How to manage bad 1st years?

Hi All,

I have a question - I am currently working with a first year analyst that is TERRIBLE. She seems confident but… 1) makes a LOT of mistakes. It's crazy. Basically every time she touches a backup, she creates a new mistake (unfortunately, this is not a joke). 2) she seems to be absolutely unable to pick up comments on the fly even if she takes notes. Anything sent in our chat app or said person to person or on the phone is not processed. 3) gives no visibility over what she's done or not.

Do you have any advice ? We are on a live deal together but it has become so bad I am literally telling her not to do anything and am doing everything myself because otherwise I know it's not going to get done. How would you manage ? I am also trying (to some extent) to hide my frustration but this is really pissing me off too because my MDs are annoyed as well and we finish late for nothing..

I don't really see the way out because while usually I try to give some space to juniors, be helpful etc, this deal has short time frames so everything needs to be on point fairly quickly (can't wait for 2 days for the analyst to spread comps..)

Comments (89)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 18, 2022 - 10:01pm

First, you are never alone, we have all worked with this person. You need to take a deep breath and relax first. Don't do anything rash or it could blow up in your face. If it's not just you and other juniors/seniors know of this issue, then you can breath easy knowing you have others to back up what you are saying.

Finish strong on the deal, I would give the analyst comments/tasks to do, BUT DO THEM YOURSELF ANYWAY. If you can't rely on them, don't risk it, and do it yourself but also ask them. That way you have evidence of their incompetence, while not hurting yourself/MD. Keep doing stuff like this, so when the time comes you have examples and proof that it was not only not your fault, but also that something needs to be done to that person.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2022 - 12:55pm

Know someone like this. Crazy how many ppl like this have been able to enter the industry w some of the recruiting initiatives nowadays (and stay in the industry.) Hurts very qualified and capable analysts trying to lateral

Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Nov 20, 2022 - 9:02am

"Ppl like this" have always been in the industry, bigot 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 27, 2022 - 12:27am
[Comment removed by mod team]
Nov 21, 2022 - 7:31pm
randomdude17, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Kinda cringe that you're blaming these "recruiting initiatives" for people's inability to lateral. Don't be dense bud. If you can't get into a top firm, it has everything to do with your skill set and your inability to network. These discriminatory dog whistles about recruiting initiatives are sad bro. I promise the one girl in GS TMT is not the reason you weren't able to get in. You were either good enough or you weren't. Simple. You can cry and moan about "but why do they have diverse recruiting programs and I don't". You either 1) already know the answer or 2) are ignorant of cultural and recruiting trends within those firms. Either way there is a good reason those programs are there, and the existence of those programs doesn't prevent truly talented people from getting an offer at a great firm. Full stop.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 21, 2022 - 9:02pm

I'm not blaming them dude and anyone who has tried to lateral knows it can be a complete crapshoot. The fact that you think getting into a top firm is a cakewalk is a pretty good indication of that. Not looking to be a dick on this and am not saying the programs don't add value. But ppl who have worked in the space will attest to some of these issues.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 21, 2022 - 9:05pm

Know nothing of the lateral process if you think it's entirely merit-based too. Believe me I roll my eyes when I see some posts on the matter, but it's hard to deny that there are some folks in the roles that don't belong. That being said, plenty of non minority folks who don't either. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2022 - 12:56pm

I would honestly have a conversation with the staffer, but be super measured. Don't want to get this person fired necessarily. 

Most Helpful
Nov 19, 2022 - 1:22pm
donatello23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Be empathetic. Show leadership skills. Don't treat people like products, machines to get benefits. If you put love and really try to help that person, do it like it was an accomplishment for you to succeed. 

Try to understand if there are any other out off-work things that affect her work. Work is not the most important in a person life and not the priority Nr.1. 

And again be more empathetic because we live hard times. Graduates now have lived through Covid crisis and this new crisis. Can't blame it on them.

My 2 cents. 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 19, 2022 - 3:19pm

I definitely agree on that. 
 

