I recently gave a piece of advice to a buddy's younger brother who was choosing between some great SA offers. I wanted to share it with all you young masters of the universe as well.

In this specific case, my friend's brother was choosing between two great EBs. One that people on this site fetish over (think EVR M&A/PJT R&R/CVP M&A), and another fantastic EB, but maybe not with the same "gold standard" allure as one of the places I mentioned. I actually urged him to go with the "lesser" firm. The primary reason being that he had some mentors there, at both a senior and junior level, who he had built long relationships with, and who would do their best to guide him through the IB minefield. He didn't have that at the slightly more prestigious firm.

I know everyone is obsessed with prestige, but at the end of the day when considering multiple offers, I think people really need to focus on which situation they will be more successful in. Sometimes having a close mentor you can speak with off-the-record for guidance can be all the difference in your analyst experience, and can be the key to being at the top of your class.

There comes a point where the differences between lots of firms are minimal, even though people on this site like to split hairs. When I went through PE recruiting I can say first hand that across the EBs pretty much every buyside opportunity is open to every strong analyst.

If you are someone with great offers in hand, then congrats, that is truly a fantastic accomplishment! The skills gained, and the doors opened to you are all stellar at lots of the top firms and top groups. Now, when picking between your offers, make sure you consider where you feel you will be most successful. This is so overlooked, and answering that question honestly should help steer you in the right direction.

Comments (4)


+1. I've always said that the difference between some of top groups is minimal. For one, being able to land offers at top groups says a lot about the person (in most cases) so you'll be able to do well for yourself no matter where you go. Top groups aside, I also think that if the difference between two offers are marginal, whether its a 5k salary difference, a slightly more "prestigious" group etc, just go with the people you like more.

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Absolutely agree with this and in fact I made a very similar choice as your brother did. I formed a very close relationship with an MD during my recruiting process at the firm I chose and he esentially acted as a mentor throughout recruiting and my summer internship as well. Through him I got an "in" through all levels at the firm, getting to network with partners earlier than my internship class and networking with the top-bucket analysts at the firm way before my internship even started. Yes the EB I choce is slightly less "prestigious" than my other offers, but I saw myself thriving way more due to my connections. This became evident even during the summer, as my connections throughout the firm allowed me to get the top-quality staffings and more modeling work throughout the summer. I imagine that during FT, the connections I forged at the senior level will go a long way for recruiting, where I can feel comfortable asking an MD or partner for a referral to a top buyside shop. Of course, my experience is anecdotal, but I think it shows how decisions can't be made by surface level factors like prestige or exit opps when the difference is not significant.


+1. Wish I could do +2. This is great advice.

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. "


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