What To Do If You Have (Or Is It Had?) A Summer Internship At Bear Stearns

There’s no doubt panic has set in at Bear Stearns. Even before the deal was announced, Bear employees who had retreated to nearby Connolly’s Pub were comparing notes on what to do next. But the worry has spread beyond actual employees at Bear Stearns. Summer interns are starting to show concern now that they’ve realized the bank that hired them may very well pass from the earth.
Mergers & Inquisitions, a blog offering job advice for investment bankers, has produced a four point plan on what to do if you are worried about your summer internship at Bear Stearns. The advice includes not calling Bear Stearns. Nobody there knows anything anyway, and if they do they’re probably too busy to deal with your problem. But M&I does recommend seeking out alternative positions. Uncertainty about the future here is just to high. Engage in some personal risk management and hedge this bet.
Bear Stearns Episode 2: The Shareholders Strike Back [Mergers & Inquisitions]

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72 Responses to “What To Do If You Have (Or Is It Had?) A Summer Internship At Bear Stearns”

  1. guest says:

    My advice – fuck it. Get a job at an ice cream shop near the beach and enjoy your summer instead of spending it commuting and surviving on Sabretts. If you actually have what it takes to make money in this business in the future, missing out on this one summmer isn’t going to make the slightest difference. And when it’s time to get a real job and the recruiter is less than impressed with your ice cream scooping/dope smoking summer of ’08 you have the perfect out. “Well, I had a job lined up with Bear Stearns but…”
    Trust me on this.
    Regards, El Stupido

  2. guest says:

    Great advice. Kids are you listening? And, in case you havent figured it out, you can all now use the “I had a job lined up with Bear…” excuse.

  3. girl says:

    Or spend the summer taking a few classes to knock up your GPA.
    Plus you can say that the job you did end up doing “made me realize tenfold how passionate i am about a job in banking”. they love bullshit

  4. guest says:

    @ 9:10AM — or bartend down in Jamaica for the summer.
    Summer internships are retarded when you’re in college. Have the time of your life!

  5. guest says:

    The flaw in all these arguments is that the summer IB job drapes you in self importance. Struttin around the big city. Going to intern picnics (why is it that firms practically blow these kids – they do very little useful work), drinking with fake id’s at upper east and murray hill places that you wont be caught dead in when you’re 23. Can’t get that scooping ice cream.

  6. guest says:

    I was one of those college kids and I have started to look at other options. I did call JP Morgan yesterday and they said that they would like to bring all interns on with them, they are just exploring the possibility. HR over there told me it was one of the first things they are working on in their dept because of the timing.
    As much as I would love to follow the advice of others and have a fun summer working at the beach or some equivalent…you can’t get away with that in a business related major now. If you don’t have a powerful internship before graduation you greatly limit your opportunities when you get out.

  7. guest says:

    @9:44 I just puked. Luckily in was in my wastebasket, not on my monitor.

  8. guest says:

    One of the first things you learn in business is to not trust HR.

  9. guest says:

    Tim Sykes might be looking for some help.

  10. AJ says:

    I’m sorry, a powerful internship? Sorry, I’ve just become cold and bitter…

  11. guest says:

    Typical conversion rates for summer interns to full-time hires are between 10% to 50%
    Most simply do not have what it takes to come on full-time and they figure that out pretty damn quickly if you are spending all your time planning the next intern picnic.

  12. guest says:

    john, again, it’s good to help the kids and i can understand that you’re using the britney spears/justin timberlake method of achieving stardom– “get in w the kids and the masses will follow”– but lets maybe think BIGGER and wonder what are these ppl who are losing their JOBS, and not internships, are going to do now that they’ve lost a sig part of their nest egg and prob wont be able to get another job for awhile…i’m not talking abt the big time guys, im more interested in the avg level worker who has a mortgage and kids to pay for..

  13. guest says:

    maggies too!! dont forget maggies..

  14. guest says:

    yeah, i work at bear and i heard that jpm is taking all summer analysts and first-years. fuckers.

