If you plan on working in the financial field and live or attend school in Boston, an internship at a Boston financial company can help you get your foot in the door of a new career. A number of companies offer internships, however, you do need to be careful when looking for and selecting an internship. Since you will most likely not receive monetary compensation for your work, you should look for an internship that stresses its educational value. Ideally, the internship should benefit you more than it benefits the company.
A good place to start looking for financial internships in the Boston area is the career services center of your college. If you are not in school, but attended a school in Boston, you may still have access to the career center. If you do not, websites that list and rank internships are great places to look. You may also look on the websites of financial services companies, such as banks and brokerages to see if they have posted information about internships. If you cannot find any information on their websites, call the companies with which you are interested in working.
Some companies will visit colleges in the Boston area to present their internships to students. If you attend a college that offers visitation sessions, attend them, even for companies you do not think you would want. You may also wish to speak to an advisor at your school, either in the career center or your academic advisor, about choosing and finding an internship.
Review the descriptions and details for an internship carefully before applying. Since many financial internships do pay a salary or hourly wage, competition for them may be more strenuous than for internships that offer college credit only. You need to make sure you have the qualifications necessary for the internship. For example, an internship with the Blackstone Group is open to rising college seniors. Higher level internships are open to MBA students about to enter their second year. You need some experience in finance, for example, a previous internship, to qualify.
Also consider when you would like to do the internship. A lot of financial internships are offered for a period of eight to 12 weeks in the summer. Some companies offer co-op programs, during which you work full-time for a period of several months, usually during the spring or fall semester. If your school doesn't have a co-op program, though, it would make more sense for you to apply for a summer internship or one that is part-time during the school year.
Prepare your application materials. Many internships in the financial field are competitive. You want to impress the recruiters with a well-written cover letter and well-composed resume. Use the resume to highlight your experience in finance and to highlight your achievements in school. For example, if you are majoring in accounting or finance, list ways that you have excelled in those subjects during your college career. Research the company and incorporate your research into your cover letter. You want to come across as skilled and knowledgeable about the business. If you are unsure of the quality of your application materials, ask your advisor to review them with you.