2nd Year MM IB Analyst - AMA

ValueBanker14's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,439

While I've kept up with some of the content on this site for the past year and a half, it's been a while since I've posted anything. I'm currently a second year analyst at a reputable MM IB.

I can field any questions regarding networking, analyst/intern interviews, MM IB experience, deal processes and my own experience/story. Feel free to send me a PM if that works better.

Comments (53)

Jan 11, 2016

Hi Value Banker. Thank you for doing this. Since you are at a reputable MM, I will assume we are discussing HW/JEF/HLHZ. How many analysts from your class last year went to a Megafund? Also, how well have you seen analysts ultimately place into M7 MBA programs after a 2+2 (presumably MM IBD > MM PE). Thanks!

    • 1
Jan 11, 2016

Sent you a PM. Not many of my peers went to MF PE. Maybe it's just characteristic of my bank or my analyst class but a lot of them are looking for MM PE work or moving on. Not many people I know well seem interested in the MF PE experience. But perhaps that's not representative of all of MM IB.

In regards to your other question, I know several people that made the transition to a M7 MBA program. One point to note is that quite a few of my peers are debating the value-add of an MBA. Especially if they are able to progress internally at smaller MM PE firms. Not a hard-and-fast rule but I've just heard more rumblings around the feasibility and necessity of an MBA recently.

    • 1
Jan 11, 2016

Yeah at my MM very few people are considering MF PE as well.

Jan 11, 2016

How can you stand out during interviews at a MM? Is there any specific research candidates should do about the middle market? If so, what resources do you recommend for such research?

Jan 11, 2016

If you haven't already, talking to someone at the bank helps tremendously because you actually get a feel for the culture and the type of work they do. I'd say basic technicals are a good "check-in-the-box" and then from there on, it's about knowing how to portray your story and experiences. I've always tried to encourage people to be genuine (within reason) and show your enthusiasm for the job. Almost anyone can do this job so once you've met the base qualifications, it comes down to your attitude, work ethic and whether the people in the group/bank you're interviewing for will enjoy working closely with you for long stretches of time.

    • 2
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jan 11, 2016
ValueBanker14:

If you haven't already, talking to someone at the bank helps tremendously because you actually get a feel for the culture and the type of work they do. I'd say basic technicals are a good "check-in-the-box" and then from there on, it's about knowing how to portray your story and experiences. I've always tried to encourage people to be genuine (within reason) and show your enthusiasm for the job. Almost anyone can do this job so once you've met the base qualifications, it comes down to your attitude, work ethic and whether the people in the group/bank you're interviewing for will enjoy working closely with you for long stretches of time.

This single post should replace everything on this entire site regarding interviewing.

Jan 11, 2016

Thanks for doing this Valuebanker. I'm joining a well known MM IB myself this summer as an Analyst so my questions are more so about after the Analyst programme.

1) Any idea yet what you plan to do after?
2) Do many Analysts lateral to BB / EBs?
3) Those who leave banking, are they mostly exiting to MM PE? Any other popular routes?

Jan 11, 2016
  1. I'm planning on going through the PE recruiting cycle but am open to an Associate position (if it opens up for my group)
  2. Not from my bank. People are generally very happy here and we have quite a few senior analysts/associates who have been at the bank for a while
  3. I know people who've exited to all sorts of different paths but VC/MM PE is generally the favored route.
    • 1
Jan 11, 2016
ValueBanker14:

<

p>Sent you a PM. Not many of my peers went to MF PE. Maybe it's just characteristic of my bank or my analyst class but a lot of them are looking for MM PE work or moving on. Not many people I know well seem interested in the MF PE experience.

NuclearPenguins:

Yeah at my MM very few people are considering MF PE as well.

Is this down to people preferring the lifestyle that comes with MM PE or that they feel they wont be competitive for MF PE if you don't mind me asking?

Jan 11, 2016

What was your general recruiting process like? What banks did you consider?

Jan 11, 2016

My recruiting process was rather unstructured. I don't have the link on me right now but I posted my story a while back here that'd give you some good color on the questions you're asking. Let me know if you have any follow-ups, happy to answer those.

    • 1
Jan 11, 2016

Thanks for doing this-- can you take us through what your lifestyle is like and what plans you have going forward (staying long-term, exits, etc)?

