Reggie graduated in BSc Economics in the summer of 2017, learning Mandarin alongside studying. Whilst at Kingston University, he completed five internships, the most notable being a spring week at BlackRock, then later Aberdeen Asset Management. He then secured an 8 week Summer Analyst position at BlackRock in 2016. Check out his five top tips on how to secure an internship in the corporate sector.
Spring weeks and summer internship applications for the larger firms open relatively early (around August) and some even work on a first come, first serve basis. The quicker you submit the applications, the quicker you can potentially get an offer and then focus on your studies with ease.
Most applications will either need you to submit a cover letter or answer questions on why you want to work for their firm. Institutions can easily pick up when answers have been copied and pasted. Spend a bit of time finding out things such as:
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking. If you’re applying for a specific internship, find people who work for the firm or who had interned in that team before and ask them if they can shed light on what the firm want. People are generally responsive on LinkedIn and will help provide tips that you can take into the application or interview.
If you’re fortunate enough to get to the interview stage, make sure you know what’s happening in the sector. For instance, if you’re applying for an investment banking internship, you need a rough understanding of what goes on in the macro environment. You don’t need to be a technician in this specific area, but grow an interest in the sector and find out how the firm can potentially be effected by what is going on.
Sometimes, things just don’t go right for you. You are constantly applying and receiving no luck. Take the time to do something different and come out of your comfort zone! Unfortunately, I can’t say what you should do because this comes from you. Some of the things I have done when things were going upside down for me are:
– Network: Attend every networking event you come across and gain emails of the employers that are there. Keep in touch with them and build a rapport with them later. By doing this, it will then be easier to ask for advice/tips which could translate into an internship.
– Cold Call: Cold call smaller firms and ask them for their process on internships. Smaller firms tend to have a different process to the larger ones and by reaching out, they will be impressed by your drive and vigour.
– Research: Find employees on LinkedIn and write them a letter detailing that you want to work for their firm. I have done this numerous times, and although not everyone replies back, a few firms do and people are impressed. I have been invited down to numerous firms for meetings and more because of this.
These are my top five tips for securing an internship. There are more things I could speak about, but these five have worked enormously for me. One thing I would also say is, embrace the rejections and failures. They help to create a better story and will enable you to inspire more people who are going through what you went through.
Written by Reggie Nelson
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Elevation Networks.