How hard is full time recruiting with a solid SA beforehand?

Due to some extenuating circumstances combined with an exploding offer, I accepted a 2020 SA position at a top MM bank (Baird/Blair/HL). I'm at a target with a good GPA and decent extracurriculars, and I can't help but feeling like I settled a little bit. To make matters worse, I recently got a super day invite to a BB (bottom tier BB) but declined due to already having signed my offer (and I am not ok with reneging) and got a first round invitation from a top tier EB (again, declined).

Considering exit ops down the road, I've decided I'm going to do this internship, kick ass, get a return offer, and go through FT recruiting. How hard is it to go through FT recruiting with a solid SA experience, a return offer (hopefully), and a strong resume? How does it compare to SA recruiting?

I've heard that just having a banking internship will set me apart from most of the pack, especially with a return offer, as you are competing against kids without return offers or without banking experience. Is this the case? I understand there are a lot fewer spots available, so what are my chances at a top tier BB (GS, JPM, MS) or a top EB (Evercore, PJT, etc)? What can I do over the next year to best prepare myself?

Comments (10)

Aug 4, 2019

There are fewer spots but also there is less people recruiting for those jobs as well. You will be fine as long as you get the return and do some networking. I have seen guys go from SA at a no-name boutique to EBs/BBs so it can definitely be done from an MM.

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Aug 5, 2019

Should I be more focused with my networking vs SA recruiting? I admittedly did a pretty mediocre job networking this recruiting cycle, but is it worth targeting a few banks that I really want to work at instead of just going for a wide range? I feel like this makes more sense because I probably want to make sure these banks know I'm super interested in them, but on the other hand my fear is that they might not need any FT hires so it would be a total waste of my time.

Most Helpful
Aug 6, 2019

Networking was a major reason I got my offer/interviews during FT recruitment. I did not have the best experience but the firms knew me and the interest I had. It is a great way to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd.

Networking is not a waste of time just because some of the firms may not end up hiring. If you run a good process then you'll be bound to make good connections with firms that will be hiring and that will make it worth the time and effort. I reached out to 30+ firms and only got an offer from one at the end of the day, nonetheless I consider my efforts a success. With respect to the firms that were not hiring or did not give me a look, I still made valuable connections there that you never know where they may lead.

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Aug 4, 2019

it's generally harder, but i feel that being at a target school and having IB SA under your belt helps a ton. from what i understand most firms that recruit FT do so through target schools career portals/resume drops

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Aug 13, 2019

It will be a numbers game. Reach out to everyone in the second half of July during your internship. Many banks will recruit full time without posting a job opening on the careers page. We typically just go back to our super-day pool from the previous year, and add recommendations from existing analysts. Most EB will have less than a handful of spots, as most try to convert as many interns as possible. Just going on this year's crop, we screened around 50 candidates for 2 spots. All had banking / investing internships this summer. I'll reiterate: it's a numbers game.

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Aug 15, 2019

Appreciate the helpful response. How do applicants go about recruiting while working at their current bank (I imagine most SA are still working until early August)? On top of the hours, I presume you don't want your summer bank to find out you are applying around as it could impact your return offer chances.

Aug 15, 2019
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