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Why are you interested in i-banking or finance (other than the money factor)?

Comments (27)

  • IBWannaB's picture

    I am not in banking but I think it might appeal to people who enjoy the excitment of selling. Those who do not, will drop out soon, because money is not a sufficient motivator alone (for too long).

  • pedigreed monkey's picture

    because it is the most rigorous job anyone can have right out of college, and it offers the best skillset to start off a career in finance. no job in finance comes close to what you learn in ibanking, and none can measure your work ethic the way ibanking does. working on live deals that make headlines and shape the structure of corporate america is something that greatly appeals to me. whether i want to move up within the bank or pursue some other job in high finance, ibanking provides me the experience to do anything i want in finance.

    i know many disillusioned, grumpy analysts on 2 hours of sleep will laugh at this and mock me, but its a good cookie-cutter answer that analysts and higher-ups love to hear when they ask me "Why banking?" and there is a degree of truth to it would imagine.

  • lynnventures's picture

    Well other than the mind numbing and menial formatting stuff, I do enjoy:

    1) crafting strategical rationales for potential transactions, i.e. why would company A be a good target to company B? Does it add market share, scale, broaden the scope of products, or redefine business model for company B?

    2) drafting management presentations because you can really learn a lot about a company and the industry trends and where it's headed (assuming you actually like the sector to begin with)

    But yeah in the end it's really ALL about money. You say that it's the experience that you're after. Well yeah, but what do you need the experience for? To make MORE money in the future!!

  • In reply to pedigreed monkey
    TheKing's picture

    pedigreed monkey wrote:
    because it is the most rigorous job anyone can have right out of college, and it offers the best skillset to start off a career in finance. no job in finance comes close to what you learn in ibanking, and none can measure your work ethic the way ibanking does. working on live deals that make headlines and shape the structure of corporate america is something that greatly appeals to me. whether i want to move up within the bank or pursue some other job in high finance, ibanking provides me the experience to do anything i want in finance.

    i know many disillusioned, grumpy analysts on 2 hours of sleep will laugh at this and mock me, but its a good cookie-cutter answer that analysts and higher-ups love to hear when they ask me "Why banking?" and there is a degree of truth to it would imagine.

    I am one of those analysts, and let me say the following:

    I cannot tell a lie...you arrrreeeeee, a monkey's...anus.

    I used to spout all that shit, there is some truth to it, but there is so in the job of an analyst that is truly demeaning and soul crushing. It is impossible to understand until you do it. Really, truly soul crushing.

  • Alphaholic's picture

    I'm not sure what's worse: the fact that people BS their own rationales, or that they are very smart people, so they are completely cognisant of their own BSing.

    For me, it's a chance to take what I enjoyed doing in college and put the skills to work directly. Alot of people enjoy what they study in college, and do something completely different with what they studied, which is fine, but wasn't for me. I am in because in two years, I will have skills that in high demand in places where you can actually do something good for others/yourself/your wallet (PE/VC/HF), or whatever your rationale is. People forget finance is just a tool. It's a tool to do whatever the hell you want: good things, bad things, smart things, dumb things. So for me, I'm building a skillset so that whatever I choose to do with it, I'll be able to do so.

    /rant

  • pedigreed monkey's picture

    hey man, i dont think either alpha or theking explicitly disagreed with me. i know a lot of what i said is fluffy BS and the attitude behind it is very idealistic and naive, but thats the way you have to be in interviews if im not mistaken. analysts and other people in the industry frequently ask me "Why IB?" and in my post i gave the type of answer i would give them. its not like im making the job out to be super glamorous, im just saying that it builds a valuable skillset. even TheKing agreed that he has used these answers when he was a prospective

    either way im not really "lying to myself" because among all the fluff, the bottom line of my answer is "IB is the best way to other careers in finance"

    pedigreed monkey wrote:
    whether i want to move up within the bank or pursue some other job in high finance, ibanking provides me the experience to do anything i want in finance

    Alphaholic wrote:
    So for me, I'm building a skillset so that whatever I choose to do with it, I'll be able to do so.

    that was the last sentence of both of our answers, and its esentially the same thing. i dont mind if you flame or criticize what i have to say, but at least be accurate in your response.

