Investment Banking Insights: Summer 2022 Internship Recruiting Overview

Investment Banking Insights: Summer 2022 Internship Recruiting Overview

Welcome back!  We hope you took some time to relax and rest after a long Fall semester.  As the Spring semester has recently started, we thought it may be helpful to provide some context and considerations for students thinking about summer internships in investment banking.  This is the first of four blog posts in a series to provide insight and perspective to help you navigate the recruiting process – hopefully feeling confident and prepared!  Let’s start with an overview of investment banking recruiting for junior year internships.

Timeline (for opportunities in the U.S.)

One of the most popular topics!  You may have heard that investment banking recruiting for junior year internships begins early – that is correct.  Unlike many other industries, this timeline has shifted earlier in recent years – for some employers as early as 1.5 years before the internship begins.  Some students may start the recruiting process in the Spring semester of their sophomore year – others may find themselves recruiting during the summer after sophomore year for investment banking internships.

Employers hiring for investment banking internships tend to operate on their own individual timeline compared with the volume of internships available in other industries during the specific On-Campus Interview period beginning in the Fall semester each year.  The lack of a defined recruiting period for investment banking internships may seem daunting and stressful, but it’s normal to view the process as unstructured without knowing how long it will take or when it will end. You can add an element of structure to the investment banking recruiting process by creating your own spreadsheet to stay organized and track your progress as you begin to prepare internship applications.

(Note that the timeline may vary for investment banking internships in other regions of the world – this post is focused solely on opportunities in the U.S.)

Regardless of when you participate in the process, here are some important considerations for investment banking internship recruiting:

Employer Recruiting Events

Some companies use recruiting events to introduce themselves and begin their efforts to connect with students.  Employer Information Sessions, Coffee Chats and Insight Days are just a few examples of events that students can participate in to start the process.  In aggregate, the number of employer events may seem overwhelming at times but you don’t need to attend all of them!  Think about firms you are most interested in (or want to learn more about) and try to participate in recruiting events with those firms if possible.

You may want to begin searching for these events now on Handshake and employer websites – be sure to register in advance.  Not all recruiting events will be advertised far in advance of the actual event date, so you should search periodically if upcoming events are not listed.

Insider Tip: You can start building your individual list of firms to target using resources such as the Vault Guide to Investment Banking Employers.  This guide can be helpful to research and learn more about different employers providing investment banking internships.

Consider making a calendar for yourself to track different events and try to plan ahead.  Some recruiting events or programs may be targeted for underrepresented groups while others are open to any interested student.

Insider Tip: Some virtual investment banking recruiting events have already been scheduled within the next month – more events will be added throughout the Spring.  These events may be publicized in Handshake, advertised through student group listservs or visible directly through the employer’s website, so it’s important to browse a variety of sources for a comprehensive idea of upcoming events.

Insider Tip: Participate actively in recruiting events and approach them with a level of professionalism as these events can be opportunities for employers to start identifying strong candidates for internships.  Involvement in early identification programs offered by employers can lead to subsequent (early) interview offers if you make a strong impression.

Insider Tip:  To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities advertised through Career Services:
Select/update your preferences in Handshake and
– Receive customized emails from Career Services:
1) Click on the “Log In” link in the upper right hand corner of the Career Services website, then
2) Enter your PennKey and password
3) Update your “content preferences”

Networking – more to come!

Connecting with investment bankers at firms prior to interviewing can be helpful – networking is an important part of the process and we will share more about that in an upcoming blog post in this series.

How to Apply

Many employers ask students to apply directly through their company websites.  Some employers may also post listings in Handshake.  Be sure to check both places for investment banking internship postings and apply accordingly.  A small number of applications are currently open and more will open up throughout the Spring and into Summer.

Note: All internships are not posted well in advance of the application period.  Consider searching weekly for new internship listings as employers may post them at any time.  Some employers may announce when Summer 2022 internship applications open during recruiting events such as information sessions – stay tuned!

Rolling Application Process

You may be used to applying for positions with a specific deadline date indicated in the description – a common process used by companies to review all submitted applications then extend interview invitations.  While some employers may have specific application deadlines, it’s important to know that other companies utilize a rolling application process for investment banking internships.  How is that different and why is that important?

A rolling application process means that applications can be reviewed at any time during the process – not only after a specific application deadline date.  Some employers use a rolling application policy to expedite the entire process and begin interviewing some candidates at an earlier time.

As the applicant, you have control over when you want to apply for internships.  If you are not comfortable submitting your application the first day applications are open, that’s ok!  But you will need to eventually determine when you feel ready to begin this process as it can move very quickly at some companies.  In some cases, students who have applied for investment banking internships may be contacted for an initial screening interview before they expect it.

Prior to starting your application process, think about how prepared you feel for interviews and your ability to commit to a position without exploring other internships.   You may find some investment banking employers encouraging you to apply as soon as possible but don’t make decisions based on fear of missing out.  (In some ways, this process may appear similar to early decision or rolling admissions for college.)

Students may progress through the application and interview process for investment banking internships at different times.  Just because a friend or peer is further along in the process than you doesn’t mean you won’t be invited to interview or won’t receive an offer.  Be careful making comparisons with your peers and making assumptions on the status of your candidacy with any particular firm based on that comparison.  Keep a positive mindset and stay focused as you proceed through the process!

The prospect of recruiting for investment banking internships after junior year may seem exciting, nerve-wracking, challenging or all these sentiments at the same time.  Know that you have agency over your participation in the process and think of this experience as your chance to explore opportunities while identifying your interests and ultimately what’s best for you – even if that’s outside of investment banking.  You can certainly connect with Career Services in an advising appointment to discuss your individual plans and any questions you may have – we are here to help!  Best wishes!

This is the first post in the Investment Banking Insights blog post series.  Stay tuned for the next post on Creating an Effective Investment Banking Resume.


By David Ross
David Ross Director, Undergraduate Career Initiatives