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PJT Partners
Related Internships: 
PJT Partners Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program


Vault’s Verdict

A very prestigious independent investment banking firm, PJT Partners is looking for technically sound, well-spoken candidates who are ready to be client-facing from day one. The firm’s internship program gets excellent reviews. It gives interns access to valuable training, one-on-one mentorship from junior and senior bankers, and exposure to live assignments in various industries. Meanwhile, full-time junior bankers get access to numerous career development opportunities, including early responsibility on live deals, working directly with clients, merit-based promotions, and strong formal and informal mentoring.

PJT Partners’ collaborative culture is one of its strong suits. The firm hosts many happy hours, exercise classes, and social events, and there’s a genuine push to make sure employees have a healthy work/life balance. In general, senior bankers genuinely care about the happiness of junior bankers and are very respectful of their time. However, hours can still be long and unpredictable due to the strong live deal flow. As for compensation, PJT Partners offers one of the best salary and bonus packages on the Street, along with remote-work opportunities (such as a much-appreciated Friday work-from-home policy) and free lunches and snacks. Vacation time, medical benefits, and wellness reimbursements are also generous.

PJT Partners has strong DEI initiatives in place and has been becoming more diverse, but the firm still could improve in this area. While there is great gender diversity (even at the senior levels) and a focus on recruiting diverse employees, the firm could improve when it comes to racial and LGBTQ+ diversity hiring. As for the firm’s business outlook, it is very strong. PJT Partners has a best-in-class leadership team in place, strong employee morale, and a solid business model balanced between M&A and restructuring, allowing the firm to be successful in both up and down markets. The firm is poised to continue to perform extremely well for the foreseeable future.

Hiring Process

“The interview process allows candidates to meet with individuals of all levels across the firm. As a result, candidates are able to get a sense of whether they will mesh with the organization's culture. The callback process is efficient, allowing candidates enough time to prepare for each round without leaving them waiting weeks for a response.”

“Ideally looking for someone who is very technical, has good judgment, and is well-spoken—ready to be client-facing from the beginning.”

“Focused on hiring the highest performing, most qualified candidates. Typically hire people with backgrounds in finance or previous internship activity that can ‘hit the ground running.’”

“Can be several phone interviews, then a Super Day in-person. Looking for someone who is technically sound and overall a good-natured person. There’s an unspoken ‘no-jerk’ policy at the firm—people are pleasant to work with, which is crucial in an industry where the pressure and stakes can be intense.”

Interview Questions

“Typical investment banking interview questions, leaning more on technical. The first round is all technical for analysts and associates: paper LBO and IRR, accounting questions on leases, depreciation, provisions, restructuring questions around debt, recovery math, etc."

“The most competitive interview process of any of the banks. Multiple rounds, with cases, technicals, behaviorals, and problem-solving.”

“Walk through the impact on the three statements of a debt buyback. What are some of the benefits of an in-court vs out-of-court restructuring? What is a restructuring case you've been following?”

“Lots of questions on restructuring practices. Distressed debt analysis by Moyer. Chapter. 11 and out of court exchange process and some brainteasers: How many coins fit in your room? Would those stack all the way up the empire state building?”

Intern Experience

“The internship program was extremely well organized, with each summer associate being assigned a specific junior mentor (experienced associate/ VP) and senior mentor (MD) who would have check-ins weekly, if not more. This was on top of the senior associate and vice president who were in charge of day-to-day internship items. Additionally, there were ‘intern pods’ that were held once a week in which existing associates and vice presidents would come and open-forum chat with summer associates. And the level of detail and specificity the team had when performing my mid-internship and final review was impressive.”

“Respectful and friendly work culture: tight-knit group with regular class events, strong mentorship culture, and great exposure to different aspects of the job/deal environment (industries, debtor/creditor, pitches).”

“I received a lot of one-on-one mentorship from junior and senior people. It felt like PJT really wanted you to develop skills and build relationships during the internship, and I got firsthand deal experience and contributed as an associate to some very high-profile deals. Only downside was the unpredictability of hours.”

“The internship really gave a sense for what the full-time job would look like. I built great relationships with deal teams as an intern, and they have carried over into mentorships at the firm since I've been here full time. Staffing could be lumpy, which is probably a function of banking more than a PJT specific issue, but I definitely ended up not that busy for a few weeks and then extremely busy for the last six weeks.”

Career Development

“Career development is mostly informal here and bolstered by mentors within the organization who really care about talent development. There is very little turnover at the highest levels of the organization, and there is a strong emphasis on culture that comes through in career development, particularly for the associates and beyond who are expected to be here in permanent roles.”

“Significant runway—a lot of room to grow into very senior levels here, many client-facing opportunities, and enough work to go around. Promotions are very merit-based and about proving yourself—there’s an opportunity for accelerated promotion schedules.”

“PJT is committed to developing its talent. When the new class of first-year analysts and associates join each summer, PJT holds a month of formal training, ending with a full week of M&A-specific training sessions. PJT also holds meet-and-greets with different industry groups to learn more about each sector. Additionally, the promotion paths and mentorship program are both very formalized and have buy-in from the most senior levels of the firm, which is a huge positive. One downside is that there is not a structured way to work at international offices, although it is possible.”