While the COVID thing is not applicable tbh, I agree on the leadership part. But how exactly ? The only way I found to do things quickly and without mistakes right now is if I do the numbers and she does formatting only (which I can fix at the end). It seems like she has a lot ti learn but we don't have time to do proper feedback loops with her retaining ownership which would at least 3x-4x the time necessary.

One thought I had too was to discuss calmly in a quiet period for mutual feedback on some of the key points 

Nov 20, 2022 - 7:05pm

If she needs cuddles she should go to mama. Had someone like this in IB: shouted at her that she's incompetent. She complained to staffer: staffer - who knew I was right - told me "she's horrible but you know… gender mix… nothing we can do but will never staff her with you again".

So: refuse to work with her. You are not obliged to work with everyone. And make sure you document every single mistake and send the list to the staffer. Also send it to her so she's aware.

Nov 25, 2022 - 10:13pm
Aerfally1, what's your opinion? Comment below:
donatello23

Be empathetic. Show leadership skills. Don't treat people like products, machines to get benefits. If you put love and really try to help that person, do it like it was an accomplishment for you to succeed. 

Try to understand if there are any other out off-work things that affect her work. Work is not the most important in a person life and not the priority Nr.1. 

And again be more empathetic because we live hard times. Graduates now have lived through Covid crisis and this new crisis. Can't blame it on them.

My 2 cents. 

Is this a real comment?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2022 - 3:12pm

it was so hard for some starting off(me included) its known for harsh learning curve for a reason.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2022 - 4:15pm

You and others can either try to help all your analysts get better at their jobs (which makes your jobs easier). Or if they're not willing to work hard to improve or incorporate helpful feedback, then it's better to just find other analysts to work with, and / or don't give this one any work

Nov 19, 2022 - 4:20pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I picked this up from a YT video many years back now and I thought it was the dumbest advice I'd ever heard. You might think it's dumb too (and that's OK), but I guarantee you that this works. I manage a fairly large staff now, including many 1-2 years, and it has made me into a better manager. 

When something goes wrong you have to ask yourself, "What was my role in causing this error? How did I fail and cause my employee to do this mistake?". When you start to look at it this way not only does it increase your empathy and EI, it also causes you to identify opportunities for coaching, training and for sitting down with them 1-on-1 to work on deliverables. You have take on all responsibility for their mistakes and that will cause you to grow as a manager and work with them to improve. 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2022 - 4:31pm

Hahah you're like easily 30+ yrs old and still spend all day on WSO starting petty arguments with college kids, you're the last person anyone would take managerial advice from

Nov 19, 2022 - 4:44pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look at you throwing a tantrum - adorable! You'd just about have a hissy fit if I ever showed you my manager ratings :) 

Stop being a dumb ass son

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2022 - 4:57pm

True, that guy's got some serious deep-seeded insecurities if all he does is start drama on advice forums

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Nov 21, 2022 - 12:30am
GoingToBeAnMD

I picked this up from a YT video many years back now and I thought it was the dumbest advice I'd ever heard. You might think it's dumb too (and that's OK), but I guarantee you that this works. I manage a fairly large staff now, including many 1-2 years, and it has made me into a better manager. 

When something goes wrong you have to ask yourself, "What was my role in causing this error? How did I fail and cause my employee to do this mistake?". When you start to look at it this way not only does it increase your empathy and EI, it also causes you to identify opportunities for coaching, training and for sitting down with them 1-on-1 to work on deliverables. You have take on all responsibility for their mistakes and that will cause you to grow as a manager and work with them to improve. 

Although I mostly agree with your sentiment, come on man you work in the back office and did that Operations AMA that was quite irrelevant. These generic "feel good" write-ups are not helpful or actionable.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2022 - 11:43pm

Goes to show that this whole industry was never based on skill or knowledge but just operates on everyone bullshitting each other

Nov 19, 2022 - 11:45pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The thing that blows my mind is how quickly someone like that would get shown the door in hospitality or retail, where the pay sucks compared to finance. Yet here you're supposed to coddle such people and treat them like little children. 

