3/5/13

Currently an analyst at a top sweatshop group (GS TMT/MS M&A/Lazard/MoCo LA), just finished my 9th week in a row of 95 -140 hour weeks. Having trouble dealing with the hours.

It was a lot easier coping during my internship/fall because there was an end to the internship/fun events and in the fall there was Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no end in sight right now, and I am having trouble thinking I can keep this pace up for the next 15 weeks til the interns get here. I keep telling myself the hours will ease up next year (second years have it better), but it is still a struggle.

I find myself turning more and more to alcohol to reduce the stress (tequila) , but in the long term it only does more damage (not as restful when I wake up). Given my compressed time frame it is mostly binge drinking in the 30-45 minutes I sometimes have before I fall asleep. If it wasn't for the trains in this city I would probably have a DUI or five.

Any advice? I keep looking at my bank account / reduction in my college loan balance, but it only goes so far. None of my friends at other banks have it this rough (seems like I am the exception, not the norm).

I know people will say there are a ton of other people willing to take my job, but I highly doubt many people could actually cope with this (we already had a Wharton/Harvard analyst with a 4.0 GPA drop out), so please save me that comment.

*Update*
Spoke to my staffer after an allnighter on Monday, basically said to buck up and shut up, so I guess that's what I will be doing. He described one of his experiences back in Iraq which gave me a new perspective on things. I am not getting shot at, have a shower, toilet and good food (plus getting paid 3x more than many people who do not have these amenities). 15+ more weeks is worth the wait.

Comments (119)

Best Response
3/5/13

ContemplatingBanker - I read your post and empathized very strongly with what you wrote. I have been in a similar place myself and, in some of my lowest moments, remember reaching out to a few trusted advisors and getting literally nothing back from them. Despondent about this, I hunkered down and carried on with my job while thinking hard about how to rationalize the junior banker experience and get the most out of it without coming away from it defeated and bitter. I mean no disrespect to the other posters and agree almost entirely with the sensible advice that they have shared. I will however say that their good advice seems to be mostly tactical and focused on the day-to-day blocking and tackling of the job. Permit me to offer a slightly more strategic and higher-level perspective. Tough as it is in the short term, you do have an extraordinary opportunity before you and I discourage you from acting rashly and without due forethought. Much as being an Analyst blows, you can cope and you can come away from this experience as a stronger and more empowered person with terrific career options ahead of you.

1. I should probably "introduce" myself first. I have lurked on WSO for a long time but this is the first time that I have felt moved to post anything more than a few lines. The comments below should probably be set in context by some bare facts about me: I am in my mid-30s, my first career was as an infantry officer in which I spent two tours fighting in the Middle East. I did an MBA at H/S/W and then worked as an M&A Associate for a MM advisor on the East Coast. I am now working in a completely different industry, although I would not have got this chance if I didn't start my business career with an investment bank.
2. What follows is simply an account of what I found helped my state of mind while I was getting crushed by repeated 100+ hour weeks one after another. I am writing this in the spirit of trying to help another guy trying to get through a tough and miserable time - if it comes across as preaching or condescending then that is unintentional. If it comes across as braggadocios alpha-male bullshit then that is not intended either. I was a soldier for nearly a decade and I guess that colors how I look at a lot of situations. Here goes:
3. Adopt a Survivor Mentality. There are some extraordinary stories of people that have survived in the face of incredible odds against them. I am talking about being stranded in the wilderness or adrift at sea - that kind of a thing. There has been a certain amount of academic research and a number of books filled with awe-inspiring stories. Movies too; "127 Hours" is a recent example that comes to mind. Those that survive exhibit a number of common personality traits. Fortitude and an absence of self-pity are among them, but the one that really resonated with me is: Acceptance. Those that got their heads down and prevailed against an awful situation accepted the hand that they had been dealt. That was just how it happened to be for them. They accepted that this was the situation that they'd got themselves into, they accepted what resources (or more importantly what constraints) they had, and they made the best of what they had to work with. Getting frustrated or angry about things that you simply cannot change is an enormous waste of energy. Save that energy for something that will actually help you.
4. Put it in Perspective. I am wary of becoming preachy here so I will keep it short: there are many, many people whose lives are a fuck's-sight worse than yours. Nothing highly original here, but what put it in perspective for me was reading a well-written book about somebody roughly the same age as me who is having an altogether different, and worse, experience. Apart from the fact that reading is an enjoyable and enriching escape - even for 20 minutes before bed, it can also give you tremendous perspective. [I had the Kindle app downloaded onto my work computer, and sometimes inconspicuously read between 9am and 3pm while I was waiting for a turn of edits]. "Unbroken" and "Matterhorn" are two books that I recently read. I also taped a small picture of Nelson Mandella to my monitor. When I was really hating life I thought about what he described in "The Long Walk to Freedom" and it put things in perspective for me. Once one of the Directors asked me who the picture was of - I told him it was my uncle and he seemed to believe me, the ignorant fuck.
5. Rationalize 2 Years. I know its hard when you are there, and at the time of being an Analyst its not much less than a tenth of your life, but two years really is not a long time. If you get caught with a small amount of weed and are unlucky you can get sent to prison for more than two years, soldiers go to Afghanistan for nearly 18 months. I know that these are downbeat examples but you can get through two years if you can keep the end in sight and break it down into chunks. I created a fancy spreadsheet with loads of date functions that broke down how far through my stint I was and how much money I had made so far. This can sap your morale as well as boost it so decide for yourself and obviously never let anyone see it! Two years all at once can seem overwhelming so break it down into milestones that work for you: Thanksgiving, when bonuses get paid, your one-year point - whatever. Focus on getting to the next milestone and then pick another one. Somehow it makes things seem a tiny bit less shit.
6. Be Strong. Carry yourself with purpose and aplomb - do not look like a victim and never complain. It is a shitty life right now - everyone knows that it is. The Analysts that tearfully drag themselves about the floor like zombies mark themselves down as bitches and it becomes a downward spiral of disrespect from there. It is an ugly, "Lord of the Flies", side of human nature and I am not endorsing it but if you mope around and visibly hate every moment then it gets noticed and it becomes the legacy that you do not want.
7. Create Options. If your current job genuinely is the only current opportunity that you have for gainful employment, then yes that sucks and you feel trapped. Forgive me for the blunt analogy, but being a junior investment banker is in some ways akin to being in an abusive relationship. You can be the victim that's trapped in the trailer park and regularly beaten by your drunken spouse and for as long as you let it be so that will be your life until such a time as you chose to make it otherwise. Nobody will help you get out, nobody cares and the cycle of victimhood will be perpetuated for as long as you let it. I'm not saying its easy to switch jobs, and as we all know, it takes time, persistence and good fortune to make a smart career move. But every outreach, every networking email, every informal coffee meeting creates optionality for you and makes you feel a little bit less trapped each time you make some headway. There are alternatives and if you proactively go out there after them, each small success even if it doesn't directly result in a job opportunity will take you down the road and make you feel a bit less trapped by where you are now.
8. Think Creatively about your Career. I accept that this might not the same for everyone, but I found that the abject crapness of being an M&A Associate actually made me really think a lot more than I ever had before about what I valued in life and what I wanted from it. Despite working 100-hour weeks, in what little downtime I had, I actually was able to think incredibly sharply about the career that I wanted and what interested and motivated me. No longer having the luxury of idle time for thought made me use what scarce time I had very carefully. I tagged ideas, whims and fantasies in Evernote (both on my browser and on my iPhone) and this led me to my current career (soft commodities) and pursuits (for example Krav Maga and cookery) that would probably never have occurred to me beforehand. I also went through my alumni network, a handful of headhunters and LinkedIn to build a CRM database in Zoho of people that I wanted to make contact with. It was surprising how much progress I could make even just putting in an hour or two a week - people were also very understanding about my current situation.
9. Exotic Jobs. If you are pre-MBA and really need to re-set after a couple of years as an Analyst, I would encourage you to think about parlaying your skills into a business-related function but for an altogether different organization. I'm thinking places like Peace Corps, MSF, Red Cross, War Child, LeapFrog Investments etc. People with business, finance and consulting experience are in demand in such places - friends of mine have worked at all of the above. Pros: its only a year or two commitment, it gives you a chance to live healthily and get tan, if you're in any way bullish on emerging markets its great exposure, you get irreplaceable experience in a foreign country, your MBA application essays are going to write themselves. Unless you are smitten to taking your chances with a mega LBO-fund (which with all due respect I don't sense that you are) I really don't think that it is going to hurt your career in the long run, and on the contrary could open a lot of doors in interesting parts of the world where there are some fantastic opportunities to participate in their economic growth.
10. Heroes and Mentors. When I was on my second tour in Iraq, a 36-year old Major that I knew was killed by a roadside bomb. He was ten years older than I was at the time, and left behind a wife and a couple of infant children. It was around this time that I decided a long-term career in the military was not what I wanted. It's a bit of a stark example, but my point is to look at guys who are a bit further ahead in the same career as you are now in. Ask yourself whether you would want their life, and whether you would want to go through what they did to get there. Perhaps you do, in which case it is fairly clear-cut what needs to be done next. If you balk at it then that's a message to you - it's a message to start redirecting your career to somewhere that you do want to take it. Additionally, I cannot be too encouraging of seeking a professional mentor. You'll get differing opinions from everyone, but what has worked well for me is NOT reaching out to some crusty septuagenarian who plays golf with your Dad - this rarely works unless he is exorbitantly well-connected and happens to love you like a son. Find someone with whom you have some commonality who is 4 to 6 years further in his or her career than you are. Use your alumni network, LinkedIn, WSO whatever. Pick someone that you are able to meet in person in NYC or whichever city you live in. Buy them a beer and make it clear that you are not looking for them to find you a job - you are just grateful for their advice and suggestions. They will drop their guard when they realize that you are not trying to pump them to find your next job for you (as just about everyone else is) and if they are a half-way pleasant kind of a person they will take some satisfaction from giving you a leg-up and helping you get ahead in your career.

