If No FT Offer After Jr. Year Internship, Am I Doomed?

Seeing how crucial the junior year internship is, and how that typically leads to a FT offer... what if you DON'T get an offer after your junior year internship? How crippling is that to your chances of landing another FT job when you're interviewing your senior year of college?

I would imagine the no-offer after junior year would be quite stigmatizing... how do you overcome this?

Comments (43)

Aug 7, 2018

More details? School/GPA/connections/internships/ECs?

Aug 7, 2018

Target school (but not H/W/P), GPA > 3.5...

Aug 16, 2018

Where are you at right now? No need for the name, just what tier BB and what type of role.

I won't lie to you; not having a FT offer is very damaging. Take that from someone who didn't have a FT offer at the time, and spent all senior year trying to recruit. I was at a target which helped but had a sub 3.5 GPA which screwed me, so that wasn't great either. Fortunately, I had a connection at a top AM, and leveraged that into a FT position.

It helps that you are at a target with a 3.5+GPA, which will be helpful even if you don't get the return offer, but you will still be fighting an uphill battle.

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Aug 7, 2018

It's not good, we hire 10% of analyst through FT versus 90% through SA. Just network hard sometimes we need additional analysts, have an SA turn down an offer (rare) or have one reneg. Some firms don't really use SAs to fill their analyst classes mostly regional commercial banks and some of the foreign banks.

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Aug 7, 2018

Thanks. But as far as a narrative, how damaging is it during an interview when you learn that you're talking to a guy who interned at a place last summer and didn't get the FT offer? And, in your opinion, what is the best way to spin it?

Aug 7, 2018

In short, it is very damaging. Assuming this is for full-time IBD recruiting, there are few spots open, and those spots that are open are often filled by people who did receive a return offer or laterals in the industry.

The best way to spin it is to say, "Our office took in a lot more interns than they had spots available. I received very positive feedback throughout the internship, but unfortunately they did not have capacity to extend me the offer. While I am very disappointed with the outcome, the summer was an incredible learning experience and has proved to me that I want to pursue this as my career and that I can be successful on the job." Probably the safest bet would be to cite cultural fit, though you have to tread a very fine line with the reasons you say.

Regardless of the above, there is still a huge looming question of why you didn't get the offer and others did. In my personal opinion, even a "damaged goods" no-return-offer candidate from GS would be significantly less likely to get an offer than someone with a return offer from Jefferies, for example.

A lot of people in this situation go do something else other than banking. For example if you recruit to tech you can just say, "Banking culture/hours/treatment was horrible, am I right? I did really well but they didn't have enough spots, but truthfully I learned midway through the internship that this wasn't the right path for me... [etc]"

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Aug 7, 2018

Very helpful, thanks. Fortunately, I'm not in this situation (at least yet)... but just want to anticipate some of the best ways to handle this uncomfortable situation.

Aug 7, 2018

This is spot on. I interned at a BB in a regional office. Partially due to the office taking several laterals that summer, they did not hire all the SAs (I was one of the ones in this bucket), despite all of us receiving great mid-summer feedback. It's very frustrating, as they generally will dance around why they aren't extending an offer for HR purposes. It can be tough to convince interviewers you were capable, and that you just didn't fit in as well culturally as some of the other interns. If possible, if there is a VP-level person who you could ask to vouch for you if you need a reference, this can help.

It's an uphill battle, but possible to overcome / limit the damage. It's likely you'd have to step down a tier (I went to an MM full time). The good news is that after your interviews for your first job, it may never come up again, or if it does, you may be able to point to being a top bucket or otherwise solid performer at your FT job.

In the grand scheme of things, if you stay positive, it can just be a minor bump in the road, as others have bounced back from far worse failures than not receiving a full time offer.

