Really unsatisfied with SA group placement and looking for advice?

Oassany's picture
Rank: Monkey | 35

I received an IBD summer analyst offer from a top MM (borderline BB) bank in the fall which I happily accepted. However it was only a platform offer subject to later group and location placement. I just got my group and location placement and I'm very, very disappointed.

I got placed in my absolute dead last pick in a group most other banks wouldn't even consider "real investment banking" (and with 0 exit opps into PE or corp dev.) and in a less than desirable city (not NYC, SF, Houston, LA, Chicago, or Boston). I definitely plan to work my ass off during the summer and get the return offer, but I really cannot see myself working in the same group/city full-time and was wondering what my options are. The way I see it, I can:

  1. Try to get a FT return offer at a different group/city within the same bank.
  2. Go through FT IBD recruiting and get an offer at different bank/group/city (I've heard that FT recruiting is almost non-existent nowadays for IBD)
  3. Extend my graduation and go through SA IBD recruiting again for other banks.

Any thoughts/opinions/idea/suggestions or anything that I'm missing?

Comments (53)

Best Response
Jan 18, 2017

So Wells Fargo in Charlotte on one of their hybrid teams that is borderline commercial banking?

    • 13
Jan 19, 2017

No comment.

Jan 18, 2017

Hoo boy, Wells Fargo again. I was in the exact same situation as you last year, although I managed to make it work with full time recruiting in the end. I've posted about this before, so I'll just copy paste that (feel free to PM me for more specific advice):

Last year, I took an investment banking offer at Wells Fargo but then got placed in a non-ideal group. From what I've seen, Wells has a tendency to do a crappy job of placing its interns, and a lot of summer analysts end up in groups in which they have no interest. This is probably because unlike other firms, Wells uses a single pool of interns for all of its groups instead of running separate pools for its capital markets teams, asset-backed finance group, corporate finance group, etc.

Overall, my summer wasn't actually so bad: I liked most of the people in my group, and my hours ended up being pretty light, which was an unexpected plus. Still, I knew that I didn't want to work in my group for full-time. Fortunately, I was able to work my way out of it.

You basically have 3 options at this point:
1. Move to a better group within Wells after the internship
2. Lateral to a different bank after the internship
3. Screw it and move to an entirely different industry (aka what I did)

All three options are entirely possible, if you're proactive about it. In other words, I've seen people do all three.

Generally, it's easier to make a move if you're in New York, whether you want to stay at Wells or lateral to a different bank. I've seen one person move from public finance in New York to TMT in Charlotte after his internship, for instance (Charlotte teams usually have more room than New York teams for transfers). Another guy in the corporate finance IBD group lateraled to Evercore.

It's not impossible to move in Charlotte either, though it's a little harder if your end goal is New York. One summer analyst on my team in Charlotte just moved to Credit Suisse in New York. Don't know exactly how he pulled it off, giving the logistical difficulties of networking and interviewing in New York when you're based in North Carolina, but it happens.

Finally, there's me. Working in banking made me realize that I didn't especially enjoy banking, regardless of the group I was in. So by the 3rd week of July, I had opened up the old networking excel sheet, and started making calls to alumni all over. I was also interested in consulting, so I started practicing case interviews on my weekends in Charlotte. I went through the standard full time recruiting process in September and October, and interviewed at a whole bunch of asset managers and consulting firms. Networking also landed me my only equity research interview, at a top group in New York (full time equity research hiring was slim to none this year, so I was pretty lucky to get this interview). Things went pretty well- I converted my one equity research interview, which was actually one of my top picks, and I've just signed on to work there full time.

Key takeaways from the whole process? Start networking early- I started networking at the halfway point in my internship, but since you're already so sure of things, you should start even earlier. I don't know the exact timeline for networking if you want to lateral, since I wasn't interested in doing so personally, but I'm sure there's plenty of threads on this forum about that. And try your best to get the offer at the end of the internship. It's not the end of the world if you don't (consulting firms don't seem to care, for instance), but it'll make your life a lot easier, since it's almost impossible to move in banking without one as leverage.

    • 4
Jan 21, 2017

How common was it for people to lateral to a different bank full-time? Also, how difficult was it for you to network with people in NY over the summer?

Jan 18, 2017

To be honest, I haven't bothered to keep up with most of the people in my group since I left, so I only know about the one guy at Credit Suisse. I don't think it's terribly common, but that's mostly because a lot of people don't try.

Since I didn't bother to lateral, I didn't need to physically go up to New York for interviews at any point in my internship (all of my interviews happened during my senior year in September and October). As a result, my networking solely consisted of calling alumni in equity research, Asset Management, and consulting over the phone. It wasn't too difficult- assuming you're working in the group that I think you're working at, you should have a fair amount of free time over the summer to make these calls.

