These are the top 9 investment bank internships

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REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Investment banking is one of the most competitive areas of finance.

In order to break in, young Wall Streeters need smarts, tenacity, and the wherewithal to handle the work load and notoriously long hours. Internship experience is also a must.

To help you find the best internships on the Street, Vault.com has surveyed 12,000 investment banking interns to compile a list of best internship programs for 2018.

The respondents were asked to rate and review their own internship experiences based on various factors, including compensation and meaningfulness of assignments. On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents rated their internship experiences in five main areas: interview process, quality of life, career development, compensation and benefits, and full-time employment prospects.

Vault then averaged those five factors for each company and ranked them in order. Following are the rankings for the top nine investment banking intership programs along with comments about the internship we gleaned for each bank.


Goldman Sachs Global Summer Internship

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Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Blankfein speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York
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Thomson Reuters

Score: 8.280

Pros: “The best aspects of this internship were the people I worked with, the work I was given, and the opportunities within the firm. Everyone was willing to answer my questions and work with me on projects that I was working on. There was never a time that I felt like I was completely on my own and struggling to an unreasonable extent. The work I was given was meaningful, and I didn’t feel like I was doing a bunch of mundane tasks. As far as opportunities go, I felt like there were many opportunities to talk with individuals all over the firm from analysts to associates to learn about their jobs. Mobility is encouraged through the firm, which I find appealing.”

Cons: “The lack of social events. My coworkers never organized social events (i.e. dinner or drinks) unless they were sponsored by the dept/company.”

Advice to potential interns: “The best advice I have would be to make sure you read through potential interview questions before you start the process and practice answering them in front of the mirror. Also, for the most part they are not looking for extremely technically skilled interns, so don’t be afraid to go for it and apply.”


RBC Capital Markets Summer Analyst/Associate Program

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REUTERS/John Tilak

Score: 8.341

Pros: “RBC had great people, a welcoming community, and there was a sense of family. Everyone that was part of my team was extremely helpful and we had a lot of fun.”

Cons: “I felt like the structure could have been a little more rigid – it felt as if they just put us on desks (that we wanted) and then the rest was up to us. That aspect of it being up to us has its pros and cons, but if you are not prepared for this style it could be detrimental.”

Advice to potential interns: “Pay the utmost care to the tiny details because they all contribute to the overall goal of giving the client the most reliable information for their financial position. Aim to be the person that supports the team and catches the little things that sometimes get overlooked like font size/footnotes — the client notices and you never want your team to say “we should have caught that”–even if it means comment on someone else’s work.”


Barclays Investment Bank (Americas) Front Office Summer Analyst and Associate Programs

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FILE PHOTO: Chief executive officer of Barclays, Jes Staley, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York
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Thomson Reuters

Score: 8.468

Pros: “The culture and people is the best aspect of Barclays. The people, from junior to senior bankers, go out of their way to be helpful and care more about your success than holding lofty expectations. They really want you succeed and support you in the process. Otherwise, the exposure to many different companies, financial analysis and modeling, working on live deals and with clients was a high point as well.”

Cons: “There can be down-time at times where there is nothing specific to work on which can make the hours drag by, but most of the time this isn’t the case. However, I prefer to be working on something constructive and would often find things to keep me busy.”

Advice to potential interns: “The internship is what you make of it, do not be afraid to step up and continually ask for more ways to get involved/ take initiative in tackling tasks you feel you may want exposure to during your 10 weeks.”


Lazard Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

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Ken Jacobs (R), Chief Executive Officer of Lazard North America, and Gary Parr, Deputy Chairman of Lazard, speak during the Reuters Investment Banking Summit in New York, November 15, 2006.
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REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Score: 8.562

Pros: “Lazard is the last investment bank on the Street that cares about having whip-smart people who can think for themselves. Lazard doesn’t have a balance sheet (they don’t underwrite clients’ liabilities), meaning that client service is key. You’d be working with some of the best companies in the US and around the world with people who know them and the industry incredibly well. You feel like most people actually care about your development and are always open to questions.”

