Should I delay graduation by a semester for a summer internship at a large bank?

So here is the deal: although I am set to graduate next May, I somehow got an IB summer internship at a large bank(not BB, but similar to RBC, Nomura type), and might get return offer from it, so now I am thinking, should I delay graduation by a semester to do that internship?

Of course I don't have any offers right now so that's why I am thinking of delaying, and my background is: semi target, finance major, 3.7 and 2 IB internships (boutiques so no return offer). Off course there is still risk regarding that large bank cause I might not get a return offer, but I have come this far and practiced and practiced and they have a reputation of giving high return rates so I am reasonably confident that I will get a return offer if I don't screw up.

I don't know if I should delay graduation or not still. Please advise, thanks!


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Comments (86)

Oct 25, 2016 - 8:46am

If you already have an offer for a SA gig and no FT offer, I would see this as a no- brainer. The landscape is getting tougher and tougher and it seems like FT recruiting is almost wrapped up.

Precisely this.
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Oct 21, 2016 - 11:52pm

The thing here is that since I have later stated the truth that I will be graduating next May (at that time I haven't decided if I should delay graduation or not) the guy who recruited me dropped as first choice (I was top candidate tho).

So the thing is I have to convince that I will delay my graduation for this opportunity and he needs to take me back in ahead of other students, how can I best convince him?

I was going to approach it like: oh this opportunity is great I don't want to miss it, I so want to work for ur firm, pls take me!!

Is this a good approach, can't think of anything else, please advise!!

Oct 26, 2016 - 9:20am

Talk to your advisor at school and get the wheels in motion to actually delay graduation. If you have scholarships, start the process to try and get them extended another semester. Use this to convince the guy you're serious about it.

I think this is a great alternative to pursuing a masters / etc and way cheaper.

Oct 22, 2016 - 12:19am

Hiding in school and incurring more costs is a waste of time. You didn't make it in. Focus your efforts on leveraging your solid internship experience elsewhere. You'll be able to pursue an MBA down the road if you still want IB.

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Best Response
Oct 25, 2016 - 1:15am

Archer, you're usually the voice of reason on these things but that is kinda fucked up. There is no guarantee OP will get an MBA and I think it's better to get the ib bug out of the system early than when you're 28-30 and working 80-90 hour weeks as an associate. I mean if OP is paying 60k a year or something than you have a stronger argument but really now.... Is taking a semester off/taking only one class/etc. really going to change his 30-40 year career? Probably not.

Oct 25, 2016 - 1:37am

I messed up, I read it as the OP was hoping to land an internship and didn't have any offers. I was just imagining another 15k or more in student debt in order to chase something uncertain.

Having an offer for a paid internship and extending by a quarter is probably worth it. The OP should consider working their ass off at some other part-time job in the interim to cover the additional costs.

Here's what I would do, and again I apologize for being careless in my initial response:

Accept the internship. Find a job to start saving in order to offset those costs and at the same time start networking and working toward other positions with a potential start date for when you're extended graduation date is set for. You have almost a year to find other employment and I'm sure you'll be able to do so if the internship doesn't work out.


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Oct 22, 2016 - 4:24pm

I am still not sure since the opportunity cost is huge if I delay graduation (more student loans mostly) and just don't know if I should take my chances out there.

I was hoping to get more advice, thanks!

Oct 22, 2016 - 8:06pm

Take the offer and delay for half a semester and you should be able to not pay the spring semester depending on your institution

Oct 23, 2016 - 1:28pm

I'd really like to kill myself, I met with an alumni there yesterday and he basically told me because they were sensing my hesitation on the delay graduation thing, they dropped me as a candidate for now and considered other people from my school. But he said that the vp would be happy to talk on the phone either way next week.

I now feel like I am such a fool for letting this good opportunity slip away and want to convince them to take me back, how can I best convince the VP next week?

Obviously I need to tell him I am going to delay my graduation for this, but besides this anything else?

Oct 25, 2016 - 1:43am

You put this post up on Friday before the weekend. I'm not sure how long you sat on the decision before posting but it has been a business day and extending your graduation isn't an insignificant decision. The VP is happy to talk with you. I would guess you having a confidently decided decision is what they're looking for, otherwise why waste the time?

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

  • 1
Oct 25, 2016 - 1:56pm

I talked to the vp yesterday and told him I will delay my graduation for it and have confirmed it first thing in the morning with my academic advisor and she confirmed that my delaying is fine and could send you guys a letter to certify that. VP said fine I will push you through and we really want u, you are our top one candidate. He said I need to check with our HR and get back to u.

