The IB forum has been equal parts helpful and toxic.

Prospect in IB-M&A

A few weeks ago I was so excited about my offer, and I felt like I finally made myself and my parents proud and that I proved people who put me down wrong. Then I got on here.

I worked hard to get an IB offer and this place makes me feel like the offer I got was absolute crap. They talk about reneging and to keep trying even if you had to accept your first offer, instead of being proud of the one you got. Like now I'm left thinking did I really settle with the offer I took? Do I need to keep trying? I obviously won't because I really do like the bank and I could never get myself to reneg.

Idk. People keep shitting on banks like RBC, WF, DB, UBS. No one really talks about Rothschild like its anything. It's like MS/GS/EVR/Top Elite stuff or Bust.

Comments (51)

Controversial
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 16, 2020

Reneging is dumb, just be happy with your offer

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jun 16, 2020

Just so everyone's clear, this guy edited his comment. Before it was something along the lines of shitting on the banks above. All the MS must have finally got to him, but yes he's right now. Reneging on one of the above banks would be dumb (except mayyyyybe DB if you felt conversions would be low and you wanted to cover your ass for FT). If you're a strong analyst, my shop will give you just as many looks.

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Jun 17, 2020

Can I pm?

Array

Most Helpful
Jun 16, 2020

You have to keep in mind who comes to this site. There are people on this site who will go as far as saying that if youre in GS Natural Resources its not a top group and exiting will be difficult, or JPM consumer... or something along those lines. Literally the top investment banks even get it. The only spots that are free from criticism are currently RX groups and thats ONLY because of the current state of the economy, in two years time they will start putting them down as they always have because they dont lend themselves naturally to PE exits.

In other words if youre not a top bucket analyst at Evercore/PJT, there will be someone saying you could have done better. It's insanity and you need to block it out. Most of the time people on this site are just college kids anyway and dont know anything else other than what they read here so it becomes a feedback loop of the same information.

Congrats on your offer- I would also mention that you need to keep in perspective your personal background. For example, I come from a lower middle class/ working class background where not one person in my town knows about Investment Banking, forget anyone who works in IB. For me getting a BB offer is a significant step up in terms of prestige and income. However, for some people (MANY of them on WSO) grew up in towns where they can name 1-3 families that work in IB, their parents might be lawyers or doctors that went to IVYs - nothing wrong with that- its amazing that they had these opportunities growing up- just keep in mind that for them- DB or WF is not good enough, their families and friends work at Goldman Sachs, MS, JPM, EVR, BX, hedge funds, etc. They have structured their entire existence (or at least a great part of it) on getting to those firms- and there is nothing wrong with that either- I hope they make it and can be happy in their communities.

With that being said- those kids from those backgrounds dont need to be dicks and call everything shit that arent the aforementioned firms- but I do see why they have the desire to get to "the best"

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Jun 16, 2020

The third paragraph here is huge. I went to a semi-target, found out about IB for the first time fall of sophomore year, worked hard to get a BB SA... but now I'm hearing about kids who went to specific schools because they knew they wanted to go into finance from the time they were in high school and did HF and PE internships throughout school. I felt like shit because suddenly the things I was so proud of seemed like nothing compared to everyone else. And it's more than just getting an offer - suddenly you're working in a group and notice other people have a large network of people they can ask for advice while you're struggling to figure things out yourself.

I made some poor decisions because of this and beat myself up over it until I realized I had no chance of optimizing my path that early. Some people are lucky and start learning about the field they want to pursue when they're in high school, some of us aren't. If you like the bank and think people will support you there, that's the best you can hope for.

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Jun 17, 2020

yeah, but nothing stopping you now from continuing to build your network over time and replicate some of that guidance as you get further in your career...

The phrase "if you don't know, you don't know" is very appropriate here. Many kids just don't know until college and unfortunately with accelerated recruiting it makes the gap even more noticeable between kids that were in the know in high school and those that didn't find out until Sophomore year...

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 16, 2020

This is completely accurate. The people on this forum who repeatedly want ranking information are looking for a form of self validation (maybe a little information as well), but when its so prevalent it shows they want to be known as going to a respected firm which is understandable with the many people in the industry having a type a mentality.

There are so many people that have come from places, where banking and high finance in general is unheard of and getting a BB offer for them is reaching the top.

