Most Prestigious Finance Internships

Every year, top financial firms attract thousands of applicants for internship roles. In early 2022, Goldman Sachs reported 236,000 intern applications, a record for the company. With an acceptance rate of just 1.5%, the company accepted 2,900 globally in 2021.

For those pursuing a career in finance, an internship at the top banking and investment firms is highly competitive given the opportunity to break into a high-paying field. While interns at top firms can earn over $80,000 on a prorated basis over a 10-week period, landing a job as a full-time junior banker can pay up to $150,000 in the first year.

Key Takeaways

  • The most prestigious finance internships attract thousands of applicants annually. Many have low acceptance rates, with some hovering close to 1%.
  • Duties performed across finance internships include financial modeling, research, and company analysis. They may also include mentorship opportunities and networking events.
  • While some finance internships require applicants to be enrolled in business and finance-related undergraduate degrees, others accept broader fields of study.

From J.P Morgan to Citigroup, internships at the world’s largest financial firms provide the opportunity to conduct research and financial analysis, and gain hands-on experience in the field. Here are the most prestigious finance internships, based on a survey of 11,400 interns from Firsthand, a career services platform.

1. Goldman Sachs

  • Location: United States, Mexico, Brazil
  • Length of internship: 8-10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies across departments. For the Summer Analyst Program in the Investment Banking department, responsibilities include assisting bankers in developing pitchbooks and mergers and acquisitions. In Equity Research, duties include company valuations, industry research, and providing reports to the broader team. 
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students who have completed first or second year in a finance-related degree.

2. J.P. Morgan

  • Location: United States, Canada, India, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, China, Singapore, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Australia
  • Length of internship: 9-10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies across internship programs. For the Investment Banking Analyst program, responsibilities include financial modeling, valuation, along with gaining experience in client deals and transactions in leveraged buyouts and capital markets advisory.
  • Qualifications: Varies based on program. For some, undergraduate students who have completed their first three years of study. If enrolled in a master’s degree, internship must be pursued within two years of Bachelor’s degree.

3. Morgan Stanley

  • Location: Albany, Atlanta, Boston, Buenos Aires, Calgary, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Norwalk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santiago, São Paulo, Seattle, Toronto, West Palm Beach, Washington D.C., Wilmington
  • Length of internship: 10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies based on program. The Investment Banking Analyst Program may include analyzing and comparing financial performance, presenting research, participation in financing and mergers and acquisitions, liaising for the team and other departments.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students who have completed their second or third year of study.

4. Berkshire Hathaway

  • Location: United States
  • Length of internship: Unknown
  • Duties performed: While little is known about specific internship duties, Berkshire Hathaway offers intern opportunities across accounting/finance, underwriting, and actuarial science departments.
  • Qualifications: Not stated.

5. BlackRock

  • Location: Americas, Europe, Asia
  • Length of internship: 8-9.5 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies by program. For the Summer Analyst Program, interns conduct day-to-day activities pertinent to their teams. In addition, applicants may apply to two other opportunities in the field, such as Portfolio Analytics or Internal Audit.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students that have completed second or third year of study or master’s degree students that are graduating within 1-2 years.

6. Bank of America

  • Location: United States, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America
  • Length of internship: Varies
  • Duties performed: Varies across programs. For the Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program, responsibilities include client engagement, portfolio review, and client research. Experience may also include supporting the team across projects in operations, sales, and product research.
  • Qualifications: Students that are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or advanced degree.

7. Deutsche Bank

  • Location: United States, Europe, Asia Pacific
  • Length of internship: Varies 
  • Number of positions: 800
  • Duties performed: Varies by program. The Seasonal Investment Banking Internship includes financial analysis, market research, sector analysis, financial modeling, and pitch presentations.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students that have completed second year across any field of discipline.

8. American Express

  • Location: United States, United Kingdom
  • Length of internship: 8-10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Through the Sophomore Internship Program, candidates are placed in one of the firm’s Finance Functional Organizations. Here, interns work on a project, where core analytical skills are applied for the project’s progress and completion.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students that have completed second year of study.

9. Citigroup

  • Location: United States, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa
  • Length of internship: 10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies by program. The Investment Banking, Summer Analyst Program includes experience in mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, underwriting, and financial restructuring. It may also include financial analysis and the distribution of debt, equity, and derivative securities.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate that have completed second year of study across any field of discipline.

10. AT&T

  • Location: United States
  • Length of internship: 10-12 weeks
  • Number of positions: <100
  • Duties performed: AT&T’s Finance Leadership Development Program Internship is designed for Masters students. Candidates work on a key project that supports teams such as mergers and acquisitions. In addition, duties may range across deal analysis, identifying cost savings, and improving debt management.
  • Qualifications: MBA or masters students that have completed their first year or are recent graduates.

Other Notable Finance Intern Programs

In addition to the above programs, the following financial firms offer noteworthy internship opportunities:

BlackStone Group

  • Location: United States, Europe, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom
  • Length of internship: 10 weeks
  • Duties performed: Varies by program. Candidates in the BlackStone Business Analyst Program conduct research and analysis on business opportunities based on the competitive landscape, revenue opportunities, and investment performance. Other duties may include creating analytics, profit models, and working with investor relations.
  • Qualifications: Undergraduate students that have completed their third year of study.

Lazard

  • Location: North America, Europe, Asia, Australia
  • Length of internship: 9 weeks
  • Duties performed: For the Summer Analyst Program, candidates conduct industry research, financial analysis, along with assisting in the development of client presentations.
  • Qualifications: For North America, undergraduates that have completed their third year of study. Those in a final year of a masters program can also apply. For Europe, undergraduate students that are currently enrolled in their first year of study.

Credit Suisse

  • Location: Asia, The Americas, Europe and Switzerland
  • Length of internship: Varies 
  • Duties performed: Internships are offered across several departments including International Wealth Management, Internal Auditing, Investment Banking, Quantitative Strategies, and Equity Research.
  • Qualifications: Students that are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree.

What Is the Most Prestigious Finance Internship?

According to a Firsthand survey of 11,400 interns, Goldman Sachs offers the most prestigious finance internship. In 2022, the firm received a record 236,000 applications—14% higher than the previous year.

Following Goldman Sachs is J.P Morgan, which received 50,000 intern applications in 2021, and Morgan Stanley.

What Are the Highest Paying Finance Internships?

With compensation of $8,333, Goldman Sach sits among the highest-paying internship programs. Additionally, Glassdoor research shows that the finance internships offering the highest pay include Capital One ($8,333), Deutsche Bank ($7,083), Susquehanna International Group ($7,000), BlackRock ($6,917), and J.P. Morgan ($6,667).

What Is Involved in a Finance Internship?

Finance internships offer a broad range of exposure, experience, and responsibilities found in the day-to-day life of working at financial firms. Typical duties include financial analysis, company valuation, client presentations, and conducting market research. In addition, internships may offer networking opportunities, speaker series, mentorship opportunities.

The Bottom Line

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 51.8% of student interns land full-time employment across all disciplines and industries. Not only is landing an internship at a reputable firm an excellent way to get started in investment banking, it provides on-the-job experience that prospective employers will be looking for.

While the application process is cutthroat, securing an internship position is a prime opportunity to gain insight from senior bankers, learn the technical skills, and progress to a full-time position. For many of the most coveted financial firms, an internship is a sure-fire way to transition into an entry level role.