03 Jan Why Finance Students Should Do an Internship Abroad
Investment banking, accounting and financial internships
These days, most students and people pursuing careers in finance obtain some internship experience along the way. Whether they embark on a finance internship abroad to explore and learn how the industry operates internationally, or simply to just get valuable experience on their resume. Nowadays, in order to obtain a full-time position in the field of investment banking, accounting and finance, it’s critical to have some internship experience.
What to expect from a finance internship
Interning at the finance department of one company or another will determine what type of skills and knowledge you will gain. Common things you might find yourself doing are data entry, market research for a specific product or project, as well as cleaning up documents for better efficiency of your area. These tasks may seem basic at first, but they will give you great organizational, research and project management skills.
One of the most valuable aspects you can get out of an internship experience are the relationships. Relationships are the currency of the business world, and if you’re able to build a real relationship with your boss, co-workers, or colleagues, it might really pay dividends in the future. You never know where people will end up, and who’s going to be able to help you.
“Once you’re on the other side of the table as a full-time employee, you will see how important and valuable connections really are. If someone is referred to or knows someone at the company, the likelihood of them getting the position or even in the door is incredibly higher.”
Some positions will most likely not be advertised, or just a few interviews will happen because someone is being referred through a connection within the company.
What’s the best industry for you as a finance student?
For someone pursuing a career in finance, they’re multiple types of internships available to you. If you’re trying to figure out how to become an investment banking analyst, then you may want to get valuable experience through a summer internship during your sophomore or junior year. Somewhere around 90% of investment banking analyst positions have got the role by doing an internship. If you’re wondering how to become an investment banking analyst, it’s by first becoming an investment banking summer intern.
In other fields, such as real estate finance, you ideally would apply for an internship in real estate. This means working for a real estate company, developer, or manager to start to get familiar with the asset class, and the operations of the industry. When you’re recruiting for a full-time position, the company you’re interviewing with is going to want to see some type of expressed interest in the field you’re attempting to enter by working in it through an internship.
If you’re looking to get into general finance and are unsure what industry you really want to pursue, then corporate finance might be a good place to start. A finance internship abroad will usually be the most fulfilling one, since you will be able to see many different aspects from the finance industry in an international work culture, try out different bits and pieces and decide afterwards what you like, what not so much, and what you’re really good at.
Finance international internships are the best path to your next job opportunity! If you want to learn more about what it's like to intern abroad in finance, listen to Peter Lincoln’s testimonial, an Absolute Alumni and Ambassador who interned over summer in Hong Kong! Feel free to reach out to him with any questions about his internship program, living abroad or finance internships in general - he will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Howie Bick is the founder of The Analyst Handbook, a collection of 16 guides created to help current and aspiring analysts advance their careers. Prior to founding The Analyst Handbook, Howie was an analyst in real estate banking.