GUEST COMMENT: I have a graduate offer from RBS and am now feeling extremely concerned

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Worried student

When I agreed to spend last summer as an intern in RBS’s fixed income business, I thought I was under no illusions. I knew that RBS didn’t have the strongest investment banking platform on the street. However, I also knew it was a strong fixed income house and had heard that it had a more relaxed culture than the ‘bulge bracket’ firms and a great intern conversion rate.

During my internship, my love for RBS flourished. I loved the people and I loved the culture. I was less enamored of the fact that as markets weakened, the intern conversion rate plummeted from around 60% to (what appeared to be) around 30%. However, as I received an offer, I was able to overlook this. Secure in the knowledge that I would be working for RBS when I graduated, I gave up shopping around and spent the past six months looking forward to my new life post-graduation.

Now, however, I am feeling very troubled. Ever since the news before Christmas that RBS may be obliged by the British government to cut its investment banking business in half, I have felt my future to be uncertain. Today, it is claimed that RBS has appointed Lazard to sell parts of the bank.

In these circumstances, I would like reassurance. So far, however, there have been no reassuring messages from RBS. Nor are there any other markets graduate jobs available at other banks. If my offer from RBS falls through, I may be obliged to go through the whole process of interning somewhere else simply to get a new offer. Is this really worth it when I’m not even guaranteed a conversion? Some banks insist you’re studying a masters if you want to do an internship when you’ve graduated. Do I really want to spend another £20k for what may be nothing?

If my offer is rescinded, I do have a plan.  I will consider going traveling and upon my return, I will apply to work at accountancy firms – ideally, the Big Four. I will also apply to smaller trading houses.

Is this the right course of action? I would appreciate some feedback from informed individuals reading this article. If my offer is not rescinded, should I still be joining RBS anyway? Many of their most talented bankers have already left and many others are predicted to leave after this year’s bonus round. I am concerned that it will no longer be a notable investment bank. Is this a good first employer to have on my CV?