I have hrs of free time at my IB internship. What would be the best use of my free time?

cje1992's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 235

I intern at a 6-person investment bank (M&A, cap raises, valuations) with one intern besides myself. They tell me I produce better work/research than the other intern...but I come in some days and they don't ask me to do anything, so I'll just do personal research for a day...or reserach current deals more...

Other interns/analysts on here: what do you do when you have hours of free time? As a professional focused on advancing his career as much as he can, what should I do with the free time I have at work?

Comments (48)

Jul 17, 2013

Make sure the work you have is at or better than the standard they expect, as they may be paying you lip service. Always check the drive for revisions further than the last markup you were responsible for. If they haven't changed what you did, then you can assume they are accepting your work as good enough.
Otherwise take note of the changes they've made and ensure future work is inline.

If you're golden - ASK FOR MORE WORK.

Jul 17, 2013

Get your resume in perfect shape and start networking via email/phone with alumni at BBs/MMs as priority #1. Beyond that keep up to date on the markets and economy. If you have access to databases through work start getting up to speed on an industry or two you're interested in.

Jul 17, 2013

Read the newspaper. wsj.com, ft.com, etc etc.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

Jul 17, 2013

Should I try to make their comps template better, more comprehensive? Should I also just make different comps sets for diff industries that they could use later?

"Respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life."

Jul 17, 2013

Watch porn and fap as loud as you can

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Jul 17, 2013

Get the BIWS 400 Interview ?s you need to know for free somewhere, through a network or online pdf. Know this for interviews. Also, look around on http://www.macabacus.com and really try to understand the main concepts and how things flow. Keep up on Dealbook in the mornings. But before all of that, really try to add some value to the firm. A six person shop has to have some flaws, so find these and propose a concept of how to fix these and add value. GL brotha

Jul 17, 2013
craigje1992:

I intern at a 6-person investment bank (M&A, cap raises, valuations) with one intern besides myself. They tell me I produce better work/research than the other intern...but I come in some days and they don't ask me to do anything, so I'll just do personal research for a day...or reserach current deals more...

Other interns/analysts on here: what do you do when you have hours of free time? As a professional focused on advancing his career as much as he can, what should I do with the free time I have at work?

If you have nothing to do, why wouldn't you seek out work yourself? Initiative is a good quality.

If there really is nothing to do some days, then buy a modeling program, work on a feux transaction and try and ask questions to the other employees.

Jul 17, 2013

1. welcome to banking

2. ask for more work

3. theres always reading the news -- and endless amounts of them, but remember that reading the news doesnt add value. so ask for work.

4. if given work, be cognisant of whether it is type of work that..
- is total BS / no big picture value add; given to u so u have something to do
- or actually will improve the older guys' lives / efficiency in one way or the other. try to get more work in this one. if not, think of ways you can create projects in this category.

    • 1
Jul 17, 2013

5. oooookkkkkk i just read the 'six person' BANK part (misread 'six person team' earlier).
maybe add 'networking' with people @ larger ibanks to the list.

Jul 17, 2013

What are some projects that i could create that could add value to the older guys (e.g. building out their current comps template as the current one only has rev and ebitda multiples)?

"Respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life."

Jul 17, 2013

I find myself in this situation sometimes. Reading the news is my go to after asking around for any more work, but other than that I usually just do some personal research through our Terminal or I do some e-mail networking. Don't actually get on the phone to network because trying to find another job while at work is an excellent way to get fired.

Jul 18, 2013

Focus on improving or acquiring a skill

Take initiative to work on something meaningful that you weren't delegated

Reach out to other people

Jul 18, 2013

Step 1 - Teach yourself VBA off of Google
Step 2 - Find something tedious to automate (e.g. maybe there's an MD that likes a certain set of charts in all his pitchbooks, and you can use excel to automatically populate data from factset / capiq and format the charts with VBA)
Step 3 - Check for errors in your code
Step 4 - Check for errors in your code again
Step 5 - Ask the analyst for feedback - "Can you take a look and tell me if this works properly and would be useful?"
Step 6 - Wait for the full-timers to realize you can be useful and give you more work
Step 7 - Stop sleeping

Jul 18, 2013

Want to be noticed, start generating ideas. Seriously, if somethings just popped up on Mergermarket, been announced to the exchange or a key comps has announced results. Get all over it, don't just forward it on, read it, think of what's the second order event to this is piece of news is. The successful guys, will often prepare a overview doc or teaser and get it in front of a MD/VP. If you can give them ammo to get on a phone call - then yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

It shows you are not paying lip service to the standard interview line "I follow the market", it shows your want to be involved and that you are keen - MD's wet themselves when they find someone with initiative and passive for a segment/space

Jul 18, 2013

Like most people mentioned above, the basic things you can do are interview prep (WSO guides, M&I guides, etc.), keep up with news (WSJ, FT, Street Sleuth), and network (go on your university alumni database, and hit up everyone in your area first and branch out). I'm not sure how strict your company is, but if you can, maybe just step out for 15 min for a phone call, or meet up with someone in the area for lunch or coffee.
More advanced things you can do include buying a how-to-model program, looking at a random company's financials and building a quick model from that, learning VBA, or reading something you're interested in (e.g. books on investing or start-ups).

