I am in Ops. Ask me anything.

Marker's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 321

Short story:
I did really badly in school, didn't bother studying. ( Engineering ) Realized my mistake when I was in my final year and started to panic when I knew I had to get a proper job or I'll end up as a loser. Started exploring options in banks and tried to network my way into a bulge bracket bank. Couldn't even get an interview due to my shitty grades.

During the application process I decided to diversify my risk by applying to ops and getting into the door of a BB bank. Somehow I managed to get an interview with one of the BBs (really by luck since my grades were shit even for ops). Smashed the interviews and assessment centres and got hired in the graduate program. (Ops) I was thinking to myself - yeah I'll just climb up slowly once I get in. Sad to say, it's been 6 months now and I don't see any significant chance of me moving into FO. Life sucks.

Ask me anything. I'll be glad to share so you don't end up like me.

Comments (119)

Mar 23, 2013

What's the best part of your work day? Can't say going home/lunch.

Mar 23, 2013

Give a day in the life breakdown?

Mar 23, 2013

Best part? now, that's a tough one.
Possibly just messing around with the other ops people. I realize that most ops people don't know anything about the business. Some of them are great at their work - efficient and really good in improving processes. But end of the day, no one appreciates a cost centre.
It's like a goal keeper. You don't get appreciated for saving goals. Yet when some shit happens and a trade fails, you get all the blame. That's life.

Mar 23, 2013

Day in life breakdown?
Morning - Check emails, look out for trades with value date today. Settle the trades.
Afternoon - Wait for new T+0 trades and hope the trader doesnt trade at market cutoffs ( If not you will get a mad rush ) And this is when most trades fail and you get blamed for it.
Evening - Pack up and do recon ( possibly drags to a 13hr workday on a bad day)

Mar 23, 2013

So what were your grades? My school does OCR for a handful of firms and I'm looking at a similar situation. I got seriously ill and wrecked my sophomore year. Do you see yourself staying in ops? You did all of this in a year, if you had two years what would you do different?

Mar 23, 2013

I did about a 3.2/5 which translates into 2.6/4 ( I was from a target school though )
I don't see myself staying in ops although to be fair, the graduate program is not that bad. You get a decent pay and progression ahead of you. Just that it's really boring and these jobs could be easily replaced. ( You don't really learn anything )
- I am assuming you still have 2 years left in college? Please buck up, study hard and pull up your GPA. It matters. At least hit the bare minimum such that you get the interviews for FO. But honestly, go out of your way and look for internships. Beg or pretty much just bug the shit out of people and get an internship.
And remember this, an internship (front office role) in a boutique in way better than a BO role in a BB.

Mar 23, 2013
Marker:

I did about a 3.2/5 which translates into 2.6/4 ( I was from a target school though )
I don't see myself staying in ops although to be fair, the graduate program is not that bad. You get a decent pay and progression ahead of you. Just that it's really boring and these jobs could be easily replaced. ( You don't really learn anything )
- I am assuming you still have 2 years left in college? Please buck up, study hard and pull up your GPA. It matters. At least hit the bare minimum such that you get the interviews for FO. But honestly, go out of your way and look for internships. Beg or pretty much just bug the shit out of people and get an internship.
And remember this, an internship (front office role) in a boutique in way better than a BO role in a BB.

The only school i know with this system is MIT. If you went from MIT to Ops, shit I'm sorry mang. Hope you escape it ASAP.

Mar 23, 2013

I'd imagine it's MIT too. Engineer + 5.0 scale + target school = MIT with a pretty high probability
(in response to the previous post asking about OPs school)

Mar 25, 2013
Marker:

Beg or pretty much just bug the shit out of people and get an internship.
And remember this, an internship (front office role) in a boutique in way better than a BO role in a BB.

Well that's heartening lol. Good luck!!

Mar 23, 2013

Pull it together man! There is always a year in grad to re-brand yourself. Jesus saves...

Mar 23, 2013

OP,

1. What is the first year pay for Ops at BB's? I have heard anywhere from 58-65k +10k sign on. Can you confirm these figures? And then how does it progress?

2. You said that it is very difficult to move to FO from Ops, and we all know that is the case. But how difficult would it be to move to a MO role like Treasury, Credit Risk etc.?

Thanks,

Mar 23, 2013

If you aren't truly stupid, and just jacked off during college, you can perform well in your BO role, meet people and take it from there. Not difficult at all to move into MO if you put in the effort.

