Note: as of 07 31 18 I will no longer answering q's on this AMA. Thanks for your questions and I hope some of the responses help.
Before I started in the industry I used to (somewhat anxiously) trawl WSO for hints of what life was like in the role, pros/cons, compensation, hours etc... now I am 4+ years into it and a friend (who still uses WSO regularly) reminded me of the service so I decided to throw this out there. Hopefully it might be useful to someone looking to start out.
If you are not familiar with buy side structure or the lingo - I do mostly bottoms-up and occasional top-down analyses... financial model/analysis, management contact, expert/trade contact(s), initiation and pitch to PM(s).
I have friends who are in other large shops, small shops, hedge funds and who do ECM IB... happy to compare and contrast, and attempt to be unbiased!