Jan 19, 2017

Charlotte would actually be a pretty cool place to spend a summer. The whole group situation sounds awful, but Charlotte is by no means a shitty place to spend 3-4 months.

Jan 19, 2017

For me, I just didn't really vibe with the city when I visited. And its really limited in terms of networking opportunities making it harder to recruit for post-banking opportunities.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2017

lol didn't vibe with the city

    • 3
Jan 20, 2017
Oassany:

For me, I just didn't really vibe with the city when I visited. And its really limited in terms of networking opportunities making it harder to recruit for post-banking opportunities.

You'll be an intern. You're not networking for post-banking opportunities just yet. Crush the internship, get the offer, and move on from that chapter of your life.

Jan 21, 2017

what group

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

    • 1
Jan 21, 2017

Do the SA and network with other people in the firm and in banking. Even if you don't end up staying in your group or with your firm, it's good experience.

Jan 21, 2017

Make sure you work hard and get an offer. You can then try to move elsewhere in the bank or to another bank. If you don't get an offer this will be a lot more difficult to do, so be careful how you voice your displeasure.

Also, you may be surprised and enjoy the group once you're actually in it.

    • 1
Jan 21, 2017

Well this begs the obvious question of what group you're on...

Jan 21, 2017

It's SA dude, try not to make a big deal out of it.. do it well and you might end up in the best group in the firm for your FT stint

Jan 21, 2017

I don't have any real advice for you other than to keep your contacts from SA networking open and trying to see if moving between groups is possible at this bank. I would only ask very close contacts and not anyone in the actual group this.

I would certainly suggest entering your SA stint with a positive attitude. You may very well enjoy the space after all.

Jan 21, 2017

Based on your past posts, I'm assuming that you're working at Wells Fargo? In which case, you're in a similar situation to where I was last year- I took an investment banking offer at Wells Fargo but then got placed in a non-ideal group. From what I've seen, Wells has a tendency to do a crappy job of placing its interns, and a lot of summer analysts end up in groups in which they have no interest. This is probably because unlike other firms, Wells uses a single pool of interns for all of its groups instead of running separate pools for its capital markets teams, asset-backed finance group, corporate finance group, etc.

Overall, my summer wasn't actually so bad: I liked most of the people in my group, and my hours ended up being pretty light, which was an unexpected plus. Still, I knew that I didn't want to work in my group for full-time. Fortunately, I was able to work my way out of it.

You basically have 3 options at this point:
1. Move to a better group within Wells after the internship
2. Lateral to a different bank after the internship
3. Screw it and move to an entirely different industry (aka what I did)

All three options are entirely possible, if you're proactive about it. In other words, I've seen people do all three.

Generally, it's easier to make a move if you're in New York, whether you want to stay at Wells or lateral to a different bank. I've seen one person move from public finance in New York to TMT in Charlotte after his internship, for instance (Charlotte teams usually have more room than New York teams for transfers). Another guy in the corporate finance IBD group lateraled to Evercore.

It's not impossible to move in Charlotte either, though it's a little harder if your end goal is New York. One summer analyst on my team in Charlotte just moved to Credit Suisse in New York. Don't know exactly how he pulled it off, giving the logistical difficulties of networking and interviewing in New York when you're based in North Carolina, but it happens.

Finally, there's me. Working in banking made me realize that I didn't especially enjoy banking, regardless of the group I was in. So by the 3rd week of July, I had opened up the old networking excel sheet, and started making calls to alumni all over. I was also interested in consulting, so I started practicing case interviews on my weekends in Charlotte. I went through the standard full time recruiting process in September and October, and interviewed at a whole bunch of asset managers and consulting firms. Networking also landed me my only equity research interview, at a top group in New York (full time equity research hiring was slim to none this year, so I was pretty lucky to get this interview). Things went pretty well- I converted my one equity research interview, which was actually one of my top picks, and I've just signed on to work there full time.

Key takeaways from the whole process? Start networking early- I started networking at the halfway point in my internship, but since you're already so sure of things, you should start even earlier. I don't know the exact timeline for networking if you want to lateral, since I wasn't interested in doing so personally, but I'm sure there's plenty of threads on this forum about that. And try your best to get the offer at the end of the internship. It's not the end of the world if you don't (consulting firms don't seem to care, for instance), but it'll make your life a lot easier, since it's almost impossible to move in banking without one as leverage.

    • 4
Jan 21, 2017

Unlikely OP is talking about Wells since group placements haven't gone out yet except for sophomore/diversity kids, but good advice regardless.

Jan 21, 2017

A good friend was extremely unhappy with the group he got placed in. Didn't network with anyone in the group and it didn't feature in the preferred groups he submitted to HR. He had no idea why he got placed in the group and it really irritated him. During the summer he came to love the group and secured a return offer. He is now extremely happy to be starting his analyst programme with that group.

