Sub-par Analyst Experience: Too High of Expectations or is this an Outlier?

I'm an An1 at an EB that is (like others) touted as offering analysts a great experience, responsibility, lean teams, etc. My group is not #1 in the bank but is certainly one of the more desirable groups.

As I sit here, 7-8 months in, only a few of the projects/deals that I've worked on actually fit the job description marketed to me. On these projects, I grew leaps and bounds, was given tons of responsibility, held pen on complex models, etc. Unfortunately though, the majority of my work has been on decks that went to clients never to be heard from again, several decks about trends and industry landscapes that have never been used (to my knowledge), and projects where my MDs literally say point-blank that they don't want to be working on them, but they just want to keep the relationships alive. 

I am getting really frustrated about this lack of meaningful work. I haven't even done an LBO on the job yet. Literally maybe 10% of my total hours since August have been on projects I "liked" due to being great learning opportunities. Am I having an outlier experience here or is IB really this dull?? Like I said, I'm at a great bank in a respected group. Before anyone asks, my mid-year review was very positive and I think I am viewed positively in the group. Yes I'm trying to learn from the more boring work, but I am only willing to work on it for so long. The last month or two I've been dreaming of leaving post-bonus, but I'm nervous I won't have any of the skills I'm expected to have, due to my experience so far, making me feel trapped. Is my experience normal? What should I do in this situation?

Comments (9)

May 2, 2022 - 9:17pm
mal381, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Currently in the same boat. I'm going to get my bonus in a few months and dip to another bank hopefully. Not getting the IB experience I desired and I'm hoping I can get it somewhere else. However, I think it's normal for 1st years analysts to work on these bland/brain numbing tasks. It would be great to get someone else's perspective on this though.

Also I wonder if they do this on purpose to make lateraling harder. Idk tho.

May 3, 2022 - 9:29am
Premia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just lateral to a sweaty bulge group

Most Helpful
May 3, 2022 - 9:53am
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Am not trying to be an ass here, I completely sympathize because I used to hate the boring, grindy shit. Coming in Sundays to do a dozen market updates for clients is never fun. But that's literally "paying your dues". Again, not trying to be an ass, I do sympathize but your learning experience and interests are nobody's priority. If you walk out the door tomorrow, how many applications do you think your firm is going to get? It's something I constantly ask myself to for a reality check. Everyone is replaceable.

What were your expectations of coming in? What does meaningful work mean to you? I would argue shit like industry landscapes are super meaningful. If you're in a coverage group, it's actually how you learn the lay of the land and get smart on your industry. There is a lot of learning opportunity in the grindy work if you're not mechanical about it or just going through the motions. People who only zero in on building models miss that. You'll build models for maybe the first 3-4 years of your banking career and never touch them again. 

Now on to what you can do to land the kind of work you want to do. You have to "earn" it, which means putting your soft skills to work. Find the MDs/Directors who bring in the kind of work you want to be on and be their go to. You want to be in a position where the staffer gets told to put you on. Reviews won't get you there, relationships will. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 4, 2022 - 2:04am

This is really helpful, thank you for your response. Sounds like maybe my expectations were too high; I appreciate you addressing this head-on. 
I agree the landscaping is useful at the end of the day; I am just getting tired of doing so much of work like this. Like you said though, that is what is valuable to my team so that's what I get to work on. 
Great point about people not performance reviews - I will take this to heart. 

May 4, 2022 - 9:26am
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Happy to help dude. 

If you really want to maximize your learning, I encourage you to think about the thought process or frameworks behind a lot of pieces of work you do. Obviously part of it is learning how to do the tasks, but the "whys" behind simple things like comps selection, DCFs and value work in general will be quite valuable wherever you go. Ask questions to your associates/VPs, try and get a sense for the big picture idea that sort of thing. All the best.

May 3, 2022 - 12:28pm
Big Banker Brand, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What I've learned in any job is that the "fun" and "engaging" projects are the much more difficult ones. You get paid the same either way


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 4, 2022 - 2:06am

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