Lost my summer 2023 internship, filthy rich retired mentor has asked to help…
I'm a non-stem junior at a target. I had what seemed like a cushy 2023 summer internship in tech ("business") for good pay, which I figured would keep my options open into the fall. That offer has fallen through, so I'm pretty screwed. I'm from a working class background in flyover country, so I get invited to these first generation diversity events at my university. I met said mentor at these events. Super nice verified high nine-figure net worth retired guy with deep connections in tech and finance. On Monday he randomly reached out and asked how things were and wanted to know my summer 2023 plans. I told him my "business" internship in tech fell through, so I'm scrambling applying to last-minute openings. He offered to help. It wasn't the first time he's offered to help, but I felt weird ever taking him up on the offer (I'm sure that makes me an idiot). He told me to think about what I want to do this summer and meet him for lunch on Friday to discuss.
My question for WSO: If he is as connected as I believe he is, could he actually land me a legit "prestige" summer 2023 finance internship or that is ridiculous to even ask for? Like what is best-case; are IB, PE, or VC even possible this late? I have no idea what such a connection can do this late in the year. I also don't know if I should be super precise and make a big request or just be vague, like I'll take what I can get (and also, what he recommends)?
Depends, do you have a gag reflex?
He probably could, but is that what you want (having previously secured a tech internship)? Here's what I'd do:
1/ Determine some roles you'd like to explore this summer and why (preferably in areas where you think he has knowledge/network of) - eg. xyz roles in tech firms like [one that fell through] because I'm interested in abc and long term I think it'll set me up for DEF. But I'm also interested in finance roles because xyz...
2/ I'd take an indirect approach to the lunch conversation as your mentor also likely wants to learn about your motivations/goals and provide advice/mentorship, rather than simply be transactional. He knows "how the game is played" (him = successful, mentor at a target, you = aspiring junior, 1st gen diversity). The key is being likeable, which requires building empathy and making "your ask" feel natural.
The conversation should naturally explore 1/, and if he doesn't bring something up like ("I know a few people in x, let me have a chat with them / forward your resume") then you could ask some open ended questions like:
Thank you sincerely for the thoughtful response. I'm going to pocket those lines for use on Friday. So honestly, I just fell into the tech "business" internship. The opening was emailed to us by this university group I'm in, it seemed somewhat interesting, a big tech name that would look solid on my resume, solid money, and I wanted to live in California for a summer because I've never really been anywhere. Interview was a breeze. In retrospect, I should have pocketed that offer and explored what else was out there. I read The Journal every day and I have always been intrigued by finance (and the earning potential, obviously), hence I've perused WSO from time to time and came here to post this thread. That said, all of my friends on campus who have their prestigious finance summer associate gigs lined up are a special sort of hyper-driven and obsessive. I'm honestly envious of them and insecure about competing with them (I frankly can't compete with them). And I was too naive to realize how helpful this mentor could have been on that front, especially had I asked him for help last fall or even 9 to 12 months ago during summer 2023 recruiting, right? With the connected tech/finance mentor randomly reaching out and eager to help, it made me wonder if I could put finance back on the table? But I have no idea what is even possible. I am sure he can get me a random "finance" internship, but I'm pretty sure I could land something random myself. At the risk of sounding like a pretentious (and probably delusional) prole, can he get me into a prestigious summer role? What is realistically the best-case? Like is something my GS, MS and JPM bound pals will be like 'w-t-f, how did that happen?' even possible? The fact that it is nearly April is making me assume no, but I'm obviously clueless as to how this world works.
Idk if he can pull you into something that has pure brand name because there tends to be pretty well built out recruiting pipelines there, but getting you a pretty sick spot at a small vc/pe/hf where hiring is ad hoc is very possible if he has connections. An under the radar sm hf can very much be a prestigious seat even if the specific hf isn't popularly known
Fuck the prestige, ask to help run his family office. Ride his coattails to Valhalla
OP, are you male or female biologically, (not the bullshit identify as one).
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