Perhaps in an attempt to attract even more summer interns in the future, Morgan Stanley recently decided to open up. The investment bank collected the most burning questions from a current group of summer analysts and asked some of their Managing Directors and recruiters to respond.
The full Q&A is published on the Morgan Stanley website in an article titled “Questions Interns Are Dying to Ask But Don’t“. It features the following nine questions:
1. How do I differentiate myself from equally qualified summer analysts?
2. Is there a fine line between being helpful and being overly eager and annoying? How can you know if you’ve crossed that line?
3. When should I speak up at a meeting and when is it just better to pull my manager to the side and quietly ask a question or offer an idea?
4. Is it appropriate for me to network with other people on a different desk that I’d prefer to be working on? Or will that jeopardize my chances of getting a full-time job?
5. Should I go to happy hour with others on the desk? Or would that look unprofessional?
6. How do you go about asking for work when your group doesn’t seem to have people delegating work to summer analysts?
7. What if I need more time to complete a project? Won’t that reflect badly on me?
8. What if I don’t understand something that I’ve been asked to do, or I get stuck? How do I ask for help without looking like I’m underqualified?
9. What if I’ve made a mistake? What’s the best way to deal with that? Should I just go in and say sorry and point it out, or is there a better way of admitting the mistake?
According to Morgan Stanley, summer analysts are usually burning with questions. “But too often, they hold back out of fear that asking might cast them in a bad light”, the bank explains.
The more open attitude fits in with the latest trend sweeping through financial institutions, which sees them changing their ways in an attempt to keep up with the growing appeal of financial tech firms.
Morgan Stanley’s move to proactively encourage questions could turn out to be a particularly good one when it comes to impressing the newest generation of workers. A recent report revealed that Millennials consider development, career growth, and opportunities to learn as two of the most important factors in a job.
Morgan Stanley’s decision to open up is a huge contrast to what Barclays did to its summer interns last year. The MarketWatch reported analyst at the bank told interns in an unauthorized email that any questions they asked on the job would be noted against them, and if they couldn’t handle the heat, “get out of the kitchen.”
Morgan Stanley isn’t the first to offer a more laid-back work environment in hope of avoiding losing talent to companies in the Silicon Valley and fintech start-ups, J.P. Morgan and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had recently announced to tone down their formal dress code.