  15. guest says:

    Never give advice to kids in B-school or B-grad school. They know it all.
    The UberHirer

  16. mrpink says:

    Just get a job at the new Shake Shack.

  17. guest says:

    I work at an asset management firm. Standard procedure is to give interns a useful but not too important project, which they then spend full time on and generally bring to some adequate conclusion, which results in lots of adulation. The flaw is that in the real world you don’t have the luxury of sitting in a corner and working on one thing free of distractions, while in fact causing others to be distracted. Not to sound bitter, but I would be very pleased if this was an intern-free summer.

  18. guest says:

    i was you 2 years ago. trust me, the zeal for banking is going to fade fast. i think you should have a productive or interesting summer experience, but that was all i looked for when recruiting. the guy who says “I was in australia, etc, having a good time and learning about….” has a much better chance than someone who had a banking internship but is a complete tool.
    do something fun and quit trying to prove yourself to your immature, unwise undergrad business school friends

  19. Investorcluzo says:

    market is in the tank, look at leh, gs, and ms – all reported earnings of 40%-50% below last year. what does that tell you? limited activity for the boys and girls currently roaming the halls, not to mention even more limited activity for the summers. I would have to imagine that the number of picnics in the park sponsored by the banks will decrease too. all in all, not a great environment to “learn” or have “fun” (as all the banks like to say)…perhaps you could assist your finance professor as he/she writes their next tome on the financial crisis taking place now.

  20. guest says:

    Potential interns, chew on this: as Cluzo points out, things seriously suck out there now. A better worry is what you’re gonna do two, three years from now when its time to look for a real job. Don’t believe the Bush line that prosperity is just around the corner.

  21. guest says:

    So, a handsome intern at a powerful Wall Street firm is asked to deliver a painting to the CEO’s home in he Hamptons. The CEO’s “trophy wife” meets the intern at the door and shows him in. One thing leads to another and soon the handsome intern has the trophy wife bent over a nearby sofa like an open $9 shotgun and she is getting banged like a screen door in a hurricane. Suddenly the CEO walks into the home and screams, “What are you doing???” The handsome intern looks up and says, “Why, I’m working on the debt desk analyzing 130/30, bundled derivative tranches…”

  22. guest says:

    “Uncertainty about the future here is just to high.” — There’s another “o” in that “to.”
    I’m surprised JP Morgan is taking summer interns and first year hires.
    One thing that occurred to me last night is that JP Morgan may not be too aggressive on layoffs until after the shareholder vote, inasmuch as 30% of Bear Stearns’ stock is held by its employees. You don’t want to make too many go postal; you might mess up that sweet deal!

  23. guest says:

    Buddy of mine just had orientation on monday – got some free pens and some hr brochures. His plan is to pull the Costanza and just keep showing up everyday and hope the headless chickens don’t notice.

  24. guest says:

    There are two “s” in “asshole” as well.

  25. guest says:

    I sympathize with the above intern because it is true many firms will not give you a look if you did not have a good internship your junior year, calling any internship “powerful” is a joke of course but in terms of what kind of firepower you have applying for that first analyst position, a good gpa, involvement in activities, and a respectable internship really are about all the firepower you have as a 22yr old kid

  26. guest says:

    How about a graduating from a good school, which is unlikely if he’s an undergrad business major.

  27. guest says:

    Next recruiting season, you will actually look smart if you have the brains to say, given there wouldn’t be much work to do at any of the ibanks this summer, I worked for my finance prof / got some corporate experience / pursued my passion of X instead. But no, I will not hire you if you spent all summer getting high on the beach in sydney or scooped ice cream for three months.

  28. guest says:

    For all the BSC interns (especially the hot young females), you are welcome:
    Thadius T. Jones
    Investor/Financier/Evaluator of Talent

  29. AJ says:

    @10:40: if you ignore wharton…

  30. golden girl says:

    If you’re a junior and this is your last summer before graduation, it’d probably serve you well to see if you can find another position elsewhere, even if it means taking a haircut on the prestige of the firm. If you want to get a full time job out of college, having some sort of finance-related position will obviously help.
    But if you’re a sophomore or a freshman, get a life! And I mean that in the friendliest of ways. Travel. Get some job in Marthas Vineyard that enables you to get both a killer tan and laid on the beach with regularity. (That’s essentially what I did for those two summers, and they were the most fun summers I’ve ever had). At the very least, go slack off in London and “take classes at LSE” if you’re worried about your resume. RELAX, PEOPLE!