Other guys have commented on alcohol and office politics so I will only briefly add my 2c. I would advise against hitting the bottle too hard. Like you, I found it quite a good way to depressurize although it is obviously injurious to your health and can all too easily get out of control. Understand what a "high functioning alcoholic" is, and if you identify with any of the symptoms I'd recommend giving it a break for a bit. It won't do you any favors in the long run. The best move I made was not keeping any alcohol whatsoever in my apartment; when you get home at 5:30am you simply don't have the option of having a quick and easy nightcap before bed. I would also recommend, if you possibly can, talking to your Associate and appealing to them to manage you in as humane a way as they can. Unless a direct promote, they have learnt all that leadership, man-management BS at business school and a sincere appeal for empathy ought not to fall on deaf ears if they are a half-way decent human being. I would try to send Analysts home early when I could, and I know that other Associates tried to as well. Ultimately it's a give-and-take relationship between Analysts and Associates - a bit of goodwill is always repaid before very long so you shouldn't be too hesitant about being asked for a small break now and then.

Good luck. PM me if you want to talk on the phone sometime - I assume you'll be in the office ;)

Square_Myles.

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3/4/13

only a junior, so i know my advice might be absolutely useless, but have you thought about leaving early to whatever next step of your career?

3/4/13

I would suggest anything but alcohol. Try and find a hobby.

3/4/13

My hobbies include making powerpoint presentations, excel models, buyers logs, and correcting my associates mistakes, so I think I have that front covered.

3/4/13

you've gotta speak up and let people know what's going on if you really can't handle it to see if you can get even a little more slack. otherwise, it's all about staying positive. it's very tough to do but you can do it. it's been done many times before -- and as long as you can handle it physically you can def train your mind to handle it mentally. the 1st year is hard because you're not as efficient in your first year. you'll get there. I'd try to cut out or ease up on the alcohol -- that can mess up what sleep you do get which has huge ripple effects given your days. understand that you made a commitment and do the best you can. you can definitely do this -- esp if you have survived this long. it's already march. summers get there in just a few months. this stretch of time is one of the toughest but if you get through it it's all downhill -- not a quick downhill, but you just get better and quicker and more efficient.

3/4/13

people have been doing this job for years -- decades even. and in the old days they didn't have programs like CIQ / FactSet. Data rooms were actual rooms. Take some comfort in that.

3/4/13

I currently have a data room that is an actual room...my client is paranoid.

3/4/13

1. Keep your head up; 2 years is actually a short period of time, although the finish line looks very far away to you right now.
2. Take some small breaks here and there to just get out of the office and take a walk - it will actually make you more efficient and help clear your head.
3. Realize that most analysts go through some bad cycles - your friends may look to have it easier now, but their time will come. I had a brutal 3-4 month stretch as a second year.
4. Think critically about your daily schedule. Where are you wasting time? Are there any things that you can cut out? Is there daily time consuming work that is not deal related? Are there other ways that you can be more efficient in completing your work product? I realize that most of your productivity/work flow is outside of your control.
4. If you are getting >110 hrs/week regularly, then maybe talk to your staffer. Are all of the other analysts in your group working the same hours? Can you leverage resources from other groups/cross-staffed deal teams?

3/4/13

College student, so at this point I can't really imagine working 140 hours... How has your general health progressed from when you started?

3/4/13

What helped me is probably what you already know: water, vitamins (multi, D3, Fish Oil, and B-complex minimum), cut out/back the booze. Try melatonin or if you're really frazzled Benadryl, it is a mild sedative. I used to do HIIT training (sprints) twice a week, so my body didn't go to total shit. If I wasn't working I slept or was relaxing. You get through it, hang in there.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

In reply to DBCooper
3/4/13

DBCooper:
What helped me is probably what you already know: water, vitamins (multi, D3, Fish Oil, and B-complex minimum), cut out/back the booze. Try melatonin or if you're really frazzled Benadryl, it is a mild sedative. I used to do HIIT training (sprints) twice a week, so my body didn't go to total shit. If I wasn't working I slept or was relaxing. You get through it, hang in there.

Don't take Benadryl to make you go to sleep. You'll most likely wake up feeling like shit.

3/4/13

I think you should just realize that in the long run you'll look back on these days and realize how short the 'pain' was relative to everything else in your life. I mean yeah, during the stint, 2 years might be a long time, but I would just continuously remind yourself that when you're 60-70 one day you can either look back on this time of your life and regret not pushing through or 2) be happy you disciplined yourself and maintained a positive attitude.

