William Blair is paradise

It is spring semester of sophomore year at your Big 10 school from the Midwest.  After 3 semesters of blacking out and wheeling broads, recruitment season has finally arrived.  You look at your resume: 

>3.5 GPA: barely, but check

Finance/Accounting internship from your uncle: check

Brother at [Mid-Tier Frat]: check

Member of [School Mascot] Investment Fund: check

Member of Investment Banking Academy/Workshop: check

Luckily, you've also delegated some of your time to doing the [BB Bank with big alumni presence] bake-off/pitch competition and searching through WallStreetOasis.  As you look through your networking log and start cross-referencing your target banks with interns' rankings you start to see a familiar name pop up.  William Blair, a m̶i̶d̶d̶l̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶  Global Boutique with a very strong culture.  You decide it's time to start making your mark at such a revered firm and begin sending emails with the same template to everyone you know there.  After 10 intro calls and your emails being torn apart in the analyst groupchat, Brennan, AN1 and former treasurer of your fraternity, forwards your resume to HR.  You promptly submit your application through their website and wait to hear back.

A William Blair Analyst is Born

Flash forward to March, you get a 1st round invite with Brennan. The interview consisted mainly of behaviorals that you tied your experience getting hazed to show you can handle stress and one technical - which two financial statements you would choose if you were stranded on a desert island? Brennan gives you a nod of approval remembering the elephant walks he made you do and leaves the Teams meeting.  A week later, while at a mixer with Phi Mu you get an update telling you that you're invited to the superday.  You celebrate by pounding 14 white claws and promptly blacking out.  The next morning you wake up next to a big regret and immediately think she's the same number on a scale out of 10 as the number of transactions worth >$1B that William Blair did in 2022 (5).  "Fuck," you say as you check your phone for your interview time slot.  You realize you now only have a day to prepare for technical questions since you only have the BIWS guide down.  You immediately get to work and spend the whole day learning how to solve a paper LBO and memorizing the rule of 72 for each corresponding MOIC. 

Fast forward to the morning of your superday, you have your blue Macy's suit on and are scouring the William Blair website for any interesting transactions.  You fail to find any so instead you remember all the financials, consideration, and buyer rationale for the only public seller you found.  As the clock approaches 9am, you log into Teams and start the interviews.  After messing up the paper LBO in the interview with a VP, your 3 other interviewers vouch for you claiming that you reminded them of their son (upper middle class, Finance major at Big Ten, white).  Your phone rings - it's the MD "You did a great job so we're extending you and everyone else that interviewed today an offer.  Say hi to Bradley for me too."  

Full Time

After a summer of adding zero value to any deal team and grinding out your intern project (sell-side pitch of an industrial widget manufacturing company), you are placed in the tech group alongside Brennan and receive a return offer along with all the other interns you met.  This raises alarm bells in your head.  "Why is a m̶i̶d̶d̶l̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶  Global Boutique expanding headcount exponentially during times of slowing deal flow and deal value?" you ask Brennan.  "William Blair has a strong culture brah, they really want to invest in juniors that will one day be running the firm and not leaving to a PE shop they did a deal with.  It's also employee-owned brah so they don't cut like Goldman and Morgan Stanley," Brennan said.  You feel reassured and after 2 more semesters of blacking out weekly and telling broads at the Alpha Phi mixer about your summer at William Blair (that they followed up with "Who is William Blair?" every time), you graduate cum laude with a 3.61 GPA and are ready to start full-time.  After a couple of months of doing Wall Street Prep courses, fetching seamless orders for your horizontally challenged MD, and being staffed on a $100M software deal every two weeks,  you suddenly feel a vibe shift.  The market is now dogshit - lenders are too scared to lend to MM tech shops and a recession is looking inevitable now. William Blair just spent the past two years raising base above street and expanding headcount as if they were the next Qatalyst but their culture is very strong and they're employee-owned so they're going to continue to do well in this environment, you think to yourself.

The Cracks Start Appearing

Bonus day comes and you hear Brennan yell "SON OF A BITCH" before punching a hole in the wall like the random ones you found in your frat castle at [IU, UIUC, UMich, UMN, OSU].  You run to Brennan to ask what happened and he shows you his bonus: $15k.  "This is why I'm leaving to Gryphon Investors next month," he tells you.  You look around the office and everyone looks distraught.  At least it's employee-owned, you think to yourself.  You decide to go home at 6pm after a long day of pretending to work and continuing to fetch Seamless orders for your gravitationally challenged MD. 

The next day you arrive and find the office entirely empty aside from your husky MD.  Must be WFH today, you think to yourself.  Your MD comes up to you looking worried and immediately puts you on a live deal.  You finally have work to do so you try to outsource it - you log onto Outlook and send an email to the most hardo analyst you know.  His email bounces.  Strange, you think, I thought he didn't have a PE offer lined up yet.  You decide to try sending it to Jared, the office bitch, but his email bounces too.  You email every single analyst in your group (Caden, Aidan, Braden, Hayden, Jaden, Chad, Brad, Thad, Connor, Tanner, Zach, Drew, and Kyle) but find that all their emails are invalid.  You decide to run to the Starbucks in the lobby and find no one there.  You feel as if you're in I Am Legend until you run to Porter Kitchen & Deck and see all the big-boned MDs feasting.  You breathe a sigh of relief, at least the culture is great. You go back to your desk and find an email notification from Brett Gladmound.  

William Blair's severance package is literal paradise. 

Life is good.

Comments (22)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Honestly when you think about all the lower middle class factory workers with families to support that get fired as a result of their LMM sponsor sell sides to "realize synergies" is there an actual reason to feel bad about Brad from Ohio State losing his job?

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  • Intern in IB - Cov

Respectfully, fuck ppl like you. We all just tryna make a living. A job is just a job. If you think you are working at goldman and not facilitating a merger that will results thousands of ppl losing jobs you are just stupid. It is not necessary to show that you are superior than everyone else, Tanner from Cornell

  • Intern in IB - Cov

I know I'm doing it right when ppl are hating. Keep coming haters

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Eh no not really. I work at a BB that also has the important function of underwriting capital issuances, which helps companies raise the capital they need to grow and create jobs. We'd all be living in mud huts without this. There's also the M&A function but at the end of the day with those larger deals they're usually under much higher public scrutiny than some $10M LTM EBITDA widget manufacturer in Michigan getting bolted onto XYZ shitco that nobody gives a fuck about, so minimizing job losses is a serious consideration. From what I've seen, Blair is a glorified real estate broker whose "key value proposition" is leveraging their MM PE relationships to sell these companies. It's a different business at the end of the day.

On the ivy note, I didn't go to one, but at this point I honestly admire the kid from Columbia who's busting his ass for top-bucket so that he can chip away at his $200k in college debt more than a kid from some Big 10 school that partied his ass off for 4 years and whose dad paid for his $12k/yr in-state tuition and was only interested in this job so that he could impress Maddie in Alpha Phi. But then again, maybe just my select experience.

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Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Cov

I hope to turn this into a meaningful discussion. TBH I was really just fucking with OP. I'm a jaded asf and can't wait to leave as soon I figure something that better suits my interest.

I)ignore the title. I don't work at Blair and im not an intern. I work at another MM firm that mostly focuses on sellside. I don't fully agree that scrutiny on public deals will prevent investment banks from doing unethical or net-negative value-add businesses. For example, Goldman in south east Asia, Credit Suisse taking on the archegos and Citrix garbage. At the end of the day we are just cogs in the machine. As an analyst in our firm, I just help create marketing slides to sell our clients and some other DD bs. My friends at BB may plug and chug more models and prepare administrative materials on top of what I do. The work really doesn't help me decide to live or die. Heck, my compensation is even not directly tied to each project I work on but rather a number of factors that sometimes I have no control upon. I don't think there's a major difference at any other investment bank in that aspect especially at the junior level. Regardless of what you may say, I'm just proud that I put in a lot of work and I am not on food stamps costing taxpayers.

2) My background is not Brad and Chad whose dad owns an insurance firm in their hometown. I can't speak for everyone else, but theres a good chunk of ppl coming from big 10 schools that fit into this mold. I am 2nd gen immigrant. when my family came over here we were dirt poor. My parents were honest hardworking people and they are my role models and when they know my first year base salary was higher than our household income they were proud that I'm not some fat useless idiot. I didn't go to a big 10 school to party. In fact, I barely partied because partying costs money and I didn't have any. Most people in big 10 gunning for IB do not have much industry connections and they need to work hard to break into the industry just like everyone else. Those crowds are much more enjoyable than many others imo. Most of them are not complete hardos or assholes and are not the dumbest frat stars either. The real disgraceful frat/sorority degens will be ecstatic when they get a b- in accounting 1 or an offer from northwestern mutual. And deep down, they are frowned up by most people with ambition and drive in the same school .

And most importantly, it shouldn't be the background or upbringing(target school BB, non target MM) separating people. It is the values and vision that can bring people together. Maybe you and I one day will meet and start the next DoorDash or Uber.

  • Intern in IB-M&A

Lol Tanner is a big 10 name. Its more like Eric Chen or Raj Patel from Cornell

Blithe, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm going to take a guess that you went to UIUC. 

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs

Is the Seamless subscription included in the severance package?

bing chat, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is one of the funniest posts like this - nice lol

Vader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Definitely on the more funny side of the paradise posts - thanks for the laugh

  • Intern in IB - Cov

Do they give banker bags? That's what defines the Paradise.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov

I feel attacked by those first six paragraphs + blue Macy's suit (may or may not still get worn to this day)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov

The last large paragraph about husky mds and not being able to get ahold of deal teams was a work of art

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

The stereotype people have of Blair, BGL, Baird, etc. that all they do is fuck off and broker $50M family owned industrials companies in the midwest is pretty funny to me. They are closing ~$500M M&A deals on a regular basis and people act like they're trading ears of corn behind Arbys. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen


  • Prospect in IB-M&A

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