1/15/08

I call upon all bankers to give the newbie summer analysts the Do's and Don'ts for the summer. I know many college students have or will be accepting offers in the coming weeks. I'm looking for any input you could provide, maybe personal experiences or funny scenarios SA should watch out for. Or give a shout out to dumb things a SA did that got you pissed off, so that it won't happen again this summer. Any tips or recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (90)

1/15/08

Once you receive your offers than you need to compare them to see which presents the greatest opportunity for you. An important component of this is your group placement which begins in April/May. The goal of any summer analyst should be to receive an FT offer at the end of the summer. While you may or may not want to take that offer you do want it to from a group/industry that you would be comfortable working in for the long term. Thus you should spend a significant amout of time figuring out what group presents the best fit for you personality and future goals.

In my own experience, the most desirable groups were filled by kids from target schools. This was due to the fact that target alumni dominated many of the respective groups, but also since target kids got their offers earlier and were able to network with their alumni beforehand. While this may seem outwardly unfair it turned out that some of them did not get FT offers because they did not live up to the groups' expectations. Actually, non target kids received FT offers at a higher % than targets at my bank last year (weird year though so probably does not mean anything). The point is figure out what industry or product interests you and get a feeling for the group so you can make the best decision. Many kids flock to Tech or Consumer Products (after not getting M&A or LevFin placements) because they recognize the companies easily. However, if you dig a little deeper you will find some group or industry that interests you.

I hope this helps.

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1/15/08

Thanks for your insight, I will and hopefully other SA def look into this further

1/15/08

Sounds obvious:

1. first one there, last one to leave.

2. go drinking. network with people in the bank, even SA. people know who is social and liked amongst the SA class. do yourself a favor and have some fun every once in a while, it is worthwhile. i would maybe even say the contacts i made during drinking w my division may be the primary reason for my offer.

3. double check. nobody is expecting you to do anything above and beyond, but be cool and don't screw up the tasks they give you. also, i made a mistake of making the formatting for a excel sheet more user friendly. in retrospect, it was obviously stupid as these people use the same sheets everyday for years... they don't want some SA assuming they can make it better.

1/15/08

in response to what i-banker2007 said, i know that a few bb place SA's as a "generalist" during the summer. so a SA could potentially work on a projects from different industry and product groups. how would you advise someone who is a generalist to find those projects in groups that interest him/her?

1/15/08

Krakauer made some good points. These days, banks are willing to give offers to 100% of the summer class, providing everyone is good enough. My group last year only gave 50% offers, but we stretched to find reasons to give out more offers - the bottom 50% was really THAT bad. You have to be pretty bad not to get a summer offer these days. The job is literally yours to lose once you have it.

That being said, members of your group may tell you something like "if you don't have anything to do, go home, don't waste your time here, we're not a face time group." Don't go home, even if you have nothing to do. While you've got time, look over some models, comps, etc. Trust me, you may not be doing anything, but the fact that you're available in case anything needed to be done goes a long way. In banking, nobody remembers or cares that you stayed until 6AM, but everyone remembers and cares that you left at 7PM.

Have a great attitude. A lot of work given to summers is terrible work that nobody wants to do. Maybe they're even projects that have been festering for some time, waiting to be dumped on unsuspecting undergrads. Take these projects with a giant smile on your face and do a good job, people will remember. And don't complain, ever. Not even to the analysts.

Remember that your internship is 10 weeks long and there's no reason you can't kill yourself for that amount of time when there's a huge light at the end of that (short) tunnel. Even if the only realization you come to after 10 weeks is that you hate banking and would never sign on full time, GETTING the offer is probably the best thing you could ever do to leverage full time offers, no matter what industry you ultimately decide to go into.

1/15/08

GameTheory, I think all SAs should frame your post and put it in their cube this summer.

1/15/08
1/15/08

Ranger,

I think that a SA's experience as a generalist would be a benefit in that they could make an even more educated decision. I know most regional offices are generalist in nature (with the obvious exceptions of Houston, San Fran). If you have certain interests as a generalist SA than make them known to your staffer. Depends on the person, but when I was summer our staffer asked each of us what we kind of deals we wanted to work on and if that type of deal came up and we were not overloaded he gave it to the person who wanted it. If you do develop relationships with more senior bankers (and you should definitely do that) than you might mention it. I have found if you ask smart questions and show a genuine interest in a particular subject they love sharing their insight. As an SA you are there to learn and luckily you do not have to understand everything that is going on immediately (though you are expected to learn quickly) so ask questions especially in the first couple weeks.

I agree with Krakauer and Game Theory in that the social aspect is very important, plus it improves the work environment when you have experiences beyond work to talk to you colleagues about (believe me when you spend 90+ hours a week with the same people you want to have lots to talk about). To add to Gametheory's post I agree, learn everything you can and show a genuine interest in what you are doing. On the otherhand (and I understand this as a bit of exageration) staying until 6AM just for "face time" is not helpful. If you can brush up on things or read about past deals great, be one of the last people to leave especially in the beginning but make sure you sleep when you can. (There was speculation at my bank a couple years ago that one SA who worked hard and spend all summer at the office did not get an offer due to "overexposure," however I don't know the entire situation).You will have a suprising amount of down time during the day after a turn, and definitely use that time wisely.

