Trouble with HR - intern overdrinking

currently a SA at a top BB (GS/MS/JPM)...got in trouble for overdrinking at an HR event...work 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

Comments (106)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 10:30am

Lmao this is MS for sure

If MS then sorry buddy but low chances you're getting an offer except if your team loves you A LOT

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 4, 2022 - 11:19am

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

Jul 4, 2022 - 6:48pm
BamieJimon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why is HR even involved in recruiting, they have no idea how to build a team.

bent
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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 10:40am

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

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 4, 2022 - 12:25pm

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. 

Jul 4, 2022 - 12:38pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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

Array

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Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 12:51pm

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.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 4, 2022 - 1:40pm

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...

Jul 4, 2022 - 4:24pm
Arroz con Pollo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

IncomingIBDreject

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?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 10:51am

It depends….. some HR people can really block your way trust me especially if they envy you in any way (like wanting to go in IBD but being stuck in HR)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 10:54am

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

Jul 4, 2022 - 10:56am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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

Array

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Jul 4, 2022 - 11:01am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How do you know this is EU?

Array

Jul 6, 2022 - 10:30am
Disjoint, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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.

Jul 6, 2022 - 11:04am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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). 

Array

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 11:32am

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.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 6, 2022 - 2:03pm

You're a bitch for getting to that point. Can't handle your booze big boy

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 3:10pm

how do you get rid of that bad rep

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jul 4, 2022 - 3:30pm

We're you pulled aside during the event or after

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 4, 2022 - 3:50pm

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. 

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jul 4, 2022 - 4:14pm

What does one say in an interview in this situation regarding why no return?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Jul 5, 2022 - 9:14am

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. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 4, 2022 - 9:19pm

What if I did this but only around a couple juniors (all An and interns)? No seniors or HR were there. And they all found it funny? Analysts seemed cool the next day. Interns mentioned it but nobody really seemed to care. 

Jul 5, 2022 - 8:39am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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. 

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Jul 6, 2022 - 8:25am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Oh, I see what you did there. 

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Jul 5, 2022 - 5:23pm

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. 

Jul 5, 2022 - 6:43pm
PF_Leverage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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)

Jul 5, 2022 - 7:50pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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. 

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Jul 5, 2022 - 8:23pm
PF_Leverage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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"

Jul 5, 2022 - 9:26pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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. 

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  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Jul 5, 2022 - 8:32pm

lol idk why people drink at finance events if they cant handle it. some kid at my school got drunk at an investment club social and molested a girl lmfao. my buddy stepped in and pulled him off and then the kid confessed over text to my buddy the next day. always thought he was a weirdo, kid looks like a fucking rapist anyways lmfao

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 5, 2022 - 11:03pm

There is a big jump from what OP did to literal rape. 

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Jul 6, 2022 - 10:40am

100% agreed, just another anecdote of things going badly when alcohol is involved. i don't see the upside of consuming lots of alcohol at work events

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Jul 6, 2022 - 9:23am

Had someone tell my manager I was drunk after lunch when I was an intern(I wasn't). Manager asked me about, didn't really care. Depends really if you have a good relationship with your team, some don't care others do, seen interns drunk at events before they haven't been back.

  • Director in IB - CB
Jul 6, 2022 - 1:06pm

Without knowing the people involved, I don't think we can objectively say how this is going to turn out for you. People could view this anywhere from finding it mildly amusing to thinking it shows bad judgment that could result in not getting an offer. I just wouldn't dwell on it and focus on putting your best foot forward for the rest of your summer.

Now for a story along those lines. At my bank incoming IB analysts (that were starting the following summer) were invited to the Christmas party. One incoming analyst (we'll call IA) proceeds to get blackout drunk and starts making weird comments to other juniors. VP observes or hears about this and decides its time for IA to head home and strong arms IA into a cab. IA gets in one side of the cab, goes across the seat and exits out the other side and then proceeds to take off running down the street. VP, who is going above and beyond at this point, follows down the street to find IA passed out in the snow in an alley. At this point, VP is done and it is a safety issue, given how cold it is out. VP calls the police and IA is taken to the drunk tank. That could not have been a fun experience. Offer was pulled. If IA had just gone home in the cab, it would've been fine. It worked out okay for IA though, re-recruited at a boutique and is Director level there now.       