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Aug 8, 2018
Synergy_or_Syzygy:

The best way to spin it is to say, "Our office took in a lot more interns than they had spots available. I received very positive feedback throughout the internship, but unfortunately they did not have capacity to extend me the offer. While I am very disappointed with the outcome, the summer was an incredible learning experience and has proved to me that I want to pursue this as my career and that I can be successful on the job."

wow yeah this is gold

https://thumbs.gfycat.com/UnequaledMiniatureIsabellineshrike-max-1mb.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Most Helpful
Aug 7, 2018

Here's the short version: the lack of return offer makes you a liability; getting a FT offer will be a difficult, uphill battle.

Here's the long version. As a disclaimer, I've been out of the IB recruiting game for ~3-4 years now, so not sure how much has changed regarding accelerated FT recruiting that kicks off right after SA internships.

Biggest question here is what happened at your internship? Was your group downsizing? Did your group take on far more interns than FT positions? If the latter, I'd leverage some flavor of what @Synergy_or_Syzygy stated. I shopped my return offer around. Almost everyone I interviewed with started the conversation off with some combination of: why don't you want to go back, did you get a return offer, why us.

This is going to be an uphill battle for two big reasons. First, there are far less FT positions available (given slots are pre-filled with interns) and competition for those limited spots will be from candidates who have return offers. Second, your internship is your most relevant, tangible datapoint for evaluating candidacy. It should serve as a proxy if you can come back and do this FT or not. Not getting a return offer raises a big red flag and makes you a liability/ Charlie "wildcard".

To be successful at bouncing back from this, I think you need three things to happen (captain obvious here):

1) Tight explanation regarding the return offer - have an explanation that interviews can not only understand, but also come out thinking it's not an instant dealbreaker. I know this is easier said than done. More than anything you need to leave them thinking you're a solid analyst and things just didn't work out. Well-qualified candidates/interns get the short-end of the stick all the time. Don't want to force this onto interviewers; implant the idea in their head and make sure they come to this understanding themselves (wow, sorry for basically just rehashing Inception here).

2) Securing an "in" - in your early rounds of interviewing, you need to really impress someone so they can become an advocate for you. You really need to knock the socks off someone whose opinion is valued. Due to your position, there will undoubtedly be people who are reluctant on bringing you in for a superday. If you get invited to the superday, the same will apply to people wanting to give you an offer. More than ever, this is a situation where you need someone on the inside to pound the table on your behalf.

3) Have a good reference - hopefully there is someone (the more senior the better) from your internship who can give you a strong reference. I know a lot of people view reference checks as more of a "check the box" formality, but this is a situation where having a good one will really count. Even if you crush a superday interview, people will still have doubts regarding your capabilities (think "well he interviewed well but do we really think he can do a good job?"). A good reference will help sooth fears and help a prospective employer separate the lack of return offer from your qualifications to do a good job.

Some quick background. About 4-5 years ago one of my college roommates did not receive a return offer from his BB. His group was downsizing and he left on good terms with a few senior guys who were supportive of him landing on his feet with another job. I was looking at FT opportunities at the same time, and wanted to help him anyway I could (so I knew the day-to-day of his efforts). It wasn't easy, but he ended up getting 2 FT offers from other BBs and an offer from a highly regarded EB. He hustled like crazy, leveraging everyone in his network. He kept trying after receiving a slew of no's (various well-know banks told him upfront they would not consider someone without a return offer for FT recruiting). In interviews, some people completely identified where he was coming from and the position he was in while others clearly never got comfortable with the idea he wasn't offered a job from his internship.

Best of luck to you. This is going to be tough, but it's not impossible. Don't be shy and make sure to come back here if you have more questions.

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Aug 7, 2018

Great, thorough advice. And extra props for the "Always Sunny" wildcard reference (at least I think you were doing that).

Aug 7, 2018

You know it! I was going to add a link to a youtube clip but I didn't want embed a video in what was already a lengthy wall of text. But since you mentioned it, here ya go!

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Aug 17, 2018

Hey man, quick q: I'm recruiting for FT (non-target, 3.8, two lower mm IB SA gigs), but the shop I'm at right now doesn't hire out of its SA class. I have interviews with Lazard, PWP, BarCap, BTIG, WF, and Jefferies. Does the same thing apply? Like am I fucked since my current shop doesn't give out FT offers for SA's? I've basically been honest this whole time and told my interviewers exactly that.

