It’s 2 years, you got this

Just thought this was a great thread worth passing along. Remember - this is a two year job (if you're an analyst) that teaches you a ridiculous amount and gives you more exposure to seniors and decision-making than 99.9% of jobs out there that are available to fresh college grads. And if/when you decide to leave, you'll be in great shape to contribute in your future roles due to the great skillset, work ethic, and attention to detail that you developed. Yes it sucks terribly sometimes, but on your worst nights try to put things in perspective. Keep going ladies and gentlemen, you got this.…




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Comments (54)

Jul 18, 2021 - 2:55pm

Or WSO tends to lean towards kids who grew up around a lot of money (I'm one of them, I'll admit). When a friend of mine who went to a non-target whose parents home was probably worth <$500K and he was pulling $300K+ as an associate by his mid 20s - he was ecstatic. Eventually left to join the buyside (lifestyle fund, better WLB but likely less pay). But before the pandemic/WLB fiasco many people are facing now in the industry, he really saw banking as something he wanted to stay in (he was in a top group at one of the better paying BBs).

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 18, 2021 - 9:07pm

You serious?? Perspective of wealth, as he just explained. 

banking salary is nothing to a trust baby from Greenwich who went to an Ivy. To someone who grew up poor, or even middle class, banking salary is huge. 

my parents are lower middle class, I'm going to make more as a 22 year old than they've ever cleared in a year (combined). For perspective

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 18, 2021 - 11:10pm

Yeah I think a lot of people overlook this. Most analysts in my group have parents pulling in $1MM+ and are upper class. Honestly, most of the analysts class across my bank are from very wealthy families. Unfortunately when you have this background, the $150,000 salary feels very insignificant. Essentially when you start your job in investment banking, you livelihood is absolutely unchanged from college. The only difference is you now have far less free time. 

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Jul 19, 2021 - 4:20pm

I honestly think some people lose touch of reality and are too focused on other person's careers and think a person has A, B, C their life would be the same. Even if they followed the same path, the end result will not always be identical. Plus, people should really weigh their options there is not a few paths but multiple. I tend to find most people that I define as successful do things most people are not prepared to do. Plus, their mindset is conditioned to focus on the price no matter the pain, setbacks etc.

SafariJoe, wins again!
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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 18, 2021 - 3:33pm

Some groups are as bad as people on WSO make out to be, if not worse. Groups with strong deal flow at top banks (usually HC, TMT, M&A) have pretty consistently put in 90-110 hours a week for past year and often do not have weekends. Culture is pretty rough in these groups too. 

On the whole, I do not think banking is as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. However, there are many exceptions and absolute nightmare groups still do exist. 

Jul 18, 2021 - 10:09pm

Good thing about WSO is a lot of those "notorious" groups have long threads about them. Know of a few sweaty shops but are known to have great culture etc.

Also I think 90-100 is more of an analyst thing. I highly doubt many associates at the notorious groups are pulling 90-100+ weekly but I may be wrong. I've heard 75-80 is more realistic after 6 months on the job.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 20, 2021 - 10:16am


dude the fucking harvard kids make it seem as if you walk into work and you're getting raped and beaten and stabbed, repeatedly. They think because they've never worked a real job before they have it the worst on earth lmao.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 18, 2021 - 10:26pm

Posts like this kind of piss me off. 

"Exposure to seniors and decision making"- I spend all my day in powerpoint and excel because my associate wants to remove an oxford comma on page 17 of an appendix and my MD wants to add back the comma. Also, we aren't getting exposure to C suite execs. We take notes on calls to send around to the team that no one ever reads. 

"It's 2 years"- Yeah that's a long time and 2 years of some of the best years of your life. Who cares if I'm making 150k a year when I get less than 20 minutes of sunlight a day, haven't seen my parents in months and never have time for friends. 

Honestly, I don't think I have learned anything valuable. I know which obscure pages my MD likes to see and where to find some analysis we did 7 months ago on a pitch that went no where. 

I'm not working on important transactions either. It's shitty pitches that never go anywhere and joint book runner on some low fee bond. 

