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Internship overview

RIA Careers

Thinking about a career with an independent Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm? Schwab's unique Advisor Services RIA Summer Internship Program can reveal new opportunities for your future by helping you understand how RIA firms operate and serve their clients.

RIAs have a unique place in the financial services industry: Many RIA firms are owned and operated by individual investment advisors. These advisors believe their independence is instrumental to offering advice based on their clients' best interests.

The details

Is this internship a good fit for you

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Completed three years of college-level education toward a related BA or BS degree
  • Finished courses focused on CFP® certification/financial planning
  • An anticipated graduation date between December 2021 through May 2023
  • Interest in RIA and/or financial services operations
  • Knowledge of financial products and services, combined with extracurricular activities geared toward a career in the financial service industry

Logistics and dates

This internship is a paid position lasting eight weeks.

  • The 2021 internship program will run June 14—August 6, 2021.
  • The program will be held in Orlando, FL.
  • Interviews are conducted and offers are extended on a rolling basis. Start your application today.
  • Note: We will evaluate the in-person aspects of the Summer RIA Internship program as COVID-19 guidelines evolve. 

How your eight weeks will be spent

The Schwab Advisor Services RIA Internship Program is an eight-week rotational internship designed to prepare undergraduate students for employment within RIA firms. You will learn about the independent RIA industry, the advisory profession, and how advisors and Schwab work together to accomplish the goals of risk management and client asset protection. You'll gain corporate work experience and exposure to back- and front-office RIA firm operations, build practical skills that will enable you to effectively interact with clients, and gain an understanding of the importance of client service.

As an intern, you will learn how RIAs serve their clients. Through a series of rotations, you will gain experience in areas including client service, trading support, portfolio construction, and financial planning. This internship will also focus on soft skills, such as presentation development, public speaking, and professional relationship building.

The following summary provides a sample of the various rotations and training sessions from our most recent program. Each week is different and has been designed to build upon the lessons of the prior weeks.


Timeline Table

Timeline table
  • Timeline
  • Topic
  • Content
  • Week 1
  • Intern orientation & RIA overview
    • Schwab history, strategy, culture, and differentiators
    • Client onboarding and relationship management; client experience and client loyalty
    • Introduction to the RIA model; RIA Benchmarking; economic model
    • Facilitation and presentation skills; advisor case study exercises; presentations and discussions with RIAs (ongoing throughout the eight weeks)
  • Week 2
  • Advisor Custody and Trading client experience
    • overview
    • Quality client experience support call training
    • Introduction to service teams; advisor enrollment
    • Effective email communication; networking and consultative skills, elevator pitch
  • Week 3
  • Schwab Advisor Services™ client support
    • Schwab Alliance; eAuthorization and eSignature
    • Complex and managed accounts, alternative investments, Schwab Charitable; compliance; cybersecurity; personal brand 
  • Week 4
  • Technical skills development
    • Overview of Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Operational Due Diligence and Charles Schwab Investment Management
    • Schwab Managed Portfolio Team, operations, and research; Salesforce
    • Service with Emotional Intelligence; the power of micro-messages
  • Week 5
  • RIA firm on-site experience rotation
    • Firm introductions and office tour; technology scorecard
    • Overview of firm's operations, business and service models, client experience, and marketing
  • Week 6
  • Portfolio consulting & financial planning
    • Portfolio consulting overview and construction; financial planning overview and case study
  • Week 7
  • Trading
    • Equities; mutual funds; options; ETFs; trading platforms; introductions to Alliance and International teams
    • Schwab Performance Technologies®/PortfolioCenter© overview
    • Mock-client interviews
  • Week 8
  • Professional development
    • Resume writing; mock interviews
    • Presentation preparation and practice; final presentations to Schwab Advisor Services senior management
  • Week 1-8
  • Final presentation development
    • Understand the concept of firm differentiation and its value 
    • Research industry growth projections and potential effects on the marketplace
    • Develop innovative ideas that will enable the success of future RIA firms
    • Collaborate with teammates to prepare and deliver an engaging presentation

Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA") is an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab").

Schwab Advisor Services™ includes the custody, trading, and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC. Schwab Performance Technologies® (SPT), like Schwab, is a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab provides brokerage services, while SPT licenses software and provides related technology products and services. PortfolioCenter® is a product of SPT.

Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund, an independent nonprofit organization. Schwab Charitable Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.