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One of the most successful ways to obtain employment in financial services is through building relationships. Obtaining a corporate finance internship is a step toward launching a career in finance. Opportunities might be uncovered in investment banks, where much of the corporate finance activity begins, or at analyst firms. It is quite possible that internship programs can be paid opportunities — or can at least include some financial stipend — for students pursuing a career in this field.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of a corporate finance internship is being able to participate in real transactions. There also are different divisions and parties involved in corporate finance, so the internship options can be diverse. Ideally, a student should obtain an assignment that will provide exposure to the area of practice that is preferred. In the event that students are interested in obtaining a broad overview of corporate finance, any specialization will matter less at this stage.
A corporate finance internship could be obtained in the analyst group at a financial institution. Here, a student might gain a chance to observe and evaluate financial transactions that are being prepared for the financial markets. There likely will be interaction with other finance professionals, including deal-makers and analysts. A student who is qualified for this type of assignment should have a background in finance in addition to analytical and communication skills.
Before launching any corporate finance deals in the capital markets, a company might hire a third-party consultant firm for advice. It might be possible to obtain a corporate finance internships at a financial consulting firm. In this type of an assignment, a student should learn about the various types of deals that could unfold under the corporate finance umbrella. For instance, when a company is going through a formal restructuring, a consultant might be hired to help derive a turnaround strategy for that client. An intern can benefit by learning what type of transaction is appropriate for various client needs.
Obtaining a corporate finance internship with an investment bank in the division where deals are performed might be the most rewarding for the student who desires to be an investment banker. An intern can expect to be included in meetings with senior bankers and corporate executives for discussions that lead to major transactions in the financial markets. Students are exposed to the process used to determine when it is appropriate to raise equity or debt in the financial markets based on economic conditions and other factors. Relationships that might be developed during this stage of a corporate finance internship could lead to career opportunities in the future.