Terrified of not getting a Return Offer

Not sure if I am just overthinking or what, but I am terrified of not converting my SA into an FT.

I had my mid-review like last week, and everyone I spoke to said it was good. It was things like I am motivated, I have a good attitude, and my work is well-received and of "good quality". I spoke with HR too to get insight on cultural fit and they said that's not a problem and I have nothing to worry about there. I went for a chat with the Manager who asked me how I liked the team.

However, despite that feedback, I am staffed so much less than one other intern on my team, who seems to be constantly busy on stuff. I'm just on one M&A transaction, and some pitches here and there which wrap up pretty quickly. I had almost nothing to do this past week - whilst the other intern kept talking about how swamped they were... To be honest, it rubs me a bit the wrong way because it comes off as bragging like "I have so much work, you don't".

I don't really know where to go from here? I got good feedback, but I'm not getting work. The other intern got good feedback and is getting a lot of work. There is also a third intern on the team but I understand their feedback was not good and they're not getting much work either. But in my position, it feels like the team thinks I am not competent and are positioning the other intern for a return offer (hence more work), whilst they're going to turn around to me and say "thanks but no thanks".

Where do I go from here? I have 2 weeks left and I am doing everything I can to close the gap between myself and an Analyst but I can't do that properly if I barely get work. Like I really don't understand? I just feel like it's so unfair that I would have a good mid-review and then be put in this situation.

Am I overthinking it? Am I on track to convert or not?

can't speak to your situation but my bank have me great feedback on work and when hr called to no-offer me they blamed me for not securing enough work (despite me bugging my team for work constantly) yes i'm bitter

A lot of interns like to brag about being busy and make it seem like they are busier than they are. It is also possible that the intern just got lucky with the deals they were staffed on having a lot of work.

The best thing you can do is try to be proactive about work. Try to think ahead in the process and know what the next deliverable is and try to create a shell or take a first pass at it.

Yeah I try to on asks that come in, but the thing is that the other intern is not being as proactive, literally saying that they just do as they are told with the things that come in. Yet they are still being staffed more ... I don't really understand why when I got such good feedback yet I am not getting any staffing.

Is it possible that the other intern is just finishing work at a much slower rate, making it seem like they're much busier than you when in reality you both have the same amount of work? Only mentioning this because this exact situation happened in my internship with a group of only 3 of us.

Actually that makes a lot of sense... I was on two pitches last week, they were on one but that pitch is still on-going for them, whilst both of mine have wrapped up. Helps put things into perspective.

I just hope that my good feedback turns into an offer.

Most Helpful

Unfortunately it is out of your hands. My best advice, for everyone who didn't get returns is the following:

THIS IS NOT THE END OF YOUR CAREER, IT IS THE VERY VERY VERY BEGINNING. I think everyone here forgets is the worst case scenario that you don't go into IB, and you have a killer resume to go into consulting or FP&A / Corp Dev. Jesus Christ, everything is alright. Take a deep breath and move forward. You're going to do great things in your life. And when you're 40 you're going to look back and realize how little this mattered in the long run.

I've still got 2 more weeks left of the internship.

My point was that I got very good feedback, with very few things to work on but I thought I was not getting as much work as one other intern, so my concern was how I was supposed to show that I acted on the feedback to get the return offer.

So at the moment, it still very much is in my hands - I was wondering if I was being irrational or if there was anything I should be focussing on going forward.

Two of my friends younger than me have already not gotten return offers. They were stellar candidates, and had high performance reviews. In this market where everyone can get cut for nothing at all, what I am saying is that you can do anything and everything and still get cut. Or get the return that you want. It depends on your previous performance at this point.

Focus on leaving a strong impression, and do not mess up. If the other intern does in an extreme way then you can get their spot. But seriously, everything right now is a gamble. Your anxiety is well reasoned.   

Your lack of work load is not an indicator of a return offer for interns in our office; if you're helping people when they need it most, that's all I care about. It's actually quite prudent of your staffer not to slam you with a lot of deliverables during your internship. Remember, if you're competent, above all, they want you back; that's when they'll really dog slam you. It's healthy of you to be concerned; but not healthy if you're overthinking. 