1/15/08

Ive been through enough rounds of summer analysts to formulate a few general opinions

1. Believe it or not, your lunch execution matters - S&Trs pay keen attention to refueling. if youre consistenly late in ordering or there are delivery errors, you will NOT be looked on favorably. Am I saying this is the reason youll not get the job? of course not, but it is a proxy for your ability to anticipate, organize and execute simple tasks and will affect your latent reputation on the floor.

2. Know when and how to ask questions - we understand you might be eager, but the S&T floor is a busy place. Observe your mentors rythym and processess, pick the right time to ask questions and youll find that you will get all the answers you need. Make sure you think carefully about what you want to ask tho. Dont ask questions you know the answers to or just to make conversation - its obvious, inefficient and annoying. There is nothing wrong w/ just observing.

3. Be sociable - its ok to get involved in generic discussions about topics you know, like sports, cards, golf, jokes, etc. Dont be timid. S&T is not the place for that. But dont presume you know anything about trading. It wont go over well. If you show the ability to mesh w/ atmosphere tho, it will go a long way. Trading is a very close contact environment. People have to like you. Make the effort, and not just with your immediate reports.

4. Dont FK Up - if we give you something to do, which believe me we generally prefer not to even bother to take the risk, get it done fast and get it done properly. This is the small window of your chance to impress us. Dont go "improving" models or spreadsheets. Dont go delegating it to other SAs. Dont avoid us hoping your rotation will change. Just sit down, focus and get it done. But please do ask questions if you have them, while the task may be tedious, we are not trying to have you recreate the wheel. And when youre done, ask for something else - be eager, get involved. If we give you more, chances are youre headed in the right direction.

Of course generally speaking, you have to show keen interest, communicate well, live up to the GPA/school hype on that resume and ask the right questions as well....but thats all pretty easy if youre the right candidate for the job, right?

Ha ha. Good luck soldiers.

1/15/08

I agree with gametheory. But don't stay past 12 am if you've had nothing to do since 7pm. As long as you're not consistently leaving early, I find it's okay to do it every so often.

1/15/08

I agree with the above. Here are a few extra tips

Show you care and that you really want to be there. Many analysts don't love finance and it really shows if you are there for the right reasons.

Be professional and always on your A-game. Especially when you are working hard. An all-nighter is not an excuse to come in late or look like hell the next day. Killing yourself is great, but think about sustainability. You can work until 2am and be effective the next day. Working till 4am or later is not something you want to make a habit of unless it is necessary. This doesn't apply to most people, but some summer analysts want it so bad that they absolutely kill themselves, causing attention to detail and professionalism to suffer.

Relationships are everything. Impress as many people as you can and be personable.

1/15/08

winton is very right- dont screw up ordering meals. ALWAYS order several extra meals and appetizers. As it was explained to me once, this is pretty much all we have to look forward to every day. Easy way to make people like/dislike you.

As far as leaving early, if you consistently dont have work to do at 8pm and everybody else does... you are the problem. Stay till 12 and rebuild a model.

1/15/08

DON'T SCREW UP. That is my #1 concern with summer analysts. I don't really have the patience to fix work that is ridiculously wrong, so make sure you check it before giving it to me or anyone else. Many summer analysts just don't have the "attention to detail" required, especially when they first start.

Have a good attitude. Specifically, don't pretend you know everything and then come here and not know Alt E S T in Excel for example (true story from last summer, 1 intern pulled an all-nighter because he didn't know about that shortcut... I'm not making this up). Be very eager to learn and do as much as possible and see how everything works.

A good attitude can go a long way - there was 1 intern last year who I really disliked as he was pretty flaky and his work wasn't great. But guess what? He still got an offer because he was actually better than half the others (they were that bad) and the senior people loved his good attitude, always smiling at everything (a la "The Star" in the Bitter Investment Banker Email).

Pretty much the same tips apply to summer interns that apply to any FT analysts starting out...

1/16/08

Another thing, don't act like you know everything. People assume this is your first internship. Ask questions, humble yourself. Show that you want to learn and are willing to internalize it. As stated above, good point on not OVERDOING the face time. Never leave early, but don't leave at 2am if you haven't had shit to do since 7. The analyst you work for know if you have work or not, so don't come off as a brown noser. Also, in my group, my offer practically game SOLELY from the analyst(s) I worked for. I saw the form and it literally had a circle on their evaluaton of me "hire -- don't hire". Clearly, if an MD or VP has an expressed problem with you it won't be the case, but most are indifferent and barely had more than a few lengthy interactions with you to sway the decesion. Don't piss them off, but I would personally focus your time on the analysts and not giving the higher-ups unnecessary rope to hang you with. Others may have had it more from the higher-ups though. Not sure how other banks work...