  31. guest says:

    This job in particular seems like a fine opportunity for an eager beaver, so to speak:
    Why not earn MORE than any of your fellow interns AND many BSC colleagues with several years of experience – all in your FIRST YEAR?
    Thadius T. Jones
    Investor/Financier/Evaluator of Talent

  32. guest says:

    yeah graduating from a good school is fine but nobody is going to care if you dont have a good gpa anyway. i had 3.4 and still there are plenty of firms i didnt even make the cutoff to interview just based on my lack of a 3.7 so …
    it only gets worse if you dont have the opportunity to be a boom hire

  33. guest says:

    how would a college student slack off in London when it costs about ten bucks for a cup of coffee

  34. guest says:

    Nobody gives a R’s F what you did freshman and sophomore summers anyway.

  35. golden girl says:

    @10:54 – If your parents can’t afford to foot the bill for a summer lounging in London, good luck finding a finance job in this economy. It’s all friends and family at this point.
    Cue the overreactions … now.

  36. golden girl says:

    @10:58 – exactly. When I see resumes that have like 5 years of finance experience and the candidate is only a sophomore, it pretty much tells me that this is someone that i would NOT want to be sitting near day in and day out.

  37. BruceWayne says:

    Would having Bear Stearns on your resume disqualify you from hawking Amway products?

  38. guest says:

    @10:54, yes working as summer escort will definitely put you into contact you can later leverage for a job in their department, probably one from which there is no way you could get fired

  39. guest says:

    @11:09 Nice! You obviously have on-the-job, real world experience that no B-school could teach these naive little kiddies. We’ll all be keepin’ our eyes on you. You are obviously going places in this great capitalistic market that rewards outside-the-box thinking (such as yours) instead of the mindless mass conformity so prevalent in today’s corporate shills who will work 80 hour weeks so some upper management prick can afford another painting for his wife’s third vacation home wall.
    Thadius T. Jones
    Investor/Financier/Evaluator of Talent

  40. guest says:

    Here’s a thought. Get a job. ANY job. I know, I know, your parents who paid for all your expensive tutoring/special summer camps/enrichment programs will freak out. And you will too.But just do it. And then start an IRA with your little stake. If you are barely 20, the miracle of compound interest will start working. And then when you are in your 50s, and your fancy investment bank goes belly up, you will at least have a cushion. Not a big cushion. Maybe a pin cushion, but at least a pin cushion. -cranky old person

  41. guest says:

    It’s laughable that “finance experience” in the form of internships is such a concern. During college, I worked in a gravel pit for one summer and an iron mine for two. In my banking interviews, this was seen as a huge positive compared everyone else who formatted comps during the summer.

  42. guest says:

    When I hire, I look for the guy who will do whatever I want without screwing it up and won’t be asking me for a raise except every five years. For a girl, I look for the bounciest tits. Seriously. It’s not like they’re going to be working much longer when they meet that ‘great guy’ who’ll just put a bun in their oven so she can become Suzy Homemaker. And the ones who aren’t that way are chain-smoking dikes who cuss more than sailors and typically have some sort of mental problems. Bipolar disorder is the worst of ’em.

  43. guest says:

    @11:36 – In total agreement. Plus I also believe the desire to perform at high levels in a professional office job is enhanced after you’ve pick-axed trenches in frozen gravel crush or worked the rigs or have been slinging hash in a shitty restaurant, etc.

  44. guest says:

    @12:53 you are the epitome of a good hiring manager. totally agree.
    @1:17, i would hire the first two maybe, if they seemed like they had any brains in their head they worked hard AND maybe learned something about the industry. not the third guy though. what exactly do you learn as a short order cook?

