So you want to be an investment banker? Read this.

Kristen Fang
Aug 22 · 3 min read

What you need to know to get an investment banking internship.

As someone who has pivoted from pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience to investment banking, I know all the tips and tricks that will help you land an offer at an investment bank. Keep reading for five essential must-do’s as you begin the recruiting process.

1. Do your research

The truth is that investment banking is a job that anyone can do as long as they are resourceful, hardworking, and dedicated. Too often, students dive into investment banking just for the prestige and money, and neglect to truly understand the job. So yes, technical finance knowledge is important, but one thing that interviewers will check for is if you even know what investment banking is. And not just on a high level. What does an analyst’s day-to-day look like? What is the analyst’s role in a team? Why do you want to become an investment banker — why not equity research, investment management, asset management, or sales and trading? Be sure to know the answer to these questions.

2. Start early

The industry is moving ahead recruiting-wise. The current timeline is interviewing a whole year before the actual internship. I finished recruiting in June 2018 for my investment banking internship starting in June 2019. That was even before I had begun my sophomore summer internship!

Additionally, investment banks hire the majority of their full-time analysts from the intern class. So if you want to do investment banking full-time, you’ll have to start as an intern junior summer of college and work to get a return offer. If you’d like personalized advice and more details, send me an email or fill out the contact form. I am more than happy to help!

3. Network

Banking is a relationship-based industry. The more people you know, the better. Reach out to your college’s alumni in investment banking, reach out to recruiters, and cold email and message bankers for informational calls. Learn about their job and advice they have.

4. Hone your technical skills

Great resources are the Mergers and Inquisitions and the Wall Street Oasis.

5. Endless mock interviews

When I was studying for my investment banking interviews, I did at least five mock interviews a day. Practice makes perfect. I recommend asking people you in your network who are in investment banking or have had experience in it to mock interview you. I am also more than happy to help prepare you and run mock interviews. Check out my website, and let’s talk!


I am a senior at Harvard studying Computational Neuroscience. My interest in finance began with an internship at New Horizon Capital, a private equity firm in Beijing, China. From there, I interned at Lazard’s Investment Banking Healthcare M&A group, where I supported the firm in advising Gilead on a $5.1+ billion research and development partnership with Galapagos. I received a return offer after the internship.

Outside of finance, I am a 2013 alumnus of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA and run my own independent educational consulting practice. Check it out here.

Kristen Fang

Written by

Co-founder of | Educational Consultant | Computational Neuroscience @Harvard |

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