4/12/10

So I'm sure for a lot of people on here they'll be starting a new job in IB this July--- What should I expect the first week/does anyone have any recommendations on what to expect the first day?

Comments (114)

4/12/10

Edit: This is for full-time. Summer interns can expect an abbreviated form of training.

First week is usually some combination of analyst training and HR trying to show how awesome the firm is.

When I was hired into a BB (that no longer exists), the first week of training involved flying in all 500 incoming capital markets analysts from around the globe (along with the IBD guys), a speech by the chief economist, and a number of other bigwigs going up to the CFO. We rented out an entire major Manhattan hotel's conference center; it was basically a show of force by the firm to say "We're blankety-blanking rich. You may have seen a lot of our blankety-blanking people on the news. We just rented out the blankety-blanking Sheraton, and you're a blankety-blanking speck of dust relative to the firm." (Ironically, this speck of dust survived longer than the firm, although he still can't rent out the Sheraton.)

At the same time, I think it may have also been HR's way of showing off the analysts to the bigwigs. They handed out a resume book and claimed that 95% of the people on earth could enter this room and find at least three people who spoke their native language, the average SAT score in the room was 1550, XX students had turned down PhD programs, had done x, y, and z research, represented $XXX million of assets under management before they even graduated college, XX had played basketball in March Madness, etc. etc. etc. For a kid who studied engineering at a state school in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois, it was pretty mind-blowing.

You will make a number of friends during the analyst training; the important thing is to remember that you're totally new, everyone else is totally new, and it's always good to make friends. I still hang out with a lot of the people I met my first week.

First day of work-work will mostly involve getting your computer set up; first week may involve your VP giving you a few small projects. Beyond that, I can only comment on what it might look like in different areas of capital markets.

Investment Banking Interview Course

7/28/16

I feel for FT analysts who didn't intern with the group they're joining...

7/28/16

^bump. Anyone?

7/28/16

I have a client in there right now. He says the trick is: kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch. Then everything will be all right

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7/28/16

First day? Heck the first week was spent on training and administrative/HR paperwork.

7/28/16

It depends. Likely, you won't be doing much besides onboarding, filling out paperwork, getting access to drives/programs, etc.

7/28/16

HR Crap

7/28/16

I'm sure your role would change with time.

7/28/16

First impressions are so key - be respected and taken seriously from day 1. Think about some of the behaviors of senior people that you respect and try to replicate them. IMO having being prepared for and having a presence in meetings - both internal and external - is crucial. Leverage your past experience and take every opportunity to add value. Conversely think about what not to do (eg being unprepared, not knowing your companies, asking too many questions, etc.) You already got hired and will probably do fine!

7/28/16

Practice your Excel skills. They are invaluable.

7/28/16

the latter

7/28/16

WELCOME TO THE THUNDERDOME

7/28/16

"When born, my parents were told I would never walk, I have some joint issues but can currently run 5 miles! I also was an athelete in baseball, swimming, crew, and Rugby. When told that I would never be accepted into a top 100 school as a result of the high school I went to, I made it my goal to do that. I was accepted into Washington College, a top 100 school with a half scholarship. When told that I would never get into business school because of my lack of experience, I once again achieved it. This seems to be once again the same situtation. I am told that I will not be able to accomplish my goal, but in the end we will see what happens."

Besides the walking thing, everything else is easy to accomplish. You may think ppl who have done those are impressive, but the truth is, they're not. It just shows that you're less of a failure than ppl who can't even get into T100. Ppl from lowest classes with the lowest income have proven themselves and got into Harvard, Yale Princeton. We know cuz many of us attend these schools. To us, your accomplishments is actually not conquering the impossible. Rather, they're quite a failure. Don't be offended. I just say whatever comes to my mind. Thus, all the accomplishments u listed are really what we consider as "go kill yourself if you couldn't even do these".

7/28/16

Great post Illiniprogrammer. Thank you for sharing your advice and experience

4/12/10

Thanks for that anecdote IlliniProgrammer. Would love to hear more people's stories.

7/28/16

This is really solid advice. The only things I'd add:

  1. Find out what the protocol is for expensing dinners and (most importantly) find out what your limit is.
  2. Ask around for recommendations on a good dry cleaner in the area.
7/28/16

What kind of background do you have so people have a starting point to give advice?

I would suggest knowing excel inside and out. You might want to have some familiarity with building some basic models. Do you know how the 3 statements flow together, stuff like that.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

7/28/16

TIP: make sure to put a cover on your TPS reports. You see, we're putting covers on all the TPS reports now, or didn't you get that memo?

