Realised IBD is not for me after 3 weeks into my internship - what to do

Really worked hard and got several internships offers at top BBs. But after starting and testing the late nights. I always feel tired and dread receiving a skype message. Plus to be honest I am not very good at the work and take way more time for everything and it is still filled with mistakes.

Does the exhaustion improve or does it only get worse. My group is super busy and this is my first internship - so might be that. But I don't really care about the return offer and thinking about recruiting for other things. 

Do you guys have any advice

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Comments (21)

Jul 9, 2021 - 7:06pm

^this, regardless of how you feel after 7 weeks (bear in mind you've completed less than 50% of the internship before casting judgement, though I still think that is fair) having completed a top BB summer internship will bolster your CV a lot and help you recruit for other things.  Also, might as well get that bag right?

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 10, 2021 - 2:35pm

Stick it out champ - it's just 7 weeks and you're getting paid well for a college student. Get the offer first and find out what you want to do later. IB internship looks great on a resume regardless of what you're doing

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jul 10, 2021 - 2:47pm

Keep trying and hustling for another 7 weeks. You need the return offer to recruit well, that is your main goal. Biggest advice is to keep up a good attitude, even if you don't want to do banking don't get frustrated and lose an offer. If you hate it now don't fall into accepting the FT offer, it will get way worse when you start for real. 

Would spend 3-4 weeks thinking about what you want to do, and the tail end of your internship networking in those fields. You will be extremely competitive coming out of IB so don't worry too much

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 10, 2021 - 3:05pm

OP - here, thank you for the advice. I was always planning on finishing for the internship but wanted to know if it becomes more bearable and that answers my question.

A few development since 

Bad news: Had a catch-up with my analyst, He basically told me that I don't have the basics corporate skills right and (Excel, PPT) right at the moment and that it will be extremely hard for me to convert my internship. He said it is a shame I joined a top BB group at this stage that he strongly thinks I can be a good analyst after 2 internship.  

Good news: I already have an off-cycle in IBD at a mid-BB locked in and would probably be there while recruiting for something else in AM or a corporate commercial role. 

My question is how bad not converting the IBD internship right now will prevent me from getting a FT somewhere else

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jul 10, 2021 - 4:06pm

It's not ideal but it's not going to shut you out from other internships at all. Much easier to recruit outside of IB than to have no offer and still set on IB elsewhere.

You'll just need a good answer for why you didn't get a return. It's totally okay to just say that you realized early on that IB wasn't for you and it overall wasn't a good fit, but you're more excited about an opportunity at company because reason. Basically have a one or two liner and then redirect for why you want the next opportunity. You will still be successful elsewhere, don't stress too much 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 11, 2021 - 2:19pm

Do any interns have Excel and PPT down? Am also at a BB and all that ask of us is to try, seems weird that a couple weeks in, your analyst has already expected a lot from you in terms of Excel and PPT

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Jul 12, 2021 - 4:32pm

Hard for me to comment but it's also hard for me to believe your skills are that poor compared to other interns a few weeks in. That said, you're going to be fine and better to figure out now that it's not for you than later. 

Jul 10, 2021 - 2:51pm

Agree with the above. Even if you don't want to return to IB, getting that return offer is paramount to your recruiting efforts elsewhere...

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

Jul 11, 2021 - 6:02pm

1. complete your summer internship fully to the best of your abilities. You don't need to be perfect, you just need to do your bit because your team needs you. You will also be made more employable for your dream role for it.

2. articulate for yourself what it is that you would like to do and if the role exists at your BB (which it inevitably will, BBs are microcosms), contact HR to see if a transfer is possible after your programme, especially if they already recruit in the early careers space for it, they might have headcount for you, which means you might have a surprise grad job out of it.

3. Have an honest conversation with your immediate managers to express diplomatically and professionally how the role isn't for you, how you would still like to support them, and how you can mitigate this situation as a team. If they are reasonable, they will understand and they will appreciate your candour.

4. A lot of us actually start out in a job we hate before we inevitably gravitate towards the perfect fit. 

Don't despair, you'll be fine - just stick at it for now.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 12, 2021 - 12:57pm

Finish the internship, and recruit other places. It's easier if you have an offer, but if you don't, it's not the end of the world at all.

I know an analyst who didn't receive an offer from their internship and later ended up at a top group at GS/MS. Ultimately, ever interview comes down to how you sell yourself and the situation.

Keep your head up and pushing through, but also congrats on potentially learning the job isn't for you and being honest enough and knowing yourself well enough to realize the job isn't what you want.

Does it get better? Yes, it gets easier. Eventually the stress you get put under becomes less stressful and fire drills and criticism don't affect you like it used to. That said, you will continue to work late nights for the internship and the analyst stint and most jobs don't have the expectation you will be up at 1am or respond to emails on within an hour on weekends.

Jul 12, 2021 - 2:04pm

finish the summer...plan on using this experience as leverage to get a job in a different industry...thats the whole point for 75% of college grads who get a job in IB...they full intend to leave for a different job...IB is just great training to get a foothold into many other jobs.

so, suck it up buttercup...tough out the rest of the summer, and then get a different job next summer.  You are probably getting paid decent money in the meantime

just google're welcome
  • Intern in CorpStrat
Jul 15, 2021 - 4:35pm

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