Pissed at candidate for not taking offer

Hey guys,

So funny story but sad too.

I accepted an EB offer (think EVR/Moelis/CV) a while ago for SA 2021. I got offers from a few BBs through diversity recruiting. One of these BBs was what you'd call a "lower tier BB" ( everyone will tell you to not go there unless you don't have any other offers. They're in a horrible place rn ).
There is a dude there ( think VP or above) who is a school alum and was super super involved in my process. I called him up to express my gratitude and tell him that I am accepting an offer elsewhere. He started yelling at me about how ungrateful I am after everything that he's done for me. He listed every single way that he helped me to get my offer ( pushing resume, introducing to people). He was like "we're the best bank in the world according to xyz rankings" and "can't believe that you chose a stupid bank that no one has ever heard of over us". He then went on to shit on the EB. He also sent me an email later reiterating all of these things.

Sounds hilarious but I was upset because this is someone that I was so grateful to and I've come to see him as a mentor. I really wanted to stay in touch. How insecure do you have to be to shit on a 20 yo if they chose the place that seemed like the best fit. Lesson: full time people, please be kinder. Students who are recruiting: You will end up burning some bridges. It is not possible to make everyone happy. Just make sure that you do it respectfully and express your gratitude to everyone who's helped you.

Comments (47)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:02pm

Sorry to hear that man. Glad things still worked out for you. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cunts in finance.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:04pm

Similar thing happened to me. Interned at a MM bank with a lot of alumni and was grateful for the opportunity. Overall had a good experience and the people were nice but deal flow just wasn't strong and I wanted to get more exposure. Ended up getting an offer at a BB and got a call from an MD asking about my rationale then proceeded to say that their bank is better because their "market cap" was bigger than the bank I joined... technically their market cap is larger than GS as well but I highly doubt he'd ever claim they are better than them...

Yeah I get how people can be somewhat annoyed since they spent time and energy but it left a bad taste in my mouth about the bank who I had thought of in a good light before this incident. You'd think they would be used to this being around the industry for a while.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:54pm

As a follow up, funny enough one of the alums at the bank I didn't accept an offer to was let go and recruited for a role at the bank I ended up signing with. The hiring VP at my new bank asked me if I knew him and if I'd recommend him and I was honest and said that a lot of people didn't like him at the old bank and he perpetuated a bad culture. He didn't get the offer.

Like I said, it's a small world.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:13pm

Wouldn't've expected anything less from DB

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Jul 25, 2020 - 5:14pm
guggroth93, what's your opinion? Comment below:

sounds like he's super insecure about being at (gonna guess based on description) DB. Probably too old and not marketable enough to leave so he's taking it out on you because you get to start your career in a better place

  • Prospect in 
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:43pm

Lmao I wonder how do egotistical MDs/VPs as such react when they don't get deals etc. Do they bully their teams/tell them they're not good enough

Jul 25, 2020 - 5:14pm
Cam_k3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Similar thing happened to me! Didn't accept an offer at a BB with a strong alum network. Alums were pissed. Told the career center in my school that they'll stop OCR because students don't take their offer. Also told alums at other banks that I am a horrible person ( who thankfully didn't listen and continued to support me). Lol. So petty.

Jul 30, 2020 - 10:23am
workaholicsemi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP's experience is bad but this's way worse. I hope karma or whatever there is gets those horrible people.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:23pm

Don't be too harsh on him, he's probably scared that DB is slowly dying and yelling at you was just a way to vent.

Jul 25, 2020 - 5:28pm
theATL, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sorry to hear. That is stupid.

If you think a candidate is good, guess what? So do other firms. And there are many great places to work, so candidates have options, that's not a bad thing.

Additionally, if you ever want that candidate to consider your firm in the future, then don't be an a**.

And finally, good candidates are usually friends with other good candidates (go to target schools, meet at similar clubs, etc), if you want these candidates referred your way, don't be an a**.

Sorry one more, if you ever want this candidate to help you (maybe you end up wanting to work at their firm) then don't be an a**. This last one happened to me, you really think I'm going to refer you?...

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:43pm

1000% on your friends thing. My friends and I have been networking since freshman year and we keep a list of the best people to talk to and those who aren't the most visible

  • Prospect in 
Jul 25, 2020 - 6:16pm

Yesss I am OP and this is exactly what I was thinking. Where does it end? Tomorrow he'll "demand" that I work in his group, won't be okay with me recruiting for PE or pursuing a better opportunity....

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 25, 2020 - 5:50pm

Just a question - is there any "good" way to go about telling people that you have networked with that you are going in a different direction? I feel like most people that I have done this with aren't too happy (luckily none have blown up on me like in your case).

