SF vs NY IB Stint

Aside from having family in the city and disregarding the team and even the bank, why did you choose to recruit for SF vs NY? 

Was there anything about either of the cities that helped outweigh the other? 


Most of the personalities on this site would pick nyc(Including me). I work in tmt and grew up around here. When you remove these two factors, I’m sure most people here are not that big on that new money/ hippie nature shit.


SF is much more beautiful than NYC imo. I like how hilly it is (thought this might be a con for people not used to the terrain) and appreciate being able to use a car. The traffic here is not good by any means but it is vastly preferable to Manhattan and the Lincoln Tunnel where it takes 30+ minutes to drive distances less than a mile during rush hour. SF has a homelessness and drugs problem on the streets and while they aren’t as prevalent in NYC, they are concentrated in important areas like the subway stations and this is significant because most people in NYC use the subway rather than travel by car.

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I lateraled to get into IB. When I applied to the role, the job posting said NYC. When they gave me the offer, they said that was a mistake and it should have said SF. I ended up taking the offer and then living in SF for 2 years.

I hated it at first. I didn't know anyone there, I didn't know fun places to go, I didn't know good areas to live in. The first 6 months I lived in SF I would just work, go to the gym, and walk around the city and go to parks. Was actually really lonely lol.

After a while I eventually started to really like the Bay. I made a decent group of friends. Went up to Napa a lot and went to Tahoe in the winter and then the summer. Would take day trips to Carmel and Monterey. Even went to Hawaii for 5 days. However, living in downtown SF was always tough. Wish I could've lived in Sausalito or something an commuted.

I eventually moved to NYC to get my MBA at Stern. Fell in love with New York so quickly. The culture here is so different and there are so many great people and things to do. The energy is just different. I'm grateful for my time in SF and the Bay but nothing can compare to living in New York. 


As an incoming analyst in SF myself, how did you end up making your closest friends? Were they more from work or mutuals?


Depends what your priorities are. NY has better exit opportunities and more nightlife, while SF has strong TMT groups and better Fentanyl


Basically just being in tech coverage. Obviously there is tech in NY, but in SF it's all tech focused and tends to be centered around the more interesting side of tech. New York teams are often stuck with some of the more legacy side of TMT and in networking / tech enabled services more so than SF teams.

But in terms of lifestyle I really don't think it's that great for young single people unless you are really into the outdoors and want that to be your thing. Personally I've had an okay time here over the past 2-3 years, but I'm still looking to move to NY in the next year or two. I've been to Napa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, etc. and have no real desire to go again. Especially Napa, I have never found that interesting.

The city itself is so small that you end up in the same spots that are really just a couple blocks across over and over. Night life will have you going to the same handful of places repeatedly, and plenty of weekends they won't even fill up.

I think I would have more appreciation for this place if I was in a slightly later stage of my life, but I moved here at 22 and am recently 25.

I would take the job again because it was my entry into IB and I do have a real interest in tech, but a lot of me wonders what it would be like if I had gotten something in NY instead.


It comes down to industry focus, future goals, and lifestyle. If you have desires for entrepreneurship or working at startups, the Bay Area sets you up well for that. Working in tech IB here opens up all sorts of doors. New York’s tech scene is buzzing right now but the center of the innovation economy is the Bay, and that’s not changing anytime soon. There are a lot of reasons for this but fundamentally it comes down to engineering talent density, culture, and network effects. I’ve recruited in both cities, and it’s just way easier to find outstanding, risk tolerant talent in the Bay.


If you like nightlife and want the social life to come to you, then go to NYC.

But SF is really overhated imo, it’s a great city just for a different kind of person. Things are cleaner and less sketch than they used to be, food culture is great, endless outdoor activities, and an absolutely beautiful skyline and surrounding area, you just have to put in more effort to develop that social life for yourself.


Absolutely agree. Started in SF and it was legitimately beautiful, great outdoors access, and I had a lot of fun with my analyst class and college buddies.

Switched over to NYC pretty quickly and have found the nightlife is much better. It’s also much more finance oriented and would argue there is a lot more opportunity in our industry. It really depends on what’s important to you.


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