Are you an introvert? ...in banking?!

Myself?! Guilty as charged. If anything I graduated from introversion to softcore misanthropy.

So how do introverts succeed in this industry? I'd be very interested in your views on the topic and how you overcame your natural instinct to steer clear of your fellow apes.

In may case, I'm a quant/analyst so facetime is minimal. Sure I have to do the odd presentation and socials every now and then. But it's mostly just me and my laptop.

I ask because I'm reading this pretty good book on how introverts eventually do better than their extrovert counterparts. Interesting stuff, though I dont quite buy it. Dont wanna go advertising but I'll post a link if anyone asks.)

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Comments (86)

Mar 26, 2012 - 4:54am

Interested. I'm an introvert, but I can bullshit and seem like the biggest extrovert. Also, I do become an extrovert (sort of) when I get accustomed to my surroundings.

But I want to hear people's answers on here.

Mar 26, 2012 - 10:53am

Simple solution: Pretend.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
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Mar 27, 2012 - 2:15am
BigTalkinWalker:
Just because you're an introvert now doesn't mean you can't change. I hate how people classify themselves into one group and think they're going to be like that for the rest of their lives. You will grow, age and, mature.

Very very true. I can relate to this because I cope a lot better with collegues now than I ever did fresh out of college.

But the simple fact is that people ARE different. It's important to recognise and be confident in your own personality. eg My ideal weekend involves a good cigar n whisky on my veranda overlooking my small garden & pond. I've never enjoyed the stereotypical hedostic party nights. Loud music, overcrowded clubs, come home smelling like shyt. So I'll socialise with collegues at work etc but everyone knows that my weekends and after-hours are sacred. Sure they all probably think I'm sad. But I cant go through life pretending to enjoy things I clearly dont.

ivoteforthatguy:
it is hard. it is the reason i never even tried to make VP. eventually you need to move into a sales function as MD. very hard to do as an introvert. i've yet to meet an introverted MD.

They exist. Like others say, they're simply expert bullshitters....or introverted extros. Money is a powerful psychologist.
BlackHat:
Simple solution: Pretend.

Like I said, pretending works for a while but sooner or later the bullshit tank is gonna run empty unless you genuinely shift your personality. I also dont know how healthy it is, psychologically, to base your existence on faking your personality. Sounds like a road to sociopathic tendencies to me.
__________
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:11pm

While I'm not an introvert, my sister is and I could see how a FO role would be difficult if you have that type of personality. But, I'm sure there's plenty of introverted bankers/traders out there. As long as you're not some weird social recluse, it's all good.

"Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." - Bud Fox
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:12pm

Introverts in Ibanking (Originally Posted: 08/05/2011)

Have you guys ever met anyone who has an introvert-ish personality that is in i-banking? I think this may be my personality. By introvert I don't mean shy or anti-social, I don't have any trouble talking with people but I just don't out of my way to approach/meet people. This is the biggest problem during networking events because I see a lot of students just getting ready to pounce on the recruiters while I just don't have this mentality.

Also, I'm not that tall, 5'6-5'7, since it is a client-facing job, do banks prefer taller people?

Should I have just majored in engineering instead?

Btw, not a troll.

Mar 26, 2012 - 1:22pm

No one has talked about the hybrid of extroverts and introverts. There are actually four types of personality: introvert, extrovert, extroverted introvert and introverted extrovert. I think some of us belongs to one of the latter twos. I took me a long time to figure this out because I was an introvert by nature but can easily switch to becoming an extrovert. I realize that I am an "extroverted introvert".

Extroverted Introvert: http://www.cvtips.com/career-choice/best-careers-and-skills-for-extrove…
Introverted Extrovert: http://www.cvtips.com/career-choice/best-careers-and-skills-for-introve…

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:19pm

Yeah man sorry you don't meet the 6'9" height cut-off for BB's. Get out while you can

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:25pm
chi312:
I'm left handed. Will I make it into IB?

fuck no. are you serious?

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:26pm
demoz:
Will I at least be considered for smaller boutique firms then? I'm assuming that BB take the tallest bunch (6'9~), MM takes the next (6'0~), and small boutiques get stuck with the rest (1'0-5'7~)?

Hmmm.. idk.. 5'7" is more like bank teller material. Try wearing high heels to your boutique interviews..

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • 1
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:27pm

Fake it till you make it. I'm extremely introverted. When networking, that's not okay so I just got over it and did what I had to do. On the desk, people will definitely complain if you don't go to group events, eat lunch or seamless dinners with coworkers or just want to be by yourself a lot. Most networking events HR sets up are mandatory. As long as you are not anti-social, you should be fine.

I've never noticed, but yea, most senior bankers are pretty tall. I don't think it matters too much on the analyst level. Though you don't see too many super short (5'5'' and under) male analysts...

