Thoughts now that we’re getting close to end of internships?

Hey everyone, now that most of us SAs have 2/3 weeks left in our summer internships, what is everyone thinking? Do you think you’ll be asked to come back or do you even want to come back if asked? Was the internship what you expected it would be? Just really any reflections tbh.

Personally, I had a better time than I thought I would. I’m at an MM and got to work on stuff and submit deliverables that made it in front of clients, rather than doing menial internal shit all summer (though that still needed to be done as well). While I feel pretty confident that I’ll get a return offer and I would want to come back to my group, I’m also pretty fucking tired lol. So as I sit here procrastinating on a Sunday, instead of doing work like I should be, I wanted to see what everyone else’s thoughts were.

 
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Same spot, my team and culture is amazing, just that this job isn’t for me.

1) I wanna be able to WFH

2) I don’t want to stay up late every night

3) I’d like to do real work instead of aligning PowerPoints and creating excel graphs

I was told I’d be getting a return offer, don’t think I’m gonna accept it.

 

It pisses me off so much that banks won’t let people wfh. First of all, I don’t give a shit about in person mentorship and camaraderie and all the other boomer excuses why we have to be in office. This job can be done as efficiently, if not more, at home. Morale would certainly improve. Also the commute is just so trash. Spending 30 mins on a hot subway then waiting 15 min for an Uber and wasting hours of a day is just so demoralizing. I get banking is all about inefficient processes but damn.

 

The commute thing is about being an adult. This is what adults do. It's not just because that's what others have had to do. It's because that's how the company wants to operate. They don't exist to appease you, it's quite the other way around. This may be the first time in your life you've had to deal with that (or not).

Re - the not caring about mentoring, camaraderie, etc. Again, this isn't about you. THEY want to see you in the office. THEY want to know if you're the right rock for THEM to invest in. THEY want to see if they can picture a future leadership / client facing role with you. Otherwise, you are a meaningless cog in their wheel and not a good fit for either of you. 

Sorry to be so blunt but this is reality. As a senior person, I would have zero interest in hiring someone who didn't want to be an active part of the team. If the team is in the office, so are you,..or you're not part of the team.

Wonder when the lawsuits will start re X not getting promoted or being treated differently when they were WFH!

 

Love my team and honestly had a great experience and exposure but I probably won’t be accepting my return offer. It’s too hard to justify the downsides of this job given other options. I also only worked on client facing staffings but that didn’t prevent the day to day from feeling extremely repetitive and menial to me, can’t imagine having to endure this for two years.

 

I'm out. I cannot do this for two years. Banks have such antiquated views on WFH and culture in general and it's just not for me. Call me a pussy or whatever else you want, but honestly the pay is simply just not good enough for what you have to sacrifice. I don't want to be fat, depressed, and lose touch with close relationships. Also hate the fact that I will have to move to NYC and commute 5 days a week when seniors are rarely in office. I'm starting to look at fully remote or at least flexible roles for when I graduate. Best of luck to all of you sticking it out though. I guess its better that some of us figured out this isn't the right path now rather than later.

 

There are opportunities in Houston, Charlotte, elsewhere than NYC

Banking is a people business. The actual analytics, Evalueserve is doing more and more of that these days, so work from home will soon be work from India EXCEPT for the people skills, which sure there are occasions you can work from home but in my opinion, you can't really have teamwork and client relations without face to face. You're welcome to disagree - I just have never seen this work effectively

 

Literally anything else lol. NYC is so expensive and materialistic and dirty and I just don’t want to live here at all. Coupled with the fact that my banking experience was bad, willing to do just about anything else.

 

I honestly really enjoyed my experience and found the work to be more interesting than I thought I would. I understand how the hours can get old after a while but to me doing this for at least two years is a no brainer considering the doors it opens. Also really enjoy living in NYC 

 
Controversial

some of these responses are concerning.

I wonder, for those of you saying this isn't worth it, have you had a professional internship prior this one? What are your salary expectations? Have you considered that many jobs outside of IB pay MAYBE half the comp? 

Yes, IB is tough and demanding - sacrifices will be made. But be careful to consider the alternative. 80 hours a week making 150-200k as a 21 year old, with a sharp career trajectory, or 40 hours a week for 60k, with a much less impressive earnings trajectory. 

Yes, there are other alternatives to IB that pay well, but they are very few and far between. In 5 years, the two paths could be 1. 250-350k comp on 70 hours a week 2. 80k comp on 45 hours. Dont even get me started on 5 more years after that. 

I know I'm biased, but I don't want you guys regretting the loss of a real opportunity 

 
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$130k isn't going to cut it when you're 27 in NYC if you want to save material money and retire one day

 

“A real opportunity” lol. Yeah sure, but for me the comp is just not worth it. Yeah it’s great money, but it’s not fuck you rich,and you have to do it for multiple years to have it actually be material. To me, it’s not worth my 20s slaving away in a city I don’t really like just to be an “investment banker”. The world is a different place now man. People wfh and have way more flexibility. I’d gladly sacrifice comp to have more freedom. Just my thought. Banking isn’t for me.