People are kidding with themselves if they think this is a meritocratic industry. 

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2022 - 12:07am

I don't think people are kidding themselves--I think everyone's just accepted that this isn't a meritocratic industry because everything has been politicized at every level of finance:

Investment Banks: Need to please the idiot politicians so that they don't dragged to DC for political theater so they have to go with the whole woke thing. In a way, it makes sense financially because if the politicians don't think these banks are woke enough then they'll take it out on the banks by calling for more regulation

Private Equity: Need to please corrupt institutional pensions/LPs who care more about virtue signaling than fiduciary responsibility: I went to a school whose endowment returns consistently lagged the S&P in the long run, and they were still super proud to highlight the diversity (gender, race) of the GPs they allocate to. As a result, this private school has facilities that are worse than most public campuses I've seen. Likewise, all the big pensions all report DE&I statistics about the way they allocate money

The Illinois pension system is an absolute clown show that's on the verge of bankrupting a state for the first time in history and they still publish reports like this:

https://www.ctpf.org/news/chicago-teachers-pension-fund-submits-2021-annual-diversity-and-inclusion-report-governor-and

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2022 - 12:10am

Just take a look of the pension DE&I reports and you'll understand

https://www.ctpf.org/news/chicago-teachers-pension-fund-submits-2021-annual-diversity-and-inclusion-report-governor-and

they care more about virtue signaling than fiduciary responsibility

Nov 20, 2022 - 9:30pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I hear you on this, but I definitely don't think the world of IB is necessarily a place where people are either "coddled" or expected to work with nice people even. I can't count the number of times I was screamed at in front of my other work mates while working in that space. And I've even worked in retail and other office spaces, and I can assure you that at the two top MMs / EBs I've summered at that I was treated more abrasively than I have been in any other job I've worked in by not even close. 

Also I may be making generalizations here and speaking on something I don't know much about, but I imagine its also much easier to fail and get a new job in retail or hospitality after getting let go. And there's comparatively less effort associated with recruiting or filling your work with others on the staff so I'd imagine firing someone isn't as big of a deal on the employer side. I'm not saying these kinds of cuts are marginal in nature, but I'd imagine they're less of an overall impact to business, but I could be wrong here. 

Now, I certainly can agree on the issue of meritocracy, and I think finance overall is far from that unfortunately. Watching other women use the diversity process to their advantage definitely wasn't fun (they got offers early Sophomore year at my college, and I only started recruiting after diversity processes were basically totally over, so fairly late by IB standards). But hey, they played the game and played it well, and look where they are now. Were many of these women the cream of the crop? No! But hey, they played the game so they get the offer. Idk why but I still get pissed off by this. Maybe it's just because I never did this and regret it. Idk. Also, IB involves very high level office politics beyond most industries so that is probably part of this too. 

Well, this has been quite the vent in reply to a four line comment. 

Nov 21, 2022 - 12:59am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I hear you on this, but I definitely don't think the world of IB is necessarily a place where people are either "coddled" or expected to work with nice people even. I can't count the number of times I was screamed at in front of my other work mates while working in that space.

Obviously experiences are going to differ based on firm and team. I just made my statement because I've been seeing an increasing number of threads like this on this site and the comments are always extremely soft. "Be a better mentor". "Spend a longer time coaching." " Talk to them and see if they are mentally in a good place." "Start with smaller tasks." IB analysts are getting paid 6 figures. While we can make arguments about whether that salary is enough to attract the brightest (the whole tech vs. finance debate) it is definitely more than enough to expect someone to follow instructions given in an email and be able to pay attention.

Also I may be making generalizations here and speaking on something I don't know much about, but I imagine its also much easier to fail and get a new job in retail or hospitality after getting let go.

