Comments (39)

Apr 5, 2018

I believe it'd be highly dependent on what your sample for determining "average" is. The average American would never even make it into wall street without an incredible amount of luck/connections. The kid considered "average" for their class at a target school is a different story

Apr 5, 2018

Absolutely... my thoughts on this are based on something an MD told me years ago:
Work hard for 1 year... Coast for 1 year... Work for 1yr.... Coast for 2yrs... 1yr work... 3yrs coast... 1yr work... 4yrs coast and so on

This will basically keep you employed forever

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Apr 5, 2018

Not sure why I am getting so much hate for this response...

Apr 16, 2018

I love this. Not sure how it plays out in real life but it sure sounds great.

Apr 5, 2018

You'd have to define "wall steeet". So many of you on WSO forget that banks are much more BO than FO. You know how many people a B.B. employs??? Not everyone is a genius.

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May 21, 2018

Good formatted structure.

Date should read as "May 2016".

Pull GPA out to below graduation date.

Either move SAT to that side as "SAT: 2180" below GPA or drop it.

Reorganize "Languages, Activities, Skills & Interests" to follow the order of the bullets following it.

Clean up bullets for conciseness and purpose.

Apr 5, 2018

actually, Wall Street thrives on mediocrity. they want paper pushes, the "yes sir" bitches to stay up until midnight doing the MD's dirty work.

too ambitious? no one will hire you (for fear you'll take your superior's position).

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Apr 5, 2018

You finally posted something of value. Good job, son.

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Best Response
Apr 11, 2018

You won't "survive" working on Wall Street by being average. Of course, by luck, you can probably make it; but definitely, won't survive. On my first day at working full time at an investment bank, my MD said,

"Welcome you made it. You said that you are good; and now we hired you. But the battle just got started. If you want to survive in this business, you have work 10x times harder all the time. Everyone who said they want to work on Wall Street are just saying but they never really want to work hard to be here. But now, you will be competing against people who at least showed the persistence and resourcefulness to have a seat at the table; and this is a totally different breed of animal. I can only offer you a seat as of now; whether you get to keep sitting at this seat or move to a better seat, it all depends on whether you can out do the other guys consistently. And the higher your climb, the harder it will become. I just want to warn you in advance. Other than that, welcome and enjoy the ride."

That was like almost 7 years ago and I am still keeping up that pace as of today. Among 20 of my friends who started out in investment banking, only 5 people (25%) are still doing well (i.e. Executive Director, VP, Director levels). Everyone either just quit, fired, or underemployed. And those 15 people are not retards or the type that lacks drive. They went to all the good schools (i.e. Stanford, Harvard) and did all the right things (IBD at JP Morgan, Credit Suisse).

A friend of mine went to U Penn, got hired at Morgan Stanely as an investment banking analyst. He got bad reviews and got fired after one year. He had never failed in life until then. He never recovered from that and even now he couldn't get back into the game. Even today he got scarred from getting rejected, and never have the confidence to try again even in other areas like tech.

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Apr 11, 2018

Curious how you define underemployed - would you put IB analysts who exit into corp dev/finance into this bucket?

Apr 11, 2018

also curious

Apr 11, 2018
  • Most of them end up on freelancing platforms like SpareHire.
  • One moved to Uber to become a data scientist.
  • Another became CEO of a small company in a middle of nowhere.
  • A few went to teach at various investment banking training programs.
  • Another one went to launch a small men fashion magazine.
  • One become sales selling bloomberg terminals and services.
  • One guy went to Indonesia to sell coal and still failing miserably.
Apr 11, 2018

So what is your U Penn friend doing now?

Apr 11, 2018

He works for NYC Department of Health. Even today, he kept talking about how he went to Wharton and how he worked for Wall Street. He tried writing a book but never finished.

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Apr 11, 2018

Tweaking PowerPoint and updating template models isn't high level stuff. Most of what happens in a bank is very basic and repetitive. Look at the deals that get done (talking about advisory here) and it's a small group of top bankers that seem to be involved every time (coverage specific). Of the hundreds of thousands of people at any bank, there are a very small number of people actually rainmaking.

To answer your question directly, one can flourish being mediocre as long as they fall into line and make sure the talented are supported in revenue generation.

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Apr 11, 2018

I will touch on two points that some posters have already alluded to:

1) Mediocre compared to who and what? I would say my background, prestige of my schooling, industry expertise, etc. are all very mediocre compared to the professionals in my current group but I am also the most junior person on my team so that is expected. My stats are very mediocre compared to most people that get a role like mine but luckily, my group took a leap of faith hiring me and believed that my resume did not tell the full story and that there are aspects of my skill set that are not mediocre at all (still have a long way to go to catch anyone in my group though).

2) As I mentioned in pont 1, some aspects of your skill set / background might be mediocre but you can't be mediocre overall. For example, you could possibly be a mediocre modeler compared to other members of your analyst class / group but if you grind, produce error free work, are able to see the big picture and are good at small talk / people like to work with you then you will be more than fine. This is just one example how you can overcome one mediocre skill. Plus, if you work hard enough I believe you can develop any skill to be at least above average... to me mediocre = lazy a lot of the time.

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Apr 11, 2018

in every situation of life, there is a bell curve. poor, avg, good - everyone has a place.

Apr 11, 2018

Bottom bucket analyst here. It's do-able but if you have self-awareness it does wear on you mentally to the point that you might quit before actually being told to leave.

Apr 11, 2018

I thought that was the only way to survive

Apr 11, 2018

I think the answer is "it depends on the bank"?

Apr 11, 2018

Well, in my experience there are brilliant and stupid people in plenty of occupations, including mine. I think an "Average Joe" with mediocre intelligence could survive (e.g. not get fired/demoted) with a good enough work ethic. Thriving is another story.

Apr 11, 2018

Having dealt with a bunch of sell side monkeys of different levels (from analysts to MDs), stay assured there are tons of mediocre people on wall street (most of them).

However, a mediocre IB analyst/associate is probably well above a mediocre overall labor force joe.

Apr 11, 2018

Finance isn't dominated by geniuses. Avg people work for other people, risking other people's money, pretending their job is rocket science when it's really formatting a pitch book and building out Syndtrak.

You cannot survive this business being below average. But average is all you need.

Apr 14, 2018

What is your definition of average? If a firm has nothing but high performers in it's staff, high performers would then be the average! :) Very subjective.

Apr 16, 2018
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Apr 16, 2018