 

Have you tried WFH before? If so, for how long? 

Many people that have done it for over 6 months will tell you its excruciatingly unsatisfying, inefficient, and leads to the decaying of ones entire skillset. I'm not saying you should never WFH, but it is not nearly as good as it sounds to someone accepting a job offer. Your home becomes your office, in all the wrong ways. Just imagine having kids,pets, etc., and an MD is breathing down your neck over the phone demanding turns immediately. 

Yes, NYC blows. Get out of there. Take a job there, work 6 months, and move to a somewhat smaller, cheaper city thats been discussed on this forum before (Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta). 

Freedom...sacrifice money to have more freedom you say....my advice is, and you dont need to take it, money is freedom, especially now when the economy is on a dark path. 

 

This post is hopelessly out of date.

You can make 250-450k comp in tech on a 40 hour week. 

Man, all you old timers totally Stockholm-syndromed need to wake up to the possibilities of the 21st century - there's more money in engineering than IB these days. You can even make seven-eight figures if you pick the right start up and get lucky with your options.

 

Im not what you would consider an old timer. Im just someone that has worked long enough to see both sides of the WFH and in-the-office approach. sure, employees can benefit from the occasional friday WFH, but you cannot come into any serious business and not be involved inside of the physical office without having a severe dip in production and professional development. 

When the economy fully turns, and we see layoffs, you really think people want to employ people working from their homes? 

 

For all of you coming to the conclusion that banking isn't for you, genuinely curious as to why you gave it a shot in the first place. The reason I ask is it's not a secret that the hours are brutal, you are completely disposable and the work at summer level is basically data collection and formatting. 

Would love to hear thoughts. Not trying to knock anyone, at least you have the self awareness to realize this isn't for you versus so many I know who went down the path and are both miserable and insufferable.

 
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I felt as though I was in too deep with the whole banking thing and needed to go through with it. I’ve been telling myself since I was 17 that this is what I wanted to do like an ignorant schoolboy, without actually knowing what banking was or what it entailed. Make fun of me all you want, I know. Such a WSO dumbass right? Couple that with the fact that jobs are pretty different now vs pre-covid, (wfh, flexibility, etc.) I know banking just ain’t it for me. Pretty sure me and half my SA class came to realization that banking sucks ass and isn’t worth it for us when we can go make good (not banking good, but still respectable) amounts of money and work half the hours while at home.

 

Came to a very similar conclusion, don't beat yourself up over it. I have no doubt you will find something else that you enjoy more, I know I did. Despite the fact that it isnt advertised on WSO, it is very normal to go all in on something and then discover it isnt for you. Also, despite what many are saying, there is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving IBD behind. Many of my best friends are in banking, many decided it wasnt for them. Different strokes for different folks. 

 

I think a lot of these kids are riding off of a very easy lifestyle in school / sophomore year internship with COVID during the last 2 years and were hit hard with how IB operates and its resistance to improve WLB, not saying they're wrong but a potential answer

 

Also interning at a BB IB. I think 95% of the seniors I talked to are losers. Seeing people over the age of 25 and not leaving the office until midnight makes me lose all respect for them. Am also not accepting the return offer. Thinking of going HF. IB as a whole is on a downward trend and will be seen just slightly above Big 4 accounting in ten years—that’s my view

 

I feel sorry for how naive you are because I used to think the same way. I'm 27 years old and made over $450k last year. Yes, that won't continue this year, but on my current trajectory, I will be very comfortable and retire at a reasonable age. You aren't realizing how powerful it can be from a compounding interest perspective what you can do by saving and investing six figures annually. I am telling you there are not many jobs with this type of compensation out there. If you don't care about that then it is fine but understand there are not many roles that pay people less than 30 years old a half million per year. 

Investment banking will never be big 4 accounting, that is just flat out wrong. It will continue to be a career path that pays significantly more than others. You guys here are hung up on these tech jobs that aren't exactly plentiful for someone who doesn't have a top CS degree and also pays most of the comp in RSUs etc and the share prices are very volatile (see: last six months of tech sector).

 

Finding out what you don't want to do is as important as finding out what you do. All the posters who criticize you guys for "oh didn't you know the hours were going to be bad" or "there's a reason you get paid so much" make me doubt if they every did an analyst stint in IB themselves.

Talking the talk and walking the walk are too very different things, and I respect that you guys can admit to yourselves that you're not "that guy" and are brave enough to look for something that will make you happy. Good luck.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
 

100% this!

