You may not be doomed if you haven't got an internship this year

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This time last year things were grim and about to get even grimmer for students who wanted to work in banking but who didn't have a summer internship.

The financial crisis was already a problem and as things deteriorated over the summer it became increasingly apparent that very few investment banking interns were going to be offered full time places for 2009.

The situation worsened further once Lehman collapsed in September 2008. After that, some banks decided to simply stick with the previous summer's interns as their hires for 2009 (Eg. Morgan Stanley didn't conduct a widespread graduate hiring programme in the autumn of last year.) 2009 graduates who didn't do 2008 internships were therefore locked out.

However, it's precisely the dire conditions of 2008 that are creating favourable conditions currently.

Decisions about the size of this year's intern class were made in January and February 2009, when memories of the Lehman crisis were still fresh. As a result, this year's intern classes are smaller than usual.

In the meantime, the banking sector has staged a dramatic recovery. Successful firms like Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have seen revenues and profits soar in the first half of 2009.

The upshot is that some banks are now reviewing their graduate hiring needs and 2009 intern classes look inadequate by comparison. On one hand this should make it easier for this year's summer interns to get full time offers. On the other, it should make it possible for students without internships to come in as full time hires next year as banks will need to top up intern classes.

"Intern classes are small this year, and interns are in an excellent position," confirms Malcolm Horton, head of recruitment at Nomura. "The positive results coming out of different banks mean that many are going to make a firmer commitment to making full time offers for 2010 graduates."

Equally, Horton says many banks will need to supplement this year's intern classes with additional graduate hiring from September 2009.

"If you have an internship at an investment bank this year, you are very fortunate," agrees Sarah Crawford, head of graduate recruitment at Goldman Sachs. "As always, you will need to work hard to convert it into a fulltime position," she adds.

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