Maybe other analysts have had a better experience than I have. Good for you. Just putting perspective on here for college kids who think money and prestige make you happy (they don't). I'm looking forward to the day I quit and I log off for the last time. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 18, 2021 - 11:54pm

"I spend all my day in powerpoint and excel because my associate wants to remove an oxford comma on page 17 of an appendix and my MD wants to add back the comma." – BS, no one spends "all day" doing that. In the past 6 months, I can count on one hand the times where Oxford comma consistency was scrutinized. Instead, almost every precedent deck I've seen has some kind of formatting inconsistency / error (e.g., how page title is capitalized, footnote position / format, line spacing across pages, etc.), and FWIW I work at a top group at top BB

"Get less than 20 minutes of sunlight" – Again, BS. Days busy like that exist, but your schedule absolutely ebbs and flows; honestly have had a lot more days where I have hours of down time / doing simple tasks that don't require 100% attention so I can put on some Netflix / have little to do than I expected coming into the job. "Never have time for friends"? – You have less time and flexibility compared to in college, but again you absolutely have time for social things. 

Yeah banking sucks in many ways, but what's up with people who only seem to remember the bad days / moments and try their best to make sure no one else would every forget about that?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 19, 2021 - 1:25am

You're a young kid fresh out of college. No job in the world is giving you the kind of exposure to c-suite execs you're imagining. As someone with a lot of friends from high school in very "normal" jobs, I promise you even as a PPT bitch boy you have infinitely more exposure than they do. One of my friends works at a F500 in accounts receivable - all he does is go over invoices with places like Walmart and other retailers and call their accounts payable teams to try to get them to pay… guy has no idea what the big picture strategy of the company is. Do you get to see that in IB? Maybe not if all you're doing is pitching, and I'm sorry to hear that if so. But I'm at a BB in a strong group, and when we go talk to the same caliber of F500 companies, it's not a call with the accounts receivable team. You might have just put together the deck, but in the process if you take the time to read it you see how your senior bankers view the business and their strategy, what levers are available to the corporation to pull. Then you sit on the call with some of the most senior people in the entire corporation. Did you speak? No - but you're a 20 something year old kid, no one cares to hear what you have to say yet. You still get to soak in what those execs think, and what your senior bankers say in response. And they're talking about things that actually matter - not if Walmart pays 5 days earlier, but what if we acquire X competitor, or if we tender our bonds and issue new debt, or if we consider an equity financing how might that be viewed by our largest institutional holders. And that's just a typical market update meeting - when you're on a live M&A process with those companies, it's all hands on deck and they involve their most important people in the deal that you're working alongside with as a 20 something year old. If you have even the slightest idea of what your peers in "normal" jobs are doing, and just how little impact it has on the entire company, you'll realize that you may both be cogs, but you're a cog doing much more worthwhile work. Stop complaining and recognize it might suck now but it's a hell of a lot better than what they're stuck doing.

Jul 19, 2021 - 9:54pm

VC gives plenty of exposure to c-suite execs. I worked at a VC fund for a little over a year and got to directly interact with the senior management of Plaid, Relativity Space, and Wombo to name just a few companies. Additionally, my VC background helped me become an advisor for several high-growth startups. Now, I'm working 40 hr weeks, sightseeing around the country (my current firm is permanently wfh), and making $100K base plus 5-10% bonus with excellent benefits. Honestly, people need to see outside the IB bubble and realize that there are other jobs available that provide the same, or even better experience, without the insane hours. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 20, 2021 - 10:23am

dawg i wish you people would just live one day as poor just to see what true hardship is like. lmao go neck yourself 

"best two years of my life"


Jul 21, 2021 - 9:44am

Sorry for the lack of structure in the below but I have to get this of my chest before OP makes more people take the same bad decisions I took. 

Banking in 2021 is no longer a good choice for most people. Two years of absolutely..

