A Wharton I-Banking Intern Made $25K A Month!

Undergraduate students at The Wharton School

What are the highest paid summer internships for business majors?

Year after year, the most money tends to go to students who work those hellish hours on Wall Street. Students lucky enough to land a number-crunching job at a hedge fund or an investment banking firm may have little time to spend their money, but they can take some pleasure in knowing that few other interns bring home the bacon like they do.

At the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, known as a school that offers a straight path to Wall Street, i-banking interns last year pulled down average monthly salaries of $7,091 while those who landed summer jobs at hedge funds were paid $8,390 a month. That is even higher than a recent report from Glassdoor, the job site, which claimed that the highest paying interns work for Facebook at $8,000 a month.


But that’s the high end. In general, what can rising juniors and senior expect from a quality summer internship job? We examined the 2016 employment reports from some of the leading undergradute business programs to find out. Several schools, including the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, report internship pay by the hour. Other undergraduate business programs, including No. 1 ranked Washington University’s Olin School of Business and Wharton, pony up monthly averages or medians. Whatever the case, these often detailed reports provide a solid benchmark on what you can expect to make over the summer months.

Median Monthly Intern Pay For Olin Undergrads

Source: Olin undergraduate employment report

At the Olin School, the highest paid salaries went to students who interned at financial service or consulting firms: $5,000 monthly median pay in both industries. Undergrads who landed interns with the strategy consulting firms made the most in that sector: $5,500 a month. Those who went the finance route and accepted internships with i-banking firms were the highest paid of all, with $7,100 median monthly salaries.

Among the lowest paid interns at Olin last year? Customer analytics and research jobs in marketing paid just $2,800 a month, while those in merchandising forked over just a hundred bucks more per month at $2,900. Yet, there are some surprises in the data. Some Olin undergrads who did internships in finance (in a category merely called ‘other’) were also paid only $2,900 a month, the same salary paid to students who took internal consulting jor strategic planning obs at companies.


At Indiana’s Kelley School, the highest paid majors—making an average $25 an hour—were accounting and business economics and public policy. But there was a wide variation in pay both within those majors and other specializations. Some interns who landed marketing jobs, where the average pay was $18 an hour, reported getting paid as little as $7 an hour or as much as $39. The range in accounting was between $10 and $45 an hour.

Besides industry and position, geography also plays a part in determining how much money a student can make during the summer. For McIntire undergrads, the average hourly intern salary was $23 an hour, although students taking summer jobs in the northeast averaged $28, while those in either the midwest or southwest reported getting $20 an hour. The lowest hourly pay for a UVA business major? A mere $11 an hour in China. At the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, undergrads who worked in the New York metro area last year reported monthly intern pay averaging $7,080, compared with $4,507 in the San Francisco Bay Area, $3,467 in Detroit or Minneapolis.

Regardless of what undergrads were paid, the really good news was the high percentages of students who landed internship. At Kelley last year, it was 94% of the students in the Class of 2017. At Wharton, 93% of the students were successful in gaining paid, full-time summer opportunities. And at UVA’s McIntire, 92% of the undergraduate Class of 2017 boasted internships during the summer prior to their fourth year.


If money is important, however, finance is often the place to go. Interns in private wealth management from Olin reported median monthly pay of $5,800, those in sales and trading or commercial banking made $5,000 a month, and students in capital markets and research took home gross pay of $4,800 a month.

If you annualize summer intern pay, the money for an undergraduate business major can seem even more impressive, particularly when compared to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics which shows that for full-time wage and salary workers annual pay comes to just $44,460. Michigan’s Ross School says its undergraduate interns in financial services would have made $84,968 on an annual basis or $62,400 in consulting and $54,076 at tech firms. The internship lowest pay—on an annual basis—is in real estate where the annual number is just $21,836.

The most detailed accounting of summer internships for business majors is published annually by the Wharton School and it is packed with valuable information. Among other things, it will hardly be surprising to many that the top five internship-hiring companies at Wharton last year were all financial heavyweights. Morgan Stanley employed 22 Wharton undergrads last summer, while JP Morgan Chase hired 14 and Goldman Sachs had 13 in its employ. Credit Suisse (9) and Barclays (6) were the next major internship employers of Wharton students (see table below).


Source: Wharton internship report for 2016

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