7/12/12

I know that squash is overcoming golf as the #1 in some hubs on the east coast (esp. nyc), but what else is on the list? How do the traditional ones of golf / tennis / basketball currently rank? What are some hobbies/sports that are growing in popularity for networking? Cycling? MMA?

From quora -Which is the best sport for networking in the business world? -it mentions the growth of cycling for networking in the business world, had no idea.

Cycling is continuing to grow in popularity. Like golf because of the time commitment and expense required to take part in the activity it tends to self-select among folks who are at least somewhat affluent and have some control over their schedules. They also tend to be a pretty driven bunch, which is good or bad depending on how fit you are. :)

Also, how does it vary by location? (ie how big is squash on the west coast? do bankers in Toronto go curling together? do VC's in CA go surfing together?)

Comments (102)

3/7/12

Golf is the absolute no-brainer. Golf outings are by far the most common networking hobby in finance. Outings are very common between sell-side, buy-side, and company management. If you can't play at a passable level it could even hurt your career advancement.

Financial Modeling

3/7/12
Bowser:

Golf is the absolute no-brainer. Golf outings are by far the most common networking hobby in finance. Outings are very common between sell-side, buy-side, and company management. If you can't play at a passable level it could even hurt your career advancement.

Yeah I know a few friends that have paid a lot of $ on golf instruction to get up to that "passable" level. One friend in particular said his boss told him if promoted it would be "necessary" for him to play golf with clients (and that he better be up-to-par (excuse the pun) by the time this promotion came around)

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

3/7/12

Skiing, no doubt!

But to get the job and into the industry, I would say joining a gym / club of some sort in a finance area.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

3/7/12

Basketball and golf are the basics, the rest are just gravy.

3/7/12

squash is where it's @ if you up in the NYC.

3/7/12

Kickball...not kidding.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

3/7/12
happypantsmcgee:

Kickball...not kidding.

Dodgeball as well.

3/7/12
Mr. Hansen:
happypantsmcgee:

Kickball...not kidding.

Dodgeball as well.

capture the flag?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

3/7/12

The shit we are willing to do to get ahead haha.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

3/7/12

Started a thread on the same topic about half a year ago: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/best-network...

I still think squash is the best networking sport. Quick games mean it's easier to find time to play and you have more potential partners. Games are also intense, potentially attracting more type-A people. Unlike golf and tennis, it can be easily played year-round. Finally, squash courts are available in almost all private city clubs.

Something that's really gaining in popularity is triathlon training/races. Well-suited for competitive people, especially as they age.

3/7/12

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

3/7/12
HighlyLeveraged:

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

Cool didn't know, specifically which cities? or all over?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

3/7/12
AndyLouis:
HighlyLeveraged:

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

Cool didn't know, specifically which cities? or all over?

London, France, Germany

3/7/12
HighlyLeveraged:

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

I suppose a lot of dorks do go into IB.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

3/7/12
HighlyLeveraged:

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

Former fencer here. Competed nationally and in college, and never met a single influential person while doing it, at least not in North America. Europe may be a different situation, but no matter where you are remember that it is a VERY small community of people.

3/7/12
Jimage:
HighlyLeveraged:

Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

Former fencer here. Competed nationally and in college, and never met a single influential person while doing it, at least not in North America. Europe may be a different situation, but no matter where you are remember that it is a VERY small community of people.

I think its a European thing. Lots of bankers and hedge fund people doing this, especially in "gentlemen" private clubs

3/7/12

Next year I will play college golf for a target school, will this be a plus when it comes to i-banking interviews since golf outings are so prevalent?

3/7/12
Studiofan:

Next year I will play college golf for a target school, will this be a plus when it comes to i-banking interviews since golf outings are so prevalent?

any varsity sport is a great add to a resume for extra currics, golf I would imagine is even better (though your boss may hit you up for free lessons)

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

3/7/12

Womanizing

"Know what to do, know how to do it, and do it hard." - Juan Castillo

If you are in the Toronto Area join my group "Toronto Prospective Monkeys"
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/group/toronto-prosp...

3/7/12

Brazilian jiu jitsu

3/7/12
TimothyBryce:

Brazilian jiu jitsu

I remember reading an article about it.

