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1/4/10

No, this is not a joke. So we've all heard from multiple sources that the typical first-year analyst's day goes from 6AM through 3AM, leaving about 3 hours of sleep in-between. Many of you still even had chances to work out.

So I tried to emulate the exact mental and physical strain to see what it felt like (and if I could take it). Don't worry -- this is my winter break.

Background: I'm 21 YRO, around the age of most first-year analysts. I'm a pretty healthy guy.

I started 3 days ago:

Saturday 6AM - Wake up

Saturday 11PM - Not tired at all yet. Dig up next semester's "Intro to Stochastic Models" textbook and start cramming the first 3 chapters.

Saturday 3AM - Starting to feel drowsy, not to mention incredibly BORED and exhausted from doing textbook review questions non-stop for 4 hours. I grab some redbull, took a shower.

Saturday 7AM - First 24 hours awake. In order to emulate the physical strain as well, I grab my coat and walked (not drive) 20 minutes to McDonalds for breakfast then walked 20 minutes back.

Saturday 12PM - Ate lunch. That did it. The extra load of food must've knocked me out because I don't even remember falling asleep.

Saturday 3PM - Woke up (my stereo was still blasting). Got 3 hours of sleep. Back to "work."

Saturday 11PM - Had some drinks with friends. (to emulate drinking and partying on no-sleep)

Sunday 2AM - left the bar early. I was about to pass out, not from alcohol, but I was so godammn tired!!

- Went home. Set alarm for 5AM. Passed out asleep -

Sunday 5AM - Took cold shower. Took out stochastic models textbook again.

Sunday 10PM - Sat at desk all day and I've worked through 50% of the book by now. (completely new material). ENORMOUS headache. Drank 2 cans of Rockstar energy. By now it took me 10 minutes just to read a new paragraph. My eyes could barely open and I couldn't even multiply 346x17 by hand without getting it wrong! I could barely comprehend what I was reading, even after switching over to my USA Today paper.

Monday 2AM - My entire body is now FREEZING despite my thermostat set at 82F. I'm getting bad chest pains. My left hand felt numb. I set my alarm for 6AM and passed out.

Monday 6AM - Took me 40 minutes of hitting snooze to finally get up. I have a MASSIVE HEADACHE the size of texas, mild chest pains, and am about to throw up. I took a shower, ate breakfast, and came onto WSO to let you guys know that this is IMPOSSIBLE!

By the time I hit 36 hours of no sleep, either I passed out without me knowing it, or my comprehension and mental abilities shrunk to the size of an acorn. There is no way in hell a first-year analyst won't be making 100000000 errors on his excel spreadsheets at this comprehension level. Also, I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets bad chest pains doing this. I'm a really healthy/athletic guy too.

Also, wasn't there some research done a while back that continuous sleep-loss can lead to sudden death? I don't see any analysts collapsing.

So in conclusion, I DO NOT believe that the typical analyst works from 6AM to 3AM day after day, and STILL have time and energy to hit the gym and go clubbing. It's biologically INFEASIBLE unless you want an irregular heartbeat somewhere along the way.

Prove me wrong, please. ps: I just got notes for half the textbook already for NEXT SEMESTER. So some good came out of this :D

Comments (393)

1/4/10

it's easier if you're getting paid an exorbitant sum of money

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1/4/10

First of all, thanks for sharing your rather mundane story. Second, most analysts do not work 6AM-3AM , those hours are exceptions, not the rule. Generally speaking, its about 9AM-2AM..on average. "biologically infeasible"? Its definetely feasible, strongly unrecommended, however. Yes IB sucks, and that's why no one does it for over 5 years.

1/4/10

no.. a typical analyst does not work those hours everday, if he or she did for two years, they would die

there are certainly weeks/months like that, but the lighter days help you catch up on sleep and whatnot. I don't know if your test is a joke but its its pretty funny, considering it only emulates being tired and crushing red bulls. If you want it to be more realistic...I guess.. stare at a computer screen for long periods of time, constantly type on your keyboard, induce a sense of pressure or stress, have a few buddies to burn the midnight oil with.

there are some analysts on the street in certain groups who get absolutely crushed and work absurd amounts. but for the most part, a typical analyst does not work 6AM - 3AM everyday. Even if they work till 3am often, they will get in at 9:30 to 10:00, leaving them with 5-6 hours of sleep, which is manageable.

1/4/10

"Even if they work till 3am often, they will get in at 9:30 to 10:00, leaving them with 5-6 hours of sleep, which is manageable."

Analysts can come in at 9AM?? Wow that's a first. I guess there's a lot to clear up here because up till now, everything I've read, including the "Day in a life of a Banker" Vault Guides, has analysts waking up at 6AM and getting to work at 7.

1/4/10

#1- You need to go make some friends
#2- 36 hours without sleep is not as brutal as you describe, you're obviously a huge poontang

1/6/11
Marcus_Halberstram:

#1- You need to go make some friends
#2- 36 hours without sleep is not as brutal as you describe, you're obviously a huge poontang

I hate to say this, given my lack of IB experience, but no sleep is something your body adjusts to, kinda. Marcus is right, 36 hours with little-no-sleep is not "that" brutal. I spent many semesters in school and many years in the Army only sleeping 3, maybe 4, hours per night with some nights of practically zero sleep and jobs that were somewhat physically demanding. People looked at me like I was some kinda of robot and it isn't easy but it is very doable. Also, as other mentioned, 7am is early for many groups and this isn't a set, constant schedule for the entirety of your analyst stint...there will be weekends where you don't have much work and probably go comatose for 8-12 hours...so that sort of resets your time bank.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

1/4/10

If i-banking hours are more lax than I've heard, than why does everyone make a big deal about it? 9AM to 3AM isn't much different from the lawyer who works 9AM to 7PM, then continues working at his home office till 3AM or the surgeon who gets called in at 10PM to perform a 4 hour surgery...

I have family members who are IT Consultants and, even though they get home at 7PM, they rarely talk to their family because they have to continue working late into the night...my uncle works for a top software company making $170k/yr as a developer and has a quick dinner with his family at 8PM, before working at home till 3AM.

Anyone who makes more than 90k usually has lots of work to do, even if they come home earlier, so then what's the big fuss about i-banking hours? Shit happens in IT as well...uncle used to tell me his company would have database crashes at 4AM and they'd have to ring his blackberry.

1/4/10

get a life!

1/4/10

Wait, so you only went 36 hours with no sleep (not really since you took naps and all kinds of stuff)? I regularly do 24 hours without sleep and I am old (27). I think it is something you acquire over time. Suck it up, don't gorge or food and sleep on your lunch break if you need to. I honestly think if you had to do a week of insane hours you would be sleeping during lunch and not going out at all. Interesting little experiment you did though.

1/4/10

I think you got your 7AM idea from reading S&T stuff. You can't mix and match job descriptions to create the worst typical day ever.

Comparing IT and Ibanking is ridiculous. Not because of relative 'prestige' or anything like that, but because working from home on an IT project is very different from spreading comps at 2am in an office. Furthermore, nobody at an established IT company is forced to work 90 hour weeks. Sure, there can be a crazy week on occasion, but those hours are the norm at some IBs and PE shops.

1/4/10

IBD doesn't come in until 9 am +/- 1 hour, it is S&T and ER that comes in at 6am, 7am.

36 hours without sleep is no problem at all. I couple of weeks ago, I woke up to work at 6am got home packed my suitcase and watched TV all night, because I had a 10 hour plane flight the next day and wanted to sleep on the flight. Got on the plane at 9 am, waited for over two hours before it took ate some breakfast, then watched a movie before I finally popped a double dose of OTC sleeping pills, which work pretty good, before going to sleep. That is about 30 hours, while a girl next to me used the same strategy, but she passed out the moment she got into her seat.

I once went 50 hours without sleep while camping under tents: I woke up one day, started drinking in the evening and continued into the night. Got drunk, sobered up in the morning, got drunk again in the afternoon, sobered up in the evening, and then got drunk again at night before finally going to sleep sometime before noon two days later.

It is easy to handle a few days without sleep or even a week with minimal sleep. But I could not work from 6am to 3am for an extended period of time (more than 7-10 days). I would simply quit the job if it required me to work 21 hours a day or 147 hours a week (out of 168 hours total).

1/4/10

Do you not study for finals?

1/4/10

That was what I was thinking when I saw this post. I think I pulled at least a dozen all night sessions this last semester.

1/4/10

Let me tell you a story ....

21st birthday (on the Saturday).
- Woke up Friday 7am. Was during an internship, so arrived at work at 8.30am.
- Worked until 6pm.
- Got home (from client site) at 9pm.
- Went to a house party, got there at 11pm.
- Up all night, drinking and fooling around with this one girl
- Went back to her place at 4am
- Stayed up all night.
- Went home at 10am
- Straight into birthday celebrations with the family and close friends.
- Finished at 6pm
- Went out for pre-evening drinks.
- Got to the club at 11pm
- Left at 4am
- Went back to another girls' place
- Stayed up all night
- Got home at 11am
- Went to see my girlfriend (I was a cheating ass ... sue me, I was 21)
- Had lunch with her and spent the afternoon early/evening
- Got home at 7pm
- Back on the train (back to client site) had to do some work for the Monday morning.
- Got back to the hotel at 11pm
- Finally slept at 1am on the Monday

I was awake for 66 straight hours. I'm not gonna lie, towards the end, I was hearing stuff and felt like I was starting to lose my mind. I wouldn't ever do it again (I came close in Rio over Carnaval - 50 straight hours of partying), but I'm glad I did it.
36 hours is nothing to brag about.

1/4/10
IConsult:

Let me tell you a story ....