Then he responded in the afternoon saying that HR is not having it, said that "have strict guidelines on application criteria" and such. And said he was impressed by my interview performance in the first round and thus willing to consider me for future opportunities "should any future full time opportunities materialize."

I am so screwed, might as well kill myself.

Oct 25, 2016 - 3:58pm

I can't simply because I can't afford it, my parents won't fund me.

I am starting to panic now and am honestly not sure what my next step could be, I am thinking of reaching out to boutiques for sure but also think it might worth a shot to reach out to big banks on the west coast? They might still recruit for full time? Or Chicago? I will target specific groups and check with them one by one? Even that, it's gonna take a lot of time simply because there's a lot of people.

Oct 25, 2016 - 6:38pm

Yes they sent everyone a survey online to fill out early last week, at that time I really didn't make up my mind and didn't know if I could delay, so I couldn't lie about it.

Oct 25, 2016 - 8:27pm

Ok things just changed for better:

So I just got an email from Goldman said that "You are invited to participate in a digital interview, powered by HireVue. Please complete your interview by October 30, 2016."

And "You can find out which divisions are reviewing your interview by logging into the candidate portal at any time."

The thing is when I clicked the link in the email trying to find out which divisions are reviewing my interview and which group/locations I was selected to interview(I applied for multiple locations), I can't find it anything else related to that in my portal. I don't understand, where to find those info??


Oct 26, 2016 - 12:20am

1.) I have seen a few posts about hirevue lying around. 2) They must have a contact e-mail where you can e-mail and ask. It's not like they will drop you for asking.

**How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!**
Oct 26, 2016 - 12:00pm

Definitely delay a semester and take the one shot you've got. Worst case you're in the same situation in a few months- not a big deal.

I basically did the same thing a few years ago. Delayed, got a ft IB offer, and got IB out of my system while in my early 20s.

  • 1
Oct 26, 2016 - 1:06pm

I took time off of school to do an internship in the past, and it was the best decision I have ever made. What's the rush to graduate? None. Also, it sounds like this is a fantastic opportunity for you, so I think it would be dumb for you not to take it.

Oct 26, 2016 - 2:15pm

Take the internship. Work your ass off for a return offer. Enjoy life during your extra semester, taking effortless classes and drinking every day.

Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: "To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods."
Oct 26, 2016 - 3:13pm

I'd take the internship, kill it, and get a return offer. If you want to trade up for full time, you'll have to do so during the summer/early into the next academic year. Then return school for one more semester and just have fun. The opportunity cost for one semester isn't that high and the earning potential that first year w/o IBD is nothing close to your career earning potential in IBD.

Graduate after the extra semester. DO not return for a full year. Make the most out of your free time after you graduate and travel, study for the GMAT, and spend time with family/friends. Maybe teach yourself how to code, brush up on your modeling (look into Wall Street Prep & Macabacus), and continue to build your network. Maybe take it a step farther and intern at a small PE fund for a few months (don't tell the guys at your IBD gig though). That'll give you a leg up when it comes to PE recruiting. As for the chances of getting an off cycle PE gig, I don't know. It's all about your network...

Honestly it seems like you're in a good spot. (Assuming you get the FT offer), many are envious of your extra time in college and the time you'll have between graduating and starting.

Oct 26, 2016 - 3:17pm

Well shoot, I just read through the comments. Sorry that HR wouldn't work with you. Good luck with everything else - PM me if I can be of any assistance with your preparation. Look into editing your original post with updates so others don't make the same mistake.

Oct 27, 2016 - 4:17pm


In the future you need to learn how to use your frontal lobe and think ahead. If you were going to delay your graduation it would need to have seemed like a decision you made after you agreed, perhaps even after you got a return offer.

This may sound like subterfuge or dishonesty, but this exact same situation will occur throughout your career, probably about every 2-5 years if you stay in high finance. You will need to convince your bosses that you are interested in staying with the firm in your field of vision, while you will be either actively pursuing other opportunities (perhaps through recruiters) and otherwise considering one maybe even two career changes in advanced.

Honesty is good. Forest Gump honesty is unnecessary.

Best of luck with your golden retrievers

Nov 6, 2016 - 1:59pm

I did this and it was a great decision. I didn't get a return offer from a bulge bracket and delayed by a semester and was able to do another internship at a BB and got the return offer. Started fulltime. I know a kid from my school who didn't get an offer from a BB this summer and just got an offer to do an internship at an EB, so he is delaying graduation.

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:23am

Need opinion of decision whether to delay graduation to get a summer internship (Originally Posted: 08/23/2017)

I attend Baruch College and failed to get any finance internship going into my senior year. Many Wall Street firms are starting to recruit at my school. I am pondering to delay graduating for one semester to be eligible for 2018 Summer Internships. I am trying to land an internship for the fall semester while going to school to bolster my resume for FT positions. If I don't land anything for the fall semester, I am strongly considering to delay graduating. I won't be able to land any FT positions in Asset Management without decent experience. Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thank you.

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:25am

Hey! I've had a friend in the exact same position and he delayed his graduation by a semester. It gave him time to network/practice his skills enough that he found himself an internship. If you can afford it and really feel that you'd benefit from it, then do it. Take an easy no work course, and focus on recruitment.

Just an Undergrad trying to get a job. Something you disagree or dislike about my posts? Let me know by PM'ing me or commenting constructive criticism.
Nov 8, 2016 - 3:27am

Apply to full time and internships using resumes with different graduation dates. And then graduate accordingly.

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:33am

I know a girl who did exactly this. She had an internship in the BO at a BB. She realized she didn't want to be in the BO and leveraged the position to get an internship the following summer in the FO. She stayed an extra semester and got a minor then traveled for 4 months before starting full time. I really wish I had been as smart as her and had done that.

Cleverer schools have caught onto this work-around. For example, I've heard Yale requires that you graduate in four years as to prevent people from doing this sort of thing. Most schools are happy to take your money for another semester though...

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:36am

Thoughts on Internships During Senior Year/Delaying Graduation (Originally Posted: 05/07/2014)

About myself:
School: non-target, but well regarded state school
Major: Finance
Class Standing: Junior (on track to graduate end of Winter 2015)
GPA: 3.93

This summer I will be interning at a P/E fund in Seattle (almost a miracle because Seattle does not have the most robust finance scene). I recently became interested in exploring the whole IB/PE route. Since I am on track to graduate at the end of Winter quarter (2015), I was considering delaying my graduation for the following Autumn, in hopes of procuring another internship, which could potentially situate me better for full time jobs.With this being said, I am not interested in working at a BB firm, or even on Wall Street for that matter. I would be perfectly happy working in a boutique in the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, I have the opportunity this summer to improve my modeling skills and work with a group of individuals that have a pretty amazing network.

My ultimate career goal is to work at a private equity fund. Again, I am not aiming for KKR or TPG by any stretch, but rather a place where I can enjoy my work and make a respectable living. Should I delay my graduation to get more internship experience, or should I try my best during fall/winter recruiting season?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated =)

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:39am

will ge

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please
Nov 8, 2016 - 3:42am

Delaying Graduation for MM IB Internship vs. Full-Time FLDP (Originally Posted: 12/11/2015)

I wanna go to b-school later, and I want to do IB later. I got interviewed for and accepted a fortune 100 entertainment company's LDP program, but also applied online to MM IB SA's for fun and managed to get an offer...

I don't need an education on the ethical prospects of the choices that lay in front of me, as I am aware of them and will try my best to do minimal damage to the LDP firm if I renege. But in the long run, is MM IB worth delaying grad by 1 semester? I hate the idea of doing another semester of school (and I'll be cramming tons of classes to get the double major). However, some of the rotations in the LDP sound like complete boring accounting BS. The MM IB has a history of giving return offers to the vast majority of interns.


Nov 8, 2016 - 3:44am

Current junior with the chance to extend undergrad. Should I retry summer analyst recruiting next fall? (Originally Posted: 12/07/2017)

Going through junior year at a semi-target in the northeast and haven't gotten anything IB for summer yet. Interviewed for one BB and an EB this fall. Made it to EB superday but there was only 1 slot and I didn't get it. I have several MM interviews and potentially another EB interview arranged for the spring alongside an offer from a HF ($10B+, no chance of being hired afterwards) that requires me to pick up some programming experience before the summer.

My main goal is something in either RX, M&A or LevFin (in that order) banking wise because I'm focused on the sheer experience I would gain through their program and I'm not totally sure what I want long term yet in terms of BS vs SS. I have been leaning towards buy-side while developing an interest in Special Sits, Distressed and Activist strategies.

Thanks to some scholarships I'm able to graduate debt free from school so I've been debating extending my undergrad to either pick up a minor in CompSci or just take a semester off to pursue a business I've been developing with some friends that has been getting some traction in the VC space.

Either way, I could safely extend my undergrad so that I'm graduating in Fall'19 instead of Spring'19 which leads to my question, is it a bad idea to reapply for all the summer analyst 2019 applications? Would appreciate any insight as to whether or not this would look strange or seems like an opportunity I could take advantage of.

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:45am

Hi ProfitProphet, whoops, looks like nobody chimed in here.... maybe one of these discussions below is relevant:

  • Chances at MBB 1st round interview you! non target chance chances for MBB 1st round interview MBB consulting Stem mbb internship ... internship next summer (after junior year). I am an engineering major at a top 10 program, with a 3.75 and ... and leadership positions. Do you think I have a chance at MBB 1st round interviews? Any advice? Than
  • AMA: 1st Year Private Equity Analyst at a MF (KKR, BX, TPG, SLP, WP) working as a 1st year analyst at a MF PE fund (one of those listed in the title) in NYC (interned there in ... I'd give back to the community. Given the lack of info on PE Analyst programs on WSO, I thought it ... my junior summer and went back directly after graduation). Won't answer any specific questions ...
  • 1st year FLDP- thinking about quitting the program. Help please. a lot of fellow students, i didn't really know what i wanted to do with my life. By the time ... what i want to do with my future, i didn't even know what my passion is. As a result, i took ... couple of corporate finance internship & co-ops just for the sake of "doing something" and ...
  • Do's & Dont's- 1st Year Private Equity Associate There are a lot of posts on WSO about IBD, the internship, the do's & don'ts, how to ... handle PE recruiting, etc. I feel like there is a lack of material on the do's and don'ts of ... Chances are all the people you work for are former bankers; take pride in your slides when you put ...
  • 1st Year Analyst- Thoughts on Quitting I'm a 1st year analyst a BB and I'm pretty sure I'm going to quit after I get my ... 1st year bonus. I knew the hours were going to suck going into this job, but, after 6 months, I have ... What do you monkeys think? Hours quit analyst bonuses Analyst Lifestyle 1st year analyst ...
  • 1st year B-School student- should I study CFA? my target internships next summer. Also is there advice on how should I recruit OFF-campus for the ... internship in management consulting with a focus on M&A strategy OR an M&A banking internship next ... 5 B-school program). My question to the forum is: Should I con
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No promises, but maybe one of our professional members will share their wisdom: tielemans Domrep87 Lucia-Medina

You're welcome.

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:47am

Since you'd actually be gaining some value out of extending your undergrad whether you take additional coursework or continue with the startup, seems like taking the HF offer this summer and re-recruiting next year is a good choice. I know a couple people at my school who missed the boat for recruiting as juniors, added on the progressive MSF program and subsequently successfully recruited for SA-not a perfect comparison but extending undergrad isn't that strange. The HF experience might also be an interesting talking point for RX interviews especially if the fund does any credit analysis-know several RX guys who've bounced between sell side and distressed HF.


  • 1
Nov 8, 2016 - 3:48am

Since you'd actually be gaining some value out of extending your undergrad whether you take additional coursework or continue with the startup, seems like taking the HF offer this summer and re-recruiting next year is a good choice. I know a couple people at my school who missed the boat for recruiting as juniors, added on the progressive MSF program and subsequently successfully recruited for SA-not a perfect comparison but extending undergrad isn't that strange. The HF experience might also be an interesting talking point for RX interviews especially if the fund does any credit analysis-know several RX guys who've bounced between sell side and distressed HF.

I'd be working primarily in high-yield FI so I think some exposure to credit analysis is expected. As it stands the person I would be working under is a trader though so I'm not sure if that would bode better or worse than working with an analyst in terms of gained experience when trying to talk to RX or M&A groups later (not really an S&T guy).

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:49am

Extending graduation to re-recruit as a SA again? (Originally Posted: 01/19/2017)

I received an IBD summer analyst offer from a top MM/borderline BB bank earlier this fall which I happily accepted. However, I'm very disappointed with the group and location placement I received (a group most other banks don't consider to be IBD and in a non-financial hub city), and I absolutely cannot see myself working there full-time. Given how few spots there are nowadays for FT recruiting, I'm seriously considering extending my graduation to re-recruit as an IBD SA again for other banks. I feel like I would have a better second shot at recruiting given my experiences going through the process once already and my soon-to-be beefed up CV with my upcoming internship. However, does anyone have experiences with doing similar? Do BB/EB/MM banks care if you extend graduation just to re-recruit as a SA? Anyone have any advice with attempting such a move?

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:51am

I definitely thought about that option. However I got stuck in a weird group which isn't really considered to be "investment banking" and where the skillset I'd be gaining wouldn't really be transferable to a traditional IBD product/industry group. Also, I'd be in a non-financial hub city which makes networking tougher with people in NY, SF, etc. And with lateraling being such an uncertain and unstructured process, I feel like recruiting as a SA again would be a safer path. Any thoughts?

Nov 8, 2016 - 3:55am

probably Charlotte Wells Fargo

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Nov 8, 2016 - 3:59am

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