Pages

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

hipsing916's picture
Rank: Chimp | 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.

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.

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.

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.

    • 1
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.

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.

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...

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.

    • 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.

    • 1
    • 1
May 26, 2011

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

    • 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.

    • 1
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.

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.

    • 3
    • 1
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?

...

    • 2
    • 1
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.

    • 1
    • 1
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.

    • 1
May 26, 2011

Thanks for the perspective. Any advice on resources?

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"

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.

    • 2
    • 1
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.

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.

    • 7
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

May 26, 2011

PARTY WHILE YOU STILL CAN BROTHER!

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

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?

    • 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

awesome post..

  •  May 26, 2011

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

  •  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

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

Maybe I'll start eating eating some lunch and forgetting the daily coffee haha

Mr.Mathie | Ideas are nothing without execution - Jeux de Commerce Central

May 26, 2011

choose the right team if you can.

May 26, 2011
May 26, 2011

Work ur ass off.

May 26, 2011

Pack a juice box.

May 26, 2011

interested as well

May 26, 2011

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

May 26, 2011

don't fuck it up

May 26, 2011

Hahaha, it's so sad that we have threads like this. But I'm dying to hear what people have to say.

May 26, 2011

same here

May 26, 2011
  • auto bill pay
  • maid (worth the $50 every two weeks)
  • dry cleaning pick up at home (i'm getting it soon)
  • streaming audio (you never have time to download what you want...) if your company blocks it... get a verizon or cingular hspda card and connect that shit to your laptop + you can browse restricted site at work on your lap top
May 26, 2011

i'm not an analyst yet but these would be important to me if I were one
- having an apartment close to work
- couple friends with benefits

May 26, 2011

heh, life..

...

May 26, 2011

Being able to walk to work
Seamless web
coffee

May 26, 2011

Did you study finance or accounting in college?

May 26, 2011

Any advice?

May 26, 2011

Get a lot of sleep and exercise. Kinda like hyperventilating before swimming 25 yards underwater.

May 26, 2011

What Illini said, enjoy your next four weeks, go do something you've always wanted to do. Hang out with your friends, get in shape, travel, take a road trip, anything. Do not waste your time getting ready for your job, you already have it you'll be fine. You'll get trained on anything else you need. You will regret not enjoying this free time while you have it, because I promise, you will miss it when you finally start.

    • 1
May 26, 2011

Just relax

May 26, 2011

I wish I could relax. My bank enrolled each of us into a Wall St Prep course online and sent us a mountain of Series 7 study material!

May 26, 2011

Chances are that your bank's hired TTS to handle your excel and modeling prep during training. Seriously, just keep up with what's going on in the markets and your industry and you'll be fine.

May 27, 2011

thanks so much. I like you guys' answers.

May 27, 2011

drink heavily

May 27, 2011

i would stockpile sugar-free redbull from the work fridge and store it in my desk in the mornings. it always runs out by the end of the night.

May 27, 2011

.

May 27, 2011

buy a blow up doll

May 27, 2011

I would actually make sure I decked out my apartment with everything I needed to make the few hours spent at home the most enjoyable.

No one wants to work like a dog, and then come home to live/sleep like one want too. You owe it to yourself to have a nice place. It takes awhile to fully complete an apartment with the right furniture and accessories, but I would spend a good amount of time doing that.

I would also make sure I bought all my clothes for work and everything I needed before. If you know what type of clothes you want and what fits with your group/firm's culture, I'd go ahead and use that signing bonus for that as well.

Also, get all those doctor appointment check ups that are actually vital out of the way. Sounds stupid/mom-like but it will help you tremendously. You won't have time to sit in a freaking waiting room for 3 hours for some douchebag to see you for 20 minutes and send you along your way to duane reades.

    • 1
May 27, 2011

@kidflash

Please don't tell me you have Beats by Dr Dre headphones :p

May 27, 2011

My favorite energy product on the market. Had a VP who did a deal for the company when he was an analyst. Has now been using is for like 5 years. I like it more because you just mix it with a bottle of water and it has the strength of 2 cups of coffee.

http://www.discountcoffee.com/wild-berry-power-edg...

May 27, 2011

Clothes have been discussed a million times. For gadgets, I think headphones are pretty important. The mistake I made was not taking into account the amount of heat that builds up in studio-type overear headphones. I think on-ear headphones or even really good custom fitted earbuds are the way to go.

Also, get a good pair of boots you can wear to work BEFORE the first NYC slush/salt fest ruins a pair of nice dress shoes.

And decide whether you want cable or if you are just going to use your computer BEFORE you decide where to live. FiOS availability is a key amenity in that case, as their fast internet + HD is like half the price of time warner/cablevision.