  • Alphaholic's picture

    I'm not criticizing you in particular, plenty of other people think the same way you. My comment was on the last part of your answer, the fact you're fully aware that you don't totally believe what you're saying. "Building a skillset" is included in your response that you admit you don't totally buy into. You say so after. There's no distinction by you in your statement about what you believe and what you just say because you think others like to hear it.

    Which really makes me wonder: if that's the answer you give because bankers/interviewers like to hear it, do you have a real reason/s of your own? Maybe it's that you do want to build a skillset, but you're so confused about why you're in banking and why you say you want to be in that you can't tell the difference.

    Not trying to flame anyone in particular. It's just a common response. People get so good at BSing that they forget what they actually wanted in the first place.

  • pedigreed monkey's picture

    without a doubt, i do want to build a transferable skillset, and ibanking provides that more than any other career in finance. i never once denied that. i dont think the actual content of my response is BS, but the way it is worded is quite idealistic, and i knew many analysts on this board would laugh at my phrasing and think "oh just wait til he really experiences it." which is exactly what TheKing did, and its understandable becuase analysts do get disillusioned so quickly.

    after re-reading my answer above, there is literally nothing about it that i dont truly believe. i was about to say its a half-lie, but its not even that. i do indeed like the idea of working on live deals, as opposed to the equity research im doing at my current internship that just stays on the internet for individuals to read. i just had to throw in that second paragraph to show that i know its not all bottles and models and that a lot of the novelty wears off fast.

    i know what i want, and im not trying to BS my way into a job. but im sure everyone can admit that a little bit of BS by telling the person what they want to hear is sometimes necessary not only for interviews but life in general.

    TheKing wrote:
    so in the job of an analyst that is truly demeaning and soul crushing. It is impossible to understand until you do it. Really, truly soul crushing.

    even though ive heard this a million times, why would i ever focus on that in an interview? if you call avoiding talking about that stuff BSing, then it is what it is i guess

  • UES802's picture

    pedigreed - that's basically what you have to say. I realize everyone in banking feels it is their civil duty to come onto this message board and comment on how the "right" answer is lame as hell and that anyone who uses those pre-recited lines is a major tool. Even still, TheKing mentioned that he did use them himself.

    Even the bullshit answers have some truths in them though. I generally said something along the lines of there's no job out of undergrad where you can take on as much responsibility right away or have exposure to senior bankers and/or potentially corporate executives. Well, what do those things have to do with anything? -- They help you to build the skill set you will take with you throughout the rest of your career, and enable you to move into other areas of finance such as hedge funds, pe, etc.

    Bottom line though, the bullshit answer is generally the right one.

  • In reply to TheKing
    joefish's picture

    TheKing wrote:

    I used to spout all that shit, there is some truth to it, but there is so in the job of an analyst that is truly demeaning and soul crushing. It is impossible to understand until you do it. Really, truly soul crushing.

    Please stop, you're scaring me!

  • CompBanker's picture

    Underground -- they want to hear the cookie cutter answer.

    I think a good answer is this (though not for an interview):

    I want a job that is exciting, challenging, stable, and pays well. Unfortunately, these jobs are few and far between coming out of college. Ultimately, i have no interest in working 100 hour weeks. However, I would rather work 100 hour weeks in an exciting environment (eventually leading to a lesser workload) than 40 hours a week in a dull environment for the rest of my life.

    So the true response is: I don't like either option, but banking sure beats the common alternative. Yes, I know there are a ton of other non-traditional ways to make a living, but i think stability is a very necessary requirement for all of us.

    CompBanker

  • gomes3pc's picture

    For 99% of kids, you have three options:

    1) Stay in school (med school/law school)
    2) Find a sh!tty paying job that lets you work 40 hours
    3) Find a high-paying job that breaks your back

    I didn't want to spend more time with my nose in a book, and I don't want to be making $40k and either scraping by in the city or living in some middle of nowhere town. Plus, odds are the back-breaking job will give you a helluva good shot at a better-paying, less-intensive job. It sounds cold but that's just the facts. Plus, I do like the financial concepts used in M&A, but I can't tell you it's my life's calling or something.