PLEASE Don't Go Into Banking - From BB Top Bucket Analyst

From a semi-target, did my summer analyst time at a BB in a highly regarded coverage group, and I came back full time. I am now a second year in the group. I dreamed of this job. The deals, the politics, the pressure, all areas in which I knew I could thrive. Moving logos quickly and being responsive are literally the only 2 things you have to be good at to guarantee middle bucket and up. Literally nothing else. What better profession could there be?

Despite all of that, I wouldn't encourage anyone that's even remotely cool to go into the job. You'll be ostracized and you'll struggle (group dependent) because you'll be the only normal person there. It's not the hours. You get used to it. It's not the work getting boring. Frankly, you just get comfortable knowing you can leave in 2 years or you recognize you can become a rockstar associate by just not being a major idiot. 

The major reason not to join banking is the dorks you work with. When I was on the outside, I thought bankers must be slick guys and girls who could sell wings to a bird while running on 1 hour of sleep a week. While this may be the case for some teams (GS consumer retail / MS Oil and Gas), this is not the case for many teams. It's not even close to the case. See, the MDs (and only the good ones) are the former. They're cool, collected, and they came up at a time in the industry when you could swear comfortably in the office and push each other around. The work hard play hard model. 

The juniors that come in now? They're fucking pathetic dorks. Folks who can't hold a conversation and would be repulsed by the "bro" culture that drives the industry. Now, I'm not saying there aren't cool people I work with. My group is about 35 heads all in, and I'd say 60% are just normal folks that are easy to get along with. Good people. Fun to work with. But of this 60%, 80% of them are associate 3 and up.The other 40% of the group are juniors who are insufferable. Think computer science nerd who tried tequila one time and now thinks they're Kurt Cobain or David Lee Roth. The type who consistently begs people to get "fucked up" because it's a way to feel cool. In short, the folks that get into banking now are kids who got picked last at kickball and would make you out to be the devil if you offered them any drug that wasn't a Fred Flinstone gummy. 

This ruins banking because, as these people rise up, they foster a dorky culture that promotes being passive aggressive and backstabbing to avoid confrontational situations. Here's a great example: at our mid year review in January, 3 out of the 7 total 1st years got absolutely destroyed (who all thought they were doing a good job) by the 2nd year analysts and some associates. They were stunned. Why? Because when they made a mistake no one drilled it into them that it was a big fuck up. Instead, it was chalked up as "tiny fix here pls". What this dorky culture also does is hurts mentorship in the group because of social cliques. You won't get along with everyone, and that's fine. But banking shouldn't be gossip groups ripping into each other and pretending it's all cool on the next deal, only to go Machiavellian on one another at reviews. 

If you're like me and you only care about money in life, then do 2 and out. Suck it up for 2 years, try to be nerdy too, and just get out while you can. This job isn't difficult. If you're even remotely smart, you know how to hit deadlines, and you can just be normal, you're 90% of the way home. To make a career out of this isn't difficult. What makes this job impossible is the people. 

This will be controversial, but anyone truly in this job knows that , if you could train a kid who was a farmer from rural Kentucky to be middle bucket, they would be better for the group than any Columbia Econ grad. Fact. Don't agree? That means you're either the kid I'm throwing shit at or you don't work in the industry. 

Why? Because they have no ego and they have real world experience. See, the incoming dorks - top performers or not - have no idea how to foster culture and maintain a breathable atmosphere of shooting the shit. Instead, they bring in an unbearable energy of entitlement and awkwardness that - in large - can crush the spirit of the team. 2nd years who send you an email saying "Hey the market refresh wasn't done on pg.5. Can you redo? Sorry haha thanks!". 

The fucking cringe in the haha says all you need to know. That's a real email I got as a first year. Imagine having to do team drinks with someone like that. 

In conclusion, if you were able to get onto a team of people with real life experience, this job would be amazing. So often it's the people that drive folks out. It's poor management skills that makes you stay up until 2am. It's poor communication and having an EQ of 0 that drives backstabbing. It's the people you work with that define this job. It's just such a shame that for a job that is actually pretty easy and fun to do, all of these incoming losers dampen the enjoyment.  