Either way, what the fuck do I know - I'm just a college student, but this exact mindset is what got me through some of my roughest times in the Military, so I guess it can sort of be applied here.

In reply to Bruce.Wayne
3/4/13

Bruce.Wayne:
when you're 60-70 one day

That's quite the assumption to make given the hours...

In reply to rcm
3/4/13

rcm:
DBCooper:
What helped me is probably what you already know: water, vitamins (multi, D3, Fish Oil, and B-complex minimum), cut out/back the booze. Try melatonin or if you're really frazzled Benadryl, it is a mild sedative. I used to do HIIT training (sprints) twice a week, so my body didn't go to total shit. If I wasn't working I slept or was relaxing. You get through it, hang in there.

Don't take Benadryl to make you go to sleep. You'll most likely wake up feeling like shit.

Benadryl is the active sleep ingredient in Tylenol PM.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

3/4/13

just think about the fact that as long as you can take this for 2 years, you have a solid chance of moving to a PE associate role at Apollo, Cerberus, KKR, or some other top fund

In reply to DBCooper
3/4/13

DBCooper:
rcm:
DBCooper:
What helped me is probably what you already know: water, vitamins (multi, D3, Fish Oil, and B-complex minimum), cut out/back the booze. Try melatonin or if you're really frazzled Benadryl, it is a mild sedative. I used to do HIIT training (sprints) twice a week, so my body didn't go to total shit. If I wasn't working I slept or was relaxing. You get through it, hang in there.

Don't take Benadryl to make you go to sleep. You'll most likely wake up feeling like shit.

Benadryl is the active sleep ingredient in Tylenol PM.

Don't take Tylenol PM to make you go to sleep. You'll most likely wake up feeling like shit.

3/4/13

Only in college so take it for what it's worth (not much to you) but try to work out. Your situation sounds brutal but having my physical health go downhill would push me over the top.

In reply to bIastoise
3/4/13

bIastoise:
just think about the fact that as long as you can take this for 2 years, you have a solid chance of moving to a PE associate role at Apollo, Cerberus, KKR, or some other top fund

That's probably exactly what he needs. A prospect of working (almost) the same hours for another 2 years ;-)

3/4/13

Here is an idea. Ask the second year that you are friendly with to give you some advice as to how they made it through.

3/4/13

first step. get the fuck off WSO. take a 20 minute nap instead.

3/4/13

start giving 0 ****s and just leave earlier

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

3/4/13

I find taking 15-20 minute power naps really helpful. Stresswise, it's good to get an ergonomic foot pillow, and have lots of things at work that remind you of something else (pictures, green things, stress toys, etc). In the end, it's the little things that get you through the day.

The foot pillow really helps, trust me :)

3/4/13

ContemplatingBanker:
Currently an analyst at a top sweatshop group (GS TMT/MS M&A/Lazard/MoCo LA), just finished my 9th week in a row of 95 -140 hour weeks. Having trouble dealing with the hours.

It was a lot easier coping during my internship/fall because there was an end to the internship/fun events and in the fall there was Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no end in sight right now, and I am having trouble thinking I can keep this pace up for the next 15 weeks til the interns get here. I keep telling myself the hours will ease up next year (second years have it better), but it is still a struggle.

I find myself turning more and more to alcohol to reduce the stress, but in the long term it only does more damage (not as restful when I wake up). Given my compressed time frame it is mostly binge drinking in the 30-45 minutes I sometimes have before I fall asleep.

Any advice? I keep looking at my bank account / reduction in my college loan balance, but it only goes so far. None of my friends at other banks have it this rough (seems like I am the exception, not the norm).

I know people will say there are a ton of other people willing to take my job, but I highly doubt many people could actually cope with this (we already had a Wharton/Harvard analyst with a 4.0 GPA drop out), so please save me that comment.

I've been there dude... Not at the 140 end (I think I personally only know of maybe 2 guys who have hit 138, but I've hit 130 a couple of times and have had stretches of 100+ for 3 months at a time and I can honestly say that I wouldn't wish it on anyone. All I can say is that I feel your pain and that you just need to do whatever you need to do. I've done the booze thing and agree that you are just more exhausted and then jittery (hands get shaky, you're hungover and just feel like death). If you've had a couple of especially insane weeks back to back, I would reach out to your staffer and sit down for a convo and just try to see what he sees coming down the pipe and if there is any way you get get a bit of sleep or a lighter week. Sometimes this is fruitless, but they are human as well and they can realize when they are breaking someone down to the point where they can't function. If it's getting that bad you would be amazed how just getting a Saturday off from the office and just sleeping for like 12 hours will help.

I will say that it gets better. Keep your head up and try to get a bit of perspective... Times will come when you are going to have to miss a deadline or "disappoint someone" but you just have to let it go, if you don't you are going to end up with health problems due to the stress. At the end of the day, these people don't own you, and you don't have to prove anything to the try hard kids on these forums that think they could replace you and can handle the hours. I know the hours suck, I've lived them, but just know that if you need to push back on things or get some sleep it isn't the end of the world as long as you are smart and tactful about it and don't come across as insubordinate. They need you even if they don't want to admit it.

In reply to chi312
3/4/13

chi312:
I would suggest anything but alcohol. Try and find a hobby.

Lol good one. A hobby with the 5-6 hours you have away from work that also have to encompass sleeping, showering, shaving and getting back into the office.

In reply to TechBanking
3/4/13

TechBanking:
1. Keep your head up; 2 years is actually a short period of time, although the finish line looks very far away to you right now.
2. Take some small breaks here and there to just get out of the office and take a walk - it will actually make you more efficient and help clear your head.
3. Realize that most analysts go through some bad cycles - your friends may look to have it easier now, but their time will come. I had a brutal 3-4 month stretch as a second year.
4. Think critically about your daily schedule. Where are you wasting time? Are there any things that you can cut out? Is there daily time consuming work that is not deal related? Are there other ways that you can be more efficient in completing your work product? I realize that most of your productivity/work flow is outside of your control.
4. If you are getting >110 hrs/week regularly, then maybe talk to your staffer. Are all of the other analysts in your group working the same hours? Can you leverage resources from other groups/cross-staffed deal teams?

OP- The above are also really good suggestions. I know that a lot of times I will hit a mental and physical wall around 2AM, sometimes earlier or later depending on the day. When that happens, I like to walk to a cafe or bodega and grab a coffee or tea, not so much for the caffeine but to remove myself from the office and break up the monotony and get some fresh air. A hot beverage also helps, that or really cold water.. the extremes just engage your senses and jolt you into a more alert state.

Regarding evaluating your daily schedule see if there are things that you could be utilizing your DTP teams for. If you have table pages or things that look as though they will take substantial time to format, shoot that to DTP while you work on the model or valuation outputs, that way you aren't opening yourself up to bottlenecks unnecessarily. Obviously, as TB and you know, the hierarchy creates bottlenecks on its own but you can also use those to your advantage. While you are waiting on draft comments, you can sometimes sneak away and catch a quick nap in a secluded spot if you're especially exhausted... take your BB with you and leave the sound on and set multiple alarms. This is generally reasonable during weeks when you are living at the office. No one is really going to be able to come flip out at you if you've worked 36 hours straight and you pop off to a secluded conference room on another floor for a 1 hour nap, especially if you aren't going to be getting comments for a while.

