Turning down FT IB offer to recruit MBB?

Please forgive the copy-pasta, but posting here in the consulting section in case anyone else might have some suggestions :) Thanks so much!

Hi all,

Let me preface this by saying how I realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation at all. I know there are scores of kids who would think I'm being a fool for even considering this, especially during COVID, but as this is a big decision I figured it'd be worth asking here.

I recently interned at a "top" BB this summer in a product group. While I liked the people I worked with, I generally found the work less interesting than I had expected and the hours a bit more brutal than expected (staffed on live deals, working 90-110 hours a few weeks). Previously, I had been interested in consulting because I imagine based on my interests that the work would appeal to me slightly more, but had elected to focus my recruiting efforts on IB due to the early deadlines and pervasive groupthink that exists at the school I attend, which could be considered a target for both consulting and IB. To boot, from conversations with people in the industry I gather that the work life balance is generally better (traveling sounds brutal and hours are still tough but weekends sound generally more protected), which I believe I'd value a lot. Also for what it's worth, I believe traveling wouldn't be a huge consideration considering I genuinely love traveling and bumping shoulders with new people.

In short: as someone who cherishes time with family and friends, I really could see myself enjoying the slightly reduced workload of consulting. However, with COVID making recruiting a virtual nightmare and with many consulting firms giving auto-offers to their summer interns, I'm not sure how likely it would be to receive an offer from an "equal" firm in the consulting space as where I interned this summer. On paper at least, I feel as though I would only really be happy with my decision to switch roles if I was able to land a FT offer at MBB. Though I realize how privileged this sounds, I feel as though this would be the only type of trade-off worth the risk and uncertainty of rejecting my current offer.

Any advice or opinions would really be appreciated. Thanks!

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Comments (5)

  • Intern in Consulting
Aug 18, 2020 - 5:53pm

It seems like a tough economy to be re-recruiting

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 18, 2020 - 5:58pm

Yep definitely agree. This is one of my main concerns with the idea of recruiting to be honest but wanted to see if people within the industry might be able to give some insights on how recruiting could be affected in the industry

Most Helpful
Aug 18, 2020 - 6:15pm

As you point out it is a tough environment, but if you don't want to do banking then I don't think grinding out the hours makes sense. You will hate it.

I will add a few things, as many people suffer from "the grass is greener" early on in their careers:

1) a lot of entry level work won't be that interesting. Just as some people will paint the analyst years as working on complex financial models on live deals, when in reality you are formatting slides and tweaking assumptions for 90 hrs a week, other people will think the same of consulting. In both fields you can find interesting work, and I'm sure you will, I just want you to have the right expectations.

2) travel/hours - travel also sounds cool, and it can be, but you can also end up in the middle of nowhere for weeks/months at a time. I had two friends working at the same firm, one ended up traveling all over Asia (Singapore/Hong Kong/japan) for consulting work (based out of nyc) and the other ended up in Midwest towns I've never heard of. I remember how the second person was exhausted and basically hated staying at the best western/holiday inn and eating subway all day. Just saying it can end up pretty differently than you imagine.

3) if you have friends who did consulting internships then chat with them, see what the work is like and see if they can get you connections. If you end up liking what you hear then try to do this quickly to see if it might be an option, just know there will probably be limited opportunities this year.

Anyway, good luck, like I said don't do something that won't make you happy but get as much info as possible (about the short term and long term) so that you don't regret your choice down the line.

  • 4
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 18, 2020 - 6:38pm

Hey, thank you so much for this response. Incredibly helpful, really.

You bring up really great points, and I especially appreciate learning about your friends' experiences in consulting; hadn't really considered the actual locations and duration playing such a significant factor but I guess I hadn't thought too much into the idea of traveling specifics at that.

Honestly now it seems asa though even though I might've taken the chance to recruit for consulting in another life, the current economic outlook just doesn't seem to make all that much sense for it. Will definitely keep reaching out to friends and connections to learn as much as possible before my deadline but again, thank you so much for your help.

Wishing you the best!

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