EDIT: Seems like many agree. Nothing to do with politics or saying anything with no consequences. I'm just talking about having true work friends and not people you talk with where you have to strategically think about what you're saying because you know it's getting passed on to other circles. This is at an analyst level. The true camaraderie is gone. Now, it's just a "Last of Us" game of chess to be overly nice and inauthentic because people don't know how to make professional friends with their boundaries. It's a culture conundrum of people who don't know how to make friends that are bent on trying to be overly cool and nice, not knowing they are sabotaging the culture by being so far from a normal person. 


Come join my middle market in the Midwest bro, it’s chill out here and we’re hiring analysts

this. incoming sa and i could even tell the culture difference between my chicago vs ny interviews

OP here - it truly cemented my realization that this job must have been epic back in the day. Sucks now because of these weirdos. 

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that's what going to an ivy is like too man…its just the way the world is now. it's cuz of all the lib diversity/ESG/political correctness. All the ivies have slowly shifted to being comprised of kids who had no friends and were weirdos (and accordingly adopted the victim mentality and became SJWs), then those ppl all get together and think they're sick, slowly penetrate the IB world, and lead to this garbage at places that used to be known for being fratty and cool (eg MS).

ik i heard it as i was typing but think a lot of ppl would agree w the thing abt the ivies. talked to a lot of the legacy parents and they said it was nothing like they remember culturally

This is facts. Back in my (recent) admissions cycle I knew people who had it all, captain of the rowing team, 4.0, nonprofit work, good reasons for getting into an ivy, yet they still had to go to a state school because they were a white/asian non-legacy male. Many examples like this with diversity taking their spots and infiltrating the traditional ivy league culture.

Really? You sat on the admissions committees and watched all their apps get rejected? Lets be honest, even with affirmative action there is no shortage of rowing captain/4.0/nonprofit white/asian non-legacy males at the ivy leagues. Just look at the rowing team at any ivy lol. Your friends just weren't good enough, and that's ok.

the fact that you maintain your free will, masculinity, and are able to say what you actually think come to mind


What does that even mean? This is a corporate job, not a recreational club. You come in to do a job and go home, not play games and act a fool. 

It really is not difficult to be civil and normal when at work. Do you have to talk about politics and whatever all the time? Maybe that says more about your lack of awareness and self-control than banks being all wokey-pokey or whatever.

"Masculinity" - I guess women shouldn't be in banking then. What a stupid comment. 

It's not that banks are an epicentre of "woke SJW" or whatever other 2016 buzzwords from loser YouTube videos you like to use, it's the fact that they are professional corporate environments where you're supposed to act in a professional manner, and chatting shit and being overtly political and making unsavoury jokes (racist, sexist, homophobic etc., which is probably what you mean by "able to say what you actually think") are not appropriate within such a climate.

Before you give me MS and call me a "libtard", you should check yourself. I am pretty socially conservative, but there difference between you and me is that I am not an idiot. I actually have EQ and know where it's appropriate to talk about certain topics and where it is not. Ok, my bank has a lot of initiatives that I think are reductive, but I don't care, because it doesn't affect me, because I don't go to work expecting it to be a forum of political debate. I go to work to do my job, get paid, and go home.

He’s not saying that he wishes he could play beer pong in the office lol he’s just saying that people have become spineless and so worried about not being offensive that they don’t actually tell you what you need to here. If you screw up, you should know you screwed up rather than having people gossip about you and find out when you have your performance review.

It’s like this: if I’m being a little bitch and let my gf walk all over me then a good friend would tell me I’m being a little bitch. I wouldn’t get offended by my friend because I know he just wants to see me be the player I’m meant to be.

People need to be told when there being an idiot, have a bit of confrontation, and then get tf over it and start performing again. And it goes both ways. Anyone in a successful relationship/friendship knows that this is how it’s supposed to be.

It really is not hard to not "screw up" when working in a bank... That person complains about people having zero EQ, but how much EQ does he have if he's going around wanting to make stupid political/"edgy" (racist) jokes all the time? 