Also, if they have to just go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday, try not to sleep in...

  • aloki
  •  7/28/16

The first week was mostly training. HR stuff was maybe an hour or two out of that whole slot. Also, we had a bunch of analysts involved in training. A lot of them would rather talk about themselves/help with our work instead of doing actual work.

7/28/16

Chill out, don't worry about it. Just go with it and try to make friends - never know who will come in handy.

Currently: clinical psychologist (in training)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

7/28/16

Loads of HR crap. Throughout the course of the week we were walked through different stages of the deal process as well as what role everyone plays in it. We were also introduced to modeling and given homework in prep for TTS and other such stuff.

CompBanker

Investment Banking Interview Course

7/28/16

My first day I did even less than you. But hopefully it gets better for all of us.

7/28/16

Chimp_and_jeez:

Hi guys:

For those of you who are PMs/senior personnels, what are some things that a junior analyst can do to set himself apart? what do you want to see in them the most, when they are still in the learning mode?

Thanks!

That fascination with PM's and senior personnel can be a problem. I've seen many kids do it. They love chasing PM's or people who head up the desks.

If you ALREADY have the job just make sure you take juniors and other colleagues who are not PM's. Give them the respect they deserve and you will benefit as well. Be smart about it.

Will be better to do some solid kickass work first and then try to get closer to the PM's. Let it happen organically. Until then just treat him like your boss, nothing else. I've noticed quite a few funds of smaller sizes (through informal discussions and personal experience) that pretty much everyone in an investment research role reports directly to the PM's. If you come across as desperate others will notice it quickly and make your opinion on you which will then be difficult to change quickly.

7/28/16

Learn your firms strategy and research all of the competitors in the same arena as you, learn the logic behind waterfall modeling and the relationship between investor/sponsor payouts based on different hurdles, research any information about their recent deals

7/28/16

For my SA:

after a week of training...

My first day went like this:
Dealing with HR to complete some more paper work, setting up my computer (i.e. password, Outlook email signature, HR stuff on-line), setting up my phone, talking to the IT department, meeting my team, attending networking sessions, and sitting around talking to analysts and associates (asking questions and just general chit chat).

My second day:
I came in at 9 AM, got staffed, ended up going home at 11 PM the next night. I felt like puking around 4 AM but I actually got better once I had breakfast at 9 AM and felt just normal past noon. It's almost like running: once you are past a certain point, you can keep going and don't feel the pain anymore.

Pulled all-nighters several times more... I got used to it.

My advice: Do not drink coffee and don't drink Red Bull. I actually felt worse when I had loads of coffee/Red Bull. Just step outside for a bit, get some fresh air and drink lots of cold water. When I got really tired and wanted to take a short break, I goofed around with a couple of analysts and interns throwing balls at each other.

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do NOT do that thing."
-Dwight Schrute, "The Office"-

7/28/16
7/28/16

andrew, if all those details are accurate, you may end up regretting this post pretty soon. don't disclose so much information on the internet. there isn't much of an upside. probably quite a bit of potential downside.

good luck with your goal bud.

7/28/16
BespokeAnalyst2010:

My advice: Do not drink coffee and don't drink Red Bull. I actually felt worse when I had loads of coffee/Red Bull. Just step outside for a bit, get some fresh air and drink lots of cold water. When I got really tired and wanted to take a short break, I goofed around with a couple of analysts and interns throwing balls at each other.

no coffee??

7/28/16

Started FT. First day wasnt so bad. First half was for setting up my computer, CIQ, etc...went to lunch with a couple of the guys. Then got to work on a pitch.

However...my second day went like this

BespokeAnalyst2010:

My second day:
I came in at 9 AM, got staffed, ended up going home at 11 PM the next night. I felt like puking around 4 AM but I actually got better once I had breakfast at 9 AM and felt just normal past noon. It's almost like running: once you are past a certain point, you can keep going and don't feel the pain anymore.

BUT...I ended up pulling not one, but two (aka, back-to-back) all nighters. My productivity hit almost 0 once I passed the 55-60 hour mark without sleep.

Basically, got my IB cherry popped pretty early.

4/12/10

Great post Illini! If I had any credits left I'd give the silver banana. I'm also an incoming FT IBD analyst, and it seems like I'm constantly thinking about what that first day/week/month is going to be like.

7/28/16

Have a finance background....bachelors...I remember most of the stuff i learned in school...

Have academic modeling experience....plus have about 4 months of real world experience at a really really small place.

Yeah...I know the stuff about the 3 statements....that was all grilled during the interview. Anything over and above the basic 3 statements stuff?