  45. guest says:

    oh unless by “slinging hash” you mean he was a dope dealer then yes, that is very enterprising

  46. guest says:

    You’re all hosed.

  47. guest says:

    The question is not “what to do if you had an internship lined up with Bear”? But rather, “why would you want to work in IB”? Count this as a blessing and go find a real job.

  48. guest says:

    I appreciate all the advice the experienced are giving on this thread, but as a JPMorgan ’08 SA, it’s pretty scary to hear people suggesting interns go and work some random job with the expectations of getting a FT offer later on. Is that really true in this day and age? When firms are searching for younger and younger talent (some have begun to start programs that target high school students and freshmen to pull them in early)? When requirements for positions are becoming more and more rigorous? When firms are getting more and more selective because they can’t hire as many as they’d like anymore? I can’t imagine firms would invest so much cash (I’ll be making WELL over 10K this summer, not including the signing bonus) into people if there was no difference to them between an applicant who worked in mines or at the Dairy Queen and applicant who worked for them over the summer. Doesn’t make sense to me. Is this “eff-internships-go-scoop-ice-cream” advice just for Bear folks or for all SAs?
    And @10:01, the percentage of FT hires can be as high as 80%; firms nowadays seem to prefer to take and mold what they’ve already trained (as long as they’re competent and a good fit) than to put in more time, resources, and money in finding others. Though it could absolutely be much lower this summer, what with things going they way they’re going.
    As for the Bear interns (though obviously you’re pretty low on the pity list compared to most Bear employees), I wish you guys the best. And if the rumor IS true that JPMorgan is taking you all under its wing, that’s cool; I welcome the extra competition (given that it’s likely the additional interns will result in double the interns competing for a similar number of FT offers). Though I seriously doubt much of the ’08 JPM SA class is going to feel the same way.

  49. guest says:

    Don’t want to bust your bubble, but JPM is the largest for profit employer in NYC. Theres no way that an internship is a prerequisite for a permanent job there. And I mean quality jobs – not tellers. Its a two way street – they need a lot of bodies, part of the way they fill the ranks is through internships.
    Also, as someone who does hiring, I can tell you for sure that there is something to be said for applicants who work in mines. A lot of things go into the decision, so I don’t want to generalize here and say I’d hire a miner over an intern. But to conclude the opposite – that the intern carries an automatic advantage over the miner – is totally false.

  50. guest says:

    @4:11: “I welcome the extra competition”
    Its comments like that that make interns annoying.

  51. guest says:

    Once again, why would you want to go into IB? unless you enjoy being someone’s b!tch

  52. guest says:

    The hope behind the comments that JPM will/could hire a ton of summers (80%!?) is frustrated by the reality that in this economy turnover declines and folks are willing to work more/harder to stay in a job. That jobs aren’t out there impacts more than people looking to enter the workforce…it impacts those who are already in it.

  53. guest says:

    4:11 has a pretty accurate take on the situation. Most firms nowdays recruit their analysts almost completely from their summer intern pools.
    You might want to give a guy who worked in the mine a shot, but he would never make it past HR to interview with you.

  54. guest says:

    @ 4:35,
    Granted, this was reported last year before the ’07 SA class got offers, but it seems legit given it’s an interview from the global head of recruiting and training. Pretty high rate.
    What you said about mining makes sense though, after first glance. Rough work, long hours, risk, dedication to a job few people could or would want to handle… I suppose it makes sense that there’d be qualities in those jobs recruiters look for. Thanks for the insight.

  55. AJ says:

    @4:11: do you seriously think any bank is hiring anywhere near 80% of its interns this year/next year? Maybe over the past few years that many were getting offers but now, no one will.
    Plus, with the number of analysts being let go all over the place, do I want to extend an offer to an intern or hire an experienced analyst for slightly more? That’s even assuming places will be hiring.
    Goodluck with the added competition…

  56. guest says:

    @4:59: Oh, no, definitely not. It’s obvious firms will be cutting the number of offers all across the board; I was just refuting 10:01’s assertion that the conversion rate has been 10-50%(check out the link posted on 4:51). I doubt it will be anywhere near 80% this summer at any firm, and that won’t happen again for quite some time, if ever.
    Hmm, good point about experienced analysts. Looks like we’re all screwed. Bad time to get in the business…but I think I’ll still stick with the internship; who knows what other opportunities it could open up. Fingers crossed.