Mar 23, 2013
OilBaron:

If you aren't truly stupid, and just jacked off during college, you can perform well in your BO role, meet people and take it from there. Not difficult at all to move into MO if you put in the effort.

I dont think I am stupid. and FYI i was the top ranked analyst on the graduate program in the most recent performance appraisal. But my point being, it doesn't take a genius to do this job.
There really isn't much difference between MO and BO, it's just a fancier name for cost centre.

Mar 23, 2013

How proficient would you need to be in Excel? Or will everything be taught there?

Mar 23, 2013

Be honest, how much of your job can be automated with some macros?

Mar 23, 2013

about 20% of them. Another 50% of it could possibly be done through IT systems ( that's what we term STP - Straight through processing ). Ideally, everything could be automated from the booking of trades all the way to downstream settlement.
Fortunately, things don't always turn out that well and human intervention is always needed. I do see this as the future of ops though - everything being automated and a massive reduction in ops staff.

Mar 23, 2013

about 20% of them. Another 50% of it could possibly be done through IT systems ( that's what we term STP - Straight through processing ). Ideally, everything could be automated from the booking of trades all the way to downstream settlement.
Fortunately, things don't always turn out that well and human intervention is always needed. I do see this as the future of ops though - everything being automated and a massive reduction in ops staff.

Mar 25, 2013
Marker:

about 20% of them. Another 50% of it could possibly be done through IT systems ( that's what we term STP - Straight through processing ). Ideally, everything could be automated from the booking of trades all the way to downstream settlement.
Fortunately, things don't always turn out that well and human intervention is always needed. I do see this as the future of ops though - everything being automated and a massive reduction in ops staff.

Mar 23, 2013

when I did an SA at BB Ops all I did was smoke stogies all day and talk about how much the job sucked. not joking.

Mar 23, 2013
banker00:

when I did an SA at BB Ops all I did was smoke stogies all day and talk about how much the job sucked. not joking.

So HOW did you make it to FO?

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Mar 23, 2013
mongoose:
banker00:

when I did an SA at BB Ops all I did was smoke stogies all day and talk about how much the job sucked. not joking.

So HOW did you make it to FO?

I realized that I was unhappy and was at the lowest rung of the ladder. that I couldn't go any lower from here and had nothing but upside to gain from working my ass off. so that's exactly what I did. worked my ass off networking studying and never giving up. it took 3 years to get there but that's what it takes in this industry to make it. perseverance, thick skin, and balls.

Mar 23, 2013

Jesus. How bad were your grades? I'm about to graduate with roughly a 2.8. I've never had an internship because I had to basically work bullshit jobs to support myself through college. I'm an Accounting major. I graduate in May. I'm working with Accountemps but I feel like they work with a bunch of losers. Not sure if temp is a good way to go. But it's at least a way to get my foot in the door. I'm looking entry level like clerk positions and stuff like that. What do you think...

"Yeah, you know whatcha doin."

Mar 23, 2013

Its only been 6 months.... calm down.

Mar 23, 2013

The move to fo usually never happens for most people in the bo. So why stay in the industry?

Mar 23, 2013

How many times have you jacked off at your desk? Be honest. Give us an estimate.

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Mar 23, 2013

Wait so you went from being a bum with a shitty grades to being employed by a BB in less than a year simply by putting in a little effort and making your own luck and now that you're there you have already given up hope? You have already proven to yourself that the "impossible" can be done so just keep doing what you were doing and explore all possible options. You're best bet will be to use this experience to become more knowledgable and well versed about the industry and then start reaching out and making connections to people at smaller MM or boutique banks.

Mar 23, 2013

by the way, can anyone tell me what "ops" is...

"Yeah, you know whatcha doin."

Mar 23, 2013

The part of the bank that does not generate revenues directly, and does not assist those who generate revenues directly. Basically the people who "produce" or "manufacture"
the services that are designed and sold by the front office.

Ex) Front Office trader books a 5 year 3MM notional 1.5% vs 3M LIBOR swap. MO runs risk on the position, books the trade internally, ensures compliance and documentation, etc, and then the position is settled / maintained by OPS.

Mar 24, 2013
OilBaron:

The part of the bank that does not generate revenues directly, and does not assist those who generate revenues directly. Basically the people who "produce" or "manufacture"
the services that are designed and sold by the front office.

Ex) Front Office trader books a 5 year 3MM notional 1.5% vs 3M LIBOR swap. MO runs risk on the position, books the trade internally, ensures compliance and documentation, etc, and then the position is settled / maintained by OPS.

thanks

"Yeah, you know whatcha doin."

