Emotional numbness

Alright so long story short ever since i learned about banking last year (freshman year) I have taken my grades, networking, preparing for IB etc and my image/reputation much more seriously as I understand that competition in IB is fierce and every major or minor detail is important.

This has been great so far with a great gpa , i am very detail oriented about my work and daily habits , proud parents who are seeing how motivated and driven i am to succeed as well as supportive friends who enjoy studying with me. I feel as though i actually finally fit in to a social circle for the first time in my life and have enjoyed being able to come home and explain to my family how events stocks affect the market etc etc

Recently one of the only friends i had growing up told me that she thinks that I have changed from the way i dress to the way i speak and have become much more uptight and less of a caring person as before. She mentioned how i am extremely focused which is great but the conversations are shorter and tend to feel forced to the point where she thinks i have become a statue to her interests in comparison to before.

I really didn't realize this at first but she is right, i have no regrets about wanting to do IB or dedicating the time to read books/ watch docs about it but apart from conversations about the Stock market or finance in general my attention span tends to drop and i really don't have the same enthusiasm for anything else. I feel as though that this will continue and i think that i am indirectly distancing myself from her as well as anyone who doesn't major in finance or have an interest in IB or finance. Just wanted to know if this has happened to anyone and recommendations on how to find interest in convos when i feel as though its dull

Edit : Thanks everyone for the comments would buy you a round of beer if i could :)

Comments (79)

Most Helpful
Sep 28, 2019

Once you are in banking you'll stop putting it on a pedestal

    • 16
Sep 28, 2019

This. I always thought banking was glamorous when I was in undergrad. Turns out it's not glamorous at all. And most of the time can be flat out miserable. The pay is great though

    • 3
Sep 29, 2019

Do you mean glamorous like the movies or glamorous like fin meme accounts that shows everyone drinking and going to vacation in cool places?

    • 1
Sep 28, 2019

I second this - everyone I meet says they love working but I look deeply into their eyes and see emptiness.

I do think you should make time to make real connections. Losing real friends is rough. Don't ever forget who you are. Don't lose yourself to IB, you are worth more than that.

Array

    • 1
Sep 29, 2019

If i want to forget who i am for whatever reason and assimilate into a group , is that bad? I don't plan on not visiting my family or forgetting about my cousins etc but if i want to just be known as XYZ investment banker for ABC bank is that bad?

Sep 30, 2019

Very Accurate.

    • 1
Sep 28, 2019

Freshman year is usually when everyone is so going ho about investment banking and then a lot of people fall off. If you made it and we're able to keep your interest, good job. Go ask the average college kid what IB is and they won't have much of an idea besides that it is someone who "trades stocks"

Sep 29, 2019

so in conclusion, this is a good thing?

    • 1
Sep 29, 2019

Like what was said, just watch what happens with a little time. A lot of people go through the same thing and it's nothing to worry about.

Sep 28, 2019

I have heard this as well before, you do not notice it at first but it can and does happen.

Sep 28, 2019

TL;DR: People change as they grow older

This is perfectly normal

    • 1
Sep 28, 2019

You'll find the right balance as you grow older - takes some time. I think it's a good sign you're already aware and introspective about these things. We all have to make our choices and as long as you choose what you truly believe in and what suits your character, you won't feel any regrets in the long run.

    • 1
Sep 29, 2019

yeah i am pretty ignorant right now but ill take your advice to heart

Sep 28, 2019

Well from previous interaction and seeing your posts/comments you seem to be putting ib in a pedestal and that your whole existence revolves around breaking in. You are an extreme try-hard as you think it is utterly necessary to be like that to break in and that's how you will be "great". I think your interpretation of what ib is and what skills would make you great at it are extremely off base.

Could it be from the people you surround yourself with or maybe it is because you spend too much time on this forum that is full of college kids that have the same way of thought.

You dont need to be perfect in every aspect in order to break in. The sooner you realize that being personable and sociable while keeping up with the other stuff are more important than what you might think is, the sooner you will revert back to your oldself.

