How are you guys holding up? (@ sophomores still recruiting for SA 2022)

Hey guys,

I've been feeling pretty down right now in the middle of recruiting season. It feels like everyone else has secured SA 2022 offers and I'm the only one still left grinding. Like I said, I've had a couple interviews but I have no offers in hand yet, and I'm kicking myself for missing the boat on a couple of solid boutiques. Of course, I'm still networking and sending out emails basically daily, but I'm really not feeling confident about getting offers at BBs or MMs, both because of my track history with getting interviews (despite networking intensively) and performing in them. How do you guys keep your head up through rejection and the uncertainty of landing an offer this year? Would just love to hear some people's thoughts and experiences, either from this cycle or previous ones. 

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (14)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 12, 2021 - 7:19pm

The only thing you can do is keep grinding, rejection after rejection, interview after interview you will learn how to improve yourself and sooner or later one offer will come

May 12, 2021 - 11:23pm

Man I I definitely know how you feel, but the recruitment season for non EBs hasn't even really started yet. Keep networking and grinding and by the end of summer (maybe end of august or Sept if you are non-target), you will definitely have a sick offer. Good luck, and if you need any advice pm me!

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 13, 2021 - 5:24am

Honestly, it's not the end of the world if you don't land an offer. A while back I chatted with an analyst and he told me one of most humbling stories. The dude went to a semi-target school and said he completely struck out on junior year summer analyst recruiting and then also full-time recruiting. He got to March of his senior year and had no job lined up and didn't have any reputable IB experience on his resume. The dude heard from a friend of a friend that Jefferies was looking for an analyst, so he passed his resume along. The dude ended up getting the job. 

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
May 13, 2021 - 3:34pm

It has definitely been tough getting so many rejections especially after super days but recruiting is far from over for SA 2022. Plenty of solid MM's and BB's start their processes this summer. You have to remember that this is a numbers game. Plenty of rejections along the way but only one place has to say yes. Just gotta keep networking and practicing for interviews day in day out.

  • Prospect in Research - Other
May 13, 2021 - 4:14pm

Endless cold emails, applications, LinkedIn requests, with pretty much no updates whatsoever. Had my first two interviews last week but no response yet so not expecting much. A little disheartening to not know where I am at all in any process. Just hoping for the best honestly.

May 14, 2021 - 3:49am

Man it's definitely going to be a slog, but the important part is persevering, especially since there are a preponderance of very solid to great gigs left out there. This will sound cliche, but you're doing all the right things. As difficult as it might be, keep things in perspective, eat healthy, get some exercise, and things should come together. Remember that you only need to get one offer. You've also gotten through the most difficult part of the cycle so far. The interviews from here on out will be generally be easier. Feel free to PM for advice.

May 14, 2021 - 11:13am

Hey man, I know exactly how you're feeling. I just finished recruiting and most of my friends had offers before, making me feel as if I was behind. I think there are two tangible changes you can make. First, network with senior bankers if you haven't been already. I initially was just reaching out to analysts and associates, but 1 senior banker can essentially get you the 1st round. Second, take a break for a weekend. No emails, no nothing - just try not to think about recruiting. I know it feels like you're letting precious time go by, but it's going to be the best thing possible for your mental health, and I think you'll be even more rested for this upcoming wave. Good luck, and feel free to reach out

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 14, 2021 - 1:03pm

2021 SA right here - I was literally in your shoes like 6 months ago. I only started networking last May so you're definitely ahead of many. That said, I was able to land 4 superdays and ended up getting an offer at a MM by November. Before then, I felt crushed as all of my friends going for Wall Street seemed to land offers well before me.

Because of this envy and stress at the time, I felt that I spent too much time getting caught up in where to apply next, or who else to reach out, that I didn't spend enough time thinking about if IB is something I actually wanted. Yes, many smart kids in college apply for IB but some of it is because forums like WSO and websites like mergersandinquistions exist so that they feel they should be applying. Add the peer pressure to land an offer just like you're friends, and this recruiting cycle can end up being super stressful.

All that said, I know exactly how you feel and hope to show you that you're chances are far from over. Just know, that all it takes it one offer and don't forget that most people don't have the luxury to decide between more than maybe 2 banks. At the same time, I'd highly advise all summer analysts to be open minded on what job they actually want. There are plenty of careers on Wall Street to choose from - and they all offer great exit opps and comp. Don't feel that you need to be locked in to IB because of PE exit opps since in reality, 99% of college kids don't know what they really want to do down the road. Also gunning for PE is probably even more stressful than undergrad going to IB because it just keeps getting more competitive the higher the pay. Try talking to people in ER or S&T or AM to get a better picture of where you can intern.

May 14, 2021 - 3:12pm

It's really rough out here... I almost threw up a couple of days ago I was so stressed. It's definitely insanely hard - don't know many people personally who have received offers yet. Just gotta keep grinding I guess

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 14, 2021 - 4:39pm

You shouldn't feel bad. I'll share some advice that was given to me that I think you may find some value in: everyone's path is going different and it really becomes detrimental when you start comparing yourself to your peers (yes I know easier said than done).

When I was in my sophomore year I didn't even know what I wanted to do after graduating and in addition to that I went to a non-target. When I finally got my shit together in junior year and started to give serious consideration to pursuing some sort of career in finance, I wasn't able to get a single banking interview because I had no relevant experience and hadn't networked at all. In my junior year summer I was able to land an unpaid internship which was interesting, but didn't really add a whole lot of value to bolstering my profile (was better than nothing though).

Fast forward to senior year and full time recruiting - it came as no shock when I ended up empty handed in the fall when banks looked to fill any of the gaps in their analyst class after the summer. Not only that, but I continued to have difficulty securing an offer throughout the year as I was being pretty selective with what opportunities I was applying to. In hindsight this was a good move for me, but you should always have a Plan B, Plan C, etc. Anyways, let me tell you, it was one of the worst feelings sitting at home trying to find a job while most of my friends were travelling the world on exchange. FOMO x1000.

Thankfully I was able to sign an offer in a TAS role at an accounting firm a solid 2 weeks before receiving my university diploma. Obviously this was miles away from where I saw myself under Plan A, but I was relieved more than anything at this point to have had a job lined up. Instead of moping about not breaking into IB, I put my head down and worked hard for a few years and was able to break into a >$2bn PE fund where I've been for the past year. Also worth nothing that most of the other associates in my class came from banking which just further illustrates that your path doesn't have to be linear in that you MUST do banking to get a buyside investing role. Looking at some of my friends who did break into banking, there are a handful who are doing well, but there are also a handful who either burnt out or are doing something completely unrelated. 

All that to say, although it might feel like the walls are closing in on you, they're actually not. I think we all know how hyper competitive it is to succeed in this industry where recruiting cycles are continuing to be pushed earlier every year, but it truly isn't the end of the world because you haven't secured an internship in your sophomore year. You are definitely entitled to be concerned and I probably would be too if I was in your shoes - it shows you care. But at the same time, try to take a bigger picture view and remember that if you put your best foot forward, good things will happen. Best of luck in your search and I'm sure everything will work out!

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (203) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82