I'm trying to think of anything else... don't spend too much time on what you're wearing. Nobody actually cares, so long as you don't look stupid. Try to show a genuine interest in what your group does. For instance, if you are in the retail group and your analyst reads certain daily/weekly publications (for retail, something like WWD etc), ask if he could put them on your desk for you to read when he is done. Circle an article that you may have a question about and follow-up the next day. Don't be annoying though.

Also, and I will say this was the biggest mistake I made this summer: ALWAYS WRITE DOWN YOUR QUESTIONS AND GO TO YOUR ANALYST WITH A FEW QUESTIONS AS OPPOSED TO MAKING MULTIPLE SINGLE QUESTION TRIPS. I would always find a small problem in something and go and ask a question before I reviewed the entire spreadsheet for potential other questions. I can't stress this enough, as I see this was the only tension w my analyst early on (stupid as it was, I consistently made this mistake at first. I fixed it once the mid-summer review emphaiszed it).

Again, BE HUMBLE. BE COOL. Good luck...

1/16/08

wow, sorry for the formatting. my computer is messing up.

1/16/08

what would you guys recommmend for banking summer associates, during MBA?

This would be after 5-6 years of work experience (may or may not be related to finance)...and 27-29 years old...do MBAs get a little more respect? I heard about "ordering food" and i just cringe...

1/16/08

If you're a banking summer (associate or analyst) you'll never have to order food, or anything like that. Generally people give summer associates a little more credit. People coddle you less, but expectations are much higher since we assume you're older and can get up the curve faster. If a summer associate is slower to pick up things but works hard, that's ok. But don't think for a second that just because you're at a top B-school that you don't have to work hard. I think in a lot of ways, the bar is set much higher for associates (they tend to get more meaningful tasks). If you mess up, it looks worse than if you were a summer analyst, who most likely has never had a "real" job before.

1/16/08

Some associates are just as clueless so don't think you know much more than the analysts in your group because you've had 'work experience'. you are probably better versed in networking/drinking/work environment, so use that to your advantage. That being said, more will be expected of you like Game Theory mentioned.

If you go out drinking (for SA's mostly), don't come in the next day hungover and boot in the firm elevators. True Story. Lucky for this kid, it was his very last day and the decisions were already made.

If you are on a trading floor as an associate, don't think you are above getting food. My buddy on the trading floor had an Summer Associate and he "didn't do coffee or breakfast", as in, he doesn't get food for other people. At the end of the first day, the MD moved him to the other side of the trading floor and ignored him the rest of the summer. He didn't get an offer.

1/16/08

Little things also make a difference in the long run regarding your social interactions with the full-timers. Like when they ask "hey kid, you wanna get some coffee?" Definitely say yes -- even if you're not thirsty. If they invite you to take a break for smoking or whatever, tag along and shoot the shit.

Just be a fun person to be around. One of the Analysts was quoting movies like "Old School" and "Anchorman" and I chimed in. We joked around for a little bit and eventually became decent buddies by the end of the internship.

Most of all, just try to fit in and conform to the norms of your office/group. Make some friends!

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1/17/08

Coming from the trading floor environment, you need to just shut up and listen. Ask intelligent questions and make sure you ask them at the right time when people have a second to talk. Ask them for extra work if possible, show that you really do like the markets and you just didnt say that in your interview. Worst thing you can do to yourself "other than be considered a total douchebag" is a borderline candidate where nobody can say anything bad about you but noone can think of anything good to say about you either. Stand out for the right reasons

1/18/08

I just recieved my offer for SA in IBD at Bear. I assume we learn really everything on the job, what were supposed to do, and how we are supposed to do it correct? Because as far as actual tasks, how to build models, etc... I don't have a goddamn clue and I'm assuming I'm in the same boat as everyone else right?

1/18/08

Yes, you're fine. In fact, almost no summers ever get to build models, so I would argue that you'll still be just as clueless about building models after your summer is done. Some of the more proactive summers would sit in my cube while I built a model, but in general our group didn't trust a model to a summer. Even summer associates. Once, I was going out of town for the weekend and built a model up until I left for the airport, then the summer associate took over with the guidance of a senior associate.

1/18/08

I could write a book, but if I had to give only one piece of advice, it would be:

KNOW YOUR FUCKING PLACE

Once you finish the summer, you'll know what I mean. Especially at a bank with a strong emphasis on hierarchy.

1/18/08

"Like when they ask "hey kid, you wanna get some coffee?" Definitely say yes -- even if you're not thirsty. If they invite you to take a break for smoking or whatever, tag along and shoot the "

very good point. i am consistently shocked by how many people dont get this.

1/21/08

Be humble. Don't be the wise guy always cracking jokes....they won't take you seriously. And don't be the asshole who's shit doesn't stink. Other SA's are your friends, learn from their mistakes and help each other out. If you wear a tie in a department that doesn't, I think you will look arrogant. You don't want to be the best dressed, but not the worst dressed. No french cuffs or white collars with blue shirts. Those are for MDs and partners who run the shit.

