First Year Internships in Banking and Finance

If you’re thinking of getting on track with building up your CV with a first year internship in the midst of all of that freshers’ madness, then that’s a jolly good idea!

First year students on three-year courses and second year students on four-year courses will be eligible for first year internships with some of the world’s biggest banks and financial services firms. This is a trick that many unsuspecting students with desires on a big future banking and finance career miss out on. First year internships can be a defining foothold in your route to a graduate career in the industry; particularly if you’d like to head into a front office or middle office role in an investment bank.

A successful first year internship could put you at an advantage to gain a place on a firm’s internship scheme; and internship schemes are viewed by many in the industry as the key to a graduate role.

The biggest investment banks will offer a handful of first year opportunities for candidates with top academics and relevant extra-curricular activities. The competition is tough for these places too; only the best, most proactive students will be given a chance on these programmes.

Spring weeks

A spring week is a kind of mini internship. These first year opportunities usually take place over the Easter holidays, lasting for one or two weeks.

During a spring week you’ll gain an insight into what life is like at the bank or firm and the skills you’ll need to work in financial services. You’ll probably spend some time shadowing some of the professionals at the firm across different business areas, and there are usually workshops and skills sessions which aim to provide you with information about the financial markets and how the firm works.

One of the most appealing things about a spring week is the opportunity to network with banking and finance professionals at an early stage. The precious advice and support they can give you can really help you along the way with your applications further down the recruitment line could make the difference.

This means you’ll have to be pretty hot off the mark in your applications! Application deadlines will often fall between early January and March depending on the bank on firm.

First year internships

There will also be a limited number of summer internships you can apply for at this stage. If you’re successful then you’ll complete your summer internship in the summer before your second year (or third year if you’re on a four-year course) or university begins. You’ll find most of these opportunities with specialist accountancy or financial services firms, or in some high street bank branches.

This is a chance to get some more extensive experience of life in a firm and clock up some more contacts. You are likely to spend more time with one particular department on a summer internship.