Unsplash

Even with midterm season in full swing, many upper-level students are spending hours navigating the process of recruitment for summer internships and post-graduation jobs.

Upper-level students majoring in economics or statistics and data science are seeking internships in the investment, finance and consulting sectors for the summer of 2020. The process is often long and requires an online application and several rounds of phone and in-person interviews.

Last fall, the Office of Career Strategy surveyed returning undergraduates to create a Summer 2018 Activities Report. Just more than 40 percent of survey respondents spent their summers in paid or unpaid internships positions. Of that group, 17.4 percent worked in the finance, insurance, real estate or consulting industries. The report for the summer of 2019 has yet to be released.

“I have been with OCS since 2011, and early in that time, the US job market was still recovering from the recession,” said Jeanine Dames, director at the Office of Career Strategy. “Therefore, one of the most notable changes over the last eight years is the strength of the hiring market for Yale College students. As a result, there is increased competition among organizations for our incredibly talented students and we are seeing recruiting creep earlier.”

Although the OCS report indicated that 31.9 percent of students secured their summer employment in March or April, Harrison Gill ’21, a statistics and data science major, said that the process “begins earlier every year.”

Gill began searching for a summer 2020 internship in June 2019. After submitting applications to a wide range of banks, he interviewed with several and has since received an offer.

“I think there are a lot of people who don’t know exactly what field they want to get into, but the training that you get in banking or consulting allows you to have a lot of different options afterwards,” Gill said. “I think you get a lot of hands-on experience looking at different business models and problem-solving, and those are applicable tools no matter what field you’re in.”

Some students are using resources provided by race- or gender-based affinity groups to augment their job search. After applying for and getting accepted to a women’s mentorship program, economics major Alexis Lazor ’21 received a summer 2020 offer from Credit Suisse in the spring of her sophomore year. Lazor described the accelerated timeline — over a year before her internship was slated to begin — as a “huge weight off [her] shoulders.”

David Hidalgo-Gato ‘21, who is also majoring in economics, worked as a sales and trading intern at Barclays this past summer. He received the offer in early June 2018 following his involvement in a diversity initiative within ModernGuild — an online mentoring program geared towards college campus recruiting. Hidalgo-Gato will intern with the healthcare investment banking division at Goldman Sachs next summer.

“When balancing coursework and interviews, I often suggest to students to think of the job search as an additional class,” Dames wrote in an email to the News. “Set aside [two to three] hours a week for your job search, and work with the OCS advisors and our tools to build a job search strategy.”

In addition to OCS, several student groups offer job-search resources. The Yale Undergraduate Consulting Group has built a network of alumni and advisors who offer guidance for the group’s members. YUCG also maintains an email panlist for non-members in the undergraduate community at large and hosts on-campus information sessions with consulting firms.

Though YUCG President Anthony Orr ’21 is a philosophy major, he plans to explore consulting internships for next summer. In an interview with the News, Orr said he finds the idea of working on a different project every several months interesting.

“I know someone who got an internship at Morgan Stanley and dropped his corporate finance class the next day,” Orr said.

Many juniors who are looking for internships often have a long-term goal of receiving a return offer for a full-time position following graduation. Math and economics major Ella Dogouo ‘20 worked for the sales and trading division at Bank of America this past summer, and will begin a full-time position in their New York City office in July 2020.

“The best part of my internship was the people,” Dogouo said. “I definitely met people there who I know will be my support system when I return, people who will vouch for me and check on me.”

Among the Yalies of the class of 2018 who began working full time post-graduation, the top five most commonly chosen industries were financial services, education, consulting, technology and health care.

Olivia Tucker | olivia.tucker@yale.edu