7/28/16

FUCK! I thought that was just a joke-memo!

7/28/16

Hey ToBank, I am missing training b/c my exams don't end until Wednesday so they wont let me start until Monday. Would you mind messaging me to tell me what I missed or any other important info that was shared during the course of the week? Thanks man

7/28/16

How long does this admin stuff take? Also for the first few weeks since you don't have any real work to do then do they tell you to go home early or are you supposed to stay put just to get more face time?

7/28/16

Just to add: Yes, I understand I won't be given the responsibility of sourcing/structuring/modelling shit -- summers know way too little and can fuck up way too much. But I always hear people say stuff like: "Within 20 minutes, I was given so-and-so cool duty," so what I did sounded meaningless.

If any of you guys want to add what your first day was like, feel free.

7/28/16

thank you guys! great tiplalpha, thanks!

7/28/16

Great post, I am also starting at a REPE shop and would be very interested in comments. I have done REFM, KAHR, and BIWS so I think I am ready for the technical stuff!

7/28/16

Work Immediately

7/28/16

a whole lotta this

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

7/28/16

This post is so Vayner

I get it, everything in life is a huge dramatic adverse event for you which you can list in your hammed up "I beat the Odds!" mission statement

4/12/10

It was like that for me, too. The only expectation for the first week or two for most of the larger BBs is probably that you show up on time and pay attention. There may be an introduction and then they will probably have several weeks of training including the Series 7s/63s. At our firm, they contracted the training out to a handful of professors at Columbia and NYU who I think worked for the firm at one point, and then to Securities Training Corp in lower manhattan for the Series 7s/Series 63s. Dress for the first day was business formal (at the Sheraton) followed by B-caszh for the financial training, then t-shirts and jeans for the Series 7 stuff.

The best thing you can do during the training is make friends during lunchtime and during the open bars the firm will sponsor. Let's be clear- this is not a networking opportunity, despite the fact that your firm probably wants you to find potential future business partners rather than people who will eventually quietly share info with you that the firm may not want you to hear (IE: news on layoffs, year-end stuff, rumors about groups, etc). It's better to have genuine "back-office" friends than have fake "friends" in certain preferred groups. Look for people who seem genuine, respect you for who you are, and that you respect as well. This may be one of your only chances to find people you can genuinely trust at the firm. You will want to have people you can trust to share info with, get advice from, and have a mildly knowledgeable shoulder to cry on when some trader screams at you to the point that you want to commit ritual suicide. (Which will happen). You don't want to be warning "friends" about layoffs if they will use that to stab you in the back. And you definitely don't want to be sharing your weakest moments with people you don't trust 100%.

The earlier on in your career that you meet people and the less savvy you and they were when you met them, the easier it will be to trust them when push comes to shove three or four years down the line. An old college buddy will probably be easiest to trust, followed by the guys you met in the analyst program, followed by the coworkers you made friends with the first month or two on the job, etc.

7/28/16

Will your role be sector-specific or generalist? If sector-specific, get the filings of a major player and go through it to get an idea about the industry, competitive forces, risks etc and put a working model together. If you really want to be adventurous, do a comparable company analysis on the sector, etc.

7/28/16

Just work hard, but don't seem overanxious as work will definitely come your way and you don't want to be caught with your pants down.

7/28/16

And when they make introductions say you meet an MD do you refer to him as Mr./Ms. so and so like in the interview rounds or can you now go by first name basis?

7/28/16

It's different from a firm to another..

7/28/16

Keep up with your excel skills. Also, to start off on the right foot, come in with the right attitude. Many of the analysts my team has hired over the past few years have been entitled, know-it-all types that we frankly don't like working with. You will set yourself apart, in a very good way, if you set the tone with a humble personality.

7/28/16

Although one of my MD's took me to Smith and Wollensky, kinda sweet

7/28/16

expect no respect

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

7/28/16

Good luck!

4/12/10

great response. thanks illin.

sent a banana your way

7/28/16

Hey Red...thanks for the input...but it will be generalist...this organization doesn't assign entry level analysts to specific sectors.

7/28/16

Admin stuff only took a few hours (but we had more given to us throughout the week). Everyone is on a first name basis for us. We got to go home relatively early, say, 7-10pm depending on the day.

CompBanker

7/28/16

above poster is sick

7/28/16

Do everything everyone tells you to do and think of additional things you can do to help them that they didn't think of.

Be someone they would want to hang out with. People may scoff and pretend like this doesn't matter or to just focus on the work, but that's complete bullshit and those people won't advance in anything. Just be chill

7/28/16

well, I haven't started yet, but I was told there would be training for a week first...
just curious: does the "work immediatey" guys worked @ boutiques or BB/respected MM?

