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Lots of war stories and blowout closing dinners and such, but man, fondest memories are being in the trenches with my analyst class. Once the school cliques sort of broke down, we just became this ride together grind together group and it just made everything better.

Grinding the late nights, you have someone throw up some tunes on a speaker, that one person who always picks the good shit at restaurants ordering dinner. People to bounce ideas off, vent to when shit hits the fan, share tips and tricks on how to deal with the asshole associate, the clueless VP, the hothead MD. The long hours away from life, friends and family are so isolating, but to know you have that crew and you're going through those pains together just makes it that much easier. 

When someone loses their job or wants a change, people get hooked up. The corp dev / industry guys pull for us remaining bankers when their companies transact, the PE crew gets intros and intel. That's all the practical shit, but really man, the best part is we are all over the world now, but 5 weddings and 3 kids in, there's never not been a no show when we get together.

Oh and there was that time a C-suite bro on the client side pissed himself at a closing dinner and kept going.


I experienced the trenches during my analyst years. The seniors who are taking away WFH are really just lost in the world. When market opens back up many will leave. 


Had a half week in Scottsdale for some client meetings / pitches. Wrapped the week up Wed night, went out with senior bankers on Thursday to a club. Saw my director (absolute hardo) piss hammered, grinding on / getting his ass slapped by an ASU college chick...


That first year with your analyst class before attrition sets in is looked upon very fondly for me.


Breaking in was insanely cathartic coming from a non-target background and not even considering it for years because I didn’t think I had any chance. Day to day it’s just work, but I still hang on to that massive feeling of accomplishment.


Get into a target lol.

In seriousness, perfect grades and networking like crazy will take you farther than you would expect, though there’s zero guarantee all the hard work will pan out in this industry. Lots of other posts on WSO dive into the non target topic so search for those.


It's not my best memory in a traditional sense, but I always come back to it as a prime example of the absurdity of my time in IB.

We were working on a huge pitch.  The special kind of semi-unsolicited, "here is a massive M&A target we have the inside track on, you need to buy them or you're dead" style pitch.  All the big dogs at my firm were involved and every string was being pulled to get this deal in motion.

The deck was near final but before it was presented they wanted to run it by a contact to get a sanity check/stroke an ego.  The contact ended up being a PE legend and current mega fund head.  I was told to prepare the copy that was to be sent to him for comment.  Okay, no problem.  I cleaned up the draft, did the overkill "strictly confidential" watermarking and sent it to the group saying "this should be good to go, let me know who I should send it off to".

I get a call from our MD, he tells me "this guy doesn't do email. VP will call with further instructions".  I speak to the VP who tells me that I need to go into the office (this is peak COVID hysteria mind you), print the deck on the nice paper, and tomorrow morning (saturday) one of our CEO's drivers will pick me up and take me to this person's house to hand deliver it.  I'm then to wait for the person to review and bring the copy back.  

Fast forward to the next morning and I get picked up and taken 90 minutes outside of the city to this unbelievable house.  I walk up to the gate and then eventually up to the door where I ring the doorbell (I'm wearing a suit and tie for some reason).  A woman answers the door, accepts the package, and closes the door.  For 2 hours I'm sat outside on this person's steps, eventually entertaining myself by seeing how close I can land a rock from their pea gravel driveway to the fountain in the center of the drive.

Eventually the woman returns with the package and tells me to have a nice day.  I exit the property, reconnect with the driver, make the trip back into the office, scan the mark-up, and that's that.  I don't even think the pitch ended up getting presented and "this guy doesn't do email" is a status I've been working to achieve ever since.  


Honestly, I really enjoyed my time in the bullpen with the other analysts. That level of camaraderie is nonexistent as a PE aso


I worked in a pretty brutal group. In addition to the long hours that we worked, we had to deal with some really tough senior bankers. Screaming, name calling, insulting, etc. happened almost every day. The worst offender was this one VP. God help you if you ever made a mistake. She would call you out in front of everyone and then spend days embarrassing you.

Anyway...we had one client who was a big golf fan, so of course we did the closing dinner one of the country's most exclusive golf courses. We decided to get pre-dinner drinks at one of the bars in the clubhouse, but this particular bar was men-only. The female VP of course lost it because she had to wait outside while we all had drinks. I don't know what the best part was: the fact that the client was so obtuse to this and insisted on spending an hour on pre-dinner drinks or the fact that when the female VP complained, the server told her that most of the members are billionaires, so no one cares what some random IB VP thinks.


