Across the nation, accounting, finance and business majors are locking in this summer’s internships. Some were lucky enough to accept offers in the fall. Most are doing that now.

There’s one group, however, that is looking ahead to summer 2021. Those are the undergrads intent on a career in investment banking, where internship recruiting by many of the largest banks and firms starts earlier than almost any other industry sector.

Certainly, not every banking intern is recruited in their second year of college. But especially at the leading business schools like Wharton, Stanford, Chicago’s Booth, Sloan at MIT and Harvard among them, the competition for top students is so keen recruiters have been known to offer summer jobs to freshmen.

Brian DeChesare, founder of two blogs jobs on alternative assets and banking, says the internship timeline “starts ridiculously early.” Recognizing that is especially important for students at schools not among those most targeted by the industry. Students at lesser-known universities, he says, can earn one of the prized internships but only if they make the right connections and take steps far earlier than they might think necessary.

In an enlightening Q&A DeChesare interviews an investment banker who explains in detail how, after deciding on a career in investment banking while a senior in high school, they went about achieving that goal. The article traces the steps the banker took beginning in the first weeks after starting college right through the final year.

The most important lesson, the one the unnamed banker says is the biggest takeaway, is building and maintaining a network of contacts. “You cannot afford to screw up relationships,” the banker says. “That means if you contact someone for a coffee chat or networking call, you must show up on time and do it.”

How does a freshman with no contacts build the kind of network that will help them land an internship? It takes work and a bit of luck. The banker in the article explains how they did it:

“I did some cold outreach on LinkedIn, eventually got a response from a search fund professional, and asked him for advice about the investment banking recruiting timeline.

“He was impressed that I had researched his firm and reached out to him only a few weeks after arriving at university.

“He explained search funds and offered me a part-time internship, which I quickly accepted and used to learn the basic buy-side and sell-side processes.””

That’s a message every student should keep in mind. Whether investment banking, hedge funds, some other related sector or, for that matter, any industry, making and sustaining contacts is as key to landing an internship and later a job, as is academic success. And it’s never too early to start.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Clare Wright

Welcome to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the incredible people behind our powerhouse recruiting team.

Clare Wright graduated with a business degree in 2009 and joined Green Key shortly thereafter. She is now an Executive Director of Recruitment at Green Key Professional Support

We asked Wright to talk us through her recruiting journey, working at Green Key, and the administrative job search.

What inspired you to pursue a career in recruitment?

I fell in to recruiting, like many others. After graduating with a business degree in the UK in 2009, I came to the USA to intern and found an internship with Green Key. 12 years, 2 kids, one dog, several apartments, and one house later, I’m an Executive Director of the Professional Support team handling permanent and temporary placements in NYC.

What sets Green Key apart from other recruiting firms?

We’re a team. There are so many ups and downs in recruiting but having a strong team to support each other and lift each other up is so important!

"We're a team. There are so many ups and downs in recruiting but having a strong team to support each other and lift each other up is so important!"

-Clare Wright
Executive Director,
Green Key Professional Support

Where has Green Key Professional Support provided service that is hard to match in an internal hiring team?

We can provide an alternate perspective and sometimes suggest a different profile that might seem like the right fit on paper but ends up being a great match for the position given our extensive screening process!

What are the next steps for candidates interested in expanding their administrative job search?

Connect with me directly or visit www.greenkeyllc.com/area/professional-support to fill out a candidate contact form. We also have several open positions on the Green Key jobs board

Jun 6, 2023

Alternatives Investors Plan to ‘Stay the Course’ This Year

Despite market volatility and an uncertain economic outlook, investors are committed to their alternative asset programs, declares Preqin in its half year investment update.

The majority of investors in alternatives say they intend to stay the course this year, telling Preqin they are satisfied with the performance of their portfolio over the last year.

“Almost all investors intend to either maintain (60%) or increase (33%) allocations to private capital, highlighting their confidence in the market and knowledge that funds that have invested through downturns and recessions have historically provided the best returns,” says Preqin.

The only sector where investors were solidly disappointed is natural resources. There, 58% said performance had fallen short of their expectations.

Hedge fund investors were evenly split between those saying performance failed to meet their expectations and those who said the opposite. But when those who felt the asset class had exceeded expectations are included, hedge funds came out on the positive side.

Preqin conducted its survey of institutional investors in June, before hedge funds had a third consecutive positive month. July was another strong month for the asset class. Preqin’s All-Strategies Hedge Fund benchmark turned positive for 2020 and improved the annual return to 5.46%.

Yet, even before knowing this, 44% of hedge fund investors said they expected to invest more capital in the class in the next year. Among the six asset classes, only private debt had a higher percentage of investors (48%) expecting to increase their investment.

Preqin alternative investment 2020.jpg

Fewer, however, foresee much improvement in their portfolios over the next 12 months. Preqin says hedge fund investors are the most optimistic with only 2-in-5 survey respondents expecting improvement. Private debt investors were not far behind, with 34% saying they expected improvement.

“In absolute terms investors expect their private capital portfolios to perform worse over the next 12 months, a finding that is in line with the economic devastation arising from the pandemic,” Preqin says, adding, “any investment will be hard pressed to perform well.”

“On balance, investors expect COVID-19 to have a slightly negative effect on the performance of their alternatives portfolios in the long term.”

Still, as Preqin noted, 63% of investors do not plan to change their strategy because of COVID-19; 29% intend to invest more vs. 7% that will invest less.

“The economic fallout from COVID-19,” declare Preqin, “Has not diminished investors’ appetite for alternatives.”

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash