Because of all the recruiting and SA application threads currently, I decided to start this thread. Feel free to call me out on anything or throw shits if this is dumb.
The 6 figure salary won't justify the hours you put in
If you think that IB would automatically make your life better or fulfill your dreams right away, you are very wrong. Do you think your life is going to be better as an analyst working 80-90 hours a week, if not more, while making a six figure salary? The answer is that the six figure salary will not justify it, especially if you are in New York. You may just end up wanting more, and your next dream is to be promoted or to go to exit opportunities. So, getting that acceptance will not automatically make your life better or fulfill your dreams.
Even if you do reach the next stages, being an MD does not automatically make your life easier. If you think that you are just going to fly around the world and have it easy, you are very wrong. They will still work a lot and still have a ton of duties, and eventually you will get sick of the travel.
Will the $ really make your life better?
Even if you do make more money, will you actually have time to enjoy it? If your goals are relationship or family oriented, will you have all the time you need for that? Think REALLY of what all that money can get you: a large house, a nice car, a yacht? Is having a much larger house or car to show off REALLY going to make your life better, especially when you are mostly going to be distracted by work?
If it is prestige that matters, keep in mind that most people don't care and have probably never heard of what you do. The average person will probably not know how "prestigious" it is to be in Private Equity or Hedge Funds, and probably have no idea what investment banking is. I certainly had no fucking clue what it was, and rarely heard of banks like Goldman Sachs or whatever unless I had a checking account with Chase or some shit like that.
Almost everyone on Wall Street will agree that breaking into an IB internship is just the beginning, and is not where you reach the pinnacle of what you want. If you don't get it, the worst thing you can think is that you are somehow a "nobody". Ask the average person if they can name the CEO of Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, much less an MD or analysts at those firms. Competition is already so high for these jobs, that you could be one of the smartest people and still get rejected.
IB is just the beginning
The bottom line is that getting an IB acceptance will not be the end of all your challenges, but perhaps the very beginning. Even if you do end up insanely rich, you will probably get used to it in short time. More problems always seem to come up no matter why stage of life you are at.
Look for other opportunities for what you want to do, and get rid of the mindset that it is Wall Street or bust. There are many who regret getting into IB in the first place or switch out anyway, so just find something else you enjoy and build off of that.
This should be a support thread. Please feel free to add in to my advice below: