You Didn't Get Return Offer -- How's FT recruiting going?

Just curious how many people out there who didn't get the return offer after SA stint are getting traction regarding FT recruiting. And what are you guys doing to gain that traction -- is it networking with alumni, web sites, reaching out to HR at various banks? 

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 (124)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 12:40pm

I am not getting any visible traction yet. So far I've just been reaching out to some of my warmer contacts, but once I comb through those, I may have to resort to some more cold outreach. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 12:56pm

dont think it's very possible someone with no return could land a bb/eb/good mm banking job imo. theres many ppl who have returns recruiting for FT now and theres just too few openings overall

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2020 - 10:06am

??? I had 0 relative internship experience and landed a gig doing FT recruiting from non-target and meh GPA. Obviously, this is pre-pandemic, but I'd say it's a battle of attrition and lotta luck involved.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2020 - 10:17am

thats not what I was talking abt? ppl might be more willing to trust someone who has a late start with less experience over someone who does have experience but didn't receive desirable recognition. not sure how this is confusing.

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
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 10, 2020 - 11:39am

Bro what? This thread is about FT recruiting during COVID. Your experiences pre-pandemic have nothing to do with this. are you sure you're a 2nd year?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 3, 2020 - 1:19pm

Yeah, that's why I was curious -- environment seems bad, but there's clearly a lot of qualified students out there who didn't get return offer for arguably unfair reason, so was just hoping that these candidates still had legitimate shots at getting FT work. Sucks if that's not the case.   

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 2:21pm

that make sense but its just this year is different. with so few spots for full-time this year specifically, it just makes it less likely for employers to take someone with no return over someone who does have one. unless all interns in your group didnt get returns / some crazy case like that (even for jefferies I guess its still 50% of the class who did get returns which is bad but not crazy enough to *fully* justify not getting returns from an employer's perspective), its just unlikely. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 2:57pm

Nothing, fuck this. And fuck the next Analyst 2 who comes and here tells me to "man-up" or take "responsibility" whatever that means. Sorry, I didn't have the spoon fed to me my whole life. These guys would be shit dirt if they were in my shoes when they went to school. I dare one of these fuckers to try me right now. 

Sep 3, 2020 - 4:43pm

No point wallowing in self pity. Yes, the game might seemed rigged - and to a certain extent it is. And yes, you may have had it much more difficult than most yet they got the offers and you didn't. But focusing on that isn't going to help you get there. Instead, you should be focusing on yourself: what can you do to make yourself a more hireable candidate,  what skills can you hone that you haven't mastered yet, what leads and contacts should you follow that you have not yet?

Hating on other people for "making it" while you haven't won't help your life in the slightest.

Sep 7, 2020 - 10:11pm

As a super non-target who landed a gig via FT hiring, I feel for y'all. The deck is stacked and more than ever for FT. But, banks don't care. Being mad doesn't help and often wastes time and puts off contacts.

I recommend getting it all out, beating the shit out of something, getting blackout with your friends, or spending a weekend with the family. Whatever helps you get right. Because, if you get an interview, that anger will come through immediately and torpedo whatever chance you have.

On the bright side, I'd expect FT hiring to be dead before labor day. Keep fighting.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 8, 2020 - 9:44pm

On the same boat my guy. Self-pity does not give me a job but it doesn't kill acknowledging the rough recruiting environment. Yes, luck plays a role in IB recruiting, but perhaps for this year luck wrestles me down at another level. Good luck folks.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 4:29pm

MM I interned at gave out no offers. Been networking with a botique and the MM to see if something opens up.

A lot of people I know (including me) look at IB as a stepping stone or a path into a certain career. Whats helped me is looking ahead and thinking about other ways to get into that career.

Personally, Business development/strategy are what I'm interested in, so I'm widening my search. IB is a great place to start but ER, AM, finance for a small startup or business roles at an established company are going to help me learn and grow.

I'm gonna guess most of us don't truly dream of building DCFs and alligning logos in our sleep. If you put anything close to IB effort towards a different role you'll stand out and make a name for yourself. Really think about the things you want to do and figure out what you're open to doing, you're gonan find a lot more opportunities that way.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 4:48pm

West coast MM focused more in Tech/BioTech. Sorry, not gonna be more specific than that. Great experience though, seemed like a good place to be and I'd be happy to come back if a spot opened

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2020 - 1:14am

Pretty badly....I tried to stay hopeful after not getting a return offer, but now I'm losing hope. Got positive reviews before my internship ended and was told I did a great job, then got blindsided with no offer. Seems like everyone who I have managed to get over the phone has said that they will not be doing full-time recruiting, and it is always awkward to say I didn't get a return offer when asked. How has everyone else been explaining not getting an offer when asked? To me, it honestly seems like my bank simply wasn't able to hire because of a headcount issue given the environment, but it seems there is no not-bad way to put this in person.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 4, 2020 - 2:55am

