Stop with the toxic prestige BS

Seriously for all of you freshman and sophomores in college, prestige is not going to make you happy in life I promise. I got an offer from one of the top groups that you all seem to fantasize about and turned it down for a firm that is almost never talked about on here. I am much happier than my friend that I recruited with that accepted that top IB offer. I fit perfectly into the culture of my bank, my time is actually respected by the senior team, and my pay is far above his. If you're only going to a group for prestige and not because you're a cultural fit, then I am sorry to say you're going to hate your banking years and will probably burnout quickly

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (32)

Most Helpful
Jun 3, 2020 - 8:42am
Analyst 2 in IB - Ind:

Seriously for all of you freshman and sophomores in college, prestige is not going to make you happy in life I promise. I got an offer from one of the top groups that you all seem to fantasize about and turned it down for a firm that is almost never talked about on here. I am much happier than my friend that I recruited with that accepted that top IB offer. I fit perfectly into the culture of my bank, my time is actually respected by the senior team, and my pay is far above his. If you're only going to a group for prestige and not because you're a cultural fit, then I am sorry to say you're going to hate your banking years and will probably burnout quickly

I definitely agree with the sentiment that prestige is a false idol so sorry to call you out on this, but it 1000% looks like you created this thread to humble-brag. This could easily be a reddit copypasta, dude.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
  • 20
Jun 3, 2020 - 8:46am

can you share a few subreddits about investment banking or finance? Certainly not r/IBD! because that one was about inflammatory bowel disease.

  • 1
Jun 3, 2020 - 9:04am

I don't actually use Reddit for banking or finance stuff, so sorry I can't be helpful on that front, haha

Was more just referencing the practice of using copypasta in general

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jun 3, 2020 - 8:51am

Agreed. Every time I see the word "prestige" on here, I think of the Nolan movie (which is a classic/must-watch btw)

  • 3
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 3, 2020 - 11:38am

stopped reading when I saw 'got an offer.' Don't know, don't care.

Jun 3, 2020 - 12:56pm

It's too bad you can't share your firm name, because I think it would help a lot of people to know there are many other options. The same 25 names (and mainly about 10) are consistently all that's discussed here.

Years ago I took a job with the underdog of the top 5 to 7 (depending on the year) by league table for my DCM space. It was like a miracle from God, so to speak - the way they say the Universe leads you where you belong? It just made sense. I just had this kind of comment on another current post about top rankings. You know it when you see it - it's not all about name brand!

Pick the place where things feel right when you interview, where you connect with your prospective colleagues, where they like you without you TRYING SO HARD! to fit the mold of what perfect personality is desirable for that shop. Because within a few months, you gotta be yourself.

Way back when, I graduated with my MBA from a great school and got in interview with...dun dah dun!!! JPM! Wow! Lucky me! As I went through, the people felt sooo wrong to me. I have one very distinct memory of a young woman in a designer suit at her condescending ...questions were so negative....I thought "just LOOK! at her! She is the picture of MISERY!" She looked disheveled, exhausted, MISERABLE. Of course she was bitter - she was the picture of unhappiness and stress at work. She kind of demanded why I wanted to work in banking now, after 4 years at a Big 4 (in a prestigious department). As if just because I'd started out with a different path and put in 4 years I must work in that field for another 40 years. I was a whopping 25 - uhhhh, no, honey bunny. I'm not staying put just because you think you're hot shit...

I found my other position and never looked back, never sought to switch firms even tho money was better elsewhere. I'd interviewed there and found myself laughing and completely connecting with every single interviewer (about 7). I wasn't exhausted after many hours of chatting - it was totally fun. Such smart guys, we are all still in touch, and I still love them all.

I'm all for prestige, and it's only "toxic" if you somehow feel maybe a little envious, or uncertain (can we admit that? It's ok!) But seriously - if someplace is not a fit, it's not a fit. You are still a huge success and highly accomplished. Don't internalize other people's shit (because that's what this prestige thing is) - that is their issue to overcome.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 3, 2020 - 10:29pm

If you don't mind me asking, I'm curious what banks you think aren't typically mentioned that are great spots to be? Agree that there isn't enough info on this forum on lesser known/lesser prestige banks that seem like amazing places to end up.