3/7/12

Don't be a geek, pick something you like. I got my first internship at a hedge fund by sparring at my thai boxing gym.

I would've came across as an asshole if I had tried cycling just to network.

3/7/12
evilbyaccident:

Don't be a geek, pick something you like. I got my first internship at a hedge fund by sparring at my thai boxing gym.

I would've came across as an asshole if I had tried cycling just to network.

very true. do what you love. i was an NCAA All-American in competitive tickling. missed several state titles by a hair. literally.

3/7/12

Squash? Fencing? No sir, not for me. Those sound as boring as f**k. I'll stick with golf, basketball, and traditional tennis.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

3/7/12

musical instruments are good. skin flutes especially.

3/7/12
melvvvar:

musical instruments are good. skin flutes especially.

Too real.

Cheers.

3/7/12

The reason golf > squash is because the pace allows for a lot of bullshitting and chit chat. Over a round of golf you will get to know whether or not you like someone. Same principle as interviewing someone and asking yourself, "Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this guy?" Furthermore, Country Clubs are the ultimate status symbols.The draw for every exclusive CC in the world is the golf course, not the squash courts. Get a guy on Winged Foot, Liberty National or Shinnecock and the business is yours. Take him to Augusta and you can bang his wife.

There are some pretty exclusive gun clubs in NYC. An obvious niche, but if you roll up with a nice piece you will have everyone's attention.

3/7/12

fishing?

3/7/12

One of my roommates got offered a job by some guy he played blackjack with all night, but I doubt that is common. For myself Golf has been the most helpful.

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

3/7/12

GOLF + SQUASH = PROMOTION

Financial Modeling

3/7/12

What about badminton?

3/7/12

Golf dominates any networking sport. Your conversations on the course can be as lighthearted or serious as you want them to be. You get to drink, cruise around the course in carts, and ogle the hot undergrad cart girls. Every respectable golfer in the country enjoys talking about their game, country club, golf clubs, swing issues, etc... golf almost makes it too easy to net work. In my last interview I probably spent 45 minutes with one of the firm's MDs just shooting the shit about the local golf scene.

3/7/12

I've only played golf a handful of times and i usually just focus on getting as hammered as possible on the course. How should i actually go about learning to play. Pay for lessons i assume???

Also kickball is awesome i play in a spring and summer league. All the younger staff play and it is a blast.

3/7/12

To get better at golf, your first step would be to get a solid group of guys that you enjoy playing with. It is really hard to get better if you have nobody to compete against/motivate you especially if you are a type A. Next I would get some lessons at a local course of driving range. After you have developed solid fundamentals go out and buy a nice set of clubs. I recommend doing some research because a good set of clubs can cot upwards of 2 grand, but can be a fraction of that if you buy used/last years models. Keep in mind avid golfers can talk your ear off about the newest clubs so it is good to know a little bit about clubs if you plan on networking on the course.

Lastly I would start to hit the course regularly interspersed with visits to the driving range. Keep in mind it is a gradual process and most golfers will never break 100. If after 5 years you can hold a handicap under 10 consider yourself lucky.

3/7/12

What is "yachting"?

3/8/12
Rhino85:

What is "yachting"?

ha i meant sailing....

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

3/7/12

^ it is like powerboating without the motor or the extra chromosome.

3/7/12

Do it the Jimmy Cayne way. Play bridge.

3/8/12

Skeet shooting for the win.

3/8/12

Ice hockey. Half the game is on the ice and the other half in the bar afterward.

3/8/12

I'd differentiate between sports where you merely need to be decent and sports where you need to be pretty good to see benefits. Basketball, golf and skiing fall in the first category, racquet sports and sailing in the second. I've heard very mixed and strong opinions on pro gambling (poker/bridge). Most other stuff you do it for yourself and networking benefits are secondary.

3/8/12

I used to box with him occasionally at the Harvard Club

3/8/12

Drinking can be a sport

3/13/12

cycling is getting huge.....this is the next thing on an international basis...

who the fuck plays basebawl in europe ?

3/13/12

Poker?

3/14/12

golf, squash most of my MD's are big into both of these

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

3/14/12

A lot of the European/South Asian/Australian finance guys play a lot of Cricket. I know of some big guys playing in a local league in CT

3/16/12

polo, hittin THE gym (the one with soros and the chick from wall street warriors).