Jan 11, 2016

My lifestyle, in general, is good. I came in with the expectation of working 100 - 120 hours (which were fulfilled in my first year). In my second year (and with a fuller team), I work fewer hours and usually come in on a Sunday to catch up on administrative items/prepare ahead for the week. I generally get Saturday off unless it's a fire drill on a live deal.

I plan on participating in the PE recruiting cycle and hopefully, that works out. It's still early in that process, so it's hard to say.

    • 1
Jan 11, 2016

Thanks for doing this. What can I do to be a better first year analyst?

Best Response
Jan 11, 2016

Below are a few tips (based on my experience and some of the other great posts on this site):

  1. Be the first one in the office. If your MD/VP/Associate need anything, you should be able to help them out.
  2. Double-check your work. And then check it again. And then check it again when you print it. Always print out all your work that's going to a superior or the client - errors stick out on paper.
  3. Try to stay abreast with industry news or news applicable to your group. It might seem hazy at first but in time, you'll start making connections and get a better feel for the competitive landscape and industry trends.
  4. Have a great attitude. You're going to get slammed and you're going to work long hours but do it without complaining or making it seem like an insurmountable task.
  5. Talk to your senior analysts for best practices and implement them from Day 1. Over time, these will pay off.
  6. Take a step back from your work from time to time and try and understand why you're doing what you're doing. Look at it from an investor's perspective. Why is this important? It might be tough to do that when you're knee deep in work at 3 am in the morning for the fourth day in a row but those extra 10 - 15 minutes a day will make a world of difference as you move on. This is another way of saying "Take ownership of your work and pretend as though you have to present it to a client"
  7. Ask questions (after thinking them through) initially. No one expects you to know everything as a first year. The last thing they want is for you to just spin your wheels.
  8. Remember that there are tons of people on this site and otherwise who would switch spots with you in a heartbeat. This helped drive me during some of those 100 - 120 hour weeks.
    • 4
Jan 11, 2016

Thanks for doing this, ValueBanker. I'm a first year MBA student, currently interviewing for summer associate positions. Can you speak(as much as you can) to your perception of associate satisfaction at your firm and your opinion of the associates/VP's that you've worked with?

Jan 11, 2016

For the most part, people are very satisfied. Most of the associates/VPs I've worked are exceedingly knowledgeable, nice and hardworking. They're also cognizant of the analyst life since some of them worked at the bank as analysts themselves. This helps tremendously since they know how to set realistic timelines and deadlines and it eliminates a lot of the painful office politics. Did that help?

Jan 11, 2016

What % of analysts at your firm a) stay for a third year, b) move on to PE, c) other?

Did you ever consider lateraling to a BB or EB? Is it common from your firm?

Were you involved with interviews for intern/fulltime analysts? What were the biggest things you looked for on a resume?

Jan 11, 2016
  1. Most analysts stay a third year after which they move on to PE. (want to say 70%+)
  2. No I did not and I don't believe it to be common for my firm for some of the reasons I outlined earlier.
  3. I was involved for interviews for our summer interns. I look for people who are articulate, are able to reflect upon their experiences, have a desire to work hard and are genuinely interested to do banking and learn more (you'd be surprised how easy it is to see when a person is just going through the motions in an interview).
Jan 12, 2016

Thanks for the AMA, great to hear from guys in the MM space.

Do you know of anyone in your firm (or other similar firms) coming from an Masters in Finance or similar degree background? I'm in the process of applying and while placement stats are nice, it's always better to hear from the inside.

Jan 12, 2016

Yep. I, myself, got admitted into a MSF program and was planning on attending prior to getting my offer at my MM. I know several people at my bank with MSFs, prior experience in big 4, etc. PM me if you'd like to know which MSFs. Happy to share that information if it helps you make a choice.

Jan 12, 2016

Should also mention that I'm happy to talk more about GMAT prep as well.

Jan 12, 2016

Whats your favourite Nelly song

    • 1
Jan 12, 2016

Heart of a Champion

    • 1
Jan 12, 2016

Thanks for doing this. Is your bank also starting to implement the 2 yrs analyst --> associate track?

Jan 12, 2016

Not particularly. We're still a 3 year program for analysts.

Jan 12, 2016

Really appreciate you doing this. I have 2 questions.

