Finance Internships

Finance Internship

3 Secrets to Start Your Finance Internships

Internships are an excellent way for students to get hands-on, real-world industry experience that no classroom learning can teach. Therefore, they are a fabulous way of getting a glimpse into your future career. Finance internships are no different.

Through internships, you get to know what is expected of you and how you can mold yourself into the career you aspire to. However, some students get more out of their internships because they navigate themselves through their internships better. Therefore, acquiring these valuable skills is crucial if you want to get the most out of your internship.

How to excel at your finance internships

While a lot can depend on where you get to do your internship and your role, but the soft skills that work in the background are somewhat universal. Knowing these can prove very helpful when it comes to getting the most out of your finance internships:

1. Hone your skills and play on your strengths

Finance internships have some basic skill requirements that you must work upon before starting. Some of these can be as follows:

Math Skills:

It goes without saying that finance is a game of numbers. So having a stronghold on Math is of utmost importance. Math is a discrete skill, without much subjectivity, that can make or break your career in finance. Therefore, you need to be at the top of it so that your understanding and output are accurate.

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Computer Skills:

Spreadsheet capabilities, charting, and trend analysis are some of the top computer skills you must possess as a finance intern. You must be good with computers to quickly pick up the software skills required during a finance internship.

Detail-Oriented:

Even a slight change in data can cause a loss of millions of dollars or bring unimaginably high profits. You need to have a sleuth’s eye for detail, so you can leave an impression during your internship and convert it into an actual job.

Analytical Skills:

While Math is clear-cut, analyzing scenarios, investment opportunities, and profitability possibilities requires some level of judgment but is equally critical. Most of the recommendations in financial consulting roles depend on your analytical abilities. You need to be able to interpret data and come up with valuable metrics and advice to present to your seniors.

Decision-Making Skills:

As an intern, you wouldn’t be required to make the top decisions of the company; however, just presenting your findings will not lead to anything. You need to convey what your seniors need to do with all your findings, and that’s where decision-making comes in.

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Communication Skills:

Even if you have all the above skills, you might not succeed if you don’t communicate your findings well. Senior employees are always time-strapped; they can research better than you, but they don’t have the time, and that’s why they hire interns. So, if you can’t communicate your research well, even if you are making a good point, it will not be entirely or correctly conveyed to your seniors, leading you to a dead end.

Now that you have an idea of what skills are demanded during finance internships, you can start working on developing and honing them before your internship begins. And during your internship, you should play on your strengths to stand out in the competition.

2. Seek Mentorship and be Willing to Learn

You must be your class’ top student or might have profited a lot by managing your own equity portfolio. However, when you enter the industry, it is a whole new playground. An internship is a perfect way of understanding how the real world works. And the best way to learn is through your seniors.

They have been in the industry for a while now and are doing well for themselves. They, too, have the conceptual knowledge like you, but they also have real-world experience. So you can learn from them and polish your professional skills.

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How to seek Mentorship?

  • Ask Questions: One of the best ways to seek mentorship is to ask questions or put forward your doubts. This will give you an idea of which of your seniors can add the most value to your learning.
  • Understand Career Progression: Finance is a vast domain with several subdomains. You can go into investment banking, auditing, accounting, consulting, and many other fields. However, you can’t explore every field and decide which one interests you most. However, finance internships are a great way to understand career progression and figure out what interests you the most.
  • Learn the internal technology from scratch: While theoretically, you do understand various calculations that go into financial models, however, when you work in finance internships, you get to know the added factors that are considered in the real world. So, before you underestimate the most basic calculations, have a fresh look at the model that’s in front of you. You will definitely learn something new and can apply that knowledge in your future full-time jobs.

During your internship, you get in touch with several finance professionals who’ve been in the industry for much longer. They know what would be your career trajectory if you entered that field. So, hearing it from the horse’s mouth is an excellent way of deciding whether that is the career for you or not.

3. Build your network

Finance internships are not just desk jobs. They present a terrific opportunity to develop your professional network. And while your qualifications can take you only so far, your network can take you anywhere you’d want.

How is Networking Different from Mentorship?

Networking and Mentorship go hand-in-hand; however, there is a thin-line difference between the two.

While Mentorship is achieved on a one-on-one basis, Networking is very fluid and spreads like tree branches. Mentorship is generally a relationship between a senior and a subordinate, while Networking is simultaneously vertical and lateral. So your network includes senior members and your peers.

What are the benefits of Networking?

Your network helps in getting recommendations when you actually apply for jobs. It is also a valuable source of information about what you can expect from your chosen career. You can get some incredible career advice from the people in your network. They could have tackled similar situations before you and know what works, so they can guide you well. Also, it gives you an edge when you want to move higher up the ladder.

Wrapping Up the Secrets to Start Your Finance Internships

While finance internships seem like simple desk jobs, they have a lot more to them than meets the eye. Knowing how to get the most out of them is one of the main reasons why students go into internships before landing their first jobs. However, knowing the above three things can give you a better understanding of the industry and give you a head start in your career.

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