Scars Affecting Return Offer Odds

I am interning at a well-known IB where I am well liked by the analysts, the associate I have worked with, as well as our VP staffer. Got a great half-way-through summer review and am on track to receive a FT offer if things keep going this way... But, in a few weeks, the MD is going to give us short sleeve polos with the group's name and logo (think JPM IPO team [meaning having both the firm as well as the group]). Once they come in, he will likely request that we all wear them the same day. I have some scars on my arms from a while back which are pretty faded but if someone were to look at them, it would be clear from their appearance they are from an attempt. 

Very worried that this will massively fuck up how people see me in the office and getting an FT offer. I have changed and grown a lot since that period in my life, but I understand a lot of people can be pretty harsh and judgmental in banking. 

If this were to occur in your office, what would be the likely outcome (if any)? Additionally, if you were to see an intern or new analyst with scars of that sort, would it affect the way you viewed or interacted with that person?

Comments (18)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 2, 2022 - 12:01am

Maybe try concealer makeup? Ask a girl friend you trust who does her makeup well to help you find a good one that matches your skin tone.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 2, 2022 - 12:17am

I know how you're feeling and it's natural to feel self-conscious about these things. But don't let this cause self-doubt. People get return offers for can-do attitude, diligent work ethic and strong work product. Not their scars or their past, but their demonstrated professionalism and their future. But if it makes you feel any better:

Firstly, I would likely not notice-I don't spend time looking at peoples arms or connoting their scars, moles or whatever.

Secondly, if I did notice, I probably wouldn't piece together that it's from self harm at first unless it's obvious.

But finally, even if I did notice, I would NOT comment on it at all. In fact it would make me think of you as a strong person to be able to overcome a past like that and thrive in one of the most competitive, brutal jobs on the market. Kudos to you. And rest assured no sane, functioning person would use that as a reason to not give you a return offer. Just don't bring it up in conversation yourself in a work setting.

Best of luck. And p.s., there's no reason to use concealer unless you'd really want to, if anything blotches of concealer that doesn't match skin tone would be stranger than some faded scars.

Wear that polo with pride and don't let this idea get in your way! 

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Jul 2, 2022 - 12:25am

I have no value to add other than I'm proud of you dude/dudette. Keep fighting there's always a light at the end of the tunnel even for a blind man who cannot see it. "A man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor"

Jul 2, 2022 - 10:13am
Patrick Basedman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're a man then it will impact your chances because people will see you as weak. Even if everyone here says it will be fine they're all just trying to really believe it but our brains aren't programmed that way.

If you're a woman then you will be seen as unstable and not a good addition to the team.

Jul 2, 2022 - 10:30am
Lawrence3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Cutting scars have never made me think less of someone, but I'm not your coworkers. I could see some older folks judging you for it. If they're on both arms, I would take the other poster's advice and see about covering them with some sort of makeup. That's probably the easiest option, and it won't draw any attention to you

Jul 2, 2022 - 8:59pm
racist wharton chad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I thought this would be about an ugly birthmark or something and I would respond "stop being so insecure", but I would never personally hire someone who had wrist scars. Suicidal people are just a demographic that I want to avoid.

Jul 2, 2022 - 9:21pm
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just wear a long sleeve under your dress shirt that day. Or wrap your forearms in cloth bandages and say you got badly sunburned. Or worst case just call in and say you got sick and have to quarantine.

Jul 3, 2022 - 5:14pm
spicemonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As someone w scars I wouldn't do this. We should be able to live our lives and go to events like anyone else, not ostracizing ourselves habitually.

Go to the event. Wear a compression shirt underneath

Jul 3, 2022 - 12:29pm
The EBITA addback, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Fitting in matters- I get your hesitation. It's hard to give proper advice without it knowing exactly how noticeable the scars are. If they are really noticeable and big, I'd wear a long sleeve under armour type shirt underneath and blame it on the AC. If they are mild I'd just roll with it and if anyone asks/notices have a plausible, minimal detail story. I'd say you got hurt on your bike mountain biking or skiing- I've taken terrible crashes in both sports over the side of the mountain and ended up with scratches all over my arms and face. 

Like the unadjusted- only with a little bit extra.
  • 5
Jul 3, 2022 - 3:11pm
Angus Macgyver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have you considered coverup tats?

Not just about this job in particular, in general.

But also about this job specifically.

But also also, you could arrange a session with a BDSM specialist who can help put a bunch of marks on your arms,body, neck. And maybe that will throw everybody else off the scent :)

Jul 3, 2022 - 3:20pm
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

wear the t shirt on top of a long sleeve shirt and tell people that it's because you feel chilly in the office sometimes if they ask.

Jul 3, 2022 - 5:12pm
spicemonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have them too, from eight years ago. It's nothing to be ashamed of, I personally if faced with the same position/worries would wear some type of long sleeve compression shirt underneath (I think they're usually black) so then it looks stylish even.I think some are even moisture wicking and it's understandable why you'd wear one. Especially since polos are kinda wack if worn on their own

  • Intern in AM - Other
Jul 4, 2022 - 5:57pm

Dw, they dont judge you as you think. There is literally a midget in my group, if that helps

Jul 5, 2022 - 1:08pm
ihategsw, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Delectus ipsa voluptas doloribus vitae laudantium. Eum quis veritatis non. Esse unde sit tempore ipsam dicta id voluptates quas. Voluptatem aut cum minus eveniet. Nostrum eum amet aliquid tenetur nobis qui repellat inventore. Reiciendis earum accusamus adipisci.

Ut aut repellat autem vel. Pariatur nulla dolorem dolor deserunt. Corporis beatae et nobis sequi sunt.

Enim aut ipsam at eligendi deleniti enim maxime. Quis alias corporis iusto debitis. Nobis non hic architecto qui.

Numquam in quaerat est architecto. Sapiente et est nisi non a. Repellat velit doloremque fugit velit.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲03) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲09) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲03) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (+ +) 98.0%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲13) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲05) 99.2%
  • Greenhill (▲07) 98.8%
  • PJT Partners (▽03) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (▲21) 98.0%

Professional Growth Opportunities

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.2%
  • PwC Corporate Finance (▲13) 98.8%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲10) 98.4%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲04) 98.1%

Total Avg Compensation

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (311) $414
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (207) $257
  • 2nd Year Analyst (126) $164
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (18) $159
  • 1st Year Analyst (416) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (80) $148