It is like when someone gets on the opening day NBA roster from an unknown school with just a lot of grind. They do not care if they have a good relationship with the team, whether its the best possible team to start their career, it is still an amazing accomplishment and one that should be celebrated.

In another example, someone like Lamelo Ball will be looking to find the possible city and team so he is successful in his career and probably will be very upset if he ends up in Cleveland (GO Cavs!).

And lets not go ahead without admitting there is a lot of luck in this process, from networking with the right people who probably had a good day, to get into the right clubs at schools, bumping into the right people, and having a good interviewer. Theres a very good chance you could have easily ended up somewhere else even if one thing did not go your way throughout the entire process.

Banking is an incredible career starting point (probably in the top 0.05%, and thats something we ought to remember.

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Jun 17, 2020

I would have given a sb but you're a cavs fan

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Jun 17, 2020

I would have given a sb but you're a cavs fan

Jun 17, 2020

I would have given a sb but you're a cavs fan

Jun 18, 2020
Brownfield Capital:

I would also mention that you need to keep in perspective your personal background. For example, I come from a lower middle class/ working class background where not one person in my town knows about Investment Banking, forget anyone who works in IB.

This is the key point. I came from immigrant parents and a middle class background. When I got an admissions email from the flagship public university in my home state (think UVA, Berkeley, UMich) during my senior year of high school, my parents were crying tears of joy believing they had made it in America. Flash forward to sophomore year of college, I discovered this forum and reading comments about how going anywhere but HYSP is a failure seemed like insanity to me. Perspective is everything. Fuck what some entitled college freshman or high school senior on this forum thinks. Be happy and enjoy your success. It's YOUR success, not some loser's on the internet. BE PROUD

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Jun 16, 2020

Be proud of yourself, you have accomplished something that most people are not able to out of undergrad. Remember that most people that talk shit about those places are 19/20 year old socially awkward kids, who tf cares about what they think. If this forum is making you feel that way, I would suggest that you disconnect from it and focus on other things that make you happy.

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Jun 16, 2020

Put yourself together. Be proud that you made it there and don't listen to this crap. There are indeed toxic people on WSO but don't let them take it away from you. You've worked for it, and just because your bank is not on some stupid "top banks list" that interns here create when they are bored, doesn't mean that you will not get to experience all interesting stuff guys from top banks experience.

Fuck prestige. If you really like valuations and modeling, if you are really curious about researching companies, if you are like me and many other here and are able to put hours in preparing a model and feel like it's only been minutes, if you came to work in this field not because of some vague prestige and opaque opportunities, but because this is really what you are interested in, then this bullshit shouldn't matter to you. Just my 0.02$.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 16, 2020

Nah, I'll make it easier for you. It's literally one of the banks that I listed.

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Jun 16, 2020

Congrats on your offer. Don't worry, I know how you are feeling as I came from a non target and had a lot of the same thoughts of, am I in the right place, is my career still going to be successful after landing an offer (at what this forum would consider a "low tier" shop). At the end of the day there are a few key things that you have to remember.

  1. Don't beat yourself up because life satisfaction is truly determined by you. If you enjoy what you do and who you work with who cares where it is. If deals make you high and you love banking you don't have to jump to PE. If you like working in the MM then you don't have to work at a BB. Go do what you enjoy.
  2. Careers are marathons not sprints. ("this is what unsuccessful people them themselves" - burnout at age 25 say) and you really have to enjoy what you do. If you are given challenging work and are in a spot with good mentors this can take your career to the next level, not the name on the front door (cough cough GS back office isn't getting you closer to running the world).
  3. Once you are in banking it will not be the hardest thing in the world to lateral to another bank - if you decide that you have to be at a MF PE shop then lateral to a top BB.

I would not renege. You are on a great track to be well in the 1% of the richest countries in the world.

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Jun 16, 2020

Over half the people here don't have full time jobs. Ignore them.

It is very easy to get caught up in the rat race when you begin working, but that is short lived for most people. Some people get caught up in it for their entire lives and are unhappy.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 16, 2020

bitches only care about yo cash & money got no smell b

Jun 16, 2020

Okay, actual certified banker here. I have worked extensively on LBO financings with teams from RBC, WF, DB, and UBS. I have seen a number of sell-side M&A materials from Rothschild. All of these banks have excellent bankers and you can take your career far at any of them, and use them to go other places if you wish.