Jun 4, 2020 - 1:39pm

Even the commercial banks not frequently named herein that have DCM or loan syndications, or M&A adjacent roles are great. I never see Stout mentioned here, I know several people working there who are very happy, or the mid-size accounting/advisory firms that have M&A Advisory, like BDO (also have contact there who seem very motivated and happy), etc. Maybe Valuations is an interesting related avenue for some people here - yes, it's not as sexy, but there's a fit for every personality, and sometimes what a student or recent grad is positive they want isn't all they find it to be.

If you go onto LinkedIn and search in Jobs for IB, there are really so many additional banks and other names, without even trying to categorize and "tier" them.

I just think people should be open-minded, give themselves the opportunity to truly compare environments and opportunities. You're not any sort of failure for choosing a non-BB/EB firm, or a finance position that is not straight up TMT IB. People are being very hard on themselves.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 3, 2020 - 2:07pm

I'm from a nontarget that sends pretty much no one to IB. We send more finance majors to MLM schemes than F100 companies. I networked constantly and ended up getting an offer at RBC. Despite that I feel pretty unaccomplished and disappointed with the result. I spent hundreds of hours (literally) networking and studying only to end up there. And whenever I tell someone in person I'm at RBC they're very impressed, especially given my background, but it feels empty. And a lot of that has to do with this forum. People constantly shit on similar caliber firms, but especially RBC. I really wanted to end up at an EB, but obviously I didn't. I'm going to try my shot at FT recruiting but given the current environment I'm not too confident about my odds. I also want to end up in PE and I know this starts me off at a disadvantage.

But then I think of how many other people would want to be in my shoes right now because they can't get a regional boutique offer let alone RBC and here I am shitting on RBC. I think this forum is really toxic in that sense and a lot of times I want to stop checking posts here because of how jaded my perception has become, but I want to be kept informed of FT recruiting, PE placement, and sometimes I'm just really bored and scroll through WSO. I'll probably get MS for this post or be told I'm humble bragging like the OP, but I just want to express what the prestige culture of WSO does. Also, given that I mentioned RBC, I feel the need to say this isn't a troll post.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2020 - 2:38pm

I just want to say congrats for making it to RBC! This forum is really shitty when it comes to prestige so I can understand why you feel that way but you should be really proud of working in IB esp at a firm like RBC. This forum just has a lot of hardos and insecure college kids that don't know what they're talking about and validate themselves with these prestige convos. At the end of the day, your path from a non-target to RBC took a lot hard work and grit with much less opportunity than those I mentioned previously. Be proud of where you are honestly.

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jun 3, 2020 - 3:07pm

Bro you should be proud. Just because RBC isnt good enough for some of us, doesnt mean you shouldnt be happy with it. Especially if you compare yourself to your peers, then you did really well.

  • Managing Director in IB - Cov
Jun 3, 2020 - 3:30pm

This board can be toxic and shockingly immature for wanting to place into high finance. The attitudes and insecurities of most will not transfer well once they graduate high school or college and actually enter the financial industry full time. More likely to get flushed out of the system than get the MF exit they crave unless they seriously change their world view.

Congratulations on RBC and wish you the best.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2020 - 4:00pm

You went to a non target and crushed it. You did well and should be proud of yourself, this forum should not be used as an index to compare yourself against. Keep your eyes focused on the prize and you'll be successful.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 3, 2020 - 4:07pm

Looks like a lot of people are new to this site. The whole RBC thing has only been occurring for the last month or so. Not to be mean, but the first half of your post is a bit a part of the problem itself. People turned down offers from Jefferies, DB, UBS, Rothschild, Guggenheim, etc. the last few cycles to go with RBC. Plenty of Ivy League students are in each class too, so not sure where your feelings of inadequacy being "a nontarget that sends pretty much no one to IB" come from besides a few posts from the same few 19 year olds over the last month? Believe me, getting the PE job you want at this level will come down to you individually.

