No internship, no job?

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Will your dream of being an investment banker die without a summer internship?

"No, definitely not," the banks cry.

Sally Kincaid, head of HR at Citi, says: "An internship looks great on a CV but there are other impressive things: community work, being a volunteer abroad, overseas work or travel. What we want is rounded individuals."

Kincaid's message is echoed by rival banks. If you haven't managed to land a summer internship, there are plenty of other things you could have done with your summer - it's all about staying busy and doing something constructive.

Emilie Everett, head of campus recruitment at UBS, says: 'We look for things that make you stand apart: an internship doesn't do that.

"But if you've done an exchange with another university, travelled, been a ski instructor, done a course or something interesting, you'll look like a good quality candidate."

No cuts to graduate hiring

Interns who spent time with banks this summer will be joining in February 2009.

With the banking climate looking uncertain, it might be fair to assume that banks might reduce their intake of Australian graduates next year, making a summer internship and resulting job offer all the more important.

For the moment, however, banks deny graduate numbers are down. "Our graduate intake is the same as last year," says Everett at UBS.

Scott Alomes, head of business units HR at Commonwealth Bank, says: "We're not cutting our graduate recruitment at all: they are a major part of our pipeline, and while an internship helps, all applicants have an equal chance."

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