Night after a company wide party, I’m in the office with a new junior analyst. We are both on the same video call. I’m so hungover I have a bucket between my legs because I feel sick. I quickly go off video and projectile vomit like out of the exorcism between my legs. I flip the camera back on and walk through the model with a client, VP, and MD like nothing happened. They can hear the junior analyst laughing in the back on my video call and the MD messages on teams to “GET THE F*CKING junior analyst off the call” The kid was literally crying laughing. We finish the call and the MD immediately calls us both and yells about how “the job isn’t a joke and that was unprofessional and what the hell happened?” I interject immediately and hop on the grenade for the junior analyst and say, “to be honest sir, I let a real heinous fart loose due to last nights festivities—that was my fault. I don’t blame “junior analyst” that one really should have been an HR violation. He laughs and says “I really don’t want to hear about it, just don’t let something like that happen again” 

It was right as I was leaving and not only was the situation funny, but the way I played it off was like an analyst Mr Miyagi teaching the new generation MD jiujitsu.

Being more serious, the job is tough, but in my experience most of what I learned I didn’t realize until I left. Keep that in mind to push through until the learning curve is bad enough you will learn more somewhere else (prob between the 1.5 - 3 year mark)


SA in the same class as me, almost collided with a speeding SUV on his first day as he ran across a 4-way junction just to meet our MD to hand him some piece of paper

He could have just waited for the lights, but didn’t want to keep the MD waiting for another minute


Going on a fucking gnarly bender Circa 2021, getting fired, being terrified and then realizing that the market is so crazy I ultimately failed upwards and found a better PE role anyway. 

Not even kidding, great perspective. Drugs are bad obvi, not tryina make it sound cool. But honestly, you'd think that type of shit would get you blackballed from general society but nope. Moral of the story: the stakes aren't that high as a junior. You don't matter enough to fuck a deal up, worse turn worst you're MD may yell at you and you may get fired but as long as the recruiting market isn't shit it doesn't even matter. So maybe save your benders until the hiring market is back kids, otherwise, don't worry bout the small stuff.  


For me, the most memorable moments, and the ones that make the experience worth it, is definitely the strong bond you build with your peers.

The late night crunches, the day another associate jumps in to take a few slides from you so that you can finish 'early that night' even though he's not on that project but he knows you've been killed for so long, the smoke/drink breaks at 2am and going back to work, the small coffee breaks where you just go for the social part of it, the let's order an espresso martini, bring it to the office and pretend its coffee on a random summer afternoon, the ranting and uniting against that demanding VP that can't get off your back, the covering for a team member when they get in trouble, the gentle pat on the shoulder and an 'I know you can push through' when your world is falling apart, the time your VP actually protected you in front of the client, the first time the client acknowledges your contribution to the project and reaches out to you directly on your work stream, the inside jokes that only juniors get, becoming 'the go to person' for a specific topic/skill, the 'let me bring you lunch upstairs you haven't eaten at all today'. It is truly an amazing experience if you are lucky to have a strong junior squad - it shapes your whole time there. Trauma bonding is real.These are the things that I'll miss the most - making it to the other side and all because you have a great wall of support. 


This is so messed up, I'd be the guy tearing his desk apart


It was right after a nice lunch we all came back and then panic set in. I’m looking forward to my karma - I know I violated the code.


It was when I was still an analyst. During very intensive buy-side mandate, as a some random guesture of goodwill, MD decided to allow us to join at his private box (special VIP entrance etc) for the football match. Needless to say - I was cabbing with my associate to the match (took us 40mins or so one way - crazy London). We watched the match, tried to talk to the client in some eloquent way. It was one of the most random array of people as amongst the client that we were doing buy-side with there was MD's close friend trading gold, some luxury real estate realtor. Only after initial 30mins, I realised that amongst all was also the CEO of the client, the Head of Germany of the bank. The match finished at c. 10pm or so, and we cabbed back to the office to make some further tweaks to the model. After model was tweaked, and before leaving to sleep, the associate asked me to create some random intraday target price chart via Bloomberg urgently (you can do through FactSet but we has Bloomberg fanactic). Hit bed at 4am, and then was back in the office at 9am for day as usual. We spent next day putting some many slides explaining how the process should be finalised, and which subs of target move to which subs of acquirer - and then how to adjust any goodwill created in line with accounting principles. Contrast glamour with paper pushing.


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