Merrill Lynch, a leading financial management and advisory company with offices in 36 countries and total client assets of approximately $1.6 million, offers a ten-week summer internship programme for graduating students in the fields of global markets, investment banking and management, research and technology.
The summer interns would be exposed to the work and culture of Merrill Lynch, that is, a forward-thinking, ideas-driven organization that works with individuals in all walks of life. It has a working culture of a meritocracy where differences are valued and leveraged, and talent nurtured and rewarded. An intern would gain an excellent understanding of the financial services industry offerings and first-hand experiences of life in an investment bank.
He or she would learn the basics of Merrill Lynch’s integrated business model, how to structure a deal, working on the frontline of customer service, trading, or creating tomorrow’s e-commerce applications. Likewise, an intern would be able to learn from and work side by side with business experts.
Graduates from diverse backgrounds with different and varied skills can avail of the summer internship programme provided he or she is focused in the pursuit of a career in the financial services industry, a natural team player and results driven. Applications are accepted online starting September.
At Merrill Lynch, students can also avail of off-cycle internships, mainly from January to June in London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and Milan (merrillynch.com).
Citigroup offers training programmes for graduates in Investment Banking, Global Treasury Services (GTS) & Technology and the Equities/Fixed Income areas. The training programmes vary across the different business areas, and the duration depends on which business area the graduate joined. For example, the field of Technology has a 12-month programme that consists of 2 – 5 day courses broken down over the period. Training in Investment Banking is two months, all at the start of the analyst’s employment. All programmes make use of internal experts to deliver classroom-based training. Modules on Professional skills to develop abilities on influencing and team work are included in the training (citigroup.com).
If hired after completion of the programme, the trainee receives permanent contract. The salary and benefits are very competitive and in line with other banks in the City.
According to Citigroup, it has a policy for study leave and a number of graduates avail of this later in their career. Additionally, many study while still in full-time employment.
Interested graduates can apply in any or all of its programmes online via http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/oncampus/gcib The application system opens in early September and graduates are encouraged to apply early.
The Joint Institute for Energy and Environment (JJIE) ten week summer intern program provided real-world experience for students interested to work in environment decision making (JJIE, 2006). The internship program, started in 1997, brought undergraduate students to the Knoxville-Chattanooga in the Tennessee area to work with various agencies engaged in environmental decision making. Selected students are placed with environmental decision makers around the Southern Appalachian region, from federal, state and municipal governments to small and large businesses.
The interns develop individual projects with the host organizations on one or more issues, making observations and studying the decision making process. The interns gather seven or eight times for seminars on environmental research and decision making. The seminars are designed to expose the students to different organizational types, issues and decisions contexts and processes.
JJIE has worked with more than 22 host organizations for the past eight years, and more than 44 colleges and universities from where the interns hailed. The interns were paid $3,800 each and provided workplace, work experience and mentoring. The interns were responsible for their board and lodging.
The status of the interns is “adopted” staff of the mentoring organization. They assume day-to-day operational activities such as data collection, public interaction as well as monitoring and assessment. The summer program has been conducted for eight years now. However, it will not be conducted this 2006 because JJIEE is under restructuring.
The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia has initiated a new program called “UTS Tourism Management Mentoring Program” (UTS, 2003). The program seeks to establish a strong on-going link between students and the industry. Moreover, it seeks to provide a strong and steady base for job placement and project opportunities.
The mentors are graduates of Tourism Management and related courses who are currently working with at least have two years working experience, and are committed to devote time to the program. The mentors would represent points of contact and source of advice for students from within the tourism industry. The mentees are the students enrolled in the Bachelors of Management in Tourism (or BA in Tourism Management) including those completing double degrees in International Studies, Tourism and Hospitality.
A faculty development grant of $9,000 was given to start its implementation, which allowed the hiring of a research assistant. The program is administered by Tony Griffin, an academic staff from the School of Leisure, Sports and Tourism.
The L.P. Cookingham Management Internship Program started in 1973 and is still going strong. The program rotates the Cookingham Interns from the City Manager’s Office to the other departments of the city where they learned varied work from research, communications, budgeting to other functions by working closely with departmental staff on various projects. The Interns also attend high level meetings in the city hall, and they learned by observing decision making processes in action. The past interns described their experience as “value added” because the program offered them opportunity to be active participants in the Kansas City community.
The alumni of the Internship program were followed up, and they are now in high level positions in various organizations in various states. These positions included city managers, public affairs managers, city administrator, executive directors, buyers, general managers, and vice president in a university and assistant managers (Kansas City website). It can be said that this internship program is successful, gauged from the viewpoint of the past interns. The application for the 2006 internship program has been closed in February 2006.
Analysis of the Programme
Of the total 200 graduating students who participated in the survey, 125 of them responded that the company they are in is a place where the intern flourish or enhance their technical knowledge and gained experience, while 55 students answered negatively, and, 25 students still uncertain.
When asked if the company provides opportunity aligned with the interns’ current goals and aspiration, 100 students answered positively, 55 students responded negatively and 45 students were uncertain.
When asked if the intern has some self-directed missions that may have influenced his/her career direction, 90 students answered positively, while 70 students responded negatively and 40 students still uncertain.
As to the last question on the company’s vision fit into the intern’s vision, 130 students readily agreed while 40 students said no and 30 students, still uncertain.
Based on the number of students who responded positively to the questions posed during the survey, it is clear that the internship programme really helps a lot in the development of the students at the same time benefited the company by having competitive and aggressive employees in their fold.
Internship implementation programmes vary depending on the company’s needs, vision and mission. Some programmes have short-term period while others have a longer duration. Each one has its own methods and purpose.
Based on the study, it is best to recommend an internship programme with a longer period of time to enable the company as well as the intern to fully transcend and immersed to the company’s vision and mission. Furthermore, it enables the company to lay out a smooth transition for the intern into becoming a full-time company employee.
Finally, based on the benefits drawn from the internship programme to both the company and the interns, it is strongly recommended that the company pursues and intensifies its Internship Implementation Programme