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:28pm

I believe there are a lot leaders out there (not necessarily in finance) who are introverts. Introvert is NOT somebody who will avoid to go to networking events, parties, have a good time etc etc. More on the lines he will generally not speak too much, would not look to desperate and when he makes relationships, it will be long term.

Also they tend to cut the bullshit type of guys, which is a good quality.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/30/introverts-good-leaders-leadership-man…

Since you know you are an introvert make the best use of your quality.

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:33pm

Quants.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:34pm

Agree with the fake it till you make it comment. Introverts have a way of observing what does and doesn't fly in social interactions - just use what does work in the interviews/networking events and you'll be fine. Do the easy things like remember and repeat names and show genuine interest in what the person on the other end of the table has to say.

Worked for me and I'm a huge introvert/borderline anti-social. Starting out on the desk might be a little rough, but as you spend more time with the people and get used to them things will fall into place and feel a lot more natural.

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:35pm

Yeah when I said it's fine to be an introvert, I didn't mean that you won't have to socialize from time to time, there will still be the duty fuck networking events you have to attend. You'll learn pretty quickly what's important and what you can skip. The bullshit networking events are a lot more fun if you're an alcoholic, so don't try to stay sober, none of the senior bankers do. Also you could do coke, that gets people talking. I'm not joking.

You can be introverted, but you still have to make sure you aren't being rude you know?

Best Response
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:37pm

There seems to be a wild misinterpretation of what "introvert" and "extravert" mean. For example, the question was raised, "how does an introvert even make it through interviewing?" Introverts are just like anyone else--some are shy, some are very charismatic and gregarious, some are great talkers, some great listeners, some brilliant and some moronic. An introvert is simply a person who is energized by alone time and/or quiet time, who can maintain focus for hours while alone. An extravert is someone who is energized by being around lots of people and being out in the crowd; they tend to have difficulty spending hours alone.

As a result, a 20-something introvert will tend to have 300 or less facebook friends while an extravert will tend to have more than 500, but both have an equal number of actual friends--about 10 or less.

I'm what one would call a borderline "extreme" introvert. I can literally spend weeks alone by myself, focusing on certain tasks. But virtually anyone who meets me in person thinks I'm an outgoing, gregarious, charismatic, fun-loving person. Introversion is just one aspect of a person's personality. An introvert is not someone who hates people, who doesn't know how to talk, can't maintain eye contact, and dreads going out. We don't "dread" going to events, but throughout the course of our lives we'd rather watch a movie with a close friend than hangout at the bowling alley with 10 friendly acquaintances.

Array

  • 8
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:38pm
Virginia Tech 4ever:
There seems to be a wild misinterpretation of what "introvert" and "extravert" mean. For example, the question was raised, "how does an introvert even make it through interviewing?" Introverts are just like anyone else--some are shy, some are very charismatic and gregarious, some are great talkers, some great listeners, some brilliant and some moronic. An introvert is simply a person who is energized by alone time and/or quiet time, who can maintain focus for hours while alone. An extravert is someone who is energized by being around lots of people and being out in the crowd; they tend to have difficulty spending hours alone.

As a result, a 20-something introvert will tend to have 300 or less facebook friends while an extravert will tend to have more than 500, but both have an equal number of actual friends--about 10 or less.

I'm what one would call a borderline "extreme" introvert. I can literally spend weeks alone by myself, focusing on certain tasks. But virtually anyone who meets me in person thinks I'm an outgoing, gregarious, charismatic, fun-loving person. Introversion is just one aspect of a person's personality. An introvert is not someone who hates people, who doesn't know how to talk, can't maintain eye contact, and dreads going out. We don't "dread" going to events, but throughout the course of our lives we'd rather watch a movie with a close friend than hangout at the bowling alley with 10 friendly acquaintances.

Well put, SB

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Jul 24, 2012 - 3:39pm
tlynch5:
Virginia Tech 4ever:
There seems to be a wild misinterpretation of what "introvert" and "extravert" mean. For example, the question was raised, "how does an introvert even make it through interviewing?" Introverts are just like anyone else--some are shy, some are very charismatic and gregarious, some are great talkers, some great listeners, some brilliant and some moronic. An introvert is simply a person who is energized by alone time and/or quiet time, who can maintain focus for hours while alone. An extravert is someone who is energized by being around lots of people and being out in the crowd; they tend to have difficulty spending hours alone.

As a result, a 20-something introvert will tend to have 300 or less facebook friends while an extravert will tend to have more than 500, but both have an equal number of actual friends--about 10 or less.