Remember, you are on the bottom of the totem pole

  • justanotherbanker
  •  1/21/08

Lots of useful advice already posted above. Here are my biggest pointers:

  • KEEP and ORGANIZE your source data and ALL versions: Whenever you work on anything -- a pitch, a memo, a model, a deal case study, etc... two things happen.
    • You will go through many versions (drafts) before getting to the final version. Each version will pick up comments and changes from multiple sources. It isn't uncommon to have 4+ people offering frequent changes to each version. One hazard is that you could be looking at version 5 while your MD is looking at version 4 from his hotel room in San Francisco. This is a nuisance but it is not a disaster. A disaster would be if you are looking at v5 while your MD is looking at v4 and YOU don't know the difference. In such cases, it is highly likely that you will accidentally omit an important change. BE DILIGENT: Good summer analysts write version notes on the top of documents and keep everything.
    • You will use a variety of sources (company filings, news, reports, old models, old pitchbooks, notes from meetings) to come up with your data. Good summer analysts keep all of their sources and they keep them organized. More importantly, good summer analysts organize their sources for other people's convenience, not their own. I like to keep a new accordion folder for every piece of work I get staffed on. I keep all of my sources in one section (and any version material in another) and mark them with post-it notes or tape flags to point out anything that's hard to find information (e.g. when a 100-page filing mentions the asset lease term you use in your model only once and it is in a footnote on page 72). If the project/deal is ongoing/live, I leave these accordion folders on my desk or in an unlocked filing cabinet so that my senior bankers know they can always audit my work if necessary, even when I'm not around.

In a nutshell, the SA who takes very visible steps to show senior bankers that his/her numbers are always defensible and that his/her versions are always correct, is more likely to receive important tasks. Senior bankers expect you to make mistakes -- the point is to make it clear from the start that those mistakes will be easy to audit and easy to correct. They'll also be more likely to take you to meetings because you can just carry that above-mentioned accordion file to a meeting and function like an encyclopedia britannica if necessary.

  • Client engagements. If you get the opportunity to spend time with clients (in meetings, on trips, at dinners, during deals...), here are a few pointers that I haven't seen posted:
    • If the client is public, you should read at least their latest 10q, the transcript for their latest earnings call, and at least one piece of equity research. You should do this for three reasons. First, if you know what matters to the client, you will learn more while sitting in the meeting. Second, knowing something wipes that clueless look off your face (people notice, the same way that in a college lecture it is obvious who doesn't want to be called on in class). Third, your senior bankers may ask you for reminders on the way to the meeting (e.g. "when did that Eastern European investor come in again?").
    • Your role in meetings. Many posts on this board say something to the effect of "never open your mouth at meetings, just sit quietly and take notes." This is often the case but not always. Early in my SA stint, I got taken to a meeting with a huge client. I thought it would best to just shake hands, sit down, and shut up. So I did. Here's the catch. I'm good friends with one of the presidents of that company -- a guy who works closely with the executive we were meeting that day. I didn't say anything. On the way back to the office, I told my MD about the relationship. He said that I "totally should have brought it up, that would have gone over really well!" The point is that there is no harm in asking your MD what is appropriate and what isn't. You may be surprised at the answer.
    • Know the protocol. SAs always take the crappy chairs at a table (generally speaking, the corner seats at a two-sided table or wherever puts you furthest from the client and your MD closest to the client). SAs always carry the meeting materials (books, research, whatever).

The overarching theme of this entire post. A "safe" summer analyst is a good summer analyst. To a senior banker, a "safe" analyst is one who won't embarrass anyone and who maintains a data safety net so that the occasional mistake will not be too costly. Being "safe" is infinitely more important than being brilliant.

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1/21/08

Justanotherbanker, I appreciate your comments very insightful. I and others will surely follow them. Thanks again!

1/22/08

French cuffs only for senior partners/MDs?? I'm completely against any bullshity attire, but french cuffs are classic for dark dress pants.

2/14/08

Given the amount of volume related to SA positions. I thought I would bump this thread since many people have already gotten their offers or are in the process.

Any other advice???

2/14/08

Gametheory - can you talk about what made 50% of the SAs really bad? Were they messing up on work or something?

2/14/08

We had 4 summers analysts and 2 summer associates. 2 analysts got offers, 1 associate got an offer.

Of the 2 analysts we did not extend offers to:

The first guy just had no common sense (which I would argue is 90% of the game in banking). He got lost in the weeds alot, so to speak (or put another way, lost sight of the forest for the trees). Spent way too much time doing everything. I would ask him to do little tasks to get him involved - tell him to go look up specific research reports and highlight important financials and notables for the quarter, expecting enough info for maybe 3 or 4 bullet points. He'd bring it back 2 hours later with almost the entire report highlighted. If I wanted to read the entire report, I would have just read it, I didn't need him to highlight the entire thing (moreover, it doesn't take 2 hours to highlight a 7 page report). Senior guys didn't like him, either. He would come to meetings without even a pen or paper to take notes, and stare at the ceiling. It was also painful to teach him basic financial concepts, like year over year revenue growth and revenue break outs. I should mention this kid was a 3.9 at a very good school. I think he figured about halfway in that banking wasn't for him, so he stopped trying (at least, I hope he did, if he didn't stop trying, his performance was disgraceful).

