Internships are not just something that looks great on your resume, a foot in the door or a 10-week-long interview – though these are all aspects of the experience. Your internship is also a chance for you to learn about yourself, your career goals and where you see yourself within the bank.
Some internship programs allow you to submit preferences for group placements. Rather than blindly selecting a business group and hoping for the best, we’ve put together some questions you might want to ask about when evaluating different business groups and putting in your placement preferences for the summer.
1. Ask about workflow during the summer. What do interns typically get involved with? How is the volume of projects and transactions or the activity in the market during the summer months? If it is quieter in the summer, what other initiatives does the group work on? Answers to these questions directly impact what you’ll do day-to-day and what you’ll ultimately learn, as well as your work/life balance.
2. Teams often have their own culture, which can influence your experience. Definitely ask each team you’re considering about their culture so you can understand how they compare to each other. Some things to probe on include how colleagues interact with each other both inside and outside of work, whether the team provides specific training or other learning opportunities for interns and about the dynamic between managers and team members, such as whether managers have regular catch-ups with employees.
3. Try to get an understanding of the types of stakeholders – internal or external – with whom each group works with. Find out who your main clients will be and the level of client interaction you should expect to have. Try to get an understanding of which other groups in the firm you would typically work with. This information can help you get a better understanding of the type of work you’ll do as well as the exposure you’ll have to experienced managers or executives.
Armed with this information, you’ll be well placed to make an informed decision on where you want to spend your summer internship.