There is nothing wrong with improving and working hard, I went through the same thing, my confidence rose and the way I spoke changed to a more polish concise manner, but I always focused on remaining the same person that I was before trying to break into the industry. I dont talk about banking nor tell anyone about my achievements, I frankly dont care for people's admiration nor do I feel the need to impress people with my "knowledge" or my silly intern title. The big issue is that a lot of young people are so obsessed with prestige and what people think that for some reason they feel the need to post every little achievement on their linkedin or let the world know that they broke/might break into ib. I see it and hear it all time from younger business students, where they feel a need to publicly brag/try to impress people that might be eavesdropping on the bus to class or at parties/events, its fucking cringe.

I would advice the following: Surround yourself with people you can just be yourself with, surround yourself with people that arent obsessed with prestige and like you for who you are even if you were working at your local supermarket, for me thats my family and sometimes my hometown friends. Yes I have friends that are also in the industry or trying to break in but having the other people around me allows me to stay grounded and remain myself. Apologies if this off base but I find it a little sickening the mindset of college kids that want to break into the industry. I personally work with a lot of under classmen and I see the issue in almost all of them. Its those rare few that I dont see it in that I push forward to my senior contacts and go out of my way to help.

Stop for a minute and realize that breaking into the industry doesnt mean that you are superior over anyone. Stop and realize that being a summer analyst doesnt mean shit and you havent accomplished anything that should allow you to have a superioty complex. Be proud of yourself but at the same time realize that this is just stop 1 and you have thousands of steps left before you can be "great".

I truly understand what you are feeling, as I felt this way as well in the beginning and its natural, but I would strongly advice you to work on it.

PS Im a bit older than your typical intern if you are wondering why I keep talking about college students as my juniors.

    • 3
Sep 29, 2019

oh :/ the seniors in finance club who have offers from BB's and they have always mentioned that you have be a banker that includes stuff like hair style, clothes etc before you even get an internship in order to show your worth. It connects to what you mentioned so i'll try to do more self actualization and refocus on creating valuable friendships.

Thank you for everything just one question. You said that i should meet people where i can just be myself but i am very vanilla so do you mean like randomly talking to people in lectures or ?

Sep 29, 2019

Ugh those type of people are the worse. You dont need to have the banker look, just have a presentable haircut for interviews/coffee chats (no crazy mohawk/pink hair), and have a suit that fits properly. Thats all you need appearance wise. (If you have facial hair, trim down a bit and make it look clean)

Hmm regarding your question, I guess, I mean you could do that, you could also join other clubs that arent finance related and make friends there. Try to find people that share similar interests (non finance interests) with you. There are many ways to make new friends, just be yourself and dont force yourself to be what other people think you should be to break in. As you saw in the other comments, people in banking are just normal and not what the seniors are telling you they are.

    • 1
Sep 29, 2019

It's fine to go down the rabbit hole of being passionate about something. Naturally, other things will drop off.

For the most part, I don't have any close friends who aren't also entrepreneurs because it's hard to relate to people that aren't. Almost all of my immediate friend circle is also in YPO or EO etc ...

Sep 29, 2019

Did that start in university or after you graduated?

Sep 29, 2019

In University. I dropped out pretty quickly though once my first co hit scale.

I would be sitting there emailing manufacturers or writing copy for email blasts during lectures. Much more exciting optimizing copy to get more $ per send than sitting in a lecture about business.

Sep 29, 2019

Your story is normal. Once you find something that you love spending time working on, talking about, and day dreaming of, and executing on, you're going to find that 'normal' things aren't interesting. You have a goal, and it's what gets you excited.

You'll either need to recognize that not everyone is passionate about IB/markets and tone it down when talking with old friends/non finance friends, or make a new friend group that has the same interests as you.

