Mod (Andy) note: The much anticipated BlackHat interview is here (see part 1, part 2, part 3). Questions came from myself and members of writing and intern teams. BIG thanks to BH for his really in-depth/quality/quick responses. I promise all of you will have some great takeaways from this series.
If you don't know of BlackHat, he has been in the has been one of the most active members on the site this year, and boasts a formidable 278:30 sb:ms ratio.industry for 5 years (broke in straight from ugrad),
Here's how the four part series will go:
- Background / breaking into HF
- Working in HF, Money & Motivation
- Career advice for all you WSO Monkeys + how he advanced in his career
- This post: BH's future, and some miscellaneous tips and thoughts
First question of Part 4: What's your next step?
(btw, try to keep your questions relevant to the current post as he may have likely already answered it in a previous or upcoming post.)
My next step isn't really decided yet. Like a lot of people out there my goal was to be able to run my own money, and as far as my boss is concerned, anything I recommend pretty much goes into the fund, so I'm satisfied in that regard. The only event in my life I have to focus on right now is my wedding and my fiancee. Until that's out of the way, I feel pretty satisfied with where I am professionally, but that doesn't mean I don't have grand aspirations on deck...
What are your future milestones?
Future milestones for me are hard to quantify. I'm not going to sit here and say with a straight face that a goal of mine is to hit $X in net worth or to buy a X,000 square foot house or anything like that, because it's just not true. The only big professional goal I have right now is to be my own boss. I have plans to make that happen, so it's not something I'm stressing about. And even if it doesn't, it's not a very serious goal but it's a goal nonetheless. Most of my goals from here on out are family related. I want my wedding to go smoothly, I want a few great years alone with my wife, and by then I might even want kids, who knows. But I think I'm too young to put too many big milestone goals into my head. The last thing I want to do is set myself up for disappointment.
If you werent working in
If anything I think I'd want to have become a or a writer. Like I said I think one of my best qualities is being a good of character and having a unique perspective on life, so putting those together I think would work really well as a writer or some sort of speaker, or as a . As some of you know I'm a huge Suits fan and that's pretty much because I had wanted to be a for a lot of my childhood. Then again that's probably because my parents told me I had two choices: doctor and . It was a 50/50 shot.
What have been some of your highest highs and what were some of your lowest lows (in your life and career)?
The lowest I've ever been was definitely during the depression/drug-laced years, and the highest high is definitely proposing to my fiancee. I like to think it's nearly impossible for something career-related to occupy either of those spots, but I'll include career high and lows too. The high was probably getting hired at my current firm, since it is very similar to the firm I worked in right after undergrad, and fit my personality and style perfectly. The lowest low and highest high or usually related, and for me that's the case here. The lowest I had ever been during my career was during the latter part of my time at my last , where I felt basically stuck in an environment I didn't like and was convinced there was no way out. Coming to work every day actually got to the point of being a pain in the ass and I was routinely leaving work earlier and earlier and luckily snapped out of it and pushed myself to go find a new gig.
From a female monkey: What could girls do to snag a man like yourself?
Haha, well first of all let me remind you that you probably don't want a man like me, I'm kind of a nutjob, but I'll take a crack at this one anyway. I guess in the same vein as my last answer, guys with substance are looking for someone special. If you take a look around there's a lot of good looking women out there, so that's not enough to be special. I was attracted to my fiancee because she was a classy girl who had her own things going on in life, and most importantly she was INTERESTING. So many girls I've dated or simply spent time with are just totally boring.
I don't know what it is about you girls but I think it's instinctual that you think your main responsibility is to sit and smile and just laugh at everything I say. That's probably the worst thing you can do, especially considering I'm insecure enough to think you're totally bored with me if you never contribute anything to the relationship. It also helps to take some initiative and show that you actually care about us or are interested. A lot of guys are afraid of rejection, so even if they've made all the right moves and you're interested, if you don't make at least some indication that's legitimately explicit, that could be a missed connection and 9 times out of 10 that's what happens. I'm personally attracted to a girl who's a little bit more forward than all the others, and that's another way you could be special. No mind games, just be a real person for once. That, and some slight gesture to show that you care, and you've probably got all you need to reel me in. Being cute helps, but it's definitely not a requirement... in fact I hope my fiancee stops caring about her appearance once/if we have kids... She's got bigger things to be focusing on once that happens.
What are 3 tips you have for picking up chicks in a bar?
When I was younger I had this great idea for how I was gonna work on my game. I'd call up the operator and if it was a chick I'd start hitting on her, testing out all my pick-up lines and usually getting hung up on, but I had a little success getting them to play back when I complemented them in a really flirty way. Girls love to be complemented, especially if you're not horrible looking because then it just seems creepy, and it's always been a great opener. So here's my tips:
1) Complement her in some sort of mildly sexual way, maybe something about what she's wearing or even sometimes what I'd do is complement them on something that makes no sense to complement. Tell homegirl she's got the sexiest neck you've ever seen. Or her knuckles are absolutely gorgeous. I'm tellin' you, it works.
2) Don't be creepy. This is partially in the way you say whatever you say and partially in the way you look. Some of you are creepy as hell to begin with so I don't hold out much hope for you, but that's what I got.
3) Don't be boring. If there's something interesting about you make sure you casually slip it into conversation. Nobody wants to go home with "that guy who worked in finance" but I'm sure lots of girls out there want to check off their bucket list sleeping with "that guy who's wanted for grand theft auto." If you're not wanted for grand theft auto and this is a one night stand situation, you have my permission to make something awesome up. Like the guy who posted saying he was a rodeo clown, that's just plain baller.
What are 3 tips for living in NYC?
1) Make sure you don't have a problem going places by yourself sometimes
2) Don't be too far from work unless you're okay with sweating your balls off on the way or riding the subway and all the pain in the ass that comes with it. I've never been a subway guy though so I can't reallythe subway crowd, which is pretty damn large and probably has no problem with its subway-ness.
3) Find a gym that's close to work and use it. NYC is an easy place to get fat pretty quickly. Just look around and you'll see evidence of it.
Tell us your thoughts on the book 50 shades of grey, it seems like you've mentioned it a few times.
My fiancee was reading 50 Shades of Grey and I had heard all the fuss about it, and I was talking about how stupid the book probably was and she challenged me to read it, so I did. It might sound crazy but after I finished I was sorely disappointed by the lack of "dirtiness" after hearing how nasty it was supposed to be. Apparently most people think that book is pretty "out there" but to me it was actually fairly vanilla. Some might be surprised but BlackHat isn't afraid of a whipping or two. I'm actually getting my own Red Room of Pain built into my apartment next month...