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How to Prepare for an Internship

So you’ve been accepted onto an internship program at an Investment Bank? Congratulations! That’s a huge step forward and one you should be exceedingly proud of – but it’s also an opportunity and one you need to make the most of.

This means that preparation is key, and will give you your best shot of getting a job offer at the end of it. So here’s some top tips on how to get yourself in the best possible shape before you even begin.

1) Get your paperwork sorted

There’s undoubtedly going to be a ridiculous amount of forms to fill in regarding any sort of contract to sign, payment details (if that applies), agreements and personal details. It’s all necessary and even though it’s all boring, it’ll just make your whole life a lot easier if you get it sorted beforehand.

Put aside a full day and just push through it – it feels like a sacrifice at the time but when you see the intern next to you trying to accomplish their work whilst trying to push through the administration so they’re getting paid the right amount, you’ll thank your lucky stars (and us.)

2) Get your head in the game

This is especially important if you’re not someone that keeps up to date with the innermost workings of the current financial climate, so be aware of your own limitations and nuances, but it will do you no harm at all to be acutely aware of what’s going down in the few months before your joining the bank.

You’ll be trained in there, but it is likely to be a short, intensive burst course that is supposed to cover the broad aims of what you’ll be doing, rather than a comprehensive walkthrough of what life is like.

As such, examine the Investment Banking areas on this site, make sure you’re up to speed on what is happening in the Financial Times and you’ll be right on the buzzer when they start to explain your role and jobs once you’ve arrived.

3) Talk to the company

They’ll almost certainly instigate this process but make sure that you are in a dialogue with a contact at the company, and that your replies are punctual and polite. This way, if there’s any changes or any opportunities available that have come up, you’ll be the first to know and the first to respond, which shows that you’re keen and reliable.

They might also be placing people into different departments within the bank, so if you want your best chance of being placed in the department you are most interested in, it will do your chances the world of good if the people doing the placing like you and know that you are keen to put the hard work in.

4) Use your contacts

If you go to University, there’s a good chance that there is someone else doing a similar internship or that someone has done one before. Use the people around you to locate anyone that could help you out with some preparation in any sense, and get in contact with as many of these people are possible.

If there are social mixers or business events put on by the business before you begin, make sure you do your best to attend. There’s always the chance that you’ll meet someone who’ll be able to help you make the most of your internship and knowing more people at the place you’re working can only be a good thing.

5) Relax a little

You’ve done so well to get this far that you shouldn’t be stressing about what it’s going to be like or if you’ll fit in or whatever. Get yourself as prepared as possible and then have some faith in yourself – if they’ve offered you the internship, they like you and they think you have potential. It’s time to prove them right. Good luck!