Renege on FT return offer to work outside IB?

Intern in IB - Ind

I'm a SA in a top BB group that is doing well (GS/MS/etc), and I have pretty much been told that I will receive a return offer. However, I am now also confident that I would like to work in a different industry.

I have some past internships, and I'm 90% sure I can secure another job there before graduation. However, given the current circumstances and lack of hiring across the board, I do not feel like turning down the investment banking offer since the group is doing well and I definitely do not want to shoot myself in the foot and end up unemployed after graduating.

My current plan is to accept the offer but then start recruiting elsewhere, and if I can't secure anything, work in IB for a year and move out.

I was wondering if there are any negative consequences to doing this? It wouldn't affect the offers of the other interns, since it looks like everyone is getting one. The only consequences I can think of are having to return a signing bonus and some tax hassle if I cancel the contract after getting the bonus. Are there any other consequences you all foresee? Thank you for the help!

Comments (12)

  • Prospect in 
Aug 1, 2020

Interested. I'm in the same boat. The pay sounds nice along with the resume addition but I just don't like the work, the hours, the culture, or staying in NYC (Stern student). It's just not for me.

I'm going to accept the offer and then work on recruiting at a F500 company or something using that offer as leverage. My plan is to make an excel spreadsheet of all the companies that I'm interested in working in and where their offices are located and then network aggressively with recruiters while I'm still in school. Hoping to pick up at least one other internship this fall/spring as well to add onto the resume.

    • 1
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Aug 1, 2020

I hope it works out for you! I happen to like the culture/location and the people are great, but I just cannot justify the hours and the amount of grunt work when I could be making similar amounts elsewhere. I had to do the internship to realize haha, but I guess it is all for the better. With IB on your resume, hopefully it makes the recruiting process a bit easier for you, good luck.

Aug 1, 2020

Where else can you make that money out of school? Not arguing just curious.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 1, 2020

Signing bonuses at BB are paid out the following spring, you won't have any issues with that.

Typically don't advise to renege, but given that you're going a different direction (not reneging for some marginally better group) and the current hiring situation you should be fine. I'd try to make your decision by October or November so you don't screw your SA bank though

    • 3
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Aug 1, 2020

Thank you for the helpful info! Good to know I won't have any issues with the bonuses. I'm definitely trying to make it as clean as possible -- I like the group and the people are great -- just the hours/lifestyle aren't my cup of tea given that I can make similar amounts in another industry. I'll try and get another offer and let them know sooner than later!

  • VP in IB-M&A
Aug 2, 2020

Don't see any issues with this given it's a different line of business. You'll piss some people off, but they'll forget about it quickly.

Not sure if you've considered just sticking it out for two years and then moving over? I know the work is BS, but I tend to think there are benefits to starting out in banking that aren't often talked about - work ethic, time management, dealing with stress, building relationships, etc. and even something small like learning how to write emails. Sounds like the other line of work may be more technical, but having this experience under your belt could also make you more marketable and desirable.

I know this could end up being the route you take if you don't secure the offer, but just something to think about...

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 5, 2020