Did you all really go to Ivy League schools just to end up working the same hours as a sweatshop worker in Bangladesh?

I'm just saying, aren't you all supposed to be the brightest minds of your generation?

And you used that mind to work 80 hours a week formatting logos, fixing footnotes, and changing colors?

In an industry where you feel "lucky" when you don't have to work on Sundays and leaving work on a Friday at 9pm is "super early" and working on "vacations" is totally normal?

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Comments (30)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2021 - 10:24am

hot take: majority of ivy league students aren't the brightest minds you'll meet. they are simply the hardest working, which is why so many are ok with pursuing "work hard play hard" things like IB/PE/HF

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 10, 2021 - 10:37am

does "play hard" mean going to club on friday nights and getting bottle service until you pass out (and maybe on saturday too if you don't have to work sunday)? because literally everyone who has a job in any developed country does that

or is the "play hard" when we get to go on a really expensive vacation to an exotic place but you still have to turn comments?

or are we supposed to "play hard" during the 2 hours of free time we get a night where we have to squeeze in shaving and showering?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 10, 2021 - 10:39am

yeah cool salary but i'm expecting it'll go to medical costs since at the age of 22 it already tires you out to post something "witty" on the internet

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  • VP in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 11:12am

joke's on you because I didn't go to anything close to an Ivy league school!  or is it on me....I can't decide.

Sep 10, 2021 - 2:25pm

The $ / hr increases exponentially as you work less hours and make increasingly more money. And alot of people here actually like the lifestyle, the $ is obviously the biggest catch, and finance (the news, deals, investments, energy) is awesome. Hours are bad but everyone knows that. Just do what makes you happy or maximizes your utility.  

Sep 12, 2021 - 11:24am

What else are you suggesting lmfao? Entrepeneurship?

Not everyone has the creativity, risk-tolerance, or motivation to create a business. I don't understand what you're laughing at… analysts are doing bitchwork for $180k/yr because they are 22 and have not worked a real job before. Options out of school are limited, and people go to banking for money/prestige that allows exit opportunities where the bright minds are able to test their knowledge (PE, VC, roles w/ comp tied to PnL).

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 10, 2021 - 4:20pm

another defender of IB that immediately starts off with the money. ask the 5th year associate who is about to kill himself in that other thread how great that money is

"a lot of people here like the lifestyle"

come on, man. don't be a clown

Sep 11, 2021 - 10:17pm

To be fair a lot of people liking the lifestyle doesn't imply everyone does. The 5 year associate is just one person.


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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 13, 2021 - 7:17pm

Pro Tip: don't work at a place that grinds you at 100 hours a week for 5 years. My A2A associates all seem very happy, and I imagine they'd go somewhere else to work less hours if they really wanted. Perhaps that associate is just retarded for not leaving? Because if he did leave, even a few years before he made that post, he'd work the same hours as one of you back office shmucks with 3-4x the payout.

Sep 11, 2021 - 11:20pm

Not everyone in banking works consistent 100 hour weeks. Maybe I've been lucky but the usual for me has been 70hr weeks, and lots of that time was just face time.

You know other careers you work hard too right? Ever worked in a restaurant or construction worker? Those guys bust their butts and get paid a tenth of what finance front office gets. This forum acts like other high powered jobs don't make you work hard. But I guess wso tends to attract the whiners/introverts in finance, cause the winners are probably living life.

For every cry baby about the how the hours are brutal yet don't leave their job for some reason, there are 100s of people who are ok with the hours/pay balance, don't have crazy hours or enjoy the work.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2021 - 12:09am

Bro you really think we're that smart? Shucks, but I got into an Ivy because I work hard. If I were actually one of the brightest minds in the world I'd probably invent some shit or do research. 

