Trouble with HR - intern overdrinking

currently a SA at a top BB (GS/MS/JPM) in trouble for overdrinking at an HR has been fine otherwise but was pulled aside by HR. They said just be careful in the future, spoke with some seniors in the group and they said it's fine but don't do it again obviously.

does this mean no return? obviously not a good look


LOL fck MS

When I was a SA there some dweeb reported me to HR for saying some stuff at an intern event. HR tried very hard to block my return offer. Thankfully this was towards the end of the summer and an MD who I worked closely with was also on my school's recruiting team and fought tooth and nail to get me the return


yes it was a good drunk, everyone i've spoken with says it should be ok but still very scared...


It's funny to hear that people can go to hr or lose return offers for drinking a bit too much at a drinks event.. 

If it was a good drunk and people were having fun at the event then don't sweat it. Probably every other person in any modestly fun group has been in your shoes before. As long as you did not blackout or do anything stupid. 

Work hard and have a good attitude, and do not mess up your deliverables. Next time, drink less. 


Whether you think your response is logical or not you’re wrong. Getting too drunk at a company event is basically an automatic no return offer and most get fired immediately. It happens to multiple interns every single year (excepting the virtual internship years). It’s considered to be extremely unprofessional and such interns are seen as a liability. 

Most Helpful

I think you are a pussy. I want my interns to be able to get black out drunk one evening and be fresh and sharp the next morning for a client meeting. That's called being adaptable.


What? It is not uncommon for people to take a few extra drinks. Ex: summer outings, holiday events for ft employees etc.
However, to the OP: do not get blackout drunk or close to that. Return offer rates may already be lower this year given the economic uncertainty...



Whether you think your response is logical or not you're wrong. Getting too drunk at a company event is basically an automatic no return offer and most get fired immediately. It happens to multiple interns every single year (excepting the virtual internship years). It's considered to be extremely unprofessional and such interns are seen as a liability. 

How far into your career are you? You seem to speak in near absolutes on the industry but aren’t you like a 1st year?


are there any indications i'll receive that I won't get a FT offer? maybe during midsummer review? return rate pretty high, but then again this is for smarter people


I hate to say this but realistically you’re done and you’re very fortunate to have not been fired on the spot. There’s always a few people who get too drunk every class and they plus the outright lazy/entitled people who do no work are the 20% (assuming the bank doesn’t intentionally overhire) that don’t get offers.  

EDIT: This is for US


Stop bullshitting everyone on this thread. Haven't been on WSO in over a year, but things haven't changed in 15 years with some middle schooler always chiming in. Always some random idiot interjecting with some supposed knowledge. I've worked everywhere, PE, trading, PB you name it.

Yes if you were a blathering imbecile and groping some uptight associate you will unlikely be made a return offer. If you are drunk, a bit excited and annoying, it's OK. If you are GOOD they will take you, if you are shit, they'll use any excuse to get rid of you. My juniors get drunk, some annoyingly so, if they can give me some deliverable without mistakes I value this more than them getting a bit tipsy at an event.

Not a good idea to get drunk when you are trying to get a job or interning. Not a good idea to get drunk when you are far advanced in your career. But life happens and we all slip through. If you are good you will be valued. Reminds me of this great trader who came back to the trading floor at night and passed out drunk NAKED, he had to be let go the next day because HR, but was made an offer the following day at a competitor. Again, be good at your job.

Some assholes will judge you, so be mindful - blacking out, not the way to go. But shit happens, get on with your internship and work harder than you ever had and you will get the job. I never did cocaine in my life, only people I really saw indulge in the stuff when I was a junior were the HR ladies - great fun, and party mad. I only have respect for some HRs, they just have to say those things as they can't have every intern getting blasted.

Also clients... You are an intern, an analyst - you shut the fuck up and never talk to clients in IB, whether you are blind drunk or sober won't make a difference.


Question for you: Why are you specifically targeting me?

An analyst works at OP’s very bank said he’s done

The most voted helpful answer on this thread shared the same sentiment OP is done 

GoingToBeAnMD who is a senior also said OP is done.

You didn’t seem to disagree with any of them 

Most of your examples seem to relate to people who already had good rapport on the job, and even then the rockstar trader got fired. I did not make any comments regarding such people but specifically interns who have only been around for a few weeks

Yes, interns and analysts are a fly on the wall in client meetings but if someone is severely hungover it’s obvious in in-person meetings regardless of whether they are talking (although talking would be worse). 


