Want to get a paid accounting internship in a large financial institution this summer? It’s better to start early! In finance, recruitment takes place no later than January, sometimes as early as the beginning of fall. How to get an internship that will make a difference on your resume.
Make several applications
Getting an internship in the financial sector is more difficult than in other fields. At National Bank, for example, only twenty or so internships are offered every summer in major cities across the country, such as Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. Don’t hesitate to contact several financial institutions to maximize your chances of success. Sending three or four applications is still not enough to get an interview, according to the website of HEC Montréal.
Build on your experience as a volunteer
Institutions are not just seeking candidates who stand out by their excellent academic record. Experience gained during studies also counts. Josée Loranger, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at National Bank, advises students to get involved in extracurricular activities and student associations to gain relevant experience for an interview.
Multiply informal contacts
It’s no secret that recruiters often hire someone they know or who has been recommended to them. So don’t hesitate to tell your friends and teachers about your search for an internship, or even directly contact managers in the companies you are interested in.
“A good way to get contacts is to communicate with managers as part of university work,” explains Josée Loranger. Most will be open to you spending a few hours, she says. And this can open the door to an informal internship in the future.
Ask your university
The major financial institutions are in communication with the universities, where they arrange pre-recruitment meetings. They are often present at job fairs. This is another way to learn and build your network of contacts.
Keep an open mind
Don’t hesitate to travel during the summer to do your internship. If you live in Montreal, for example, an internship in Toronto can be worthwhile. “This can be a great way to improve your English and learn about other work environments,” says Jean-François Charpentier, Associate Vice President of Talent Acquisition at TD Bank.
He also recommends that students keep an open mind. “Even if your first internship is not the internship of your dreams, you are going to learn a lot. You have to stay flexible.”