Failed FT recruiting - what should I do, extend graduation or choose depression?

Challenging situation, so a bit of info at first...

My profile:

  • Education - European top 10 school (BSc) and global top 3 school within a specific category (MSc)
  • Work experience - Multiple prior PE internship experiences (think Cinven/CVC/EQT)

Medium-term career goals:

  • Stay in IB for max 3 yrs
  • Exit to private equity (preferably European MF/UMM)
  • Potentially also an MBA


  • Recruiting has been very tough this year - only have a FT offer from a MM firm (think Piper Sandler/Stifel/DC advisory)
  • Feels that I have so much more potential and that I might get depressed due to the lack of exit opps / brand value


What should I do? Say yes to the offer and try to lateral ASAP? Or should I rather extend my graduation and try FT recruiting again?

Comments (23)

  • Intern in PE - LBOs

I mean assuming this is Western Europe, I'm not sure what the lateral market looks like in a year (if that's how soon you'd want to lateral). But then what are the odds you'd land anything a year after? This seems to be a comparatively better situation than what I am in. At least you have a FT offer..

  • 2
emeerrrloonfniri9994444, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I extend my graduation, I might risk getting no offers next year (considering how hard it was this year + the fact that my grades will drop) - but this is obviously the worst-case scenario. 

Indeed FT recruiting was horrible this year. Hope you get an offer soon!

Most Helpful
  • Intern in PE - LBOs

1. Say you extend and decline current offer 

Upside - you get your desired BB/EB offer next year (given outlook improves) 

Base - You get a similar boutique offer (outlook neutral) 

Downside - You don't get any offers (outlook continues to deteriorate given rate increases haven't been ruled out yet, just a steady/slower pace of increase may be around the corner) 

2. You accept current offer

Upside - You lateral after sometime if not after a year (regardless of what the short term outlook is) 

Base - You remain stuck unhappy maybe (but at least happier than an unemployed person) 

Downside - You become so unhappy that you're motivated to quit and realise banking may not be for you? (but this happens after you have some FT experience on your CV and are more marketable than a person with only internships on theirs) 

Ofc I'm not an expert and your reasoning may vary depending on your specific situation 

  • 5
stateschoolguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro what? You are making it sound like the worse situation. If you have no better offer, accept and move to a different firm after a year

  • 2
emeerrrloonfniri9994444, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You have a point, but it is a feeling that I cannot really explain. Obviously I am grateful that I at least have an offer, but I feel like I will be miserable at that firm...

  • Intern in PE - LBOs

similar situation, completely understand how you feel. so much hard work for... nothing

but the reality is that it's better than being unemployed. take the offer, try not to have an ego so you can make friends, and exit in a year. plenty of people move around. easier said than done but just go for it... 

  • 1
rangerfan243, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Least you have an offer smh

  • 2
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A

I'm confused, did you hate that specific group or are you so depressed because you think it's a bad brand name firm? Reality check here, even at a BB landing MF/UMM is an extremely hard task. Vast majority of people go to MM, which is certainly doable from MM IB. I doubt you will get a BB offer just from extending grad a year.

I think you are being a bit overdramatic here. Those are all totally fine brand names and you need to get over the prestige obsession. Heads up though, you're not going to be able to lateral until at least 6-8 months, likely a year for the best options. Don't be that guy networking with BBs two weeks after you hit the desk.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
  • Feels that I have so much more potential and that I might get depressed due to the lack of exit opps / brand value

  • 3
  • 2
WestCoastChimp4521, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Take the experience and try to lateral higher. 

It doesn't really sound like you have an option?

Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You obviously take the offer, but be prepared in future interviews to explain why none of your internships resulted in offers or recommendations to other firms.

  • 1
emeerrrloonfniri9994444, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the advice! Well, the thing is I have only done internships at large PE firms that don't hire people out of undergrad (and these were proper internships with deal experience, but still no possibility of returning as an analyst)

emeerrrloonfniri9994444, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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