Having interned in M&A this summer, I now have an FT offer to go back. The offer is from one of the most sought after M&A teams on the street. Now as I finally have the choice to sign and commit to a FT stint in M&A, I am having second thoughts. Would appreciate if I could get some comments from the WSO community.
The other things I would consider are:
1) Go to math/ stats grad school. I like my degree, and would have good grades, etc. to do further study. Would go into tech/ startups or quant/ buyside afterwards.
2) Try to get into tech/ product management this year to line up a job before graduation. Will be difficult to get the very best firm/ role possible.
A bit of background:
From a "brand name" target (think H/Y/P/etc.) , studying a v technical degree (think pure math/ stats/ the hard-core stuff) with no relevance to. Overall study hard/ have top GPA but also have lots of extra-curriculars (e.g. sports, debating) on the side.
My current thoughts (+/-) about going into M&A full-time:
+ I had a good time on the internship. I liked my team, and got good feedback suggesting I was near the top of the intern class. The competitive part of me likes this component of banking, and I honestly think if I commit fully to the work then I can do a v good job as an analyst and beyond.
+ If I want an office job with a nice title, brand and good pay (but little more on top of these things), then very few things can beat IBD.
- I am questioning my motivations behind going into IBD. Doing deals and the high-level talk is interesting, but upon reflection that was not my main reason for doing IBD. In all honesty, I think I was motivated more by the competitive image/ prestige it held, and the structured career path.
- Following from the point above, having worked in IBD I do not think that the work is prestigious or deserves the interest it attracts. Making generalisations, I think IBD would be most suitable for people who are feel fulfilled with short-term perks such as spending excess and going out rather than longer term, "grander" ideals. Although I do a good job of fitting in, I do not fall into this group.
- The thing which bugs me the most, given my academic background, is that banking no longer has the same image as it once had, and it is not the not top choice for the most ambitious and intelligent students. I think being intelligent in a "math major" sense actually makes you enjoy the job less, because you have more options to consider. In comparison, if finance is your degree and finance is all you know and all you can do, then it is relatively more interesting (as the comparison is then across a smaller range of careers). Some of my peers from school are going into tech/ product managemnet, and I feel I have missed a trick by not considering it.