What are spring weeks?
Many banks, advisory and accountancy firms offer Spring Weeks/Insight Days that occur over Easter. They are exclusive to first years (or second years on a four-year degree), designed to give you an introduction to the industry and firm to which you apply.
Who offers them?
Accountancy: Deloitte, KPMG, EY, PwC (The Big 4), BDO
Banking: Bank of America, Barclays, HSBC, Llloyds Banking Group, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Nomura
Consultancy: BCG, McKinsey
Financial Advisory: Lazard, Rothchild, Schroders
Public Sector: Bank of England
Others: BP, Shell, Enterprise rent-a-car, Unilever
And many more…
Why should I do one?
It’s a great opportunity early on at university to explore lots of different career options and network with employees at companies to find out what career is right for you.
An added benefit of completing a spring week is that your application is often fast tracked to the next step for a Summer Internship. Some banks will hold interviews over summer, meaning you could return to your second year of university with a summer internship already secured, before they are open to the rest of the public. Which is great if you decide you want to go into that career!
After you complete the summer internship, based on your performance you may be offered that elusive graduate job at the end of the scheme.
The application process varies for each individual firm, but tends to follow the structure below:
- CV/Cover letters/Competency questions
- Psychometric testing
- Video interviews/telephone interviews
Some of the deadlines are rolling, meaning they may close early when they get full. It’s therefore recommended to apply as soon as possible.
Tip 1: Keep your CV one page for investment banking, advisory and consultancy roles.
Tip 2: Attend society events that run CV/cover letter workshops, and events that will help you develop your commercial awareness. Even ask second/third years to read your CV/cover letter and give you tips, you could try your career secretary of a society you attend.
My personal experience:
My name is Hannah and I am one of the VPs at Finsights. I attended two accountancy insight days during my first year with EY and Deloitte. I converted my EY Spring Week into a year in industry in audit. I was also given the opportunity to interview with Deloitte at the end of the scheme.
In my second year I applied to Nomura for a 4-day insight week in London, as I was now on a four-year degree with a placement. I was able to learn about investment banking and global markets and at the end of the programme, I was given the opportunity to be fast tracked to an assessment centre and interview over summer.
It’s important to remember that spring weeks/insight days are not the be all and end all. It won’t disadvantage you when applying for summer internships if you don’t have one, it’s just an added bonus.
If you can’t get one, focus your first year on joining societies, apply to write articles for Finsights and try running for a committee position in April. These are things that help build your CV and give you things to talk about at interviews in second year.