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So I'm sure for a lot of people on here they'll be starting a new job in IB this July--- What should I expect the first week/does anyone have any recommendations on what to expect the first day?

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Comments (18)

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Edit: This is for full-time. Summer interns can expect an abbreviated form of training.

    First week is usually some combination of analyst training and HR trying to show how awesome the firm is.

    When I was hired into a BB (that no longer exists), the first week of training involved flying in all 500 incoming capital markets analysts from around the globe (along with the IBD guys), a speech by the chief economist, and a number of other bigwigs going up to the CFO. We rented out an entire major Manhattan hotel's conference center; it was basically a show of force by the firm to say "We're blankety-blanking rich. You may have seen a lot of our blankety-blanking people on the news. We just rented out the blankety-blanking Sheraton, and you're a blankety-blanking speck of dust relative to the firm." (Ironically, this speck of dust survived longer than the firm, although he still can't rent out the Sheraton.)

    At the same time, I think it may have also been HR's way of showing off the analysts to the bigwigs. They handed out a resume book and claimed that 95% of the people on earth could enter this room and find at least three people who spoke their native language, the average SAT score in the room was 1550, XX students had turned down PhD programs, had done x, y, and z research, represented $XXX million of assets under management before they even graduated college, XX had played basketball in March Madness, etc. etc. etc. For a kid who studied engineering at a state school in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois, it was pretty mind-blowing.

    You will make a number of friends during the analyst training; the important thing is to remember that you're totally new, everyone else is totally new, and it's always good to make friends. I still hang out with a lot of the people I met my first week.

    First day of work-work will mostly involve getting your computer set up; first week may involve your VP giving you a few small projects. Beyond that, I can only comment on what it might look like in different areas of capital markets.

  • Banker88's picture

    Thanks for that anecdote IlliniProgrammer. Would love to hear more people's stories.

  • youngblood's picture

    Great post Illini! If I had any credits left I'd give the silver banana. I'm also an incoming FT IBD analyst, and it seems like I'm constantly thinking about what that first day/week/month is going to be like.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    It was like that for me, too. The only expectation for the first week or two for most of the larger BBs is probably that you show up on time and pay attention. There may be an introduction and then they will probably have several weeks of training including the Series 7s/63s. At our firm, they contracted the training out to a handful of professors at Columbia and NYU who I think worked for the firm at one point, and then to Securities Training Corp in lower manhattan for the Series 7s/Series 63s. Dress for the first day was business formal (at the Sheraton) followed by B-caszh for the financial training, then t-shirts and jeans for the Series 7 stuff.

    The best thing you can do during the training is make friends during lunchtime and during the open bars the firm will sponsor. Let's be clear- this is not a networking opportunity, despite the fact that your firm probably wants you to find potential future business partners rather than people who will eventually quietly share info with you that the firm may not want you to hear (IE: news on layoffs, year-end stuff, rumors about groups, etc). It's better to have genuine "back-office" friends than have fake "friends" in certain preferred groups. Look for people who seem genuine, respect you for who you are, and that you respect as well. This may be one of your only chances to find people you can genuinely trust at the firm. You will want to have people you can trust to share info with, get advice from, and have a mildly knowledgeable shoulder to cry on when some trader screams at you to the point that you want to commit ritual suicide. (Which will happen). You don't want to be warning "friends" about layoffs if they will use that to stab you in the back. And you definitely don't want to be sharing your weakest moments with people you don't trust 100%.

    The earlier on in your career that you meet people and the less savvy you and they were when you met them, the easier it will be to trust them when push comes to shove three or four years down the line. An old college buddy will probably be easiest to trust, followed by the guys you met in the analyst program, followed by the coworkers you made friends with the first month or two on the job, etc.

  • samiam1234's picture

    great response. thanks illin.

    sent a banana your way

  • boshyj's picture

    Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

  • In reply to sidekickz
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    dont listen to illinprogrammer. he wasn't in IBD, he was in back office

    Actually, I was Capital Markets Analytics- basically a quant developer- and came in through the same analyst program as the sales guys, traders, researchers, and origination (origination was in CM at my firm). I was compensated and promoted based on the same rules as everyone else in the program. You can call my first two years at the firm back office if you want (I care about doing a good job rather than labels), but I did the same work as the quants and TAs- calculating the value of positions off of models and providing IR01, MacCaulay, etc. etc. and wrote the code to make it happen faster- so those guys would probably be back office too, by that logic. Heck, half the guys on our algorithmic trading team would be back-office, while we're at it.

