Back Office Vs. Front Office Personas

laxn103's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 207

Lets pretend that not necessarily everyone wants to achieve a front office position. I interned at the same prominent PE/Hedge Fund for 3 summers and experienced both the back and front offices. The people in the back were much more fun, they helped me when I needed it and were more laid back. The people in the front were obviously more up tight and didn't have time. I think it is a measure of risk. The back office people make good money, live very well compared to the average middle income american, front office people are looking for more. The back office people know when they have taken enough risk and are comfortable with their life. It annoys me when the back office gets shit on as much as it does because I am seriously considering getting into it rather than the front.

Comments (23)

Dec 14, 2008

Ive noticed the same thing. The "fun" increases as you move closer to backoffice.

May 3, 2009

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Dec 14, 2008

I had a blast in both. Just one was with wells and other will top shelf

Dec 14, 2008

when you say make good money..how much were you talking about? I summered at MS in their Finance division, technically back office, and was given an offer (60k+5). apparently its pretty hard to live decently off that in NYC? I wouldnt really know too much about it from CA but i think I would agree with the fun and better quality of life bit.

Dec 14, 2008

I guess more like VP back office salaries not necessarily analyst. JacktheRipper, I think you can fuck bitches in the back office.

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May 3, 2009

truth is you can fuck bitches front or back office, BUT i'd say that thier going to be more attractive more often if your in the front office..

Dec 14, 2008

I hate to break it to you guys, but just saying that you work at a bank is usually enough. You think that most women you meet in clubs know that there are even front/back office positions? You think that they even CARE enough to ASK? They already heard the magic words.....finance......bank.....hedge fund......private equity........

::swoon::

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

Dec 14, 2008

hey atropolation - yeah they have heard of one more magic word - "layoffs"

Dec 14, 2008

What's the point? Why not just work somewhere else altogether? Why bother with wall street at all if you're not going to do front office work? If I wanted to do back office style work, I'd rather just move to a cheaper city and work for a corporation.

Dec 15, 2008

nothing wrong with back office if that's what you wanna do. and 65k is more than enough to live in nyc comfortably when you're young and don't have a family...

but i agree with juwanna mann...if you know the front office isn't for you, and you're young/still in college/can end up anywhere, why go to wall street?

at major corps, you can live in a smaller fun city that's affordable, never work more than your standard 9-5, make just as much as back office (and maybe rise down the line), and maybe be doing work thats actually interesting. why not aim for that?

Dec 15, 2008

I agree...especially if you're good, you can move through the ranks and gain responsibility/projects relatively quickly (vs FO), making serious dough working ~45hours per week compared to your friends in NYC who work as journalists for magazines, PR, marketing, or artists, etc.

Dec 15, 2008

New York has to be one of the few cities in America where its inhabitants identify so closely with their chosen profession and that's a problem. Whether you work front office or back office, if you're truly a ladies man, you shouldn't have a problem with women.

Jack the Ripper is right on one thing. I've done the research and I've also moved from back to front office. I never speak ill about either position. As for the women, here are some of the pros of front office chicks: They def look better, but many of them are prude. No question. Comes with the territory. Some of the pros of back office: More often than not, those chicks just want a few dirty martinis, before they're scuffin' their knees. Either one is bangable...

Me personally, I'm more of a, "I only work hard in the office, so that chick is gettin' a salad at best and 3 drinks maximum before I give her the bedroom option ultimatum."

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Dec 15, 2008

tyrannosaur: If you can't live decently in NYC on 65k, then you're doing something seriously wrong.

Dec 15, 2008

$65K in NYC is nothing if you choose to live in the city.

Back Office will seriously limit your options a few years down the line.

Dec 15, 2008

There is another reason people tend to differentiate so much between BO and FO. For people who busted their ass to get into a top school, one of the perks is access to top jobs. So when all of sudden you are not in a top job, but are instead in a position that any random Joe Six-Pack could get, then you start to question whether you are wasting your potential.

Now I'm not saying this is the proper way to look at things, but it is something you struggle with. I have a lot of friends from b-school who have been laid off, and end up getting a lower-tier job (for lack of a better description) to pay the bills.

After a few months, however, many think, hey, this new gig's not so bad (think more of a comparison between Middle Office and Front Office). Why go back to an awful culture, horrible hours, and constant fear of getting fired?

But then in the back of your mind you end up questioning yourself--hell, I could've gotten this job without spending 150K on an MBA (or for your laid-off analysts: I could've gotten this job without busting my ass in ugrad at Wharton to get a 4.0 GPS).

The point is, we get this idea of prestige beaten into us for so long that we find ourselves unable to view the world in any other way. All of sudden being really good at a regular job isn't good enough, and you find you'd rather be mediocre, as long as it's at a "prestigious" job that most of the population can't get into in the first place.

Our minds have really been warped, when you think about it.....

