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How Do I Prepare for my First Day as an I-Banking Analyst?

hipsing916's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 2

I received an offer earlier today from Jefferies' Investment Banking Division. I interviewed for the analyst position, and being that I liked the group and everything, I immediately accepted the offer.

However, I'm not entirely sure I know exactly how to best prepare myself for the job. After coming off the rush I got from getting the offer, I'm starting to worry that maybe my education hasn't adequately prepared me for a career in banking (I don't go to an ivy league or anything, and its uncommon for people to come out of my school with an investment banking offer).

So to anyone who's had any investment banking experience: Do you have any suggestions for good resources (ie: websites, books, etc) that I could use to help flatten the learning curve a little bit? How about any areas where I should focus more attention on before starting the job (ie: ratio analysis? sharpening my mental math skills? statistics? calculus?).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Comments (204)

Sep 28, 2009

Start by learning how to find capitalized interest in 10-Ks, how to add gridlines to your powerpoint presentation, and how to find research reports for the PIBs you'll make.

In all seriousness, I would not worry so much about over preparing about starting. You'll learn a lot of the technical skills during training (assuming Jefferies has training) and the rest will come with practice on the job. Congrats on the offer btw.

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Sep 28, 2009

Look, banking is not exactly rocket science... or even real analysis (probably not even calculus haha). Show up. They'll teach you what you need to know, and if they don't you'll learn it on the job. Just relax and try to soak up as much info as you can. You'll do yourself much better than studying financials.

Oh and for the record, you will not need mental math skills, likely not calculus, and likely very little beyond basic statistics.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Hedge Fund Professional - Assistant Portfolio Manager - Learn more.
Sep 29, 2009

Relax. Be attentive and you will be just fine

Sep 29, 2009

My advice to all of you newbie bankers:

  1. Before your employment begins, you should start developing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You must pay attention to detail and triple check everything without killing too much time while doing it. It's crucial.
  2. Find out which version of the MS Office your firm's currently using.
  3. Learn Excel, as in VBA (Macro) and other advanced functions and etc.
  4. Learn Excel shortcuts.
  5. Take some art classes (painting and etc.) and enhance your creative side. (I am dead serious about this)
  6. Learn how to create aesthetically pleasing PowerPoint slides.
  7. Try going to sleep at around 3 AM and waking up at 8 AM everyday consistently.
  8. Learn how to deal with lazy, ignorant, low-IQ, and unnecessarily aggressive talking people (i.e. print room/presentation unit idiots)

Let me know if I missed anything.

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Sep 29, 2009

calculus...how did you get a banking offer? jk

Practice excel shortcuts and maybe do Wall Street Prep if you're up for it. Maybe try establishing some friends with benefits for when you start work.

Sep 29, 2009

swallow your ego and be able to do anything and listen to people treating you like absolute shit. Also get used to not being able to get hair cuts, do laundry etc and feeling like shit all the time.

Sep 30, 2009

Hmm..I like the friends w benefits idea.

Sep 30, 2009

enjoy your time now because when you start, you'll hate the time you wasted preping for the overall mundaneness...

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 2nd Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Talk about down to the bone honest requirements. I am currently a Senior and was thinking about taking extra classes such as Calculus and advanced statistics. Its all good to take them and increase my quant skills, but it will really slow me down from learning basic valuation and DCF and LBO modeling skills, because I don't have too much time in college left. M&A is what i want to get into so I figured using up my time on learning modeling would best used.

Correct me if I'm wrong please.

"Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth." - Paul Clitheroe

May 26, 2011

I know this is old, but:

Do what they do in Muay Thai, but instead of destroying the nerves in your shins and forearms, destroy them in your knees and asshole.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Real Estate Professional - 1st Year Associate - Learn more.
    • 1
May 26, 2011

If this is for SA would be very interested as well

May 26, 2011

Should have specified -- edit made. ModelingJockey, feel free to PM if you want SA advice.

