Sunday, January 3, 2010

Questions on summer recruiting, deciding between offers, and more

Here are some questions from our readers:

I am in a 3 year program instead of a regular 4 year program due to credit exemptions from AP course. Does this disadvantage me according to IBs?

It's a disadvantage in terms of not having as much time for internship, extracurricular, and other life experiences to speak to. But if you already have a strong resume, it shouldn't be a problem. We know of many students who landed a position at JPMorgan, Goldman, and Morgan after 3 years of study.

2. Due to a rough start, I have a relatively low gpa (3 - 3.5) but it is on an upward trend and I am sure that I will be able to reach above 3.5 by the end of my degree (previous academic achievement in high school and before shows this). Should I apply for a summer position now? Or wait till my final year to apply for a FT posiiton.

Maximize your chances of getting into banking - apply for the summer and full time positions. Going through summer recruiting is good practice for FT recruiting -- you get to know alums and recruiters who will serve as resources. You also get the opportunity to learn about any weaknesses or areas of improvement -- ask your interviewers for feedback on what you could've done better. That will help you with the end goal of landing a full time job.

3. I interned at a bulge bracket after my sophomore summer and have a return offer this summer. I'd like to try another bank next summer, but I'm concerned that I would burn the bridge with the bank I worked at last summer. Do you think this is an issue? I don't want to go to another firm and then risk having no FT offers.

We were also in this situation before. We can say that at one BB, after turning down the junior summer offer to return, you can keep in touch and reiterate your interest in full-time opportunities. If you stay in contact with them, you have a high chance of going through accelerated full-time recruiting. Banks always interview more applicants at the end of the summer.

It's highly unlikely that you would receive zero full time offers if you've landed summer positions at two bulge brackets. Especially since the market is looking to be no worse than what it's been the past year, if you were able to land selective summer positions two years in a row, you have great credentials for full time recruiting. As an aside, we know former summer analysts who didn't receive a FT offer from GS/MS and still landed positions at other bulge brackets/boutiques.

So if you are set on wanting to work at another bulge bracket for the summer (which is always a good thing for undergrads -- beyond the technical knowledge you get to expand your network), there is some risk but tremendous upside from having an added experience under your belt. In the worst case scenario you will have to go through FT recruiting, but it's worth it if you want to find a firm that is a better fit for you (assuming you are not challenged / not satisfied with your current offer).

Good luck!

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