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Should I Accept A Job Offer After A Prestigious Internship?

Posted by | November 16, 2017 | Internship

Via Forbes : Should I Accept A Job Offer After A Prestigious Internship?

Answer by Jonathan Jones, former Global Head of Investment Banking Recruiting at Goldman Sachs, on Quora:

What should you do if you get an offer right after an internship at Goldman Sachs?

Well, firstly, congratulations are in order. You’ve made it through a very selective process, not just once (getting hired as an intern), but twice (demonstrating over a ten-week internship that, in the eyes of the firm, you have what it takes to succeed as an analyst).

Now what?

If you enjoyed the work you were doing over the summer, liked the people and the organization, then you should accept. Immediately. Then go enjoy your final year of college with the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing you have a great job to go to when you graduate.

What if you’re not so sure?

It may be that you’re having some doubts about whether the work you were doing for the summer is the kind of work you think you want to come back to do as a full-time analyst. It may alternatively be that, while having the opportunity to be an analyst at Goldman Sachs is pretty great, you feel there may be something out there that represents an even better option for you. If that’s the case, it’s of course entirely your prerogative to explore what’s out there, and there’s no doubt that the Goldman internship and return offer on your resume (which you should note – it’s an important marker) will make you very interesting to other employers. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind if you go down this road:

  1. Firms like Goldman understand that the best candidates have choices. As keen as they may be to have you commit, they will also respect your prerogative to consider other options before you do
  2. Even though your offer letter may say something like: “We’d like your answer by…” a good firm will generally be willing to grant you more time – within reason – if you’re straight with them about your decision-making process and intentions.
  3. But being straight about your plans is key. Under no circumstances should you ‘go dark’ (i.e., uncommunicative). It can breed distrust and ill-feeling. Even if you ultimately decide not to accept the offer, you should already be thinking about building your long-term reputation in the industry – so handling your offer professionally and maturely is important, whether or not you accept
  4. If you do decide to look at other options, either decline the offer you have (if you really don’t intend to take the job) or, at a minimum, work to conclude your exploration of the market quickly.
  5. Why? Well, if you really don’t intend to accept the offer regardless, then sitting on it prevents someone else who really might like to take the job from getting an offer (since firms won’t make two offers concurrently for one seat).
  6. Also, if you take too long over it, you risk souring the relationship with the group you got the offer from and making things awkward for yourself in the event you (eventually) do decide to come. Think of it this way: imagine you invited a boy or girl you liked to a dance happening three months from now. They said “I’ll get back to you” and then went silent for the next three months (while they looked around for someone they liked better to go with). If, at the end of all that, they then came back to you having failed to find something they liked better and said: “OK, I’ll go with you”, how would that make you feel? Well, hiring managers aren’t so different – if you signal to them how unexcited you are about working with them, don’t be surprised if they sour a bit on the whole thing too at some point.

In the end, you may find yourself having some tough decisions to make and choices to confront. But then again, agonizing over whether to accept an offer at Goldman Sachs is a problem a lot of people would like to have.

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