7/28/16

sandpaper+watermelon

7/28/16

goodluck man, I would agree not to disclose so much personal information.

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

4/12/10

Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

7/28/16

I have a ritual called 'terminator'. I crouch in the shower in the "naked terminator" pose. With eyes closed I crouch for a minute and visualize either Arnie or the guy from the 2nd movie. I then start to hum the T2 theme. Slowly I rise to a standing position and open my eyes. It helps me get through my day. The only problem is if the shower curtain sticks to my terminator leg. It sorta ruins the fantasy.

7/28/16

Thanks for the heads up.

7/28/16

haha.

guys don't worry aobut what you are doing in on the first day. key thing about this business is patience and longevity (I need to remind myself of that sometimes).

Do you think that Joe Perella knew how to do what he was doing on the first day of work?

7/28/16

Know where the bathroom is.

Just joking, but in all seriousness be ready to hit the ground running and soak up all knowledge thrown your way during the training process. You've already gotten the job so you are intelligent and capable enough to get where you are; the next step is demonstrating they made the right choice in selecting you. Prior to day one, become an expert on the assets / asset class your firm is investing in, the firms strategy & markets they are selecting, and any major deals they have recently closed. Brush up on your excel modeling skills, even basic formulas that us analyst use on a daily basis like vlookups & sumproducts, which you should know like the back of your hand.

This may be known advice, but get in the habit of coming into the office early & asking your superiors if they need assistance on their current projects. You will be mentally & physically tested, so never wear your emotions on your sleeve and always demonstrate a go getter attitude. No one is going to expect you to reinvent the wheel, but after the training period / early hire stage it's all up to you in how well you will succeed in the company. Good luck!

7/28/16

For FT:

Generally there is about a month long training for analysts.

For SA:

I had a week-long training session.

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do NOT do that thing."
-Dwight Schrute, "The Office"-

7/28/16

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Can someone give me some insight? lol

7/28/16

Good luck. Keep it to yourself though! :)

4/12/10
boshyj:

Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

Arrive at my dorm on Cliff Street at 10 AM on Sunday. It's REALLY nice compared to the $400/month apartment I was staying in in college. Meet my roommate- also a Junior in undergrad. In the first half-hour, I find out that he TAs a 200-level course, plays varsity soccer for Cornell, can bench 160, and got a 15XX on his SATs. (I have him beat on all counts but the sport, and just grin- I was still trained not to brag about myself, though that has eroded after a few years in New York, now.)

We were asked to show up at like 7:30 Monday morning. Like every other summer analyst, I showed up at 7 AM. Security told us to wait outside. I start to notice other nervous-looking college-age students pacing back and forth, and realize they're summer analysts. Being a midwesterner, I am compelled to strike up conversations with strangers, and pretty soon, we are talking about the program, how we found out about it, what the trip was like out here, sports, etc. Then this guy- "Fred from Yale"- as he would ALWAYS call himself throughout the program, introduces himself and starts asking people what research they do, what kind of yacht they own, how many times they've walked across the Sarengheti, etc. etc. A lot of raised eyebrows and a few laughs, but we start to talk about our backgrounds a little more.

At 7:30 we walk into the building. It's in mid-town. 30 ft raised ceilings and a long entrance corridor. A security desk that practically comes up to your neck. It feels a little like a visit to the chambers of the Wizard of Oz. We get our security cards and we are escorted up to the 32nd floor where all of the executives sit and head into this huge cherry-paneled dining room. The floor looks as fancy as some of the really nice rooms in the Capitol Building in Washington- just with more modern paintings hanging from the walls and this hundred-million dollar view of Central Park and the Hudson.

They have a very nice breakfast buffet set out. Everyone looks very nervous- as if they will hold their fork the wrong way or do something embarassing. Then one of the HR ladies sits down at our table, picks up a croissant on her plate, takes a huge bite into it dropping a few crumbs out of her mouth onto the plate, and everyone relaxes a little. We go back to our conversations about the firm, where we grew up, etc. etc.

Next, the resume books are handed out to each table. I notice the room slowly getting quieter. Finally, they're distributed at our table. The lady sitting next to me ran a hedge fund out of her dorm room with $7 million AUM. The guy sitting across from me was a starter on Michigan's basketball team. Everyone becomes deathly silent at the table and looks a little intimidated. (People later said they were scared of the fact that I TA'd a graduate algorithms course, but nobody back home ever made a big deal of it.)