Mar 23, 2013

ops = operations

Mar 23, 2013

What are your hours like?

Have you ever had to deal with obnoxious and condescending people from FO?

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Mar 23, 2013

Why the fuck did you take ops as an engineer grad?

Mar 23, 2013

How many pairs of square toed shoes do you own?
Do you ever rock a sweater vest? I sure as hell know i do.
Do you talk with the ops kids your age about reading the WSO post of the day and dreams of crushing it in the FO b/c it's just a matter of time before you get your big break and "break in" ?

Mar 23, 2013
King of Opz:

Do you talk with the ops kids your age about reading the WSO post of the day and dreams of crushing it in the FO b/c it's just a matter of time before you get your big break and "break in" ?

What would qualify as a WSO post of the day for this group? Is it a BO to FO success type of post?

Mar 25, 2013
SirTradesaLot:
King of Opz:

Do you talk with the ops kids your age about reading the WSO post of the day and dreams of crushing it in the FO b/c it's just a matter of time before you get your big break and "break in" ?

What would qualify as a WSO post of the day for this group? Is it a BO to FO success type of post?

Yea, that would be the ideal hot topic of the day. Those posts tend to make the macro button clicks your doing all day all the less mind numbing, at least for the day. And then you could talk with your BO buds about how your dad played golf with some FA from Merryl this weekend and maybe you can look to do BO -> PWM and at least get licensed and then lateral to that FO Analyst position you've always dreamed of. Oh, the fantasies of the BO.

Mar 23, 2013
King of Opz:

How many pairs of square toed shoes do you own?
Do you ever rock a sweater vest? I sure as hell know i do.

Don't forget the hair gel.

Mar 24, 2013

No one is mentioning numbers here.

How much is the pay?

Mar 24, 2013

What's most important to you: Prestige, money or loving your job?

Mar 24, 2013

When are you leaving the industry?

Mar 24, 2013

I was about to apply for a BO job at a MM firm and wasn't gonna mind the work there or being like you said a goalkeeper, but one thing that really stood out was the exit opps. They say it's hard to move to FO but it's not impossible.

I also keep getting advices that it's better to be at a small firm doing FO in a boutique than in a BB doing BO, & you seem to reinforce it.

Mar 24, 2013

@ mongoose 55k per annum.
@ Ken, Prestige and money. Loving my job can wait.
@Tommy I am searching as we speak, but i found it increasingly hard with BO experience.
@Udo Yes, please go to a boutique with a FO job.

Mar 24, 2013
Marker:

@ mongoose 55k per annum.
@ Ken, Prestige and money. Loving my job can wait.
@Tommy I am searching as we speak, but i found it increasingly hard with BO experience.
@Udo Yes, please go to a boutique with a FO job.

Thanks for the insight. It's better to have a job than to have none at these economic conditions right? but goodluck.

Mar 24, 2013

Where is your office located?

Mar 24, 2013

What's the pay like for the higher-ups in ops?

Mar 24, 2013

OP, have you thought about actually using your engineering degree?

You could probably walk into plenty of relatively well-paying (yet low-ish status) engineering or even skilled labor jobs ($30+/hour to start) with your background that'd immediately pay you more than $55k/year.

Mar 24, 2013
holla_back:

OP, have you thought about actually using your engineering degree?

You could probably walk into plenty of relatively well-paying (yet low-ish status) engineering or even skilled labor jobs ($30+/hour to start) with your background that'd immediately pay you more than $55k/year.

I agree with holla_back; cut your losses and move into an industry that's aligned with your major. I bet there are many engineering firms/startups that would love to add an MIT grad, and they would appreciate the work you do.

Mar 24, 2013
holla_back:

OP, have you thought about actually using your engineering degree?

You could probably walk into plenty of relatively well-paying (yet low-ish status) engineering or even skilled labor jobs ($30+/hour to start) with your background that'd immediately pay you more than $55k/year.

Nope, I hated engineering back in School. One of the reasons why i did so badly in school besides bumming around was because of that. Somehow I managed to pass all my subjects despite barely attending lessons. ( Probably because I had a really good foundation in math )
I sincerely think now I've found something that I really like and I want to pursue my career in finance. Ops is not that bad a place if you are just looking for a decent stable job that pays relatively fine. Just that somewhere in me, I think I am capable of more. ( and of course a major push factor would be that ops is really boring. )

I could probably start writing an essay about how I got interested in finance, wrote a thesis on financial modelling using engineering principles. But I digress.

