Since the new analyst class will be starting training soonish, I figured I'd throw out the big mistakes I saw people make back when I started. Some of these are probably also fairly valid for associate training.
And yeah, I screwed up three of these. Guess which ones.
1: No matter how late the Australians in the back row roll in, no matter how hungover they are, and no matter how early in the day they start drinking, do not emulate them. Unless you are also headed for an international location. (If you are, you have diplomatic immunity. Enjoy it.)
2: Unless you already have a group, don't blow off the exams. They have an effect on where you end up.
3: If you do coke: use some willpower and don't let the party roll over into the next day. When you guys go into the bathroom for your morning pick-me-up, people can tell.
4: If you're going to sleep with someone in your class, don't make it obvious.
5: If you're going to sleep with anybody you just met, don't sleep over. Their roommates might be in your class.
6: Each group in the bank will trot out a seniorish banker plus a couple of juniors to do a presentation on why you should join their group. Do not listen to the presentation. It is bullshit. Especially the league tables.
(If you want something better to do with your twenty minutes, monitor the juniors' nonverbals. Are theychimps or beaten-down scrubs? Do they look exhausted or stressed? Did they shave this morning? Good clues for working conditions in the group.)
7: Don't neglect due diligence. A couple of nights early on, stick around (or come back) and walk the floors of different groups at 8, 9, 10 PM. Try both weeknights and weekends. While it does suck to scrap an evening this way, it can be very enlightening to see what working in the group is going to feel like.
Okay, so which of these don'ts did I do?
#2 and #7: Embarrassing.
I just flat-out dropped the ball on these. Had a good experience anyway, but would have been better if I'd done a little more legwork.
#3 was a mistake made by a friend.
#4, though for the record, I didn't actually sleep with the guy. It just looked like I did. This is just as bad.
#5 was a mistake made by a good friend and classmate of mine, who had a one-night stand with a guy at a different bank, woke up late for training, put her dirty clothes back on, and tried to sneak out of the guy's apartment. She bumped into two of her male classmates leaving the apartment at the same time. Bet that was an awkward elevator ride.