FT Recruiting/Finishing college with terminally ill parent

My mom has been fighting cancer for ~4 years, her brain tumors have advanced and the tumors throughout her body are growing also. We are incredibly close and have been through a lot together. My dad went through something similar and ended up losing his D1 football scholarship - He won't discuss it, but I DO NOT want to do anything brazen and fuck up anything, because I know she wouldn't want that. I came home from college last week and frankly give zero fucks about classes currently.

I just wanted to see if any of you guys have been through anything similar while trying to recruit for FT/finish college or have any advice. Anything is appreciated, not looking for any pity, just some advice on dealing with this situation.

Comments (17)

Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2021 - 1:23am

Went through something very similar and have many regrets that I think about almost every day. Spend every free moment you have with your mom. Nothing else comes remotely close to mattering as much as that. That's all I can tell you. Wishing you the best. 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Sep 7, 2021 - 9:40am

Agreed, just spend as much time as you can with your mom. Recruiting can always be done later on and you can also go the MBA route to recruit. You only get one mom and I think spending time with her is probably the most important thing you can do. My mom had cancer as well when I was in 11th and 12th grade and I would have regretted a lot if I didn't spend time with her then.

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 7, 2021 - 1:02pm

Thanks man. I've been staying up and sleeping late and this helped me realize losing a little sleep is worth being able to have more time with her.

Sep 8, 2021 - 7:39am

Obviously prioritize your moms needs for first and foremost. Your mom is the only one that really cares about you in this world. That said you could just insist all your interviews be on zoom. Most interviewers are human and would appreciate the hardships and struggle and dedication. Good luck and I'm sorry it's tough. 

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 8, 2021 - 10:40pm

Just wanted to say again, thank you guys for your kind thoughts and advice. I'm not the most expressive or deep person - so I prefer not to burden friends and such talking about it. It was nice to get some shit off the chest.

Sep 9, 2021 - 1:09am

Going through something like this right now - and I definitely agree with everyone else in that you need to spend as much time as you can with your mom. Talk to her, make her feel happy, ask her about all of her life experiences (maybe some new stories you've never heard yet), etc. It's completely OK to let go of some of your "big boy" responsibilities right now, the health and happiness of your loved ones should always come first. Take long walks, listen to music, cry it out, do whatever it takes to get through this situation, and I hope that you are able to deal with this man. My thoughts are with you

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 9, 2021 - 7:39pm

You as well. If you ever need to talk about to to anybody feel free to message me I'll take it off anon. My family has been pushing hard for me to not take this semester off, but I know I couldn't live with myself and would not be happy if I was not with her. All the best to you and your family.

Sep 9, 2021 - 3:43am

Unfortunately I can't offer much constructive advice here as I'm nowhere near as strong as you and haven't experienced the stuff you're going through ever. All I can think of is spend as much time as you can with your mother and if you have the time, send out recruiting emails per the advice given across this forum targeting boutiques and other smaller firms which accept more unorthodox recruits in terms of timing. Please feel free to PM me with any questions.

  • 2
  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 9, 2021 - 8:15pm

Thank you for the kind words Bueller.

Sep 9, 2021 - 8:04pm

Take the time off entirely!

Take the semester off instead of half-assing recruiting like a couple people suggested

Mom is more important than recruiting and this will allow you to be fully with her

Sep 9, 2021 - 10:58pm

Just wanted to say, thanks for posting this and sharing, and you sound like a great son. As an associate, I haven't had my parents go through serious illness, so I can't say I know what it feels like. But if it helps to hear from at least a somewhat similar experience, I've been through periods of serious stress where I had to support a struggling single mother on my own (my parents are divorced; I won't go into the details), while working intense hours in a finance/investment role.

If it helps to give support from the other perspective, my dad's advice at the time was something like "there are going to be times when your whole life feels like it's going to hell but you still have to get up and go to work the next day like normal." I totally agree with everyone here, spend time with your mom, it's precious time that is especially urgent now. But just since you mentioned you do value your job and you're worried about what happened to your dad, I think definitely do not blame yourself or put too much pressure on yourself to spread yourself too thin (e.g. skimping on sleep). I'm just saying this as someone who spent years of her life feeling like crap because I felt like I couldn't do enough for either my parent or my job.

If there is a job that is important to you and it will set you up in important ways for your future career, do not feel guilty spending the time you need to find a job also. Hope this doesn't come off as too insensitive, just want to support OP and stress not to put too much pressure on himself or blame himself.

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 10, 2021 - 3:03pm

Wish I would've saw this earlier lol. I'm terrible at spreading myself too thin. No sleep and drove back just to take a 15 minute quiz. I agree with your dads statement - and I Cant let myself completely shut off, just may take essential classes, and drop my minors. Thank you awayfromhome. Best of luck to you

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 1:40am

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It fucking sucks and it's not fair. You should spend as much quality time with your mom creating happy memories to look back on in the future. If she's feeling up to it, look back on old photos and share memories and stories about different events.

If I was in your shoes, I'd try and take 12 credits if possible and take as many p/f as you can.

Did you intern this summer and get an offer? If so, I'd accept it regardless of prestige, even if it's FP&A or big 4 so that you can stop thinking about recruiting. If you're at a target and are friends with lots of people going into IB, I wouldn't bother recruiting if you have anything finance related lined up and have them refer you in a year. You will be able to break in down the line, you will never, ever get back the time with your mom.

Finally, I'd reach out to a friend or ask your friends to put you in touch with any of their friends who have lost a parent. (If you don't know anyone, see if your school has a support group for students who have lost a loved one). Your life is going to change and it will be nice to have someone to talk to that understands what you're going through and offer advice and support. While your friends will be nice and all they just won't "get it"

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 10, 2021 - 3:07pm

Coincidentally, the MD I interned for had his main analyst accept another offer. He offered me a FT role at the fund, but it would require me to graduate this December. Spots don't open up often at all, but I was told I'd be there first call when a spot opens up. So as of now, it's off the table. Thank you I appreciate this more than you know

Oct 3, 2021 - 10:45am

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