I'm what one would call a borderline "extreme" introvert. I can literally spend weeks alone by myself, focusing on certain tasks. But virtually anyone who meets me in person thinks I'm an outgoing, gregarious, charismatic, fun-loving person. Introversion is just one aspect of a person's personality. An introvert is not someone who hates people, who doesn't know how to talk, can't maintain eye contact, and dreads going out. We don't "dread" going to events, but throughout the course of our lives we'd rather watch a movie with a close friend than hangout at the bowling alley with 10 friendly acquaintances.

Well put, SB

Mar 26, 2012 - 2:28pm

You know, all this simple categorization belies a subtler and more realistic conception of gregarious behavior.
Yes, we can have a few categories such as "introverted", "extroverted", even "introverted extrovert", but it is my intuition that the propensity of a person to engage in social behavior is a composite of underlying factors such as anxiety, loss aversion bias, self-esteem, ability to express oneself verbally, etc.

Another important aspect of this problem to consider is that each individual interaction is determined by the mental composition of each one of the participants. In other words, one cannot absolutely value the gregariousness of an individual without comparison to a peer group.

Additionally, future interactions are influenced by past interactions. So if one finds themselves in an environment where they are conditioned into introversion, such as a school where the average IQ gap between the individual and his/her peers is high or there is a cultural barrier of some sort, they may act less socially in future encounters even if such impediments to socialization were lifted. However, the possibility remains that if they were originally conditioned in a more compatible environment, they would act like an extrovert.

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:41pm

Introverts and the Post-MBA IB Associate Path? (Originally Posted: 07/11/2014)

Hello fellow monkeys,

I am currently in the Siemens Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP). With the end of my third rotation coming to a close soon I have been thinking about moving on to grad school having taken the GMAT earlier this year and my plans forward. Right now I am trying to narrow down options for career plans starting with pursuing the Investment Banking associate route upon completion of grad school.

As the title of this thread may hint, I am somewhat of an introvert. I am not an introvert in the sense that I am anti-social or timid but lacking the initiative to approach people. After a few interactions with a new person I met though I can typically approach them way easier, so it all comes down to a level of comfort for me. Although this may be the case, professionally if the job needs to be done I typically "fake it till I make it" for going out my way to approach people if need be but otherwise it takes some time for me, not that it's impossible for me to do it.

From what I understand when you rise the IB ladder you will get to deal with more and more clients but I don't know how much interaction is necessarily involved especially on the Associate level. With this I was wondering if pursuing the IB Associate route was ok for introverted personality types like me because I figured you can only "fake it till you make it" for so long!

Thanks!

Apr 2, 2012 - 12:58pm

[quote=mtp0101]You know, all this simple categorization belies a subtler and more realistic conception of gregarious behavior.
Yes, we can have a few categories such as "introverted", "extroverted", even "introverted extrovert", but it is my intuition that the propensity of a person to engage in social behavior is a composite of underlying factors such as anxiety, loss aversion bias, self-esteem, ability to express oneself verbally, etc.

Another important aspect of this problem to consider is that each individual interaction is determined by the mental composition of each one of the participants. In other words, one cannot absolutely value the gregariousness of an individual without comparison to a peer group.

Additionally, future interactions are influenced by past interactions. So if one finds themselves in an environment where they are conditioned into introversion, such as a school where the average IQ gap between the individual and his/her peers is high or there is a cultural barrier of some sort, they may act less socially in future encounters even if such impediments to socialization were lifted. However, the possibility remains that if they were originally conditioned in a more compatible environment, they would act like an extrovert.[/quo
Lol, you come across as very intelligent. I agree

Mar 26, 2012 - 3:51pm

Just because you're an introvert now doesn't mean you can't change. I hate how people classify themselves into one group and think they're going to be like that for the rest of their lives. You will grow, age and, mature.

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:43pm

What % of Analysts/associates are anti social? (Originally Posted: 03/19/2008)

Over the past couple of months, I've been reaching out to bankers to get idea of what banking's like. Those that I've met have been great - I'd have no qualms working with them.

That said, I did come across a few anti-social analysts/associates. Not too sure why this surprised me, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. I just found it interesting, and would love to get your thoughts on the range of personalities in your group

Jul 24, 2012 - 3:59pm

Introversion/Extraversion (Originally Posted: 06/29/2010)

I am inclined toward introversion, I still have people skills and can talk well about things I am knowledgable about. However, i was wondering how important it is to be "extroverted" or out going in IBing. Is thier an advantage to being outgoing or is there equal emphasis put on work ethic and desire rather than being able to shoot the shit?

Jul 24, 2012 - 4:02pm

it all comes down to 5/6 interviews, what you are doesn't mean anything, if you can perform there, you are good to go. I normally have a red bull before interviews and it gives a good boost to personality. Once in, you'll find a number of nerdy analysts (not saying you are one) as well

Jul 24, 2012 - 4:03pm
beatallica:
it all comes down to 5/6 interviews, what you are doesn't mean anything, if you can perform there, you are good to go. I normally have a red bull before interviews and it gives a good boost to personality. Once in, you'll find a number of nerdy analysts (not saying you are one) as well

Really? Caffeine has the total opposite effect on me. Puts me in a reticent mood.

