How to Obtain a Sophomore Summer Boutique IB Internship

Video how to get an investment banking internship as a sophomore

Very rarely does a bank do OCR for a sophomore summer. So target and nontarget students are alike in how they have to go about getting a sophomore IB internship. I had 5 first rounds, and 3 final rounds at boutiques, and am interning at one now as a sophomore. First you need to decide on geographies. I chose my hometown, my college town, and NY. First two are obvious, I would have a place to stay there, but NY would be really expensive and all the money I would make at an internship would probably go to living expenses. However, I decided it was worth it because of the networking opportunities. So first step, choose the geographies you can conceivably work at and afford to live in.

Next step, make a list of all the boutique banks in the city I also included LMM PE firms in my hometown to expand the search. Once you do this, document as many people’s information as possible, and find a way to keep track of your conversations. I made a spreadsheet, that contained the person’s name, their bank, their alma mater, the city the bank is in, their title, and whether or not I’ve contacted them, followed up, or if they’ve responded. If the bank is small and has like 5 people, put them all down, if they have like 25, put a few people at each position down, and only add more if no one responds.

Boutiques aren’t as formal or structured as BBs/EBs/MMs, In some cases they take an intern or two every summer, and you have to convince them to be that intern. In other cases, they don’t take any interns, and so you have to call an MD and convince them to take you on as their first ever intern. Never offer to do it unpaid until they reject you, in that case offer to do it unpaid if you can afford to do so. There’s no rule about who is best to contact at a boutique. Whereas at a BB/EB/MM VP+ is the go to as they can get you into the recruiting process, at a boutique an analyst/associate may be in charge of analyst and summer analyst recruiting. Or it could be the office manager, a VP, or even an MD.

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All of my interviews were over the phone for the first round, and then a video call or phone call for the final round.

Network with as many at the same time as you can. But at the same time, don’t spam everyone in the same firm in a day. If one person doesn’t respond, follow up in a week, and then reach out to someone else. People have emailed some of my colleagues, but 3-4 at the same time, and they talk about it and make fun of the person. That being said, one will usually respond, it just doesn’t look good to send out the same generic email to 4 people at once in the same firm. Give it a bit of time. And give up after one initial email and then one follow up. At the end of the call ask about whether or not they have an internship program. If they say yes, ask how best to position yourself for it or whatever, if they don’t, ask them to forward you to someone else in the bank. After you’ve spoken with a few people, email the MD and talk about how great of an environment his bank is or whatever and ask if they can fit you in as an intern.

Oh and timeline, I did this all during my Sophomore Fall. Started making the list and reaching out in September. Got an offer in November.