You will not be fired from a bank for sometimes "screwing up" something minor. You will get in trouble if you go around making wantonly controversial statements that shouldn't be in the workplace. Nobody cares about your political views, keep them at home! This obviously goes for both sides. 

I really don't understand what you people think goes on in banks, but it's not some sort of witchhunt against anyone who doesn't have their pronouns in their email signature or something...

And once again, before the MS patrol come out, I am not a mega liberal whatsit. I just think that you people who complain so loudly about all of this stuff are as annoying and silly as the people who push for reductive trait based diversity schemes and whatever. 

It's not about "bro" culture. You miss the point. "Bros" are easy to talk to because they aren't hiding an 18-wheeler full of emotional baggage every time they talk to you. They give it to you how it is. If things are awkward, they say it. If they have a problem, you'll know. The people OP is referring to can't communicate properly, thereby hijacking the culture because no one knows what people are really thinking. The "bro" culture of the past worked because it was honest communication that facilitated an environment of authenticity and trust. Honor among thieves, if you will. Now, it's nothing like that. The thieves are out for one another for no other reason than they can't identify themselves as not belonging and not blending with the bigger picture. 

Some groups need to fix their culture, and this is based on the types of juniors you hire. The people who do well are not the ones backstabbing others because they think somehow this puts them ahead.

We recently had to cut an analyst in our group because he was being over competitive on projects and created unnecessary toxicity within our group, and our MDs caught on (we’re a small group). In reality, this analyst might’ve had the chance to do well on our team, but we don’t like people with personalities like OP described. 

I feel like it's been happening for long enough now that it's dangerous. Associate 2 and 3s who have real in put on analysts but would rather gossip about how we fucked up a backup than confront us and help us through it. Not to say associates out there aren't super helpful (there are some ones I would go to war for) but the ones that are plain toxic are nothing but a product of having no social skills in college and weaseling their way in. 

Lol we had an analyst on our team who would give feedback to our vps and directors… sometimes it’s more about social skills than ability but this guy was defo lacking in both

as much as I agree with this, I also see way too many people trying to be "fratty" that come off as fake. Or you see the guy that has to say fag every 3rd sentence to show how cool they are. Shut the fuck up and just be yourself

also the idea that frat guys keep it 100 with you... maybe. There's so much drama in fraternities (mainly underclassmen) its hard to say

People need to learn to establish their own independent thoughts, ideas and personalities rather than just sway in the direction that the wind blows. It should also be taught and encouraged for people to be open with communicating directly with others, rather than tearing others down behind their backs. 

Based take. Unfortunately, these people have infiltrated the ranks and now occupy VP - ASO positions and it is unbearably difficult to work with them because they are freaks of nature no one wants to get close to. MDs are cool and will say what they think to you, these VPs and SVPs will cover up your bs in front of you without providing the right mentorship and guidance in order for you to understand truly how much they use this to evaluate you as a performer (which, in my personal opinion is bullshit since people spend too much time emphasizing responsiveness and eye for attention, but mostly are brain fucking dead and can't create a thought of their own without rewording commentary used in previous decks or some bullshit research report).

Get out when you can folks, and if you are looking to join soon, i'd think twice. IB is nothing more than a shoe shiner going door to door begging someone to have their shoes spit-shined.

Yup, know plenty of analysts who fit this grouping and I’m sure they’ll evolve into more miserable and insufferable versions of their current selves regardless if they can remain in the industry or not 

What can one do? I know someone  pushed out of a dream job for an innocuous joke a backstabbing coworker thought was too edgy.. It’s even worse than the insufferable kids are the ones who learned a BIT of social skills - the emotionally stunted “Dorks in Bros clothing”. They’ll banter with you until it gets a little authentic. And you don’t know what you said wrong (after your guard is sufficiently down). 

what does one do? Interact with them and you become like them, or you stay yourself and fall into their web. Avoid them and they’ll probably take offense too. To be a little c constructive I think a path is (1) smile and nod along (2) eject - you have work to do but would love to grab coffee sometime 

This guy literally ripped the manlet dorks a new asshole and I’m here for it.