My advice is to do a combination of both.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

    • 1
Sep 29, 2019

funny enough every night i listen to podcasts and imagine myself in IB crushing models and working on a major IPO.. kinda lame i guess lol. So what do i talk about with non finance people, do i use the same strategy when talking to a hot chick at the bar and just focus on them and their interests and let the convo flow?

Sep 30, 2019

This is an important skill set to be able to talk to people about a variety of things. It makes life more interesting in general.

If you truly want to make it to MD, you need to land clients. Most of your clients won't care about IB or markets beyond how it affects their company. And even then, they would probably want to talk about other stuff too. Not saying you need to take up golf and keep up with ESPN (I certainly don't, but I'm not in IB anyway)- but find other things you're interested in too. It'll help in the long run

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

    • 1
Sep 30, 2019
leonardo dicaprisun:

funny enough every night i listen to podcasts and imagine myself in IB crushing models and working on a major IPO.. kinda lame i guess lol. So what do i talk about with non finance people, do i use the same strategy when talking to a hot chick at the bar and just focus on them and their interests and let the convo flow?

It's important to let the other person feel important and valued. Ask leading questions such as, "How do you enjoy spending your time?" to "What would you say inspires you to become the best version of yourself?" You'll flip the conversation in no time to them telling you exciting stories about such things. It's much better than the, "What's your name/sign/major/age?" Heck, when you develop solid interpersonal skills, you can even pick up on things and bait the conversation, "It looks like your having a great evening, what is the occasion that is being celebrated?"

Stupid social skills are needed in finance and life. Being able to interact and influence is a long forgotten attribute when striving for the IB office.

Array

Sep 30, 2019

If the hot chicks are into banking talk to them about it. they'll drip knowing that you're a future "2022 incoming analyst".

If they're not, which most don't give a fuck, then know when to shut it.

Learn how to read your audience. Comes with time, I suppose.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

    • 1
Sep 30, 2019
leonardo dicaprisun:

Alright so long story short every since i learned about banking last year ( freshman year) I have taken my grades, networking, preparing for IB etc and my image/reputation much more seriously as I understand that competition in IB is fierce and every major or minor detail is important.

This has been great so far with a great gpa , i am very detail oriented about my work and daily habits , proud parents who are seeing how motivated and driven i am to succeed as well as supportive friends who enjoy studying with me. I feel as though i actually finally fit in to a social circle for the first time in my life and have enjoyed being able to come home and explain to my family how events stocks affect the market etc etc

Recently one of the only friends i had growing up told me that she thinks that I have changed from the way i dress to the way i speak and have become much more uptight and less of a caring person as before. She mentioned how i am extremely focused which is great but the conversations are shorter and tend to feel forced to the point where she thinks i have become a statue to her interests in comparison to before.

I really didn't realize this at first but she is right, i have no regrets about wanting to do IB or dedicating the time to read books/ watch docs about it but apart from conversations about the Stock market or finance in general my attention span tends to drop and i really don't have the same enthusiasm for anything else. I feel as though that this will continue and i think that i am indirectly distancing myself from her as well as anyone who doesn't major in finance or have an interest in IB or finance. Just wanted to know if this has happened to anyone and recommendations on how to find interest in convos when i feel as though its dull

Be ready to leave her in the dust. I've done likewise to many 'friends' from HS who looked at my ambition and dedication as a diss to our friendship. Those 'friends' are now working blue collar jobs and chugging Bud Light on the weekend refusing to let go of their letter jacket and golden years from HS. Real friends won't keep the animal in the cage. You're a peacock my friend, spread those wings and fly!

Array

Sep 30, 2019

loool yeah i guess IB isn't for normal average people and if they hate me then who cares it's better for me to cut off the toxicity early

Sep 30, 2019

Bro who cares about high school friends? Whatever...people change in college and you need to do you.

