Alternative Financial Services Internships

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There are many opportunities for those seeking to gain experience in the financial services industry by going through smaller firms and/or checking out the Finance Departments of many small, medium, and large companies all over the country. During down times in the economy when the big players in the financial industry are experiencing a hiring freeze, they may still be hiring interns. In addition, finding positions with smaller firms or Finance Departments may be another alternative. Nonprofits are also an excellent source for many varied positions in business, including finance.

Successful internship and job searching includes the use of three basic strategies:

  1. Networking: Networking affords an opportunity to speak with professionals currently working in the field. You may contact friends, family, faculty, previous employers, and alumni from your college who are currently working in your field of interest.
  2. Internship and Job Postings: Checking out the current internship and job boards provides you with the current openings that are being posted in your field.
  3. Prospecting

Prospecting puts you in the driver's seat since these are internships and jobs you will uncover by doing research and following up with companies that are of interest to you. Since approximately 85% of jobs are never advertised, networking and prospecting can be especially attractive ways to search for internships and jobs.

Alternative Internships Available in Finance

Below is just a small sampling of the many opportunities available. These are internships I found by doing a little prospecting of my own.

  • Children’s Defense Fund offers opportunities for undergraduate or graduate business and accounting majors who are looking to gain experience in the field of finance in a nonprofit organization. Interns will assist in the preparation of 501 ©(3) and © (4) state registration filing requirements; as well as provide supporting data for financial reports, bank and account reconciliations, tracking of travel expense accounts, as well as other varied administrative duties.
  • The Financial Services Forum is a financial and economic policy organization that includes the chief executive officers of 20 of the largest and most diversified financial institutions operating in the United States. Interns will learn about a wide range of policy issues that have an affect on the financial services industry. This position is located in Washington DC and is interested in students who have a background in government, international studies, or economics/finance.
  • Intel Finance Summer Intern Program offers a twelve week assignment that links students with a professional mentor and a peer buddy to learn from and with during the course of the experience. A perk of the program is a trip to Intel’s Santa Clara headquarters via their corporate jet for an event for all finance interns participating in the program. At the end of the program students will do a presentation to senior management and others to showcase what you have accomplished over the summer. Interns are treated as full-time employees and thus receive a salary and may be eligible for additional benefits.
  • S.C. Johnson & Sons, Inc. Finance and Accounting Internship Program offers a variety of opportunities for master and bachelor level students. SC Johnson offers students project based internships where they are able to apply their skills and gain new knowledge. Some of the perks of the program include dinners with other finance employees of the company, a series of interactive Lunch-n-Learns, an annual pig roast, and several sporting event outings, competitive compensation, recreation & fitness center, plus more. Many SC Johnson full –time employees started their career at the company as SCJ interns.
  • GE Corporate Financial Summer Internships GEO offers 10 week financial internships for both undergraduate and graduate students. Their Corporate Financial Services Undergraduate Internship seeks individuals pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Economics, Finance and/or Accounting and who are going into their Junior or Senior year of college. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. The Corporate Financial Services Undergraduate Internships offers opportunities in the following locations; Norwalk, CT, and Chicago, Ill with the majority of positions in Norwalk, CT.. The Corporate Financial Services Graduate Internships also has positions open in New York City.
  • McGraw-Hill Companies is a world leader of information services and a leading publisher of educational, business and professional information. This particular internship is located in Columbus, OH, with a Division of McGraw-Hill’s Education, The Schools Solution Group. This position offers students an opportunity to assist financial management in preparing and evaluating key performance indicators as well as assisting with financial reporting and internal control documentation. Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited college or university and accounting majors are strongly preferred.
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund offers numerous opportunities across the nation. Many of these opportunities can be found on The NFF serves as a financial institution for nonprofit organizations. The NFF contributes to the advances and economic development goals in the nonprofit sector.

Summer Internship Opportunities for Graduate Students

  • A T & T Finance Summer Internship Program for 1st Year MBA’s: A full range of opportunities are available for first year MBA students majoring in business, finance, accounting, or business administration. This is a paid position with offices located in in Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia and California, Positions are not yet posted for next summer but keep checking back to the website.
  • A T & T Financial Leadership Program for Final Year MBA’s: The Financial Leadership Program at AT&T offers a full range of experiences that includes a chance to work with the senior management team in finance. The program is designed for graduate students completing their final year in an MBA program in the areas of accounting, finance, or Economics. Positions are not yet posted for next summer but keep checking back to the website. To find internships in your field and location check out AT&T’s website.