Invalidation & Lack of Talent in Finance?

I almost never post here period, but this is a rant.

1st year analyst at a Top EB / MF PE, and obviously we are currently recruiting for the summer 2025 intern class.

We've given out some offers, and I have limited power in the process as a 1st year, but some of the offers being given out, even to kids at my own semi-target alma mater - I'm just wondering "how the fuck?"

Some of these bloody offers are being given out to the least competent kids I've seen, and I'm still in the loop of general college recruiting, being only one year out. A lot of these question lists (not just my own firm) for "diversity" or "early rounds" or whatever are absolute jokes, and for quota/nepo purposes (I really don't see any other POSSIBLE reason), some of the least competent applicants are getting offers, while the ones I felt were the most chill AND competent are left in the dust.

Am I just tripping and only noticing this as it's my first recruitment cycle on the other side? I felt like it was not this egregious during my recruitment cycle and the few following mine.

I would love to hear opinions about this - I'm someone who is interested in staying at my firm relatively long-term (not just 2-4 years, and having clearly less competent interns (who probably will convert to full-time, it's not that hard at the end of the day), makes me feel invalidated for being here? I almost feel as if they're diluting the firm's brand, and as a result, that of me and my co-workers? Makes my co-workers and I less inclined to stay here?

Probably going to get a fair amount of shit for this post, but I'm no genius either - I probably graduated near the top of my semi-target class (but I am saying that, as it CERTAINLY beats some of these offers my firm's given out), and I can't imagine how my HYPSM 1st years are feeling about it, but some have expressed clear displeasure. Like what is going on with candidate quality, even at one of the firms that I thought was the "top"?


Yep. I come from a Nontarget and got a decent MM offer with a smaller office so we have to focus on hiring talent over diversity. I have seen some of the diversity candidates at my school this cycle place into top bulge bracket offices when I don’t think I could have gotten a first round even tho my technicals were much stronger and background was much stronger than theirs was.
It is awesome new backgrounds of people are getting into these types of positions but the unequal treatment is hard for me personally. This is why I refuse to do a top mba. I think the one thing you can’t really have diversity or prestige matter as much is running your own small to middle market business. It is good to have a great educational background but you have to hire on talent not based on diversity quotas or else your business can be hurt in my opinion. As long as you work for a big corporation who values those things I believe it will feel unfair.


I have seen similar but I am not involved in the hiring process.

Curious - who gets the final say, is it always HR? E.g. even if you said the candidate got 50% questions wrong and average social skills -> HR still extends an offer?

Most Helpful

My first thought is that the only way to know if someone is made of the right stuff (regardless of background) is to actually have them do the work. Everyone on this platform knows that the work isn't necessarily hard, but it's managing everything, all at once, altogether, over time, and consistently. Solving an interview case study is the proxy to the work, but it's hard to see how people will react to the environment. 

My second thought is not helpful for you, but just more of an observation about how important it is for a firm to explicitly iterate what the strategy is going forward, and where the firm sees itself in the next 5-10 years. It sounds like if you were given the context that it is part of a broader plan, you can agree or disagree, but you would also feel grounded. Of course, it would also make it easier for you to leave if you disagreed with the plan, and that's not usually in any firm's interest to have their employees leave.

--Death, lighter than a feather; duty, heavier than a mountain

Not true, return offers are also "rigged" with diverse candidates held to lower standards


Absolutely concur with this post - is anyone else here not VERY irritated when they come from a background similar to OP’s (mine is very similar) - and you’ve grinded your way to an elite / good firm —

and then the next day, just to see absolute morons from your alma mater receive offers, as opposed to the smart ones (or even none at all!)?

Like how the fuck does this even happen? Seemingly consistently across firms too!


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