The second kid had the opposite problem, although still no common sense. He thought he was smarter than everyone, especially the analysts. As a result, he would change numbers in models, pitchbooks, everything. It created some pretty panicked fire drills for his deal teams when they discovered all of the numbers had been changed (and of course, they were wrong).

The thing both of these kids had in common were that they had terrible attitudes and in addition to being terrible analysts, they weren't fun to be around. It was a pretty easy decision.

The associate we didn't extend an offer to didn't fit well with the group - was a little bit of an oddball with a bad attitude (see a theme here?).

2/14/08

What might be helpful would be to comment on the 2 analysts and associate who did get an offer, how far above the bar were they and what did they do?

3/7/08

Bump

3/9/08

I've been using the search function to find threads on the dos and don'ts of FT analysts. I imagine that this thread and the FT thread will be similar, but can someone help me out? I've been searching "advice" and "FT" and "analyst" with no real luck. Is there a thread on advice for FT analysts? How does the advice for a FT analyst differ from the advice presented here?

4/21/08

any more updates specific to S&T, in particular, options trading?

4/22/08

Great advice guys,

I will hope to follow most of what you guys said this summer, keep posting!

4/22/08

What about when you hit the bars after work with your senior bankers? Any important points to keep in mind there?

4/22/08

Use common sense be fun, have some drinks, but don't get plastered and make a fool of yourself.

4/22/08

Take Vanos' advice with a massive pinch of salt and perhaps some wasabi..I got "plastered" at least 3 times with interns/HR etc. during my internship, didn't do me any harm.

In saying that, I didn't get to party with the big boys cos my team was only 4 ppl i.e. no VP, Director to take me to nice bars and ply me with drinks

But do use common sense, and try to be covert if you need to spew...I recommend using flower pots (been there), other peoples' shoes, top hats, handbags, whatever it takes so you're not the guy who gets the reputation for not being able to hold his alcohol ... hiccup!

4/23/08

If you can't hold it then just sip, but if you know how to drink then feel free to get wasted. I did on many different occasions this summer and I think it was a positive at the end of the day.

One BIG piece of advice I will give, is something that I struggled with, but didn't end up hurting me (other than some comments at my end of summer review).

I tend to have problems with authority and following directions that I don't really agree with. I knew this coming in and understood that I will have to suck it up, especially in this profession, when getting dumb assignments from associates, VPs, directors, and MDs. But I really was not prepared for the whole managing analyst thing when I came in as a summer.

I viewed the other analysts as friends/comrades in arms. I mean, they are maybe 1-2 years older than me, we were going out drinking together every night, talking about the secretaries boobs, etc. I wasn't really prepared for them to start giving me bullshit work, telling me to take notes on phone calls they didn't even need to listen to, etc.

It all came to a head one day when a 1st year analyst told me to do 80 comps that hadn't been updated since sometime in April DURING THE SECOND WEEK OF JULY.

So in conclusion, analysts can be assholes, and while you should be friends with him in order to secure your full time offer, realize your "place", even if it is bullshit. Even though I would never pull that on a summer, there are some people out there that think they are hot shit and are going to try to fuck you. So be prepared to deal with it.

4/23/08

As a female, I'm wondering what the protocal is for working at an IBank this summer. Any special instructions for women?

4/23/08
Sugaplum1287:

As a female, I'm wondering what the protocal is for working at an IBank this summer. Any special instructions for women?

What exactly are you asking? Why would a female have a different protocol?

4/23/08
Sugaplum1287:

As a female, I'm wondering what the protocal is for working at an IBank this summer. Any special instructions for women?

Cleavage.

Subtle enough so not to be unprofessional, but aggressive enough so when you lean forward in front of that Assoc/VP/MD they know you mean business.

4/23/08

Initiative initiative initiative. This is all you need. You need to show you care and are interested in the work and are willing to go the extra mile. We've not given full time offers to countless interns b/c they just kind of sit there and expect things to happen. You are there to learn but also to show you can contribute. If we hire you, we expect you to be in the business for some time and care about it, otherwise you're no use to us.

Don't expect us to do anything. We're damn busy and don't have time to look after you, and you should expect the business to be that way. Sink or swim.

4/23/08

I hope I don't get bombarded by this controversial post... but honestly I think females in banking have it easier than men do. Although they are largely unrepresented (number wise) I think ceteris parabus they have a better chance of being hired/promoted than their equal counterpart men do, especially when hiring is done by alpha-male type recruiters.

