What it is Really Like to go After a Wall Street Internship

This past fall, I decided it would be a good idea to apply and go after an internship with one of the biggest companies on Wall Street… think Jordan Belfort. Why? That’s a good freaking question.

I am not a business major and yet, my top choice internship was with an investment banking firm... lmao. Let me just say, this process was one of the hardest experiences I have ever had in my entire life, and I’ve gone through sorority recruitment on both sides, meeting and talking to 1600+ girls each time. But, I lived to tell the tale and thought I would share my experience so that those of you looking for summer internships know what to expect. So, without further ado, here is my comprehensive list of the stages, aka internal thoughts/emotions/experiences, I had working towards getting a summer internship. 

1. Holy hell what am I doing??? So, this all happened because my advisor told me that a summer internship would help me get into law school, and I’m basically the next Elle Woods, so I was like I guess I’m getting an internship? My initial idea was to look into legal internships, you know something that is actually in my field of study, but apparently NO ONE hires undergrads in law firms so I had to get a little creative with my internship research. 

 

2. Okay this isn’t that bad. Apps are easy! I love talking about myself! I started Googling summer internships and somehow, stumbled onto this one. In my head, I had no chance of getting it, so why not take the risk and just apply? Can’t hurt right? I mean, I knew the odds were NOT in my favor, and I didn’t have half the knowledge I thought I would need for this program, but ehhhh, why not? And then I sent in my application….. and thought to myself that I must be psycho for having done that. LIKE, WHO DO I THINK I AM???

 

3. Now we wait… Not gonna lie, at this point I was in LaLaLand telling myself to not get my hopes up because basically a billion students apply for this internship, and 2% get the offer. Sooooooooo, I pretended to forget that I had applied in general so that way I would care if I didn’t get an interview. #Denial? 

 

4. I GOT AN INTERVIEW This is the moment that rocks your world. Your resume has done its job and got you an "in"! I think I stared at my laptop for a solid 30 minutes in shock when I saw that I made it to the first round of interviews. Like, hahaha what?? How???? Also at this point in time I called my mom because what else does a 20 year old do when she gets good news.

 

5. Omg how am I supposed to talk to myself while being recorded?  AND THEN I READ THAT IT WAS A VIDEO INTERVIEW. Ladies let me tell you something, it doesn't matter who you are or how much you love talking, video interviews where it records your responses and you are given two and a half minutes to give an answer are always INCREDIBLY weird/hard. For mine, I put on my business attire top (PJ bottoms), set my laptop up on the seat of a chair, sat on my bedroom floor against my wall, and somehow tried to convey my awesomeness to a screen where no one but myself was looking back. 

 

6. I thought I screwed up but somehow made it to the in-person interviews???? When I thought the first “callback” I got was amazing, nothing compared to the feeling of making it to the in-person interviews after the traumatizing video experience. BUT WAIT, you then see that you will have 3 BACK TO BACK interviews with some of the companies best in the division you applied to. *Deep breaths, it’s fine, I’m fine.* 

 

7. THIS IS TERRIFYING THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING So, you travel to the location of the office you applied for, probably on a random day in the middle of the school week (just a heads up), and the second you walk in the doors, it's like you can feel the zest and excitement in the air radiating from everyone you meet. You go upstairs to the floor where your interviews will be, making friends with the other applicants on the way up. The second you walk into that first interview, it’s go time. Looking back on this, I remember how awestruck I was listening to these peoples stories and journeys of how they got to where they are today. When I say they were amazing humans, iIm not kidding. It was one of the most intimidating things in my life. And then you’re somehow supposed to follow their incredibleness with your own story????? BRUH.

 

8. Lmao idk why I thought I had a chance there’s no way they liked me  Years go by… okay, so maybe it was just a couple days, BUT IT FELT LIKE FOREVER… and you get an e-mail saying you made it through to the phone interviews. Honestly, the feeling of making it to each stage is like nothing else. Each time you prove to yourself that you really are special and can do anything you set your mind to.

 

9. Update: Phone interviews are harder than in-person  SO, I had this big misconception that a phone interview would be the easiest out of all of them…. it wasn’t. Phone interviews are hard because the only way to get your personality across is through your voice. Y’ALL THIS ISH WAS DIFFICULT WITH A CAPITAL “D". But I survived… barely... 

 

10. ...*cue spongebob years later scene clip*... This was the worst part of the whole experience… the wait. Weeks go by without a word and you are convinced you did not get it and your letter of rejection is in the mail just waiting for you. (I might have avoided checking my mail the entire time and made my roommates do it for me). You’re about to give up on hope when you receive an e-mail about a follow up phone call “interview." #Yeet. This “interview” was short and sweet and is something my mom calls a “we’re still here and deliberating please don’t accept any other offers yet” call. 

 

11. 6 interviews later, and it's finally the day I waited for… And then MORE weeks go by and this time you are POSITIVE you didn’t get it and have all but convinced yourself you didn’t really want it in the first place. And then, one day, you’re watching Netflix in your bed and you get a phone call in the middle of the day from a random number. Normally, you ignore these, but for some reason you answered….

You did it. You have been offered a summer internship with a Wall Street company, all on your own, and HOLY HECK IT FEELS GOOD. 

 

12. What now? This was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my entire life. I have been counting down the days since I got that final phone call and have been prepping like crazy for my first day. 

Moral of this story is that no matter who you are or what you’re studying, if you believe in yourself and take risks even when you don’t think you stand a chance, sometimes amazing things are achievable. I’m not telling you that every risk will pay off, but that you shouldn't shy away from the risks that scare you. GO FOR IT.

Okay, that is all! Catch me working on my Elle Woods path this summer. XOXO