Aided and abetted by social media, your generation unfortunately has the biggest and easiest propensity to compare. You are on your own path; maximize your own happiness and success to the best of your ability. Happiness won't happen for you if you're comparing your bonus or salary numbers to others. Equip yourself with knowledge, experience, discipline, morality, and persistence. You have a long career and life, make something of yourself.

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Jun 16, 2020

here's a pro tip: don't let stupid anonymous people on the internet bother you. literally nobody is like this in the real world. I bet 90% of these people saying this stuff don't even have a job yet.

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Jun 16, 2020

Don't listen to dumbasses on this site lol. Some people here need psychological help. In the few months I've been on this site, I've witnessed some kid posting embarassing pro UBS comments with the full name of another kid with an offer from UBS to I guess try to get his offer pulled or something. I also saw a post criticizing a Rutgers student who supposedly got a McKinsey offer and then after the post got negative traction, the Rutgers student posted with his irl name defending himself and advertising his recruitment business. Turns out he was the one who posted the critical post of himself in the first place.

If you still feel bad, just look at the leadership of some of the companies you most aspire to work for. The CEO of Goldman Sachs got rejected for their analyst program out of college and instead was an analyst at a MM called Irving Trust (now part of BNY Mellon)...

Array

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Jun 16, 2020

Ignore them and chart your own path. 10+ years ago, I posted a "finally broke into IB" thread, and the very first response told me I'd never get promoted to Associate. I've now worked in the industry for over a decade and amassed a seven-figure net worth, all while exclusively working at IBs that most of these college freshman commenters would scoff at (right before they email me and ask for an informational interview).

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Jun 17, 2020

I love this :-)

Jun 16, 2020

Don't let the views of others impact your own happiness. If someone won't allow themselves to be happy unless they're at PJT RSSG or Goldman TMT, I think that speaks more negatively about them than the person who's happy to be at your RBC/DB/UBS/WF type banks. IB is a very difficult industry to break into, so you should celebrate the fact that you broke in and not give 2 shits about what WhartonHardo22 says about Goldman or nothing.

I think another really underrated fact is that not everyone wants to be at a top group or bank. I didn't want to be at a BB or EB, so I targeted MMs instead. I got an offer at the bank I targeted most and I was honestly beyond excited even though most users on here would say it's a "Tier 2 or Tier 3 MM at best". At the end of the day, your situation is different than everybody else's; be yourself and be happy you got an offer at a solid bank. Yes, DB and UBS are still solid; Shocker, I know.

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Jun 16, 2020

This site can be helpful, but more often than not it's super toxic. Select users have been super helpful, but that's more the exception rather than the rule.

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Jun 17, 2020

ouch - we're trying, we promise...countless Q&A sessions with top pros, active moderation to try and de-emphasize / mute these stupid ranking threads, more strict rules around being able to post anonymously, etc...

We get it and we're on it. Unfortunately, humans tend to LOOOOVE rankings and lists. WSO and no forum on earth is immune to them and I'd say the biggest way to help is to stop commenting (bumps it) and/or reading them at all.

This is an ongoing battle to try and promote the more intellectually nuanced and interesting conversations and trying to suppress the more immature dick-measuring contests. We are very aware that the professionals on this site drive a lot of the value for the ecosystem so keeping them engaged and around so that they can give great advice is much more important than letting the 10th "what do you look for in a wife/girlfriend" or "rank these schools" thread trend again (simply because of the makeup of the demos that visit the site).

It's like we have to protect the members that benefit the most (college students) from themselves (having professionals on the boards is not a given).

We'll keep fighting the good fight!
Patrick

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Jun 23, 2020

I honestly totally disagree with the thought that helpful users are the exception rather than the rule.. I don't know if it's because I tend to avoid the "what banking group will ensure your reincarnation as the second coming of Jesus" but this website and the users have been so educational and so helpful throughout the years that I would definitely argue that is the rule rather than the exception

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jun 16, 2020

Just because those banks arent good enough for some of us doesnt mean you shouldnt be proud of it bro. If you're happy with it, why does it matter what we think? Dont let others ruin it for you. Its like feeling inadequate just bc your university is not H/W

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Funniest
Jun 16, 2020

you're stupid for seeking validation from a bunch of internet strangers and even dumber for seeking sympathy from those same strangers now

Hello Wall Street, It's Yours Truly.
If you don't see it here, I didn't say it.
--
Former Buffalo Bills Halfback
1973 NFL MVP
1968 Heisman Trophy Winner
5x All Pro

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Jun 18, 2020

Jun 17, 2020

You should be proud of achieving any goals you set for yourself, and humble enough to realize that you didn't get there on your own. It is one thing to push a person to accomplish their best, but people on this site rarely do that and are too willing to bring down others. I recommend Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell to get some perspective and insight into what being "successful" really means.

Jun 17, 2020

once youve worked for a few years and have become an adult, you'll realize a lot of whats posted on this site is horseshit. It becomes pretty easy to identify the posters who are still in undergrad/1st year analyst or someone who has actually built a career.

No one bitches and moans about BB vs EB vs LMM vs MM in real life like the kids on this board do.

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  • Intern in Legal
Jun 17, 2020

I go to a non target and worked my ass off for my offer. I had 25+ interviews which only translated into 3 super days. most of my interviews told me that if I went to a target I would have gotten a superday and 2 of the 3 super days yeilded no job offer but they said "we were impressed that someone who goes to a school like yours has your knowledge". a lot of the banks are full of pretentious people who put all their value in labels. I got one offer and took it right away to a boutique bank that gets bashed on this website. yet this bank is doing pretty well right now and I'm going to be getting paid the exact same as all these people.

I am grateful for this opportunity and am comfortable enough in my own skin to have self worth and be proud of my offer. congrats on yours, you should be too

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Jun 17, 2020

Echoing above just to say (I guess write) it out loud. At least 80% of the people who frequent this website do not have a full-time job. I would estimate that more than 50% have never been on an elevator in an investment bank yet still have deep insights into specific groups...astonishing.

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Jun 17, 2020

This site is what you make of it...

I have no formal finance background, so I connected with a few bankers and PE guys here who showed me what I needed to know to do my first few deals and because of that we've had really really good returns.

Have also had the opportunity to talk to a few others here on the turnaround/distressed side too, all of whom were extremely generous with their time and routinely answer my stupid questions when I text them.

When I need help with oddball PE questions...I post here and often get pushed in the right direction.

The best part is that all of this is absolutely FREE! Patrick and his team have done a great job building a fantastic resource for people to learn anything they want to about finance and even network with very knowledgeable people. I would put this site up against some organizations I have paid $10,000+ a year to be a part of in-terms of value...

YMMV...but it really is a case of you get what you put into it.

Jun 17, 2020

also wanna point out that pretty much all of the dumb "if you are going to Goldman TMT kys" types of of comments come from either "prospect in IB" and "intern in IB." who cares what those fucking college kids think they haven't actually achieved anything in their careers yet

Jun 17, 2020

Dude, having an IB offer at any bank is great. Congrats, go crush it.

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Jun 18, 2020

toxic is formula.

Jun 18, 2020

Don't let others fuck with your head. I repeat DO NOT LET OTHERS FUCK WITH YOUR HEAD.

Want concrete examples?

  • One of my fellow associates back in the day let others tell him his bonus sucked and our smallish bank sucked. He complained to his client. The client told the bank (maybe to ask them to up his bonus). Bank fired his ass with prejudice and blackballed him in the industry.
  • I let others fuck with my head and tell me PE / buyside was the nuts. I left my IBD training program early to go buyside, Missed out on key skills and contacts, and hobbled my career.
  • People looked down on me in IR and cap intro. My old PE fund boss CEO said "you're just feeding sharks" when I was raising for HFs. HF clients sometimes also looked down on me. I could have done the job better if I didn't let them do that.

    I repeat DO NOT LET OTHERS FUCK WITH YOUR HEAD.

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Jun 18, 2020

There are helpful people on this site. There are toxic people on this site.
Just like in the real world, but with the added factor of anonymity, which brings out the assholes in many people (including on occasion myself if I don't check myself).
Learn to differentiate, and learn how to ask the right questions in the right way to bring out the knowledge you need.
I've learned a ton from people on this site and my career has benefited.
I've also wanted to put my fist through the monitor sometimes.
I've made some good online and offline friends here.
This site is what you make of it.

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Jun 18, 2020

Care less about what other people think.

Remember that many on this site are still in college, or no more than a year or so out of school. They don't really know much EXCEPT for how different banks are ranked, so of course they're going to focus on that.

You also have a lot of insecure overachiever types who are trying to build themselves up by shitting on other people.