I agree with talking to your staffer as I mentioned in my other post. If you are getting blown up more than other analysts, it's probably a sign that you are performing well, because the most efficient analysts often tend to get the most work because people think you can handle it. You should attempt to build trust with your staffer that goes 2 ways. This makes honest dialogue much easier.

In reply to rufiolove
3/4/13

rufiolove:

such an asset to this site.

"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

3/4/13

Why booze? You sound tired enough that you can just pass out. Either switch to weed (no hangover and better sleep IMO) or coke (to get you through the day).

3/5/13

We have all been there having worked in this industry. When I was doing my analyst stint at a top tier BB I would always use the weekends to do something I really enjoyed. In my case it was being a DJ.

3/5/13

Dont drink alcohol. Drink water/tea.

Go to sleep AS soon as you can. and most importantly, talk to your staffer.

3/5/13

suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

In reply to OMS
3/5/13

OMS:
first step. get the fuck off WSO. take a 20 minute nap instead.

BLASPHEMY!

3/5/13

The idea of cutting back the alcohol and having stress toys is good, as are those to find a hobby, get into meditation, whatever. But by all means, hang on in there. If you ask people (successful ones and otherwise) if they regret any decisions, they will answer yes, and they will inevitably qualify those as decisions made under stress. The decision to quit because of 140-hour workweeks - or similar events e.g. culture clash with another team after M&A, a high-profile scandal just a few degrees of separation away, et caetera - tend to be psychologically relieving and socially lauded, but after a few years, inevitably prove to be short-sighted. You won't disappoint anyone but yourself, but that is the worst disappointment to live with.

3/5/13

Some of these comments are kinda disappointing...I hope most people are joking when they tell you to suck it up.

OP it looks like you're really struggling and I can understand that. I guess my advice would be two-fold: 1. keep your eye on the prize (whatever that may be -- PE, starting your own thing, or whatever); 2. if the going is getting really tough, look to do #1 sooner rather than later.

Yes everyone on this site salivates over the firms & groups you've listed, and "many would kill for your spot", but also realize that you're a human being and you don't _have_ to do this. That's not to say that you should quit -- far from it -- but take solace in the fact that there is an end, and if you look for an exit sooner, you have control over when it happens for the most part.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

3/5/13

I know exactly how you feel (alright... maybe you have it a little worse than I did - I never hit 140 hours). My staffer always used to remind us that around this time is when bullpen morale was at its lowest (furthest point away from summer analysts, no holidays to look forward to, cold weather, a lot of pitching, etc.). It was brutal. The way we used to cope was (1) if you truly feel like the workload is unbalanced among the bullpen, have an honest conversation with your staffer to at least avoid getting staff on new work for the time being. A good staffer will appreciate your honesty and think about your conversation the next time a pitch/deal comes through. (2) Since in our bullpen, the work was evenly distributed and it pretty much sucked for everyone, we spent our late nights bitching about how much work we had, fantasizing about what menial projects/tasks we would assign our incoming summer analysts, and how much we wanted to be on the buyside or quit altogether. Afterall, that's what bullpens are for - complaining and being miserable together. It didn't accomplish anything, but it sure made me feel better knowing someone else was suffering as well.

I don't know what people are talking about re: getting a hobby. All I did during my few terrible months was work and take naps whenever I could fit it in. Also now would be a good time to cash in your good graces with your admins/assistants. Mine would bring me coffee in the morning or pastries because they started feeling sorry for us.

Just know that these hours aren't permanent. If they are starting to seem permanent and you can't handle it, wait until your summer analysts start alleviating your workload, and start recruiting.

In reply to DonVon
3/5/13

DonVon:
Some of these comments are kinda disappointing...I hope most people are joking when they tell you to suck it up.

OP it looks like you're really struggling and I can understand that. I guess my advice would be two-fold: 1. keep your eye on the prize (whatever that may be -- PE, starting your own thing, or whatever); 2. if the going is getting really tough, look to do #1 sooner rather than later.

Yes everyone on this site salivates over the firms & groups you've listed, and "many would kill for your spot", but also realize that you're a human being and you don't _have_ to do this. That's not to say that you should quit -- far from it -- but take solace in the fact that there is an end, and if you look for an exit sooner, you have control over when it happens for the most part.

No offense, but aren't you telling him to basically suck it up/move on as well? TBH I think that's the best advice, suck it up or move on. I mean, it's not like we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into...or we did but the greed and "exit opps" made us dismiss the fact that we'd age faster than the president.

In reply to surferbarney
3/5/13

surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

In reply to DaisukiDaYo
3/5/13

DaisukiDaYo:
DonVon:
Some of these comments are kinda disappointing...I hope most people are joking when they tell you to suck it up.

OP it looks like you're really struggling and I can understand that. I guess my advice would be two-fold: 1. keep your eye on the prize (whatever that may be -- PE, starting your own thing, or whatever); 2. if the going is getting really tough, look to do #1 sooner rather than later.

Yes everyone on this site salivates over the firms & groups you've listed, and "many would kill for your spot", but also realize that you're a human being and you don't _have_ to do this. That's not to say that you should quit -- far from it -- but take solace in the fact that there is an end, and if you look for an exit sooner, you have control over when it happens for the most part.

No offense, but aren't you telling him to basically suck it up/move on as well? TBH I think that's the best advice, suck it up or move on. I mean, it's not like we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into...or we did but the greed and "exit opps" made us dismiss the fact that we'd age faster than the president.


I think there's a subtle difference between "suck it up lololololol" and advice that shows some understanding and empathy. Ultimately, yeah, the OP obviously has two options: work, not work. He's well-aware of this because he's not a dunce. But I think it's also difficult for him to process that on his own given the circumstances (completely understandable), which is why he came here for advice.

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3/5/13

ContemplatingBanker:
(we already had a Wharton/Harvard analyst with a 4.0 GPA drop out), so please save me that comment.

Unfortunately, dealing with long hours is an intangible and so it doesn't really matter how intelligent you are. 95-140 hours is unreal though, and so what you do about the hours all depends on your goal down the road.

It sounds like you're in a group primed for mega-fund placement and all the glory and prestige BS people spout about on here that comes with it. If your end goal is to be working at a mega-fund in 2 years, then you'd be best to suck it up and remember where that group is likely to take you. If not, lateral to another group with a better lifestyle/culture.

FWIW, the fact you're posting this to begin with leads me to believe you'd be willing to work in a lesser group, for a better lifestyle. As for the comp, I doubt it will change by much if you switch to another top bank.

3/5/13

ContemplatingBanker:
95 -140 hour weeks.

140? ouch.. that leaves you 28 hours the rest of the week to s/s/s/s/s, don't know how you do it

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3/5/13

Granted I've only done the 9 week stretch as an SA, but I never had weeks under 100, and most of the time was in the 120 range (two weeks over 130).

I found that drinking tons of water throughout the day helped keep me going. Getting up to re-fill water bottles and take piss breaks (honestly 10+ times a day, they probably thought I had a prostate problem, or a coke issue) allows you to get up and move your legs and clear your mind even for just 2 minutes. Being super hydrated also helps with stamina and alertness. Combine this water intake with some serious vitamins (I'm talking 20x your daily recommended intake of every vitamin you've ever heard of, and plenty you haven't) and your body will be in tip-top shape even if you're not working out too much.