If it’s EU you should be fine. I once got crazy drunk at a company event (throwing up on a carpet, etc.) and also got pulled aside the next day. Was told not to do it again and be careful in the future. We literally all laughed about it a week later and I got the return offer. If you are a hard worker and people like you they will forget about it.


Yeah sorry bro but don't be surprised if you don't get a return. Even as someone that doesn't think have a few too many drinks in of itself is an issue, it's a huge question mark around your judgement if you'd get blackout at a work event as an intern when you're supposed to be on your best behavior fighting for a return. Like there are so many opportunities in the summer for you to go out with your friends or just the interns or just the interns + analysts but you chose to blackout at an event with MDs and HR? Also if you were actually blackout you unfortunately have no idea how bad it was -- others in your group saying you were not that bad is probably just being nice / polite and not wanting you to feel bad. Also consider that from a headcount perspective there were probably only a few HR people at the event compared to the many many bankers. It's way more likely that a banker (somebody in your group) complained to HR and that's why you got pulled aside the next day rather than HR themselves seeing it happen. If that's the case, you're def not getting a return offer. 

Sucks, but would still work hard this summer in case you slip through and simultaneously start thinking about rerecruiting. 


This person is right. 

For all those saying “no it’s cool, anyone who cares too much is taking themselves too seriously, it’s all in good fun etc”, remember that MDs, partners, etc, aren’t looking to make friends or “be cool” with 20-21 year olds. They have a job to do, a career to run, and usually a family or more “adult” things to do (instead of blacking out with 21 year olds). 

That isn’t to say you can’t make mistakes, but as the poster above calls out, it invites questions about your judgement. Just look at it as a strike against you (similar to screwing up work, etc) and hope that you can perform well in the rest of the internship so it is less of a concern. 


This seems like a good time to remind all the SAs - whether you're in IB or not - that any time you are at an office function you should be representing yourself in the best light possible. Note that this includes events after hours or even events where it's just the you and the other SAs (your life and your career are not a group sport). 

You never know when/where certain actions or your behavior will rub someone the wrong way and you will end up with HR. And believe it or not, there are worse things than being reported to HR - how about when they ding you and you don't know about it? Think of it this way, the low-level people are the ones that are running to HR, your MDs don't have to do that, they can ding you with no other authority needed, right? Or you may get dinged for things that may be innocuous to you but offensive to others. I remember one year, an SA took their shoes off at a group happy hour. They sat on the barstool with their feet on the bottom rung for the rest of the night, like some sort of monkey or something. It didn't sit right with 2 Directors and they didn't get a return offer - no HR conversation needed. I'll stop short of saying you're under a microscope, but please be aware of your actions and behavior at all times. 


Does this also apply to drinking at non "official" events?


Depends who's there and what the culture of your group is.  If senior bankers are there, don't get fucked up.  If you're out w/ the pen (analysts + associates), and they're not getting fucked up, don't get fucked up.  Only time it's not a bad look is if you're out w/ the pen, you've been there long enough to build some goodwill w/ them, and they're getting fucked up. 


The number one rule of any work-drinking event. Never be the drunkest, they always remember the drunkest, not the second drunkest. Yeah, it's not a great look but everyone makes this mistake generally at least once if not you are a boring person. So don't stress too much it happens. Generally advice I give to people in this scenario.

1) Blame it on a medical interaction or some bs that can be spinned off as one-time event

2) talk to people you trust and see if you pissed off anyone off drunk (if you did apologize and get gift or something to get back on the goodside)

3) End of the day if you do good work and make people's lives easier people will write off a one-off happy hour event (just don't make the same mistake twice)


Sorry but point #1 above is terrible advice. The worst thing you can do is come off as shoving BS on top of your drunken antics. It takes maturity to own an event and own your behavior. That will sit in people's minds much better and much easier than some stupid nonsense you come up with about prescriptions. "Yes, I was wrong to be overs-served, won't happen again, I apologize". That is the mature, professional way to handle it. 


For clarification on 1:

Own it first but add spin control/context if you have leg to stand on. For example, working late hours, family issue, meds whatever. Think that makes it easier to write-off vs. standard happy hour gone wrong. 

"I got overserved and my behavior was unacceptable, it won't happen again, I apologize. It was my first time drinking on new meds to get over some lingering covid effects and I miscalculated"


No. It's incredible that you got it wrong twice. You don't know how this works, do you? Ownership is about you, not about making excuses. You're simply wrong on this. 

You need to stop giving advice to people. You can't take ownership AND give excuses. To the smarter people out there you will come off as a sociopath that always blames others. That's not ownership, that's just digging yourself deeper into the hole. 

[Comment removed by mod team]