Aug 18, 2018

Damn this makes me feel dumb for rejecting a FT offer from my most recent internship. I'm a nontarget, GPA>3.5 barely. I guess it should be a fun year lmao

Aug 18, 2018

Christ, no one can save you from your own idiocy. Even if you are not taking it, you ALWAYS keep a ball in hand versus chucking it out the window. It simultaneously acts as leverage when interviewing for another opportunity while also acting as a backup. And if the need an answer quickly, you accept, continue recruiting and when you find something better, you renege.

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Aug 18, 2018

Of course, but I didn't wanna renege and ruin relationships. I really had a great time with them but corp fin. isn't what I wanted to do so I didn't wanna waste their time. Plus I would've had to relocate far. I'm just gonna grind this year, it will all work out

Aug 18, 2018

You received the offer though...so you're good

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Aug 18, 2018

Hi yudding, hope I can help. Do any of these links cover what you're looking for:

  • AMA: Big Four Valuation Associate- Deciding Whether This Job Is Right For You auditor"- See project experience above. If you come from an Audit or Tax background (internship, full time ... due to circumstances outside of my control. Had to give up the PE opportunity and ended up landing the ... important. I haven't seen many with a GPA under 3.7 get an internship offer. Most
  • Kinda screwed this year up, no internship plans this summer, try PWM now? Hi, So long story short, I kinda fucked this year up. Right now I am sitting on a 3.55 GPA, not ... There is an entrepreneur start-up fair that my school is hosting (not really advertised that well, but ... I won't be done with school until around June 10thish so I do have a little bit of time. What should I do? ...
  • Deciding Between Offers, Pepsi/Soros/Legg Mason or- Holding four offers Operation and Audit at well know firms. This year, I did eventually end up holding four offers (none of them ... is not a concern either(tho I want to eventually work in NYC) My end goal for full-time recruitment ... I can be exposed to since that internship is not well structured. Now I am leaning more towards Soros ...
  • How to recover after royally screwing up in undergrad? nothing of my time here, what do I do now so I don't end up broke and possibly homeless in my ... ended up working in finance or whichever field they wanted to go into because of their good grades, ... after graduation. Only thing the guy did right was graduate from college with a degree in his hand. Now ...
  • Offer rescinded less than 1 week into internship, they said "it isn't working out" and no longer need me. What do I do now? Today was my last day. It was with a small but dominant real estate agency. Like a lot of you ... here, I'm a hardworking, driven junior finance major from a Big Ten university with a 3.9 GPA and ... anything to do. They didn't even give my coworkers a mere heads up that I was arriving; I introduced ...
  • Working In Big 4 Audit in London at that time so I ended up where I am now. We did not really receive that much formal training. We ... fail exams twice, or hard fail (Now for the honesty- I hate my job. Audit requires next to no skill or ... investment banking internships. The market for hiring full time in banking just wasn't there in
  • A Big 4 audit vs tax thread, with a (hopefully) unique twist I'm an intern this summer with a Big 4 firm in audit. Started the first few days of June. ... in a room at the same time. Now, I know if I do decide to start my own practice, obviously the Tax ... well stick with audit for the back up plan exit opps? I'm a little nervous about the idea of ...
  • More suggestions...

Calling relevant professionals! @Acfold91 @Kelly-Herring @BeastMode

You're welcome.

Aug 18, 2018

Thank you WSO Monkey Bot. I did look into all the threads you included here but nothing quite fit into my situation. Still a big thank you to you!

Aug 18, 2018

I'd say it is a non-issue. Just having an internship puts you heads and tails above 90% of the candidates out there. You will want to come up with your story on why you didn't go back. Maybe there was just not an opportunity. Maybe you didn't like the fit or whatever. I'd say the bigger issue is if you are a junior and are at a BB, the expectation is that you get a job or there's something wrong. With boutiques, it is totally different. Don't be so hard on yourself and just get it done.

