Diversity Programs and Scholarships Opportunities you can apply to!

Did you know that you don’t have to be a Junior to get your foot in the door at a bank? Did you know that there are tons of programs out there that cater to people of all backgrounds and interests? Did you know you can get into these programs as a sophomore?

This list is meant to provide you with a starting point to help you along in your college career by supercharging your resume and getting some professional momentum since many of these programs lead to internship offers, or in rare cases, are internships targeted towards Sophomores. These programs are typically targeted towards diverse students or students who have an interest in financial services who don’t have a finance background (such as aspiring programmers). Some companies will have programs that are accessible to sophomores, and even freshmen in some cases, if they want to provide the opportunity to start professional relationships early with prospective talent.

Keep in mind these programs are competitive, but they offer tons of resources. So what exactly are the programs in this list? These programs fall into one of four main categories:

  1. Networking: Programs that fall into the networking category will allow you to receive training and feedback from company professionals, as well as provide you with exposure to recruiters and others who want to form a connection with you. These are absolutely invaluable events for getting your foot in the door and forming relationships with people in your industry.
  2. Skill building: There are some programs that combine networking with skill-building! How great would it be to be taught by a professional in your industry before you’re even an intern? These sorts of programs provide that exact opportunity and can be a springboard to an internship down the line. An example of this kind of program is Goldman Sach’s Engineering Essentials program.\
  3. Sophomore Internship: How would you like a full-fledged internship at one of the top banks in the world before your junior year? That’s exactly what some banks are asking prospective candidates! There are programs available that are aimed specifically at motivated sophomores who want to make the most of their summer experience, and there’s no reason that sophomore can’t be you! This is likely the most straightforward kind of program, in that it is an internship with no extra additions or requirements. These are somewhat hard to come by, but notable banks that are active in recruiting sophomores for these programs are Morgan Stanley and UBS.
  4. Scholarship Program: Arguably the most exciting opportunity, these typically offer a paid internship to sophomores and juniors, on top of a scholarship! Needless to say, these are incredibly competitive programs and there are not many of them out there.

Other programs worth mentioning are accelerator programs that train you and place you within partner companies for internships. These offer guided coaching and resources on professional development to make you more marketable and professional. Most people who participate in these programs, such as MLT, are rewarded with an internship that participants typically convert into a full-time offer, in exchange for their commitment. However, once again, these are highly competitive programs to get into, and you should be at your best if you want to apply.

With that, we’ve come to the end of your crash course in opportunities available to you before your junior year. There’s nothing stopping you from getting out there and adding to your resume and yourself as an up-and-coming young professional! If you need help preparing for any of these programs, whether it’s for an interview or getting your resume ready, Mercy College Career Services is always here to help!

Click here to see a list of events – Adapted from Bucknell University Career Development Center

By Naim Hernandez
Naim Hernandez Vice President Naim Hernandez