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Are ESG internships the thing of the future?

ESG is all the rage. Banks have committed trillions upon trillions - $130 trillion worldwide, in fact, or about 40% of global assets under management – to assist in the world’s transition to a carbon neutral economy. ESG - Environmental, social, and corporate governance – is at the heart of it.

If you’re an aspiring young banker though, you might not realise it. Opportunities for internships and jobs are very much around, even if they’re going through a tight spot. MBA, JD, tired, poor, huddled masses, you name it, apply for it.

There are ESG jobs in finance. Green finance (bonds, specifically) is something that Deutsche Bank said was growing at a colossal 49% per year and was expected to continue growing for some time. The question this begs is, of course, where are the internships?

Banks rely on their internships to not just bring in analysts and associates but to inform students about careers in the financial sector. And it’s not just banks – private equity firms, asset managers, hedge funds, and others offer internships too.

The only major investment bank to offer ESG-related internships for analysts is Morgan Stanley. The firm runs the position in both North America and EMEA, in small numbers. The EMEA intake (three people) are attached to the global capital markets, equity research, and investment management teams.

Morgan Stanley's ten-week program is supported by the Institute for Sustainable Investing and requires the same background that a “normal” summer internship would require. Details are available here.

ESG-related internships aren’t an innovation. Hundreds of companies worldwide offer them. So why aren’t banks? Some financial institutions do. The asset manager Schroder’s, for instance, runs a nine-week program based in the US, as does PwC, although neither are true analyst internships.

With a growing trend towards sustainable finance and the corporate world’s growing commitment to ESG, it seems odd that more banks aren’t getting in on the action. Morgan Stanley’s program may be a forerunner of internships to come.

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers and make yourself visible to recruiters with an eye for sustainability. Or logging, if you prefer.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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