I am actively reading up on the markets, taking online MBA valuation classes from Stern just for pure knowledge purposes. (PM me if you wanna know more about this.) But my point being, I have never given up my dream of being in finance.

I always believed in this, act and behave like what you want to be, not what you are. Similarly, i quote Steve Jobs'
commencement speech at Stanford, " You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only do so looking backwards. " I just really hope someday the opportunity will arise and I am prepared for it. But even so, I don't think I should be sitting here like a duck and wait for food to drop down from the sky. - Just my 2cents.

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Mar 24, 2013
Marker:

Similarly, i quote Steve Jobs'
commencement speech at Stanford, " You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only do so looking backwards. "

This was originally said by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in the 1800s.

Mar 24, 2013

The longer you stay there the harder it is to get out. Also, don't think that being the top ranked will help you get to FO; I made that mistake. They'll always expect more of you, so your plate will be filled with unmeaningful work and they won't want to release you to another department.

Mar 24, 2013
pktkid10:

The longer you stay there the harder it is to get out. Also, don't think that being the top ranked will help you get to FO; I made that mistake. They'll always expect more of you, so your plate will be filled with unmeaningful work and they won't want to release you to another department.

100% agreed. I see that coming. If it wasn't so god damn boring, i wouldn't mind though lol. You could probably train a monkey to do this. ( no pun intended )

Mar 24, 2013
Marker:
pktkid10:

The longer you stay there the harder it is to get out. Also, don't think that being the top ranked will help you get to FO; I made that mistake. They'll always expect more of you, so your plate will be filled with unmeaningful work and they won't want to release you to another department.

100% agreed. I see that coming. If it wasn't so god damn boring, i wouldn't mind though lol. You could probably train a monkey to do this. ( no pun intended )

I'd recommend against this. There's a real lack of tangible skills unless you get good projects. Even then it's an oxymoron. You can make moves it'll probably just be slower than you'd hope for. If you need advice with anything shoot me a pm.

Mar 24, 2013

No offense taken.

Mar 24, 2013

I know for a FACT that one BB pays 1st year Ops Analysts 60k + 10k sign on in the NYC area.

Maybe this will go down if you move to non-NYC area.

MS in Baltimore.
GS in SLC.
DB in Jacksonville.
BOA in Charlotte
JPM in Delaware.

Mar 24, 2013

You went to a target and didn't get into FO?

dafuq?

Get on the phone and start networking, and stop being such a fucking slacker.

    • 1
Mar 24, 2013
UFOinsider:

You went to a target and didn't get into FO?

dafuq?

Get on the phone and start networking, and stop being such a fucking slacker.

Are you drunk?

    • 1
Mar 25, 2013
Going Concern:
UFOinsider:

You went to a target and didn't get into FO?

dafuq?

Get on the phone and start networking, and stop being such a fucking slacker.

Are you drunk?

No, it was a serious question, especially if OP did in fact go to MIT. If you can't get FO, jump to consulting, especially financial consulting doing BO strats. Honestly, OP has a massively powerful network, start taking advantage of it...it can overcome GPA and all that other crap that people think are soooooo freakin important.

You had a couple of shitty years, whatever, are you going to let that determine your whole life? Seriously. Grow a sack and tap that network.

Mar 24, 2013

Dude yolu should enjoy this time in your life...u r 23 years old making decent money in a job that has zero stress. Be profesional/work hard, have fun outside of work, and look for opportunities to move which will be there eventually. I had a much worse back-office job then you wen i started...most of my colleagues didnt have college degrees and it all worked out very well for me.

Best Response
Mar 24, 2013

You need to take charge of the situation and construct a plan. First of all get the notion out of your head a move to FO within the same BB is going to happen; treat this as not an option. If it happens, cool, if it doesn't fuck it. Second, what FO role do you want to go into? Learn it inside out. You're in one of the best environments to learn everything about finance. Third, get your CFA 1-3 completed. Fourth, save up and start applying to top tier grad school at the end of your grad scheme. You have now until then to make your application amazing. I'm talking global top 5 programmes. It is a rebrand. Make a goal of leaving the BB by the end of your scheme with your CFA done, a fantastic knowledge bank, starting a masters programme and hopefully starting an FO position somewhere else once you graduate from a top MSF. Whatever you do you have to keep driving and never stop working towards something; it is so easy to get complacent in Ops because lets face you get paid a very good salary in comparison to the average university graduate. Stay hungry, and never, never moan.