    The OP can listen to me or not. Mrbrightside- what is your background in banking and what happened on your first day? Hope you're not a troll posting from under a bridge outside of New Haven, CT angry that your 2.9 GPA from a target school and AEP connections couldn't get you in the door.

    (Edit: No offense meant to AEP, Yale, or the Skull and Bones Society- just picking a random fraternity and random target school. Please don't burn down my apartment :-) .)

  • MoneyKingdom's picture

    My very first day at MS, after training, I stayed in the office until 4 AM. I remember being so pumped and excited that I pulled an all nighter.. on my first day! Slowly that excitement wore off, and I left after 14 months.

  • In reply to boshyj
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

    Arrive at my dorm on Cliff Street at 10 AM on Sunday. It's REALLY nice compared to the $400/month apartment I was staying in in college. Meet my roommate- also a Junior in undergrad. In the first half-hour, I find out that he TAs a 200-level course, plays varsity soccer for Cornell, can bench 160, and got a 15XX on his SATs. (I have him beat on all counts but the sport, and just grin- I was still trained not to brag about myself, though that has eroded after a few years in New York, now.)

    We were asked to show up at like 7:30 Monday morning. Like every other summer analyst, I showed up at 7 AM. Security told us to wait outside. I start to notice other nervous-looking college-age students pacing back and forth, and realize they're summer analysts. Being a midwesterner, I am compelled to strike up conversations with strangers, and pretty soon, we are talking about the program, how we found out about it, what the trip was like out here, sports, etc. Then this guy- "Fred from Yale"- as he would ALWAYS call himself throughout the program, introduces himself and starts asking people what research they do, what kind of yacht they own, how many times they've walked across the Sarengheti, etc. etc. A lot of raised eyebrows and a few laughs, but we start to talk about our backgrounds a little more.

    At 7:30 we walk into the building. It's in mid-town. 30 ft raised ceilings and a long entrance corridor. A security desk that practically comes up to your neck. It feels a little like a visit to the chambers of the Wizard of Oz. We get our security cards and we are escorted up to the 32nd floor where all of the executives sit and head into this huge cherry-paneled dining room. The floor looks as fancy as some of the really nice rooms in the Capitol Building in Washington- just with more modern paintings hanging from the walls and this hundred-million dollar view of Central Park and the Hudson.

    They have a very nice breakfast buffet set out. Everyone looks very nervous- as if they will hold their fork the wrong way or do something embarassing. Then one of the HR ladies sits down at our table, picks up a croissant on her plate, takes a huge bite into it dropping a few crumbs out of her mouth onto the plate, and everyone relaxes a little. We go back to our conversations about the firm, where we grew up, etc. etc.

    Next, the resume books are handed out to each table. I notice the room slowly getting quieter. Finally, they're distributed at our table. The lady sitting next to me ran a hedge fund out of her dorm room with $7 million AUM. The guy sitting across from me was a starter on Michigan's basketball team. Everyone becomes deathly silent at the table and looks a little intimidated. (People later said they were scared of the fact that I TA'd a graduate algorithms course, but nobody back home ever made a big deal of it.)

    The head of HR comes up to the podium at the front of the room. He gives basically the same speech as I described above about how amazing the analyst class is. We realize we're totally out of our league. The head of Capital Markets also steps up to speak and concludes with, "If you have a question, just ask. But whatever you do, DON'T SCREW UP!"

    We head down to the basement auditorium. Compliance issues, security talk, etc. Lunch is pizza and salad. Afternoon concludes with some light financial training, we have drinks at 5 PM, and we're dismissed at 6:30. Most of our parents warned us that it would be like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory- that they're looking for excuses to weed kids out. You have to have 1-2 beers, but DON'T GET DRUNK. (We slowly got rid of this attitude at later events where there were fewer MDs and we were seeing the analyst recruiting directors get pretty tipsy themselves. The year after mine, there is a story about a VP in HR getting REALLY drunk at a Karaoke Bar and reportedly insisting on singing "Jesse's Girl" in front of a hundred or so summer analysts.)

    After three days,we get our assignments, head to our groups, speak with our MDs, try to get our computers set up, and start our internship.

    *: The story's from four years ago. There have probably been a few gaps in my memory about some of the details that I may have filled in, embellished, or borrowed from other stories, but I'm pretty sure the majority of it is pretty accurate. Would be interesting to hear a detailed story from a more recent memory.

  • Guest1655's picture

    haha makes me kinda want to go into IB. (just for the first week though)

  • LookingForHelp's picture

    Sweet post. Silver banana

  • tandaradei's picture

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