As an intern, it's often the smallest details that can make or break your future in the industry.
Thousands of students apply for summer internships at banks every year.
Congratulations if you made the cut. Now you must cater to a very tough crowd - that’s impatient, demands perfection, and wants ruthless efficiency.
As an intern, it's often the smallest details that can make or break your future in the industry. Say something inappropriate in front of a client, leave the office earlier than your MD, or screw up the coffee for the entire trading floor, and it could be curtains.
Everyone’s keeping tabs on you - even if you don’t notice.
After all if you can't handle the simple and menial tasks, how can you be trusted with client projects ?
Here is a list of common blunders that interns make while on the job:
Bragging about your MBA or University
We get it - you went to a great school, took some finance courses, and made your way here. But while you’re babbling about your achievements in school, know that we’re just rolling our eyes and wondering what the next round of bonuses are going to be like. Get over yourself.
Replying to all In Emails
Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. The only thing faster is a banker’s ability to forward clumsy emails on the Blackberry to their entire network. Bankers love to mock, complain, or laugh at emails that shouldn’t have been sent. And don’t ever be the one that replies to all saying 'please take me off this list'.
Screwing up Outlook Calendar invites
Bankers get hundreds of emails a day and if isn’t important, we ignore it. So when you send out the calendar invite for a conference call, team meeting, or - God forbid - a town hall, please just get it right the first time. It drives people nuts when they see 3-4 invites for the same event.
Not double checking your work
Mistakes cost time, money, and energy. It also makes the team look bad in front of clients. So whether you’re interning in IBD, equities, or fixed income, remember that the market is super competitive and clients can shop between banks anytime. With faster information and news cycles, the pressure is always on to deliver quality and commercial work.
Not understanding the meaning of the word 'urgent'
If you’re interning on a trading floor, now means now. Not two minutes after checking Facebook, but right this second. Folks on the trading floor are notorious for sending emails and following up right after hitting send. They also won’t hesitate to yell during trading hours if the message isn’t getting through.
Taking Townhalls too seriously
If you’re lucky enough to attend a town hall where senior management shares the bank’s quarterly performance and guidance, remember to bring your smartphone and pretend to take notes. Try not to fall asleep. Don’t worry about the Q&A either - because everyone just asks about bonuses.
Asking How To Use A Fax Machine
Really ? You’re just making me feel old now.