Sep 30, 2019

From my perspective, people change in life. You need to adapt to different people whether they are finance friends or just a regular person you are friends with. It's about the flow of the conversation, being social, friendly, and having the flow of talking about whatever with different people is one of the best skills you have to learn in life. Your personality, the way you dress, and the way you approach people might change but treat everyone respectfully and friendly. Adaptation to the situation is the best thing I can say, different people, different flows.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

    • 1
Sep 30, 2019

yeah you're right, i actually have feelings for her but she goes to a different school hundreds of miles away so its harder than i expected lol however i must do whats in my best interest

Oct 1, 2019

In addition to my earlier comments- people change and it's natural. It's normal to develop different interests and gravitate towards that. Based on your comments, sounds like you're taking it a step too far with wanting your sole identity to be your position.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

Oct 1, 2019

yep i agree I was taking it way too far

Oct 1, 2019

You sound like great person, no lies. You're young, you're in college. Everything won't be the way you want but rather make mistakes young in college and learn from them then graduate and mess up. You have a bright future ahead of you.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

Oct 1, 2019

Go read "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It may change your perspectives on how you're acting and talking with others.

Funniest
Oct 2, 2019

I can't tell if you just suck or are too young/naive

    • 3
Oct 2, 2019

It's the latter lol

Oct 2, 2019

    • 1
Oct 4, 2019

I think there may be two issues here. One, you are focused on the goal. Which is good - but it should, in theory, also make you happy and joyous to the world. Remember that thing that you once did and then you went out to the street and you suddenly felt like you wanted to embrace the whole world because of that great fulfillment the thing gave you. So the issue is, does IB make you feel that way?

Oct 4, 2019

Bro, IB has never made anyone feel this way.

Oct 4, 2019

If they say jump, will you jump?

Oct 4, 2019

Mate you're early in college and your "numb" while many of your peers are enjoying college. Get over yourself and realize your pursuing a job that will take all that you are willing to give and it will be a grind. Furthermore it'll be at a bureaucratic institution where even MDs are largely seen as cogs in the greater machine. They aren't hiring you cause they think you're a genius they just want competent workhorses. Also this ain't the 80s a top bucket bonus will allow your. Few good vacations and a nice watch. No Porsche anytime soon. Ultimately anyone reading this shouldn't take this job too seriously because it doesn't take you seriously at all. Especially since you kids aren't even working it. So chill the fuck out!

    • 2
Oct 4, 2019

Is IB more of a work hard & party hard mentality?

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
Oct 4, 2019

@leonardo dicaprisun Can really tell this is coming from a good place for you. You're inspired to push yourself and to achieve in one of the toughest (if not THE toughest) industry out there. That's something to be proud of. That said, if I may offer you something that may help you - there's a big difference between Achievement and Fulfillment.

Paraphrasing Tony Robbins here; there is a science of Achievement, and an art of Fulfillment. Truly successful people master both. You can achieve all you want and end up lonely at the top. So, without Fulfillment, Achievement isn't much. Fulfillment looks different for everyone, but it includes following your given gifts, and being of service. We are social animals. Giving back to our loved ones and community is part of our DNA. Guaranteed, you have other gifts than your developing skills in finance and business. The world needs all your gifts.

You're not going to bring everyone you once knew through to this new version of yourself, but everyone that crosses our path in life is there to teach us something. So to say, good that you're hearing your old friend's input, and weighing it. Consciously ask, "is there a lesson in this for me?" and then decide what to do with it.

Have a great weekend :)

    • 3
Oct 4, 2019

Hey man thank you so much, I really didn't intend to come across as an asshole or a selfish cold person but its my first time dealing with this so i needed some good advice.

All the things you mentioned are really applicable and thank you for the taking the time to write it out

Have a great weekend to you as well :)

Oct 4, 2019

Lol if you're emotionally numb pre-IBD just wait until you actually start working

edit: on the flip side, becoming more rational vs emotional is actually very beneficial in IB. During execution there's nothing worse than getting caught up in the commotion and losing sight the end goal

    • 1
    • 1
Oct 4, 2019
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Oct 7, 2019
Oct 7, 2019