On that note, I almost never got to work out and that really dragged on my well being. I found that playing a game of pingpong with another analyst before I went home (even at 3 or 4 am) really helped relax me. Another move I found that helped a lot was going for late night runs. On Friday and Saturday nights when we would be wrapping up work (between 10pm and 1am usually) I would often put on running clothes in the office and go for a run directly from work. The streets are much more empty at night and this helped me to sleep.

Good luck to you.

3/5/13

the hours you are putting in are inhuman.100 hr/weeks are tough. I can't imagine another 40 hours on top of that.

Is it really worth it? Only you can answer that.

Capitalist

3/5/13

Perspective

1) With this role - you can transition to ANY other finance related role at ANY company as everyone knows you have the smarts, will & track record for it. No one will question you.

2) The buyside. I assume by now you have already been contacted by headhunters. Even if you don't want to put it similar hours at BX, KKR & the like you can still go to other top MM & megafunds.

3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out
Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

Pretty boss & gives you the freedom to do just about anything you want in the world. The money is more than worth it, more useful than your health for a year.

Go to a top M7 school if your heart desires, you can literally get whatever position you want, no one will say no t you.

10 years from now you will look back and be like that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

3/5/13

Quit and lateral. How do you get to 140 hours? I had plenty of weeks and all nighters as an analyst, but I can't figure out how on average you could literally be at work for an average of 20 hours per day for 7 days straight. Especially if you are doing 90-140 every week for over 2 months.

In reply to LBT
3/5/13

LBT:
Quit and lateral. How do you get to 140 hours? I had plenty of weeks and all nighters as an analyst, but I can't figure out how on average you could literally be at work for an average of 20 hours per day for 7 days straight. Especially if you are doing 90-140 every week for over 2 months.

Top dogs got to put in top hours. It's only a year of his life with an incredibly low discount rate (lower the rate, higher the valuation). The payoff for things like this are huge. I think it would be worse if he quits & 10 years from now regrets the choice like I could have done XYZ if I just stuck it out.

Year 2 might get better & SA's are just around the corner.

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
LBT:
Quit and lateral. How do you get to 140 hours? I had plenty of weeks and all nighters as an analyst, but I can't figure out how on average you could literally be at work for an average of 20 hours per day for 7 days straight. Especially if you are doing 90-140 every week for over 2 months.

Top dogs got to put in top hours. It's only a year of his life with an incredibly low discount rate (lower the rate, higher the valuation). The payoff for things like this are huge. I think it would be worse if he quits & 10 years from now regrets the choice like I could have done XYZ if I just stuck it out.

Year 2 might get better & SA's are just around the corner.

Well I don't agree that it is worth it for even a year, but I could be convinced otherwise. I am mostly interested in is something like CCTV footage of a 140 hour week. I will count taking a shit at the office as work, but at that high of a number I would guess the fatigue of working anywhere close to that gives way to some aggressive rounding.

In reply to DonVon
3/5/13

DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

All of your posts should come with the following disclaimer:

"I am a prestige obsessed college (high school?) kid who has no idea what he is talking about."

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.


Have to agree with duff. Either that or you have the super insane prestigious inside information. Going with the former.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
LBT:
Quit and lateral. How do you get to 140 hours? I had plenty of weeks and all nighters as an analyst, but I can't figure out how on average you could literally be at work for an average of 20 hours per day for 7 days straight. Especially if you are doing 90-140 every week for over 2 months.

Top dogs got to put in top hours. It's only a year of his life with an incredibly low discount rate (lower the rate, higher the valuation). The payoff for things like this are huge.


Also...shut up.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

In reply to target for life
3/5/13

target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

Guys he went to Columbia University and only got into Asset Management, don't you think that's hard enough on his life ? :(

3/5/13

I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.

3/5/13

target for life:

A) I'm in college.

B) Call me what you want. I'll even add your comment as a footnote in all my comments. Look this guy is in a pretty good position. Most of my comments, have me saying it like it is. People need to stop being so sensitive and face up to harsh realities. I'm not saying this guy or someone from whatever background can't be successful at something. I'm stating the probabilities as they are. You know its true.

C) At least a 1/4 of the ppl here bitch about prestige. I never commented on what's prestigious or not. I mentioned top groups & firms several times because they are axiomatically top groups. I don't need to explain to someone why BX is what it is. Why don't you step back for a second and look at everyone else that makes the same comments I do, maybe less candidly. I'm not going to feed people pipe dreams of shit that is never going to happen (ex. non-target --> top BB group intern --> top megafund out of undergrad, your kidding me right).

D) There are harsh realities & dicks in the world, if you think I'm bad, you have seen nothing yet.
That being said I have to get back to studying and have work later in the day. Good day sir!

To the OP, only you can decide on what's good for you but I don't recommend doing something your regret later.


you, kid, are such a joke.

"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

3/5/13

target for life:
DaisukiDaYo:
target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

Guys he went to Columbia University and only got into Asset Management, don't you think that's hard enough on his life ? :(

Ya sophmore year is hard

So I hear we're back to pre-deposit GS and TMT M&A first-years are getting $70K base + $80K bonus?

3/5/13

this post terrifies me.

"They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."

3/5/13

target for life:
duffmt6:
target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

All of your posts should come with the following disclaimer:

"I am a prestige obsessed college (high school?) kid who has no idea what he is talking about."

A) I'm in college.

B) Call me what you want. I'll even add your comment as a footnote in all my comments. Look this guy is in a pretty good position. Most of my comments, have me saying it like it is. People need to stop being so sensitive and face up to harsh realities. I'm not saying this guy or someone from whatever background can't be successful at something. I'm stating the probabilities as they are. You know its true.

C) At least a 1/4 of the ppl here bitch about prestige. I never commented on what's prestigious or not. I mentioned top groups & firms several times because they are axiomatically top groups. I don't need to explain to someone why BX is what it is. Why don't you step back for a second and look at everyone else that makes the same comments I do, maybe less candidly. I'm not going to feed people pipe dreams of shit that is never going to happen (ex. non-target --> top BB group intern --> top megafund out of undergrad, your kidding me right).

D) There are harsh realities & dicks in the world, if you think I'm bad, you have seen nothing yet.
That being said I have to get back to studying and have work later in the day. Good day sir!

To the OP, only you can decide on what's good for you but I don't recommend doing something your regret later.

I hope to god that if I ever interview you, or someone like you, I am able to smell the arrogance and bullshit through whatever facade you put on when you aren't behind a computer screen.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

3/5/13

target for life:
duffmt6:
target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

All of your posts should come with the following disclaimer:

"I am a prestige obsessed college (high school?) kid who has no idea what he is talking about."

A) I'm in college.

B) Call me what you want. I'll even add your comment as a footnote in all my comments. Look this guy is in a pretty good position. Most of my comments, have me saying it like it is. People need to stop being so sensitive and face up to harsh realities. I'm not saying this guy or someone from whatever background can't be successful at something. I'm stating the probabilities as they are. You know its true.

C) At least a 1/4 of the ppl here bitch about prestige. I never commented on what's prestigious or not. I mentioned top groups & firms several times because they are axiomatically top groups. I don't need to explain to someone why BX is what it is. Why don't you step back for a second and look at everyone else that makes the same comments I do, maybe less candidly. I'm not going to feed people pipe dreams of shit that is never going to happen (ex. non-target --> top BB group intern --> top megafund out of undergrad, your kidding me right).