Not exactly. Temp seasonal hires are easy to get in retail but it's only 20 hours a week with no benefits. Not exactly a job that is going to be paying the  bills. The jobs that are full-time with benefits are competitive. It's a different caliber or competition but it's all relative.

Hospitality id also extremely competitive  because of the prospects of being able to work and live in a city with a lot of culture and things to do instead of being stuck in some random down. As rents have increased it's not as lucrative as it used to be (Disney is building corporate hosting now because rents in ORL are unaffordable) but depending on the job you can still make enough to live if you work in a more luxury/high-end establishment.  A lot of workers in the casinos in Vegas for example are doing well. Compare that with the alternative of being a cashier in some random town, and you can see why these aren't trivial to walk into and get.

As an aside most of the short staffed you are seeing in the service sector are either the changing shift of the city away from tourism to more remote hotspots / white collar work or simply corporate optimizations. Companies are choosing to run on skeleton crews because it's more profitable and the pandemic seems to be an excuse that people are accepting. This is giving the illusion of the industry being trivial to enter, when in reality it's not, assuming you want wages you can actually live off of.

And there's comparatively less effort associated with recruiting or filling your work with others on the staff so I'd imagine firing someone isn't as big of a deal on the employer side. I'm not saying these kinds of cuts are marginal in nature, but I'd imagine they're less of an overall impact to business, but I could be wrong here. 

Your argument isn't wrong but you're contradicting yourself. You claim (correctly) that a single retail or hospitality worker doesn't have the same revenue impact as an IB analyst on a deal. Shouldn't that mean that the analyst should be shown the door faster if they are incompetent? Banks are trying to build relationships with clients that will carry forward into future transactions. If your analyst is extremely poor at creating the necessary deliverables, there is serious potential revenue at risk. As much as people like to joke about "aligning logos" the quality of deliverables actually matter considering how high the deal fees are. 

Now, I certainly can agree on the issue of meritocracy, and I think finance overall is far from that unfortunately. Watching other women use the diversity process to their advantage definitely wasn't fun (they got offers early Sophomore year at my college, and I only started recruiting after diversity processes were basically totally over, so fairly late by IB standards). But hey, they played the game and played it well, and look where they are now. Were many of these women the cream of the crop? No! But hey, they played the game so they get the offer. Idk why but I still get pissed off by this. Maybe it's just because I never did this and regret it. Idk. Also, IB involves very high level office politics beyond most industries so that is probably part of this too
 

I find this comment to be very strange and you're not the only poster to go this route. I simply do not see how DEI recruiting is relevant at all here. Yes when you don't have recruiting based on 100% meritocracy the class will not be at its full potential. But OP isn't complaining about his analyst struggling with the more complex or nuanced work. There's still room for people who can crank presentations out all day. He's saying that the analyst can't even follow directions written out in an email, incorporate the feedback he tells her despite multiple attempts, and doesn't pay attention in calls. There are plenty of females even in the random non-target I went to who can cross that bar. That's an incredibly low bar to cross and stuff like that will get you fired even in jobs that require no education.

I'm more inclined to believe things such as nepotism which force a certain individual to be hired (and occurs much more in finance than anyone on this board is willing to admit), or in general employers irrational fear of PR/legal risk if they fire employees quickly is part of the cause for this. That plus the whole politics side (if the seniors like this junior OP has 0 recourse).

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  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2022 - 8:58am

I would recommend taking a two-way approach.

Spend the time teaching the analyst how to do the stuff and give as clear instructions as possible (send the instructions via email so it's easier for them to keep track of what they have to do) but also do the work you know they'll get wrong yourself so you don't end up being burned and having to re do everything last minute.

At the same time, ask around with the other people who have worked with this analyst, if they all have similar thoughts, then you should bring it up to the staffer and the VP on the team. If the deal is important you might end up getting another analyst to help out and even if you don't at least it will be less likely you get staffed with this analyst in the future.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2022 - 11:31am

I think you should sit down and explain these issues to the analyst directly and potentially her staffer. Establish more frequent check-ins like "spend 30 minutes on this and let me know how far you get." How many projects is she on? If she's getting overlapping asks on multiple deals she might not have figured out how to allocate her time. Might suck teaching her things people tend to figure out on their own, but it seems there's potential here for her to be a good resource if she improves. I would say try mentoring her with a heavier hand this week and if no improvement talk to her staffer about solutions. 

