For Wall Street interns, this week marks the start of their professional lives.
A 10-week internship leads to a full-time job offer for the following summer. Then that two-year analyst program culminates in admittance into an MBA program or a private-equity job or some other gig on the buy side. And on and on we go.
Sure, the pessimistic part of me is wondering if Handler is just covering his bases. The current dealmaking drought means banks will likely give out significantly fewer return offers than they did when deals were booming.
But I also think there is real validity to Handler’s advice, especially for this group. Many current Wall Street interns have been working years to get to this point – getting good grades in high school to get into a good college that will give them the best opportunity to get an internship at an investment bank.
Now, after years of hard work, imagine it not working out over the course of the next 10 weeks. That’d be pretty traumatic. But, as Handler notes, it’s important to keep things in perspective.
It reminds me of my own failed attempt about a decade ago. Since I’d first set my heart on a career in journalism, my goal was to work at ESPN. It was, in my eyes, a dream job.
One random Sunday morning, I recruiter called for a 5-minute phone interview. It was a disaster. I was stumbling over my words and clearly nervous.
After the call, I got in touch with someone I knew who worked there to find out how bad I blew it. Don’t worry, they assured me, these interviews were only meant to be screeners to suss out the really bad candidates…
Guess who never heard back from ESPN?
As much as that experience stung at the time, I got over it. So to the Wall Street interns who don’t get a return offer in a few months, don’t worry, you will too.
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