The Ultimate Guide to Landing a Finance Internship

Romero Mentoring

How to Get a Finance Internship – The Ultimate Guide

The world of finance is vast; composed of various areas with the job role of a financial analyst becoming increasingly popular today in finance. People from all age groups make millions of searches online every day to get a finance internship.

As we all know, having an internship is the first step towards building a successful lifelong career. Internships help you combine classroom knowledge with practical experience and build upon your skill set. To work in finance, internships are even more important given the complicated nature of the job. For finance majors, the right internships will provide you with practical experience in conducting stock analyses and financial modeling.

A financial analyst makes all types of predictions based on current market trends and business fundamentals. Analysts assist their firm in making critical business decisions according to their industry, location, and economic trends.

In this article post, we’ll discuss the benefits and several other aspects of a financial analyst internship to give you a detailed idea of how a typical entry-level finance internship works.

We’ll start first by discussing the steps to get a finance internship.

How to get a finance internship in 3 simple steps

You’ve done some Googling on how to get a finance internship and have applied to countless job postings, but no response. Here’s some things you may be missing that employers are searching for in potential candidates:

Step 1: Education

If you’re looking to work in finance, you need education – a good college education. By having a college education, you learn the fundamentals of finance and how to execute essential financial processes. Employers are typically looking for a bachelor’s degree in finance or a finance-related field.

Step 2: Develop your skills

Congrats! You’re working on your finance degree and made it to step two. To make the most of your finance education become involved in student clubs relating to finance. Be proactive by participating in stock pitch competitions and have a simulated trading account where you can test your ideas. This is where you fine-tune your fundamental finance skills and knowledge as you continue to learn throughout your college education.

Step 3: Get a finance internship

Start applying as early as your freshman year. With technology on the rise, there are several ways to get a finance internship. You can search job sites, LinkedIn, and even ask people in your network for opportunities. Top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also excellent options to find these jobs opportunities. Once you find a suitable opportunity, send them your glowing resume and prepare well for the interview. There are many types of entry-level finance internships, but the role of a financial analyst seems to be the standard role for young professionals looking to break into finance, however there are many different types of financial analysts.

What are the main types of financial analysts?

These are the common types of financial analysts:

Investment Banking Analyst

Investment banking analysts review and analyze financial data for investment decisions. Investment analysts typically use these investment decisions to increase their clients’ and firms’s investment banking portfolio growth. These analysts work primarily in bulge bracket banks and go through extensive training. At the end of their training period, these analysts are capable of creating pitchbooks, financial models, discounted cash flow analyses, and much more. While the work of an investment analyst is demanding, the rewards are well worth the hard work. Analysts in this field are compensated generously and their career is developing while working. 

Equity Research Analyst

Equity research analysts work in both the buy-side and sell-side of the financial services industry. These analysts produce research reports on specific industries to provide recommendations for buying or selling companies’ stocks. To work in this field, these analysts specialize in a particular industry or group of companies. By doing so, an equity research analyst can develop the necessary skills and expertise to provide accurate recommendations.

Portfolio Managers

Portfolio managers help employers build an investment portfolio by determining industries and products to focus on. They typically supervise a team of analysts who are responsible for the overall performance of a project. The team is also responsible for discussing matters with stakeholders and conducting interviews of candidates looking to get a finance internship.

Hedge Fund Managers

Hedge Fund managers are responsible for making split-second decisions to buy or sell products depending on current trends of the industry. These professionals typically deal with hedge funds and mutual funds. To become a successful fund manager, you need to possess strong decision making and analytical skills.

Credit Analysts

The job of a credit analyst revolves around helping employers to pay their debts or bonds. They make these decisions by evaluating the financial ability of a company and the varying market trends.

Risk Analysts

These professionals evaluate risk in investments by managing unpredictability and limiting potential losses. A risk analyst usually makes these decisions by selecting dissimilar stocks or using a combination of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to diversify their clients’ portfolios.

What skills do you learn when you get a finance internship?

By now, you’ve probably learned that becoming a finance analyst requires skill and education. Education helps you understand the economic climate while the technical skills help you take on the challenging nature of the job.

According to various studies, having finance internship helps you build the following professional skills:

  • Financial analysis
  • Research
  • Economics
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Budgeting
  • Financial reporting
  • Accounting
  • Financial modeling
  • SAP (Systems Applications and Products)

Where do financial analysts work after an internship?

The majority of interns end up getting hired by the same company they get a finance internship at. Companies hire professionals based on their performance and skill set. Individuals that don’t get hired, do multiple internships until they have the required expertise to apply for finance jobs.

