Take a Bad Offer vs. Take a Gamble with COVID Hiring Environment

I was a virtual intern in a group that had cuts, so I did not secure a return. Still have great relationships with supervisors who are happy to be references.

FT recruiting has been an absolute black box. I've got an offer in hand with 1-2 weeks until it explodes. It's an M&A role at a MM bank, not in a major city, and not a very good bank. It's a large step down from where I interned (not BB but a strong, global boutique).

I believe I can find a better position. But hiring is a lot different with COVID, so I'm struggling to weigh that with just taking the offer.

Just wondering what you guys think of declining and going through with recruiting, or how to best leverage it. Also for those in a similar position, have you had any luck yet?

Comments (6)

Sep 22, 2020 - 5:48pm

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Even if it is a step down from before, your experience there can still be helpful in the future and you can try to lateral when the environment is better. 

Don't confuse motion with progress. You can run in place all day, doesn't mean you'll be moving forward.

  • 1
Sep 22, 2020 - 5:57pm

I am not going through recruiting so can't speak to how hard it is out there right now.  But, I would suggest taking the offer.  In a normal environment, it is very achievable to go from the type of bank where you have an offer (MM M&A in non-major city) to a strong, global boutique, and we have to assume we will get back to a fairly normal environment.  So, you would likely end up where you want to be after a year or so with the lesser bank.  

If you gamble, and you cannot secure IB, then it will be nearly impossible to lateral to banking in general, let along a strong, global boutique.  Doesn't seem worth the risk going for the non-guaranteed, marginally better offer when you have one in hand that can get you where you want to be eventually.  


  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 22, 2020 - 6:57pm

I would look until the deadline... and then if you don't have anything else, in my opinion, you have to take the offer. If you do, you're in -- you've got the job you want. Maybe not at the place you want, but you can try to correct that later.    

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 22, 2020 - 8:20pm

How did you navigate the no return offer questions? In a similar situation except no offers and not getting much traction. Did not receive a return from a good group.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 22, 2020 - 11:33pm

OP here. Blame it on COVID (whether or not it's the case for you), and keep it short. Have a great attitude, be thankful for the experience you had, and reiterate you still have good relationships with your coworkers. 

Nobody wants a Debby-Downer who thinks it's the end of the world because no SA return. So much more to life.

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