Impressing employers on a spring week could secure you fast-track access to a full internship.
What is a spring week?
Spring weeks – also called insight weeks or insight days – offer undergraduates in their first or second year an opportunity to learn a little about what it would be like to work at an investment bank, typically over the course of one or two weeks. They're common in banking and are designed to give students an insight into the people, culture and possibilities at the employer.
This type of work experience usually follows a structured programme including business presentations, case study workshops, mock interviews, work shadowing and networking opportunities. Employers may also focus their spring weeks to make the tasks reflect the qualities they look for in potential recruits. Through them, employers try to give students an idea of day-to-day life in investment banking, as well as developing the skills recruiters look for, such as teamwork, leadership, organisation and communication.
They differ from a standard internship in that they're far shorter, usually lasting one or two weeks. They can also act as a pipeline for future talent; in fact, impressing employers on a spring week could secure you fast-track access to a full internship. Some employers also run interview and application workshops in their spring weeks, which are designed to help you secure a longer internship later on.
How to make the most of spring weeks
Different employers look for different traits in their spring week interns when deciding whether to offer them a full internship at the end. However, one thing that's sure to catch their eye is enthusiasm. Show a genuine interest in the company and the work, and show you're curious about what working in an investment bank is like. It can sometimes be hard to demonstrate this on a full internship, let alone in a week so ask questions, be proactive and show the employer how interested you are in a career in investment banking.
Though they're not essential to securing an internship, spring weeks do put you in good stead to secure one later on. Like internships, competition for spring weeks is high, so don't leave them until the last minute. Application windows usually close in January or February, but sometimes as early as November, and each employer is different so check out our internship listings for those dates.
As of September 2020, most banks haven't announced whether their work experience programmes will take place in their offices or virtually. However, it is impossible to predict what effect coronavirus will have over the next few months.