Week 1: Training
You arrive through the large glass doors in your suit and tie. You went to that Brooks Brothers outlet store or Macy's store and bought the nicest white shirt you can find. Your shoes are from one of those large department stores. You even have them buffed up the night before. Everyone greets you warmly. You and 80 other first years sit in this large hall. One guy came in with a suit that looked like it belonged to his father's. Laptops are handed out. Packets are handed out. The proctor walks up; probably one of those TTS or AMT guys that your school sponsored in one of those investment banking seminars you attended. You meet some new friends, everyone's excited. For some folks, it's their new job. For some folks, they're just excited to wear a suit. You even spot a few kids snapchatting away. Day goes by, you leave at 5pm.
Week 4: First Week on the Job
Training is over. You passed the Series exams. You and your newfound friends stalk everyone's profile on the FINRA website to see who failed the Series exam and gloat when you recognize it's that annoying kid who always was so loud during training. The Head of Investment Banking gives a short speech, encourages everyone to make X Bank great again. You and your new analyst friends now march to your respective industry/product groups. Everyone is led to their respective cubicles. You meet some senior analysts. One of them has a funny looking tie with dolphins and balloons on it. "Hey Frank, I'm Kyle, nice tie!" you say. " He replies: "Thanks, it's Ferragamo". He must be a foreigner, that's why he chose Frank for short. The staffer meets and greets, walks you guys around the floor.
Two weeks have passed. A long weekend is coming up; you're making plans with your friends to check out Atlantic City. So far you've just been doing profiles and. Life isn't that bad. There's a lot more downtime than you had thought. You're spending the day chatting with your friends in the bull pen and taking long coffee breaks. You meet some of the mid-level and senior-level bankers on the floor, but they're situated on the other side.
Week 7: Friday afternoon
It's 5:00pm on a Friday. Your group brought in some donuts. You're excitedly chatting with your friends and thinking about how your trip to AC will be amazing. Suddenly, you get an email from the Staffer: "Kyle, please assist Josh and Derek on Project Sabre. The client would like to schedule a call Saturday morning". What just happened? There's been NOTHING all week. You walk over to your associate's cubicle. You guys then proceed to the VP's desk. Derek says "Guys, client X just mandated us on a buy-side and we need to prepare valuation materials. They just sent over their operating model, but it needs a lot of work and we need to have this in good shape by tomorrow morning ahead of the call." "Will do," you both respond. You are the only analyst working that weekend. "FML" you say.
It's been 4 weeks of plans being cancelled. Your MD has a habit of being MIA throughout the day and responding at 10pm with comments. Your VP then proceeds to be MIA and responds with comments around 1am, saying "how are we doing? we need to have this ready tonight. what's the progress?" Your associate will say "Kyle, where are we right now?"
Buyside transaction for Project Sabre dies. You guys bid too low and later found out the target's CEO disliked your client's CEO. It is what it is. You've been mandated on a few capital raises here and there. WGL, Comps, Industry pages, you name it. At least the Seamless money of $25/day is something to look forward to. On weekends, you and the analysts would combine your Seamless money and order something nice. Somehow, your week is always light during the day and always picks up at night or on Fridays.
5 months in. You realize people gossip like hell. By now, you know what everyone and their dog is doing, who's slept with whom, who's the village idiot and who people cannot work for. You realize there's always that one associate or VP you hate working for, there's always that one guy who's sending you nasty emails throughout the day. You slowly lose your friends who work in corporate and you somehow find most of your friends to be bankers, lawyers or consultants.
The Macy's attire is out. The striped ties are out. You and everyone else in Wall St are wearing the banker uniform. You're wearing the Ferragamo ties with the little sailboats, the Ferragamo / Allen Edmonds shoes and the Hugo Boss suits. You started buying your shirts from Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt. Clubbing after 80 hours a week is hard, but FOMO and YOLO right? It's been more than half a year. You've started to see some grey hair. You've gained a few pounds and have become jaded with life. You are jealous when you see your friends posting snapchats of themselves in the park or having fun and live vicariously through social media. Your Uber driver arrives 2 minutes late; you get super frustrated because time is precious and you work in an environment where you're constantly asked to be prompt. "What do you do?" the Uber driver asks. You look at him, figure he'll think you work as a teller and think "I'm an investment banker, b*tch." Instead, you simply reply: "Finance", and put on your earphones.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #10 (based on # of silver bananas)