Reneging sophomore internship? Already signed SA 2022

Hi all,

I'm sure given SA 2022 szn you all are aware that it was practically table stakes to have a sophomore banking internship if you wanted to have a shot at competitive junior year 2022 SA recruiting, especially if you're non-diversity.

I'm in that same boat - I have an upcoming sophomore internship at a tier 2 BB for 2021 starting in two weeks, but here's the thing: I legit only took this t2 BB offer so I could leverage it to get into a tier 1 BB at a top group for junior year. Now, I've officially signed my offer for SA 2022 at said t1 BB, so this sophomore banking internship is entirely useless to me.

Most importantly, a really cool startup company casually offered me an engineering role for this summer, which I'm far more inclined to take, as the work is far more interesting, I'd learn more, and two banking internships in a row is quite repetitive.

I know there are probably a few kids in my position who already got their SA 2022 stint and are legit just going through the motions for SA 2021, so I'm wondering what would happen if I chose to renege on said t2 BB to go work at said startup. Would the t1 BB who already gave me an offer really care post-offer? My primary concern is that I wouldn't want to risk losing my SA 2022 position with t1 BB, since that actually matters to me, and I did indeed have the t2 BB on my resume when I interviewed with the t1 BB.

Do these places actually care post-offer? Would love if some actually qualified people - maybe VPs or Associates or folks close to recruiting at these banks - could weigh in.

Comments (28)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 12:08pm

I think it would make sense for you to consider this actually, although I can't comment since I don't work in recruiting. Two internships in banking will def suck the life outta you, enjoy college while u can

May 24, 2021 - 12:42pm
puppydoge, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would say it probably wouldn't matter but it could also somehow come back to hurt you if they figure out your reason. I wouldn't bail just cause the experience and connections are better than none but that's up to you. You probably got nothing to worry about but the work world with these people is smaller than we think. I bailed on my junior year summer internship which was actually a bad move so yeah just don't do that lol.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 12:53pm

Why would you say it was a bad move? I see you're in VC so clearly it worked out for you?

May 24, 2021 - 1:06pm
puppydoge, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm an outlier. It was a real struggle don't bail on a summer junior year internship it looks bad to have a gap that year and you'll need to spin a wild story why. life's a lot easier senior year if you go in with a return offer and can just party and relax. Also I'm not on the investment team I know that's pretty much what everyone here wants and would assume.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 12:49pm

You shouldn't be given offers. You're an idiot, if you want to do engineering and work at a start up - do the fuck that. If you were more inclined and find that field more interesting why the fuck did you recruit for 2022. And if banking is what you want to do, what the fuck do you mean by it's too repetitive to do for two summers? What lol how does that even make sense. You're such a tool. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 12:58pm

Let me explain. I nor anyone on this forum truly "wants to do banking." NO ONE wants to do banking. It's solely an exit opp.

I began sophomore year gung ho about finance. However, as I've learned more about the limited upside, brain drain, and terrible culture in this industry, I realize that dipping to tech will be way hotter with far more benefits and pretty much similar pay (an entry-level PM/SWE at Google/FB/Uber/Amazon makes ~$130K pre-bonus).

So, I want to do banking for the finance experience, because I really do intellectually appreciate finance, but it's the smartest move to use banking as an exit opp to tech (maybe VC who knows) and dip as soon as possible. Banking provides the most optionality, especially if you work in a tech group. Engineering will provide a marketable skillset. This dual eng/business background would be great for biz strategy and/or PM roles in tech.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 1:00pm

Thanks for explaining. Really Hoping everything works out for you man!

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 1:16pm

Agreed. Signed for SA21 and SA22 but kept recruiting for this summer and just received offer at a start-up. Feel like a lot of us are thinking the same thing lol

May 24, 2021 - 1:21pm
hoopdreams, what's your opinion? Comment below:

While I don't have a ton of experience (prospect still) I wouldn't reneg on your sophomore internship because you had it on your resume recruiting for your Junior term. Point being, the bank (tier 1 BB like you said) most likely hired you (considerable portion) on the fact that you would be completing the sophomore term, giving you more banking experience.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 6:58pm

See this is a really good point and probably the only thing holding me back from reneging mine as well. OP is asking the right questions here...

