Any other BB SA in IBD Realize This Is Not For Them? What Are Your Next Steps?

Hey Everyone,
First time poster here, so bear with me and try not to rip me apart too bad. So I am doing a summer internship in IB at a BB, however, I realized IB in particular isn't right for me. I love the work, however, the hours absolutely kill me. Pulling 100+ hour weeks, week after week with no real end in sight is absolutely depressing. I have been diagnosed with panic disorder, and have to take meds regularly as well as see a therapist--however, I have not had a chance to refill my prescription for two weeks, nor see my therapist for the past month (today is 4th of July, the only day I have had off thus far, so went to the Duane Reade first chance I had). I generally like the people and the work, but the hours are more than enough to offset that. That being said, I toyed with the idea of quitting, but now I realize I am more than halfway through so that would be ridiculous, and do more harm than good (no matter what kind of mental destruction this is bringing upon me). I realize that IB is not for me--I would like to receive the FT offer so that I can use it to shop around, however, I am certain I would not accept it, regardless of what bank it is from. That being said, I was hoping to go into corporate banking or something at the asset level (real estate finance, structured finance, wholesale banking, project finance, etc.) I attend a target, with a decent GPA but really strong resume otherwise. Can anyone comment on the quality of life differentials I would incur if I went into a "less prestigious" career path? I realize it will be a pay cut, which is fine since I don't need the money really, but I am looking for better hours, maybe something more quantitatively heavy but still in finance. Any thoughts, tips, advice, or general guidance would be much appreciated. If anyone can comment on which banks to look for that fulfill some of these characteristics, regardless of how big/small, and what my chances are of breaking into the industry are, it would be immensely helpful Although I am currently in NYC, but I would rather be in LA. I am willing to stay here though, if LA is too much of a stretch.

Thanks in advance everyone.

-A

Comments (18)

Jul 4, 2012

If you want to get out, the answer is always to network. Start doing that now if you can (rather than take a 15 minute coffee break with other interns, set aside that time for an informational interview over the phone instead.) Most of all, do get that offer, as it shows that you're at least competent enough for one company to hire you.

As for the lifestyle differences in a different career path, I don't know much about AM but my roommate works in corporate banking for a BB, and his hours were pretty bad (like IBD bad) for a while since his office got short-staffed. With the new analyst class coming in soon, they should normalize but be aware that many corporate banking divisions are quite understaffed, at least, according to my mentor college (also in corporate banking, at a more senior level). Base pay/signing bonus are the same, and I don't anything about bonuses.

Hope this helps (though you should take it with a grain of sand since its all second-hand info at best).

Jul 4, 2012

Well congrats on breaking in! It probably shows you're well-rounded and have a good head on your shoulders. Just to be clear, do you dislike M&A, Restructuring, etc or do you dislike all of banking in general? There are many prestigious careers within the front office such as S&T and Equity Research that don't have terrible hours/people/management, whatever you feel.

I know you probably have your head in the books at this job, but you should definitely explore the rest of the front office, and not cancel out banking as a whole. Getting this internship is gold, and not taking advantage to leverage this opportunity would surely be a mistake on your part. Also, if you feel the work itself is not as meaningful, you should look into Consulting.

Whatever you do, let us know, PM me if you have any questions. BTW I'm pretty set on doing ER (either buy or sell side) so let me know if you'd like the perspective of a rising junior in NYC.

Jul 4, 2012

Sorry to hear your experience is so tough. Would recommend sticking through it and doing the best you can, if only it teaches you that you were able to survive something that tough and thrive, something from which you'll be able to derive confidence and strength in the future. Use your senior year in college to figure out what you really enjoy doing, and then try to figure out how to get there.

Jul 4, 2012

Any job would have less hours. Could you do sales, trading, or Asset Management? There are a decent number of asset managers out in the greater LA area, like TCW, PIMCO, and certain Nuveen subsidiaries, among plenty of others.

Jul 4, 2012

You should absolutely not ever be so busy that you can't get out for an hour to see your therapist or fill a prescription. Just leave for an hour; the work will still be there when you get back. People will assume you have some intern event or, even better, that you're interviewing with another bank. It won't affect your offer, but even if it would, you don't want it anyway.

If you're uncomfortable with that, just tell an analyst and they'll understand.

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.

Jul 4, 2012
drexelalum11:

You should absolutely not ever be so busy that you can't get out for an hour to see your therapist or fill a prescription. Just leave for an hour; the work will still be there when you get back. People will assume you have some intern event or, even better, that you're interviewing with another bank. It won't affect your offer, but even if it would, you don't want it anyway.

If you're uncomfortable with that, just tell an analyst and they'll understand.