Edit: I always thank them for their time/any advice they have given me and I think I am pretty respectful but it always leaves me with a bad feeling

Jul 25, 2020 - 5:53pm
theATL, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unless you are being rude, that says more about them than you.

Fairly straightforward:

  • thank them for their time and all the help they provided through the process
  • let them know you decided to go to another firm but really enjoyed XYZ (I.e. don't make it sound like it was an easy decision)
  • depending on how close you are to them you can give them informal reasons (I.e. don't provide some sort of weird evaluation of their firm or industry, just things like better team alignment, more aligned with what you want to specialize in, etc)
  • thank them again and say you hope you can keep in touch and connect in the future if anything changes.
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  • Prospect in 
Jul 25, 2020 - 6:15pm

I agree with this!

Ideally, I would want to end things on a good note. It only seems decent to thank someone for everything that they've done for you and I always want to try to make sure that there's no ill will so that I can reach out to them again at some point in the future for help.

As long as you're being respectful, please don't feel bad. These banks are not loyal to anyone. If they want to kick you out or reject you, they won't even think twice abut how hard you work/how much you like the bank. It is great to have a moral compass and be grateful but it's important to do what works best for you :)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 26, 2020 - 2:09am

So I did a similar thing (lower BB intern --> one of the EB you mentioned FT) HOWEVER my alumni who I had networked with at the BB were extremely supportive. I had built relationships so they were happy to see me succeed regardless of the bank. This dude obviously does not feel the same way and that's fine; he doesn't need to be happy after putting in time and effort and seeing you walk away. He probably imagined you as a mentee and was actually upset to see you go. At the end of the day, you did what you thought was best for you and that is completely okay. Do not feel bad about it.

Jul 26, 2020 - 12:13pm
reformed, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Send him a bottle of wine (or some other gift) and thank him again for his help! Act as polite as possible and pretend like he never threw a temper tantrum. He'll feel like shit and likely be really embarrassed, and you'll get the last laugh.

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  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Jul 26, 2020 - 9:37pm

We're not all prepschool ballers dude

Jul 26, 2020 - 2:09pm
FluidMosaic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Shitty on his part.

That being said how'd your recruiting go - if you were promising the entire time that you'd take an offer from his bank and it was your top choice, I'd be a bit pissed too. the game is the game but it's still bad to go back on your word. Either way he is taking it way too far by shitting on your new bank.

  • Prospect in 
Jul 26, 2020 - 2:31pm


I completely understand that, but I never told anyone that I am going to accept their offer for sure (unless they asked, which no one ever did tbh). This man just assumed that I was going to take his offer. I actually mentioned to him on one of our calls (before I did a super day at his bank) that I am going through final round processes at other places and he was like okay but I bet no one at other places has helped you out as much as I have. I laughed that off and just thanked him for all his help.

Jul 26, 2020 - 2:38pm
Devils Advocate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I always thought it was silly to get mad about someone not accepting an offer to your bank.

Ultimately, 1) they did what they thought was best for their career, and 2) it's always good to maintain good relationships with individuals regardless of the path they take in life.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Jul 27, 2020 - 2:31pm

Pretty funny - I'm in a lower BB as well and my analyst felt comfortable enough asking if I'd be a reference for an EB. I said yes because if I said no, he's just going to leave anyway, and be resentful to boot. Might as well keep him happy while he's here and that should have a positive impact on his work.

  • VP in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 10:27am

I get it. It's super competitive, especially if you're at a "lower tier BB" like you said. Getting even one solid candidate in your group each year is a huge win and makes that VP look great.

My guess is you somehow signaled to him that you were going to join his bank (whether intentional or not, but prob the right thing to do in order to secure the offer) and he went around telling other alums: MDs/staffer/manager/etc. Now he just looks like an idiot because he has to walk back what he said and tell them you ended up going elsewhere.

Unless you verbally committed to him, you shouldn't feel bad. It's just the way the game is played and he should know. Sounds like a typical BB hardo banker-4-life with a chip on his shoulder for whatever reason.

Throughout your career you'll end up meeting smarter, nicer people who will serve a much better mentor than this guy. Just forget about it, express your gratitude, and move on. NEVER respond back with an equally childish/immature email. If you're now a SA, you're literally going to be recruiting for the next 5+ years lol you'll forget about him in 6 months.

Congrats on the offer.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jul 28, 2020 - 3:41pm

"Getting even one solid candidate in your group each year is a huge win and makes that VP look great."

Sorry, I don't know how to quote inline. But college student here - since banking is so competitive and employers have the upper hand, don't even lower tier banks have tons of solid candidates to choose from?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Jul 28, 2020 - 10:51pm

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