Spring Weeks are Paradise

6:45 am. The first of 12 alarms you set the night before blasts around your 4-star studio apartment the BB bank booked for three nights. Throwing the sheet off the king-size double bed, you lunge towards your phone you set across the room, after all, you can’t afford to be late on the first day. As you rip open the blinds to reveal the Spitalfields skyline from 9 stories high, you chuckle, as you somehow convinced BB bank your London student accommodation (LSE/Imperial/Brunel) was under renovation, and you did in fact require a hotel for the 4-day spring.

Bursting into the bathroom after realising you’re already 3 minutes behind schedule, you hop into the rainfall shower, cover yourself with the Aesop shower gel attached to the wall, and begin to recite your list of pre-rehearsed questions about BB bank’s culture, strategy, and array of M&A deals. After swiftly drying off and brushing your teeth, you woefully realise last night’s large McSpicy meal now requires you to void your bowels. Sitting on the toilet, you begin to push harder than a gauche non-target does during coffee chats and skim through the timetable HR sent last night. Panic floods as you realise how delayed you are and that you won’t be able to get to the office 10 minutes early as planned. Now suited and booted, you grab your room key and head for the elevator.


As you mash the ‘close door’ button you see Alessandro (Bocconi ‘25, 6’1, 110kg bench) scrambling down the hallway for the elevators. Door closes. Throwing a smile to the half-awake receptionist (they may recommend you to HR), you put in your air pods and blast the FT news briefing at 1.5x, plug BB offices address into Citymapper, and begin speed walking. Feeling the pit stains starting to form under your arms, you pick up your pace whilst Marc Filippino informs you about Musk’s latest venture. As BB bank’s offices fall into sight, you slow your pace, hoping the 7/10 recruitment girls leaving Blank Street Coffee notice you enter BB bank’s offices (they don’t). As the security guard holds the door open you shoot him a nod (he may recommend you to HR) and let out a sigh of relief. Made it with 5 to spare.


The receptionist (5.7/10) hands you your name tag and security pass, and a HR assistant (Nottingham Trent BA Psychology, 6/10) smiles warmly as she guides you to the elevators, you try to remember the name on her badge so you can send a copy-and-paste thank you message on LinkedIn afterwards (she won’t accept your connection request). As the door closes you feel sick at the thought of having to schmooze this non-target, non-STEM/BSc Geography with Economics, non-front office worker. Realising her (unjustified) power in the AC fast-track decision process, you spit out a question about how long she’s been at BB bank and completely zone out whilst she answers, praying she can’t smell your BO. Once you reach the 9th floor, she guides you to conference room 10A for breakfast, you thank her and make a beeline towards the breakfast spread. As you stuff your face with stale cinnamon swirls and croissants, Vikesh (Oxford E&M ‘26, Harrow Academic Scholar, 4.2in soft) extends his hand and introduces himself (you forgot his name 10 seconds later), brushing the crowd of beige crumbs off your sleeve, you smile and shake his hand. Following a mandatory small talk about uni, you learn he’s also doing the Jefferies, Nomura, and SIG (100% acceptance rate) springs. You mentally scoff at this array of MM spring weeks as you remember Prospect in IB – Gen ranked these as tier 4 banks on WSO (you run to the bathroom and confirm this list on your phone later). You try to one-up him and tell him about your search fund ‘off-cycle’ (one Zoom call a month), but he remains unimpressed – “he probably doesn’t know what a search fund is” you reassure yourself.