The head of HR comes up to the podium at the front of the room. He gives basically the same speech as I described above about how amazing the analyst class is. We realize we're totally out of our league. The head of Capital Markets also steps up to speak and concludes with, "If you have a question, just ask. But whatever you do, DON'T SCREW UP!"

We head down to the basement auditorium. Compliance issues, security talk, etc. Lunch is pizza and salad. Afternoon concludes with some light financial training, we have drinks at 5 PM, and we're dismissed at 6:30. Most of our parents warned us that it would be like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory- that they're looking for excuses to weed kids out. You have to have 1-2 beers, but DON'T GET DRUNK. (We slowly got rid of this attitude at later events where there were fewer MDs and we were seeing the analyst recruiting directors get pretty tipsy themselves. The year after mine, there is a story about a VP in HR getting REALLY drunk at a Karaoke Bar and reportedly insisting on singing "Jesse's Girl" in front of a hundred or so summer analysts.)

After three days,we get our assignments, head to our groups, speak with our MDs, try to get our computers set up, and start our internship.

*: The story's from four years ago. There have probably been a few gaps in my memory about some of the details that I may have filled in, embellished, or borrowed from other stories, but I'm pretty sure the majority of it is pretty accurate. Would be interesting to hear a detailed story from a more recent memory.

4/13/10
IlliniProgrammer:
boshyj:

Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

Arrive at my dorm on Cliff Street at 10 AM on Sunday. It's REALLY nice compared to the $400/month apartment I was staying in in college. Meet my roommate- also a Junior in undergrad. In the first half-hour, I find out that he TAs a 200-level course, plays varsity soccer for Cornell, can bench 160, and got a 15XX on his SATs. (I have him beat on all counts but the sport, and just grin- I was still trained not to brag about myself, though that has eroded after a few years in New York, now.)

We were asked to show up at like 7:30 Monday morning. Like every other summer analyst, I showed up at 7 AM. Security told us to wait outside. I start to notice other nervous-looking college-age students pacing back and forth, and realize they're summer analysts. Being a midwesterner, I am compelled to strike up conversations with strangers, and pretty soon, we are talking about the program, how we found out about it, what the trip was like out here, sports, etc. Then this guy- "Fred from Yale"- as he would ALWAYS call himself throughout the program, introduces himself and starts asking people what research they do, what kind of yacht they own, how many times they've walked across the Sarengheti, etc. etc. A lot of raised eyebrows and a few laughs, but we start to talk about our backgrounds a little more.

At 7:30 we walk into the building. It's in mid-town. 30 ft raised ceilings and a long entrance corridor. A security desk that practically comes up to your neck. It feels a little like a visit to the chambers of the Wizard of Oz. We get our security cards and we are escorted up to the 32nd floor where all of the executives sit and head into this huge cherry-paneled dining room. The floor looks as fancy as some of the really nice rooms in the Capitol Building in Washington- just with more modern paintings hanging from the walls and this hundred-million dollar view of Central Park and the Hudson.

They have a very nice breakfast buffet set out. Everyone looks very nervous- as if they will hold their fork the wrong way or do something embarassing. Then one of the HR ladies sits down at our table, picks up a croissant on her plate, takes a huge bite into it dropping a few crumbs out of her mouth onto the plate, and everyone relaxes a little. We go back to our conversations about the firm, where we grew up, etc. etc.

Next, the resume books are handed out to each table. I notice the room slowly getting quieter. Finally, they're distributed at our table. The lady sitting next to me ran a hedge fund out of her dorm room with $7 million AUM. The guy sitting across from me was a starter on Michigan's basketball team. Everyone becomes deathly silent at the table and looks a little intimidated. (People later said they were scared of the fact that I TA'd a graduate algorithms course, but nobody back home ever made a big deal of it.)

The head of HR comes up to the podium at the front of the room. He gives basically the same speech as I described above about how amazing the analyst class is. We realize we're totally out of our league. The head of Capital Markets also steps up to speak and concludes with, "If you have a question, just ask. But whatever you do, DON'T SCREW UP!"

We head down to the basement auditorium. Compliance issues, security talk, etc. Lunch is pizza and salad. Afternoon concludes with some light financial training, we have drinks at 5 PM, and we're dismissed at 6:30. Most of our parents warned us that it would be like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory- that they're looking for excuses to weed kids out. You have to have 1-2 beers, but DON'T GET DRUNK. (We slowly got rid of this attitude at later events where there were fewer MDs and we were seeing the analyst recruiting directors get pretty tipsy themselves. The year after mine, there is a story about a VP in HR getting REALLY drunk at a Karaoke Bar and reportedly insisting on singing "Jesse's Girl" in front of a hundred or so summer analysts.)