If I interviewed 20 kids and 4 or 5 of them were girls and 1 or 2 was an attractive girl, (assuming all candidates are somewhat qualified) you bet that girl is getting that offer. comments?

4/23/08

Absolutely true.

How many heterosexual guys on this board would hire a qualified guy with a cool personality over a qualified, sexy girl with a cute/sexy personality? None.

That being said, I definitely would not say women have it easy. Try getting people to take you seriously when you're a super-sexy smart successful woman... most men are prob intimidated and try to cut them down (earlier posts by grls saying how anytime they tell someone they meet in a bar that they are bankers, the guy immediately starts asking probing questions trying to catch them in a lie...)

I would think that it may give you an advantage getting through the door, but after that you probably have to work harder than your male counterparts. There was also a post a while back about how grls get preferential treatment (ie. not getting shit on at 2am, guys helping them with work) etc... Im sure its significantly more difficult to 'exceed expectations' when everyone is babying you and treating you like you're going to break if you get as much work as everyone else.

Hot grls can get in through the door easier(Given they are already super-qualified, all else equal) but I def wouldnt say they have it easy.

4/24/08

great thread, any particular do's/don'ts for us interns on the trading floor?

Five things we should definitely do/not do every day?

9/30/08

No black shirts with white ties.

10/2/08

If you are under 21, DO NOT DRINK AT COMPANY EVENTS, and also be sure not to talk about your drinking while in the office or over e-mail. We had one intern who was boasting about knowing the owner of some club so she could hook us all up with sweet deals and the HR lady saw this e-mail and luckily for her, acted as if she never saw the e-mail.

10/3/08

f*ck me, that is one amazing story

have you got any other tales for us where absolutely nothing happens?

I hope not.

10/19/08

Having been through (more than one) internships in the industry, here's what I learnt:

1) Be smart-working, not hard-working: those interns who were consistently staying until early mornings or even staying up the whole night were not judged favorably. They were seen as either being slow and not smart enough to finish the task quickly, or were seen trying too hard to look hard-working

2) DO NOT EVER COMPLAIN: while you'll probably get the chance to work with a few MDs and maybe even heads, chances are, you'll be stuck with fresh analysts and junior associates for most of the time. These guys have a lot more work than you do (mostly) and have been at it for a lot longer than you have. When you start bitching about the 2 hours of sleep you got, or the amount of crap you gotta do tonight, all sorts of evils boil out from the unhappy analysts you're working with. Most banks will ask for feedback on all SAs from everyone who worked with them - so don't ever complain.

3) Attention to detail: If you're unfortunate enough to sit through multiple pitchbooks, it is easy to become careless. While this may sound stupid, you MUST spellcheck, make the fonts, alignments, borders, etc to be consistent, have all data and calculations up-to-date, and so on. A simple spelling mistake can trigger hell on the MD who needs the pitchbook quick because he has a meeting with the client soon.

4) Be outgoing but don't be annoying: there is a huge difference between being likable and being annoying. You can end up looking real desperate if you're trying to break into every conversations between associates. Also, do socialize with other SAs. People unconsciously make note of who is the popular kid among the SA circle.

10/20/08

IMHO, 1) is not strictly true, my team was ultra busy this summer and the other intern and I were consistently there late, not because we were "working stupid" and slow, but because there was always, always some BS piece of crap to do

people kept apologising to us because we had to work so hard...no-one said, "Work smarter!" ;)

10/20/08

Then you have a reason to stay late. That's perfectly fine.

Don't get me wrong. I had many nights (or mornings, I should say) where I got things done at 2,3AM or on rare occasions, overnight (no sleep). But when I didn't have anything to do, I left. Of course, I tried to balance this every now and then by staying a bit to do some extra research on clients or other stuff to let them know I have genuine interest in the business (don't laugh - I really do) but the point is, I never stayed late for the sake of staying, or to do meaningless additional reports just to look "good" (this not only wastes time, but analysts get pissed off at you for not being concise). That's just stupid, and it was quite a common "mistake" that a lot of interns made - at least from my observation.

While no one will say "work smarter," they do expect a certain responsiveness and efficiency. Obviously, they (the analysts giving you the bitchwork) know how long it takes THEM to finish the work. While it's probably unrealistic to match up their speed as a newbie, you probably don't wanna fall behind a great deal.

6/23/14

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10/20/08

1) Don't wear a rolex
2) Don't give out to much personal info

5/15/11
sailing101:

1) Don't wear a rolex
2) Don't give out to much personal info

In all seriousness, how can wearing a rolex hurt you? I inherited one from my father when he passed away and wear it every day. I am also a little older than your typical SA if it makes any difference.

6/23/14

Very nice

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

6/23/14

Summary: do...use common sense

6/23/14

For as great of a firm GS is, I think overall they are completely full of shit. "Take yourself to seriously," that's whack, if there's any firm on the street that takes themselves too seriously it's GS. Someone posted on Dealbreaker a while back that you have to be blindly bulled up on GS to work there somewhat in the vein of Alexi Vayner; obviously that's a sweeping generalization due to the size of GS, but I definitely get the point. I've heard about their "how to be a professional" or whatever indoctrination during training, even telling how to cut your hair. So there's a GS haircut style, seriously, fuck that noise. And yes I've been dinged 2x by GS just to clear the air.

