I’ve seen three investment banks in the last couple of months persuade those looking to join the Quantitative Finance world that a long-term internship is the way forward.
Due to hiring freezes and tight budgets, rather than offer a permament contract to these top PhD graduates and Post-Doc researchers they are instead offering internships because they involve less commitment on the side of the employer.
Whereas in the past it might have been possible to do a summer internship and then move into a full time graduate position, students are increasingly finding it necessary to do a long term internship after graduating in the hope of gaining a permanent role.
You have to be really, really successful, flexible and hungry if you want to get a first job now. In many cases, firms are not going to hire you immediately, but they want to keep a dialogue open.