D) There are harsh realities & dicks in the world, if you think I'm bad, you have seen nothing yet.
That being said I have to get back to studying and have work later in the day. Good day sir!

To the OP, only you can decide on what's good for you but I don't recommend doing something your regret later.


I'm sure people love getting advice from someone with less experience and knowledge than they do. You are born with two ears and only one mouth for a reason..it's time to stfu.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

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In reply to jonmorris
3/5/13

jonmorris:
I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.

Yeah, I really don't see how something like that would be possible unless the 20 hours per day included a couple of nap hours. I occasionally sleep at work for real (meaning in a cot in a back room), and when I commiserate with friends about all of the hours I pulled I always leave this little fact out of the equation.

3/5/13

this is why we need a subforum that only allows those with verifiable work emails and/or certified members only to post.

3/5/13

target for life:

This is ridiculous. WSO needs not only the certified user stamp, but a stamp for kids like this to distinguish them from those of us on here who actually know what we're talking about.

1) You have no idea what comp is, other than from what Dealbreaker and M&I tells you each year, stop pretending like you do.

2) You've never been in this position before (working 120+ hours a week for a top group) so again, stop pretending like you can give sound advice on how to deal with hours/stress,etc.

3) "There are harsh realities & dicks in the world, if you think I'm bad, you have seen nothing yet." - You're still in college, lecturing someone in who is already in the industry that there are harsh realities & dicks in the world. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?!

I don't mean to put a naive college student on blast, but there's a ton of great advice on WSO, as well as in this post. I just want to make sure people aren't reading too far into opinions from those who are in no position to give them.

3/5/13
In reply to jonmorris
3/5/13

jonmorris:
I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.
In reply to blastoise
3/5/13

blastoise:
jonmorris:
I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.

That was disappointing blastoise :( I had more faith in you :(

In reply to White Lion
3/5/13

White Lion:

Combine this water intake with some serious vitamins (I'm talking 20x your daily recommended intake of every vitamin you've ever heard of, and plenty you haven't) and your body will be in tip-top shape even if you're not working out too much.

Could you expand on what you were taking supplement-wise this summer?

3/5/13

I didn't read every post completely, so maybe I missed it, but I can't believe nobody's recommended simple exercise. You don't need to join a gym or do anything fancy. Just get a pair of running shoes and go out for 20-30 minutes. Exercise always makes you feel better. Also being in the office as much as you are means you're probably getting fat, so you'll need the exercise anyway, tubby.

In reply to milehigh
3/5/13

milehigh:
target for life:

This is ridiculous. WSO needs not only the certified user stamp, but a stamp for kids like this to distinguish them from those of us on here who actually know what we're talking about.

1) You have no idea what comp is, other than from what Dealbreaker and M&I tells you each year, stop pretending like you do.

2) You've never been in this position before (working 120+ hours a week for a top group) so again, stop pretending like you can give sound advice on how to deal with hours/stress,etc.

3) "There are harsh realities & dicks in the world, if you think I'm bad, you have seen nothing yet." - You're still in college, lecturing someone in who is already in the industry that there are harsh realities & dicks in the world. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?!

I don't mean to put a naive college student on blast, but there's a ton of great advice on WSO, as well as in this post. I just want to make sure people aren't reading too far into opinions from those who are in no position to give them.

I knew not to take him seriously when I read his name. A more accurate name would be "target for a few years until people quit giving a fuck"

Disclaimer: I went to a target, but I also know that sucking your own dick in a website thread gets you about as far as a rocking chair would.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

In reply to DaisukiDaYo
3/5/13

DaisukiDaYo:
blastoise:
jonmorris:
I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.

That was disappointing blastoise :( I had more faith in you :(

It's trivial he is lying bc he wouldn't have time to you know.......... it

In reply to olafenizer
3/5/13

olafenizer:
I didn't read every post completely, so maybe I missed it, but I can't believe nobody's recommended simple exercise. You don't need to join a gym or do anything fancy. Just get a pair of running shoes and go out for 20-30 minutes. Exercise always makes you feel better. Also being in the office as much as you are means you're probably getting fat, so you'll need the exercise anyway, tubby.

says mr super fat taco from taco bell that uses 2 shells and not one

supah size me

3/5/13

This makes me feel sorry about, but at the same time grateful for my Gov job...

3/5/13
In reply to jonmorris
3/5/13

jonmorris:
I call bullshit on a 140 workweek.
Unless you have substantial downtime in between, where you can take naps throughout, nobody can work for seven days in a row with only four daily hours to spare to get to/from work, shower, sleep etc
You might get through three or four of those but by day seven you're just a corpse. That is if you are really flat out working throughout.

Thanks for saying this... I waffled in my post, but this is my sentiment exactly. So many analysts exaggerate their hours, but throwing out 140 as a literal number takes the cake.

3/5/13

Have you considered good old mary jane? When I was working long hours and couldn't get much sleep, I'd pack a bowl before bed and wake up still really tired, but relaxed and less stressed.

3/5/13

I haven't been through what your goin thru but trust me alcohol just makes the lil sleep you do get less valuable.

3/5/13

Do you guys think that Target For Life spray paints T4L tags on buildings and the backs of people he's knocked out, NWO style?

I have this vision in my mind of him doing that while rattling off how easy 100 weeks will be for him while playing the air guitar along to the NWO theme.

3/5/13

Real talk - I went through some pretty mind blowingly brutal stretches when I was an Analyst several years back. It was awful. The only thing that really helps is knowing that one day you'll get through it and your resume will get a ton of respect. That, and you can build up a decent pile of cash for a 25 year old. That said, the cash is not what it was for those that came before me (people who worked from like 2004 - 2006.) They made insane money.

Just try and keep your head down and be sure to take walks from time to time to clear your head. There's no magic way to handle it, as you already know (unfortunately.) If things seem really unbalanced, you can definitely have a chat with your staffer. Assuming you are doing good work, which I think is a safe assumption since you're being staffed on so much, you might be able to catch a bit of a break. A smart staffer that cares at all about morale ought to help you out a bit.

Best of luck.

3/5/13

You can't think about the next fifteen weeks. You have to take it one day at a time. Like the book "The Lone Survivor" about the navy seals who get ambushed in Afghanistan. In seal hell week, he says, you can't think about the next 150 hours or you'll break. Just deal with what's in front of you. Take it one day at a time. And lay off the booze, it doesn't solve your problems and will make life worse (speaking from experience). By the way, reading is a great hobby for busy people. Pick a topic you want to learn about and get 4-5 books and read a little each night.

3/5/13

target for life:
DaisukiDaYo:
target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

Guys he went to Columbia University and only got into Asset Management, don't you think that's hard enough on his life ? :(

Ya sophmore year is hard


30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.
In reply to BTbanker
3/5/13

BTbanker:
target for life:
DaisukiDaYo:
target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

Guys he went to Columbia University and only got into Asset Management, don't you think that's hard enough on his life ? :(

Ya sophmore year is hard


30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Well, that escalated quickly.

In reply to BTbanker
3/5/13

BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?

