Partying/drinking culture at BBs?

whats-the-damage's picture
Rank: Baboon | 141

Let me start off by saying that I do not drink...

I am starting at a BB this summer and am worried how well I'll be able to manage my networking ability/social status in the firm without the advantage of being able to 'grab a beer' with fellow co-workers. This is a real concern for me because I don't want to be known as the 'guy who doesn't drink,' or separate myself from co-workers in any way.

Do any of you have experience with this type of situation? If so, what is the best way to handle it? Do I still go to happy hours if I am not going to drink? Will it hurt my networking ability/social status in any way?

Any advice on this would be much appreciated!

Comments (55)

Jan 30, 2010

u mormon or what. they make exceptions for mormons, not pussies.

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We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Jan 30, 2010

yea seriously, have a beer and quit being a pussy.

Jan 30, 2010

The above just sums it up...

Jan 30, 2010
whats-the-damage:

Let me start off by saying that I do not drink...

I am starting at a BB this summer and am worried how well I'll be able to manage my networking ability/social status in the firm without the advantage of being able to 'grab a beer' with fellow co-workers. This is a real concern for me because I don't want to be known as the 'guy who doesn't drink,' or separate myself from co-workers in any way.

Do any of you have experience with this type of situation? If so, what is the best way to handle it? Do I still go to happy hours if I am not going to drink? Will it hurt my networking ability/social status in any way?

Any advice on this would be much appreciated!

I don't drink have not found to be an issue. I just get a different drink if we go out; if you don't make a big deal out of it then your co-workers probably won't; unless you're in the frat team. My team couldn't care less.

Jan 30, 2010

jjpp18...Shirley Temples are pretty good right?(virgin of course, wouldn't want things to get out of hand)

Jan 30, 2010

drink is for pussies, the hardcore teams do crack

Best Response
Jan 30, 2010

This dude was asking a legit question.. give the OP a break frat boys...

@whats-the-damage: I don't think you should make a big deal out of it. Should be perfectly fine. However, if you don't want to hurt your social status within the team; DO go to the happy hours and nights out at least once in while - just grab something else to drink.. If you are able to enjoy yourself in social events without getting hammered; that's perfectly fine (and you will even be more productive).

Best of luck

Jan 30, 2010

Ironically your screen name is whats-the-damage. I want to know what the damage of having a beer or two once in awhile is? In other words, I echo the "man up" sentiment. Yes, not drinking will inevitably ostracize you socially.

Jan 30, 2010

Maybe he's a an alcoholic and went through rehab at the age of 16? 5 years sober is a lot to give up over a job.

If that's not the case, agree with the above, stop being a pussy, or else make up an allergy to something like water that prevents you drinking.

Jan 30, 2010

I have a similar question. This summer I'm going to be interning at a BB as a summer analyst. Although I'm a undergrad junior, I'm still 20 and don't turn 21 until July. I understand that the first training week in June is a great opportunity to meet other interns and network. As far as going out at night with other interns, I enjoy drinking, but will not be able to drink at bars and clubs due to my age. Has anyone been in a similar situation? My real concern is that some bars/clubs in New York might be 21+, in which case I won't even be able to get in to the place at all, which is a problem (and to those wondering I don't have a fake and wouldn't consider getting one so close to my birthday). I know I can meet people during the day as well, I just thought it would be good to bond with interns over drinks too.

Any suggestions? Same thing goes with when I start my internship. For all of June I will be 20. I've heard some people say that at company events I should go ahead and drink and that no one cares how old I am, whereas others are saying if HR finds out I'll be in big trouble. I tend to agree more with the first view, but does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.

Jan 30, 2010

Nobody cares if you drink or not. When the time comes to socialize, go out and have a good time and drink whatever non-alcoholic beverage you wish. Only idiot college students think that by not "keeping up" you will be looked down on. It's truly amazing, once you enter the real world, how quickly "being drunk" goes from being amusing and fun like it was in college, to being awkward, unprofessional and pathetic. You will be working way too hard to do any serious partying anyway.

Jan 30, 2010

If you're underage, you have a perfectly legitimate excuse not to drink and people will not hold it against you. I wouldn't recommend drinking at firm events if you're underage and people know it. The downside is probably much greater than the upside.

