How to Land A Coveted I-Bank Internship


Look for follow-up opportunities after the initial interview. For example, let your network know you got the call-back. They’ll already know this, but will expect to hear from you. Once you make it past the initial interview, they’ll be more willing to invest time in you – use it to your advantage. Ask for their advice, but don’t over-indulge.

Throughout the process, develop “professional” relationships with several bankers who will go to bat for you – but do not try to become their “friend.” At the end of the process, you’ll want a few people in the room willing to carry your flag. Associates have a voice in the debate, but MDs carry the most weight.

And as a bonus tip: Dress appropriately for your interviews. For men, don’t go in dressed like an MD – you haven’t earned it yet. But don’t go in looking like a used car salesman as well. Bankers know students are operating on a budget, so I’ve always counseled guys if you’re going to spend any money to start with the tie and work your way out. For instance, a nice tie provides a strong ROI that can dress up an otherwise ordinary shirt and suit. For women, dress smart, stylish, put together, and conservative – and conservative does not mean to wear an old lady suit.

Applying these Difference Makers will better prepare you for what can be a grueling process. Hang on, for it’s a roller coaster ride.

Michael White is the Co-Head of Darien Academic Advisors, LLC and Head of its MBA Admissions Consulting practice. Previously, he spent over a decade as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America advising financial institutions on raising capital and mergers & acquisitions. He also spent nearly 4 years as a Senior Columnist writing opinion and commentary on the U.S. financial sector for Dow Jones’ Banking Intelligence product. He can be reached at For more information, visit