Guide to Pursuing Finance at Duke

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Duke students have many options for learning about and preparing for finance careers. Staying on top of them can be daunting, which is why we have provided this compilation of resources, recommendations, and opportunities for each class year.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to attaining a career in finance. In general, take advantage of opportunities to build your knowledge, ask questions, connect with alumni working in areas that interest you, and reach out to faculty advisors and upperclassmen for support.

While the majority of finance recruiting at Duke is by investment banks, there are many non-IB financial firms that also hire Duke students. Investment banks tend to start the junior summer internship recruiting process very early (spring of sophomore year), and the path to a full-time job is almost exclusively via these junior internships. Other (non-IB) finance firms typically recruit on a similar schedule to most other business areas, recruiting for junior internships in fall of junior year and for full-time positions in fall of senior year. The information below provides guidance on the timelines for both IB and non-IB recruiting.

Both semesters:

  • Explore your interests as widely as possible through courses and extracurriculars.
  • Sign up for the DFE email list to hear about on-campus and corporate opportunities.
  • Personalize the Career News newsletter that you receive from the Career Center to see items tagged for business and finance.
  • Acquaint yourself with the DFE Student Resources page.
  • Investigate student finance clubs. You can find a list of several on the DFE Student Resources page.
  • Draft a resume utilizing the Duke Career Center’s resources and attend drop-in advising to have it reviewed.
  • Learn about the Duke in Chicago Finance program (Summer Session I) and the Duke in London Finance program (Summer Session II). The application period is November to February.

Spring semester:

  • Attend the joint DFE-Career Center info session on pursuing finance for first-years held in February (notifications are sent to the DFE email list). Watch the February 2021 info session.
  • Students who identify as women: Consider applying for the Duke Dzialga Women in Finance Initiative.
  • Register for ECON 256 Practical Financial Markets for fall of sophomore year. This course is open to ALL sophomores interested in finance, regardless of major or intended major (no pre-reqs).
  • Learn about the Duke in New York Financial Markets & Institutions spring semester program for sophomores. The application opens in February.
  • Meet with a career advisor to discuss major and career exploration.
  • Consider summer experiences that will allow you the opportunity to explore different industries and obtain or strengthen skills of interest. Meet with a career adviser if needing assistance.

Both semesters:

Fall semester:

  • Take ECON 256 Practical Financial Markets.
  • Participate in DFE’s firm-sponsored competitions.
  • Participate in DFE’s Finance Alumni/Parent Mentor Program.
  • Sign up for DFE’s January Mock Interview Days program.
  • Consider applying for one of DFE’s summer study away programs, Duke in Chicago Finance or Duke in London Finance. The application period is November to February.
  • Learn about the different timelines of recruitment for various business lines within finance by looking at firms’ website, attending information sessions, and paying attention to the DFE email list and Career Center resources.
    • Many investment banks start interviewing for junior summer internships as early as spring of sophomore year. Others wait until summer after sophomore year, or early fall of junior year.
    • Other (non-IB) finance firms typically recruit for junior internships during fall of junior year, although a few start earlier.
  • Conduct informational interviews with alumni and professionals to help you confirm your interest in the industry, specific areas of finance, and the culture of potential employers.

Spring semester:

Both semesters:

  • Look for notifications from DFE, student clubs, and the Career Center about non-IB finance industry internships
    • The majority of recruiting for non-IB finance firms takes place during fall of junior year
  • Seek out seniors who will share about their internship experiences and offer advice. DFE offers a list of seniors you can reach out to on the Student Resources page.
  • Look for notifications from the DFE email list about DFE Lunch & Learn sessions hosted by alumni.

Spring semester:

  • Attend DFE’s info session on converting your summer internship into a full-time offer.

Both semesters:

  • Serve as a resource to younger students by helping them prepare for interviews and sharing about your experiences.