21st birthday (on the Saturday).
- Woke up Friday 7am. Was during an internship, so arrived at work at 8.30am.
- Worked until 6pm.
- Got home (from client site) at 9pm.
- Went to a house party, got there at 11pm.
- Up all night, drinking and fooling around with this one girl
- Went back to her place at 4am
- Stayed up all night.
- Went home at 10am
- Straight into birthday celebrations with the family and close friends.
- Finished at 6pm
- Went out for pre-evening drinks.
- Got to the club at 11pm
- Left at 4am
- Went back to another girls' place
- Stayed up all night
- Got home at 11am
- Went to see my girlfriend (I was a cheating ass ... sue me, I was 21)
- Had lunch with her and spent the afternoon early/evening
- Got home at 7pm
- Back on the train (back to client site) had to do some work for the Monday morning.
- Got back to the hotel at 11pm
- Finally slept at 1am on the Monday

I was awake for 66 straight hours. I'm not gonna lie, towards the end, I was hearing stuff and felt like I was starting to lose my mind. I wouldn't ever do it again (I came close in Rio over Carnaval - 50 straight hours of partying), but I'm glad I did it.
36 hours is nothing to brag about.

wow cool story bro

1/4/10
monkeyface:
IConsult:

Let me tell you a story ....

21st birthday (on the Saturday).
- Woke up Friday 7am. Was during an internship, so arrived at work at 8.30am.
- Worked until 6pm.
- Got home (from client site) at 9pm.
- Went to a house party, got there at 11pm.
- Up all night, drinking and fooling around with this one girl
- Went back to her place at 4am
- Stayed up all night.
- Went home at 10am
- Straight into birthday celebrations with the family and close friends.
- Finished at 6pm
- Went out for pre-evening drinks.
- Got to the club at 11pm
- Left at 4am
- Went back to another girls' place
- Stayed up all night
- Got home at 11am
- Went to see my girlfriend (I was a cheating ass ... sue me, I was 21)
- Had lunch with her and spent the afternoon early/evening
- Got home at 7pm
- Back on the train (back to client site) had to do some work for the Monday morning.
- Got back to the hotel at 11pm
- Finally slept at 1am on the Monday

I was awake for 66 straight hours. I'm not gonna lie, towards the end, I was hearing stuff and felt like I was starting to lose my mind. I wouldn't ever do it again (I came close in Rio over Carnaval - 50 straight hours of partying), but I'm glad I did it.
36 hours is nothing to brag about.

wow cool story bro

i did something similar once, towards the end i cannot hold tweezer plucking my eyebrow. it was so scary since i feel i cannot control my hand. i lost so much weight that week tho, straight drinking+no sleeping=rapid weight loss,which should be a bonus for a girl. lol.

1/4/10

Let me clarify: In my post, I did ultimately mean that it would be impossible to pull off for more than 2-3 days a week, 4 weeks a month. Once or twice is fine...but more than that, which was what I and many of my friends had believed what i-bankers went through, would be really tough to do which was what boggled me.

As for finals...I've studied till 5AM writing papers and cramming for a final or midterm that was at 9AM more than a few times a semester. I've gone 24 hours no sleep several times a month in college. But the difference was that right after that exam, I'd run back to my dorm and sleep for the next 10 hours and wake up at like 8PM.

1/4/10

IConsult: IT's much easier to do when the activity you're doing is actually INTERESTING. Back in freshman/sophomore year, my frat would party frequently on thurs/fri/sat nights till 5AM and around 7AM I'd be still completely ECSTATIC and not tired at all. The combination of fun, dancing, jumping around, liquor and energy drinks makes it much easier to stay up. Comparing that to 2 hours of calculus 3 and I'm dozing off in no-time.

1/4/10
yeeeeeeehawwww:

IConsult: IT's much easier to do when the activity you're doing is actually INTERESTING.

I see where you're coming from, but I posit that it isn't difficult to stay up for 36 hours for something inane like debugging 2000 lines of C++ code (I was a CS major) or coding in Haskell.
I've done both and lived to tell the tale. Not pretty, but certainly not as difficult as staying awake for 66 hours.

eiffeltowered:

IConsult...how much cocaine were you on while partying?

None. I naturally don't sleep many hours (4hrs is enough, more than 5hrs is too much)

1/4/10

Ha. I love how you throw in your frat activity after everyone rains down on your clear and complete toolishness and lack of friends. The ferocity that you wrote that post with, and the fact that you actually stayed awake for 3 days during a break simply because you believed 1st year analysts are forced to, is kinda pathetic man.

1/4/10

Ortsman1: how exactly does this in any way show I have a "lack of friends"? I'm not interested in getting into useless fights on a messageboard, but I don't see how this shows lack of friends? I'm at home for winter break and went to a bar with some guys I knew back in high school in my hometown....what more would you expect me to do at home? Bring my entire fraternity 7 states away from campus to come hang out?

1/4/10

If you are the analyst running the model for a live $5bn+ M&A transaction, you will pull at least one back-to-back pair of all-nighters, plus at least three additional all-nighters, all in the FIRST TWO WEEKS of the transaction.

The experience is nothing like reading a math textbook because your a$$ will be on the line and you will have several more senior bankers constantly grilling you. If you become seriously fatigued and more likely to make errors, then more senior resources will be dedicated to checking your work.

1/4/10

For the OP,

You can't simulate and model life. Life is dynamic and even though you were studying stochastics, your thought process is very linear...dare I say, robotic.

Reality and the pressures of situations determine your body's reaction, not some "plan". No matter how motivated you are there's no way your body can be stimulated to meet the pressures of a deadline, paying the bills, having three crying kids at home, etc...

In addition, all that Red Bull, Rockstar, Crack Rock shit is only going to fuck you up more. The combo of sleep deprivation and all that caffeine is a perfect recipe for a heart attack. Take a multi vitamin, eat real food, step outside of the box (go for a walk, play a video game, some shit to break the mental monotony) and most importantly, respect life and don't be an everything planning robot.

You're a kid, you're motivated, that's plenty for now. Take it easy and if you really need to prove to yourself that you can cut the long hours. Build up to it slowly like anything else, start with 24 and then work your way up. If you're in it for the right reasons, you'll have no problem doing the time when the situation calls for it.

Good luck.

1/4/10

Becasue only a sad individual with a complete lack of social skills would purposefully subject themselves to three days of sleeplessness to prove to an anonymous message board that is is very difficult to do (no shit sherlock), all while operating under the totally wrong premise that all analysts regularly do this.

1/4/10

Ortsman1: I'm in the process of making a career choice...just wanted to see what it felt like. Especially in a career where this happens all the time, I want to see if this is the way I should be going. But apparently this makes me a loner with no social skills.

Insecure much? I don't get it. Were you picked on in high school?

1/4/10

Good luck with your choice man

1/4/10

I'm sorry but this is the most ridiculously pathetic thing I've read on this site.

1/4/10

^Agree with this guy.

1/4/10

you are my hero

also PLEASE tell this during an interview, it will make for a great story

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

1/4/10
yeeeeeeehawwww:

So in conclusion, I DO NOT believe that the typical analyst works from 6AM to 3AM day after day, and STILL have time and energy to hit the gym and go clubbing. It's biologically INFEASIBLE unless you want an irregular heartbeat somewhere along the way.

You really needed to stay up for 36 hours to reach that conclusion?

1/4/10

IConsult...how much cocaine were you on while partying?

1/4/10

You're all being really hard on the guy.. yeah not sleeping sucks. being all macho about it is all fine and good, but it still sucks. I think it's good for him to find out how his body responds to it before rather than after he starts work

1/4/10

IBD comes to work around 9:30 ~ 10:00 and leaves around 12~2 a.m.
Its really on a few occasions when they do 3-straight-all-nighters.

This would definitely be a fun story to tell on interviews, though. Nice Job.

1/4/10
CoreDuo:

This would definitely be a fun story to tell on interviews, though.

No, no, no (assuming this is serious). Bringing this up in a job interview is asking to get dinged.

Best Response
1/4/10

Over the course of my two years, I only pulled back-to-back all-nighters twice, and I worked harder than probably any analyst in my class. I typically worked 9am to 2am when I was busy, with a random all-nighter thrown in every week or so to meet a deadline. On weekends you can typically get a full night sleep (~7 hrs) unless your associate is in the office with you, which sucks.

Your experiment lacks in a few ways. Something I think almost no one understands is how your body rapidly becomes accustomed to your lifestyle. When I was busy for an extended period of time, a 4am night wouldn't phase me. I'd still be at the top of my game. However, if you come back from xmas break and immediately have to pull an all-nighter, you'll be toast easily because your body resets. I had to pull an all-nighters the Sunday after Christmas last year and it absolutely sucked. I had a ton of sleep, but because I hadn't worked much for a couple of days, I was dying come 3am.

Another key thing that is lacking is what your motivation is for staying up late. The key difference between staying up all night studying for finals and staying up all night working, is when studying for finals, you can call it quits whenever you want. If you get exhausted, you can give up and go to bed and just wing the test the next day. Your grades may suffer, but no one is standing over you expecting you to do it. In banking, you've got an entire team standing over you (not physically), pressuring you to make sure you get it done, and get it done flawlessly. You can't just "go-to-bed" and take the lower grade, and not having that choice makes a difference.

CompBanker

4/22/16

wrr

1/4/10

Compbanker,

Thank you for a great response that brings both reality and insight back into the conversation. Knowing that your body can adapt to the reduced sleep is very reassuring for people like me who are used to getting a full night's sleep every night.

1/5/10

Keep in mind that a good 50% of all adults are going to stretch the truth to make themselves look like 24/7 work-a-holic heros in a survival of the fittest type way. Especially with entry level analysts: they will gladly tell you about all the rounders they work to make it appear like Wall street is some sweatshop 90 miles west of Beijing. However, they will never mention the times they were able to take a nap, take an executive lunch, get their highlights retouched or reinvent their Facebook page in the middle of the day bc their bandwith was just that low. As mentioned above, Bankers probably average out the same amount of hours as Sales Managers, IT Developers and a host of other professions that make north of six figures. Those people just realize how low their salary truly is once they do the math and that's why they don't tell people how many hours they truly work.