6/23/14

Stringer, SB for you... Well said and on point on the matter.

I'm going to echo that sentiment with a comment made to me by a former managing partner at GS. He told me that if you have a personality and a life, don't give into the brainwashing at any firm. Doesn't matter where you are, you will get some indoctrination (Ed. Note: Yes, even I will tout the party line when I discuss where I work) but some firms are just much worse than others. If you fall prey to that and believe in the Stepford Wives culture, then you're SOL when it comes to making informed decisions. The whole culture of a firm is part of what makes it unique and if everyone believes it all to the point where it has become a cult, then do you really want to be a part of it.

Now that I think about it, he also tried to convince me to not apply at Goldman even though he said he would pull strings to get me in if I really wanted to work for Goldman, but that's a whole different story. That said, I also don't work for Goldman.

6/23/14

I agree, this entire post screams "Use your brain and common sense" - but it is quite easy to find interns who are clueless about business etiquette. Reason why i posted this.

Firm brainwashing is a necessary evil. If I can say anything about it. Know what they're preaching, choose some that you want to believe, then stay sane and work hard. In the end, if you like your firm, you will find something about the firm that you want to self-identify with.

A piece of advice given to me by a partner at GS while I interned there. I asked him how he was able to ascend the ladder to partner so quickly and always make good decisions. "Treat the firm as if it was your own." was his words. Another brainwash? maybe. It sure helped him.

6/23/14

fuck your couch

6/23/14
Guest1655:

fuck your couch

You sir are both gentleman and scholar

6/23/14

I think the "Do's" are common sense.

But the "Don't"s are pretty useful. Many first year analysts make these mistakes all the time. I hate the "take yourself too seriously", "be pushy", and "pretend to know something you don't" part, especially if they're meshed together. Interestingly, it's not (particularly) the Goldman people I find exhibiting these traits, but the kids from the lower end of the bulge who are insecure about not being at G.S., but are still reveling in the fact that they're at a bulge bank.

The only "Don't" I completely disagree with is "come to work when you're sick." People stroll in sick into our office all the time, getting everyone sick in the process, but that's the way it works.

5/15/11

great comments guys

Best Response
6/23/14

Summer Analyst 2012 Do's (Originally Posted: 06/18/2012)

It's this time of the year again and while there have been tons of posts on this topic I will give it another one for my London monkeys, especially now that many banks have shortened their internships due to the Olympics and you have even less time to impress and get that full time offer.

In the current environment this is a position you should not be in under any circumstances as you will have it extremely difficult to land something else if your internship employer decides not to hire you..

Today it is the first day for many of you but in case you are not yet too familiar with the general banking environment I would like to highlight a few areas that have caused people troubles in the past, during the first weeks on the job.

Always show up early on the floor, even if this is only a few minutes before the first guy gets in, people will notice.

Don't get drunk during training and show up late for a session or smell like a bottle of Vodka, first impressions count more than you think.

No matter how late you stay or go out on a Thursday, be there on time the following day

Don't hook up with fellow interns right away, if you absolutely have to give it some time (though its not worth any troubles to be honest).

Ask tons of questions, one thing I had to learn the hard way is to assume things; you don't know anything so your assumptions will mostly be wrong, rather ask a hundred questions.

Go to every networking event that is offered during the time, any lecture or presentation, your desk knows and won't mind, HR will mind if you decide not to show up to these.

If you have a mentor, leverage their relationships and have them introduce you to other people across products and in your team.

Networking is key, the more people know you the better it is, so go to every meeting, join every call, stay connected and reach out to people as you go along

Take your time when doing you work, while I always aimed for speed, accuracy is more important as an intern and nobody will mind you taking longer as long as you get it right (don't get too stressed by deadlines and others pushing you constantly)

When you have some free time go through old presentations, don't worry about the market in general at this point, most important for you is to understand what your group does etc.

If you start early interviews/ fast track at other places be as secretive about it as possible and don't brag/ tell other interns or people in your team about it, once they find out your chances of getting are return offer are getting slim.

One thing that has earned many I know the extract points is the general attitude. Always have a smile on your face, never show any frustration and never complain, people will notice and give you that.

Most importantly try to enjoy and remember its only 10 weeks (or rather 6 this year at some places).

Good luck to all of you and maybe I can welcome on or another to my team after the summer!

"too good to be true"

See my WSO Blog

6/23/14

Which places are only 6 this year?