3/17/12

What if you're athletically inept?

4/3/12

LACROSSE!!!! End of story

Clever got me this far
Then tricky got me in
Eye on what i'm after
I don't need another friend
Smile and drop the cliche
'Till you think I'm listening
I take just what I came for
Then I'm out the door again

5/30/12

ok, so bottom line if I have time to learn 1 sport this summer, it would be squash?

I'll be in NYC after the summer.

6/4/12

Squash

Poker

GOLF

Working out- You'll see many BSDs at a high class gym/club in the city

CAR SHOWS

DRINKING, your best bet- Bars in the city like: Underbar, W Hotel Bar, The Dubliner, Rosie O'Grady's (Huge UBS bar)

7/15/12

poker

7/15/12

high stakes poker to be exact

7/15/12

Started writing a post on golf but it got long so I'll make a dedicated post.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

7/15/12

lacrosse hands down

7/15/12

rugby hands down.

all the best MD's played rugby at uni.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

7/15/12

shuttlecock

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.

7/15/12

Did this work for you even if they weren't alumni? And if they were - would this really make the difference? Genuinely asking as the idea is interesting, I swam and ran track in HS/club level in college

7/15/12

I think it would mean most coming from a varsity athlete at the college level. Club sports don't count for much unless personal achievement is truly exceptional.

7/15/12

I have played rugby and lacrosse at the high school and club level and this made a big difference with non-alumni. Basically, these people have the similar personalities (this is a generalization) and are willing to help out people they more align with. Put it this way, would you rather help out a fellow athlete in a sport you love that didn't go to your school or the Asian finance nerd at your school who is still a virgin? Not trying to sound like a douche, just trying to provide a compelling example.

7/15/12

@wilder01 In my experience this hasn't been the case. What's more important is SIMILAR BACKGROUDS/PERSONALITIES/INTERESTS rather than achievement levels. Obviously if you haven't played the sport since middle school that would be weird. But if you were a varsity captain, all-conference in high school, and/or an active member of your school's club team that would be just fine.

7/15/12

True, I guess this came more into play for me during interviews. I swam varsity in HS and club in college, so if I interviewed with someone who also swam, things usually went well. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable cold emailing someone simply because we both swam. But to each their own..best of luck!

7/15/12

@wilder01 yeah everyone has their own style I just wanted to spread the knowledge about something I felt worked for me. good luck

7/15/12

No Polo?

7/15/12

When you say networking, are you trying to play sports as a way to interact outside of the work place with people you already know, or are you trying to meet new people outside of your workplace?

The ones that you mentioned are a bit more of a go with people you know type of thing. I don't know how squash clubs work, but I just can't imagine it's a bunch of guys hanging out waiting for some rando to play with. I could be completely wrong, and wouldn't mind being corrected.

Golf would semi work as you could go to the clubhouse as a single and if a group doesn't mind, you could hop on with them to finish out their foursome, but you better be good to do this or at least as good or better than the people you're playing with.

Sailing... I got nothing on that.

Team sports I feel are a better way to network with people you don't know as you'll be able to meet new people. Through playing hockey I've met a bunch of people that are in the industry. I play with some on my teams and I'm sure if they were in IB instead of PE, HF, AM, etc. that they could help me move forward.

Not only do team sports allow you to meet new people, it forces you to meet new people, and lots of them.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier

7/15/12

I mean mostly to meet people at other firms in case I want to make a jump to the buyside. Like, I join a squash club or sailing club and happen to play with or sail with a guy who works at a hedge fund that needs an analyst, we get to talking and find out I would be a good fit for the job. That kind of thing

7/15/12

Go backpacking In Costa Rica... I can't think of lamer sports than squash, golf, and sailing.

7/15/12

Have you played them? I've played traditional sports also but I doubt many 40 year olds play basketball in their spare time. Maybe I'm mistaken.

7/15/12
Anonymoose:

Have you played them? I've played traditional sports also but I doubt many 40 year olds play basketball in their spare time. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Hah, it sounds more like you just took the most stereotypical old rich white man sports you could think of. Of course 40 year old men play basketball, softball, soccer, etc. 40 isn't 80...

