Q&A with one of our recent graduates who secured two front-end M&A offers

We recently interviewed an alum of City Investment Training that completed a summer internship at Jefferies and is an incoming analyst at Perella Weinberg Partners.

She shares her experience of applying for Investment Banking jobs and doing her internship, as well as her tips for succeeding in Investment Banking networking and interviews.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

This summer, I graduated from UCL with a History degree. I know what you’re thinking – a liberal arts degree and Investment Banking? I just finished an internship at Jefferies in the summer for 10 weeks.

How did you go about applying for internships and when did you start your internship at Jefferies?

I did it wrong the first time round and sent most of my applications out in November 2018, which was too late. You need to get your applications out in August/September. The only application I sent out in September was Jefferies and luckily, they gave me an interview – I got an invitation for their last assessment centre, one day before it happened.

Can you tell us a little more about the assessment centre and what it was like?

Having now experienced full-time graduate ACs, this AC was quite mild. It was two interviews with two partners where they asked me a range of questions, motivational and technical.

I think the “Why Investment Banking?” answer is really important to get right. Most interviewers have already made their decision based on your answer to that question.

What was your answer to the question: “Why Investment Banking?”?

I said that I had done a private wealth management banking internship the summer before and although I liked the elements of the job related to finance, I felt that it was a bit slow-paced for me and that there weren’t enough technical skills involved. So, I joined my university student fund. This was my first taste of valuations and researching/pitching stock. I really enjoyed that, so I wanted to get first-hand experience and applied for Investment Banking internships, and here I am!

How was the experience at Jefferies?

It was very intense, to say the least. On Monday to Friday, I didn’t have the time to do anything else. My first team was UK corporate broking, meaning that you have to get in before the markets open. I also had the task of sending the morning update out, so I had to be in the office by 6:30 am. I would leave at 1 or 2 am. When I finished, it made me realise how many hours there are in a day! :) On Friday nights, they took us out for drinks. But it was a really good experience. One of the things you learn is that it’s OK to say that it’s not possible to get everything done in one evening.

Did you work weekends?

Yes, sometimes you’d get an email: ‘Can you get this done over the weekend?’ and it would be an 8-hour piece of work. You just had to go in. Across my 10 weeks at Jefferies, I probably had one clear weekend and that was the first one. The first team was a bit lighter on weekend work, but I would go in for 5 hours on at least one Saturday or Sunday. In the second team I also had to balance preparing for the Intern Project, so we were extremely busy.

What were you mostly working on at Jefferies?

- A lot of it was data mining, which involved researching information and pulling it out and presenting it nicely.

- Editing slides.

- Creating company profiles by pulling out the financials and presenting these on slides.

- Making minutes for client calls and circulating them.