I like all of this. Another thing is to joke around with your group if they bust your balls or give you shit for things. Some groups are pretty fraternal in nature and, as a result, like to joke around with the interns. Some take it too seriously and get dinged solely based on the lack of a culture fit

3/5/09

everything in this thread applies to summer associates, but you are also held to a much higher level than the summer analysts. the summer associates are supposed to be much more mature, and i think this requires you to be more on your game than a summer analyst.

if you follow the advice in this thread, you should be fine. just use common sense in whatever you do, don't fuck up the food order for anyone (esp a director/MD), and be able to take a boot up the ass with a huge smile on your face.

oh and don't ever click your pen in a meeting - i did it once and this director who came from ms m&a grabbed it and threw it into the hallway in a fit of rage hahha....granted he was a bit of a lunatic

3/11/09

Anyone who's done a summer in Houston have any suggestions for apartment buildings that would provide furnished summer housing? Or other options? Thanks.

3/11/09

If you get taken out for the purpose of getting the intern drunk, should you just roll with it?

3/12/09
monkeyface:

If you get taken out for the purpose of getting the intern drunk, should you just roll with it?

The art of being able to hold your liquor should play a role in this....but you really should never try and make a full of yourself. On the up side, FREE DRINKS?

3/12/09

1) Most important: do NOT complain, EVER. About anyone, anything, especially not your hours.

2) Be mature and professional about your work. You are starting a career - most of the people around you live banking 24/7 and depend upon the job. This is NOT another college class you can half ass / blow off. Nobody will hold your hand or tell you to "try your best".

3) Realize your place. You are the lowest of lowest in the office. Don't act like a bigshot, wear cufflinks, french collars, expensive watches or jewelry, etc. Just because associates and senior analysts jerk around, occasionally leave early, or pull crazy stunts does not mean you can. You are not them and don't try to act like them.

4) Be accurate and don't fuck anything up.

You will make mistakes and potentially break one of these rules. Accept your mistakes and move on. Don't argue with anybody, as even first year analysts rank far, far above you.

3/12/09

The key is to avoid making mistakes while making a few really good decisions. Have a great attitude and always ask for more work/responsibility and don't make unforced errors.

You should also get a fairly good idea of where you stand half-way through the internship based on feedback from your superiors. If you're not sure, ask the analyst you are working with about your progression. This should give you a very good indication of whether or not you should be changing how you do things.

3/13/09

Don't go out for a company social event on a Thursday and get so bombed that you have to "call in sick" the next day. A Columbia MBA SA did this (and he was an all-star intern) and he didn't get an offer a few weeks later. The day he called in sick, everyone he worked for was infuriated.

3/16/09

That pretty much goes without saying. The calling in sick thing is the worst thing you can do. At least go into work looking like shit so people know you've got balls and can work through a hangover.

3/16/09

There is some good advice on this at Gotta Mentor. Check out: http://www.gottamentor.com/viewMyAdvice.aspx?a=307 Good luck!

5/12/10

I thought this was relevant to new SAs

4/13/11

good info, thanks

5/15/11

this is fucking amazing guys! thanks a ton for posting this.

respect

5/15/11

same

5/15/11

no one will notice your Rolex unless it's got a diamond-encrusted face (I guarantee you 0% of the kids here have one of those-- and if you do, then you're either 1. so rich that getting an offer doesn't even matter or 2. so hooked up that you will get an offer regardless).

I think the general trope that's being argued is that you shouldn't dress like a fucking guido. Just be a normal human being

5/20/12
Solidarity:

no one will notice your Rolex unless it's got a diamond-encrusted face (I guarantee you 0% of the kids here have one of those-- and if you do, then you're either 1. so rich that getting an offer doesn't even matter or 2. so hooked up that you will get an offer regardless).

I think the general trope that's being argued is that you shouldn't dress like a fucking guido. Just be a normal human being

No not wear a rolex period. People will see it and it just looks out of place. Know your place on the totem pole.

5/19/12

Bump. This thread is great.

5/20/12

As a former SA and current IBD analyst who will be working with SAs this summer, I have the following advice:

1) Be positive. You've got 10 weeks. The job will be intense, and the best way to get a sense of whether you will want to be there FT is if you can stay positive and feel optimistic about what you're doing for 2.5 months. Not always easy -- but stay strong. Especially if you like where you're working and the people you're working with, it's very worth it.

2) Be enthusiastic and open to assignments. Smart thing to do is -- if you aren't busy -- ask the analysts if there's anything they need help with or respond to the staffer when the staffer needs an SA on a project. I'd advise against getting too pushy. There's always something you can do -- like getting practice reading a 10-k, figuring out how to build an operating model, or a dcf, or a merger model, or an LBO. If you do this -- and find an analyst that's willing to walk through one of these after you've given it a good faith effort -- it can be a better use of your personal time and shows that you actually have an interest in the business.

3) Double check everything you send or submit to someone. This includes double checking your emails before you send them. A lot of the job is about attention to detail, in presentations, in Excel / models, etc.

4) Ask questions. Probably most important. If you don't understand how to do something -- or something is taking you too long -- ask questions. Chances are someone will know the answer or know a way to do it that will save you an hour or two.

Any other questions, feel free to send me a DM.

5/21/12
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