We receive a great deal of interest from those seeking internships in investment banking. They come from both undergraduate and graduate students looking to “get their feet wet” in the industry. Many such potential interns are looking for a place to hone their Excel modeling skills on current investment banking deals. In conversations we have we these interns, they are often asked what they wish to receive or gain by having an internship. The answers are varied, but most of them revolve around the ability to work in Excel and get meaningful experience from what a typical investment banker would actually do with his/her time.
Unfortunately, unless you are going to be interning at Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, the quality and quantity of your dealflow. The truth is, most boutique investment banking firms will do only a couple quality deals each year and the number of interns needed for each deal is extremely limited. So, when you are shopping for the right investment banking internship, take a look at those
While the FINRA exams emphasize the fact that investment banking is not “selling,” they are wrong. Most of the work done in investment banking is hard-core selling. It’s selling with a technical edge. It includes the ability to not only bring in dealflow, land a new client and close a client’s capital transaction. Learning the hard metrics of Excel modeling and business valuations, while important, is not the most important component of what investment bankers do. Business is about people. Investment banking is about people.
In saying this, please do not misunderstand, the hard spreadsheet metrics, honed in your days as an analyst or associate at a bulge-bracket investment bank will serve you for years to come, but the soft metrics like negotiation, salesmanship and bedside manner are those that help investment bankers ultimately increase dealflow and close more opportunities.