How to Get an Internship in Finance: A Complete Guide
Updated 10 March 2023
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A finance internship is an excellent way to gain valuable experience in the finance service. Since the financial firms and enterprises are continuously on the lookout for analysts and advisers, there are plenty of opportunities. An internship is the first step in establishing a successful long-term career and it enables you to blend classroom learning with real-world experience, allowing you to expand your skill set. In this article, we discuss how to get an internship in finance along with its benefits.
How to get an internship in finance
Here are a few steps that explain how to get an internship in finance:
1. Get relevant education
College education can help you in getting fundamental knowledge of finance and can prepare you to execute various financial processes. Employers usually seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in finance and getting this education is the first step that you can take to get a finance internship. Though not mandatory, getting an advanced degree in finance can increase your chances of getting entry into the field of finance.
2. Develop financial skills
Joining finance-related clubs in or outside your college is an excellent way to develop some essential financial skills. You may also attend financial seminars and network with individuals in the industry to learn from their experiences. Besides, you may set up a trading account to put your financial abilities to the test regularly. Skills like planning, critical thinking and time management are essential in a finance role and you can work on building these skills by participating in various competitions and tournaments like stock pitch tournaments in your college.
3. Make a resume
Having good financial exposure on your resume can help you secure your ideal finance internship. You can mention your qualifications and skills along with achievements in your resume to create a lasting impression. You can customise your resume specific to the firm you are applying to, to increase your chances of landing the internship.
4. Apply for a finance internship
Begin your application process as early as your freshmen year. Apply for finance internship positions by sending your resume and preparing well for the interview process. You may follow the below ways to secure an internship:
visit job sites like Indeed
use your college's career resources
network with people and leverage it to find relevant opportunities
reach out to companies directly and send your resume
Related: Finance Interview Questions For Freshers (With Answers)
What is a finance internship?
A finance internship is a program available to graduates by businesses, NGOs and even government agencies. Internships in finance often last one to four months, but they may extend up to a year. Both the intern and the employer usually agree on the duration early in the process. A finance internship's aim is to familiarise you with the finance industry.
Internships are critical in the early stages of establishing a successful career as a financial analyst. Internships are available to aspiring individuals enrolled in a bachelor's degree program during semester breaks. You can find many internship opportunities in investment banks, mutual fund firms and other financial institutions. Getting an internship in finance can help you gain relevant experience and skills and can aid in acquiring full-time employment in the finance industry.
Related: What Are Internships and How Do You Find One?
Roles and responsibilities of a finance intern
Here are some roles and responsibilities of a finance intern:
gather, comprehend, process, verify and report accounting-related information
complete professional, analytical and managerial support work tasks
assist with the creation of monthly or weekly financial reports
make spreadsheets, databases and other computer programs
manage specific data, reports and forms related to fees, billing and project tracking
input information into the company's financial accounting system
prepare and recommend rules and procedures to maintain accounting controls
coordinate activities and answers inquiries for finance-related tasks
collect and analyse account information to reconcile financial inconsistencies
Benefits of a finance internship
Some benefits of a finance internship include:
Improving your professional abilities
One of the most valuable aspects of an internship is the opportunity to learn professional skills via observation and practice. These insights polish your professional abilities for the future. An internship can teach you meeting etiquette and give you the confidence to speak with individuals in top positions in a company. When you enter the job market after graduation, these professional abilities can provide you with an edge over other candidates.
Related: Writing An Internship Cover Letter (With Examples)
Assisting with the networking process
Internships in finance are one of the most effective methods to expand your professional network. When working as an intern, make connections with supervisors and other coworkers. This can assist you in finding career opportunities after graduation.
Helping in recognising career path
Doing an internship in finance can help you discover a suitable career path for you. Internships help in giving you exposure to various fields of finance and can help you decide which area you want to build your career in. An internship is an excellent opportunity to try out a career plan before looking for full-time employment after graduation.
Finding full-time employment opportunity
Employers invest a significant amount of time and money in educating interns. The companies may prefer to see a long-term return on their investment than start again with fresh entry-level employees. Many companies regard internships as extended interviews. During this period, they assess how a candidate would do in the real world. If you perform well in your internship, it may land you an opportunity to work full time with the employer.
Gaining relevant experience
Work experience is important when you are looking for job opportunities, as employers prefer graduates with real-world experience gained via internships. Finance internship experience sets you apart from other applicants and shows your ability to perform in a professional setting. Having an internship experience might help you in giving real-life answers to situational questions asked in job interviews.
How long do interns work?
The amount of hours interns work typically depends on when they are pursuing it. Interns often work part-time during the spring and fall while pursuing school and full time in the summer months. Employers are more flexible during the spring and fall since they assume participants have classes during those times. An intern's hours also depend on the type of employer they have. Some employers may request a set amount of hours, whereas others may allow flexibility as long as the intern completes their work.
Tips on how to succeed in your finance internship
Here are some tips to help you have a successful internship:
Set goals: When beginning your internship, create a clear, personal purpose for why you are there, so you have a motivating factor to keep you focused on your internship.
Stay organised: Since employers assign interns with various tasks, it is helpful to have an organisational system that works for you, such as using a calendar or agenda.
Be professional: While an internship is sometimes more casual than a job, it is still important to remain professional and consider how you present yourself to others in the organisation.
Fill your downtime: Let your supervisor know if you are out of tasks so they can find something else for you to do to keep you busy and productive with the company, allowing you to continue learning.
Ask questions: As an intern, take advantage of your status as a student to ask your employer and peers about areas you are having trouble understanding to show your motivation in learning more about the industry.
Career prospects after a finance internship
Here are some career prospects after completing an internship in finance:
1. Financial analyst
National average salary: ₹4,05,433 per year
Primary responsibilities: Financial analysts work on mathematical data to assist corporate stakeholders in making educated financial choices. They assist in purchasing decisions and demands of consumers across the country for financial organisations such as banks, funds and insurance firms. They also perform financial forecasting, reporting and track operational metrics.
Related: How To Become a Finance Analyst: A Step-by-Step Guide
2. Portfolio manager
National average salary: ₹4,64,777 per year
Primary responsibilities: A portfolio manager is a finance-related mid-level position. Portfolio managers collaborate with a group of individuals to offer investment recommendations for mutual, exchange-traded and closed-end fund assets. They use an investing strategy to handle portfolio trading on a day-to-day basis.
National average salary: ₹2,52,448 per year
Primary responsibilities: Accounting entails dealing with transactions, sales reporting, production and inventory management. It is one of the most popular jobs in the finance field and having accounting experience from an internship might help you in starting your career in this domain. The responsibilities of an accountant involve monitoring spending and budget, along with preparing accounts and tax returns.
4. Budget analyst
National average salary: ₹13,74,319 per year
Primary responsibilities: A budget analyst is one of the most prestigious financial jobs. Candidates with strong numerical and analytical abilities might pursue a career as a budget analyst. Budget analysts prepare budget reports for a business or group and these opportunities are available in both the public and commercial sectors.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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