    • 3
Mar 24, 2013

The comments about the function of Operations dying out are very true. Most of what is done by Ops will be automated in the future, and the few remaining Ops people will be working in low cost areas far from NYC, if not Bangalore.

OP, good luck with whatever you choose to do.

Mar 24, 2013

bullshit. if you want it bad enough you will find a way into what you want to do. bullshit all the way around. no excuses. do not make excuses. you can say i am oversimplifying but it all comes down to how badly you want it. it is never to late to redefine yourself or get more education. get a CFA, get an MBA, an MFA, an MFE, and get better grades in those things. knock it out of the park. or don't do any of that and just bull dog your way into what you really want to do. "Fuck the bullshit" as my favorite band 311 would say. It's all about your desire and how bad you want something. Go forth and prosper dear sir.

"Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait."
-Thomas Edison

Mar 24, 2013
WreckEmFinance:

bullshit. if you want it bad enough you will find a way into what you want to do. bullshit all the way around. no excuses. do not make excuses. you can say i am oversimplifying but it all comes down to how badly you want it. it is never to late to redefine yourself or get more education. get a CFA, get an MBA, an MFA, an MFE, and get better grades in those things. knock it out of the park. or don't do any of that and just bull dog your way into what you really want to do. "Fuck the bullshit" as my favorite band 311 would say. It's all about your desire and how bad you want something. Go forth and prosper dear sir.

^Fuckin love people like this. Right on.

"Yeah, you know whatcha doin."

Mar 24, 2013

Murica.

Mar 24, 2013

Completed CFA while in ops at a BB. Went to a top b-school.. still really really tough to land a buy-side internship.

Mar 24, 2013

I just took a job for operations at a BB because it sounded better than living in my parents basement or going to graduate school. Now people on this website act as if this is a fate worse than death. Can someone explain what one exactly does in these areas of finance? I'll decide how much I think that sucks. Helpful thread.

Mar 24, 2013

Data processing. Enjoy.

    • 1
Mar 24, 2013

Hi Marker; I'm in Ops too. And I'm in my 13th year! Operations in the finance industry: enough money and prestige that you can't go around complaining to the average person, but not enough of either that you feel satisfied!

May I suggest finding fulfillment in life away from your desk? The one redeeming thing about regimented back-office work is that you don't *usually* have to put in the 14-hour days that are common in other departments. I myself have gotten my master's and am about to finish my PhD, in a totally unrelated field, while keeping bread on my table thanks to my workaday Ops job.

Pay has risen to around $50k for me. I work outside the US, where age is a big factor in promotions and I'll still be doing the same work until I'm 45, so I plan to get out soon. The question is whether to take the huge fork in the road that my advanced degree will offer. Have you considered doing a master's in your off-hours? If not, you may well find yourself stuck in perpetual middle-class boredom.

Mar 24, 2013
Joralemon:

Hi Marker; I'm in Ops too. And I'm in my 13th year! Operations in the finance industry: enough money and prestige that you can't go around complaining to the average person, but not enough of either that you feel satisfied!

May I suggest finding fulfillment in life away from your desk? The one redeeming thing about regimented back-office work is that you don't *usually* have to put in the 14-hour days that are common in other departments. I myself have gotten my master's and am about to finish my PhD, in a totally unrelated field, while keeping bread on my table thanks to my workaday Ops job.

Pay has risen to around $50k for me. I work outside the US, where age is a big factor in promotions and I'll still be doing the same work until I'm 45, so I plan to get out soon. The question is whether to take the huge fork in the road that my advanced degree will offer. Have you considered doing a master's in your off-hours? If not, you may well find yourself stuck in perpetual middle-class boredom.

13 years in ops and an MBA and youre only making 50k a year?

"Yeah, you know whatcha doin."

Mar 24, 2013
Steed.Menendez:
Joralemon:

Hi Marker; I'm in Ops too. And I'm in my 13th year! Operations in the finance industry: enough money and prestige that you can't go around complaining to the average person, but not enough of either that you feel satisfied!

May I suggest finding fulfillment in life away from your desk? The one redeeming thing about regimented back-office work is that you don't *usually* have to put in the 14-hour days that are common in other departments. I myself have gotten my master's and am about to finish my PhD, in a totally unrelated field, while keeping bread on my table thanks to my workaday Ops job.