Nov 20, 2022 - 2:38pm
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is a great approach and would second it. 

Will add however that the M&A MD's post below is also good perspective and an angle you should consider. A fast and furious deal environment is not the right time to do this. Probably best left as part of a post mortem discussion once the dust settles.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 20, 2022 - 11:57am

Gonna send this post to my staffer so she can better manage me :(

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2022 - 1:21pm

I've worked with someone like this. At first, they told me they were swamped on other projects, so I provided ample time to complete tasks. I then figured they were just technically green, so I would spend a long time with them explaining how to do things, doing examples for them to copy etc. After this didn't work, I figured maybe Excel just wasn't their strength, so I then just sidelined them to just doing presentation work only.

After a while, I learned this person was not only bad, but more importantly, just didn't care about the quality of the work they were putting out or what I thought of them. They were intentionally misleading me around their workload and the progress they were making on our project. I learned from other Analysts who sit near them in the bullpen they were actually spending their day booking holidays or making memes (I wish I was joking). Any work they did do was rushed and unchecked, I think because they knew I would go and check everything and redo it. The latter type of person is uncoachable in my view. We ended up staffing a new Analyst and shadow destaffed them from the project.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2022 - 4:01pm

It sounds like almost every group has a few people who work like this to some degree - it is more common than you think. There are also people who work hard at first but their work quality and speed significantly decline once they get a buyside offer. Best approach is finding people you work better with.

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2022 - 1:43pm

A bit of career advice

the client and the deal are the only thing that matters, she is expendable and you are to a large extent expendable 

if it's not working, just escalate the issue to the staffer and get staffing that works so the client is well served. If you don't do that, and the client is not well served, you are the one screwing it up

she can be trained on something that's not - live deal / client critical

it may sound harsh, but this is the best thing for both of you. I've rehabilitated many bad first years who had the brains and motivation but didn't "get it" at first (generally it takes a very patient mentor on a slower longer term project) but trying to do it on a fast moving live deals just makes things worse. 

Nov 20, 2022 - 6:52pm
jackdonaghy26, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Putting a brand new analyst on a live deal three months into the job is also not a particularly wise decision from the staffer. When a grad is staffed on a live project in my group there is usually an AN2 or very junior associate because everyone expects some handholding is needed. 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2022 - 7:15pm

They are what, 4 months into the job? Just try to be patient and teach, it's part of your job as a sr analyst / associate 

Nov 20, 2022 - 9:46pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also Associate 1 in IB - Gen, Not only have I worked with the person you speak of, I have been the person you speak of. 

There's an MD above who makes a specific comment: 

the client and the deal are the only thing that matters, she is expendable and you are to a large extent expendable 

This is true. This is a fact. Literally just get the work done right and everything will be fine. Once I learned this was the case I started performing better.

===========================

So, how does this connect with my first comment above: Not only have I worked with the person you speak of, I have been the person you speak of. 

I think there's an aspect of understanding the overall job and why everything needs to get done the way it does. Why attention to detail is important and why caring about your work is critical. For example in my first summer in IB, another analyst once chewed me out, and my staffer came and told me that I had poor attention to detail. This is generally considered a fairly serious comment in ones review. 

The only way around this isn't to just randomly get better attention to detail: it's to "stupid-proof" your workflow. I had a fairly candid discussion with my staffer and the analyst and associate I was working with determine specific changes I could make to my workflow to improve my performance. These were tangible things, like creating checklists for myself before ever sending out a deliverable, or using BDP (Bloomberg) to automate specific parts of update presentations to ensure they would never be copied incorrectly. 