  • grueling hours(and no, it does not get better for Associates or VPs - that is a myth that MBAs tell themselves). I work a consistent 100h week including weekends. My senior analyst stays in until 4AM regularly even during the early phases of a deal, and this is not just my team but all FO M&A at our bank (top BB). My VP gets out at midnight, maybe 10PM on a Friday. Face time culture has gone nowehre in the last decade, despite all the headlines.
  • boring work (you are mostly working admin stuff and pitches in PPT - the model is run by a bunch of quants you never talk to, and all the C-suite interaction is you taking notes on calls). No, you are not talking to the CEO, no you are not learning proper modeling in two years, but hey at least you can set up a conference call.
  • failing health, i.e. gaining 20kg and developing muscle twitching and heart disease  (you will not be bale to keep up with exercise in 90% of observed cases - if you do, kudos, you are an exception). I know some people that started using their hair from stress. There is very few other jobs that make you wake up at 4.30AM because you thought there was an email notification.

...and for what? Money? Just work two 8h shifts at McDonalds. IB is a lot but you will never be really rich. Barely anyone in IB ever achieves self-employment either. No one that is intellectually interested in finance will actually like banking.

There is a reason we are paid that much, and it is to compensate for how shit the job really is. Thus, most people are in it either for money (unless you are poor it usually is not worth it, and 99% of your analyst class will be the opposite of poor) or for those mythical exit ops.

However, exit ops are overhyped and not actually worth it for most people nowadays. Why work those hours for 2-4 years only to end up in corp dev? You could have just done that straight out of college or from Big4. Same goes for VC and many start-ups. Banking is by no means the single or even the best pre-requisit for these careers. Go work for McKinsey, it will be more interesting, same money and better hours. Also, you will usually have more choices with a consulting background. Namely, apart from corp dev and some VC, the only exit that makes sense for most bankers is oh-so-glorious PE.

People tell themselves PE is the promised land. Lower hours, amazing carry and interesting work. But that is simply not true in the vast majority of funds:

  • you hours will remain pretty much the same, you will usually not get out of the office before 11PM and still have the occasional all-nighter, only now for less pay (as carry is not really a thing anymore) and without your friends next to you in the bullpen. 


  • your salary will remain essentially constant or lower than in banking. And remember you could probably have gotten the same job coming from BCG.
  • and finally, your work will remain mostly admin stuff and doing bitch work for your boss without a realistic chance to ever make partner. There is a reason most people go back to business school, and eventually go corporate or quit finance altogether. 

At the end of the day, banking is a dead end except for those few people either really really greedy for some $$ or dead set on working in a small set of very specific investment roles. And on top of that you will be overqualified for many roles that might be more interesting if you want to make a career change at some point. 

Having fallen into the banking rabbit hole back when I started uni, all I can say now as an Analyst is that from my POV it is not worth it, and I wish there had been people to tell me that when I first started applying.
So if any prospects read this, please do think very long and hard on what you really want to do with your lives before you lock yourself into this job. And do not rely on WSO. It is a great site for getting the job but the perspectives and opinions of most people here are removed from reality to an such extent that they will tell you to send a nice thank you email and prepare for a handover call when you end up in hospital with a heart attack (happened to one guy on my team recently) on the job, instead of quitting outright.

Tl:dr: remember that it is not banking or bust.

Huey Lewis and the News. Great stuff! I just bought it on my way here. You heard it?
  • 15
Aug 8, 2021 - 6:04pm

Because most models are run by a bunch of quants nowadays, barely any analyst actually gets to touch the model. You will be making nice little charts based on it to put onto your ppt. Doing modeling in banking is an illusion nowadays, at most you will get to fill out a template in your second year. 

Huey Lewis and the News. Great stuff! I just bought it on my way here. You heard it?
Jul 22, 2021 - 1:16pm

OP probably correct

I probably could've done another year at BB, not so much for the money, but just for the perseverance and it might have been nice to have a few more billion dollar deals on CV in first few years.

That said there's also a limit to how long you'd stay. Staying beyond VP is pretty unrewarding financially considering how little the pay is if someone really rated themselves. When's a D going to realistically save $10m? At that point you've really become a career banker, and your real out (without taking a pay cut) is to keep powering on and start politicking in the firm, which is great if you love being a salary person. Not if you want to make next level of big dollars.

Jul 23, 2021 - 4:33pm

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