After three days,we get our assignments, head to our groups, speak with our MDs, try to get our computers set up, and start our internship.

*: The story's from four years ago. There have probably been a few gaps in my memory about some of the details that I may have filled in, embellished, or borrowed from other stories, but I'm pretty sure the majority of it is pretty accurate. Would be interesting to hear a detailed story from a more recent memory.

Good post

5/16/10
l2010:
IlliniProgrammer:
boshyj:

Great thread. Can we get any comments on what it's like for SAs?

Arrive at my dorm on Cliff Street at 10 AM on Sunday. It's REALLY nice compared to the $400/month apartment I was staying in in college. Meet my roommate- also a Junior in undergrad. In the first half-hour, I find out that he TAs a 200-level course, plays varsity soccer for Cornell, can bench 160, and got a 15XX on his SATs. (I have him beat on all counts but the sport, and just grin- I was still trained not to brag about myself, though that has eroded after a few years in New York, now.)

We were asked to show up at like 7:30 Monday morning. Like every other summer analyst, I showed up at 7 AM. Security told us to wait outside. I start to notice other nervous-looking college-age students pacing back and forth, and realize they're summer analysts. Being a midwesterner, I am compelled to strike up conversations with strangers, and pretty soon, we are talking about the program, how we found out about it, what the trip was like out here, sports, etc. Then this guy- "Fred from Yale"- as he would ALWAYS call himself throughout the program, introduces himself and starts asking people what research they do, what kind of yacht they own, how many times they've walked across the Sarengheti, etc. etc. A lot of raised eyebrows and a few laughs, but we start to talk about our backgrounds a little more.

At 7:30 we walk into the building. It's in mid-town. 30 ft raised ceilings and a long entrance corridor. A security desk that practically comes up to your neck. It feels a little like a visit to the chambers of the Wizard of Oz. We get our security cards and we are escorted up to the 32nd floor where all of the executives sit and head into this huge cherry-paneled dining room. The floor looks as fancy as some of the really nice rooms in the Capitol Building in Washington- just with more modern paintings hanging from the walls and this hundred-million dollar view of Central Park and the Hudson.

They have a very nice breakfast buffet set out. Everyone looks very nervous- as if they will hold their fork the wrong way or do something embarassing. Then one of the HR ladies sits down at our table, picks up a croissant on her plate, takes a huge bite into it dropping a few crumbs out of her mouth onto the plate, and everyone relaxes a little. We go back to our conversations about the firm, where we grew up, etc. etc.

Next, the resume books are handed out to each table. I notice the room slowly getting quieter. Finally, they're distributed at our table. The lady sitting next to me ran a hedge fund out of her dorm room with $7 million AUM. The guy sitting across from me was a starter on Michigan's basketball team. Everyone becomes deathly silent at the table and looks a little intimidated. (People later said they were scared of the fact that I TA'd a graduate algorithms course, but nobody back home ever made a big deal of it.)

The head of HR comes up to the podium at the front of the room. He gives basically the same speech as I described above about how amazing the analyst class is. We realize we're totally out of our league. The head of Capital Markets also steps up to speak and concludes with, "If you have a question, just ask. But whatever you do, DON'T SCREW UP!"

We head down to the basement auditorium. Compliance issues, security talk, etc. Lunch is pizza and salad. Afternoon concludes with some light financial training, we have drinks at 5 PM, and we're dismissed at 6:30. Most of our parents warned us that it would be like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory- that they're looking for excuses to weed kids out. You have to have 1-2 beers, but DON'T GET DRUNK. (We slowly got rid of this attitude at later events where there were fewer MDs and we were seeing the analyst recruiting directors get pretty tipsy themselves. The year after mine, there is a story about a VP in HR getting REALLY drunk at a Karaoke Bar and reportedly insisting on singing "Jesse's Girl" in front of a hundred or so summer analysts.)

After three days,we get our assignments, head to our groups, speak with our MDs, try to get our computers set up, and start our internship.

*: The story's from four years ago. There have probably been a few gaps in my memory about some of the details that I may have filled in, embellished, or borrowed from other stories, but I'm pretty sure the majority of it is pretty accurate. Would be interesting to hear a detailed story from a more recent memory.

Good post

I agree, thanks

4/12/10

dont listen to illinprogrammer. he wasn't in IBD, he was in back office

7/28/16

^LOL. (sorry not meaning to troll, but too funny)

7/28/16

HR administrative stuff, then started taking classes in accounting/finance and Excel/Powerpoint. We have homework on some nights...overall pretty relaxed.