If anything, being from a nontarget will be the uphill challenge for on-cycle PE recruiting. It has become VERY competitive these last few years to get these banking positions out of school. Hell, I couldn't even break in out of UG. Can only imagine how much tougher it is now. It's important to understand this so you have some perspective. Regardless, congratulations and please keep working hard. Things wont get easier, at least not at the start.

Jun 4, 2020 - 8:42am

You're already insecure (read first few sentences of your post). When you read threads about RBC, you look for all the negative posts to feed your insecurity. It's something called confirmation bias. Believe me, I've done it for different matters so I'm not talking to you from a higher ground. The key is to take a step back and realize that there is a second half of posters that support the bank.


  • 1
Jun 3, 2020 - 4:05pm

It ain't WSO without students making up "official rankings" and discussing "prestige/exit opps".

"If it is on WSO, it must be true" ~ old Jewish proverb.

  • 3
Jun 3, 2020 - 4:32pm

If it wasn't for these discussions I would have never joined WSO, bro.

"If it is on WSO, it must be true" ~ old Jewish proverb.

  • Incoming Analyst in Other
Jun 3, 2020 - 4:21pm

Every freshman / sophomore will fantasize about working at GS / MS / JPM top group or some EB shop and put down any other bank until they get to the recruiting stage their junior year and realize how hard it is to get an offer from any place let alone the top guys

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 4, 2020 - 10:44am

Can't emphasize this enough. 2 years ago I was the sophomore recruiting with the mentality if I didn't get a BB/EB offer it was all a bust. half the BB's told me my 3.6 from a state school just wasn't gonna cut it and then I struck out at multiple superdays I did network into, thought I was screwed, finally last superday I had was with a MM I really didn't know anything about at the time and resulted in my one and only banking offer.

Entering the internship I had the mentality of rerecruiting for full time, But over the summer my views changed. Very lean group, good culture, and meaningful experiences even as an intern. For what its worth pay is slightly above street which doesn't really matter though. Yeah top PE funds aren't gonna be knocking on my door, probably will do full 3 years and have to do a good amt more work for PE recruiting than my BB buddies and I 'm most likely not gonna see any of my work grace the pages of WSJ, but I quickly realized nobody gives a single shit about any of that, your career is totally what you make of it.

I'm only a first year so of course take this with a grain of salt, but point is prestige is fucking stupid.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 28, 2021 - 7:32pm

Eius qui culpa non porro voluptatem est tempore. Voluptate recusandae eos quod et nemo facere illum. Et eveniet nihil fugit est nemo autem. Accusamus adipisci veritatis et sunt architecto. Laboriosam voluptas eum architecto dignissimos et officia. Vel cum repellendus ut autem voluptas. Autem dolor ducimus beatae omnis impedit.

Aut autem eligendi et voluptas incidunt. Labore quia vero at praesentium odio in molestiae aut. Iure et qui molestias officia non. Quis est quasi at sed ut.

Ea laborum esse qui. Nihil quia consequatur enim tempore necessitatibus nesciunt. Nulla voluptas consequatur omnis ducimus sed quae reprehenderit. Voluptatem et tempore hic distinctio totam sit placeat dicta. Tempore atque sapiente atque error.

Jun 9, 2021 - 9:43pm

Voluptatibus quia quis rerum quam. Voluptas repudiandae unde sit dicta optio distinctio odio id. Vitae dolor voluptatem similique cupiditate ipsa. Architecto accusamus in est sunt. Officia rerum inventore dicta placeat et qui et.

Voluptate nesciunt ut sequi accusantium non. Enim vel cum delectus vel adipisci et. Vel dolore ab quibusdam ut rem. Ea porro voluptas veritatis et. Delectus sunt dolorem nihil dolores deleniti. Error ipsum omnis consectetur dolorem perspiciatis.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

December 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (237) $235
  • 2nd Year Analyst (146) $155
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (516) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (397) $84