7/15/12

I think you (and a lot of others) are missing the point of this post. I already play all these sports (with the exception of golf). I'm asking whether or not I need to be taking golf or tennis lessons so that I'm good enough to play with anyone who invites me or if I should just focus on other things. My main question was whether or not I NEED to be able to golf in order to move up on the sell-side, or if I can accomplish the same sort of networking with squash or tennis. I'm already going to fucking Thailand, it wouldn't kill me to take a little time to learn a skill.

7/15/12

This whole thing honestly sounds kind of tool-ish. Just go have fun--don't learn a sport when you're 21 for the sake of trying to network with old rich guys.

My vote is for Costa Rica

7/15/12

Peter Lynch got a job at Fidelity while working as a caddie

7/15/12

Additionally, when it comes to networking, or having a successful person "take you under their wing," none of them times either have happened in my life have had anything to do with hobbies or sports but have had everything to do with simple, every day, social interaction. Anecdotal, sure, but I've had success in grocery stores, restaurant bars while waiting for a table, or just sending a resume and saying I'd love a mentor while never getting any career help on the golf course, softball field, or the gym. Most of the time, I've found that people don't want to talk shop at those times.

7/15/12

Ultimate Frisbee. White yuppies fucking love ultimate frisbee.

This is also true of flag football and rugby to a lesser extent, although rugby takes some brass balls to play( I tried it in college and sucked ass until I decided I didn't give a shit about pain).

Bowling, basketball, and foot/bike races are also good social sports but they tend to attract a less professional audience.

7/15/12

Likelihood I take anyone playing ultimate frisbee seriously? 0% -- don't care if you're Bill Gross or Peter Lynch; if you play ultimate frisbee (or as they like to call it by its shorthand to make it sound like an actual sport, 'ultimate') then you are a germ to society.

7/15/12
NESCAC:

Likelihood I take anyone playing ultimate frisbee seriously? 0% -- don't care if you're Bill Gross or Peter Lynch; if you play ultimate frisbee (or as they like to call it by its shorthand to make it sound like an actual sport, 'ultimate') then you are a germ to society.

100% agree

7/15/12
CRE:

"NESCAC" wrote:Likelihood I take anyone playing ultimate frisbee seriously? 0% -- don't care if you're Bill Gross or Peter Lynch; if you play ultimate frisbee (or as they like to call it by its shorthand to make it sound like an actual sport, 'ultimate') then you are a germ to society.

100% agree

Kind of funny you should say that, as I have an acquaintance who was able to network himself into a trading job through people he met playing Ultimate Frisbee.

I despise the sport personally but I acknowledge that it can have network value.

7/15/12

I think all of the sports you mentioned above should have at least a considerable number of 'contacts' that might help you (elite sports, you're forgetting tennis by the way). With that being said, I think it would be a bad move to do a sport based solely on the will to find a contact, I think you can do that externally, but up to you anyways.

I just don't see why would you want to do that based on networking... Sports are great for the body, soul, and mind; if you devote to one of them and embrace it WILL turn you into a better person. Jiu-Jitsu for example, absolutely great for the body, teaches you self-defense, makes you humble, open-minded... you might even make good friends out of it.

My advice would be to do it for the love of the sport, not for the networking purpose. However if you still want to follow through with it: Sailing -> Golf -> Tennis -> Squash

"Suffer today and live the rest of your life as a champion!"

7/15/12

I love costa rica and golf, so this is tough.

go golfing in costa rica.

in all seriousness, golf isn't a great networking sport at any club you could get into (public). it becomes valuable if you're a new member at a club and join mens golf association or other groups there (one club around here has a beer snob golf group that brings pitchers out for a twilight round during the week), that's how you network in golf.

in reality, most of the time you're not interacting (looking for your ball, getting ready to hit, not shooting the shit while a hedgie is lining up a putt), and if you blow dick at golf you don't have the time to get better so I don't think it's worth it. only start if you're passionate about it, otherwise go to costa rica. I've never backpacked there, just surf trips, but if you go to the beach, let me know and I can give you some recs.

also, you don't have to be good at golf to leave the sell side. plenty of my friends at funds or in PE are god awful at golf (because they're busy working) but when they get out there for work trips they play fast, they have a good time, and best of all have a good attitude.