The more time you spend working the more you'll realize that people don't really leave employers so much as they leave shitty managers and teams. It's like being in college where a good prof can make anything interesting. Again, many folks here don't have that perspective, or are doing highly commoditized work as IB analysts where it will be hard to judge a priori which team will be better (and where all teams kind of suck just due to the nature of the work).

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 18, 2020

Stop giving a shit about what other people think and live your life as you see fit. Problem solved!

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Jun 18, 2020

Hey Congrats on the offer. I know it feels like a big accomplishment to get an offer and probably feels a bit frustrating to see the "crowd" not validating your accomplishment. Don't let them fool you and just keep doing what you are doing.
At the same time, keep your head cool and realize that your career hasn't even begun. Breaking in may seem like the hardest step, but climbing up the ladder in this industry doesn't come for free, either. It is a competitive market and only the top performers survive in the end. Continue working hard, and come back to us 20 yrs later how successful you have become.

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  • Analyst 1 in AM - FI
Jun 18, 2020

Hi everyone, just wanted to throw in my two cents to this forum. Very glad someone is speaking up about this and the relatively high positive inputs here - this is also very rare to see nowadays. Changed my status to anonymous to insulate my identity.

This website, like OP said, has been a godsend and hell. While employees from various banks/firms have shared honest feedback about their groups, markets, and recruiting tips, the amount of misleading info has been just as high. Nothing wrong with Patrick or the rest of the good WSO posters, simply the nature of unrestricted online discourse.

To a certain extent, I probably would have never been able to land my SA and FT gigs without WSO and you guys (and gals) on here. Your hours are terrible and stress at all time highs, yet you all have always found a way to answer questions and reply to DMs. The anonymous nature has allowed me to read/ask things I could NEVER bring up on networking calls when I was in college. (Stop here if you don't want to read about my story).

Last summer, I interned at a MM bank in NYC in their "top group" (label irrelevant but for the sake of OP's conversation continuity). Unfortunately, I did not land a FT offer despite my very strong mid-summer reviews; my Associates claimed there was a hiring freeze but this still absolutely destroyed my confidence (I think they were just trying to be nice since they did take the other summer intern in my group). My staffer gave me no input about why and I left that room bitter with no manila envelope as I went up to the security office to drop off my keycard. There are many areas where I personally THINK I should have improved on since I couldn't get reasons why I didn't get it (i.e navigating office politics, going the extra mile versus my fellow intern without stepping on his toes, resisting the urge to be over eager/"helpful" with seniors, etc.).

I knew last fall I only had 2-3 months to find a new home somewhere. The lack of a FT offer is a black mark on your back everywhere you go. Sure, there are people here who still landed on their feet somewhere and I go to a target school where people spun their failures into gigs that were sometimes even better than their internship shop. But I knew my odds were poor - during my informal rounds with a BB, the VP there liked me a lot and we even cracked jokes with each other in the Starbucks across the street inside the Brookfield Place. After a while he asks me about my return offer and I of course couldn't lie. He said "wow, wish you didn't tell me that. Well good luck with the job hunt and maybe keep in touch in a few years time if you still want [insert BB name here]." Was gutted and this more or less repeated maybe another 20 times at various shops and "unorthodox" groups like PJT's Secondaries, Evercore Shareholder Advisory, tiny boutiques in NYC, etc.

But I knew I had to keep going. My father survived the Cultural Revolution in China and risked his life dealing with less than stellar figures with criminal syndicate backings in Panama before he came to the US 30 years ago. He blew all his money in the dot com bubble and we dropped down to working class immigrant levels growing up. My grandparents survived the attrocities of Nanjing during WW2. I couldn't let my people down like that, what am I snowflake? So I kept my chin up and kept hitting the phones like an AE at a startup with less than 3 weeks of capital runway - desperate to pitch myself to any open suitors. I finally landed a job now in a buyside credit trading role at a F500 labeled firm with firm alums that had previously worked all throughout Wall Street (sell-sides, PE, HF, you name it) who have been here for decades even. As I start my job remotely this week in my own childhood bedroom, I couldn't been more thankful to WSO despite all the noise on the website. You just got to sort through all that debris in the mine if you want to find your gold (or palladium, that shit is hot stuff rn).

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Jun 19, 2020

Congrats on the job. Sounds like a rough triad to getting there. Kudos for keeping things going.

Jun 19, 2020
Comment
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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jun 23, 2020