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The time is now, seize the day ...

Aug 18, 2018

Yeah companies like to rotate interns anyway. So unless you got negative feedback don't worry about it.

Aug 18, 2018

In my BB interviews I was never asked if my other internships asked me to return. Don't worrk about it.

If you worked for a real small company, and you did a good job, chances are they don't expect you to come back. When I was interviewing for my soph summer internship at a small buyside firm, one of the partners told me that if I wanted to do finance, it was imperative for me to go to NYC the following summer (i.e. not return).

Aug 18, 2018

Hi lolaskd, check out these links:

  • Full Time Offer Rate vs. Internship Offer Rate (MBB) Seems like MBB summer internships are much harder to come by than the regular full-time offers ... in the Fall. Full Time Consulting Offer with No Internship Experience While no statistics exists ... shared anecdotal evidence of student receiving full time offers
  • VC/IB/or IBM consulting internship for MBB full time? Please help me with my dilemma consider what will give me the most options for full time as well in case MBB doesn't work out. What ... summer, although I didn't get the summer offer. Didn't get any interviews from McK or BCG ... unfornately, most likely becuase of GPA. Now for the summer, I have a few options. I have an offer
  • NYU SCPS program (full time) for career in consulting in NY and they do place in consulting sometimes,but mostly IBD, and that too in the Midwest. Would I still ... a top notch brand)? I already have an admit from Illinois Urbana Champaign for the MS Finance program, ... Hello, I came across the MS in Management and Systems program offered by NYU 's School of ...
  • Full Time Commitment in banking/finance in general. If I were given an offer what is the typical time I would be allowed ... now? Also, when is it a good time to reach out to regional boutiques in my home city for FT? I think ... a reasonably good chance of receiving a FT offer. I like my experience so far and wi
  • From Energy Trading (internship) to Full Time Management Consulting about making the change. I have currently been working full-time in consulting for a month and a half, ... Hello All! I have a few questions in regards to full-time management consulting recruiting. As the ... finance- Cumulative GPA: 4.0- Currently interning for supermajor (think BP, Shell, Chevron) in their ...
  • Accenture full time vs JpMorgan internship just received an offer from JPMorgan in Investment banking. The thing is that I currently have a full ... JPMorgan on my CV will compensate the fact I resigned from full time in strat consulting at Accenture? Do ... at JP? 3)If i do not have a full time offer from
  • Full time/ SA a finance/accounting major at a non-target and graduating early (June '08). I would like to apply for FT ... already got a lot of decent work experience in that time. (i.e. summer project management/marketing ... start date of the full time position (assuming that a full time offer was extended at the en
  • More suggestions...

No promises, but sometimes if we mention a user, they will share their wisdom: @yellowlabel06 @ana.loibner @caroline.chen249

You're welcome.

Aug 18, 2018

skill set building in sell side s&t is really not that intense, you are mistaken.

Aug 18, 2018

Problem is the market--must work itself out. What did you do at DB?

Aug 18, 2018

5 weeks in cash sales/trading and 5 weeks in global prime finance.

Going to get the CFA level I and II over the next year and look for a jr. trader job on buy side.

Aug 18, 2018

What bank was it?

Aug 18, 2018

ML

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Aug 18, 2018

this year it does not at all...in the past it did when they hired 80-90% of class.

Aug 18, 2018

If you ended on good terms, I don't think it would matter too much (unless the group is known for having an extremely high offer rate)... but if you're applying to a related group at another bank, there's always a chance they'll know who you worked with and ask about you

Aug 18, 2018

its the same as having an offer from them this year to be honest.... those with offers are about to get the reneg call

Aug 18, 2018

.

"Yes. Money has been a little bit tight lately, but at the end of my life, when I'm sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I'm gonna be thinking about how many friends I have and my children and my comedy albums."

Aug 18, 2018

Life sucks some times...should have put more effort over the summer my friend

Aug 18, 2018
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Aug 18, 2018
Aug 18, 2018