You may well come to love working with this group. In the event that you don't, ensure you secure a return offer anyhow. "I didn't perform well as I didn't like my group" is not a good excuse for no return offer. Network with other groups throughout the summer and you may be able to change to another group, assuming you secure a return offer.

    • 2
Jan 21, 2017

Enjoy it and do your best. You can't really say if you like the group before you've actually started (and have no prior experience in banking). TMT or whatever might seem really sexy, but who knows, you might really like the group you've been placed in.

What else are you to do? Bitch about it probably won't do much and you should try to get the return offer even if you don't accept it later on.

Jan 21, 2017

Do it, network like crazy and never, ever tell anyone you don't like the group--just watch for an opportunity to go elsewhere and grab it if it comes your way. I had a less than satisfactory internship--not in Finance--in another industry--when I was in highschool and a bit of an argument with one of the execs who was my direct supervisor over something minor pretty much terminated my relationship with him--I tried to contact him to try and network my way into VC later on and never got a response. I know its a highschool experience--but trust me--I learned my lesson to be very careful about that kind of thing. And I agree with the post above--"I don't like the group" is not an excuse for not doing your best--because the last thing you want anyone to think is you're lazy/unfocused etc.

Jan 21, 2017

Hey as long as your earning good money don't whine about it. Try to do good get FT, progress from analyst to associate, do an MBA, and then you create your future..

    • 2
Jan 21, 2017

Make sure you're the top SA and request to transfer groups once you receive a return offer. Buddy up with some people in the group you want to be placed in and maybe have them try going to bat for you after you receive a return offer. I've seen several instances where interns screw this up and end up without a return offer. A bird in the hand

Jan 19, 2017

What group are you in? I can offer some insight because some of those groups that are not "investment banking" are actually a mix of trading and banking, which is great too.

Jan 19, 2017

I can give you a hint: The Big Short. I've been on a trading floor before and it just didn't really seem like the right fit for me personally and I've always preferred a more traditional industry/product IBD group.

Jan 21, 2017

Piss and moan on an anonymous internet forum.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    • 1
Jan 21, 2017

Hi Anaconda! I have an interview with the CRMA gropu and would love some insight into how the interview process is for the group. Please let me know! Thanks!!

Jan 19, 2017

Are you going to keep posting the same thread topic under different names to see if people will either A. applaud you, or B. are you just waiting for someone to give you affirmation?

Nothing personal, but don't repeatably post about your internship role.

if you hate it that much, apply for other things, renege on the offer and move to a major city, or take the role, get a full time offer work 1 to 2 years and lateral and use some of the Asset Backed finance knowledge and leverage it into some other front office role.

It is doable.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2017

Sorry about that, I only posted one other thread under this same username. I'm just really stressed out about the whole situation and trying to get as much advice as I can.

Jan 19, 2017

Not trying to be a dick, and i understand that it can be stressful when deciding what to do. If you are really turned off by the role and you know you will truly be unhappy then ask if there is possibility to switch placements. If not, then keep looking and if you need too, it isn't ideal, but you can renege on the offer. Lastly, if nothing else lands, work for a bit like i said in my previous message. Who knows you may like it after all. Charlotte is beautiful, it isn't NYC but still a young city, and you can try to lateral 1-yr out within the same bank or leave.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2017

Private message me. It's easier to discuss

Jan 21, 2017

You'll just have to work harder, that's simply it. Look man,this forum is by far one of the best places to discuss jobs related to finance, and a lot of experienced users that post here are successful professionals that hand out solid advice. BUT a lot of people on here also gargle Goldman's sach,and have zero experience on how the process actually works. Your first job is by no means your last job, or your career defining one. You are no less than the kid who got a Blackstone M&A gig. Once you realize that a lot of factors go into what we call "recruiting", and nailing every single category, and just simply not giving a fuck after that is what'll make your life hell of a lot easier. You might need to work harder to get to the buyside, but no no means is it impossible.

I think- therefore I fuck

Jan 22, 2017

Hey man you probably haven't heard yet, if you're not in Goldman TMT your life is over

Jan 21, 2017

Remember that there are other programs that will open up in the spring. For example, I just saw a listing for HSBC IB sA position.

Jan 22, 2017

1) Be happy you have a job and you aren't getting your offer rescinded.

2) Why do you seemingly hate this particular group? is it the people? If it's the product/industry, give it a chance...you might grow to like it. I'm sure someone else can offer insight if the problem is that you can't stand the people.

