Recent Graduate - now what?

I Do Even's picture
Rank: Baboon | 106

I'm in London and I graduated this summer. I've got quite a bit of work experience - I did an SA last year but at areas I wasn't interested/no offer - and I'm currently doing an SA at a MM (S&T).

However, I recently learned that the way they do their graduate scheme, there is very little chance of them having any spaces for the coming September. It's unfortunate because I think I've performed far, far better this time round and my manager has been very positive with feedback etc.

Considering I'm a graduate, what do I do now? Do I apply for FT and/or off-cycle internships? I can't really apply for SA but FT is filled with mainly SA and it seems more and more banks hire their interns. Do off-cycles offer much of an opportunity to start FT? I'm getting worried because many places seem reluctant to hire FT and just do long internships etc.

Comments (9)

Jul 30, 2014

If you're being honest about your manager giving you very positive feedback then I'd say that this is far from a worst case scenario. He should be willing to write you a good recommendation and hopefully introduce you to people he knows in the industry as well.

I don't know how London works but I would be striving for a FT role.

Jul 30, 2014

I would definitely ask him for advice and help at the end if it doesn't work out.

It's not the worst case scenario, but it's not great either. It seems to me that networking in London (at my level) isn't as effective as it is in the US. It seems far more structured that you apply online and go from there. Everyone I know from previous internships got it from applying online, as well as the few FTs I know too.

Jul 30, 2014

But applying online shouldn't necessarily be bad for you. You have a MM bank on your resume and should have a good recommendation.

Jul 30, 2014

Maybe, but I think the issue is that there's very, very few positions left when you apply for FT. At least in London, it seems very structured (Spring Weeks, then SA, then Grad). Thus, quite a few banks don't even hire for FT (JPM etc.) and the ones that do are usually filled with people who have offers elsewhere and shop it. Ones I know who did get FT without offers before went to less competitive FO areas.

My main issue is applying for the wrong thing (and you can only usually apply to one thing from the bank) and just making a mistake. I applied this year mainly for FT and many got back to me quickly saying they had no positions left, so I would have been far better off having applied for SA and had a shot.

Jul 31, 2014

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Jul 30, 2014

Well, it seems unlikely at this stage. Like I said, I'm doing quite well I'd say but HR has told me that they're very uncertain of what will happen. To me, "uncertain" means unlikely. It's annoying because I'm not sure I'd have taken it if I knew this before. When I applied I was told they were looking to take on people. I could have potentially gone to a smaller shop but actually had a chance to get an offer.

Jul 31, 2014

Networking doesn't work in the UK as well as it works in the USA (I have had people from the USA people refer me into UK offices, but never UK people refer me for UK offices). Even then USA people tell you to contact alumni or ask your current network (haha - why would I be on the phone to you if I had a network to refer me???) so I wouldn't waste too much time on this. Recommendations are useless too unless the person is very senior and literally goes out of their way to pull for you (unlikely no offence because you are just an intern).

The best thing you can do is the following:
1. Contact recruitment agencies e.g. Dartmouth Partners and explain your situation etc. They always have mandates they are looking to fill. Your highest chance is here esp because you have relevant experience.
2. Try and extend your internship with your current firm - easier to interview etc elsewhere while being employed.
3. Refocus your search to smaller places if you still want to do banking. It's true - no spring weeks, and definitely no BB summer internships, puts you in a bad position generally (to break into a BB) unless you know someone at the firm willing to pull for you (and even then its really competitive) or you have the specific language skills for the opening. I learnt this the hard way so please don't be offended when I say 'lower expectations'.
4. I'm unsure if you have done a Masters already but if not, claim you are doing one next year, and apply for summer etc spots again.

I don't understand this: 'I recently learned that the way they do their graduate scheme, there is very little chance of them having any spaces for the coming September.'
Have they filled positions from last summers interns? Surely if you are a good performer they will just keep you on? Or at least put you in next years class? If they can put you in next years class, you have the leverage you need to get into off-cycles etc.


Jul 30, 2014

Essentially their grad scheme is 2 years. They were expecting to not hire for this year but they thought they may have a place or two for immediate start in September. Now, they are uncertain if there are any spots left. Even with an offer, couldn't really start in 2 years time as that's just silly.

I've done Spring Weeks and Summer Internships before. If anything it may look badly on me because I did go to a target, achieved the top grade, did the internships... and yet no offers. So employers may well wonder what's going on if I did so well at uni and to get internships but seemingly can't convert them.

Will look into the points you made. Certainly lying about doing a Masters is a strong option. But I'd be applying now for next year's SA so they'd probably ask why I plan on doing nothing for a year. An SA is possible but it's just that I would do nothing for a year and that certainly won't look good. Plus, no guarantees of an offer; I may be the best intern ever but with no spots available it doesn't mean a lot. I can't just keep doing internships...

Jul 31, 2014