1/6/10

Humorous post. Ignore most of the criticisms. IB is overrated. There are easier ways to make money.

I worked an a major firm (GS/MS/JPM) and switched to subprime mortgage lending before the massive bubble. I went from stimulating conversations among very bright and ambitious co-workers to working alongside dropouts selling to people who couldn't speak English. I made significantly more money and didn't work hard. Enough to go on and earn a PhD from a top school afterwards.

Now I'm back working in a different industry and am getting ready to start my own business. With all the intelligence on this board, the vast majority of you shouldn't have a problem earning well into the six-figures. No need to worry.

IB is no different than accounting. You learn basic skills, but you should really develop better operational skills, unless you are the type who can make it to MD or happen to live in a more affordable city. I never was. I wasn't good enough to make it that far in that type of system only to buy a tiny apartment in a cold city.

I have several friends in IB at the VP/Director level. They still have less than 100k of net worth. Hardly impressive. My friends that own Dry Cleaners and Beauty Supply shops in the ghetto have more money and better cash flow.

Banking is overrated. MBA's are joke degrees and the vast majority of bankers below the MD level aren't exactly wealthy. Mr. Braverman writes some very incisive commentary and my journey is similar--though less interesting and successful--than his. Don't stress out about applying to become a whore unless you see it as a good opportunity to learn basic skills. That's all it is for most people.

Do many of you know people in IB that have a relatively substantial net worth under the age of 30? I don't, but I would be interested to see if my friends are abnormal. Money from mom doesn't count.

FYI: In IB you work 60-70 hours but talk about working 80-90. The hours aren't as bad as people say.

I rich, smarts, and totally in debt.

1/6/10
MrDouche:

FYI: In IB you work 60-70 hours but talk about working 80-90. The hours aren't as bad as people say.

False.

1/6/10

You should read "Work smart not hard" post over at Mergers and Inquisitions. It will help you a lot and give you some ideas how to manage your day.

1/6/10

Real banker works ass off for 90+ hrs a week, no bullshit in the office, results only, period. Parties when not in the office. This banker is excellent at what he / she does, loves his / her job and senior bankers love them. Even some that try this hard and maybe are not as effective, they are still real bankers.

Wanker banker is "AT" work for 90+ hrs a week, bullshits around for 30+ hours a week (including on WSO, internet, long stupid conversations about nothing, bitches about work, starbucks 5 times a day) and the 60 hrs he/she works its ineffective / slow / error ridden. Thinks he/she is "top of class" but is really bottom.

I'm going to post this in a forum. I like the theme.

#################################################
I am the Man. I Have the Plan. Follow Me to the Promised Land.

1/7/10

What a humurous post. Thanks for the laughs. I couldn't stop cracking up (no sarcasm).

Don't take some of these tight wads so seriously. Take a look at the WSO poll. Seems as a lot of us are looking for some more funny content. =)

1/7/10

MrDouche: you are retarded, ur friends probably worked at jefferies/piper jaffray. DIAF. I have more networth right now than you ever will and this is as an analyst.

1/7/10

1styearBanker: What are you worth? And how much of it did you earn?

I rich, smarts, and totally in debt.

1/7/10
MrDouche:

1styearBanker: What are you worth? And how much of it did you earn?

MrDouch, I take it your metric for "earning" is how many $600K ARM mortgages you sold to 70 year old Vietnamese widows in SoCal.

There's a reason you were working with HS dropouts.

1/8/10

LOL

1/12/10

Thank you OP for the laugh. I was at my desk cracking up!

12/12/10

HAHAHA I loved this thread.

12/12/10

Too much shit being thrown around in this thread

12/12/10

I managed 4 weaks non-stop working with no regular time of sleep. I always tried to decide on whether to use 1, 2 or 3 REM phases (90 minutes each) and distributed them throughout the day.

So I crashed not before the 4th week was over. So I guess it is possible. But your ability to work creatively and inspiredly really requires a huge amount of money and I doubt you can keep on working effectively for 4 weeks. Maybe if it is the project of your life. But truly not regulalry.

I didn't move though. No drive to work. I jsut sat at the desk and did thoughtwork. Maybe that's the difference to your experience. I suppose, to work so effective in a bank, one needs a bed under the desk, or at least some comfortable place next to it.
And having a dog to sleep with you certainly increases your performance again, so you migh only need one REM Phase each day. Given tha you are not learning anything after the 3rd week pitching as an analyst, you might even need only one REM phase ever 3rd day occasionaly.

But, then you don't learn how to pick up girls after hhour, so I guess you need 4 REMs every day, unless you want to be a social inapt freakazoid like that Mega Mind guy from Disney.

... ok it wasn't funny. Nvermind.

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

1/6/11

One thing to keep in mind is sleep needs vary drastically from one person to another. Additionally environment, like Compbanker said, is a huge factor in determine an individuals limits. Access to food is another huge driver, which in banking should not be a problem.

I went to undergrad at a service academy and probably slept 5 hours a night 6 days a week and then caught 10 hours of rack on Sunday during the academic year. This is pretty standard and easily doable. In Ranger school I slept between 1-3 hours a day for 12 weeks, spent outside on 1 MRE a day. This was absolute hell by design. During deployments I might sleep only a couple hours a day for weeks. This however is not sustainable. The best advice I ever got from one of my battalion commanders was that anything less than 5 hours on average of sleep is unsustainable long term for most people and his officers were required to get 5 hours a night. His rationale was that anything less and your ability to make critical decisions in real time were impaired, jeopardizing readiness and endangering lives. While that scenario isn't applicable to plunking away at Excel or changing slide formatting, the vast majority of people will be useless if they keep up sustained levels of sleep deprivation.

Additionally in iterated work environments there is ample opportunity to catch 30-60 minutes of sleep when you are waiting to get feedback before the next round of edits.

1/6/11

Dude, it's not that hard. I've stayed up 3 days straight for finals week. Didn't drink any caffiene/energy drinks until past the 50 hour mark, took two finals on the last day, aced them, went partying. You build up a tolerance for sleep deprivation as you do it more xD

1/6/11

Reminds me of the Germans in my SA class. They would love doing tripple allnighters and stuff. They would come in Sunday evening with the goal to not go home before thursday, insane.

But its doable I usually stay away from anything like coffee or red bull, only it im dropping on the floor. drink a lot of water and keep conversing with people around you

"too good to be true"

See my WSO Blog

1/6/11

Does much cognitive though go into plugging and chugging or copying and pasting charts?

1/6/11

it always amazes me the moment someone makes a thread that in anyway implies that he did something in his free time other than getting laid or drunk gets flamed by half of wso. How can the average forum member be this incredibly retarded? I guess more buyside slots for the non retarded wso population, thats an upside.

I mean what OP did was kinda crazy, but damn thats some dedication to a career path haha

1/6/11
leveredarb:

it always amazes me the moment someone makes a thread that in anyway implies that he did something in his free time other than getting laid or drunk gets flamed by half of wso. How can the average forum member be this incredibly retarded? I guess more buyside slots for the non retarded wso population, thats an upside.

I mean what OP did was kinda crazy, but damn thats some dedication to a career path haha

Arbitrarily deciding that you want to stay up (or get very little sleep) for 3 days is not 'dedication to a career path'. If I wanted to see what it was like to be an NFL quarterback would letting Clay Mathews tackle the shit out of me show any kind of dedication to a career path?

Not saying this was on the same level of stupidity as the previous example but you get my point.

To the OP, I worked nights for 3 years and it sucked. Sleep is a great thing

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

1/6/11

Banks are not retarded and they know that 140 hours of shitty work from a zombie is not as productive as 80 hours of work from someone who has gotten sleep every night. A hour of productive work beats 4 hours of staring at a screen without being able to think because you are so tired. No one would be productive working from 6AM-3AM, and no bank would want their employees to do that, from both a moral (could die) and efficiency (won't be very productive) standpoint. I think "rough" hours are more like 930AM - 3AM, which is still a 17.5 hour day. Obviously all nighters happen occasionally, but if they do and you need to go home and nap for a couple hours your group will almost definitely let you do that.

1/6/11

IBD is a joke and anyone dumb enough to be suckered into doing it deserves all the crap that goes along with it. Any job that expects a human being to pull multiple all nighters in a row to basically run models on excel and do power point presentations should be illegal. No one can do this without Adderall (which is basically time release speed) and your health will suffer massively in the long run.

If there is really that much work to be done, hire more people for gods sake.

5/14/12
awm55:

IBD is a joke and anyone dumb enough to be suckered into doing it deserves all the crap that goes along with it. Any job that expects a human being to pull multiple all nighters in a row to basically run models on excel and do power point presentations should be illegal. No one can do this without Adderall (which is basically time release speed) and your health will suffer massively in the long run.

If there is really that much work to be done, hire more people for gods sake.

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1/6/11

Wow, what a stupid and pointless exercise. You need a girl in your life.

5/18/13

OP, I kind of want to stuff you into a locker

5/20/13

CaR:

OP, I kind of want to stuff you into a locker

Odds are you or someone else already has

I hate victims who respect their executioners

5/18/13

36 hours for you is not the same as for other people. When I completed the last part of a training program, I was up for 36-40 hours, where half the time was spent doing hard physical activity.

Edit: there is also a difference between doing that willingly and being forced to. You'll find that when you really don't have an option, you'll force yourself to do more. Try studying for an exam a month in advance and see your motivation level as compared to a day before the test.

4/22/16

Ultimately you would be surprised of what your body is capable off.

It is not healthy and sleep deprivation can kill you.

But it's about people who love the grind. Who oftentimes pull all nighters and do obscene amounts of work? Ivy Leaguers. There is no coincidence why they want those kids as analysts. --- They many times love the grind.

4/23/16
DealTeamSix:

Who oftentimes pull all nighters and do obscene amounts of work? Ivy Leaguers. There is no coincidence why they want those kids as analysts. --- They many times love the grind.

What??