Cons: “Because Lazard is what I have described above, they mandate A+ client service, which means that you are on call 24/7, 365. There was not one weeknight the entire summer where I left the office before 9/10, and most nights I was here until 11-12. You won’t get most weekends off, and the stress does take its toll. That said, you won’t be the only one in the office: even your boss’ boss’ boss’ boss is sometimes in on Saturday.”

Advice to potential interns: “Many of the culture-related issues highlighted on different sites and forums throughout the internet are not true and are outdated. Lazard has adopted many of the initiatives that other firms have in an attempt to improve the junior banker experience, a fact rarely acknowledged by those that know less about the firm.”


Baird Internship Program

Score: 8.755

Pros: “They do not look at you as “the intern” at Baird. They treat you like a true, full-time employee and allow you to take on as many opportunities as you please. Everyone is very enjoyable to work with and I feel like anyone would love to help me if I seem stuck on something or have a question, regardless of what department they’re in. I get to learn a lot and get plenty of real-world exposure, which has allowed me to feel prepared for my future!Overall I am very happy at Baird.”

Cons: “I wish my department allowed overtime for interns. I know when it is slow it is not needed, but it would be nice to have for when we are busy and need extra hours to finish work.”

Advice to potential interns: “The culture is unlike any other company. It is typical to see a potentially cut-throat, tense, competitive environment in financial firms, but Baird is consistently filled with supportive and collaborative people who are engaged in providing the best environment possible to achieve success. Everyone is wonderful, and the support is very genuine!”


UBS Summer Internship Program

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CEO Ermotti of Swiss bank UBS awaits the annual shareholder meeting in Basel
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Thomson Reuters

Score: 9.639

Pros: “The responsibility was a great aspect. We were put onto deal teams as full-fledged members, and expected to bring our own angle and insights to the table. What came with this role was a large amount of responsibility, which, although daunting at first, was a very candid glimpse at what the full-time job would entail. The training program was also excellent, enabling us to step into these roles with the fundamentals and a solid foundation under us.”

Cons: “The hours were long, but were alleviated by understanding deal teams and protected weekends.”

Advice to potential interns: “Someone told me halfway through the summer that a good internship is one that gives you a lot of responsibility, exposes you to big and important deals, and surrounds you with people you want to work with. I think these are excellent criteria for an internship, and that this program does exceedingly well based on these criteria.”


William Blair Investment Banking Summer Analyst and Associate Internships

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LinkedIn

Score: 9.140

Pros: “The best aspects were the access to senior management and the deal process. The exposure to the whole process was very interesting and a great learning experience.”

Cons: “As an intern, it is largely illegal to communicate with the client. This was sometimes a limiting factor in the full exposure to the analyst role.”

Advice to potential interns: “I do think it comes down to not just culture or strength of the employer, but the combination of the two. You can end up with a great name, but not a great experience. Talk to as many people as you can, both employees and former interns/Analysts so you can get a true perspective on the experience you will have. You will learn more if you like the people you are with, but if you can like the people with whom you are staffed and you’re doing meaningful work, it will be that much more rewarding.”


Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

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Ralph Schlosstein, president of Evercore Partners
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Bloomberg

Score: 9.639

Pros: “The responsibility was a great aspect. We were put onto deal teams as full-fledged members, and expected to bring our own angle and insights to the table. What came with this role was a large amount of responsibility, which, although daunting at first, was a very candid glimpse at what the full-time job would entail. The training program was also excellent, enabling us to step into these roles with the fundamentals and a solid foundation under us.”

Cons: “The hours were long, but were alleviated by understanding deal teams and protected weekends.”

Advice to potential interns: “Someone told me halfway through the summer that a good internship is one that gives you a lot of responsibility, exposes you to big and important deals, and surrounds you with people you want to work with. I think these are excellent criteria for an internship, and that this program does exceedingly well based on these criteria.”


Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program

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OneWire

Score: 9.733

Pros: “The people – everyone is willing to train and help you become great. We also had great exposure to the full teams, and the senior people.”

Cons: “The internship was great, although the hours took some getting used to. That being said, I wouldn’t have changed the experience.”

Advice to potential interns: “If you know you’re interested in investment banking (and attendant hours and intensity are up your alley), this is the best place to be. I didn’t fully appreciate just how good this place is (especially when I hear from peers at other firms) in terms of training, exposure to senior-level bankers, and substantive, challenging work.”