After 30 mins HR ushers everyone into the auditorium and begins the welcoming ceremony. They tell you that you were selected from over 8000 applicants (~1.25% acceptance rate) and begin an overview of the next 4 days. Again, you mentally clock out, throwing in an auto-piloted nod or the odd giggle when you hear the crowd laugh; you need to save your energy for the next speaker. An hour passes and HR introduces their next guest, head of EMEA Investment Banking. Bingo. Murmurs in the room begin as everyone hustles to sit up straight in anticipation of this prestigious keynote speaker. Applause erupts as he takes to the podium to introduce himself and congratulate everyone for being selected. As he begins to describe his journey to BB bank, you eagerly jot down notes on your new BB bank branded notepad (he may notice and recommend you to HR). 45 minutes pass and you sense him circling towards the conclusion of his talk, your leg begins to shake, your penis fills with blood, and your sweaty palm nearly drops your new BB bank branded pen in anticipation of what’s next – Q&A.


As the words “Questi-” leave his mouth, you shoot your arm straight up, locking in eye contact and scrambling to remember the question you wrote down last night in preparation for this moment. As you feel him look towards you, HR decides to shove a microphone into the hands of Destiny (Nottingham BA Politics and International Relations/10,000 interns programme/Croydon/ABB). You feel a fury of envy take over as she asks about the implications of AI at BB bank – “What a vanilla question, she probably doesn’t even know what a SPAC is” you think to yourself, but it doesn’t matter; now he and HR know her name. During the 4.52 minutes he spends answering you strategise about how to get picked for the next question, deciding your best course of action is to lock in eye contact with HR instead. As he welcomes a second question, you pierce through the HR assistant’s back-office skull amid the forest of raised arms, not taking your eyes off her or the microphone until she starts walking towards you. Now microphone in hand, you recite word-for-word the CLO tranche pricing question you memorised from his Bloomberg interview last week (you have no idea what any of these terms mean). He grins as he starts defining the ‘technical’ parts of your question to the audience, the burning glares of jealousy behind you provide a sense of triumph as you nod along to his answer and pretend to understand half of what he says.


1 pm hits and you enter conference room 9B for lunch. As you pick at your plate of stale Caesar salad wraps and ham sandwiches (gluten-free because 1 kid is allergic), you feel like a god amongst men as you tell Anastasia (Exeter BSc Economics/Failed Lazard Conversion/7.5/10) about your position at a top student society (think Oxford Union/Porcellian Club/Blackelm Equity), you raise your voice to ensure HR overhear you. After an hour of bland food, boring conversation, and having to talk to the Imperial kid as he chewed with his mouth open, you’re guided to your next session, a networking event with the recent grads.


You walk into the room with a Conor McGregor-esque strut – this is your chance to differentiate yourself from these buffoons with your immense technical knowledge (it took you 40 minutes to understand the difference between FCF and UFCF). You lap the room, scanning everyone’s name tags to see who is worth your precious time; ‘Audit Summer Analy-’ nope, ‘Sustainability M&-’ no thanks, ‘FIG M&A Summer Analyst, 2023’ bingo. You push through the semi-circle crowd of students and look directly into the analyst’s eyes. Instead of introducing yourself, you abruptly interject with one of your many pre-rehearsed questions regarding CCAR and Basel III banking reforms (he’ll be impressed and recommend you to HR). Instead of being dumbfounded by your financial genius, he rolls his eyes and tells you he’s only just getting settled into the desk and that that’s really a question for his seniors. His eyes then light back up as Amy (Cambridge NatSci/Hockey Captain/6/10) enquires about his day-to-day duties. You stand there as he gleefully answers, utterly perplexed that he wasn’t astounded by your knowledge of current events (maybe you should’ve learned to make friends during freshers instead of watching Margin Call for the 8th time).


As the day draws to an end you arrive at the bowling alley for the social HR organised. You grab a complementary San Miguel and sit down next to a group of Indian Warwick students, all with names you can’t pronounce. After introducing yourself, Sanjay, (MMORSE/Badminton Captain/3.2in soft) informs you they’re all on the diversity programme (they live in 6-bedroom £2m houses in Surrey). Now second beer in hand, you feel the alcohol hit you like a train (you spent most of breakfast and lunch talking to HR instead of eating). Eager to not be the drunk intern (as this would guarantee not getting a fast-track) you leave the event instantaneously, hop on the tube (ensuring your BB bank branded tote bag has the logo facing outwards), and get to the doorstep of your hotel. You wave to the receptionist (they may recommend you to HR), take the elevator up to floor 9, and stumble to your room door, pretending to ignore the intern you saw bring their partner into their room. As you scan the door open, you drop to the floor and pass out in the kitchen area. You catch a glimpse of your reflection in the oven door and grin. As you fade into your slumber you feel a sense of serenity, blissfully unaware that HR has already dinged you for the racist joke you made at breakfast.

Spring weeks are paradise.

 
Controversial

LSE first year student here, also did various BB/EB springs. Can totally relate to the diversity students being clueless. Even a lot of the first year analysts are so bad technically - at my BNP Paribas spring this analyst couldn't even walk me through pricing a CRE CLO equity tranche. These Insufferable people don't belong in finance

 

Holy fucking shit. This was so spot on man. Spring interns this year were so fucking clueless... Barclays quality was finito. DB HR claimed 8,000 people applied as well lol. Last year they said 5,000 for 2023 springs. Springs weeks are indeed paradise.

 

Yeah that's probably right. So many people now apply for springs who aren't that interested in IB just because everyone else. This means that a lot of the people who are actually interested in IB get left out because at SW stage its hard for banks to select properly (since its HR deciding based off behaviourals and most people have nothing on their CV at that point). Probably also why SW conversions are pretty low these days.

 

3 months later you learn Amy (Cambridge NatSci/Hockey Captain/6/10) and Anastasia (Exeter BSc Economics/Failed Lazard Conversion/7.5/10) have been given the return for next summer as HR deemed 'they just fit' and Alessandro (Bocconi ‘25, 6’1, 110kg bench) was not given the return as HR were adamant 'technicals can be taught' and 'fit matters more'

 

This is probably the most accurate insight into spring weeks I have ever read

 
[Comment removed by mod team]
 

This is phenomenal. Our USA colleagues may be comped 30% more than us for the exact same day-to-day role, but they will never experience the paradise that a SW entails. 

 

This sounds too real with the SPACs, had some autist ask a Co-Head about SPACs and Credit Default Swaps at a spring

 

Hey dude, just to clarify – do you by any chance feel like you know who that other fella was talking about?

If you come to battle, bring a shotgun.
 

pov: you bumped into an annoying american on your spring week who you have no clue landed the offer there

 

Can I ask where you're interning? I really want to break into restructuring so I can work with distressed companies. Do you work at PJT Partners?

 

As you mash the ‘close door’ button you see Alessandro (Bocconi ‘25, 6’1, 110kg bench) scrambling down the hallway for the elevators.

trueeeee

 

No idea why my comment got removed, but absolutely no idea. Can't imagine HR looking favourably on her if they saw that she is addicted to the 'stress of a spring week', though.

 

This is hands down the best thread I've read in MONTHS. Thank you OP for a good laugh, it's been a long day in the office and I've needed the stress relief. Now, back to my miserable life of 16-hour work days in investment banking, hoping to make an impressive salary (yearly, not hourly). However, I won't have any spare time to spend this money and by the time I build the courage to quit, my mental health will be in pieces, my hairline behind my ears and my friendship circles deteriorated. I will search for companionship, but realise my lack of personality that has stemmed from my years of unidimensional lifestyle. Nothing will ever compare to my old salary and I default on my mortgage payments that I can no longer afford. My parents are ashamed that I have contributed nothing of value to society besides closing a few Oil & Gas M&A deals. I turn 40 and realise life is empty. It's too late to go back - perhaps I should just end it all. I wish I never did that fucking spring week. I wish I never got the offer.

 

Hey baldheadedeagle38, I really appreciate your insights. Would you be interested in a zoom coffee chat so I can learn more about what being an Investment Banking VP is all about, perhaps anytime in the next 4 months (I'm flexible)?