Have 7 Months Before IB Start Date and No Plans - What to Do?

I'm graduating a semester early from college in December and am fortunate to have a FT IB offer lined up with a start date of next summer. So for basically 6-7 months next year, I have no plans. I was hoping to travel internationally during that time with friends but unfortunately do not have any friends graduating with me. Any suggestions on what to do? I was thinking about picking up an interesting blue collar job while back at home but don't know where to start looking. Any suggestions are very much appreciated! I'd like to take advantage of this time as much as possible and still have some cool experiences.

Comments (31)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 5:56pm

Do you have any tips on this? Solo travel within the US is definitely something I'm starting to consider more, but would obviously like to do so without breaking the bank

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Nov 28, 2021 - 12:49am

I do this frequently - middle east, and former Russian countries this summer. SE Asia and South Asia before that. Airbnb if you want your own place, hostels if you want. Stay in contact with Airbnb hosts and have been invited to weddings since. The biggest expense is flights but if you plan ahead and only have a few "must destinations" with the rest being whatever is cheap, then you'll be saving loads of money and having awesome experiences along the way. Favorite experiences have been to the places I just went because it was a cheap layover rather than the places that I planned/really wanted to go. My flight back home this summer happened to be cheaper all-in going to Paris for the weekend rather than flying directly back to the US. Got to watch the French Open final. 10/10 recommend it. Just use your credit card whenever possible in case you need to dispute transactions - my number one travel tip

Nov 16, 2021 - 7:22am

Was in the same situation as you. I wish I had the capital saved up to travel right then and there. You can definitely travel solo but you can also have unforgettable experiences at home/school. Pick up some new skills/learn a language. I worked a part-time fast food gig and finished my pilot's license which took a lot out of me during those months but they were amazing and very rewarding. Either way do not let the time go to waste...it can be very depressing. I liked waking up in the morning having a mission objective.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 5:56pm

Thanks for the advice. Yeah I'm planning on at least improving in my hobbies while at home. Waking up every day for 7 months with no plans or nothing to accomplish would probably get depressing real quick. 

Nov 16, 2021 - 7:51am
  1. Travel.
  1. Really internalize that IB isnt that bad
  1. Start studying for buyside jobs if that's your goal. The market is too active right now imo to learn modeling on the job. Analysts are being loaded with endless amounts of process work but deals are closing so that's at least good.
Nov 16, 2021 - 11:40am

Have a friend in the same spot as you. He put together 1-2 other friends who also want to travel. DM me if you're interesting in me connecting the two of you (he's based in NYC)


  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 6:00pm

Really appreciate the offer! I might be DMing you in a few weeks once I have more time to sit down and think through my plans :)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 16, 2021 - 12:43pm

In same position - I have 2 trips planned out, but that only covers like 6 weeks, so i'm panicking a little too.I need to make money aswell, and it's been hard to find remote work, part-time work where I can set my own hours + the last thing i wanna do is piss off the bank im returning to by working for a search fund or something.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 5:58pm

I'm looking at the job thing as more a means to keep myself from going insane with nothing to do. When does your signing bonus hit? If I end up traveling I'm probably just going to devote all of that to travel/food costs

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 16, 2021 - 9:34pm

Didn't get a signing bonus but will be making post-GS13 street comp, so i'm planning to just blow all my savings except for what i need to get started post-move. If i had gotten a signing bonus i'd no doubt piss it away on food/travel.

Most Helpful
Nov 16, 2021 - 12:56pm

1. Roadtrip around the U.S. for 2+ months -> check out all of the national parks

2. Spend 4 weeks in Southeast Asia

3. Spend 4 weeks in Europe

4. Spend 4 weeks in South / Central America

5. Spend time with family / friends from your hometown

Spend every cent you have (i'd even consider going in debt $10-15k) as you'll make plenty you're first two years and then exponentially more afterwards. 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 1:28pm

Go teach English in Japan, ski instructor in Aspen, bartend on a yacht, or volunteer in Europe. Something part time, not even to make money but to meet other travelers and have something to do. Pick somewhere you've always wanted to go and see what nomad-type jobs you can pick up there. It's great life experience and you'll regret just sitting at home for 6 months, especially if your friends at college are living it up their last semester.

Nov 17, 2021 - 1:27am

How easy is it to get those kind of jobs in developed countries with visas and whatnot?


  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 17, 2021 - 4:45pm

You can get a temporary/working holiday visa for a bunch of countries. I looked at Australia/NZ and the yacht thing when I was considering this and it was fairly easy for both. Others might just be more of a volunteering gig because you won't get a visa

  • VP in IB-M&A
Nov 16, 2021 - 6:33pm

Depending how you liked your college experience, you could consider just hanging around campus and being with your friends. For me, second semester senior year was awesome and was always jealous of some of my friends who graduated early and could go out every night and not worry about the job search or classes.

Traveling is great too but it takes a certain type of personality to enjoy it solo. Probably not for me but could very well be for you

Nov 16, 2021 - 9:37pm

Same spot as you. Will be doing a 2 week long trip across different national parks on the Amtrak solo. Starting from Grand Canyon to Sequioa then to Yosemite then to Glacier National Park. Amtrak sells these passes where you can do certain amount of trips in a certain time.

  • Analyst 2 in AM - Equities
Nov 17, 2021 - 5:10pm

Please take the time to travel. Legit go on Facebook and see if you can join one of those travel buddy groups to find someone your age to travel with. Go to Europe and enjoy.

Something my buddy did was travel one way to Brussels and then he just trained to save money around cities and be able to afford a cheap Airbnb. Was able to hit Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany in five weeks and then flew back from Frankfurt

Nov 18, 2021 - 9:00am

Go travel Europe. Get the Capital One Venture X Card. 

 $395 Annual Fee card

Earning 2x points on general spend.

10x on hotels and car rentals

5x on flights booked travel portal.

$300 credit on purchases made through Capital one travel portal each year

priority pass, access to c1 lounges, global entry/precheck

10k point bonus each anniversary.

100k points after 10k in spend over 6 months

Temporary $200 credit on airbnb/vrbo bookings for the first year.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2021 - 9:48am

OP here - I've really appreciated all of your suggestions and definitely want to pursue travel more seriously. The solo Europe trip sounds a bit intimidating (I've never traveled solo), so I am considering doing a road trip across the US first just to get used to traveling alone. Does anyone have any tips on organizing this kind of trip well and within a relatively tight budget? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 27, 2021 - 9:25pm

I highly recommend traveling. That's what I did. Literally found 2 other kids from my school who were interested in going and we went (found them on a school fb page and arrived in Mexico never meeting them). 

Honestly just go to a hostel and you'll find other young people. Selina is pretty good in Mexico. Bring your phone, passport, credit card, swim trunks, and a lock and go with the flow. Look for gringos and you'll be fine. I can dm you places I went. 

Surf lessons 200/week (a rip-off but whatevs)

Tacos $1-3 for enough to fill me up

Corona $2

Churros $1

Random street vendor food $1-5 depending what it was.

Overpriced plane ride around Mexico $200 (pilot let us fly tho so it was worth it for the gram)

Dr appointment + treatment $50 

I think I spend ~2500 including airfare and lodging for 6 weeks. Not a super tight budget but could have been tighter if I sacrificed time and/or convenience 

Also went to Europe with work away and it was good, but not as cheap as Mexico. 

Nov 18, 2021 - 10:56am

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