Pay has risen to around $50k for me. I work outside the US, where age is a big factor in promotions and I'll still be doing the same work until I'm 45, so I plan to get out soon. The question is whether to take the huge fork in the road that my advanced degree will offer. Have you considered doing a master's in your off-hours? If not, you may well find yourself stuck in perpetual middle-class boredom.

13 years in ops and an MBA and youre only making 50k a year?

yikes

Mar 25, 2013

Steed, I hate to be one of those "read the post!" guys, but I did say that my PhD was in "a totally unrelated field". So no MBA.

And pay is tied to age in my adopted country in a way that's unimaginable in the USA. You start low, stay there until your late 20s, get a bump, then around age 30 a larger bump. Still being in my 30s, real money and authority are still a decade or so away.

The OP got bored with Ops after just half a year; it took me two or three, but I started chafing too. Thus the branching out into other fields so that I can escape. If the OP feels the same way, this might be a potential path for him.

Mar 25, 2013

OP why not take classes towards a master? What do you do out side of work?

Mar 25, 2013

Man its a Shitty situation being stuck in ops when you feel something in FO would suit you better. I was in the same boat at a large investment bank, Equities middle office for 4 years earning about 75/- AUD per year, it really is getting harder and harder to make the jump to FO. I went back to University and will finish this year, hopefully a degree will make a difference but somehow I am highly doubt it.

The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.

Mar 25, 2013

Hey, i'm in ops and i'm making 15k before taxes, want to know how much is it after taxes in my country? You probably don't because it will make you cry. lol

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

    • 1
Mar 25, 2013
Arti:

Hey, i'm in ops and i'm making 15k before taxes, want to know how much is it after taxes in my country?

Mainland China?

Mar 25, 2013
Joralemon:
Arti:

Hey, i'm in ops and i'm making 15k before taxes, want to know how much is it after taxes in my country?

Mainland China?

Eastern Europe

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

Mar 25, 2013

I honestly don't think Ops is underpaid though. You get paid according to the type of work you bring to the table. Hard fact.

Mar 25, 2013

Only because you said ask anything...

Solid maroon shirts: why does that happen?

Mar 25, 2013
SirTradesaLot:

Only because you said ask anything...

Solid maroon shirts: why does that happen?

Yes, that and why the square toe shoes with stripes? Is that standard issue as in "welcome to ops, here are your Kenneth Cole's". What's the deal with that?

Mar 25, 2013

I moved a month ago from BO in a BB to doing strategy work for a card/retail bank company after 1.5 years out of college. Got a really nice pay bump too. Just got to nail those interviews and structure your Ops experience as having given you a good overview on the inner workings of a bank.

To be honest, having been in BO, a short stint there gives one how to structure and flow any operations in any industry; I treat that as the takeaway skill from that type of role.

Mar 25, 2013
djcron:

To be honest, having been in BO, a short stint there gives one how to structure and flow any operations in any industry; I treat that as the takeaway skill from that type of role.

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

I'm going to encourage you to get out of ops if you want FO, but it's actually useful to spend some time there. In fact, if you're planning on staying in finance for the long haul, spend time in a few different areas if you can. If you don't get anywhere in a year or so, then get an MSF/MFin and hit the reset button on recruiting.

Honestly, if you went to a target school, you can get to FO / consulting with some networking.

Do it. DO IT NOW

Mar 25, 2013
djcron:

To be honest, having been in BO, a short stint there gives one how to structure and flow any operations in any industry; I treat that as the takeaway skill from that type of role.

I agree completely. Knowing exactly what happens at each stage from (in securities, for example) the customer's order, through your firm, to the exchange floor, and back is something everyone should experience. It's a shame that BO and FO are "segregated" the way they are -- if I were magically transported to FO or trading now, I'd feel a lot more confident than if I had been there from day one.

Mar 25, 2013

how much was your bonus

Mar 25, 2013

Don't get so discouraged after 6 months. Geez louise.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 25, 2013

i was in ops for more than a year...later transitioned to VC at a entry level a month back....( in bw there is even a brief stint at PE as a research analyst but thats a weird story) ...my take is ops is useful for the first 6 months and then you know every day u come into work the clock is ticking backwards! and you are living life day to day....transitioning out of ops is difficult no doubt but one thing i must point out once you do its a feeling like no other and will set u up for life!!

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." ~George Moore

Mar 25, 2013

Do you work in Trade Compliance? We're probably sitting on the same floor.