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May 26, 2011

Work out and get in shape, the modeling you'll learn on the job.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 2nd Year Associate - Learn more.
    • 2
Best Response
May 26, 2011

Spend all of the money you made this summer going out and traveling. Do nothing about work. You will be happy for doing this and understand the advice after about 6 months on the job...

I am being 100% serious.

May 26, 2011

This x100.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 2nd Year Associate - Learn more.
    • 1
May 26, 2011

I get where you're coming from, and certainly will do some of this. But I am headed into an extremely small (<5 person analyst class) group and I am pretty concerned about my reputation and being ready to go from day 1. So if I was so inclined, do you have any advice on how to get as prepped as possible?

Thanks guys, really appreciate the assist here.

    • 1
May 26, 2011

What NYC EB has a <5 analyst class?

May 26, 2011

My group, not the bank as a whole.

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May 26, 2011

You will want to have good stories to tell and experiences to share, rather than telling your associate about all of the sweet books you read. Just trust the board on this one.

May 26, 2011

Do practice models and make sure you're reasonably fast at Excel / PPT shortcuts if you really want to be prepared. There are good free resources all over the Internet, but if you want to be pointed to something specific, do the simpler Macabacus LBO / Operating model. Build from scratch a couple times and then try to do it for some random public Co. That should get you in good shape.

May 26, 2011

Best advice here. My group has on average 1 intern per class and I'd give them this advice as well so your <5 analyst size comment doesn't really hold.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 1st Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Got it, thanks. Care to elaborate on how you guys expect your analysts to get up to speed? Mentor them when they start, group specific training, etc?

May 26, 2011

Mostly mentoring. Some groups do have specific training modules they put everyone through at my bank but for us it's just a lot of having somebody sit down next to you while you review their work and explaining everything that is being changed and why. Takes a lot of upfront time but pays off in the end for everyone involved.

The big thing here is even if you are the most up to speed incoming analyst ever, you'll need to gain everyone's trust which takes time. Plus some things you just can't learn since they'll be group and firm specific.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 1st Year Associate - Learn more.
    • 1
May 26, 2011

I guess I would recommend Finger Curls, This is an easy exercise to perform and will develop finger and hand strength. Simply sit and hold a 5- 15lb weight in your hand. Allow the weight to roll down your fingers, and now curl your fingers back holding the weight securely.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Real Estate Professional - 2nd Year Analyst - Learn more.
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May 26, 2011

Are there requirements on base finger strength and girth? How much does symmetry affect promotion capability? I have a slight bend in the tip of my right index finger, that my left does not have. Will I be able to make the Analyst to Associate move without an MBA?

...

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May 26, 2011

Apologies if this topic of this post has been covered previously, but I have received 3 PMs from SAs who are also interested in the topic, so I don't think this is an entirely useless post. Would love any real advice you may have!

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May 26, 2011

Travel, have fun, find an interesting and different hobby. Refresh your accounting skills if going into IB. If S&T be up to date on markets and movements. More than anything, arrive to training feeling refreshed and energized after whatever break you have.

...

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May 26, 2011

Thanks!

May 26, 2011

If you haven't done any of the modeling courses, run through one. Depending your level of familiarity with Excel I'd also work on that. This will take you about a week. Do it at the beginning of your break. Then do NOTHING work related up until the last week before work when you bring out your study materials and refresh yourself on the basics.

Just make sure you're actively reading the financial news while you travel.

May 26, 2011

If you have good modelling skills, enjoy yourself. If you don't, I would allocate some time to learning about it. People always downplay the importance of hitting the ground running. Your reputation is made in the first three months when you've worked on more than two or three projects.

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May 26, 2011

Thanks for the perspective. Any advice on resources?