Depending on your medical coverage, go to the dentist/optometrist/buy glasses a after graduation on your school/parents healthcare and then again 3 months later at the end of training.

Max your Roth IRA this year AND next year, since after that would will likely hit the income cutoff once you get a bonus.

May 27, 2011

Bose sucks, get some Klipsch, Shure, Westone or even Ultimate Ears.

May 27, 2011

First couple lines say they are both analysts but were not SAs, is this at a BB? How did that happen?

May 27, 2011

Thanks for that. I am in exactly the situation and start training in a month. Will keep this in mind...

May 27, 2011

Not trolling, just asking because it is very difficult like you said.

May 27, 2011

It really depends on the year. In years where they hire little for internships, but then the economy picks up later on, it can actually be easier to get a full-time offer than a internship.

May 27, 2011

I'm a post grad intern so maybe I don't have the best credibility- but one thing I'd suggest in addition to writing everything down/taking notes is to print (almost) everything.

If you're double checking your work, don't just check off your computer screen. Also print out copies and check as well. Also when you have long email trails where you're expected to absorb and know what's going on...having a print copy on hand can pay dividends

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

May 27, 2011
  1. Introduce yourself to everyone in your group your first week. There are some analysts in my group who wish they had done so. Star MDs and VPs (on the "hottest" deals) often designate who they want on their team - don't want to be left out of that process if senior people don't recall / know who you are.
  2. Find people who take interest in your professional development. They will guide you in the right direction in terms of who you should work with in your group / industry, what runs well with those people, and even little things like when you should reimburse receipts.

http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot....

May 27, 2011

ALWAYS have a positive attitude and smile. If someone asks you if you had a late night the night before, don't groan and be bitter. If you aren't enjoyable to work with, it doesn't matter how high-quality your work is.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

May 27, 2011

Don't be a tool. Its hard for a lot of analysts, but if you want to move up, you need to have some social skills and be able to hold a conversationa bout something OTHER than work.

May 27, 2011

Ask questions if you're unsure, but don't be asking other analysts every 30 seconds about something. Also, whatever work they give you initially, check it in triplicate for the first 2-3 months. During that stage nobody is going to expect you to be building LBOs or operating models from scratch; most work will be PIBs/profiles/industry slides etc. All of it is a bit mindless but whenever that 'easy' work comes along, make sure it is perfect.

May 27, 2011

Most of my 'bad habits' were cured after my SA, I am now going into my second year as a FT analyst.. here is my advice,

  1. Don't be a bitch. Don't complain if an associate gives you mindless shit to do (this happens more than it should). Associates have gone through MBA programs where they learn 'leadership' skills and some of them get a hard-on by passing off work
  2. Ask questions. Even if it is a stupid question (how do we calculate FCF here?), but WRITE down the answer that you are given, so you don't ask the same shit over and over.
  3. Get laid. This often helps me take out my frustration. If you don't have a gf in the city (im a lucky one that i do..) at least go to a massage parlour. Seriously.
  4. Attention to detail. This one has been hammered multiple times, but my rule of thumb is, if you think it is perfect, check it twice.
  5. Engage in small-talk. Talk to your Md's and VP's about their kids and what part of the hamptons they live in, etc. Also, don't underestimate the value of making allies with the assistants. When I flew on campus to give interviews, my assitant put me in first class (this is not standard policy for analysts).
  6. You'll often think to yourself, im way to smart for this job. You probably are, but this is destructive thinking, and will ruin your day.
  7. Become proficient at CapIQ, Bloomberg. If you are proficient with this, you will get shit done ALOT faster. ALOT.
  8. Finally, learn to realize that Investment banking is JUST A JOB. I know, i know, it is hard for some people to realize that, particularly on this website... but in all honesty, it is just a job. You'll still deal with bullshit work, drama in the office, cleaning crew vacumming while you are trying to model, but try and keep a good attitude, and realize that while you are in the upper-echelon in finance, you are still a nerd to the rest of society.
    • 1
May 27, 2011

I wish we had capIQ and not fvking FactSet.

May 27, 2011

"realize that while you are in the upper-echelon in finance, you are still a nerd to the rest of society."

haha

May 27, 2011

Not sure how do you find time to get laid?

May 27, 2011

Stay in close touch with future bankers from your undergrad...its not hard with female bankers since they also lack time

May 27, 2011
Comment
May 27, 2011
May 27, 2011
May 27, 2011
Comment

"Give me guys that are poor, smart, and hungry. And no feelings." - Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street"

May 27, 2011
May 27, 2011

Pages