Mar 25, 2013
cthorm:

Do you work in Trade Compliance? We're probably sitting on the same floor.

Well this just got interesting . . .

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Mar 25, 2013

.

Mar 25, 2013

Does anybody know the expectations of excel proficiency in first year ops analysts?

Mar 25, 2013

^ All you need to know how to do in Excel is click macro buttons.

Opstar lifestyle, might not make it

Mar 25, 2013

Click them? Bah. I designed half the macros that make things easier for everyone in my Ops department and turn hours of tedious paper-based work into a couple of clicks. (Fortunately, my bosses have the civility not to use those tools as an excuse to reduce headcount.)

Mar 25, 2013
Joralemon:

Click them? Bah. I designed half the macros that make things easier for everyone in my Ops department and turn hours of tedious paper-based work into a couple of clicks. (Fortunately, my bosses have the civility not to use those tools as an excuse to reduce headcount.)

What?? That's atrocious. Present that tool to your EVP (or whoever handles your budget) and spell out the time (i.e. labor/headcount) savings. Grab some of that surplus for yourself. Your bosses probably don't want to cut headcount because it's still a prestige thing to have so many warm bodies in chairs report to you. I wouldn't be surprised if they never let their bosses know about the increased productivity you provided.

1) They cut headcount
2) They cut pay/hours
3) They add work/reassign idle headcount
4) You build credibility

Seriously, you should be wearing this as a badge all day long. Preach the line "my tool let's this team focus on more value-added work" which also translates into "the more value-added workers always have something to do", it's the chaff that get cut.

/cutthroat

Mar 26, 2013
cthorm:
Joralemon:

Click them? Bah. I designed half the macros that make things easier for everyone in my Ops department and turn hours of tedious paper-based work into a couple of clicks. (Fortunately, my bosses have the civility not to use those tools as an excuse to reduce headcount.)

What?? That's atrocious. Present that tool to your EVP (or whoever handles your budget) and spell out the time (i.e. labor/headcount) savings. Grab some of that surplus for yourself. Your bosses probably don't want to cut headcount because it's still a prestige thing to have so many warm bodies in chairs report to you. I wouldn't be surprised if they never let their bosses know about the increased productivity you provided.

1) They cut headcount
2) They cut pay/hours
3) They add work/reassign idle headcount
4) You build credibility

Seriously, you should be wearing this as a badge all day long. Preach the line "my tool let's this team focus on more value-added work" which also translates into "the more value-added workers always have something to do", it's the chaff that get cut.

/cutthroat

Leave that for ops analysis. You're not going to change the culture...do you think the EVP, MD, or anyone else wants to lose funding and power? Spend that energy getting the CFA, networking, and getting the hell out. The only place that's ever going to reward your effort the way you want is FO.

Sorry, that's how it is, I spent time in ops and there is zero effort trying to create momentum within the group...only yourself works and is worth it.

Mar 25, 2013

My experience in ops was horrifying. The day I got hired my boss was on the phone screaming at her tax accountant. Your bosses are all taskmasters. There is no intelligence required in ops, and if there are, it's probably in India. Any ops gig here in the US you're either pretending you're adding value or you're on the phone justifying why your job and your team shouldn't be outsourced to India.

Mar 26, 2013

There is no intelligence required in ops, and if there are, it's probably in India" can you elaborate further on this...why n how does intellegence gets transferd if the job gets done from far east...

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." ~George Moore

Mar 26, 2013
fearless:

My experience in ops was horrifying. The day I got hired my boss was on the phone screaming at her tax accountant. Your bosses are all taskmasters. There is no intelligence required in ops, and if there are, it's probably in India. Any ops gig here in the US you're either pretending you're adding value or you're on the phone justifying why your job and your team shouldn't be outsourced to India.

There is no intelligence required in ops, and if there are, it's probably in India" can you elaborate further on this...why n how does intellegence gets transferd if the job gets done from far east...

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." ~George Moore

Mar 26, 2013

neil joseph, allow me to elaborate. Think of a modern day assembly line. The assembly line workers do the typical role of an assembly line worker. Along with their assembly line tasks, they also recommend specific ways improve the workflow (i.e. take away the human intervention of installing a nail into the gear and have a robot automate that process for you). A majority of the ops people in the US, in my opinion, are white collared assembly line workers, especially in BB banks due to the sheer size (fixed income documentation, collateral management, risk management, project management, IT, swap settlement, options settlement, equity settlement, fixed income settlement, client management, etc.). The ops people also recommend ways to improve the workflow (i.e. we should not click this button and have the computer do that for us.) This recommendation is most likely sent as a ticket to the branch in India where they actually SOLVE THE PROBLEM, hence, the job gets done at the far east and the intelligence is there.