May 26, 2011

Udemy has some dirt cheap Wall Street Prep courses on sale. $30 or so after coupon. Was helping my cousin in UG track down training yesterday.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 2nd Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Started my 1st year analyst last summer, being in your shoes before I know the feeling of wanting to get ahead. I have a great post passed around and have sent it to the incoming 1st years I know. I can say that everything is spot on and if you can master this then you will be on your way to being a good analyst: search "What I wish every first year analyst knew"

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 1st Year Analyst - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

You could always use the search function because this question is asked on a regular basis. Stop worry about your career so much and get busy living. Go travel and make some memories.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Corporate Finance Professional - 2nd Year Analyst - Learn more.
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May 26, 2011

1 Tip - learn to not ask questions you can answer yourself. I'm serious. Questions at work should be asked after an exhaustive attempt to answer the question yourself - otherwise you look either lazy or stupid, or both.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Hedge Fund Professional - 3rd+ Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Thanks for the input guys, hear you loud and clear.

May 26, 2011

Just yesterday, we fired one of our associates. She was with us for one year and did a lot of things wrong before we decided to fire her. Instead of pointing out her problems, I would like to suggest a few things that would make a good analyst and/or an associate.

1) Over-Communicate: talk to me if you have any issues. If I didn't make my points clear - walk over and ask me. If the assignment last for two weeks, don't talk to me right before it is due or call in sick. This is the worst thing to do.

2) Be a Team Player: don't try to engage extensively in office politics. You might offend the wrong person and the shit will start rolling downhill from there. Office politics is for VP and above. Just put your head down and get things done. The last thing the senior people want is someone who is actively involved in office politics.

3) Under Promise Over Deliver: talk less and get things done. No one like an arrogant prick right out of college. You need to work to earn your respect.

4) Social Skill > Modeling: spend more time talking to clients and also listening in on what your managers want. You can save a lot of time by not having to do useless pitchbooks and modelings.

5) Pay Your Due: if you really want to get promoted really fast > first in last out. The first two years is going to suck. If you want to move up > you need to work on a major deal > the only way you will be involved is if you can prove to the senior bankers that you can deliver > by showing up consistently and delivering quality work consistently.

6) Not Having 9-5 Mentality: what you do during working hours is to get your pay check. What you do after working hours is how you build up your career. Even out of office hours, you should spending time i) learning more about technical stuffs, ii) actively building network, and iii) staying healthy.

7) Show That You Want to Be Here: we all know that after 2 years, you will be moving to private equity or other jobs. But while you are here, "at least" try to show us that you want to be with us for the long run. Or else, there is no point for us in helping to grow your career.

If anything that I missed out > just ask.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - Vice President - Learn more.
    • 5
May 26, 2011

Really appreciate the comment, some really smart stuff in there.

Do you have any anecdotal advice for how an analyst can fast-track to getting staffed on the best deals? Have you had any experiences where an analyst did something that really made you "flag" him/her in your mind as a worker?

May 26, 2011

work assignment > get things done > over communicate > be patient and consistent

to get promoted to an associate > take more initiatives > be your firm's brand ambassador (getting involved in campus recruiting events) > spend time mentoring or helping out more junior staffs > be more involved in project management of a mandate

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - Vice President - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

PARTY WHILE YOU STILL CAN BROTHER!

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 2nd Year Analyst - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Would love to know how your experience has been over the last year dude.. Starting as a full time IBD analyst in a few weeks as well.