Jul 24, 2012 - 4:06pm
AstonMartin:
I actually know a few other people who do that red bull thing for interviews (and exams). One friend says it makes him more extroverted and helps him react faster. Any thoughts on this?

Definitely some validity to that idea. When I drink coffee, I become more extroverted, react quicker in conversation, and am more eloquent in my speech.

Jul 24, 2012 - 4:05pm

I think its important to be outgoing. Obviously getting your work done matters the most, but who is to say you can't be both. There are so many "over achievers" in IB that you will be competing against people who are Excel rockstars and can bullshit with the best of them. Those people will be your competition as you move of the food chain.

It's something you should work on. I don't think there is really a down side to being outgoing but there are certainly benefits, both professionally as well as personally. The more you talk to people, especially, random people who you don't really know, the better you will be able to adapt in future conversations when things might become difficult (interviews, investment presentations, etc).

Ultimately keeping to yourself won't make you a bad analyst, but it could certainly hamper your promotion potential because people really want to work with folks they get along with, especially when they are slaving away with long hours like in IB. Good luck.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
Jul 24, 2012 - 4:08pm

uhhh you guys need to distinguish between extraversion/intraversion and people skills, and cultural fit.

On cultural fit, if everyone in your field is highly cultured and only cares about philosophies and the arts, and you only know about beer and football your not going to be liked, and vice versa.

Also you need to distinguish between likeability/people skills and extraversion, theres lots of outgoing people that are fun and likeable but theres some that you couldnt stand for 20 minutes(altough in general outgoing people are much easier to get along with).

Lastly in the early years in IBD intraversion is likely an advantage as introverts find it much easier to work alone on projects for a long time and don't need people and parties as much, thus making the stint easier for them. Later on this is reversed.

Also redbull definetly works since it gives you a better energy level and thus makes you more active and fun.

Jul 24, 2012 - 4:09pm

I used to associate people skills almost strictly with extroversion, however after coming into the industry I've found a surprising amount of individuals who are far from charismatic but possess a formidable network. (And I work in VC, where "schmoozing" is often considered a necessity.) It's not always about being outwardly outgoing - it's about knowing who to connect with, having enough industry knowledge to engage in an intelligent conversation, and being at the right place at the right time.

Array
Mar 26, 2012 - 5:26pm

At the analyst level investment banking is rife with introverts. It would be pretty difficult to spend 100 hours in Excel and Powerpoint per week as a true extrovert. As you move up the totem pole in IB it's pretty obvious that those at the top are much more extroverted. I'm hazarding a guess, but I would assume that most of these individuals are post-MBA associates with zero previous IB stints.

Mar 26, 2012 - 6:31pm
kingtut:
At the analyst level investment banking is rife with introverts. It would be pretty difficult to spend 100 hours in Excel and Powerpoint per week as a true extrovert. As you move up the totem pole in IB it's pretty obvious that those at the top are much more extroverted. I'm hazarding a guess, but I would assume that most of these individuals are post-MBA associates with zero previous IB stints.

Sounds about right. I would like to know if introverts are typically the ones who actually enjoy the type of work in IB.
Array
Mar 31, 2012 - 7:05pm

We live in the century of hypochondriacs and over diagnosing doctors. It seems that everyone has some kind of disorder nowadays.

Competition is a sin. -John D. Rockefeller
Mar 31, 2012 - 9:28pm
Hooked on LEAPS:
We live in the century of hypochondriacs and over diagnosing doctors. It seems that everyone has some kind of disorder nowadays.

Introversion/Extroversion are personality types, not disorders. This isn't something that requires a doctor to diagnose.
Array
Apr 1, 2012 - 6:23am
Hooked on LEAPS:
We live in the century of hypochondriacs and over diagnosing doctors. It seems that everyone has some kind of disorder nowadays.

the stupidity of your post is an insult to the philosopher in your quote, he would be turning in his grave at this lol.

I do not get the point of the thread, as an analyst doesn't matter what you are, if you stay past analyst what you are is quite clear, fucking nuts.

Apr 1, 2012 - 3:14pm
leveredarb:
Hooked on LEAPS:
We live in the century of hypochondriacs and over diagnosing doctors. It seems that everyone has some kind of disorder nowadays.

the stupidity of your post is an insult to the philosopher in your quote, he would be turning in his grave at this lol.

I do not get the point of the thread, as an analyst doesn't matter what you are, if you stay past analyst what you are is quite clear, fucking nuts.

This guy will be receiving my first ever Silver Banana donation

I hate victims who respect their executioners
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