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2022 - 3:14pm

Without knowing the people involved, I don't think we can objectively say how this is going to turn out for you. People could view this anywhere from finding it mildly amusing to thinking it shows bad judgment that could result in not getting an offer. I just wouldn't dwell on it and focus on putting your best foot forward for the rest of your summer.

Now for a story along those lines. At my bank incoming IB analysts (that were starting the following summer) were invited to the Christmas party. One incoming analyst (we'll call IA) proceeds to get blackout drunk and starts making weird comments to other juniors. VP observes or hears about this and decides its time for IA to head home and strong arms IA into a cab. IA gets in one side of the cab, goes across the seat and exits out the other side and then proceeds to take off running down the street. VP, who is going above and beyond at this point, follows down the street to find IA passed out in the snow in an alley. At this point, VP is done and it is a safety issue, given how cold it is out. VP calls the police and IA is taken to the drunk tank. That could not have been a fun experience. Offer was pulled. If IA had just gone home in the cab, it would've been fine. It worked out okay for IA though, re-recruited at a boutique and is Director level there now.       

In a way, his disobedience saved his life. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2022 - 2:00pm

Time for big 4 buddy. We are deloitted to have you analyst 2. 

Jul 6, 2022 - 2:06pm
Whateverlooksgood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm so confused. If they don't want people to drink why did they provide alcohol. Maybe my group just has different culture. If my intern drank too much I'd be more worried if he/she's ok and question why there were so much alcohol they had access to. And if my intern made a poor judgement call and did something outrageously unacceptable due to being drunk, that's a different story and probably no return. But sounds like it was a fun drunk so maybe HR was just giving you a heads up as that is their job. Keep up the good work and don't do it again and you'll be fine imo.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2022 - 2:21pm

Getting blacked out at a company mixer is a bad judgement call. Everyone should know their limit and if they don't then they shouldn't be drinking lol

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2022 - 2:14pm

It really depends on the circumstances. You could get drunk at an event and some groups would not mind and others would. If your group gets upset at the idea of people getting drunk at a casual drinks event, that group may not be right for you and that is fine, even if it is a top bank. Plenty of people get hammered at drinks at all levels from what I have seen. Just try your best for the rest of the summer. Keep an eye out for other opportunities too.

Jul 6, 2022 - 8:54pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I and a few other interns were in a similar position where we blacked out at multiple company events, and it was fine after we addressed and owned up to the issue with the few people concerned. Didn't do harm or anything...just completely blitzed. That being said, my firm had some degens, so I'm sure my incidents were not nearly the worst things to happen. I say this to give you comfort that a lot of people in finance, at the end of the day, won't give too much of a shit if you're proven to be good at your job and you didn't cause any real harm.

It seems like you were given a leash ("don't do it again"), which to me implies they won't hold it against you unless you go ahead and do it again.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Restr
Jul 7, 2022 - 11:18am

How did u prove ur value when u were literally useless interns lol? By offering to do laundry for ur md?

Jul 7, 2022 - 12:06pm
AndyLouis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 8, 2022 - 1:46pm

Not quite in your shoes, but I was an SA last year, under 21. Was caught ordering drinks at the bar during an intern party because HR was walking around with a list of underage people. 

HR pulled me aside and confiscated my drink and marked something down next to my name on their sheet. Got A1s to smuggle me stuff the rest of the day (in retrospect, stupid).

Not exactly sure what was written, but still got the return offer. Just apologise to whoever necessary, and maybe ask your supervisor for a mid summer review to get a feel for what they're thinking?

Jul 8, 2022 - 11:19pm
Rottweiler, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 10, 2022 - 9:05pm

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Jul 10, 2022 - 10:37pm
Pussy galore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 11, 2022 - 8:57pm

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