Also, I grew up poor and my parents worked harder than I do now, but for a tenth of the compensation. I gotta build up some wealth now for them and the rest of my family

  • Associate 2 in IB - CB
Sep 12, 2021 - 10:49am

Two years in IB opens doors, most people aren't lifers they're going to exit hence the continuous discussion of exit opps. It's also not a question of intelligence, but rather risk aversion. Why do you think the Ivies send so many people into IB, medicine and big tech? It's the opportunity to make above average money with limited risk. People don't want an easy path, but rather a relatively certain one.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2021 - 3:39pm

Maybe cuz investment bankers make a bit more than Bangladesh sweatshop workers? idk tho didn't go to an ivy

Sep 13, 2021 - 12:17am

Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

I'm just saying, aren't you all supposed to be the brightest minds of your generation?

lol no. Brighter minds are in asset management and tech IMO, and the brightest minds aren't in the industry, they're solving real problems like curing cancer, exploring space, or solving world hunger.

lets be real, IB requires grade school math and reading comprehension. I suppose work ethic and polish/soft skills as well but JFC seeing the downward spiral of this forum into a brood of insecure, misogynistic try hards is disheartening 

Sep 13, 2021 - 12:26am

Well the pay is far, far better vs. working at a sweatshop in Bangladesh...1st year banking comp for a kid fresh out of college ix >2x the GDP per capita

Also the exit opps are enormous...even if you never get that buyside job you can exit after 2yrs into a cushy corporate role making 150k working 9-5. So not bad from this perspective either especially as a resume builder if you were at a BB / EB

That said, the IB life definitely wasn't for me and I'm quite happy working 50hrs/week in AM. While I left relatively quickly, having that IB name on my resume was a big driver to getting the job I have now so I can't crap on IB too much

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Sep 13, 2021 - 6:14pm

you think kids who go to ivy leagues are smart? 

it's really just boils down to if your parents knew how to "play the game" and had the resources to play it. My parents didn't force me to play an instrument, study for the SAT as a freshman, or do volunteering. The kids that are actually smart and go to ivy league are doing research, inventing shit, and getting PhDs, not doing IB lmao. 

Ivy leagues are mad easy to do well in, you get a B+/A- just for showing up. Look up the averages it's a joke. You're buying a brand and a network for 60K+, not a rigorous education. 

Sep 13, 2021 - 7:35pm

This thread is giving me troll vibes, but here are my 2 cents for what it's worth.

I'm not sure how many people on this forum can relate to what I'm going to say; however, investment banking is quick, easy money. It's long hours, but the hours don't matter when you've grown up struggling. I've seen people hustle and sell drugs for days at a time for a lot less. I've worked bad jobs with investment banking hours for less than half the pay. If you can stack up $100k+ per year for a couple of years just for plugging in some numbers on a spreadsheet, formatting logos, fixing footnotes, and changing colors for the same hours a lot of poor people work to remain poor, then that's a no brainer. No one is trying to arrest me, kill me, and I'm leaving with more money than most people will see in their life coming from where I come from. On top of that, I get a lot of experience, connections, and credibility. Investment banking is just a hustle for some people, and they're using it to give themselves a solid foundation for when they start their real plans/career.

Sep 13, 2021 - 8:41pm

Well, everything is relative, and everyone's life experience is different. However, when you've seen things no child should have to see, and when you've seen how ruthless, unforgiving, and hard life can be, then spreadsheets, powerpoints, 100hr work weeks, VPs, and MDs aren't that intimidating. I'm just putting it in perspective.

  • Principal in PE - Other
Sep 14, 2021 - 2:26pm

I didn't go to an Ivy League school, but it was a global top 20, for sure. My GPA and major weren't that impressive either. I battled with depression and anxiety my entire life and came from a pretty messed up home environment. I entered the sell-side at 25 after refusing to leave an interview until I was hired - I was lucky the hiring manager could see I was desperate for $ and aggressive and they seemed to like that. I worked 90 hour weeks for 5 years and pretty much obliterated my health. I moved to the buyside and did the same for 5 years but for way more money but with worse attitudes and people around me. Here I am in my late 30s planning another move - we should stop glorifying working these insane hours when the work we do contributes basically nothing to the betterment of the world. You only have one life - make it count.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 14, 2021 - 2:29pm

Do you regret all your hard work? 5 years of banking + 5 years buyside should have given you a pretty big nest egg assuming reasonable spending. Was it worth it and what advice would you give to a young guy starting banking today?

  • Principal in PE - Other
Sep 14, 2021 - 2:35pm

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