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  • Writer's pictureMuhammad Aziz

A brief guide to Summer Internship applications

Summer Internships are a common pathway to secure a Graduate Job once completion of a Bachelor’s or Integrated Master’s degree. They are usually heavily oversubscribed for, hence to find the perfect applicant; firms orchestrate a gruelling process to filter out the weak from the strong and eventually identify the optimal candidate for their role. Although Summer Internships are available across many sectors and Industries, this article will focus on the brief process within Investment Banks/ Financial institutions and the way they conduct the multiple stages of their application process.

CV - Most Firms within the Financial services require a CV as the first step of the application process. For many students who have never applied for an internship, the structure and content needed within both these documents can be ambiguous and daunting. Banks typically look for a CV which is one-sided, simple yet informative. No fancy fonts such as Comic-Sans and neither a font size of over 14. The CV should begin with Education, followed by Employment/Experiences and then Skills/Achievements. It's important to include relevant work experiences which correspond with the role and division you’re applying for such as Society positions ie; “Analyst at Leeds Finsights”. It's also important to display in brief bullet points what you did, what you achieved and any notable metrics and figures which could accentuate your impact on the organisation ie; “collated 2 articles bi-weekly to improve commercial awareness of Leeds’ students”. It is also notable that whilst you demonstrate your prowess by including multiple employment positions and past work experience, this doesn’t bombard your CV and minimise any non-academic experience you have such as Sports, extra-curricular activities, etc. The reason for this is to convey yourself as a likeable and interesting candidate whilst also being an academic high achiever. 

Cover Letter - A Cover Letter is a document which displays an in-depth description of yourself; why you applied for this position, what makes you stand out and why you want to pursue a career at this Firm. Due to this being vague and may result in a lot of waffle, it is important to keep the Cover Letter simple and structured similar to the CV. Clearly articulate why you want to work for the specific financial institution by mentioning its reputation, any awards it obtains and deals they’ve worked on. For example, if you are applying for Goldman Sachs - Capital Markets, you should include recent IPO deals they’ve facilitated, showing your particular interest in the Equity Capital Markets. Additionally, when showcasing the Firm’s values and purpose, it is crucial to assimilate them into your own philosophy and personal values. For example, If the Investment Bank incorporates Diversity & Inclusion values, mention how you may fit that category by being from an ethnic minority background or a Woman. By doing so, you will be displaying how you can help the Company fulfil the Firm’s purpose and hence act as an incentive for the Bank to consider you.

Hire Vue & Interview - Hire Vue is a platform which has been recently incorporated as a substitute for face-to-face interviews as a method of cheaper, cost-reducing, and efficient virtual interviews. As they are timed yet computer-conducted interviews, they tend to be less stressful and more structured as you can practice the questions a minute before the live recording of the questions. Usually, there are 3 or 4 questions that take between 15-20 minutes and as they are the first set of questions; they are usually behavioural and less technical than later-stage interview rounds. Some tips for Hire Vue interviews are maintaining eye contact with the camera to show you aren’t reading off a script, speaking slowly and clearly to show your articulateness in speech and trying to reduce the number of times you stutter or say fillers such as ‘erm’ which can mark you down for the interview. Regarding later stage Interviews, they tend to get more difficult as more technical questions are asked. For example, if you’re applying for an Investment Banking role, popular questions are related to valuation methods, accounting for banking, current market news and economic outlook.

While the application process may be long, tedious, and extremely daunting, practice is the most important aspect. The more Interview questions you can practice, the more composed you become in an interview setting and the more proficient you become with interviews. Remember, failure to prepare means preparing for failure.



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