Remember that quiet, weird kid at the back of the class in high school, who everyone thought might shoot up the school some day? Yep, that kid is now your deskmate in IB. He's ALL OF your deskmates. This is good enough reason to steer cleer of the industry or at least jump ship after you've done your time.

BB IB was miserable for this reason. I'm now in MM PE in the Midwest and couldn't be happier.

Btw, the majority of this community is implicated.

If you are a junior IB Analyst/Associate then it's very likely that this thread is targeted at YOU.

YOU are part of the problem and should feel ashamed of your personality and existence.

OP here - thanks for summing up my speech here. Spot on. 

Holy shit OP, what kind of group has analyst 2s reviewing analyst 1s? Agree though, the job itself should be easy. Oftentimes you’ll hear that it’s the politics, bad mouthing and backstabbing amongst teammates that makes the job unbearable on top of the brutal hours. 

On top of that you have layoffs left and right, and every analyst is sitting nervously in their chairs constantly on edge, deprived of sleep, hoping not to be next person to go, eager to throw fellow comrades under to try and stay afloat. A depressing environment if you let it become one. 

Fully agree with your view and noticed what you described myself. Other perspective on the issue regarding communication issues and backstabbing culture: Banks became very political over the last decade due to many factors including diversity, wokeness movement and cultural changes since the GFC. You cannot yell at your analyst anymore if they do mistakes like some used to do in the old days, this will get you in serious trouble today if done on a regular. Instead, people cover it up and unload their hate and dissatisfaction during the review phase. This kind of behavior is unproductive and one of the reasons why many think that the new analyst classes are getting worse and worse. Juniors think they do a great job until they find out during review phase when it is too late and ultimately quit. Honestly, I would prefer my VP yelling at me if I fuck up instead of this bs fake culture which is not helping anyone.

Bring back yelling. Because with it, will come respect and camaraderie built on the backbones of stronger analysts and teams. 

Bring back honest feedback culture with clear guidance and critique so no one needs to play politics and everyone knows where they stand performance-wise. Many juniors nowadays are whiney and cannot take critique without escalating it to HR or senior leadership hence everyone is trying to play it safe.

Bring back yelling. Because with it, will come respect and camaraderie built on the backbones of stronger analysts and teams. 

Sigh. I just wish my MD would yell at me again like he used to in the good ol’ days of 2021. 

Agree with a lot of the comments here. Culture definitely varies by group even within a given firm. I had switched groups internally after my first year, and the difference in the environment was day and night. 
To the new analysts starting the job: Be a good teammate to your peers, you’re all in the trenches together. 

Ehh this is definitely not every bank / group but the ones people strive for here seem to fit the bill. I see a lot of people here who are hell bent on the known hardo groups and then wonder why everyone is a hardo. Some of the firms people scoff at here will have better culture than the coveted ones. 

Edit: MS O&G in Houston? If you consider that a “slic” group of people then I have to question your judgement. Have had two of them move to my group and we’re both noticeably bad and didn’t get along with non hardos.

Absolutely agree with the post, but would say it is group dependent. Shared a floor with another IB group and the team was day and night compared to ours. There was 0 camaraderie on my small team (not a single team building event/drinks/dinner the 2yrs I was there) while other teams would shoot the shit, travel together out of state and be friends outside of the office. Other teams were lax with RTO while our's was mandatory in office.

It seriously has to be told to associates that it is super unproductive to complain about an analyst yet never give them feedback even when they repeatedly ask. You can resolve so many issues by having clear, honest, empathetic and open communication. 


Yeah finance is filled with nerds, just how it is. Study hard, get into a good school, sacrifice social life and get a high paying job with other nerds. 

This is honestly super surprising to hear. I always thought the people that work in IB would be the top of the top of the EQ distribution because of how I thought an FT offer was mostly contingent on having a good personality.