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

7/15/12

Do a sport because you like it and there may be a chance it could be useful somewhere down the line. As an entry level person you're most likely not getting invited out on the golf course, or anywhere, unless you're in a client facing role and/or you're really good. I had a low handicap when I was 23, senior guys found out in the office and I was out at least once per week, but I wasn't sitting on a trading desk where you have to be at the office or at a massive BB where I was one of hundreds. You're not going to casually bump into many fellow squash players who are senior because you probably aren't going to belong to their club. They most likely don't play at the Y. Same with sailing and golf-the freebie or few hundred dollar/year community sailing club or public course isn't where a senior hedge fund guy's going.

It may come up in conversation that you sail, golf, play squash, basketball, soccer or whatever and you may get invited to do so, or to a pick up ball game but I highly doubt you'll make a network by randomly bumping into more senior guys doing any of those things.

Just as an fyi, a lot of middle aged guys like road cycling as well. Not in NYC itself but go to CT or NJ and they'll all be out there in their lycra cycling shorts every weekend and I know guys who get invited to do that pretty often.

7/15/12

I know of 5-6 senior people in my group that play squash off the top of my head. Some belong to the same club. I have no idea whether or not they could get me invited to join their club though (or if I could afford it on an analyst salary).

7/15/12

Dressage?

7/15/12

Regardless of what you just added, the main theme of the answers still stays. Knowing how to play individual/1v1 sports is not a great way to meet new people. Not only that but those clubs you want to join in order to meet the higher up people you're interested in meeting won't be cheap, or even close to cheap.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier

7/15/12

The Margin Games.

7/15/12

.

7/15/12

Did WSO institute a character limit?

7/15/12

Golf takes a long time to gain any sort of competency and it takes constant practice, as in 18 holes 1x/week and hitting a bucket or two of balls another day, just to keep your game up after you've learned the game. You don't need to be a scratch golfer to incorporate it into business but sub 100, and really closer to a <90, makes it a more marketable skill so you don't hold the group up. That's tough to do when you're a newb working a ton, with no control over your schedule and when you live in the city without a car. Play golf if you like it, but not as a way to start a network. It's useful as you get older because there are very few opportunities that you can get someone alone, or at least with 2 other people, for 4 hours plus beers after.

But honestly, do what you like and you'll find other people professionally who do the same thing. And most people don't live in Caddyshack so it's not all golf and tennis whites with Judge Smails. I ride a motorcycle and although it's not typical in finance, when I find another guy who rides it's much more of a network building, and really friend building, thing than another random round of golf. Same with martial arts: get someone on the mats and it's instant friends.

7/15/12

Ok but I tried to learn and it did not come naturally at all. My swing just doesn't look right, and I don't know if I should get serious lessons to try and get to a level that's playable with clients or just focus on things I actually enjoy. I know people on my desk do play with clients occasionally.

7/15/12

@Dingdong08 hit the nail on the head. I was on the golf team in high school (I had a single digit handicap--but now I suck ass), and when I was interning and someone on the desk found out--I got invited a decent amount to play. It's a sport where you have to play consistently to be decent, unlike soccer or basketball where the skill is still sort of there to a degree after a prolonged period of inactivity. Lessons or anything won't help you unless you begin to play it all the time. If you do lessons for 2 months then play a couple holes 1 month later it won't help--it's just a waste of time. I know the guys I played with would go no more than once a week, but no less than once a month.

7/15/12

.

7/15/12

Squash, only because I actually find it fun.

7/15/12

Hey man. I can tell you first hand that squash and golf are invaluable in terms of networking not only internally but with clients as well. I found a place to play squash the summer before I started FT doing FI sales and it's gone a long way. I highly recommend doing so as the best way to start the conversation is to be able to say "would you like to come play with me?" not, "Can I come to your club?"

As far as golf is concerned, I think it is at your great advantage to learn the game...the golf community in S&T goes very deep. If you are staying at home for a lot of the summer, getting competent is a great use of your time.

7/15/12

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.

7/15/12
7/15/12

Bitch please, I love bananas! If you found my advice useful, hit me up with one.

7/15/12
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7/15/12
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