4/23/16

6-3 is absolutely doable. I conducted operations for two weeks at a time in Afghanistan averaging and hour or two of sleep per 24 hour period. I assure you, the conditions were much more strenuous and tiring than breakfast at McDonalds, clubbing, and reading text books; yet we still functioned. The fact is, you're young, inexperienced (not an insult), and your body/mind haven't been conditioned to function under these conditions. Stop worrying about sleep, learn the skills you need to be successful, and take the long days as they come at you. You're wasting energy concerning yourself with this.

4/23/16

definitely had period where I got 6-7, and some stretches with 2-3 for a couple of weeks during first year. Overall about 4-5, usually can make some of that up one day on the weekend unless you are getting slammed. Def better 2nd year, prob averaged 6-7

4/23/16

How bad is it for Assosiate, MD, Vp...

4/23/16

had it pretty bad their 1st year, then it got better, but obviously can vary (knew associates who worked 100 hour weeks consistently and ones that worked 70 or so hours and almost always left around 8-9). Young VP's had it much better (and I think most thought it was their right to work shorter hours after getting abused as associates), but actually in some ways got worse as they became more senior and picked up clients, they had to travel a lot. MD's varied greatly, I knew some who probably worked 80 hours a week (but were in the office 30-40, they were constantly travelling or on conference calls from home working on deals) and others who worked a lot, lot less (very discretionary as long as the produced). On the whole, work obviously drops on average as you go up the pole, but can vary dramatically depending on group, culture, personal drive and actual job (execution versus origination)

4/23/16

just as an FYI - Your body goes through a major adjustment the first few weeks on the job.

Sunday - thursday I'd say I average between 3.5 - 5.5 a night, friday and saturday night are 6-7 hours each night (assuming I don't get slammed with work - again this is average)

Before I started working the lack of sleep was a huge concern for me, but once you adjust and get on some deals (currently on 2 live deals) you start stressing about deadlines - sleep is the least of my concerns now

4/23/16

when you say your getting that much sleep. are all you doing working and sleeping. or are you taking an hour or two of personal time a day?

4/23/16

I really don't understand how analysts do it. Sleeping 3.5-5.5 hours on weekdays and 6 on weekends?

How do you survive and operate effectively with such little sleep?

I need an average of 7.5 hours a day (including weekends) to operate at full capacity. How the heck do you people operate on an average of 5 a day for months?

4/23/16

As analysts you all have to doing something wrong. I work at BoA, I know it is not GS or ML but shit. I get to work at 9am and I am home by 11-12am. I get a full 7-8 hours a day as a first year analyst. I am on two live deals. The problem with most analysts is while they are at work they are on ESPN.com or bullshitting with other analysts. If you do your work with minimal distraction, you can avoid weekends, def Sunday and never leave past 11pm. But many analysts got in through a backdoor and are not as bright therefore they take a lot longer to get things done.

4/23/16
tbroker:

The problem with most analysts is while they are at work they are on ESPN.com or bullshitting with other analysts.

Are you kidding? Analysts sit around on espn.com because they often don't even get assignments until 7-8pm in the evening. Perhaps the folks in Charlotte are a bit friendlier, or perhaps you're extrapolating off a small base of work experience as a first year.

Then again, I'm sure its just as likely that all other analysts are doing something wrong...

4/23/16

are you in a less intense group/firm or something?

4/23/16

Actually smuguy, I'm going to go ahead and agree with tbroker here. There is so much screwing around and wasting time that goes on, that some people never go home before 12. I typically average going home around 10 - 11 at night, spend an hour or so on IBO, checking email, etc., then get 7+ hours of sleep. If I didn't want to take any personal time, I could get 9 hours most nights (obviously there are some nights that efficiency doesn't matter, and you will be screwed).

I think in general people like to beat their chest and claim they never sleep. While for some people it certainly is true, it is more a function of slowly done (and perhaps better quality?) work, or people afraid to leave before their associate leaves.

CompBanker

4/23/16
CompBanker:

Actually smuguy, I'm going to go ahead and agree with tbroker here. There is so much screwing around and wasting time that goes on, that some people never go home before 12. I typically average going home around 10 - 11 at night, spend an hour or so on IBO, checking email, etc., then get 7+ hours of sleep. If I didn't want to take any personal time, I could get 9 hours most nights (obviously there are some nights that efficiency doesn't matter, and you will be screwed).

I think in general people like to beat their chest and claim they never sleep. While for some people it certainly is true, it is more a function of slowly done (and perhaps better quality?) work, or people afraid to leave before their associate leaves.

Wow, I'm not sure where you work, but at my firm this is definitely NOT the case. As someone had already mentioned, you don't even get staffed on some deals until 7PM or so. I don't understand how you can claim people exaggerate their hours when you see the analysts next to you getting in at 9:00 and leaving at 3:00 AM every day.

Perhaps the hours are better in MMs or regional offices, but there aren't too many analysts at BBs averaging 8 hours of sleep a night.

4/23/16

im about to take an offer with a bb, and am only afraid of sleep deprivation. i need 7

4/23/16

People definitely exaggerate the amount of hours they work on this forum...

4/23/16

"People definitely exaggerate the amount of hours they work on this forum..."

Before I went in, I figured it had to be an exaggeration too.

I was wrong. At least for the group I was in.

4/23/16

Maybe the guy's In FIG, generally has better hours...

4/23/16

I realized that the Army isn't that bad sometimes. When we're in the field or deployed, yeah it sucks because you're always working and anything that needs your attention can cut into the 2-4 hours of sleep you MAY get that night. Plus, all deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) were extended to 15 months. If you're on deployment, you'll most likely work 7 days a week, 14-18 hours a day for 15 months.

However, if you're not currently deployed (like me), you work 40-hour weeks. I get into the office just before 9, take lunch for an hour or hour and half, close out final details with my boss and with my team around 4:30 and I'm in my car, driving off post right around 5pm. I've worked plenty of all-nighters because of mission requirements but now that I'm a captain, I'm in a slightly better position to control my environment and my hours. As long as I produce.

You I-bankers work some hardcore hours. That 100-hours a week thing is no joke.

4/23/16

I work in health care. All that I am saying is that people always exagerating. I was hired for last years class. I did some community service overseas and actually started in January so I have been here for a while. My attitude is no bullshut. I dont give a shit who you are, I can find another job. Therefore, I do not let people dump shit on me. I do everything I do well and I do it once. I break just for the gym and a quick lunch. If you dump shit on my lap at 8 because you were too busy to tell me earlier then I am too busy for you as well. Maybe it is my attitude of being from MIT or maybe it is me thinking I am better than most analysts.

4/23/16

I wish I was your associate.

Ok, I'll cut the sarcasm. I would say in at least most groups that is not an option if you want to get better than bottom comp, no matter how fast and efficient you are. I can think of one analyst in particular who was really top tier in terms of ability, and was actually fine with doing changes and small tasks, but just would not come in over the weekend if work was not requested Friday morning.

He got bottom bucket.

In addition, even the no BS people in my group pulled all nighters all fall and spring (not summer and winter really) in our first years. Its great if you group is different, but many people don't have the option.

And, to be honest, part of it could be the difference between BoA and a bigger bank with an international footprint. BoA does well, and I am sure you are getting some great exposure, but you just have less of the large, demanding clients and BSD demanding bankers.

4/23/16
tbroker:

If you dump shit on my lap at 8 because you were too busy to tell me earlier then I am too busy for you as well. Maybe it is my attitude of being from MIT or maybe it is me thinking I am better than most analysts.

Hahah, this is great stuff. Let me know how your attitude works out for you come bonus season.

Oh, and I have no idea what you mean by your "attitude of being from MIT". Does that make you special somehow?

4/23/16

There was a kid in my group who left no later than 11 PM everyday, definitely the best analyst from an efficiency perspective, but got hit on bonus pretty hard and was shocked. You can feel that you are smarter than everyone, that you do better work than everyone, and that you are efficient (and all this may and probably is true), but you will still be hit in the end. Banking is not a meritocracy, there are certain rules that people generally expect you to follow (it's called face time and slaving away on nonsense, it's your job). You should have known this before coming in from what other people told you, learned it as a summer analyst or you should have went to a HF (guess you're not so smart afterall)

4/23/16

Well like I said I started in January and got a half bonus this July of 45K, so if that is bottom bucket, show me the top.

I pull all nighters, I said I do not take BS. There are MDs who go play golf and have dinner with clients and THEN request changes when they had it at 2PM. I know who those MDs are like all of you know it in your respective group. Therefore, I made it known that it was BS and they stopped coming to me with it, end of story. If a client calls at 8pm for something I get it done if need be until 4am, that is not BS, that is the business.

Also, I did summer internships at Lynch, however, they did not want to let me take 6 months to go and do service in Russia so I took the next best offer, BoA. So I know what it is like at a BB and the demanding clients. However, the bigger the bank the bigger the MD assholes are.

And the MIT thing is because every class you get a, you're so gifted speech. I always thought it was a crock until junior year one professor spun it into you are special so dont take the bullshit. This guy was an ex banker actually, turned academic. I took that with me and people respected it. Now I get staffed on deals with MDs and VPs who want to get it done right and efficient, not those who are just BSD who like to see you with baggy eyes the next morning.

Therefore, StreetLuck, bonus season came and it was great. I know have a 5 series, just because you suck the tip of the BSD and still get middle bucket bonuses do not try and be a prick.

4/23/16
tbroker:

Well like I said I started in January and got a half bonus this July of 45K, so if that is bottom bucket, show me the top.

I pull all nighters, I said I do not take BS. There are MDs who go play golf and have dinner with clients and THEN request changes when they had it at 2PM. I know who those MDs are like all of you know it in your respective group. Therefore, I made it known that it was BS and they stopped coming to me with it, end of story. If a client calls at 8pm for something I get it done if need be until 4am, that is not BS, that is the business.