  57. AJ says:

    @515: You’ll definitely have a leg up on the other people looking for full time offers, even if JPM f’s you and doesn’t hire you… the internship definitely helps versus not having it…

  58. guest says:

    @4:11: I’m the miner analyst. I’m towards the end of my second year, so I have some recruiting knowledge fresh in my mind. I can tell you with certainty that I would NOT have landed this job, nor would I have performed as well, if I did not have the manual labor experience.
    The knowledge you gain in an internship is a commodity. Any semi-intelligent graduate can pick up the necessary skills within a few weeks/months of starting a full-time job. But the most important question that interviewers will ask themselves is “can this kid take the stress, or will they burn out and flake off?” If you can point to something that assuages their doubt, your chances of getting hired are much higher.
    Certainly, a banking internship will not hurt you. But you shouldn’t think that it’s a necessity, and you shouldn’t avoid other unique opportunities that may present themselves.

  59. guest says:

    Makes sense. Thanks 5:26.

  60. guest says:

    10K over the summer? Is that a lot of money? I grossed that as a design intern at Northern Telecom almost a decade and half ago and banked probably half of that. And good jobs were pretty damn hard to find in western Canada back through most of the 90’s. Today’s engineering and geology interns could easily bank 10K. And that’s in an area of the continent that is much less expensive than NYC. Interns are like IT… they cost less than the first 3 feet of a dry well. There has to be an equivalent term in the Bulge Bracket.
    Not trying to downplay the significant and immediate concerns that the evaporation of a summer job (hell, ANY job) can create, but lots of people have been through worse on many occasions in the past and they’ve still survived to this point.
    –Calgary Schmooze

  61. guest says:

    if you are a finance guy, I hope you did the math before you thought you got a ‘sweet’ deal by being accepted into JP’s summer program.
    Given that a regular summer program lasts 12 weeks (3 months) and you work 70 hours a week, which is probably on the lower end, you’re taking home just under $12/hour GROSS. Understandably there is the ‘long term’ advantages argument, but really, I think if you’re smart you’ll find something more rewarding to do over the summer than being a ‘yes sir’.

  62. guest says:

    Its on an hourly basis prorated on a first year analyst’s salary plus eligibility for overtime (though I’m a little dubious about that part) which makes it pretty lucrative for a college kid who works through school and depends on student loans. Possibly near 15,000, depending on the hours. But even if I was getting paid only 10,000, or even 5,000, I’d totally take it for the experience. I think some of you forget how much even 5 or 10,000 is to a 20 year-old whose Dad isn’t a wealthy CEO or something. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

  63. guest says:

    How many people would pay to be Bess Levin’s intern “just for the experience”?

  64. guest says:

    @12:53. My, aren’t you the big, bad Neanderthal!
    Department of Labor statistics show most women work a lifetime now. The economy doesn’t support too many “Suzy Homemakers” any more.
    As to working women being “chain-smoking dikes {sic) who cuss more than sailors and typically have some sort of mental problems,” what do you care about someone smoking or having same sex relations? They can’t do either at your office.
    As to cursing, you do work on Wall Street, don’t you? Are you serious?
    As to suffering from “bipolar disorder,” you’re right, it’s one of the worst afflictions possible. Fortunately, it affects only about 1% of the population, meaning the vast majority of women you’re going to come into contact aren’t manic depressives. It’s not an affliction exclusive to women, by the way. Also, bipolar disorder can be controlled by medication, so you may know functioning people with the diagnosis that are keeping it quiet because of attitudes like yours. Thank God, medical records are one of the last bastions of privacy.
    By the way, how old are you? It’s like your attitudes were sealed in a time capsule circa 1965. Vintage!