“PJT's small size relative to other firms allows for many mentorship opportunities, both formal and informal, between senior and junior team members. It also lends itself to close working relationships between junior and senior team members, which gives juniors the ability to gain a fuller picture of the different paths available to them as they progress in their career.”

Quality of Life

“Phenomenal culture and quality of life. Arguably the best in banking. The firm and team balance high-profile client work with ensuring employees are content and enjoying life very well.”

“There is a genuine push to make work/life balance real. We have plenty of happy hours, exercise classes, and events that are nice from a culture perspective. MDs and partners are genuinely concerned about the happiness of employees. However, sometimes there’s just so much work and things are so busy that working very late is inevitable, even if it’s not the team’s intention and desire.”

“Quality of life can be up and down. There is generally an emphasis on not doing work for the sake of doing work, but we can have very busy stretches through holidays and weekends due to short-term timelines on our deals. It’s certainly not the best aspect of my job, but I think it is likely better than at most of our peer institutions.”

“The firm is extremely good at not creating wasteful work. However, despite work not being wasted, it still can be overly consuming. Restructurings are far more often live than work in M&A or general coverage, which often leads to things constantly feeling like fire drills. Overall, people are very respectful, deals teams are structured to work well together, and I have felt that the people in the group will absolutely help to cover and make sure people’s personal lives are not fully taken over by a demanding job. Extremely strong people at PJT, both personally and professionally.”

Salary and Benefits

“PJT offers probably one of the best packages on the Street, including flexible remote opportunities and lunches and snacks. They are constantly reevaluating compensation proactively.”

“The salary and compensation is very generous, and I appreciate the Friday work-from-home policy.”

“Extremely competitive compensation that remains largely cash-weighted. Extensive maternity/paternity leave.”

“Very generous vacation time and great medical coverage. Would be nice for lower level staff (below director) to have a higher 401(k) match and better remote/hybrid work options.”

Wellness Efforts

“Plenty of initiatives available: mental health counseling, free training sessions available, gym/fitness reimbursements, and our team does monthly workout classes as team bonding, which is really fun. The in-office snacks could be much healthier, but overall I think they do a good job of prioritizing health for employees.”

“Free therapy, exercise incentives, workshops. Good food available in office, no excessive face-time culture: you can go home at 6 p.m. if that's what works best for you.”

“There's a $3,000 wellness credit we can use, which is very flexible. The firm also works hard to ensure no team members are getting overly crushed with work. The staffers are in constant communication with us to ensure we're not getting burnt out.”

“The firm provides counseling and mental health services, but I wish that exercise stipends would be more prevalent/generous.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“At a firm level, there is a strong focus on recruiting diverse employees, and senior management is quite diverse. Strong representation from women at senior levels.”

“Seemingly has very much stepped it up in this regard. Not perfect yet (need more women and racial diversity), but there are strong initiatives and training for addressing these issues. Check back in three to five years.”

“There is great gender diversity, though very few ethnically diverse and LGBTQ+ front-office employees. There was little focus or formal recognition of D&I until this year, after many employees self-started and led efforts. The firm recently committed to employees that this will be a new focus for them going forward.”

“Tons of women-led teams and women at the top of the organization, as well as diversity with regards to race and ethnicity. Not sure how much diversity with respect to LGBTQ+, but that's also trickier to observe from the outside. They do have an LGBTQ+ group and host a number of events and discussions throughout the year.”

“The firm has a strong commitment to ESG and consistently reports on them. Also, there are lots of volunteering activities to participate in, and you are actually permitted and encouraged to take time to participate.”

Business Outlook

“Best-in-class leadership at the executive and group levels. Great business balance between M&A and restructuring. The firm is poised to do exceptionally well over the next 12 months.”

“We're uniquely positioned to weather the recession given our top restructuring practice. Our solid business model is reflected in our stock price staying resilient despite other public firms dropping recently.”

“Paul is one of the most highly respected CEOs I’ve seen. In my group, morale is quite high after comp issues were addressed, and everybody seems quite happy with pay this year (and obviously last year from what I hear). Zero expectations of layoffs or business difficulties even in the current macro environment, which can't be said for many firms right now. People are generally inclined to work even harder in order to make sure that the people around them are able to remain with the firm.”

“The business continues to increase both its top and bottom line ahead of competition, with a growing team base and extremely high employee morale. It is well poised for success, and employees are encouraged to thrive.”

PJT Partners

280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 364-7800

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: PJT
Stock Exchange: NYSE
Chairman & CEO: Paul J. Taubman
2023 Employees (All Locations): 910

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Hong Kong, CN
London, UK
Los Angeles, CA
Madrid, ES
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Houston, TX
Frankfurt, GE
Paris, FR

Major Departments & Practices

Strategic Advisory
PJT Camberview
Restructuring & Special Situations
PJT Park Hill