Also, I did summer internships at Lynch, however, they did not want to let me take 6 months to go and do service in Russia so I took the next best offer, BoA. So I know what it is like at a BB and the demanding clients. However, the bigger the bank the bigger the MD assholes are.

And the MIT thing is because every class you get a, you're so gifted speech. I always thought it was a crock until junior year one professor spun it into you are special so dont take the bullshit. This guy was an ex banker actually, turned academic. I took that with me and people respected it. Now I get staffed on deals with MDs and VPs who want to get it done right and efficient, not those who are just BSD who like to see you with baggy eyes the next morning.

Therefore, StreetLuck, bonus season came and it was great. I know have a 5 series, just because you suck the tip of the BSD and still get middle bucket bonuses do not try and be a prick.

Just curious. How does a head that big fit into the elevator of BoA? Or are office buildings in Charlotte only one story?

4/23/16
tbroker:

And the MIT thing is because every class you get a, you're so gifted speech. I always thought it was a crock until junior year one professor spun it into you are special so dont take the bullshit. This guy was an ex banker actually, turned academic.

I'm not entirely sure what to say to this, but altfp's response seems fitting.

4/23/16

Doubt there's any need for elevators...the ballooned head and hot air are conducive to just floating up to your floor

4/23/16

I thought BofA moved its IB to NYC? What do they have in Charlotte still? And how about Wachovia?

4/23/16

BOA definitely still has something in Charlotte, I have a friend at a southern school that interned there this past summer (not confident it was in IB though so maybe nevermind)

4/23/16

I am not in Charlotte...I am not in NYC I was on the West Coast until end of summer when I switched from Tech to HC...IB and big head fit together, so you must not be a banker

4/23/16
tbroker:

I am not in Charlotte...I am not in NYC I was on the West Coast until end of summer when I switched from Tech to HC...IB and big head fit together, so you must not be a banker

1. You were in San Francisco tech before, which is usually a bit more lifestyle than traditional banking.

2. I would recommend you use your MIT "gift" of intelligence to read someone's profile before presuming what field they work in. I guess even the world's brightest can make faulty assumptions....

4/23/16

Ok man, we get it, you're smarter than the rest of us.

You should be running your own hedge fund by now, what are you doing in IBD with the rest of us hacks ?

4/23/16

not to be an a$$, but now that you've said that you're at BOA, you're remarks seem a little silly. BOA is a fine firm, but would think you would show a little humility about being "a banker with a big head" seeing that every other analyst in an ibanking program outside of Wachovia believes they are better off than the BOA analysts. Once again, it's all perspective, and banking is banking, but would think you wouldn't have such a big head (by the way, I also used to have somewhat of a similar idea about myself, and I worked for the what most people believed to be the best group on WS and was fairly confident that I was the smartest guy on the floor by day 2, but soon realized that it didn't matter and it was the way it was, and that I just had to suck it up and get through the program)

4/23/16

bump.
similar issues here.

4/23/16

Exercise will give you more energy and allow you to really sleep when you crash. Of course you can only do this when you have the time.

_______________________________________________________
Chase Us, Break In
http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot....

4/23/16
breakingbankers:

Exercise will give you more energy and allow you to really sleep when you crash. Of course you can only do this when you have the time.

_______________________________________________________
Chase Us, Break In
http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot....

My office has a gym, and I planned to start a routine of going at some point during the day. However, we've been slammed lately and no one in my group goes to the gym regularly, so I don't feel comfortable just getting up and exercising for an hour while everyone else continues to work, especially since I'm low man on the totem pole.

Have thought about going after work, but that always sounds good until I actually get home, then I just want to crash.

My group has a rep for being a sweatshop, and I guess I didn't realize how tough it was to do day in and day out. Even my MD works late, sometimes until 10 or 11.

4/23/16

catch up on the weekends?

4/23/16
4/23/16

My first year and a half in banking I almost never left the office. An early night was midnight and I had some months where I got three to four hours of sleep a night for the entire month with an all-nighter here and there.

I don't drink coffee or soda, so I took a bit of a different approach to loading myself up with caffeine. I drink endless amounts of cold water (usually 10 to 15 glasses a day) for starters, which helps keep me hydrated and fresh. Also, sometimes I take half a shot of NyQuil before going to bed to make sure that I get an extremely deep sleep (usually this is only when I really need to be productive the next day). I'm generally a very light sleeper and only need about 6-7 hours of sleep a night, so your results may vary. I think you'll find that your body adjusts very rapidly (this works both ways) so that after a couple weeks getting only a few hours of sleep becomes doable. However, if you have a slow week, you're going to need to train your body to stay up late all over again.

At the end of the day no one is going to be at peak performance after only a few hours of sleep. You have to recognize this, fight through it, and just do your best. Honestly, the hours are the single worst part of this job and there isn't any magic solution. Best of luck to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

CompBanker

4/23/16

Bankers may never sleep but traders never rest.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

4/23/16

^ nice

4/23/16

Agree with CompBanker, the hours are something most people will never really adjust to unless you are a 'natural'. Some guys are just fine with 4 hours, most guys do need the 7, 8 or 9 hours as you mentioned.

You can split this problem into two components - what do you do to fight current tiredness, and how do you cope with the lifestyle in general.

On a tactical level, you'll need to drink a lot of water to just stay hydrated as the coffee/Red Bull you'll definitely end up drinking (there's nothing wrong with that) will take its toll. Apart from that, what I found helps is music that gets you euphoric (I've never had anyone complain about my earplugs past midnight...) or getting up every now and then to walk a bit -- even if it's just to the bathroom... Splashing water in your face does wonders as well, I've found.

Long-term, a healthy lifestyle is absolutely mandatory. Since I've started working I've definitely tried to drink much less alcohol, as alcohol simply kills your metabolism and makes you require more sleep etc. Do exercise; I'm not talking about weights in the gym but try go outside for a long run / cycling session, as it's good both purely physical and also mentally. Eating well obviously helps too. Coping with lack of sleep is also something you can train. I've had cases where sleeping 4-5 hours a night was standard and after a while you just get used to it. If you've just come back from holidays with >8hrs of sleep a night, getting back into combat mode will not be easy. Thus very slowly reduce the sleep you allow for yourself over time.

Generally, I found that your approach to it all is so important. I know colleagues who start bitching every time we work past midnight (I'm in consulting where this is actually not a natural thing) and that just slows them down, while others just try to get the mission done. Definitely be one of the latter, and see every long night as a challenge itself. If you don't happen to have a competitive athletics or military background, reading Armstrong's It's not about the Bike and comparable stuff may help to get into the right mindset.

4/23/16

Aside from yet another tremendously insecure comment from trade4size, the rest of this thread is pretty spot on. I was pulling some pretty ridiculous hours and aside from what's already been mentioned, I did a few things to help me cope. I started smoking again (very occasionally), caffeine pills, green tea, a serious Red Bull addiction (to the point where my boss expressed concerns), sleeping during every free hour, etc.

All I would add is to do whatever works for you and screw what everyone else says or thinks. A lot of these type-A types like to imagine themselves getting by on plenty of exercise and lots of water but the reality is different for everyone (and they don't tell you about the cigarette that they sneak or the double espresso they have every morning). If exercise doesn't work, don't force yourself to keep doing it and tell yourself that it's actually helping. Cigarettes, caffeine pills, green tea and Red Bull; whatever it takes, keep experimenting till you find the right combination.

(Cue college students berating me for smoking and drinking Red Bull for "just a job")

4/23/16

Good, realistic points there. The soft stuff like Cigarettes and caffeine pills are the last way out, but I can't see a reason not to use them if times are tough. Yes they will harm your body, but a) you're not an analyst for all your life (will age considerably though during that time) and b) you're either fully committed to it, or just don't do it (i.e. leave or transfer to S&T...).

4/23/16

It's nice to hear other "war" stories.

FYI, 3 hours of sleep last night and already in the office for today. Blech.

4/23/16

Once had a case where CEO's assistant said "hey guys call me any time when you have questions with the deck". So we called him at 10pm, midnight, 3am and 5am with questions. I handed over the final deck to the CEO dude at 11am, went back to hotel for 3hrs of sleep and then cracked on normally. Gave me the worst headache ever but CEO reportedly said to assistant "oh my god what are these people?".

Sad to enjoy this but I do, somehow.

4/23/16

I get 4-5 hours a night...and I'm on the buyside. Dude once you adjust, it gets pretty easy; matter of act, once you get used to it, you sometimes can't sleep more than 4-5 hours even on the weekend. It takes a while for some people though.

One thing I do every morning when I wake up is force myself to smile (sounds creepy, I know) for a couple of minutes. It really helps set up my day, and you don't look like shit in the morning when you step into the office (and makes everyone else envious that your a "natural" :P). Exercise, healthy eating, an espresso shot every now and then, all these things will help.

I adjusted to less sleep when I was 15, lol, and haven't changed yet. Plus, my days are much more productive than the guys who HAVE to get 8-9 a night.

4/23/16

DONT snooze, immediately get up when the alarm goes off and head DIRECTLY to the shower. I find this helps to wake me up no matter how much sleep I got.

4/23/16

Some are natural and some are not. BUt you can train yourself to make it more bearable. I notice I tend to need more sleep when I indulge in more sleep. So get yourself used to having a "lean" sleeping time. I've been working till about 2 AM non-stop for the last 2 weeks. This week I worked til 3, 3:30, and 5 on Sun, Mon, Tues. I almost always get in around 8, so a 3am day means I probably get about 3-4 hours of sleep. The day I worked til 5, I literally got about an hour of sleep, but I was surprisingly fine most of the day. You'd be surprised how much of a difference even an hour or an hour and a half of sleep makes.

That being said... sleep, drugs, supplements (multi-vitamin, preferably made for performance ie. super-doses of B-vitamins), healthy eating habits(makes a huge difference) make a HUGE difference.

