Every year, top students from all over the U.S. compete for the highly-coveted summer analyst and associate positions at top tier investment banks. It is not uncommon for Wall Street interns to turn their 10-week long summer stint into a full-time offer from their respective firm.
Goldman Sachs’ 10-week summer internship is no different as it is the major feeder for its full-time analyst and associate programs. However, Goldman is viewed as the “top of the top,” as far as investment banks are concerned, and an internship there is considered the Holy Grail for many ambitious future bankers. It has been reported that more than 15,000 people apply for the Goldman Sachs investment banking summer internship program, and that the program has an acceptance rate of only around 2%.
So what’s the bottom line…what does it take to actually get an internship at Goldman? While there are numerous resources out there, and sometimes even an overload of information, we will provide the blueprint (an entire chapter, in fact!) to put you on the right path.
First, you need to understand the specs of the actual job:
- Base salary for an investment banking analyst is about $85,000, according to Glassdoor. Interns get paid based on a pro-rated first-year analyst’s salary, which comes to over $16,000. Not bad for a 10 week haul!
- Job Description:
- Spend 10 weeks working in the Investment Banking Division, from financial modeling to attending client meetings, in some cases, with the potential for a full-time job offer.
- Job Requirements:
- Rising college junior or, more typically, senior. You don’t need a business or finance background but should be interested in banking. Be able to explain why you’d like to work at Goldman and to emphasize personal qualities that would help you in the role.
Next, you will need to understand the interview process:
- Goldman has a “rolling” application. This means they will accept applications past the deadline indicated on the website ….but the earlier you apply the better! (Dec. 4, 2016 is the deadline for all undergrads).
- You can also apply online directly through the company website
- First Round:
- GS has introduced the Video Interview into their process for the first round. You will need to pre-record a video of yourself answering a prompt given by the recruiting team. It is important to remember that this video will be judged as if it were a live interview, and you must conduct yourself as such.
- Final Round:
- This will remain the traditional “Superday” where those chosen from the first round will come to the office and undergo a series of interviews. The interviews will likely last for 30 minutes each and there will be 2 people who work in ibanking full time in each one. Those selected generally get offers within a day or two of their Superdays.
Lastly, you will need to understand what to focus on:
- Study the firm: You should study the “Who We Are” section of the firm’s website and talk to current employees to get a good understanding of how the bank is organized, who the leaders are, and some of the unique aspects of Goldman culture.
- Craft your story: Make sure that you have your 60 second “elevator pitch” down cold. Be able to articulate where you have been, where you are now, and where you plan to go. You story must also incorporate why you are interested in this internship and how your skills are transferrable. (Note: It is important to convey that if given a full-time position, you have made the decision to pursue banking for the long-term).
- Learn the basics of finance: Take advantage of websites like Investopedia and the Wall Street Journal to gain a basic understanding of finance and financial markets. Knowing the key ways to value a company, the balance sheet equation, and the relationship between bond prices and interest rates would be a good start.
- Remember, it’s a conversation!: The real way to ace an interview is to remain calm and be yourself. If you don’t know the answer to a question then ask for clarification or say that you simply don’t know (but will follow up after the interview when you have researched the answer!). The best candidates show that they are prepared but not rehearsed to the point of sounding robotic. The best hires display a temperament that shows they will work well with others, and get the job done no matter what.
Now, of course, Goldman Sachs isn’t the only place that offers high profile internship programs in banking. There are several premier firms that offer well structured programs that pay well. And these tips will put you at the front of the pack and make you a standout candidate!
Get started now on earning your spot for summer!