In reply to TheKing
3/5/13

TheKing:
Real talk - I went through some pretty mind blowingly brutal stretches when I was an Analyst several years back. It was awful. The only thing that really helps is knowing that one day you'll get through it and your resume will get a ton of respect. That, and you can build up a decent pile of cash for a 25 year old. That said, the cash is not what it was for those that came before me (people who worked from like 2004 - 2006.) They made insane money.

Just try and keep your head down and be sure to take walks from time to time to clear your head. There's no magic way to handle it, as you already know (unfortunately.) If things seem really unbalanced, you can definitely have a chat with your staffer. Assuming you are doing good work, which I think is a safe assumption since you're being staffed on so much, you might be able to catch a bit of a break. A smart staffer that cares at all about morale ought to help you out a bit.

Best of luck.

Completely agree

In reply to holla_back
3/5/13

holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?


frat bros 4 life
In reply to BTbanker
3/5/13

BTbanker:
holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?


frat bros 4 life

BTBanker is a loner. I have well over 1,000 friends on facebook.

In reply to DaisukiDaYo
3/5/13

DaisukiDaYo:
BTbanker:
holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?


frat bros 4 life

BTBanker is a loner. I have well over 1,000 friends on facebook.

3/5/13

Having been in your position I agree with fellow monkeys to ensure you keep taking water on board and try have a reasonably healthy diet.
If this is what you want I hope you can stick with it.
Good luck.

In reply to BTbanker
3/5/13

BTbanker:
holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?


frat bros 4 life

So you sent nearly an entire pledge class to Wall Street?
In reply to BTbanker
3/5/13

BTbanker:
holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?


frat bros 4 life

better placement than any final club

In reply to oppcostofcapital
3/5/13

oppcostofcapital:
people have been doing this job for years -- decades even. and in the old days they didn't have programs like CIQ / FactSet. Data rooms were actual rooms. Take some comfort in that.

True, but the advent of CIQ, FactSet, and online data rooms has had no effect on the number of hours worked. Instead of just producing one analysis with a simple result, as was necessarily the case back when things were more pen and paper, we now produce 100 page "strategic alternative" books with 30 scenarios for reach "alternative."

3/5/13

embrace it man, there are tons of super smart kids with NO JOBS whatsoever.

seriously..

alpha currency trader wanna-be

In reply to watersign
3/5/13

watersign:
embrace it man, there are tons of super smart kids with NO JOBS whatsoever.

seriously..

you couldn't handle it any better... kthanksbai

3/5/13

Just some food ideas:
-Jar of peanut butter in drawer. Either bring a spoon & wash it after, or use a plastic one from your stocked pantry.
-Nuts/dried fruit, you work 14hr+ days, the good fat & protein are required
-Greek yogurt (regular if you cannot stand greek) - extra protein & fruits. but that shit & stock up the fridge grab one on the way out
-breakfast, even milk & grain cereal will get your body of to the right start
-Granola bars- self explanatory, something to eat that keeps your metabolism moving & mind alert
-Water, as stated above, lots & lots of water. Then more water. I normally drink upwards of 80 ounces in just a 10-hr day (not IB obviously)
-Fish, salmon in particular, is really good for your health in general, this & turkey/chicken are your life source
- Sunkist tuna in a packet, keep these at your desk & inhale one in the kitchen (bring breath mints/raid assistants candy dish so people don't hate you)
-Pretzels in drawer, good in protein and 'cause you can't eat just peanut butter every day.
-Daily multi vitamin & an extra vitamin D (at least 1-2k milligrams), vitamin D not only support bone health, but everything after about 800mg actually helps your body burn fat, namely around your waist
-eat green shit as often as possible, vegetables leave you feeling lighter & more clear-headed (in my experience) and protein for your brain of course. I mainly have grains/carbs in the morning/before lunch.

None of this is going to fix/help your hours, but it may help how you FEEL on a physical level. Any excercise at all would relive some stress too, but that may have to wait until summer.

3/5/13

ContemplatingBanker:
Currently an analyst at a top sweatshop group (GS TMT/MS M&A/Lazard/MoCo LA), just finished my 9th week in a row of 95 -140 hour weeks. Having trouble dealing with the hours.

It was a lot easier coping during my internship/fall because there was an end to the internship/fun events and in the fall there was Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no end in sight right now, and I am having trouble thinking I can keep this pace up for the next 15 weeks til the interns get here. I keep telling myself the hours will ease up next year (second years have it better), but it is still a struggle.

I find myself turning more and more to alcohol to reduce the stress, but in the long term it only does more damage (not as restful when I wake up). Given my compressed time frame it is mostly binge drinking in the 30-45 minutes I sometimes have before I fall asleep.

Any advice? I keep looking at my bank account / reduction in my college loan balance, but it only goes so far. None of my friends at other banks have it this rough (seems like I am the exception, not the norm).

I know people will say there are a ton of other people willing to take my job, but I highly doubt many people could actually cope with this (we already had a Wharton/Harvard analyst with a 4.0 GPA drop out), so please save me that comment.

I've never been in a situation like this (went to buy side out of undergrad) but will say the ability to do this unequivocally is well regarded throughout the industry.

In reply to square_miles
3/5/13

square_miles:
...

Wow. This is fantastic. SB'ed you sir, and thanks for your service.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

3/5/13

I'm so curious which firm the OP works. Anyone have an idea or know a Wharton/Harvard analyst in a top group that recently quit?

In reply to square_miles
3/5/13

square_miles:

+1

This is excellent advice and refreshing to hear from someone who was in an Associate role. I have been fortunate to have very reasonable and caring Associates, both A-to-A and fresh out of B School, based on your words you were clearly one of the good ones.

Thank you for your service to our country.

In reply to holla_back
3/6/13

holla_back:
BTbanker:

30 of my friends at a single state school all got top IBD return offers to their SAs. I'm talking GS, Lazard, JEF, PwP, etc. Get the fuck off your high horse kid. Things are changing, and you need to stop reading LSO. I had an IBD internship freshman year with no connections. You're already falling behind at your low-tier Ivy. Talk about a chip on the old shoulder.

Who the hell has thirty friends?

Patrick time to start using dat ban hammer to unleash a fury of rage and disciple upon thy disciples.

In reply to target for life
3/6/13

target for life:
DonVon:
target for life:
3) Most important. THE MONEY! Think about how much you can make if you & your team performs well. Not just this year but in the future.
130 - 150K first year out of college
160 - 200K second year out

Top Buyside 200 - 250 3rd year
250+ 4th year

These figures sure seem realistic...

Top group, top bucket, top firm - that's very realistic. Even with a slowing/recovering M&A market if your killing it at GS you will rake it in.

ROFL you don't know what the fuck you are talking about, everyone is cutting cost.

In reply to square_miles
3/6/13

square_miles:

That was a great read to start what promises to be a long and shitty day. Thanks for taking the time to put pen to paper.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

In reply to square_miles
3/6/13

square_miles:
Those that survive exhibit a number of common personality traits. Fortitude and an absence of self-pity are among them, but the one that really resonated with me is: Acceptance. Those that got their heads down and prevailed against an awful situation accepted the hand that they had been dealt. That was just how it happened to be for them. They accepted that this was the situation that they'd got themselves into, they accepted what resources (or more importantly what constraints) they had, and they made the best of what they had to work with. Getting frustrated or angry about things that you simply cannot change is an enormous waste of energy. Save that energy for something that will actually help you.