Making these kinds of strides with juniors is very annoying, hard, and time consuming. A live deal with a quick turnaround is a poor time to implement these kinds of things or to have such a discussion. 

I have found in working with others that sharing my own mistakes, where I feel behind, and how I made changes for myself to improve my performance actually helps others see how they can make tangible changes to their workflow. And pointing out a series of their repeated mistakes can clarify exactly where they are missing things and how that not only impacts your workflow, but the client deliverable on the whole. It helps them "get it" a bit better. It will help them understand that getting the client to be happy is what matters, and that they have a very important role in making this happen. If this analyst can make that happen, everyone will be happy with her too. 

Once this deal is over, sit down with her and her staffer all together. Be candid and straightforward. Don't sugarcoat or hide things that need to change. Present evidence of the problem. But at the same time, don't deride them or make personal attacks, be clear that she's not getting fired or that anything too terrible is happening, and especially don't scream (I've seen this happen at my current workplace and screaming usually leads to more negative outcomes for everyone involved). Your goal is to build a better analyst so that your workflow is easier. If that doesn't happen, she'll only be around for two years and I'm sure that she'll know what to do at that juncture. 

Nov 20, 2022 - 10:05pm
chipotleassociate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you have rapport, talk to your team and get this person on the road ASAP.

If you haven't taken the effort to train this person, then it's on you - but it won't get better because you suck at training and need someone easy to train first. It won't work. Cut the losses.

If they truly are inept, then sucks to suck.

If you don't have enough rapport to act this way, then you need to focus on yourself and get better at this job before passing judgement.

Nov 20, 2022 - 10:05pm
chipotleassociate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you have rapport, talk to your team and get this person on the road ASAP.

If you haven't taken the effort to train this person, then it's on you - but it won't get better because you suck at training and need someone easy to train first. It won't work. Cut the losses.

If they truly are inept, then sucks to suck.

If you don't have enough rapport to act this way, then you need to focus on yourself and get better at this job before passing judgement.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 22, 2022 - 8:24pm

What do you mean by "rapport"?

Actually given I've been flat out in this project I am starting to think whether something is wrong with me.. because when you do a 30-mn page flip, ask many times "is it clear? Any other questions on this page?" and literally half the comments are forgotten, I mean cmon, you can't be that bad

Its also getting harder to not making it feel like I'm attacking her / build rapport because although I'm trying to be friendly (not because I like her, but to maintain the communication open), a lot of messages are around her mistakes.. or things like flagging that when we have client deliverable we are late on to send asap you can't take a 1h lunch break.. or you can't say "will do now" and when I check in 2h later you haven't started.. these are just things that are not ok and I need to say it but there are a lot of these instances ..

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Nov 23, 2022 - 2:44pm

What do you mean by "rapport"?

Actually given I've been flat out in this project I am starting to think whether something is wrong with me.. because when you do a 30-mn page flip, ask many times "is it clear? Any other questions on this page?" and literally half the comments are forgotten, I mean cmon, you can't be that bad

Its also getting harder to not making it feel like I'm attacking her / build rapport because although I'm trying to be friendly (not because I like her, but to maintain the communication open), a lot of messages are around her mistakes.. or things like flagging that when we have client deliverable we are late on to send asap you can't take a 1h lunch break.. or you can't say "will do now" and when I check in 2h later you haven't started.. these are just things that are not ok and I need to say it but there are a lot of these instances ..

Some people are just retarded my dude. I have someone like that too. It's astonishing how much stuff is missed 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Nov 21, 2022 - 12:41am

Several comments in here about secretly documenting mistakes to build a doss w/ which to get her fired...that's such a weak, underhanded way to take care of the situation.  You're right to sideline her - sounds like it's your only option w/ the pace the deal is running at and the consistency of her mistakes.  However, deal w/ her directly rather than secretly trying to get her canned.  