7/28/16

Your responsiblilites will develop over time. RELAX. As the new guy/girl, you're gonna get all the tasks that no one else wnants to do.

However, in DCM/ECM, your role is pretty standard, write market-updates (not simply copy/paste), sit on conference calls and ask syndicate for pricing. Mix into that a few client meetings, the occasionaly roadshow and that is the typical analyst experience on the capital markets side.

My first day wasn't that productive. Spent about half the day getting everything all set up (log-in, e-mail, blackberry, etc), meet the team, sat through a client meeting, read through a brief overview and that was the day.

7/28/16

It was a brisp cool morning during the summer of 2005 and the market was rocking. I caught the rail and made it in at 8.30.... sat in HR training for 4 hours, went to lunch then joined my desk at 1 only to leave for drinks at 3.... Only downer... as I was standing on the rail with my new BSC bag filled with 401k forms and other crap... some jerk ran by and stole my bag... pulled it so hard the nylon strap torn right off my arm. I almost wanted to chase but dude jacked me for some cheap crap on Russell 1000 and target retirement funds.

7/28/16

I can help: they will be serving double decker shit sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but not just on the first day.

4/12/10
mrbrightside:

dont listen to illinprogrammer. he wasn't in IBD, he was in back office

Actually, I was Capital Markets Analytics- basically a quant developer- and came in through the same analyst program as the sales guys, traders, researchers, and origination (origination was in CM at my firm). I was compensated and promoted based on the same rules as everyone else in the program. You can call my first two years at the firm back office if you want (I care about doing a good job rather than labels), but I did the same work as the quants and TAs- calculating the value of positions off of models and providing IR01, MacCaulay, etc. etc. and wrote the code to make it happen faster- so those guys would probably be back office too, by that logic. Heck, half the guys on our algorithmic trading team would be back-office, while we're at it.

The OP can listen to me or not. Mrbrightside- what is your background in banking and what happened on your first day? Hope you're not a troll posting from under a bridge outside of New Haven, CT angry that your 2.9 GPA from a target school and AEP connections couldn't get you in the door.

(Edit: No offense meant to AEP, Yale, or the Skull and Bones Society- just picking a random fraternity and random target school. Please don't burn down my apartment :-) .)

4/12/10
mrbrightside:

dont listen to illinprogrammer. he wasn't in IBD, he was in back office

Utterly useless post. I would listen to a garbage man before I listen you. Way to make yourself look like a fool.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

7/28/16

i would introduce yourself to everyone on the floor. You're not going to have much to do. Be proactive and just talk to people. If you've got downtime, ask one of the junior people sitting near you if you can shadow them.

7/28/16

I've heard from others that people get pretty competitive from the get go and during training to make a good impression. Did you see that a lot during your first few weeks and during training? Should you even care about face time during the first month since you won't have anything to do?

7/28/16

Relax and enjoy. The responsibilities will come. For now, show initiative, observe the others in action and network.

7/28/16

15 min spent with the HR
30 min spent sitting at my desk waiting for coworkers to show up,
30 min spent with the IT related issues

then my md took me around the entire floor, to introduce me to all the other departments

i spent the rest of the day sitting at my desk working.. except for an hour i had to leave for the compliance training.

4/12/10

My very first day at MS, after training, I stayed in the office until 4 AM. I remember being so pumped and excited that I pulled an all nighter.. on my first day! Slowly that excitement wore off, and I left after 14 months.

7/28/16

there are no weekends right during training?

7/28/16

did someone invite you out for lunch or did you eat with the other summer analysts at the desk?

7/28/16

Find the biggest guy you can and knock him out or become someone's bitch

7/28/16
adapt or die:

Find the biggest guy you can and knock him out or become someone's bitch

This is the 21st century, there is no reason to be barbaric like this...

Find the biggest PERSON you can and knock them out or become someone's bitch. Keep it gender neutral, people will appreciate that you aren't sexist in the office.

This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..

7/28/16
Cruncharoo:
adapt or die:

Find the biggest guy you can and knock him out or become someone's bitch

This is the 21st century, there is no reason to be barbaric like this...

Find the biggest PERSON you can and knock them out or become someone's bitch. Keep it gender neutral, people will appreciate that you aren't sexist in the office.

You're right and perhaps "someone's bitch" should be somone's pocket holding minion

4/12/10

Illini, great comments man, makes for a great read!

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

7/28/16

.

4/13/10

haha makes me kinda want to go into IB. (just for the first week though)

7/28/16

loll

4/13/10

Sweet post. Silver banana

4/13/10

Just one thing: TAs? What does it mean?