This really isn't posible a lot of times. I used to have a staffer who would literally ping you as soon as you were away from your desk for more than 25 minutes. I know, ridiculous.

Jul 4, 2012

I actually like the work--unfortunately I have not been able to get my hands dirty with any M&A, but have done some valuation work, term loans, worked on an IPO project, data analysis (lots of regressions),and lots of pitchbook composition and formatting over the past few weeks. Basically, I would do IB if it was 70% of the hours and 70% of the pay. Does anything really fit that description?

Jul 4, 2012
wittyusername2012:

I actually like the work--unfortunately I have not been able to get my hands dirty with any M&A, but have done some valuation work, term loans, worked on an IPO project, data analysis (lots of regressions),and lots of pitchbook composition and formatting over the past few weeks. Basically, I would do IB if it was 70% of the hours and 70% of the pay. Does anything really fit that description?

Boutique IBD.

Jul 4, 2012

I'm glad this guy didn't get flamed, different strokes for different folks.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

Jul 4, 2012

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

Best Response
Jul 4, 2012
hopesanddreams:

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

Nobody is passionate about banking. Stop kidding yourself.

    • 2
Jul 5, 2012
newfirstyear:
hopesanddreams:

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

Nobody is passionate about banking. Stop kidding yourself.

You are ridiculous--of course I knew that it was going to be 100+ hr weeks, and I, like every other SA during interviews when asked about the hours, nodded my head about how I was willing to devote my entire body and every ounce of time I had to this opportunity--however, until you have felt the pain of not being able to get more than four hours of sleep for four days straight, not being able to talk to your family for weeks on end and learn about what is going on at home, being too tired to take care of yourself or other essential errands, and still be expected to perform error-prone things at an immensely high level, there is no way you can judge whether or not this profession is right for you. Mentally preparing yourself for working 120 hours per week does nothing until you have actually turned pitch books at 4am and scurried home to get as much sleep as possible, only to wake up to ten emails and your BB flashing a red light because you forgot to put a decimal place on the x-axis so that the numbers read x.0. Hopes and dreams, this is what an internship is for, to actually LEARN and see whether or not this position is right for you. I read every single prep book, have lots of friends that are bankers, my dad is in a senior position at a different BB, and while this helped me anticipate what was coming, there was nothing I could do to prepare my body and my mental health for this. If I had not done the internship, I might have blindly gone into the profession, the theory of internships is to try out an actual career without putting too much skin in the game. That is something that is fundamental to understand, especially for those rising juniors who will be going to recruiting this Spring. Many of your peers will be like Hopes and Dreams, misusing internships and saying you are underserving cause you aren't 100% sure if this is what you want to do with your life, but I hope you are strong enough to not let these people effect your work ethic, intellectual intrigue, and ironically, hopes and dreams.

Jul 4, 2012
hopesanddreams:

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

Reading about it on paper and actually experiencing it are two completely different things. Had he never tried the internship, he would have never realized it's not for him. He's not "wasting" an internship spot, he's actually using it quite effectively.

To the OP: network, network, network. Set up coffee meetings with people in the field(s) you're more interested and go from there.

Jul 5, 2012
hopesanddreams:

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

Seriously? A lot of people flame out because they can't fully grasp what 100 hours means, not only socially, but also physically (lack of sleep), until they actually live it. It may sound bearable in an interview, but you can't grasp it until you live it. Give the guy a break, and don't even bring up your garbage in the first paragraph of your answer. Sorry, but a few "precious" spaces mean nothing with respect to the grand scheme of this industry.

Jul 4, 2012
wittyusername2012:

I have not had a chance to refill my prescription for two weeks, nor see my therapist for the past month

Bullshit.

Jul 4, 2012

I hate these posts. Everyone KNOWS IBD is 100+ hours a week and depressing yet people 'waste' spaces on summer internship programmes IMO. Sorry to sound rude about it but if you were genuinely passionate about it you would have known it would be this bad and should have been weeded out during the interview process.

That said - I understand you desire to move onto something else and wish you luck with it!

I've decided over the past few weeks that banking probably isn't the best path for me as well. It still looks kick ass on my resume and the best man won each spot at each bank as far as recruitment is concerned. Passion doesn't pay the bills.

Jul 7, 2012

Fair points. At least the OP is sticking it out. I know people who quit after 2 days.... my post was actually speaking generally rather then targeting the OP only.

Out of interest - for those who did IBD internships and realised its not for them... what did you do after? What did you swap to?

Edit: When a friend of mine posted something about leaving IBD a while back, because he didn't feel it was the right fit, he was gunned down by WSO people and called crazy for leaving IBD etc. So the culture on this thread seems to be quite different! haha

Jul 7, 2012
Comment