Also, on a side note, when you're sleep deprived NEVER look it. I've noticed some people who want to make sure everyone knows they've been getting slaughtered with work try to be dramatic about it so people notice. What ends up happening is you dont get as desirable work because people figure the quality of your work must be suffering since you're so visibility affected. If you're routinely working well into the night, and you're the first one in in the morning and look/perform like a million bucks, people do take notice. Atleast thats been my experience.

4/23/16

I never slept for more than 5 hours a day...how'd you get through your classes sleeping 8-9 hours a day? genius.

4/23/16
razumereview:

I never slept for more than 5 hours a day...how'd you get through your classes sleeping 8-9 hours a day? genius.

I thought everyone in college slept for 10+ hours at night and tacked on another hour or two for a mid-afternoon nap.

4/23/16

I've had some different experience from some of these posts, regarding exercising. If you jump straight into a heavy/regular exercise routine, you'll actually be more tired than usual. My PT said it was because the body's suffering under the strain of losing weight and burning more calories than it takes up, which made total sense to me. It might pay of in the long run, but it was really a drag for a couple of months. Now it has stabilized itself, and I'm not tired anymore, unfortunately I can't say if it's better or worse than before I started working out.

What is really important to me, and this has oddly yet to be mentioned, is your diet. Anything unhealthy, with lots of "quick" carbs or fat, really slows me down. It might give you a boost for an hour or so, but then you'll feel worse than before. I stay away from all types of food containg white/plain flour, like pasta and bread, as well as rice and potatoes etc. If you have to have something with grain, go for (real) whole grain products, and stay away from anything containing normal sugar, and opt for fruit sugar (fructose) instead (including Red Bull).

I know this sounds like kind of a know-it-all atitude, but it's just my personal experience, so it might help you out;)

4/23/16
AnacottSteel:

I've had some different experience from some of these posts, regarding exercising. If you jump straight into a heavy/regular exercise routine, you'll actually be more tired than usual. My PT said it was because the body's suffering under the strain of losing weight and burning more calories than it takes up, which made total sense to me. It might pay of in the long run, but it was really a drag for a couple of months. Now it has stabilized itself, and I'm not tired anymore, unfortunately I can't say if it's better or worse than before I started working out.

What is really important to me, and this has oddly yet to be mentioned, is your diet. Anything unhealthy, with lots of "quick" carbs or fat, really slows me down. It might give you a boost for an hour or so, but then you'll feel worse than before. I stay away from all types of food containg white/plain flour, like pasta and bread, as well as rice and potatoes etc. If you have to have something with grain, go for (real) whole grain products, and stay away from anything containing normal sugar, and opt for fruit sugar (fructose) instead (including Red Bull).

I know this sounds like kind of a know-it-all atitude, but it's just my personal experience, so it might help you out;)

I'm not a freak or anything but I eat well: whole wheat pasta, lots of chicken and ground turkey, fresh fruits and veggies when available, avoid "heavy" and fatty/fried foods. However, I am only eating like 2 meals a day instead of breaking them out into 5 or so, which is probably taking a toll on my metabolism.

Honestly, as others have mentioned, I think my body just needs to go through an adjustment period for my new lifestyle. Surprisingly, I actually feel fine today even though I had my least amount of sleep since starting and have had 3 long nights in a row. Only 2 cups of coffee too.

4/23/16

So what do you typically order for lunch and dinner? It seems everything in restaurants are pretty unhealthy

4/23/16

Marcus- Anything less than 3 hours doesnt feel like sleep. I have always slept way more than anyone i knew. In college on weekends 14 hours was not uncommon. Throughout the week I tended to sleep for 4 hours then after classes I would sleep another 3-4 hours.

So Seriously anyone ever heard of a banker hiding a cot/inflatable matress somewhere in the office?

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

4/23/16

I try to go for lean meat, usually the type that has had the least processing, like chicken filet or beef, and salad and vegteables. If it comes with potatoes/rice/fries I just leave it or try to trade it for more salad or something;) The most important thing for me, however, is to avoid the usual suspects like pizza, hamburgers etc.

Bowser - good to hear you're doing better.

4/23/16

Adjusting to sleeping for 3-5 hours of sleep every night can be done, the same way that people adjust to smoking three packs a day. I've never seen anyone enjoy either the first time they try it, and typically need some serious internal motivation to keep it up. Both habits are also probably equally healthy. It can be done, and it's a matter of what your priorities are in life, but lets not pretend you simply adjust to not sleeping with no adverse effects on long term health.

4/23/16

I would suggest the whole clip, but 7:25 should pretty much rap up this thread.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOPUUhZau2c

Also 3:20 indicates that Rob Lowe's character was an IB rainmaker at one point.

4/23/16

I agree with everyone that lack of sleep is just something you'll have to try to adjust to; catch up on sleep on the weekends when you can. Also, exercise to keep yourself in good cardiac shape, but don't tire yourself out so much that you'll feel the consequences later. Finally, I agree with anyone that talked about drinking lots of water and eating healthily. However, I also recognize that proper nutrition, in spite of it being incredibly sage advice, is one of the hardest to follow. People working long hours in New York are notorious for eating all types of garbage food just because it brings them culinary pleasure during their meal, while overlooking the longer term health dangers. Try not to be one of those guys.

4/23/16

Very few people (~none) are wired to go on less than 7-8 hours. It is bad for your short and long term health, your immune system, your cognition....it's just overall bad. Pounding coffee/tea/red bull exacerbates all those problems.

If this has been going on for weeks, you need to tell them you're coming in late one day - or better yet, taking a day off. I can't imagine them being that unreasonable - I've found that the world can usually wait. Frankly, I think you'll garner more respect if you make it clear you can't play bitch while running on fumes.

There is no such thing as 'getting used' to going on so little sleep.

4/23/16
yesman:

Very few people (~none) are wired to go on less than 7-8 hours. It is bad for your short and long term health, your immune system, your cognition....it's just overall bad. Pounding coffee/tea/red bull exacerbates all those problems.

If this has been going on for weeks, you need to tell them you're coming in late one day - or better yet, taking a day off. I can't imagine them being that unreasonable - I've found that the world can usually wait. Frankly, I think you'll garner more respect if you make it clear you can't play bitch while running on fumes.

There is no such thing as 'getting used' to going on so little sleep.

You can't be serious? If you go on less that 7-8 hours of sleep for a few days you should demand to be able to come in late?

]I think you'll garner more respect if you make it clear you can't play bitch while running on fumes.

No, you'll garner the reputation for being a little bitch that can't function when he/she is sleep deprived. You also probably won't get staffed on the more desirable deals since you can only work 12-14 hours at a time, before you start shutting down. You'll probably walk into work in the morning and find a box of Tampax and some Summer's Eve on your desk.

I can understand coming in late or pushing back a little if you're going on a few weeks straight of 4 hours or less sleep every night, but I don't think a 7-8 hour range for a few weeks warrants that. If you can't function on a few hours of sleep, why would you ever get into banking at a JR level?

4/23/16

Marcus I think you took what he said out of context. When he said "if this has been going on for weeks..." I think me means the OP who said they were only getting 4-5 hours a night for several weeks.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

4/23/16

...in my group at least, if you're getting destroyed, and you don't have anything going on in the morning, you can usually roll in at like 10:30 or so. If you're getting slaughtered, people would rather you do so to maintain some level of performance and moral.

4/23/16

i'm surprised you're in banking since you clearly don't read and have shitty attention to detail. you basically advocate my point in your last paragraph.

I did sophomore and jr internships in IBD; one at a BB and one at a MM with a reputation for being killer, before having enough sense to go into S&T.

People are human and banks eventually have to accept that - it was never a problem if after working many days with little sleep, someone wanted to come in 10-11.

4/23/16
yesman:

i'm surprised you're in banking since you clearly don't read and have shitty attention to detail. you basically advocate my point in your last paragraph.

Sorry, I don't triple check people's posts on WSO. Forgive me.

And for the record, I'm surprised I'm in banking too.

FYI, why do people love pulling the attention to detail card on this site? Seriously, are you that fucking hard-up on banking? Its an online message board.

4/23/16

My biggest problem with lack of sleep is not tiredness or loss of focus per say, but more so my eyes burning. I wear contacts so the lack of sleep affects my eyes.

4/23/16
<a href=http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/sac-capital target=_blank rel=nofollow>SAC</a>:

My biggest problem with lack of sleep is not tiredness or loss of focus per say, but more so my eyes burning. I wear contacts so the lack of sleep affects my eyes.

I don't wear contacts, and this is my biggest problem. Dryness of the eyes really amplifies the feeling of fatigue, but thankfully we have Rotos to compensate.

4/23/16

OOOOOOOOOOOOO YOU WROTE ITS INSTEAD OF IT'S

MEEEAHAHAHAHHH

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4/23/16

ahem. With regard to lack-of-sleep problems, I know them well. The way I cope has been to sleep in until noon+ on the weekends.

Another thing that I'm trying to do is puttin my blackberry on silent. I have a habit of leaving it on loud so i don't miss any e-mails the come through from the higher-ups, but as I finish my first year, I'm becoming less eager to be on call 24/7.

Waking up at 3:45am to check an e-mail from an early riser boss definitely hampers the sleep cycle.

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4/23/16

how awesome was that storm last night? that thunder was so loud, I thought my building had been hit. i love lying in bed during those early summer storms, though it makes starting the day a lot more difficult.

4/23/16

edit: nvm

4/23/16

I don't think you only sleep 3 hrs a night for any extended period of time. I could be totally wrong though, but it seems like that may happen sporadically mixed in with full nights of sleep. But that's just what I've heard.

4/23/16

I work in capital markets so it's not quite as bad, but I eventually had to have a rule:

    I need 10 hours away from work every night.

When I was in analytics and a trader needed me to code up X,Y,or Z until 1 AM, that was fine, but then I shouldn't be expected to show up until 11 AM the next day.