Jul 18, 2013
Intergalpol:

More advanced things you can do include buying a how-to-model program, looking at a random company's financials and building a quick model from that, learning VBA, or reading something you're interested in (e.g. books on investing or start-ups).

No need to buy a program. What I did to teach myself modeling was just pull up some of my Analyst's models and use them as a reference when I did mine from scratch. Just pay attention to the formulas and make sure you understand them.

Jul 18, 2013

this.

It is just a matter of breaking down the formulas. Don't waste your money, I regret buying BIWS

Jul 18, 2013

Of course you should be looking into ways to find work, learn more, yada yada yada. But, if you do find yourself with truly nothing to do, play World Golf Tour....thank me later.

Also check out Sporcle, its one of those sites that has triva games on virtually any subject. Best way to pass some time.

But of course try to find better things to do first.

Jul 18, 2013

Look over the older people's shoulder and ask them what they are doing and if they can explain to you what they are doing.

ooof marone !

Jul 18, 2013

Find alpha and get out of banking. You have amazing resources at your fingertips. Model, ask questions, test theories.

Jul 18, 2013
kingoftheotherroad:

this.

It is just a matter of breaking down the formulas. Don't waste your money, I regret buying BIWS

Yeah. Also if you're at a place that you're trying to get a FT offer from it's worthwhile to get their excel formatting down pat as well.

Jul 18, 2013

take a nap

Jul 18, 2013

WSO obviously..

Jul 18, 2013

If you're just starting out, practice keyboard shortcuts so you're better prepared for a fire-drill. Past that, anything that preps you for a fire-drill is good stuff (you're idea of improving templates sounds like a good one)

Jul 18, 2013

WSO guides rock !

Jul 18, 2013

take blotter

Jul 18, 2013

Jacket off

Jul 19, 2013

Look over the older people's shoulder and ask them what they are doing and if they can explain to you what they are doing. :D zarzadca nieruchomosci wroclaw

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Jul 27, 2013

trade. or research companies you would like to trade

Jul 27, 2013

Read industry primers. They are super long, but informative.

Jul 28, 2013

Where do you typically find industry primers?

Jul 28, 2013

Take some time to network.

Jul 28, 2013

The research analysts in my BB publishes several for the different verticals of our coverage group every year. Seems to range from 100-300 pages. Guessing if you don't have banks w full scale research, you can still access other research depending on the arrangement.

Jul 28, 2013

Study for an exam - CFA, CFP, CPA, GMAT, FRM or learn a language, Mandarin and German perhpas being good go-to's for an English speaker

"I am not sure who this 'Anonymous' person is - one thing is for certain, they have been one hell of a prolific writer" - Anonymous

Jul 28, 2013

Read news, learn a new language, read a book (PDF), etc.

Jul 28, 2013

Love how no one here has recommended that he ask for more work to do...

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

Jul 28, 2013
frgna:

Love how no one here has recommended that he ask for more work to do...

I assumed OP would've already asked for more work. This is downtime after that.

Jul 28, 2013

Invest - Not sure exactly where you work, so this may or may not be possible (in any event, mock portfolio). Find some companies that you are interested in and start reading about them/prepare writeups...

If you plan on being an investor long-term (PE, HF, VC), this will certainly help you more long term than any exam or language

Jul 28, 2013
ixjunitxi:

Invest - Not sure exactly where you work, so this may or may not be possible (in any event, mock portfolio). Find some companies that you are interested in and start reading about them/prepare writeups...

If you plan on being an investor long-term (PE, HF, VC), this will certainly help you more long term than any exam or language

What kind of writeups?

Jul 28, 2013

Everything GoHuskies and CoochieMane said
+
Look for some new LinkedIn contacts to network with
Write some messages to catch-up with my LinkedIn contacts.....etc.

Jul 28, 2013
borby:

Everything GoHuskies and CoochieMane said
+
Look for some new LinkedIn contacts to network with
Write some messages to catch-up with my LinkedIn contacts.....etc.

If I'm at work everyday, what do you recommend as the best way to network? Email?

Jul 28, 2013
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Jul 28, 2013
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Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jul 28, 2013