Dec 15, 2008
skins1:

There is another reason people tend to differentiate so much between BO and FO. For people who busted their ass to get into a top school, one of the perks is access to top jobs. So when all of sudden you are not in a top job, but are instead in a position that any random Joe Six-Pack could get, then you start to question whether you are wasting your potential.

Now I'm not saying this is the proper way to look at things, but it is something you struggle with. I have a lot of friends from b-school who have been laid off, and end up getting a lower-tier job (for lack of a better description) to pay the bills.

After a few months, however, many think, hey, this new gig's not so bad (think more of a comparison between Middle Office and Front Office). Why go back to an awful culture, horrible hours, and constant fear of getting fired?

But then in the back of your mind you end up questioning yourself--hell, I could've gotten this job without spending 150K on an MBA (or for your laid-off analysts: I could've gotten this job without busting my ass in ugrad at Wharton to get a 4.0 GPS).

The point is, we get this idea of prestige beaten into us for so long that we find ourselves unable to view the world in any other way. All of sudden being really good at a regular job isn't good enough, and you find you'd rather be mediocre, as long as it's at a "prestigious" job that most of the population can't get into in the first place.

Our minds have really been warped, when you think about it.....

We're about to enter a Great Depression.
Don't you want a president who's already dressed for it?

I'm making it up as I go along.

Dec 15, 2008
Cornelius][quote=skins1:

There is another reason people tend to differentiate so much between BO and FO. For people who busted their ass to get into a top school, one of the perks is access to top jobs. So when all of sudden you are not in a top job, but are instead in a position that any random Joe Six-Pack could get, then you start to question whether you are wasting your potential.

Now I'm not saying this is the proper way to look at things, but it is something you struggle with. I have a lot of friends from b-school who have been laid off, and end up getting a lower-tier job (for lack of a better description) to pay the bills.

After a few months, however, many think, hey, this new gig's not so bad (think more of a comparison between Middle Office and Front Office). Why go back to an awful culture, horrible hours, and constant fear of getting fired?

But then in the back of your mind you end up questioning yourself--hell, I could've gotten this job without spending 150K on an MBA (or for your laid-off analysts: I could've gotten this job without busting my ass in ugrad at Wharton to get a 4.0 GPS).

The point is, we get this idea of prestige beaten into us for so long that we find ourselves unable to view the world in any other way. All of sudden being really good at a regular job isn't good enough, and you find you'd rather be mediocre, as long as it's at a "prestigious" job that most of the population can't get into in the first place.

Our minds have really been warped, when you think about it.....

definitely agree. I dont think its all to bad to have to mentality though. I experienced it first hand this past summer (MS' middle office) and most of the time i was thinking that I could definitely do better (did bust my ass at west target). unfortunately this whole collapse did put a damper on my plans but ended up landing something i think i'll definitely enjoy more.

Dec 15, 2008

I did an internship in middle office at Merrill and I agree that the biggest issue was that I didn't go to the school I go to only to do that. I loved the people, but the work was so mind numbing and un-challenging that I'd never do that again.

Its not necessarily about the money or the prestige (well, thats part of it) but its more of a function that you didn't come all this way for middle/back office - you know you can do better.

Dec 15, 2008

I'm working in the BO and it used to bother me everyday. I went to a better school than the vast majority of the people I work with and worked decently hard there. The thought that I could have spent much less on an education and coasted through college to be where I am now is not pleasant. But I'm not sure this has anything to do with prestige. What I do in the BO is incredibly boring and mundane. The idea of a long career there is just awful.

So I still want to do something that equates with FO "prestige." Not for some "prestige aura" or whatever, so I can feel like what I learned in college is useful, so I can actually use my brain, instead of running the same macros, checking the same numbers day after day. I sit by VPs in my office, and it doesn't seem like they've had to think a day in their life. Don't get me wrong, dicking aroung everyday is fun, but I really can't see myself doing this for too long, especially considering the efforts I've put into school up to this point.

btw, that picture of the riddler is perfect. I saw that movie again a few weeks ago, and the riddler/bruce wayne thing is the ultimate BO/FO clash.

Dec 1, 2010

I'm a bit confused about all the BO/FO issues. Personally I've always wanted to work in technology in finance because the software and some engineering that's come from it is pretty cool and the issues that it deals with (mostly speed and efficiency) is also interesting. Obviously the company has money to support this kind of research and multimillion projects for it.

So maybe I'm misunderstanding what the BO actually does? I'm not even sure why there're comparisons between the the BO and FO since the work they do is obviously totally different. BO doesn't just do IT support, but there's actual innovation going on in these finance companies for tech. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And is the BO really paid THAT much less than FO, assuming that you move up vertically in BO?

Dec 1, 2010
scarf1001:

And is the BO really paid THAT much less than FO, assuming that you move up vertically in BO?

Yes it is paid way less. <span class='keyword_link'><a href="//www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/what-is...">BO</a></span> tops out generally around 200-300k maybe a bit higher. Front office goes 10x that.

Dec 1, 2010
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