I would try to place the emphasis on your bank continuing to assess headcount needs instead of stating flat-out that you didn't get a return offer. This way, it puts the responsibility on the bank and not faulting you for it. Also see if at the very least your team is willing to vouch for you and corroborate your statements that you performed well and that the no offer was COVID-related.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 8, 2020 - 9:52pm

You are not alone. My feedback was great too so I didn't recruit for other FT gigs (well now I learned the lesson the hard way)...Sometimes headcount problem is beyond your team's control. Just sharpen ourselves and keep networking forward then. 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 4, 2020 - 2:35am

Yeah no other way to put it but it's gonna be a slow FT recruiting season. Banks have seem to do decent with current levels of staff and for those that have seen increase in activity, it's more immediate so I've seen headhunters active again with more immediate hiring needs. Since no one knows what the environment will be like next summer, I don't anticipate banks will be too eager to spend a lot of time in FT recruiting. 

But don't lose hope. You have a summer in your belt. Continue to sharpen your skills and when the market gets better, banks will need bright and driven individuals who made the most of this time to become better professionally.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 7, 2020 - 8:12pm

lol bit much to say that 4-6 week internships done remote can be considered having a summer under one's belt wouldnt you say mate?

  • Intern in CorpDev
Sep 4, 2020 - 4:13am

The only way to define how I feel right now is by saying that I feel like completely damaged goods. Class of 2020 & 2021 got totally hoed but it's more or less going to be fine for class of 2022. Not bitter but like what are the freaking odds of this happening 2 months before I graduated and full time offers would be pulled as a result

Really grateful to my alumni who have been extremely helpful, but it's a drought out there and there's barely anything to work with in terms of recruiting

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 6, 2020 - 6:07pm

Class of 2022 is getting smashed as well. Reduced class sized across the board, delayed recruiting timelines, hiring freezes, etc.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 6, 2020 - 7:00pm

I know that's how you feel, but fight the feeling to perceive yourself this way. Remain confident and project this in networking/interviews -- that hey, had a good time this summer, learned a lot, they didn't have headcount for normal amount of interns, and here's who you can call for a reference at the firm. Just try to be positive moving forward... and expect that it's going to be hard/take time to land something, but a lot more spaces may open up after new year, when firm's realize "Hey, shit, we're going to be busier than we thought."

  • Teller in Other
Sep 4, 2020 - 9:05am

I've been networking all throughout the summer so definitely a better position than the others here. I also haven't been rejected yet, my group just hasn't gotten back to me about return offers.

  • Prospect in 
Sep 6, 2020 - 11:37am

Same - I had a summer internship, but I knew I was going to recruit for FT. Been networking since like May / June. Still tough out there. 

Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2020 - 5:55pm

There are many entry points to a successful career.  The classic Target > IB SA > IB FT > PE > H/S > PE/HF > Greatness pathway is only one of them.  

The only reason we talk about this pathway so much, is because its the mode.  Y'all remember the mode . . from stats class.  There's the mean and median, and then there's the mode; the data point with the most repetitions.  

If you gather 100 older guys with the baller resume and net worth that you want, you'll find that the vast majority didn't take this classic path.  Probably only like 10 of them did.  But because those 10 guys took this clear path, and the other 90 guys took 90 different paths, this path looks has the illusion of being the only one.  The mode.

My advice: when you learned the mode in stats class, you knew it was some useless shit.  So don't start using it now.  There isn't one path.  If you miss this on ramp, grab one of the next dozen that's coming your way.

Sep 7, 2020 - 11:23pm

Commenting to bookmark

What’s past is past and can’t be undone. It has led to the circumstances we now face. All we can do is recognize our circumstances for what they are and make the best decisions we can, “given the givens."  - Howard Marks

Sep 8, 2020 - 12:52am

This is an exceedingly excellent post. My SB doesn't do it justice so wanted to tell you this personally / publicly. Listen to the above advice, y'all, full stop.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Sep 8, 2020 - 1:56am

That's some of the realest shit I've ever read on this forum. If only I could SB it 100 times

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 8, 2020 - 10:26pm

Could not have said it better myself! If look up people in your "dream position" such as PE partners or HF PM, you will be surprised by how many started at non-targets or "non-prestigious" jobs. You will also be surprised how many people start at a top BB/EBs and not make it or pursue a less "prestigious" jobs. A career is a marathon. Just because a strong headwind called COVID-19 caused you to run mile 1 in 8 minutes instead of 7 does not put you out of the race.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 7, 2020 - 8:24pm

Anyone got any stats on London? I don't think ANY bank (except GS) opened FT recruitment lol. Only SA 2021 applications being facilitated.