Banking is not for everyone. In fact I would gather it's not for most people. Many ways you can make great money without the hours / culture.

On the other hand, don't let 2 yrs of menial work discourage you. Essentially every entry level job is going to have a lot of that. Someone has to do it so it's generally the newbies. That won't differ that much per industry.

If you like the idea of being a "capital partner" to corps and building relationships, consider corporate/ commercial banking. Still really good pay but way less hours. There's also Private Banking and Asset Mgmt. They all pay well with far fewer hours. 

For those of you who are thinking "I'll grind it out for two yrs and move to PE and it will get easier ..." I t won't get easier for a loooong time. Have friends who are Partners at PE shops. They actually still grind it out but until they became Partners, they were putting in serious hours. Yes they make a ton now and occasionally get the awesome carry but don't think it's easy to get there. Money alone won't be the motivator. What you'll find is once you make enough, you won't be willing to do a lot of things in order to make more. You need a different motivation. Actually liking what you do is critical or you'll run out of gas. Again, look beyond the early days grunt work. That's not a good judge but ask yourself do you really want to be doing this for x yrs? A lot of you will conclude the answer is no.

 

Team is great, my mentor seems consistently depressed/exhausted and it affects how I feel about the job too

I really want to work from home, I dislike facetime culture and being in a cubicle for 80+ hours/week

I was initially interested in the concept of career banking, but I'm really having second thoughts

The city I'm interning in, and will get a return offer for, doesn't feel like a good fit for me

I'm on track to get a return offer, will probably accept because I don't know what else I'd rather do anyways

 

A lot of SAs here seem to be pivoting away from IB after their internships. To those of you that apply, where are you going to go? What advice do you have for me who is currently looking for junior summer internships?

 

My advice would be to try it out as a summer analyst. I was also a summer analyst at a BB and got a return offer, but I will not be accepting. To be fair, I didn’t have a good reason for going into banking other than money and prestige. I tried it out, realized it wasn’t for me, and will be switching industries to find what I really want to do.

If you’re going to pursue banking, make sure you actually have an interest in it. Working 60+ hours a week in a job you aren’t at least remotely interested in will be torture. It is better that you find out if it is the right fit for you through an internship than a full-time job. Good luck!

 

I’m in trading but will post anyways. I basically was just a data scientist this summer - no real exposure to trading which is what I truly want to be in. Went well I believe, and am hoping for a return offer for next summer (quite an unstructured intern program). Looking to hopefully move to another product (crude to natty or power). Don’t really want to start a career in crude now then have to pivot when I’m 50 or 60. I’d love to shadow some traders next year and have smaller term projects that somewhat align with trading, not just fucking around with models. I do love being on the trading floor - bigger sense of community than cubicles. Got thrown in with market analysis though and sit far away from traders, didn’t network as much as I should’ve. I’d be happy at the same shop again (major), but would love to get something at a prop shop.

 

My mentor this summer never has time to even grab a coffee with me. We met up once and he was depressed, said he’d been up since 4am. That’s when I knew this wasn’t for me. Legit couldn’t make 15 mins to grab a coffee

 

The lower the return rate, the more banks will have to pay up for junior talent, which should bump everyone from analyst to MD. Frankly I'm skeptical of folks saying they won't be returning. Last year's class had a very high return rate. Don't expect much deviation this year.

 

I’m at a MM and have been loving every second of it (despite there being sometimes more dull and menial tasks). Overall I think I have learned a ton about the industry and am miles ahead of where I was at the start of the summer. While yes, the hours are long and everything you hear about the social life aspect of the job does blow…. the group culture in the office is great and I don’t mind the work since I like banking. Like OP I have been given more work that gets put in front of clients which I think is cool. One benefit of not being at a BB I think is that they give you more responsibility earlier on (thrown into the fire or whatever you wanna call it.) I am very optimistic about getting a return and I would take it in a heartbeat. My POV is you just gotta roll with the punches and grind through the more menial and brain numbing tasks. There will always be something coming that’s more stimulating and exciting, and there will always come a chill week hours wise.

 

Very interesting seeing the transition of working attitudes in the newer generation. It's been brewing for some time but I feel like we're at an inception point now where banks are going to have change massively in terms of culture to keep attracting new talent. I see absolutely nothing wrong with graduates wanting more WLB and not choosing banking, good for you guys. Hopefully, means that those of us in the industry will start getting compensated even higher as banks try and retain talent lmao 

 

Find a banking job (or some other role for that matter) where you can work hybrid. Hybrid work is truly the best of both worlds, been doing it for a year now and I feel like I get all the benefits of being in office (made a lot of friends, office camaraderie, learning things is easier in person, etc.) but I still get to wfh twice a week and get a way more relaxed schedule, plus I can sleep in on those days.

In general I think fully remote and fully in office both kind of suck. You’re sacrificing a lot either way.