Banking trainees testify: “The offices I worked for have no space”

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Like this year investment banking summer internships it becomes clear who enjoyed the experience and who didn’t. It also becomes clear who is likely to convert their internship into a return offer and who is not.

With the investment banking division (Mergers & Acquisitions and business Finance) fees down 48% YoY in the second quarter, the struggle to convert a summer job is the realest in IBD. Not everyone will receive an offer. Not everyone wants it: “I don’t want to be fat, depressed and lose contact with my loved ones”, writes an anonymous intern on the Wall Street Oasis Forum.

But even in other divisions it will not be easy. A Goldman Sachs private wealth management intern says he’s already been told that several of the offices he’s rotated to don’t have space this year. “They keep telling us that they have places for everyone and that this is a growing division, but I also know that the offices I have worked for have not already no space.”

It should be easier to convert internships into sales and trading given that fixed income and commodity currencies (FICC) trading revenue rose 25% at US banks in the second quarter (according to Deutsche Bank) and equities rose 9%, but trainees from markets could also face challenges. A senior trader at a US bank in New York claimed most bids would go to diversity candidates and interns linked to senior management: “Most offices are mandated to only be able to hire women or ethnic minorities,” he says. “It’s that or nepotism – there are a lot of children of senior executives.”

Elsewhere, there is more positivity. A Goldman Sachs intern said he had a wonderful time and learned a lot. “I learned more in six weeks here than in three years at university,” he says. “It’s basically like a very quick crash course in finance.” He added that the notoriously long duration Business hours Wasn’t that long after all – on the worst days he arrived at 7:30am and returned at 11pm, but leaving at 7pm seems more normal. “The culture here is really nice,” he adds. “I expected Goldman Sachs to be a lot more corporate, but everyone has been super nice and super helpful.”

A marketing intern at a French bank confirmed that she too had “loved” the experience so far, and that almost all teams are hiring heavily. “There are more places for graduates here than summer interns,” she added.

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Photo by Andrew Neel

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