My two cents: I think you're doing fine if they put you on pitches with tighter deadlines. People notice people who were able to get the materials ready faster; hence putting in front of the clients faster (esp in summer when the main factor is client summer vacations and out of offices). Being able to manage tight deadlines is definitely a huge variable for lots of staffers I know.

Enjoy the downtime but stay busy and sharp. Reviewing your past deliverables and critiquing it with a sprinkle of hindsight and fairness; making notes accordingly will bring you to the next level. Grab coffee with someone in another division; I like interns that understand that they're a cog in the wheel and learn what other value the whole firm provides to clients... or get familiar with unfamiliar topics; look at old presentations / old models for deals that closed on the drive, etc 

You'll be fine.

This summer I had a lot of the same feeling too, I felt like some of the other interns had a much higher workload than me and I was nervous about it, I was sitting around doing nothing for hours while other people were busy all day. But by the end of summer when we just saw return offer results it was interesting. I got a return, because I was able to do my work efficiently and timely. The first half before mid-summer review was very quiet but I let it ramp up and by the 2nd half more work came to me and I did it all well. Some of the other interns who didn't get returns ended up overextending themselves a ton early on, being too aggressive and putting themselves in like 5 different things at a time from the beginning. And 90% of the time when you're an intern you're not gonna be able to actually handle that or realize your actual capacity, so when things started ramping up these guys were just completely swamped and started getting sloppy and made some mistakes, and in the end didn't get the return.

So that's just my perspective from this summer, some times it's fine if you're just doing a good job with what you're given, just make sure you're doing it perfectly since you have the time and energy. And just because someone else is seemingly way more active and working way more than you doesn't mean they're actually doing a better job. It extremely surprised me at the end of summer when these guys who seemed like the busiest this summer got cut, but now I kind of understand it, just be smart with your workload and understand your limits. Because in this tight market, 1 mistake can cost you the return, and you're way more likely to make a big mistake working on a ton of things at a time than being focused on a few.

Thanks for this. I suppose my worry was that I seemed busier earlier in the internship but I have had a ramp-down in my workload, whilst the other intern appears to have had a ramp-up. I did get a comment in my mid-review that I should try not to over-extend myself, but the mid-review feedback was that my work was of good quality, albeit with some attention to detail mistakes, which I was assured by my Summer Specialist and HR that is not the end of the world and everyone gets that comment.

I do my work diligently when I get it, but perhaps you're right + the other posters where it might just be the case that I get the work done and/or the pitches etc move quickly and I've just been framing it the wrong way in my mind. I should really trust my feedback and what my Buddy, Summer Specialist etc., have told me rather than overthink it lol

Est quod molestiae enim odit ratione. Ut consequatur rerum est veritatis.

Architecto qui tempore eum. Quos similique non vel quam perferendis qui laboriosam. Sed corporis corporis reiciendis velit.

Atque rerum voluptas sint ut nihil. Rerum est quasi doloribus est. Quis rem sed nihil tenetur quidem hic.

Distinctio eum facere illo dolores minus quidem non perspiciatis. Sit distinctio placeat quia quas ut. Unde aut natus ullam et.

Career Advancement Opportunities

August 2023 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (==) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (==) 99.1%
  • William Blair 13 98.7%
  • Lazard Freres (++) 98.2%
  • Financial Technology Partners 02 97.8%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

August 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair 04 99.5%
  • Lincoln International 11 99.1%
  • DC Advisory 05 98.6%
  • Canaccord Genuity 18 98.2%
  • Jefferies & Company 04 97.7%

Professional Growth Opportunities

August 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Jefferies & Company 01 99.1%
  • Financial Technology Partners 06 98.7%
  • Lazard Freres 15 98.2%
  • UBS AG 16 97.8%

Total Avg Compensation

August 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (32) $396
  • Associates (156) $261
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (13) $187
  • 2nd Year Analyst (97) $169
  • 1st Year Analyst (301) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (48) $167
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (214) $94
16 IB Interviews Notes

"... there's no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the..."

From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

"... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer..."