Best Response
7/28/16

Serious answer incoming.

You'll probably have a morning of presentations, meetings and introductions showing you some of the main people in the office, some of the support staff (read - the people who will do your PowerPoints while you dash home to sleep, treat them well!) and HR people.

You'll probably go to your desk around 11-12 and then get set up with IT, introduced to the team (assuming you didn't intern with them), maybe even get taken for a lunch if they're nice, and an Associate will give you some busy-work in Excel / Powerpoint which isn't that important but will tell him whether you are a moron or not. Send a very brief circular email to the group (1-2 lines absolute max) introducing yourself and giving out your mobile number.

Stay until someone tells you to go home, if you are sitting around doing literally nothing ask anyone you've already established rapport with if there is anything you can do to help. When an Associate or above tells you that you can go home and the serious work will start the next day, LEAVE. Make sure to get there before everyone else the next day though.

The first day is the perfect time to set up your desktop, screen arrangement, email inbox folders, internet bookmarks etc. Go and bookmark the investor relations sites of all your major clients, FT, WSJ, Bloomberg as well as any news sources for your particular sector - subscribe to any mailing alerts if they are available. This is also a great time to familiarise yourself with FactSet / CapitalIQ / Bloomberg and set them up to your liking as well as the Excel plugin your firm uses (shortcuts!).

One other tip for organisation - ask a second year analyst if there are any mailing lists within the bank you should get yourself added to (ER updates, some traders with their finger on the pulse, market commentary etc).

If you've done ALL this and still have nothing to do, find an old pitch book file and model and make sure you can print them properly (not the full bound experience, the quick printoffs for team meetings) and everything is aligned and coming out on the right number of pages.

4/13/10
tandaradei:

Just one thing: TAs? What does it mean?

Depending on the context (school or banking), it could either mean Teaching Assistant (someone who helps the professor teach a given course- usually a PhD student in lieu of his tuition but sometimes a lowly undergrad earning $5.35/hour) or Trading Assistant. I think most of my references to TAs were in the context of school, so that would mean teaching assistant. At bigger schools, you'll find a lot of TAs. My Junior year, I had a CS prof who thought I would work really well for his graduate CS Theory & Algorithms course after he saw me explaining NP-Completeness and the Subset-Sum problem to my classmates. Apparently, all of that experience teaching swimming lessons paid off- at least in landing another minimum wage job. :D

7/28/16
Asatar:

Serious answer incoming.

You'll probably have a morning of presentations, meetings and introductions showing you some of the main people in the office, some of the support staff (read - the people who will do your PowerPoints while you dash home to sleep, treat them well!) and HR people.

You'll probably go to your desk around 11-12 and then get set up with IT, introduced to the team (assuming you didn't intern with them), maybe even get taken for a lunch if they're nice, and an Associate will give you some busy-work in Excel / Powerpoint which isn't that important but will tell him whether you are a moron or not. Send a very brief circular email to the group (1-2 lines absolute max) introducing yourself and giving out your mobile number.

Stay until someone tells you to go home, if you are sitting around doing literally nothing ask anyone you've already established rapport with if there is anything you can do to help. When an Associate or above tells you that you can go home and the serious work will start the next day, LEAVE. Make sure to get there before everyone else the next day though.

The first day is the perfect time to set up your desktop, screen arrangement, email inbox folders, internet bookmarks etc. Go and bookmark the investor relations sites of all your major clients, FT, WSJ, Bloomberg as well as any news sources for your particular sector - subscribe to any mailing alerts if they are available. This is also a great time to familiarise yourself with FactSet / CapitalIQ / Bloomberg and set them up to your liking as well as the Excel plugin your firm uses (shortcuts!).

One other tip for organisation - ask a second year analyst if there are any mailing lists within the bank you should get yourself added to (ER updates, some traders with their finger on the pulse, market commentary etc).

If you've done ALL this and still have nothing to do, find an old pitch book file and model and make sure you can print them properly (not the full bound experience, the quick printoffs for team meetings) and everything is aligned and coming out on the right number of pages.

SB for this guy reminding me why I still come here sometimes.

Make sure that you do your email folders - maybe 1 for each deal, then folders for pitches and other things -
and make CERTAIN they are being saved to the right place so they are backing up correctly.

Make really good friends with your IT guy/gal - maybe invite him/her out for drinks. They will save your ass more than anyone else.

Same goes for printing if you are at a place with a print center.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

7/28/16

Piss in the VP's office to mark your future territory

7/28/16

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

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