What a fantastic post, and I especially liked this part. +1 to you.

Brush away the cobwebs from your daydreams
In reply to square_miles
3/6/13

square_miles:
ContemplatingBanker - I read your post and empathized very strongly with what you wrote. I have been in a similar place myself and, in some of my lowest moments, remember reaching out to a few trusted advisors and getting literally nothing back from them. ...

First off, ContemplatingBanker, hang in there -- I never did a 140hr week but I can only imagine how defeated you can get...I had some brutal stretches in my 2 years and I think what Square_Miles said about acceptance is dead on.

As soon as I accepted that I was going to be working all weekend and not see the light of day, it made it all much easier. If you know that your life is going to be 100% work for this period of time and can come to accept that (along with the sleep deprivation), it can really improve your stress level and frustration. That being said, if the sleep deprivation gets to be too much, I think talking with your staffer to try and get some 12-14hr nights in there to catch up would be smart (or do what I did and bring a pillow to work).

As for the post from Square Miles, just wanted to say thank you for your service and for your wise words. It is refreshing to hear your perspective and nice to see that you didn't just preach to the OP, but were able to give some really great tips on surviving.

Thanks,
Patrick

In reply to square_miles
3/6/13

square_miles:
.

I work in PB so the longest week I've ever had was 90 hrs and I thought that was tough, but for this week we have all the other analysts on my team out of the office (long story) so it has just been a raining shit storm that doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. This is the best post I have ever seen on this site, and was definitely something I needed to read this morning.

Thanks you for your service as well. +1 SB for you, althought that doesn't even begin to reward you enough for the inspiration I got out of your post.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

3/6/13

quality thread chaps. reaffirmed my belief in WSO

"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

3/8/13

I'm in equity research so never had to work the truly insane hours. As an associate I would top out with 3 straight weeks of 100-115 hours every quarter with the rest of the time being 80-90 hour weeks. But I'm married and have 1.5 year old at the time so that adds a few hours ;).

Here were my ways of staying sane:

Fast walk around the block while trying to look at your email as little as possible. Try to take the full 5-7 minutes to clear your head and face whatever it is when you get back there. One of those every 5 hours or so in a 20+ hour day really does make a huge difference.

Eat your veggies. I.e take vitamins, chug one of those disgusting kale/beet/carrot/spinach juices things every morning. Don't eat crappy fast food, it will make you crash energy-wise too fast. Do have a kitchen worth of food in one of the drawers in your desk. Napoleon said an army runs on its stomach. He was right. Nothing beats having a real meal at 2am when you know you've got to push on to dawn.

Have a place you can shower. I used to go on hotwire and rent a cheap room across the street from the office that I could go take a shower in at 5am then be back in 20-25 minutes. This was one of my life savers.

Booze and sleeping pills might shut down your mind enough to let you get to sleep when you're wired and have been working two days straight but nothing beats a blowjob.

In reply to rufiolove
3/8/13

rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

In reply to knivek
3/8/13

knivek:
rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

stop posting about the military, you are in the national guard...

3/8/13

damn. FYI there are only 168 hrs a week. working 140 of them must be rough.

In reply to mr.b
3/8/13

mr.b:
knivek:
rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

stop posting about the military, you are in the national guard...

LOL rolled

3/9/13

Such an excellent combination of actual experience and advice coupled with embarrassing ignorance that makes me worried about the future/glad competition isn't getting any tougher

I hate victims who respect their executioners

3/9/13

Square miles, quality post. Appreciate it as someone looking to break in. Some great tips there for all jr bankers and bankers to be.

In reply to mr.b
3/9/13

mr.b:
knivek:
rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

stop posting about the military, you are in the national guard...

And because I'm in the National Guard, you don't think I've done my share of "sweat shop hours" in some of the most non-permissive operating environments in the world?

Pro tip: Belittling any one's military service in public has no rewards, only "punishments".

In reply to knivek
3/9/13

knivek:
mr.b:
knivek:
rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

stop posting about the military, you are in the national guard...

And because I'm in the National Guard, you don't think I've done my share of "sweat shop hours" in some of the most non-permissive operating environments in the world?

Pro tip: Belittling any one's military service in public has no rewards, only "punishments".

Is any one's the same as anyone's?

3/9/13

I was in the Marines, and want to thank you for your service square_miles. I especially liked the "acceptance" part; that is golden advice. I think that although in IB you're not going to have bullets flying at you, there still will be a point where all the motivation that got you there in the first place just isn't enough and you start questioning why the fuck you made the decision to be there. This is probably perpetuated when nearby colleagues start to moan and groan, but I think the people that truly make it through are the ones who just hunker down and accept the reality they're in and push through. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Knivek, honestly man, I appreciate your service to the country but guys like you who come online or do whatever it takes to have people take them seriously for their work are the biggest tools I've met in my life. If you haven't noticed, most of the guys on this forum who work at the best wall street firms don't parade around using their job title as a means to add inches to their peen. You on the other hand... need to re-evaluate what the fuck you're trying to accomplish here. I don't understand why you need strangers on a FINANCE forum to be accepting of your job. You can make 1m/year and you still wouldn't be able to convince a single person on this forum to drop their goals to follow your footsteps bro.

In reply to knivek
3/9/13

knivek:
mr.b:
knivek:
rufiolove:
surferbarney:
suck it up. Nobody is shooting at you and I doubt you are shtting in a wag bag while you overcome dysentery.

why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

It's motivation in the form of tough love and it's used/seen often in the military.

stop posting about the military, you are in the national guard...

And because I'm in the National Guard, you don't think I've done my share of "sweat shop hours" in some of the most non-permissive operating environments in the world?

Pro tip: Belittling any one's military service in public has no rewards, only "punishments".

whatever - i come from a military family (primarily marines) that has served this country with honor in countless tours of duty over the last three generations and none of them would go on an internet forum (esp. not related to the military) and make asses of themselves the way you do.

3/12/13

My advice is to have the mentality that:

Tough times don't last..tough people do. (Cheesy comment, but definitely true).

I never served in the military and I can't compare to the stresses that come with it (all the respect in the world to the guys who have served), but one thing that has always helped me cope with a stressful environment were the years that I put into the wrestling room from 1st grade to my senior year. To some it may be unrelated to this post, but to fellow wrestlers, who took it seriously, know what its like to cut ridiculous amounts of weight and go to practices twice a day with lifting/running at night. With that experience to relate to, I always thought back to it whenever I was working in a stressful environment or at a stressful point in my life (Basically I endured this so I should be able to endure this). So in other words, if you are having a tough time, relate to some other time in your life you were in a rough patch but succeeded and use that as motivation.

Another "mind trick" is to look in the mirror and literally tell yourself out loud that you going to work is the best part of your day and that you are having fun. I told myself that every day before heading to practice. It definitely helped overcome the cutting weight, the cauliflower ears, and withstanding the constant barrage of ass-kickings I endured from the heavier older guys on the team. By the time I was on varsity in 9th grade, I was chompin at the bit to get into the wrestling room to beat the shit out of someone or even get the shit kicked out of me. By then it didn't matter just as long as I was there. Definitely proves that the mind is a powerful tool.

We can't rely on anyone these days, we just have to do things ourselves don't we?

3/14/13

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