How Difficult is Investment Banking?
I suppose with all the focus on how difficult it is to get in in the first place, an the fact the hours are insane, people dont really talk about how challenging the actual work is.
I mean we know its a tough job with the pressure and hours but how difficult is it to build a model? Is it challenging in a quants way or is it more a case of doing what your told and if you can get it done on time your ok?
Is Investment Banking Hard?
While many undergraduates and perspective investment bankers spend their time wondering how hard it is to break into the industry - the difficulty of the job is equally important. Our users shared their thoughts below.
The difficult elements of banking are:
- The hours and stress of the work
- Non-regular models
- Accounting work
It depends on your group. Some groups there is a ton of cookie-cutter modeling - same thing each time. Other groups have different models every time, and you are building models from scratch regularly. It depends on your group, but assuming you're somewhere in the middle, the most challenging part of the job and the hardest part of the job is the part spoken of most - the hours/stress. Once you've built some models, torn through financials, etc, the work isn't usually terribly challenging - the hours and fire-drill work flow at times is what makes it hard.
Whether or not banking is "difficult" depends on the level that you are. At the junior levels, the most difficult part by far is managing your time and not going crazy. The actual thinking involved is rarely that rigorous.
Ibanking isn't hard, give me a kid with good working ethic who isn't completely stupid and it'll work. That said, everything is relative, and any job will be hard/take time if you want to be good at it.
What is Challenging About IB?
- Building an LBO model with a complicated capital structure and revolver = hard
- Changing the colors on a PowerPoint presentation = easy and mindless
- Getting chewed out by your boss for screwing up changing the colors on a PowerPoint presentation at 1am = VERY HARD
Same with modeling. Difficulty kicks in when you have to juggle speed, efficiency, attention to details, and obviously overall sexiness of a model.
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