May 26, 2011

Bump

May 26, 2011

wait for training- if you're really uneasy though - go through investment banking, leveraged buyouts and M&A by Josh Rosenbaum..fantastic guide.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Hedge Fund Professional - 3rd+ Year Analyst - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Brush up on the basics - how to do comps, do a DCF, basic accounting, normalizing financials, very basic M&A and LBO modeling, etc. Not very helpful learning much more beyond that since the nitty gritty details of comps/modeling/presentations tend to be group specific, and you'll learn on the job

May 26, 2011

Which MM firm? If it's quite large, expect to be worked to the tee.
I would recommend sleeping 4 hours 3x a week, and slowly building up to 6x a week.
Also get your body accustomed to 5x coffees a day from Starbucks

DOs:
Get Starbucks Cards Loaded
Get Boss Shirts (need to look fresh)

DONts:
Get into a LT relationship
Start a business/have a huge time commitment prior

Just kidding,
Enjoy your internship, no really to prepare, brush up on Excel (if you don't know any, then really learn it), read some books on valuation, and M&A Process, go through some pitchbooks (maybe even create your own), relax, party, hook up, rince and repeat

Congrats.

May 26, 2011
wikileaks:

Also get your body accustomed to 5x coffees a day from Starbucks

Wouldn't it be better to minimize caffeine consumption so that you don't have a caffeine resistance before you even start working??

May 26, 2011

Read Investment Banking by Rosenbaum and Pearl.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 1st Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

What's your background? If you majored in something business-related, like finance/accounting, then you should be fine, but I have a suspicion that this isn't you. In that case, then just try to familiarize yourself with financial accounting (sit in on some classes at the business school, or just independent study with a textbook). It also wouldn't hurt to learn a bit of excel as well, but you'll probably get a Training the Street/Wall Street Prep course as part of your training during the summer. There are also case studies/past pitchbooks/merger analyses online if you're interested in that stuff, just takes a bit of googling.

If you're a senior, don't forget to enjoy the last bit of college as well.

May 26, 2011

I am going to be starting a FT gig, but I do not have a finance or accounting background. I understand how DCFs, comps and all of those other things work at a high level (they ask you about all that during interviews), but do you think I need to come in understanding how to do that in Excel?

May 26, 2011

I think training will answer all of your questions and will prepare you for FT. I remember when I was in a summer stint last year and the bank hired new analysts, there was a girl who didn't have a clue about anything. She did 3 weeks of training (TTS I believe) and came back ready. So enjoy your time and don't stress out too much.

May 26, 2011

read 10K's and 10Q's of companies you find interesting - get familiar w/ where everything is !

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

May 26, 2011

Push-ups, sit-up and dips.

What's your mile time?

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 1st Year Analyst - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Pepper your angus, they're going in dry

May 26, 2011

Get the WSO Technical Guide

May 26, 2011
Beny23:

Get the WSO Technical Guide

those guides, while great is mainly for interviews...
probably just relax until training

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 3rd+ Year Associate - Learn more.
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

May 26, 2011

any thoughts on this guys?

May 26, 2011

Enjoy yourself. No sense in worrying about how to prepare. Clearly your qualified, so once you start, just continue to pick things up as quickly as you can.

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 1st Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

Any actual advice here guys other than to enjoy myself? Must be things that would be useful to do before starting?

May 26, 2011

Learn excel.

May 26, 2011

Can you manipulate Powerpoint / Excel well, build a pro forma P&L / BS / CFS, and work 80+ hours a week without flinching? If so, congratulations, enjoy your time off before you return to the familiar glow of your dual-monitors and cubicle walls. If you're in a specific industry / product group, make sure you at least have a high level idea of the major trends / players in that space before joining on full time.

May 26, 2011

Enjoy your time, sleep a lot and don't forget to see your friends. It should be a bit more complicated right after the beginning of your job.

BTW, congrats :)

AUTHORED BY: Certified Private Equity Professional - 3rd+ Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

I know that this post is old but I was just curious: what did you lateral from?

AUTHORED BY: Certified Investment Banking Professional - 2nd Year Associate - Learn more.
May 26, 2011

YESSS MORE NECRO'D THREADS!!! THIS TIME FOR A GUY WHO HAS 10 POINTS! GJ

May 26, 2011

So they are hiring you as a lateral who has not been trained in banking and will essentially skip the majority of the first year process and then will have the standing of a 2nd year? That's impressive. I would learn how to model quickly and how to do arts and crafts in powerpoint. That was always my favorite in the glory days...

