, write it down, save it in a place where you can easily access it when you need reminders and good luck with your internship!

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