Well the summer is coming to an end and I can't believe that the time has come for me to go back up to school! I'm probably more excited this time around than I was a year ago because I THINK I know what I'm in for this time around. But, I am not writing this post to talk about my excitement for school. I'm writing this post because I want to talk about internships.
So if you've been an avid blog reader you know that I've been working at a start-up this summer working on customer acquisitions. There are a whole host of companies that do not pay their interns, with many start-ups falling into that category. So, while I did get a small paycheck this summer, I can definitely feel the pain of my fellow start-up interns who did not receive a paycheck. Now, it can be argued that my experience this summer offsets the potential of a paycheck, but a paycheck is nice after 10 months of being in school and only having Sallie Mae come to visit. I would not change my summer experience for anything but I had to set up the next thing that i want to bring up.
Many of my friends at b-school are in finance. Some of you can probably see where this is going right now hahahahah.... Now I won't say that my experience was the exact opposite of theirs because relative to one another we learned the same things - BUT, the worlds could not be more different. This has been on my mind now that I'm starting to see my friends who had internships in finance more and more now that they are done with their internships and have and/or are waiting for their offers.
Inevitably the topic of money has come up between all of us (not in a bad way) but in terms of negotiating salaries, bonuses, and summer bonuses. None of which I will receive. The start-ups that I know of don't give out offers for NEXT summer because rarely do they know what their human resources needs will be a month from now let alone a year from now.
The conversations of their salaries 10 years out are what I call "Not Normal Conversations." To hear someone say - "Yeah... I should be making $300-400k in 5 years" is just not something that I grew up hearing in my "circle." I've become more accustomed to it thanks to business school, but having been back in the workforce over the summer, it's even more of a reality. Now of course, I'm not taking into account the fact that they are working 100+ hours a week, but the grass is always greener right?
My calling is definitely NOT banking or equity research of private wealth management and I'm ecstatic that my friends have been successful up until this point in those fields. It's just very.... hmmm what's the word? ... interersting... tough... having conversations with them about their potential summer bonuses of $X,000 and their signing bonuses of $XX,000 and post-business school salaries of $1XX,000 when for most people (maybe consultants) it's not so obvious.
Now when we have these conversations my friends are not bragging by any means. They're just talking - just like we did all year, so I definitely don't take it in a negative way. I do take it in a "is this really the conversation we're having right now? albeit and important one (re: negotiating and budgeting) but really?" A couple of times it's gotten to the point where I've kind of had to bring them back to MY CURRENT reality. It's not really normal to talk about how you need to got o Hermes to buy $200 ties so that you can fit in with the folks at work. Yes, sure some may say (and I would too) that it's a must given the environment, but to say that to someone who just worked for 3 months without a paycheck is a little unsympathetic. I would never want any of my friends to sugarcoat what they say to me or edit themselves, but yes, I can say that sometimes when we talk about these things, I have to do a gut check.
I'm not too concerned over the difference in salaries at the moment, because I'm destined for some GREAT things coming up. I keep telling myself that it's great to have best friends who are:
- Equity Research Analysts because then they can give me market comps for my start-up
- I-bankers because they can underwrite my IPO
- Private Wealth managers because they can manage my money after I make billions
- Consultants because I'll just hire them lmao...
These are the things that I'm thinking about now. The good thing though is that I'M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY!!! BOOM