Congrats, you've made it into finance...in the middle office. What is the middle office? Definitions vary, but think risk management, certain accounting roles, corporate treasury--broadly speaking, you interact with the business divisions on externally-related (i.e. client, funding) topics, but don't directly interact with the client. Most importantly, you don't make the firm money.
That's besides the point--better explanations are elsewhere. What does the middle office actually do?
Here's a day in my life (specifically, credit risk management as an analyst/associate).
6:20 am- Rise. My office isn't in NYC , but we work the hours. MO roles can be elsewhere to save the firm $$$ on compensation and rent.
7:05 am- Out the door, and either biking or taking the bus (psh subway, you think this is NYC?)
7:15 am- Arrive at the office. Building looks gorgeous, but the inside is the same as any open-plan office. We even have lockers for our stuff--who knew awas so like middle school? Then again, it's middle office. Also keep cereal in the locker (like everyone) since the milk is free. Ever wonder what goes into SG&A expense?
7:15-8:15am- Catch up on the news and the companies I cover. I'm in credit risk, so each day starts with me scanning SNL, WSJ, Bloomberg etc. for news on mergers, bankruptcies, and especially rating agency actions (our contracts with counterparties often have rating-based breaks). If something occurs (Moody's writes an analysis of a sector, Crappy Bank Inc. defaults, Muppets & Co. defrauds clients...) I write a summary post and email the rest of my credit team (i.e. corporates/banks/funds/leveraged fin group) in my office and in NYC. If it's good, it gets posted to the MDs, and if you're really golden, they write back "thx"...or a list of 25 questions...
8:15-9:15am- Generally the first meeting of the day is slotted in here. Planning for our monthly credit review meetings, or for some change in our rating methodology, or a rearrangement of our portfolios.
9:15-9:30am--, because our coffee in the office is ________.
9:30-11:30am- Review writing, part 1: We operate on a monthly review cycle--each analyst covers several hundred counterparties (!) that are sorted by industry and/or geography. So a corporates group will have an analyst for , for airlines/transport, for resources; financials will have insurance analysts, emerging markets coverage, munis may or may not be thrown in here; some firms may also split off their funds coverage from FIs while others include it.
11:30-12:30- Lunch! Not everything about MO is bad.the pay and prestige, but we get hour-long lunches most days (at least if you're productive). Christmas is over though, so no more 2hr sushi lunches with sake...
12:30-4:00pm- Reviews, part 2. There may also be more meetings on side projects--credit risk tends to get pulled into some interesting firmwide projects since the higher-ups like a range of views. So it could be on tax policy, regulatory strategy, the Fed's latest diktats...it's a nice break from the more tedious review writing.
4:00pm- is it a Friday? Go home, since your VPs left at 3:45. Is it not a Friday? Is the MD gone? Leave 5 min after the VPs; yes, facetime matters here too.
5:00pm- Facetime only matters so much. GO HOME. Seriously--the VPs don't care after this point.
Unless your work isn't done, in which case you stay late.
Or you have a call with an Asian office.
6:30pm--if you're finishing up that team call with Tokyo/HK/SG, send some pings to your team about dinner. Order dinner--make sure to also get lunch for tomorrow. Our dinner $$$ is the same as NYC's, but goes a lot farther. Time it so you're done eating by 8:05. Leave.
8:10pm- No one is here. Literally not even the cleaners; they left at 7:45
10-10:30pm- Bed. This city isn't known for its nightlife. Seriously.
Conclusion: While not for everyone (myself included in the long term), it's a good place to get your foot in the door; it's also ratherjob in that you have manageable work hours at the cost of (comparatively) mediocre pay. You also have job security--turnover is high due to meh pay (but morale is pretty good), while those who stay can make VP simply through attrition.