  • Prospect in 
Sep 9, 2020 - 12:02am

What other stuff are you guys going to recruit outside of IB?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 9, 2020 - 1:26pm

I was one of the interns who didn't end up with a return offer. I have managed to land a full-time spot already. I utilized connections via my school and connections of my group from this summer. While some of the banks I talked to aren't doing full-time recruiting, there are still some that have spots.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2020 - 10:07am

Just off the top of my head: Wells, Harris-Williams, FT Partners, Stephens, Citizens, BlackArch, Truist, GCA. Very wide range, but obviously you have to cast a wide net in the current environment.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 9, 2020 - 4:58pm

I have a friend that decided to just go the Teach for America route, and a few others looking into it as a backup. Might just go do it as well - see everyone in 2 years.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2020 - 6:49am

Did not get a return from a BB London after a 6-month OC. Roughly 35%-40% of my OC class did not get it. We all have good reviews, good team connections....but my bank just decided to give away offers to all SA.

Hopefully we all can land in somewhere despite this bad year.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2020 - 9:54am

Sounds like BAML LDN. BAML seemed to have had quite a few off-cycles this year.

If not BAML then MS maybe. Know of a few people who did not convert there.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 13, 2020 - 11:53am

The problem with OC internships in London is that when push comes to shove, banks retreat and prefer to give returns to Summer Interns. This is partly because the "numbers" on the basis of which opinions are formed about offer rates at banks are the summer figures. Not as much to do with performance/fit. As the name suggests, "OFF-cycle"/out of cycle means that the offer rates are not expected to be the usual 90% even in normal times. Granted if you do a stellar job, in normal times large banks will find a way of keeping you but in these kind of a times, I sympathise with off-cycles especially in London - unlike Europe, the primary pipeline in London is the summer route which means OCs can end up becoming the sacrificial lambs.

Until Covid-19 hit I genuinely thought BAML had turned a page by having so many off-cycles and probably thought it was them thinking that it is better to try out people for 3-6 month internships in IB before giving FT offers. But guess what, Covid happened. Had it not happened, assuming satisfactory performance, maybe the summer interns could have suffered.

In London if people do not convert OCs but can provide robust references about Headcount/macro times (from team members) then I/my team are normally fine. 

A lot of hypothesising here, so please take it with tablespoon of salt...

  • Intern in Other
Sep 14, 2020 - 11:48am

For those of y'all who have got Superdays for FT after no return offer, what was the time frame you heard back? I had one last Friday and haven't heard back and not sure if it takes longer for FT recruiting or SA? (I got my SA call the day of).

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2020 - 4:35pm

I didn't get a return from a top BB and it's been about a month. Nothing on my end even for corporate roles. Just starting to feel like it's over :(

  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 15, 2020 - 5:49pm

Not over! Gonna be jobs popping up this fall, and then decent chance things will even be stronger after New Year's when banks have more visibility... don't give up!  It's just speed bump along the way. That's the attitude you have to have, because if you keep grinding and persevere, that's all it will be.   

  • Analyst 1 in Other
Sep 16, 2020 - 2:19am

Guys, please pray for me. I have a final round for FT. I have had a really hard year and this might be my chance. Wishing everyone good wishes in the FT search.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 23, 2020 - 5:40pm

Trying my best not to feel down but so far it looks like things are headed in the opposite direction to the little improvement that had been shown. I am based in LDN and the impending Lockdown 2.0 is not helping. Honestly, feel like despite another support package this time there will even be cuts. Hoping to convert some leads before this happens because otherwise things will be quite bad.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 24, 2020 - 9:20am

Will be honest and say  I don't know how to feel, seriously considering not doing banking and doing something else as it seems the easy route out (for now) since I was never 100% sold on banking post internship (Was in a sweaty group covering an industry I had zero interest in making the classic work-life balance conundrum less palatable).

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 25, 2020 - 6:19am

In same boat tbh - highly considering corp fin/strategy or growth/private equity in LMM/MM space. Just keep reaching out and applying!

Sep 25, 2020 - 1:36pm

I do not know a single student who has gotten an offer who wasn't given a return this year. Seems to me like the only way to get an offer is to prove that you are superior to all interns they rejected and at par or more impressive than interns who received the return. Got to be the best person in the room. BB's reject interns should try for MM. MM rejects ->regional...

Sep 25, 2020 - 2:24pm

Same but in REPE, Covid wrecked me. I've done like 30 interviews, but 50% have been delayed, 10% I got passed over in the final, and 40% are 6-10 week hiring processes and I graduated in August. It's really tough out there, and I may just end up going the REIT route because there is more opportunities it seems.

Sep 25, 2020 - 3:42pm

Not going well at all.  Had a full-time PE offer signed in March, just to get a call in June that my offer was rescinded due to COVID.  Decided to recruit for IB analyst opportunities instead just because of sheer numbers and there's more opportunities than PE analyst jobs.  I've been networking really hard, but there's not a lot of visibility about 2021 FT recruiting.  People I've talked to still don't know what their hiring needs will be for next summer.  Tough to turn networking chats into interviews right now, but I know it's just a waiting game right now and keeping in touch with my network.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

May 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (195) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (110) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (96) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (404) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (330) $82