  1. Currently a junior and have already accepted a S&T offer for a top tier BB, as well as interned in a supporting role last summer for a different top tier BB. I plan to go through full time recruiting next summer for banking and was wondering how many spots are available at MM IB? I've been hearing that banks basically fill all their analyst's class with their interns and the only spots available are the ones that interns haven't accepted.
  2. How serious of a candidate would I be without any banking experience? I plan to network, build my technical knowledge, learn a bit of modeling, etc. Based on what I heard, it is quite rare to get a interview for full-time roles withing any banking experience.
Jan 12, 2016

ValueBanker14, thank you so much for sharing your tips and experience.

My question is on networking: After you have met a VP or above and you have built initial relationship, exchanged contacts etc. how do you make sure you stay in touch without coming across as arrogant or overly keen?

Jan 12, 2016

It's honestly hard to do this. The ideal situation is where you meet someone at that level who, during the conversation, mentions something about updating them on your progress with your search. Then, every 1-2 months, you can drop them a note on your progress.

Honestly, it's a tricky tactic. I prefer networking with associates and below because there's more of a friendly feel to it. I keep anything VP or above strictly business-like unless i have a personal relationship. Does that help?

Jan 12, 2016

Thanks for doing this bro, here are a couple of questions about interviewing at ib (both for ft and internship)
1) which is the most important question you think can ruin an interview and why.
2) how can i prepare myself better to interview (engineering undergrad here), about the technical questions from the area? could you recommend 1 book that has those subjects?

Jan 12, 2016

1) Tell me about yourself - you're going to get this question in every interview in some form and you'd be shocked how many people don't have a coherent, concise and thoughtful response to this. This is usually your chance to make a good first impression and it's directly in your control, so it's important to set the right tone right away

2) WSO guides are great. As is the Rosenbaum book.

    • 1
Jan 13, 2016

Nice post. It was a great read and hopefully it helps more people on WSO break into the industry. Always happy to help smart and dedicated individuals on this site.

    • 2
Jan 13, 2016

Thanks man.

Jan 13, 2016

You mentioned that you are open to being promoted to associate. Have you mentioned this to your senior bankers yet? I want to stick around, but am not 100% sure how to go about it.

Jan 13, 2016

Yes, I have. I told them that I'd be open to staying further but would need to know what the structure would be within the group. I've always been honest with them so it wasn't too difficult for me to bring it up. I also told them I'd be interviewing other places but would complete my analyst program before leaving and that if I am fortunate enough to get an offer someplace, I'd come talk to them prior to accepting (to see if there is any visibility into the possibility of staying on as an associate).

    • 1
Jan 13, 2016

Sent you a pm

Jan 13, 2016

How do you think one should go about cold emailing analysts / associates / vps and maybe MD's especially when someone

A) Didn't go to a target school
B) Didn't major in Finance
C) Graduated 7 months ago

Also Rosenbaum book is great. Someone recommended it to me and after a week of reading it thus far and half way done with it I am in love with that. Especially with how detailed the explanations are.

Jan 14, 2016

The first two aren't necessarily an issue. I had the same background. Did you have any internships? What are you currently doing?

Jan 14, 2016

I worked full time on a contract basis as a Project Manager Analyst throughout most of my college career. Currently working for a consulting firm doing Regulatory Reporting for basically most of the Tier 1 Banks.

Jan 14, 2016

Responded. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Jan 15, 2016

Hi Valuebanker14,
Thank you for the Q&A! My question is on GMAT. How did you manage your time? Is it also possible to study GMAT in your downtime?
Thanks!

Jan 16, 2016

I took the GMAT prior to joining banking but in a very time-crunched situation. I was getting on the phone with as many people as I could, training for the final season of my college tennis career and also trying to get better versed with technical questions for ib interviews. It's definitely possible to do it. My advice would be to take a practice test, determine where your weaknesses lie, work on those first and then get to everything else.

As with any of these tests, it needs to be a habit. Breaking it up into smaller pieces of studying should help greatly. Let me know if you have any specific questions on the prep as well.

Jan 15, 2016

Thanks for doing this.
Was wondering if you see any MDs in your MM bank that were organically grown from analyst/associate level, or do they mostly join with some prior experience in a BB. If not, do you think this will change with time?

Jan 16, 2016

I actually know a few MDs who've come up from being analysts in the bank. I know one who started as an intern here and is now a MD. It's certainly possible and I think, depending on your firm, it's something that a few people are beginning to explore. I'm not sure if this will ever change because I think it's human nature to want to go out and explore other opportunities and it seems as though people are staying at companies for shorter and shorter stints. Just my opinion though.

Jan 15, 2016
Comment
Jan 30, 2016