If a new analyst's work isn't up to par, you need to have a come to Jesus discussion w/ them...not tattle to your staffer.  If it's never clearly communicated to / impressed on them, she may legitimately not grasp the areas in which she's falling short or the degree to which she's falling short in them.  Have seen analysts who were this early on the desk turn it around after frank conversations, which is the best outcome for everyone.  If you explicitly lay out where she needs to improve and no improvement is made, tell the staffer you don't want her on the next deal/pitch...At that point, it's fully on her for knowing exactly where she needs to improve and failing to do so.  Associates or VPs telling staffers that they can't work w/ an analyst because of their poor work quality is going to go up the chain from the staffer to senior bankers, and she'll either get canned after a year, lateral to the buyside before that, or live w/ a terrible reputation in the group for 20 more months before not getting an A2A offer.  

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 21, 2022 - 10:02am

No 1st year analyst gets canned because their associate tells the staffer they are not performing well on a live deal. Talking to the staffer is the way to go because the whole situation is as much their fault as the analyst's, a brand new hire shouldn't be the only analyst on a live deal unless everyone else is under water (not likely in current environment) or if it's already evident they are really good (not the case here). Also, in this job if someone doesn't pull their weight it just means someone else gets f*cked so sucking it up and doing everything yourself is not sustainable.

Speaking to other people/documenting mistakes is more of a sanity check for the associate to make sure the analyst is actually the problem, if this person does great work for everyone else then complaining to the staffer will only backfire on the associate.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Nov 21, 2022 - 2:40pm

Didn't say not to tell the staffer - said to speak w/ the analyst before telling the staffer. 

Not recommending that OP continue working on deals/pitches w/ the analyst and doing all of the work...just on the deal they're on right now because he clearly doesn't have another choice. 

Agreed that a fresh AN1 shouldn't be staffed on something live w/out another AN2/AN3 who can carry the analyst responsibilities, while basically just giving the AN1 exposure to a live deal w/out having enough responsibility to fuck someone else over.

Nov 21, 2022 - 1:27pm
DaveRamseyBurner, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Two things that helped me when I started:

  1. Have a person-to-person call. Just be real and start with "Look this is not going to the staffer and not going on any sort of formal feedback report. We're a team, and we have a mutual interest in you doing a great job.

Lately, I feel I haven't been able to properly guide you such that you know exactly what to do and how to do it. You're smart; otherwise you wouldn't be here. So, I know that if something comes back to me and it's way different than I envisioned, it could be that the instructions weren't very clear. How can we do better?"

  1. Then, send your instructions / comments as a numbered list via email. Tell them to not send back the deliverable until all points have been fully struck out. If they have a question about any of the instructions, have them reply to the email with a specific point of clarification. "Let's get it right the first time" mentality.

***make sure to set a deadline and say "if you aren't going to make this deadline, call me an hour before the deadline, and I can see what's jamming you up."

If all this doesn't help, you have bulletproof evidence that they just suck lol.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 23, 2022 - 7:42am

This is all good points. 
 

for the deadlines though.. it is at the point where I have situations like I ask "can you do this in the next 30mn?" She says yes, and when I check in 2h later she hasn't started.. 

Or I ask "how long does it take?" to do something that would take me 20-30mn max and she says "probably 4-5 hours". 
 

So a bit hard to manage deadlines in these conditions..

Nov 23, 2022 - 1:29pm
DaveRamseyBurner, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly you can still use the "I want to be overly helpful" card and be like "Let's just do this live and I can give direct feedback as we go to avoid unnecessary turns of this doc. "

This is sort of a win win bc if they do it reasonably quickly with you watching, you find out they're on some BS throughout the week and are just screwing you.

If they are still super slow you further build your case to ask for additional help, ask for a substitution, etc.

Right now you don't know if it's low effort or low talent, and this could help shed some light.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 26, 2022 - 1:28pm

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  • Intern in ER
Nov 22, 2022 - 11:04am

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 22, 2022 - 8:52pm

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Nov 26, 2022 - 4:36pm
Jamie_Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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