Dirk Dirkenson:

Shut up already. Your mindless, reflexive responses to any critical thought on this are tedious. You're also probably a woman, given the name and "xoxo" signoff, so maybe the lack of judgment is to be expected.

  •  May 26, 2011

last time i checked, drugs and caffeinne were a staple in the iBankers lifestyle. you're telling me that it's a good idea to lay off the drugs?

how am i supposed to stay awake asshole?

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May 26, 2011

I am so addicted to caffeine that if I don't have it I get a headache so bad that 4 advil liquigels won't cure it. But if I do have it, I get the shakes so bad that I can't even hold a pen steady. Avoid it if you can.

May 26, 2011

try TAB...its the softdrink that was hip in the 80s and is making a come back. 4 times the amount of caffenine than coffee. plus 0 cals, means no cottage cheese ass.

May 26, 2011

Make sure you know how to use the ALT-TAB combination. this will allow you to quickly switch from reading ESPN to your excel sheet when someone walks by.

May 26, 2011

TAB has the an odd taste and seems to give little energy. Seem only good as a chaser.

May 26, 2011

is great

    • 1
May 26, 2011

Max your 401K. Its free money dumbass!!!!! Also, don't blow your bonus. Try to save and invest some.

Learn how to push it across the line.

Invest in Kevlar.

Avoid the bullpen Friday between 4 and 5.

May 26, 2011

Oh yeah I forgot, THE MOUSE IS FOR WHIMPS AND BABIES.

May 26, 2011

Hahaha, that's the best comment out of all of them.

May 26, 2011

I see that you've made a lot of good posts on the site, and was wondering if you could provide me with your thoughts on UBS M&A vs Merill M&A. Thanks.

May 26, 2011

awesome post..

May 26, 2011

you know it.

  •  May 26, 2011

just try to think like george costanza and you'll be fine.

May 26, 2011

don't forget to use dressing and gravy sparingly... those calories add up before you know it.

May 26, 2011

Starbucks is your friend.....?

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

May 26, 2011

Keep your ipod with you - its one of the best sleep killers...

  •  May 26, 2011

if your boss is coming around the corner, just hit Windows-M, and it will minimize everythign on your screen. if you really want to take it to the next level, make your background an excel spreadsheet, kinda like painting open eyes on your eyelids so no one knows you're sleeping...

May 26, 2011

how do i earn them to access the salary stats?

May 26, 2011

sweet, I just earn some banana points.

  •  May 26, 2011

12 is so true!!!

Just one year out of undergrad and the other weekend I drank two nights in a row not even that much, and I was SICK for the next three days...I remember in college walking into class half drunk in the morning and doing it 4-5 times a week and still giong to the gym every other day and staying up all night. god, why does this happen????????????????

  •  May 26, 2011

fuck your boss if you get the chance.

  •  May 26, 2011

hell yeah

May 26, 2011

I discovered the sports channel webstream at work...needless to say, working at weekends has become a lot more fun now that I watch spend most of my time watching football!

May 26, 2011

gotta love tabbing

May 26, 2011

Bet on but dont be the one participating in the food bets on the trading floor.

Don't throw anyone under the bus.

Show up for work Friday if everyone goes out drinking Thursday night.

May 26, 2011

Resist the urge to masturbate in the restroom during late hours.

May 26, 2011
drexl:

Resist the urge to masturbate in the restroom during late hours.

Was this a joke?

May 26, 2011

I doubt it. The long hours, the all-nighters, where else can a lonely banker get some lovin?

May 26, 2011

cool

May 26, 2011

Make sure the sound on your computer is always off so when one of your buddies sends you a powerpoint file that opens and plays the clip "HEY EVERYBODY I'M LOOKING AT GAY PORN!!!" you don't get busted.