  65. guest says:

    There are jobs, with zero experience, that pay more money then a NYC IB Intern.
    When I was in college a long long time ago, back when Dinosaur’s still wandered the earth… I made more in three months with no skills then you guys are getting paid this summer…
    It only took three things…
    1) A willingness to work longer hours then any IB intern works…
    2) A willingness to risk your life at times…
    3) And the ability to think with others are panicking.
    US Forest Service Fire fighter… Summer Season work, leadership training, decision making and pay that can reach multi thousand per week.
    You only have to be able to physically work 100+ hours of manual labor in a week and understand that your first season your everyone ones bitch. IF you survive the process, it is a great summer job.
    I am a PM of a HF now… never believed I would get here then… but if you work hard… people will always notice…
    If you learn to be calm when others panic, you and your people will survive when others “blow up”, get burned over, or flame out from the stress. Its about managing your environment, not allowing your environment to manage you.
    Best of Luck, and like the Miner analyst hinted towards, physical labor is great for the perspective of what is real and what is just a bunch of numbers on your screen.
    ~Stupid Equity Guy

  66. guest says:

    Many of you make it sound like interns getting these jobs haven’t worked a day in their lives before though. I know I have had a job since the day I entered high school…being someone’s bitch as that short order cook. I have been all over the place saving money. Even if IB sucks right now the names are what sell you. Saying you were an intern at a JP, Goldman, or Bear makes you marketable. I honestly have no desire to go into IB…but the experience and resume building are what it takes. Coming out of college is competitive and you have no choice but to one up everyone around you.

  67. guest says:

    So, it sucks that so many people are telling summer interns to just find some other job. If an intern takes the job just to kiss ass, then he/she is gonna work 100 hours a week and hate life.
    But did you ever think that some (not many) of the kids who intern are actually really interested in how financing a company really works, how an IPO process happens, how to value companies, and these kids want to figure out if they like (read: can handle) the lifestyle and work that banking demands.
    Maybe some interns want to do that in a 10 week summer and have a chance to get the fuck out if they think it sucks, instead of just signing on blindly for the first 2 years of life post-collegiate life. Sure you can just quit after two weeks, but then you have an expensive NYC apartment, college loans, and no really good options to switch into.
    I definitely understand that some (probably most) full-time employees think interns are useless (which we probably are) so no argument there. I’ll try to stay out of your way this summer. Just don’t write off every intern as an ass-kissing pride-loving jackass.

  68. guest says:

    @8:01 – I don’t want to sound like a T. Rowe Price commercial, but your argument makes sense: it’s more rewarding to NOT follow the crowd (to the tune of $25k in a summer). I’ll be working at a hedge fund in a few months and am thankful that I will have had training in high-risk, high-stress situations. My dad calls me every few months to tell me about another ex-coworker who was killed on the job. Puts all of these banking shenanigans in perspective. It also puts a gigantic chip on your shoulder, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your attitude.

  69. guest says:

    How important are sophomore internships?

  70. guest says:

    I think the biggest problem is that the kids who had an internship lined up with BSC aren’t going to go work in a coal mine or steel mill or whatever. They’re probably going to be sitting at a desk, answering phones and playing games on facebook, eating mayonnaise straight out of the jar. And then they justify their decision to take this easy job, rather than doing manual labor for 12 hours a day, by claiming it better prepares them for a job in finance because it’s more “similar.”
    Anyone who goes to college today can sit at a desk all day. One summer of doing this in an “official” capacity isn’t impressive. Believe it or not, the people doing the hiring would rather see you in a job that requires hard work and responsibility than one that is more “similar” to the business world.

  71. guest says:

    IB internships teach you nothing. But *getting* an IB internship is a strong signal that the recipient is “smarter than the average Bear”. This is just like people who get into Harvard and decline being no worse off than those who accepted.
    Nothing wrong with summer internships — especially ones beyond Excel formatting. S&T or IT jobs can teach you something. Internships also do a great job at demystifying the industry.
    I interned because it paid more than Target. That’s reason enough for a capitalist prick like myself.