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Most Helpful
Jan 15, 2021 - 2:48pm

2nd year analyst here-


- Once you've finished a project, whether it be turning comments on a deck, comps updates, a model, etc. take 5min and step away from your desk. Do literally anything else - check the news, text a friend, whatever before coming back and reviewing your work. I've found that putting some distance between myself and the ask helps me catch more mistakes. 

- Always spell check everything before sending (F7)

- Take a stab at playing up, whether it be crafting language for a page in a deck or choosing companies to go into your comps, it's always a good look to at least attempt doing more than the bare minimum

- Sanity check your assumptions in a model - ask yourself if you were investing in this company and the only thing you had to go off of was this model, do the assumptions make sense?

- Spend at most 30-45min trying to figure something out - after that, ask someone else and WRITE DOWN what they tell you. This prevents you from asking the same question twice. Personally, I keep a word doc for each project I've worked on, whether it be a deal or a pitch, broken down by category (ppt q's, excel, etc.) so I can reference them before asking my ASO or VP

- Over communicate - I've gotten into the habit of updating the ASO I'm working with (or VP if there's no ASO on the project) what my bandwidth looks like / the other projects I'm working on so they're aware of what's going on in the background. Makes thing easier when I push back on an ask due to another project being more time sensitive

- Take the time to connect with people outside of your immediate circle (aka analyst class) - if you have a few minutes each week, shoot the shit with your ASO / VP (if you have that type of relationship w/ them - more so with ASO's than VP's). Helps build camaraderie and definitely helps when it comes time for them to review you 

- For public clients that you cover, setup alerts on bamsec so you're notified whenever a new filing is uploaded. Scan these for any M&A news, anything spoken about capital allocation decisions / acquisition appetite, and prepare a brief email to the MD that covers said client / your client team summarizing the info. This also applies for earnings summaries, especially if you're interested in leaving for a HF someday - great habit to build


This list is definitely not exhaustive and I'm sure others will have more ideas, but the above are some tips that my second year told me when I joined that've been very helpful. Happy to go into more detail. 

Jan 15, 2021 - 3:12pm

Very helpful. Thank you.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 3:17pm

Bruh this is so helpful you dont even know - appreciate it 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 17, 2021 - 11:21am

All of these assume you have free time (ie need more time to do). When under the shotgun 24/7 it's difficult to go above & beyond 

Jan 18, 2021 - 3:27am

Absolutely. When under the gun it's much harder to do the above. I've found that building these habits when things slow down help a ton when I'm slammed. The commentary re checking work / spell checks / stepping away apply no matter what the time constraint. Always better to have things take marginally longer and be right, than for something to get out quick only for your ASO / VP to come back with a block of comments.

Jan 15, 2021 - 5:34pm

The #1 most important tip to succeed and be a top bucket analyst (and honestly this applies to any job) is to always be proactive. Like others have mentioned, this involves looking for ways processes can improve or ways that you can progress a deal along / get ahead of things to make your superiors lives easier. This can most easily be thought of as doing the job of someone who is the next stage above you (so for analysts, that would be doing the associate's job).

This tip is also one of the hardest things to do though, especially when you are already at full capacity. If this is the case, you definitely don't want to be in the situation where you try to be proactive on things but end up producing subpar work products on both the things you're expected to do and the things you're being proactive on. 

It's a hard balance to strike but generally, try to do what you can to make the whole team's lives easier in a deal. Think of this deal as if you're the one in charge and suggest or do things that would be beneficial for the deal team / would please the client. 

Again, much easier said than done, especially if you're at full capacity on many high priority things already in an industry where you're already working so many hours. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 9:36pm

Fuck being a successful analyst. I'll take being a mid-bucket analyst for $10k less bonus any day of the week....

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 15, 2021 - 10:56pm

Yeah, this sounds like so much additional work for little benefit. Seems a little wild that to be "successful" you should be doing the person above you's job, especially as a first year who is finding the ramping up process to be slow, but maybe it's more clear when you're in the office.

Jan 18, 2021 - 3:30am

Completely get the feeling. New first years are arguably having the shittiest banking experience in decades. Insane workload and little to no on the job teaching? It's absurd that you guys are expected to be operating like my class was at this point. It's brutal and I'm not sure if I would've stayed had my first year been like this.


I've been trying to be helpful to my first years - to the extent any of yall need support don't hesitate to reach out via dm.

Jan 17, 2021 - 11:25am

Don't break your back trying to impress MDs who don't care about you. Try to optimize work/life balance, learning experiences, and most importantly compensation. Working an extra 10-20 hours a week for an extra $5k-$10k in pre-tax bonus (~$2.5k-$5.5k after tax) is just not worth it at all. Few tips that I found to "game the system":

  • Figure out who the good / highly respected MDs and Directors in your group are and go balls to the wall trying to impress them over some of the below-average seniors. When it comes time for reviews, this will certainly help. You can always informally ask 2nd year analysts / associates who the "bad MDs" are (from a deal flow / revenue perspective) to get started
  • As mentioned in a previous post, find time to shoot the shit with associates / VPs, and try to actually befriend them. This helps with potentially getting on good staffings / building up good will and also when it comes time to get reviewed
  • Over-communicate everything and respond to emails ASAP to build up a reputation as someone who's timely. Especially on weekends when you're not doing anything. Next time you're getting REF'd out with your buddies on a Saturday afternoon and something pops up and you don't respond, the team will assume you're actually tied up and not just dodging work because of this reputation you've helped build for yourself (this one is a bit more of a long con)
  • Don't be too much of a finance hardo or focus too much on being a model junkie. Banking at its highest level is a sales job, if you want to impress your seniors, you need to be relatable to them (i.e. be personable and easy to talk to about things that aren't finance related when the opportunity arises)


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