The best you can do is try to be as efficient as you can in the process between leaving work and falling asleep:

1.) Find the closest low-rent place you can to work. (Low rent=more money in the bank=more sleep)
2.) Make good use of the car service if you stay past 10 PM.
3.) Make sure you keep a bottle of melatonin, Benadryl, Tylenol PM, or beer handy if you have trouble falling asleep.
4.) After six months, you've earned the license to push back a little on your schedule. If you get seven hours of sleep, you're more productive in the 15 hours you can be at work than if you get three hours of sleep and work for 19 hours (Yes, a day has 24 hours; I am taking out two hours for the commute/getting ready for work/falling asleep). Your manager will get this, and he hasn't fired you yet, so he knows you're not completely inefficient/incompetent.

4/23/16
IlliniProgrammer:

I work in capital markets so it's not quite as bad, but I eventually had to have a rule:

    I need 10 hours away from work every night.

When I was in analytics and a trader needed me to code up X,Y,or Z until 1 AM, that was fine, but then I shouldn't be expected to show up until 11 AM the next day.

The best you can do is try to be as efficient as you can in the process between leaving work and falling asleep:

1.) Find the closest low-rent place you can to work. (Low rent=more money in the bank=more sleep)
2.) Make good use of the car service if you stay past 10 PM.
3.) Make sure you keep a bottle of melatonin, Benadryl, Tylenol PM, or beer handy if you have trouble falling asleep.
4.) After six months, you've earned the license to push back a little on your schedule. If you get seven hours of sleep, you're more productive in the 15 hours you can be at work than if you get three hours of sleep and work for 19 hours (Yes, a day has 24 hours; I am taking out two hours for the commute/getting ready for work/falling asleep). Your manager will get this, and he hasn't fired you yet, so he knows you're not completely inefficient/incompetent.

I don't know where you work but I'm pretty sure nobody where I did had "license to push back a little" on their schedules...and certainly not after only six months. And I'm surprised a trader would put up with that kind of bullshit, letting you get in 4 hours after they do to get something they need done.

4/23/16

In analytics you become pretty tough to replace after six months if you know what you're doing- because most people don't. So yeah, the traders have to put up with it if they want something done overnight. Part of the reason they moved me to algorithmic trading was that I was one of the guys who worked more than 60 hours a week and kept my promises on deliverables.

If you're competent and do specialized work that's hard to replace, we know better than to "not put up with that BS." If you know how to code up a distributed lattice pricing model with adjustments for kurtosis and roll it out in under 48 hours, and you've got a trader who won't put up with you getting a good night's sleep, believe me, there's a plethora of other traders out there who will- and they're probably willing to pay you twice as much, too.

I really wonder why they haven't got around to banning you yet when most of your posts are like that.

I feel bad for the guy. He posts this stuff from the bridge he lives under outside of Princeton or New Haven. Maybe once he gets a job he'll be able to comment on whether it's better to work in S&T (He would have realized S&T means Capital Markets if he actually worked for a bank) or IBD.

4/23/16

you catch up on the weekends...if you're an analyst in NYC, you are consistently working to past 12 depending upon deal flow. Friday/Sat Night are going out/sleep nights, but even those can be shot sometimes

4/23/16

I really wonder why they haven't got around to banning you yet when most of your posts are like that.

4/23/16
Erwe422:

I really wonder why they haven't got around to banning you yet when most of your posts are like that.

I'll be deleting his (1styearbanker) posts from now on if they dont add any value.

4/23/16
Mezz:
Erwe422:

I really wonder why they haven't got around to banning you yet when most of your posts are like that.

I'll be deleting his (1styearbanker) posts from now on if they dont add any value.

I've been on that too, Mezz.

4/23/16

^So you're talking about a very specific job function then...and what you said doesn't apply to 99% of people in banking/S&T/capital markets. Not criticizing you for it, but I think what you wrote before about being able to push back is pretty misleading.

4/23/16

^So you're talking about a very specific job function then...and what you said doesn't apply to 99% of people in banking/S&T/capital markets. Not criticizing you for it, but I think what you wrote before about being able to push back is pretty misleading.

Maybe I've had a different experience. A lot of people I know- even in IBD and Research- have become experts on something. It's not that you're indispensible- it's just that it's a heckuvalot easier for them to put up with some of your idiosyncracies about work hours than to try and find a replacement.

Figure out a way to make yourself tough to replace and you're set. It could be as simple as being the only guy who knows how to fix the copier when it jams, or it could be as specialized as knowing some of the legal complexities of a merger. This is especially possible coming out of a recession when teams are thin and some people are doing the job that three people used to do.

But you might be right- especially having worked in IBD. I'd tone my original post down, but I've lost the ability to edit it.

4/23/16

Redbulls & Caffeine pills

4/23/16

Typically, if you finish at 2am, you can show up around 9:30 or 10am instead of 9am unless you have something urgent in the morning (eg: print the books, client call/meeting). If you stayed really late, say until 5/6am, you can show at 11am or so and ppl won't have a fuss because they know you stayed very late last night.

If you worked extremely late for a couple of weeks in a row, say average 3/4am for 2-3 weeks including all weekends, then you staffer will most likely give you a lighter workload in the next one week or so just to let you catch up with your lack of sleep.

4/23/16

It's all about willpower.

4/23/16

From day one I've done my best to stay away from caffeine, which was a tip from the 2nd year analyst sitting next to me. I've been pretty successful by drinking cold water when I get sleepy and hopefully that will keep me alive a few more extra years.

4/23/16

Thank you for all those comments and sorry if some people have been trolling the thread.

To be clear, I already had a few experiences in Finance (e.g. Finance Department, Hedge Fund), and I wasn't working so much, let say about 70 hours a week. It was perfectly endurable and when I was leaving the office after 2am, I had the possibility to come back at 11pm instead of 9pm.

In a few months, I will have an internship in M&A within a prestigious European boutique, and I was simply wondering what were your tips to stay awoken despite sleep deprivation, assuming that I will work around 16/17 hours a day from Monday to Sunday.

Thank you for all your comments ;-)

4/23/16

I kind of think the whole bankers not sleeping thing is a myth. The bankers I know get in to work at 930am-ish. Even if you work until 4am every night, which you dont, that still leaves enuff time to get 4-5 hours of sleep which is not insane. As someone who manages money at a hedge fund in markets that go 24/7 that is more then i get during stretches when markets are volatile and sleeping becomes impossible. I understand bankers work alot of hours but getting in so late in the morning mitigates alot of that....by the time you stroll in at 10am I have been at my desk for 4 hours!

4/23/16

Some lucky people are born with it, some drink a ton of coffee and some wall streeters use cocaine.
Your body really only needs 5 hrs of sleep to have a good 18 hr work day. << telling you from experience.
But after week 3 you need one full day of sleep (14 hrs or so) to do it all over again.

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

4/23/16
helphere:

... and some wall streeters use cocaine.

I couldn't think of anything more unproductive. Sure they might power through the 3-5am slot feeling 'so on top of things' but their performance the next morning / day will be significantly worse and ultimately undo any good from using it in the first place.

Surely this isn't very common?

4/23/16

Not in IB, yet, but I have done 12 hour work days with some partying 4 out of 7 nights a week. This would last about every other three weeks.

I just tried to never get hooked on caffeine. I never liked coffee so that always helped! Was able to survive, but sometimes had to get a few redbulls in me (even though I feel they never worked, it was all in my head.. I would wake up just knowing I had a redbull in front of me without even drinking it)

4/23/16

After finally breaking into the industry, it seems like a lot of bankers exaggerate Fri-Sun hours. In order to pull off 100+ hour weeks, you'd probably need to stay until 2 or 3AM Mon-Thurs, 10PM on Fri, and work full 8 hour days both Sat and Sun. While this does happen, its doesn't happen very often from what I've seen and heard so far. 85-95 seems to be more realistic, with 100-120 happening only maybe once a month or even less frequently.

Granted, I am at a non-NYC MM bank, but with solid deal flow. That's what I've seen so far, maybe its different at a BB and/or in NYC.

4/23/16

Ive gathered that it is more myth than anything.....

4/23/16

I am at the office right now.

There are definitely some bankers that overstate the amount of hours they work, but trust me, there are many who do not. The variance is determined by several things. There are some people who just like to take on more work than others. Some have a tendency towards procrastination. Some senior bankers are highly inefficient in the way they manage their teams. Some groups have more dealflow than others. Etc..

As far as cocaine goes, I highly doubt that there are any bankers blowing lines to push them through a tough night. Now THAT is a myth. I wouldn't be surprised to see some sporadic adderall or modafinil use, but I would assume them to not be necessary given the state of the economy and overall dealflow.

4/23/16

You could always stroke yourself off before hitting the sheets. You will get a full 6 hours of sleep.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

4/23/16
ihatetaxes:

You could always stroke yourself off before hitting the sheets. You will get a full 6 hours of sleep.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

tbh, a lot of analysts do that.

4/23/16

Eat healthy, lots of water, stay in shape. I am really big into fruits and oatmeal in the morning, gives you a healthy, solid base to start with. I think quality of sleep is more important than quantity of sleep. Get some new pillows, make sure no light leaks into your room, whatever you think will work. Make your sleeping environment the best it can be.

4/23/16

chances are you wont be as crammed on the weekends
just do whatever you can to stay up during the weekdays but make sure you make it up on the weekends
i ran on avg 3-4 hrs / night but had >12 on the weekends during the more stressful semesters

4/23/16
she_monkey:

chances are you wont be as crammed on the weekends
just do whatever you can to stay up during the weekdays but make sure you make it up on the weekends
i ran on avg 3-4 hrs / night but had >12 on the weekends during the more stressful semesters

impressive!

Predator:

Eat healthy, lots of water, stay in shape. I am really big into fruits and oatmeal in the morning, gives you a healthy, solid base to start with. I think quality of sleep is more important than quantity of sleep. Get some new pillows, make sure no light leaks into your room, whatever you think will work. Make your sleeping environment the best it can be.

going to try this...

