DONT DO ON-CYCLE...If you’re not prepared
A little rant that is hopefully helpful for you incoming 1st year analysts.
To start off - No, I don't know when on-cycle will kick off this year.
That being said, in the previous cycle, we saw far too many analysts jump into recruiting when they clearly weren't ready.
To give you some background on UMM/MF interview processes... my interviews with my firm (MF) lasted from about 8am - 4pm and I met with more than 10 ppl. Interviews are extremely technical. There are cases, models, mental-math, etc, and they WILL ding you for very small mistakes. I've talked to many analysts who assume the bar is lower because recruiting is so early. NOT TRUE
By jumping into on-cycle recruiting because you're excited and everyone else is doing it, you could really put yourself in a bad spot. If you interview with a handful of firms and get no offers, you won't get a second chance with them. Also, the HH's you worked with will be less helpful for you in future processes.
WAIT until you are really, really ready. As in over-prepared. Our firm, and many others, intentionally leave many seats open to recruit bankers starting their second years who choose to wait a year before recruiting.
Just something to keep in mind for you new, eager bankers.