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How to Ace your Summer Internship

Congratulations on securing a summer internship, to get to this stage takes a lot of time, dedication and persistence. Having said that, you have only taken the FIRST step towards your future financial career. A summer internship is like going on a date with your employer: they want to find out if you are the right match for them and vice-versa.

1. The start of your Internship

Dress Smart

Gents, this means a suit, shirt and tie with black smart shoes. Although there is no clear / explicit dress code when it comes to suits, avoid the following: bright-coloured suits, shirts and ties. Stick to black, grey and navy suits; white, blue and pink shirts; plain coloured pattern-less ties. Ensure that you are well groomed, meaning well-kept hair and facial hair (I recommend to go clean-shaven as chances are you cannot grow a beard and certainly cannot pull off a moustache). Do NOT go around wearing any luxury items like Rolex watches, Hermes ties nor Gucci loafers.

Ladies, unfortunately the dress code for you is a lot more ambiguous. What I can say is that through my experience hearing stories from other female interns, these are things to avoid: excessive make-up and jewellery, bright-coloured clothing, inappropriate footwear (no you do not have to wear heels, I would strongly urge you to go for bit-loafers which are far more comfortable instead) and short skirts.

If in doubt about the dress code, your line manager or current graduate analysts are the best people to ask.

Get on the Good Side of the IT / Tech Support Desk

Introducing yourself to the IT / tech support desk and getting to know them, asking how their day is and what their plans for the weekend (when they are not busy with system overhauls) can help you to go an extra mile during the internship. If your work laptop crashes, your PowerPoint slides you spent all night working on disappear from the drive or you think you could benefit from an extra monitor at your desk, having a good relationship with the tech support can help solve your problems a lot faster, TRUST ME.

Find a Buddy

Some internship programmes offer a default 'buddy' system where they pair you with a recent Graduate or Analyst, if yours does not then make sure you find someone who is happy to have weekly catch-ups with you over coffee. This 'buddy' is someone who you can go to if you have a generic question about your desk work, office politics, or tips and advice on how to succeed during your internship. I got on so well with my buddy that they asked a few of their analyst colleagues to sit down with me and help me to rehearse my final presentation pitch for the end of my internship assessment.

2. Throughout your Internship