Often senior folk have the highest EQ as the job eventually becomes a sales and client relationship driven business. A good amount of juniors too but many leave for greener pastures

May as well do banking, then - because the environment he describes is the same in every corporate gig.  Because of how PC everything is - there isn't a corporate culture that exists where everyone isn't full on passive aggressive with knives out.  They smile at you and rip you behind your back.   I've had it done to me at jobs that paid WAY less than banking, including the military.    

To really thrive in a corporate hierarichal environment - and not just exist but thrive - you need to be both a political and psychotic animal.  That means kiss and kick the right asses in equal measure.  And when you recruit elite students, they bring their senses of entitlement with them, and that kills any fun.  I hear the same from my friends in Tech, Consulting, BigLaw, etc.  These companies talk a good game but at every step of the way they're measuring you against your "team", so you're in competition from jump. Once the assholes recognize it,  there goes any sense of goodwill.  

Just do these jobs for the paycheck.  They're not supposed to be fun when you serve as a commodity.  


Guys, we all post on a finance forum. We are all nerds. Just accept it. 

No. Everyone in this industry is a dork except for me and the posters in this thread. We are all excluded.

How different could this environment be at any other corporate enterprise? Wouldn't you want to suffer the same environment as everywhere else, with the obvious benefit of making multiples over them? And irrespective of pay: if banking culture is in reality as bad as you describe it, imagine the other red-tape corporate behemoth pencil-pushers that constitute most F500 companies that think ping-pong is the best thing since sliced bread.

Don't you want some degree of energy that really only "high" finance can provide, as an alternative? 

Couldn't agree more. But anyway, I've always found complacency in the thought that their dorkiness and awkwardness made their life outside work miserable or at best uninteresting. More so, I even treated them as if they had some type of disability (they do). So my most sincere condolences for their insufferable existence. Even their social circle can't be envied because their concept of a good time is a domino or puzzle evening.

(If someone decides anytime to start a firm that discriminates against dorks, nerds, and privileged backgrounds, let me know - I'm in).


Couldn't agree more. But anyway, I've always found complacency in the thought that their dorkiness and awkwardness made their life outside work miserable or at best uninteresting. More so, I even treated them as if they had some type of disability (they do). So my most sincere condolences for their insufferable existence. Even their social circle can't be envied because their concept of a good time is a domino or puzzle evening.

(If someone decides anytime to start a firm that discriminates against dorks, nerds, and privileged backgrounds, let me know - I'm in).

Agreed, these people are basically disabled. The only reason they survive is because HR protects them. If it were up to me these dorks would be shown the back of someone's hand, or at the very least deported. They are pollutive to our culture and not worth the space they take up. America deserves better.


We label many things as "mental illness" that don't allow a human being to function biologically how he should (compared to an average human), but we don't label as mentally ill the dorks and awkward (which if we were to be in Ancient times, would directly be deprived of any social or political function - and even marginalized - because they lack sociability and charisma, a foundational and healthy trait of any human being).

So why we don't label them as disabled? Because "scientists" are dorks and awkward to the same degree as those subjects of study, so there's no incentive to label them as such. Truly a mediocre era of history to live in (and worse yet when this mediocrity is enforced by science).

What the FUCK is wrong with America? Remember when it was possible to actually speak your mind and beat someone up / scream at them if you didn't like them? This woke / ESG / diversity mania is destroying our culture. Feels like the only way to actually fix things now is with blood on the streets, since it's impossible to actually speak up and resolve disputes peacefully without the HR hall monitors shoving a cactus up your ass.

weren't you aware that HR is just a job created by the feminist movement to build more jobs for women (and act as a watchdog for the women in the office)? Generally, before HR, any issue or request was directly discussed with your manager and recruitment was done by the manager when he saw it fit; and to my awareness, those companies had some handsome profits and some of them are even among us nowadays (JPM, Rothschild, Goldman, etc.). More so, HR just fulfills the role of political police in a corporation i.e. it ensures that the corporation implements the policies pushed by the Government related to labor rights, women's rights, and diversity policies. Absolutely 0 value from their department. You just pay a bunch of people to act as an intermediary of something that could be solved in mere seconds by screaming to someone in the office and he'll get the idea: I must change my behavior.