May 24, 2021 - 2:07pm
walllstreeetkiid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Some people have already said this but reneging probably would come back to bite you in some way or another. You have to think that a sophomore internship w any BB is one of the most prestigious opportunities for sophomores in banking and effectively was another screening process you've successfully navigated. When the tier 1 BB does background checks and see that you didn't intern at a BB sophomore year, it'll definitely be a red flag. I'm not exactly sure what HR would do or how seriously they would take it though. Also, although two consecutive internships wouldn't be the most fun, it's a good way to learn more and prepare for your junior summer internship. I also believe less is expected from sophomores than juniors. You also don't need a return offer so theoretically you could slack off and still make good money.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 7:00pm

Good point and all super valid. I'm just wondering whether it'll actually come up in the background check or not, since I've done background checks, and you can choose to put what you want in there, so I would just leave it out, you feel me?

May 24, 2021 - 8:12pm
walllstreeetkiid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yea you can put what you want down for the background checks. I just assume that the incoming sa at x bb would stick out in terms of what experiences HR wants to check. And in their mind, there isn't any good reasons for you to intern at a startup over a bb. So they might assume the worst I read your reasoning above and it makes sense. But those obviously aren't good reasons to HR.

May 24, 2021 - 5:03pm
traderguy123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When you applied for your SA2022 did you have Incoming SA2021 on your resume and talk about the work you may be tasked with for this Summer? If so I would not reneg as they may be expecting you to have developed some solid skills and experience relevant to the position in 2022. If I was gonna go work for a market-maker prop shop in 2022 and had a potential position in a competing firm/market-maker for 2021 I'd be gaining experience 100% relevant to my position in 2022 that would be transferrable and make me less of a liability on the company - especially if I was successful so they may be weighting my potential experience heavier than a candidate who will not be exposed to any of the industry. If you applied to SA2021 and SA2022 with similar resumes then it wouldn't really matter because you proved you had enough tangibles/intangibles to land the internship without leaning on the fact you may have more experience after the summer.

May 24, 2021 - 11:00pm
FellySmart, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It'll be important, trust me. What will you say when they conduct background check?

If you want to recruit for PE or VC out of undergrad (you can 100% get a top offer anywhere you want with the 2 IB summers especially if 2nd one is a good shop) youre basically an almost ideal candidate.

This engineering internship while somewhat cool is not good ROI and also sets you up to get an offer pulled when background check comes (though big disclaimer, background checks vary in how serious they are). While you MAY get away with it, most will view the banking internship as CRUCIAL in your resume screening and hiring. No one asked you about it in interviews because you didn't do it, it's a MASSIVE resume screen though.

As someone who has helped multiple people renege and navigate, this is probably the only situation I personally wouldn't renege. Go to NYC, coast very hard, make connections, get paid well and blow it all after if you want.

  • by not good ROI I mean you gain exposure to something you could otherwise already during a internship during the school year, doing the internship before or after the BB internship and shortening it (doing both would be best in my opinion- have you asked them?), and potentially set yourself up for a really hairy situation down the line. If school ends end of March, do the first internship May-June and BB July- Aug or whatever, or try and work around the BB internship. If the people at the startup like you they may help you out, offer to do it free if they refuse initially because your BB pay will compensate. Do this the smart way.

You are kinda beholden to this internship though. Just not worth the risk reneging when you have ways to "do it all"

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 5:26am

This was by far the most solid response I've received on this thread. Thank you!

I'm also a huge proponent of reneging as well, but yeah this one is a bit different - maybe you're right. It's also a virtual internship, so since I already know I'm going to be at another t1 BB in SA 2022, I'll probably just slack tf off this summer and barely coast by so as not to get fired. Focus the rest of my time on that startup. Also, free money that I can blow on some new swag why not.

Thanks bro.

May 25, 2021 - 11:38pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Renege all 3 offers.


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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 26, 2021 - 5:25pm

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Jun 20, 2021 - 7:54am
ninjiompeipakoa, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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