Typically, financial analysts work in large financial institutions such as bulge bracket banks, boutique investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and other similar places.

These professionals spend most of their time doing the grunt work senior analysts don’t want to do. This involves financial modeling, forecasting, and company valuations.

What are the basic skills required to become a financial analyst?

To get a financial analyst internship easily, these are the must-have skills:

Analytical Skills

An aspiring financial analyst should have good analytical skills to find profitable investments ideas and be able to analyze and interpret data.

Communication Skills

Communication is essential for almost any business. Without communication, no one on your team will be able to know what tasks have been completed and what needs to be done. The job of a financial analyst continually requires them to explain reports and recommendations to clients and their firm clearly. This is why you must have good communication skills to excel in this line of work.

Computer Skills

Financial analysts use various software applications for analyzing data, searching for trends, and making predictions. Therefore, having good computer and technology skills is a must to do this job effectively.

Decision Making Skills

Financial analysts that work as fund managers are responsible for making quick decisions on buying, holding, or selling assets. Your decision-making skills must be extremely strong to succeed as a fund manager.

Eye For Detail

If you have an eye for detail, you will make an excellent financial analyst. The job of a financial analyst revolves around close monitoring of possible investment opportunities and potential risks. Detail-oriented people can make the best out of worst situations and therefore have a high demand in this industry.

Math Skills

Having a working knowledge on mathematics is necessary for financial analysts as it is needed to accurately report earnings, create financial models, and make recommendations.

What are the education requirements to get a finance analyst internship?

Most companies require a candidate to be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, or a related field. Having a finance certification like the CFA is a great plus! Companies prefer candidates that have additional training so focus on improving your qualifications to become more appealing to the employers.

How much does a financial analyst earn?

The salary of a financial analyst depends on their experience. The median wage of financial analysts in 2018 was close to $86,000. The lowest percentage was close to $52,000 while the highest percentage was over $167,000.

Here’s a salary breakdown of financial analysts based on their expertise according to a 2018 study:

Job Type                                                                                  Salary

Securities and commodities                                                               $101,000

Scientific and technical services                                                        $84,000

Company management                                                                      $83,000

Credit intermediation and similar                                                      $81,000

Insurance careers and similar                                                             $79,000

Meanwhile, fund managers get paid in commission based on their performance.

Typically, financial analysts work full time with work weeks going well over 60 hours a week. A large part of their work is done after office hours as their days are filled with client appointments and meetings.

What are the benefits of finance internships?

Today’s market is fiercely competitive due to which companies only hire the best. Your chances of getting an internship become significantly high if your resume is filled leadership experience, skills and interesting hobbies.

These are the benefits of finance internship you can’t ignore:

Valued Industry Knowledge

Every financial services firm operates differently and demands a separate expertise. Gaining practical experience at a firm in your preferred category will prepare you for future interviews and job challenges. Landing an internship will also help you determine whether you’re in the right field or not.

You Get To Know The Company Culture

Spending a few months at a company helps you learn about their culture and decide whether or not you’ll want to work for the same company after completing the internship. With that said, remember that a company which likes you and your work is more likely to hire you than a company that you haven’t worked for before.

Helps You Develop Professional Skills

A college education can only take you so far. The real place to develop skills and move ahead in your career is in the workplace. After you get a finance internship, you will gain knowledge of the industry and learn how to deal with certain situations by working at a top firm. There you get to meet top experts who will help you polish your skills and become the best version of you as a finance professional.

Your Network Will Grow

With a finance internship, you get a chance to grow your professional network and build relationships with top industry experts. Having a broad network has many benefits such as you can easily gain career advice, job recommendations, and even job offers. Moreover, developing a professional network can be very useful when your career is just starting out.

You’ll Gain Confidence

Adjusting to an office environment takes time and exposure. Once you get an internship, you’ll learn what’s expected from a financial analyst in a professional setting. You will also gain confidence and complete your tasks more efficiently through working at your internship.

Final Thoughts

So, this was the necessary knowledge for those hoping to get a finance internship at a top-tier firm. We here at Romero Mentoring hope you learned some valuable lessons in this blog post.

Good luck in your internship search! We hope you get a finance internship soon!

About the Author

Romero Mentoring

Romero Mentoring is a leading career program provider for students and professionals. Our programs transform our mentees into highly skilled professionals through personal one-on-one mentoring, advanced technical training and internship experience not found anywhere else.