Are Tattoos still looked down on in IB?

If I have a sleeve but its covered by a long sleeve button up is that still looked down on? Seems like the industry is moving from being way too conservative but is it still something to consider?

Comments (40)

Jun 23, 2022 - 4:30pm
shitonminoritieschad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 22, 2022 - 12:34pm

whether or not you'd get judged for it varies from individual to individual.  just make sure it's covered and carry on with your life.  

Jun 22, 2022 - 1:17pm
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think it really depends. In general, if you keep your arms covered during your first few months, you should be fine.

I worked for an RX MD who had a full sleeve, so it definitely happens in the industry. Of course, he was a bit of a one off, as it certainly not common place.

Controversial
Jun 22, 2022 - 3:00pm
TimesNewMoney, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want an honest opinion, if I were interviewing someone who was so tatted up that I could see their tattoo sleeve while interviewing them in a dress shirt, I would definitely look down upon it. It demonstrates, to me and many others, a lack of couth, self-control and general manners. I'd be worried that the guy with the sleeve would be cursing like a sailor in front of clients or constantly commit faux-paus that come with having a punky/rebellious attitude. 

Jun 22, 2022 - 3:21pm
mlorus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I completely get what you mean

Jun 22, 2022 - 3:25pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It has nothing to do with conservative/liberal but more so class status. Upper class people and clients look down on tattoos which originated from the prison system and hence remains popular among poorer people. 

You can't just hide behind a long sleeve shirt forever. One day you will go yachting or boating or golfing whether it be with a client or part of your group as a social and it's going to look really weird (and be uncomfortable) if you're wearing a dress shirt instead of a golf shirt/polo. 

Array

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Jun 23, 2022 - 11:06am
ChanandlerBingo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It has nothing to do with conservative/liberal but more so class status. Upper class people and clients look down on tattoos which originated from the prison system and hence remains popular among poorer people.

What you said about prisons and poor people was true in like the 19th century. How is that not conservative? It seems to me you're conservative and you think your ideas are more natural than they actually are.

Jun 23, 2022 - 12:37pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What I said about prisons was true in the 19th century. But historical events absolutely influence modern trends and tattoos are still far more common and accepted among the poor class than the upper class.

I grew up among a far poorer demographic than WSO is accustomed to and tattoos are seen as a sign of toughness and/or reaching adulthood and it's not uncommon for people to get at least one when they become an adult. I know several diehard rural evangelical MAGAs who have at least couple tattoos. I've only heard  the reckless/impulse control angle after coming to WSO and hanging out among more upper class folk so I know this a class divide issue. I have no strong feelings toward tattoos as long as they are within reason (not covering 90% of your body). Personally I don't think sleeves look good as the density of tattoos is too much relative to natural skin, but that's just a personal preference.

Array

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 22, 2022 - 4:20pm

Agree that some people will care and some people won't, just keep it covered. No polos on Friday or company happy hour. IB is fine with sneakers or a small tattoo but a full sleeve would definitely stand out

Jun 22, 2022 - 4:41pm
7ennyTree, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is a culture shock to read about, I almost forget how conservative banking is sometimes. At my fund, tattoos are everywhere. My manager has a finger tattoo in full view. Our CEO has a half sleeve on his right arm. I consistently wear a short sleeve shirt and let my bicep tattoo be visible. There's even a project manager with a full shoulder tat.

Main point is, you should not worry. Long as you don't have explicit stuff inked on your body or so much of it that you can't cover it up in front of a client, you should be fine.

  • Quant in HF - Other
Jun 23, 2022 - 11:57am

I have legs tatted up as well, I mean people on the buyside ARE the clients.

Especially if you're high up and running your own PnL or sth like that, no one would bat an eye.

Unlike sell side. They're salesman after all. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 22, 2022 - 4:48pm

Will vary with people to people and group to group. Keep it covered up until you get a sense for the culture of the firm, but honestly, if you're good at your job and likeable, nobody cares. As a point of reference, there are guys in my group who have tats/ are pierced.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 23, 2022 - 4:01pm

In one of the top MM groups here that everyone talks about and am covered in tattoos. Nothing visable in dress clothes though. No one cares. I agree tattoos don't have their place in a professional environment but you shouldn't judge someone just for having them lol.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 23, 2022 - 8:34pm

What kind of tattoo is it bro? Why do you have one bro?

Jun 24, 2022 - 1:24pm
Thomas Pynchon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 24, 2022 - 3:25pm

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