Advice Needed - Making Meaningful Connections Post-College / In the Professional World

Since graduating from college and transitioning to full-time work in IB, I've noticed a change in my social interactions. In college, it was easier to find individuals with whom I shared common ground, likely due to the similarity in age and life stage among peers. However, in the diverse, multi-generational environment of a workplace, particularly in a city as varied as New York, these connections seem harder to come by.

I'm curious if others in IB have experienced this shift and how they've navigated it. Is the key to fostering new relationships a matter of investing more effort into conversations, actively seeking out individuals with similar mindsets and values, or perhaps something else entirely?

 

I’m currently struggling with this too. Not from nyc and didn’t go to school here so I don’t know many people outside of work

 
Most Helpful

The first thing to realize is that banking, and in extension the higher echelons of the business world, is a people business. Regardless of age, gender, race, religion, hobbies or choice of pet, we are looking forward to dealing with like-minded individuals who are not only intelligent but also charismatic. You don't have to make the entire room smile when you enter it, but people remember the pleasant conversation they had with you more than the DCF you did a few years back.

When you work in a large city, a large office and are employed by the various multinational employers - everyone around you is expecting a certain attitude. One of the most relevant aspects is to get along with each other. There is only a small chance to have a lot in common with a person who is very different from you. The trick is, you focus on the few things you do have in common instead and make it work.

If you are looking for friends and a social circle - there are gyms, hobby clubs, other sports, cafes, clubs, dancing groups, painting class, ..

 

I don’t see how bankers that work all the time are supposed to do all that, but putting that aside…do you speak from experience or are you just spit balling? Have you ever been to a gym? People throw on their headphones and stare at their phones in between exercises. They show up to clubs, bars, and even hobby events with already established friend groups. It feels impossible to actually make connections at these places and at these events, so whenever I see people recommend stuff like this I just think they’re absolutely not speaking from experience. 

 

If you’re not from the area, do some recreational sports or meet people at the gym or even in your own building, and meet more from there 

 

Pretty early on, I joined a boutique where I was the youngest banker by about 25 years. The same ended up being true in my next job more or less. I pretty much gave up on building meaningful connections at work. I’m thirty now and my opinion hasn’t exactly changed. 

 

Pretty much. In that regard, I just got really unlucky. I changed jobs and I got sent to the middle of nowhere. I went 2 whole years without meeting someone over 18 and under 50 there. But in banking, and a lot of other jobs quite frankly, your job is your life so you don’t exactly get a lot of opportunities to make connections outside of work, least of all nowadays where people are basically disinterested and on guard all the time. I don’t even know if I could’ve built meaningful connections outside of work because I never really got the chance. 

 

mech60 - comment is spot on; make the best of it and forge connections where possible

Not wanting to overstep here if you happen to be a seasoned in sales / have brushed up on sales books etc., but I would say pick up a couple sales books (not to be a 'salesy' person when you try and make connections), they help in overall connection building etc. and help on the professional side as well, and then I would say remember to be a real person, and then bar-hop here and there and hobbies etc. (just like everything already listed above etc.).

 

I moved to NY for work and did not know many people aside from a few guys from my uni that moved here post grad as well. Start with people you know and try to meet others through them if they offer to help you - they'll likely be a similar age and stage in life

 

Think you've answered your own question in the second paragraph. That's what I did and it worked out well. It requires being deliberate, proactive and putting in the effort but is well worth it. Less about "I'm going to build a professional network", and more "I'm going to be proactive about meeting people and maintaining relationships".

It's really like networking for a job, some people will think you have an agenda, some just aren't interested. But there is that sweet spot group of people who understand the value of having these connections that require effort and don't pay immediate dividends. Most of that group for me are just fun people I enjoy catching up and grabbing a beer with. We share intel, refer each other to hiring or business opps etc.

 

Something in between is probably ideal: you can and should put more effort in conversations with people who are not similar to you in the way you are used to, while keeping a closer circle of people that are maybe friends from uni etc. One doesn't exclude the other. By doing this you make sure to have a nice relationship with your colleagues, which is super important, and you might even realize some of them are really worth spending time with. As someone else said, this is even more important than being extra good at your job. 

 

This may sound harsh but I hope you don’t talk to people your own age using the same language you wrote this in lmao. That’d be a bit weird to me if someone talked like this all the time when seeing if I wanna be friends with them

 

Make friends when you’re young when it’s easier and you have more common ground with people around you. It gets more lonely and awkward as you get older 

 

Sint illo quidem porro error placeat aut natus eum. Cum dolores sint repudiandae laborum maxime est. Perspiciatis consequuntur dolorem aut.

Non labore dolorem est omnis dolorem. Nostrum ducimus sit reprehenderit. Aut quasi rem reprehenderit.

Career Advancement Opportunities

March 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Goldman Sachs 19 98.8%
  • Harris Williams & Co. (++) 98.3%
  • Lazard Freres 02 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 04 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

March 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 18 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 11 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
  • William Blair 03 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

March 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 06 97.7%
  • Lincoln International 04 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

March 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (19) $385
  • Associates (81) $263
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (12) $184
  • Intern/Summer Associate (32) $172
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $169
  • 1st Year Analyst (193) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (142) $101
notes
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”

Leaderboard

1
redever's picture
redever
99.2
2
BankonBanking's picture
BankonBanking
99.0
3
Betsy Massar's picture
Betsy Massar
99.0
4
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
99.0
5
GameTheory's picture
GameTheory
98.9
6
kanon's picture
kanon
98.9
7
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
98.9
8
dosk17's picture
dosk17
98.9
9
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.8
10
Linda Abraham's picture
Linda Abraham
98.8
success
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”