The "struggling artist' has become a fixture of popular culture. Just the other day I was watching TV, and saw this AT&T commercial in which a girl who was a struggling actress is constantly on the phone telling everyone about the part she received as "Coffeeshop Patron #5" in some movie. She has one line "lattee, please", and her neurotic nature has her asking the question of whether she should pronounce it with a French accent or whether her character would prefer tea. In any case, the commercial is about AT&T's unlimited mobile-to-mobile plan.
But this commercial got me thinking, as this girl is shown to work three different jobs to support her acting career. I am very much a "struggling" investment banker, and I think with the contracting nature of the industry and the static (or even increased) number of applicants to banks each year, the struggling investment banker is a far more common phenomenon than many would think.
But what exactly am I picturing in my mind when I think of a "struggling investment banker"? No, not the kid with theSA from Wharton, even though I will not deny the fact that even at Wharton it's a grind, it's competitive, and the road is very much a struggle. I'm talking about the kid who is on the grind at a boutique during the summers, working hard, and working unpaid, with the hope that he or she can leverage the experience to a full-time offer at a different firm or, better yet if all things are equal, convert the summer positions to a full-time analyst role at their current place of employment. I'm talking about the kids from non-targets, or the kids who went to targets and butchered everything. I'm talking about the person who searches WSO for "how to turn unpaid SA into paid", in the hope that maybe, just maybe, after three or four months of hard work, they'll receive a check for a thousand bucks or two, just to recoup in some small fashion the absurd amount of money they likely had to spend to take on the internship.