Intern in IBD, realized I have other goals in life

I'm currently in a bit of a situation and I frankly have no clue what to do.

My internship at an investment bank and frankly, I find that I basically hate all of it.

Yes, the job isn't what I expected, I got thrown into basically a private placement derivative sales position instead of a corporate finance one, but really, after some introspection, I find that I really don't like banking.

It's not that the work is difficult, it's relatively simple, and the hours are absurdly short for an IBD position (I get to leave the office at 7pm. The other interns are busy collecting taxi fares and dinner expenses.)

My team is nothing but nice and accommodating to me, they've really tried to make my job as comfortable as possible to help me settle in, and they want nothing more than to give me a return offer.

But even then, I simply cannot muster up the motivation to continue. To really fight tooth and nail to show them that I absolutely want to continue to work here.

I don't feel like myself anymore. I used to be a highly driven, excited and enthusiastic person, willing to stay up late just to research a little bit more about Investment Banking work.

Now, I wake up at 7am, take my 1 hour one-way commute back to the office, and multiple times without fail I consider throwing myself into the nearest bus or train. I would never do it, but it's horrifying that thoughts like that would enter my mind.

Frankly, I miss my family. My mother and father are nearing their 60s, and three of my father's friends have died over the past few months. But it's not as if they're opposing the job, they love it, and want nothing more than for me to succeed. In fact, they've delayed their own dinners just to get a chance to eat with me.

I know I'm being privileged, privileged to work at a job many would kill for, privileged enough that I don't have to work to live.

But that just makes me more guilty that everyone has been nothing but purely accommodating to me and I can't even muster the strength to my job with a smile on my face. I can't really bring myself to work even moderately long hours.


I'd like to leave off with a more optimistic note. Obviously I will not be returning in the future even if I do get a return offer, but what's next, I don't know.

After following the IBD path for so long, what could I do that
1.) Has relatively low work hours (I'm working 60 a week right now and already feel shit.)

2.) Doesn't sacrifice too much salary (I'd be perfectly happy to discard half of my current salary, but some of the entry level jobs for graduates is an eighth of my internship, and that just rubs me the wrong way.)

A little bit more background to help:

I graduate next year in Computer Science and Finance. I enjoy reading in my own spare time, and absorbing knowledge about new things (if I am interested, of course). I'm a bit of a geek, enjoy the usual past times of board gaming and regular gaming, but I'm not that antisocial to hole up in my room all day.

I also really like mentoring those underneath me, I feel great helping out those younger than I am in achieving their goals.

Sadly, the location I'm at (Hong Kong) is not very conducive to careers outside finance.

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Comments (4)

  • Business School in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2021 - 10:37am

Follow your dreams- a job in IBD is not the be all end all. Don't accept

Jul 1, 2021 - 2:49pm

Check out corporate finance roles at F500 companies or management consulting

"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

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jul 1, 2021 - 6:20pm

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