Because of this change in technology and computer automation, ops typically have a very political culture. You have to be very careful about what you say and how you say it, and you also have to be very careful about how to say "I don't know" or "I can't help you" because the top managers in ops are always looking for the next cost reduction in the US branches to justify their bonuses. So the experienced people in ops are masters of bs and know how to prevent their jobs from being outsourced to India by coming up with the most eloquent way of telling their superiors how they're adding value to the firm. It also becomes very hostile because each group within ops and each employee have to justify why their job have to be done in the US when it can be done at a fraction of the cost in India and twice as more efficient.

Mar 26, 2013

I've seen about enough of these "I'm 6 months/1 year on the job -- ask me anything". News flash - you don't know anything. You have completed ~1% of the work you will do in your life. Step off the ledge.

Mar 26, 2013

doesnt matter how difficult you may think it is to actually get out of ops, it's always attainable and doable...as stated earlier.. UFO did it, i did it, and i'm sure countless other people on WSO have done it.

not every one has started out in IB, AM, ST or whatever 'FO' position they want/are in..but those who got out of ops, had the desire and drive to get out..

bust your ass OP, and generate a name and a reputation in your company for yourself...network...you said you do trade settlement? maybe see if the traders you work with can grab a coffee and see what information you can get out of him..ie: you're interested in getting into trading, and saw some of these trades, would he mind elaborating on the trades and such.

just show an interest and do not fall into the Ops trap

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

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Mar 26, 2013
TonyPerkis:

doesnt matter how difficult you may think it is to actually get out of ops, it's always attainable and doable...as stated earlier.. UFO did it, i did it, and i'm sure countless other people on WSO have done it.

not every one has started out in IB, AM, ST or whatever 'FO' position they want/are in..but those who got out of ops, had the desire and drive to get out..

bust your ass OP, and generate a name and a reputation in your company for yourself...network...you said you do trade settlement? maybe see if the traders you work with can grab a coffee and see what information you can get out of him..ie: you're interested in getting into trading, and saw some of these trades, would he mind elaborating on the trades and such.

just show an interest and do not fall into the Ops trap

When is it too late that you'll be fallen in the Ops trap? I mean how fast can you get out? I'm presuming companies hold their analysts for at least a year till they can make a move. No?

Mar 26, 2013
seville:
TonyPerkis:

doesnt matter how difficult you may think it is to actually get out of ops, it's always attainable and doable...as stated earlier.. UFO did it, i did it, and i'm sure countless other people on WSO have done it.

not every one has started out in IB, AM, ST or whatever 'FO' position they want/are in..but those who got out of ops, had the desire and drive to get out..

bust your ass OP, and generate a name and a reputation in your company for yourself...network...you said you do trade settlement? maybe see if the traders you work with can grab a coffee and see what information you can get out of him..ie: you're interested in getting into trading, and saw some of these trades, would he mind elaborating on the trades and such.

just show an interest and do not fall into the Ops trap

When is it too late that you'll be fallen in the Ops trap? I mean how fast can you get out? I'm presuming companies hold their analysts for at least a year till they can make a move. No?

The more time passes the harder it gets. Within a year or two is the best. Plenty of people wake up at some point after 3/4/5 years and get motivated, and muscle their way in one way or another. A friend of mine realized after 7 years in IT that they wanted FO and needed an MBA. So, I'm going with about 3/4 years being the reasonable upper limit, and then it's more realistic to get an MBA and just hit the reset button. Again though, anything is possible, these are just jobs and most people are capable of learning this stuff...it's not like being a cop or something where there are mandatory age cutoffs for recruiting, it's just that it's so rare that people even bother.

Mar 26, 2013

So what I got from this is... Ops sucks and they will die in a boring pigeon hole if they don't get out soon?

Mar 26, 2013

You can always land something more in client servicing.. like in wealth management - client associates. Experience working with high net worth clients and working with wealth advisors sounds better than doing trade settlement. To an MBA admin officer it all sounds the same, but once you recruiting for your MBA summer internship, demonstrating soft skills is very important.

Jul 30, 2013

any updates in the operations world?

Aug 10, 2013

Yeah - it's been a year and I am still here :(

Aug 10, 2013

Prayers sent

Aug 11, 2013
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