3)I wouldnt angle for another job right now (if that's what you meant). And, i think your options on the analyst are limited. You have no real skillset that would be beneficial in another job and I wouldn't leave your offer on the table if the only reason is because of group placement. I think the best idea would be to stay at least 6 months to a year, build a good foundation in terms of technical skills and maybe either try internally moving to another group or maybe lateral to another bank.

Jan 22, 2017

My issue is a combination of the people and the industry. In short, I got my least desirable choice. Are internal moves particularly feasible in this market?

Jan 22, 2017

just a matter of how good you are at selling yourself; i know ppl who have switched regardless of conditions, etc

my recommendation would be to always stay on the lookout for another job; it can never hurt right, as long as you are disciplined about it. but in the meanwhile, start at this bank if you have to, and be really nice to everyone, your group, go out of your way to make friends with HR, network with other groups and just make people aware that you want to move, not because you dislike the group, but because your future plans are not in line with the skillset you will gain in the group you are in. be low key about it, but also remember, no one really cares if you want to switch groups, as long as you do a good job for the people you are working for at the time; i know i wouldn't give a hoot, i mean why would i? that would just be malicious of me for no reason.

Jan 22, 2017
wallstreetguy25:

go out of your way to make friends with HR, network with other groups and just make people aware that you want to move, not because you dislike the group, but because your future plans are not in line with the skillset you will gain in the group you are in... no one really cares if you want to switch groups, as long as you do a good job for the people you are working for at the time...

I have to disagree with this. I don't think you should make it known to your group that you are looking to move, especially before you even give the group a chance. It seems like your mind is made up for you already, and that's an attitude that you have to be careful doesn't show through in your work. People definitely DO care if you want to switch groups, I had a personal experience where after a deal I did the Sponsors group was actively recruiting me to their group and went over my head to proactively talk to my group head about it - people were very unhappy, and rightfully so. If you're a good worker, people definitely want to keep you in the group - it's a pain in the ass to have to replace an analyst that you know is good, and there's never a seamless transition.

Jan 22, 2017

Honestly, in this market, I would just suck it up. I didn't get the least desirable group a couple years back, but I did end up somewhere I didn't want to be (2nd- and 3rd-years working consistent 120s, very uneven staffing, weird politics). I think if I had made any noise about it, I would have been frowned upon.

There are some groups where there is no such thing as "doing a good job" as a first-year analyst. It's practically binomial: it's either "I haven't seen enough to know how good he is," or "We need to hurry up and fire that guy." I think someone who comes in complaining (even subtly, even with good reason) is going to get squished. Malice doesn't even come into it; it's simple expedience. If someone isn't 100% thrilled and happy to be there, if he's shopping for a job in a different group or bank, get him out and bring in the next guy in line. Even if they don't go that far: it will almost certainly affect your bonus. I don't personally know of anyone who got top bonus without doing a decent amount of grinning and drinking of Kool-Aid. And people who openly look for different positions (whether it's at the bank next door or one floor down) tend to get smacked down in one way or another.

Not all groups are like this, of course. If you're at a small firm, a non-traditional firm, or a small group, you may have a better shot at getting what you want. The conservative move, however and the one I recommend, is to suck it up nonetheless. Not only will your job be a lot safer, you'll be in good company. Let me tell you: we aren't all out here working in a recession with our banks closing down around our ears and still trying to find the ultimate job that will fulfill us and make us happy. Sometimes you gotta love the one you're with.

Jan 22, 2017

Assuming you haven't started yet, then you really have very little idea what you are talking about. Personally I was placed in my last choice, in a weird industry, with (what I thought at the time) shit people. However, I made some lemonade, worked hard, learned, found the people weren't so bad and leveraged it into a decent exit opp (albiet after a year).

The best way to keep all your options open is to work hard, talk to senior people, and make yourself into a top analyst at WHATEVER YOU DO. Otherwise, you'll end up with everyone thinking you are the worst analyst who they couldn't sell to another group. Wait until you actually have done some work in the group to make these decisions.

Unless its ECM, then you are just screwed.

Jan 22, 2017

"Unless its ECM, then you are just screwed."

Would you mind clarifying what you mean with this sentence?

Jan 22, 2017

So, I was wondering if anyone would comment on that, obviously no one actually in the business would. Its a semi-joke with regards to the work, exit opps, and general quality of ECM. As a broad generalization, ECM analysts are completely worthless, do no work, hate their lives and can't get a job in PE. In addition, the hedgies would kind of rather you actually did S&T as opposed the hybrid role of producing daily market updates, shareholder runs, and printing out documents for more senior people.

Obviously anyone who reads this can disagree, I don't really care, it was one of those snide remarks that is fun to work into generally helpful posts.

Jan 22, 2017

Well said PowerMonkey. Don't think you'll find too many that disagree. Even more funny once you realize how often the "unless you work in ECM" comment is dropped.

Jan 22, 2017
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