4/23/16

You will be surprised at how quickly you adapt to surviving on less sleep. The first week or two may be tough, but eventually your body will get used to fewer hours, and you'll start to function like you used to when you needed more sleep.

Other than that, stay healthy, drink water, all that good stuff. After too many rough nights at work, you will usually be allowed to come in a bit later and catch up on sleep, anyway. It's really not that bad (most of the time).

4/23/16

So definitely as AnthonyD says, eat properly. Another piece of advice I'd give is monitoring how much you sleep. Our bodies sleep on cycles of 90 minutes (going through 5 phases during sleep). The first and last 15 minutes of the cycle is when you want to wake up. i.e. sleeping 15 minutes > sleeping 45 minutes. sleeping 80 minutes > sleeping 145 minutes. And by greater I mean you wake up less tired and groggy, because during that middle 60 minutes of sleep your body is in a deeper state. So, this means if you had the chance to sleep 3.5 hours, you're better off sleeping 3 hours.

4/23/16

AlphaGeneration...I have heard that too but I am not able to get to sleep quickly enough to be that precise. How are you?

4/23/16

to be able to focus that long on little sleep is a truly valuable ability.

4/23/16
swagon:

to be able to focus that long on little sleep is a truly valuable ability.

Yeah, sounds sick

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

4/23/16

Damn, I wish I could do that. I'm an insomniac, but 3 hours of sleep? After a few days of that I'm a zombie.

Get busy living

4/23/16

I'd say the majority on this board fall into the "wannabe sleepless" that end up doing more bad that good

4/23/16

I'm jealous

4/23/16

Our CEO must sleep only around 3-4 hours a night. He cranks out daily emails at 1-2AM only to start again at 5AM. He's a freak of nature and puts the rest of us to shame.

4/23/16

James Debakey only slept 4 hours a night or so. Not only did he invent the heart transplant, he lived to damn near 100. I always knew Nas was right when he said sleep was the cousin of death.

4/23/16

Damn, I was going to post this article. I'm glad I checked first, lol.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

4/23/16
cphbravo96:

Damn, I was going to post this article. I'm glad I checked first, lol.

Regards

GED or Bust must have been sleeping when this article was posted on WSO at 4:59am by Will Hunting.....
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/are-you-a-na...

"yeah, thats right" High-Five

4/23/16

i wish i could sustainably survive on 3 - 4 hours of sleep per night. maybe ill get used to it someday

"too good to be true"

See my WSO Blog

4/23/16

What about Long Sleepers?

Those of us that require extra hours of sleep. And seem to function terribly without 10 a night.

I feel as though I fall into this category, and will continue to do so until I get out of college...

4/23/16

You might have mono.

Or cancer.

Good luck to you.

4/23/16
Cartwright:

You might have mono.

Or cancer.

Good luck to you.

or hypothyroidism.....get that checked out immediately, as it's very fixable

Get busy living

4/23/16

I never go to bed before 3:30, and I'm not even that tired when I go to sleep. But it's impossible to wake up at a reasonable time.

Impossible.

4/23/16

^Haha same here.

I usually sleep for 6-7 hours.

I win here, I win there...

4/23/16

I think that 1% of the people here are like that, and 99% would like to be like that.

I would love to be able to sleep for 3-4 hours too - BUT ONLY if it was natural and sufficient. I have no intention to turn into one of those sleep deprived energy freaks with red bulging eyes and trembling hands.

4/23/16

Most "normal" culture I have heard of is at RW Baird and a few other non-NY MM firms. Public Finance groups also tend to have more normal lifestyles, somewhere between DCM and banking - like 8am to 9pm.

It'd be interesting to see if the hours really are that necessary. For all the obsession about perfect pitch books and client service, I feel like most deals are won because the MD and the client get along and trust each other.

4/23/16
West Coast rainmaker:

It'd be interesting to see if the hours really are that necessary. For all the obsession about perfect pitch books and client service, I feel like most deals are won because the MD and the client get along and trust each other.

Agreed. During live deals the long hours can be necessary. Other times you're getting busy work because the MD/VP figures they are paying for those hours anyways so might as well use 'em.

Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

4/23/16
West Coast rainmaker:

Most "normal" culture I have heard of is at RW Baird and a few other non-NY MM firms. Public Finance groups also tend to have more normal lifestyles, somewhere between DCM and banking - like 8am to 9pm.

It'd be interesting to see if the hours really are that necessary. For all the obsession about perfect pitch books and client service, I feel like most deals are won because the MD and the client get along and trust each other.

The hours are actually unavoidable a lot of the time... People who aren't in it really don't realize that you will do a ton of market updating which can't be done till after close of the market, also, it's purely determined by the senior banker who is putting together the book... if he/she is creating new pages that you have to build from scratch, then you have to spend time putting them together, never mind that a lot of times you aren't going to have the data readily available but will have to look through investor presentations and call transcripts. Then you take all this and overlay that with a group that has senior bankers who are pitching a lot even if they are executing deals, the fact that it's earnings season right now, etc. All these factors compound. This is why people never understand the hours. If you had a banker who was ever ok with you just giving back what he/she asked for, then the hours would be slightly more manageable, but you would still work well over 60 hours per week just given the nature of having so much work to get done, and having to print / deliver books for other groups. Long story short, if bankers could condense and work less and still make the same amount of fees they would... unfortunately, what people fail to remember is that this is a sales business and some senior bankers need a book to feel prepared to meet with clients, and have to call on many clients to generate revenue...

4/23/16
rufiolove:

The hours are actually unavoidable a lot of the time... People who aren't in it really don't realize that you will do a ton of market updating which can't be done till after close of the market, also, it's purely determined by the senior banker who is putting together the book... if he/she is creating new pages that you have to build from scratch, then you have to spend time putting them together, never mind that a lot of times you aren't going to have the data readily available but will have to look through investor presentations and call transcripts. Then you take all this and overlay that with a group that has senior bankers who are pitching a lot even if they are executing deals, the fact that it's earnings season right now, etc. All these factors compound. This is why people never understand the hours. If you had a banker who was ever ok with you just giving back what he/she asked for, then the hours would be slightly more manageable, but you would still work well over 60 hours per week just given the nature of having so much work to get done, and having to print / deliver books for other groups. Long story short, if bankers could condense and work less and still make the same amount of fees they would... unfortunately, what people fail to remember is that this is a sales business and some senior bankers need a book to feel prepared to meet with clients, and have to call on many clients to generate revenue...

Market updates are one thing, but how many times have you made a slide as per your MD's grand "vision", then have him toss it because it didn't look as good as he thought? PowerPoint is a massive timekiller.

I think if banks operated a bit less on the deadline model, hours would improve. Having to turn around materials by first thing the next morning leads to the late nights...only to have the client take days to look them over, or worse, having them sit on the MD's desk. I think there is a lot of false urgency.

In their rush to grab business, banks have given clients kind of unreasonable expectations for how quickly work can be done. If a client sends you new earnings data, would it be so horrible to say "We'll have it for you by tomorrow night" versus "We'll have it by tomorrow morning"? I doubt the client cares, but it is the difference between leaving at 2:00am and a normal hour for the bankers.

I know deals fall apart, so there is pressure to Always Be Closing, but still...it just seems hard to believe there isn't a better way.

4/23/16

you forgot the link...

4/23/16

lincoln intl, rwbaird, BX (west coast), just to name a couple know people at al three that say they don't have bs all nighters just cause. if they pull an all nighter its cuz they really have to and they have been working all day (not since 5pm). I think all nighters are common in a lot of other professional jobs not just ibanking.

4/23/16

I heard the general banking pool at Lazard in NYC is pretty relaxed as well. A friend said he got out at 8 or 9pm most nights this summer.

4/23/16
Duke4Lyfe:

I heard the general banking pool at Lazard in NYC is pretty relaxed as well. A friend said he got out at 8 or 9pm most nights this summer.

Ahahahaha!

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

4/23/16
Duke4Lyfe:

I heard the general banking pool at Lazard in NYC is pretty relaxed as well. A friend said he got out at 8 or 9pm most nights this summer.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

4/23/16
JPMoreGuns:
Duke4Lyfe:

I heard the general banking pool at Lazard in NYC is pretty relaxed as well. A friend said he got out at 8 or 9pm most nights this summer.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Maybe over the summer because they weren't that busy (not really a good thing), but that is not the norm. Apparently the Lazard analysts were told that they all need to be staying later in the office (i.e. well past 10 PM) even if they don't have work to do, because it reflects poorly upon the firm not to do so.

Hi, Eric Stratton, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you.

4/23/16
Duke4Lyfe:

I heard the general banking pool at Lazard in NYC is pretty relaxed as well. A friend said he got out at 8 or 9pm most nights this summer.

God no. I heard they had summers pulling 120 there. Full-timers are almost always 100+ and they work for those hundred hours...No "time on the beach" there.

ThaVanBurenBoyz:

Ok, saw the name Baird pop up twice. Maybe it's different elsewhere, but in Milwaukee and Chicago, they're working typical IB hours.

I didn't mean they work good, "normal business" hours, but they are just less likely to do inhumane stuff like consecutive all-nighters, full weekends at work, etc. Don't discount the difference between going home a 11:00pm and 2:00am...both are damn late, but one will let you feel semi-normal the next day.

4/23/16

Guys, sorry i forgot to attach the link.

I understand that at its current form hours are necessary in IB for the most part. BUT, i was wondering if this is really true. Seems like some people suggested some firms that are different, I'll check them out for curiosity. My thinking is, can this change? In my opinion, it can if on every level the firm emphasized efficiency.

I understand that every profession will require long hours from time to time and in busy season (especially senior management). Sometimes I don't mind the long hours because i enjoy the work. but in banking it's non stop and it's all analysts. I'm not really complaining just trying to discuss the status quo...which is you must have long hours in IB.

Do what you want not what you can!

4/23/16

Ok, saw the name Baird pop up twice. Maybe it's different elsewhere, but in Milwaukee and Chicago, they're working typical IB hours.

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