May 26, 2011

i really agree with all, especially

  1. Making your bosses life easier means making your life easier -- in the long run
May 26, 2011

green tea works better than coffee, red bull or caffeine pills.

stay hydrated so u can go to the bathroom a couple times an hour.

May 26, 2011

good stuff

May 26, 2011

Save money (more than just your bonus) for b-school and afterwords. Having a positive net worth and being relatively liquid will make your life much easier. It will do wonders for your stress levels.

May 26, 2011

sorry

May 26, 2011

good tread

May 26, 2011

They can be annoying sometimes, but get in good with them and you can get them to do a lot of BS stuff for you...lord knows they have the time.

May 26, 2011

I second the "Bet on but dont be the one participating in the food bets."

I gained 12lbs this summer by being the one betted on. I'm still trying to get rid of it.

May 26, 2011

Keep toothbrush at office :-)

May 26, 2011

Agreed, bad breath in close "cube" quarters is very unpleasant.

May 26, 2011

Okay, I brought the toothbrush to work and felt reallys strange going off the the washroom every lunch to use it. I felt prissy... I ended up switching to mints for the last month.

May 26, 2011

Proper dental hygiene is not prissy. Sigh.

HINT: Try drinking mint tea at least once a day. Mint is great for bad breath, but even better for digestion... and many times those dinners ordered in make one feel like a slob...

May 26, 2011

got to stay in school coz no company wants to hire me...

May 26, 2011

hilarious

May 26, 2011

What's the deal with the food bets? Could someone please explain... :)

May 26, 2011

as someone said above, resist the urge to masturbate in the bathroom. never masturbate at your desk.

have a good attitude.

be intelligent about your work. work hard.

and definately have good hygiene. nothing is more disgusting than working late w/ someone who you'd wish was standing 15 feet away from you than their current proximity.

May 26, 2011

Thanks, these tips are great. Awesome thread.

May 26, 2011

Toothbrush and deodorant at your desk. Take 2 minutes to clean yourself up, you and your office-mates will be much happier

May 26, 2011

Good stuff... here are a few more to add...

  1. When you make a Starbuck's run, do NOT come back with only ONE coffee. Be a sport and get some for your team- next year when you have the new analyst class, you'll have someone bringing you coffee too.
  2. Befriend the people at Production. You depend on them a lot, and they have the power to make you miserable by making you wait around until Midnight on the one Friday when you could otherwise leave the office at a reasonable hour. I wrote them a thank you note telling them I appreciated them helping me do my job better, and now it is like I have VIP status...
  3. Max out your 401K when you get your bonus, but contribute monthly as well. Consolidate student loans too, and pay off private (floating rate) loans as soon as you can.
  4. Keep a spare pair of heels and pantyhose under your desk. Nothing like going to a client meeting with a run in your stockings.
  5. Don't call in sick, even if you are so beyond hungover that you are still drunk.
  6. Be the first one in the office and the last to leave.
  7. Invest in a nice set of pearls. They are classy and go with everything. You can't go wrong.
  8. Guys, ignore # 4 and 7, or else find another industry that is more welcoming to your preferences...
May 26, 2011

I've finally realized that unlike college where you have time to recover from your nightly escapades, banking gives no suck slack. Thus, I've found that I have had to drastically reduce my drinking and going out to once, maybe, just maybe, twice a week. If I have any time off on weekends, I use it to catch up on sleep instead of boozing and it has made all the difference in the world at work.

I know it's lame to some of you, but it really does help. I miss college.

May 26, 2011

See if you can get some 'Adderall' keep it handy but don't get caught and don't F*** around with it...it might just help zone in when you're up against those 30+ hour days. Caffeine pills like 'No Doz' pills might help if you haven't developed immunity.

May 26, 2011

Provigil is the way to go for staying awake 30+ hours.

May 26, 2011

I second the green tea, unfortunately it has less caffeine than coffee. Summers...mlb.tv with the sound off?