As for what to do, you should definitely go out to all the events you can. Socializing is an incredibly important part of getting invited to return back after the summer. I'll tell you, not showing up at all looks far worse than showing up and having people poke fun at you for ordering a coke. Of course, just cause you show up doesn't mean you're "in." You've also got to be fun to hang out with and have a good personality. Some people struggle with being "fun" if they aren't drunk, but if that isn't you, you should be fine.

I wasn't a big drinker when I started my IB years, but I definitely sucked it up and had a few beers every time I went out with co-workers. If you don't have strong feelings towards not drinking and you just "don't like the way alcohol tastes," then I definitely suggest you make the sacrifice and have a few pops with your buddies on the weekends. If there are religious reasons or addiction issues, that's up to you to decide how to handle it.

Jan 30, 2010

I appreciate the replies... except for the few who just telling me to stop being a pussy and start drinking. The issue is not my age (I am 21 already), just that I have made a personal decision not to drink. I am not going to go into the reason I have chose not to drink, but I appreciate all those who respect my decision rather than give me a pathetic frat guy response. Just 'sucking it up' and grabbing a beer is not something I will do.

Anyway... I am an extremely social person and will not have a problem having a good time with my co-workers. I'll take the advice of many and just go out and have fun with co-workers, rather than not tagging along at all. I can take the occasional jokes about not drinking just fine. It seems like, from the replies, if I can do that, I'll be just fine when it comes to my social status.

Jan 30, 2010

So if during the summer, a couple guys ask me to go out and get a beer with them, I should just go ahead and say "sure" and go with them? Then when I get to the bar, get a non-alcoholic drink? If they ask me why I'm not drinking, I'll just tell them I'm not 21 yet, and we can all have some good laughs over it. After a couple times going out with the people at the office, I'm sure it'll be understood that I'm not 21 yet and people will not ask me why I'm not drinking something alcoholic.

As far as socializing goes, I find that sports is a huge topic of discussion. I've played sports my whole life yet don't really watch them on tv that much. I like watching the NBA and European soccer, but that's about it. So whenever people in the U.S. talk about sports, which inevitably ends up being football or baseball, I always feel left out since I know next to nothing about these sports. At a lot of my superdays, there were a lot of candidates who struck up great conversations about sports with people of all rankings from analyst to vp level. I felt a little socially awkward since I had nothing really to say, but it's just kind of funny that some of the guys who talk the most about sports and have the strongest opinions have never played sports in their lives (not that there's nothing wrong with this). Nonetheless, I think sports are just one of those topics of conversation everyone can have something to say about, so I think I am going to start watching more football/baseball or at the very least know who the major teams are so that if conversations come up, I can join in.

Not that this is really on topic, but I just think it's interesting that there's a whole lot more "doing" when we're kids rather than growing up after college and getting a job, where, for obvious reasons, there's a lot more "talk." For example, in elementary school and middle school no one would really talk about sports, they would just go out during recess and play them. Then obviously there's no recess during college or at the work place, so people have to settle for just talking about these things (unless they organize some kind of athletic event outside of work). This is generally true for most things as well.

Jan 30, 2010

I dont drink. Never had a problem with it. BUT, most people have been very cool with it, others give me the funny eye. At the end of the day, just got to be a social person, with or without alcohol.

Jan 30, 2010

i sometimes dont drink and its never been an issue.

Jan 30, 2010

i get really bad asian glow even after 1-2 drinks. is it better just not to drink at all?

Feb 1, 2010
highhater:

i get really bad asian glow even after 1-2 drinks. is it better just not to drink at all?

I have one word for you: Pepcid

Feb 17, 2011
seamlessftw:
highhater:

i get really bad asian glow even after 1-2 drinks. is it better just not to drink at all?

I have one word for you: Pepcid

I must echo this piece of advice. Pop a max strength pepcid 30 minutes before your drink does absolute wonders.

I haven't had a carb since 2004.

Jan 30, 2010

Have a drink beforehand so that you are already glowing. That way, when you drink with others, they won't notice a change.

Jan 30, 2010

yea i have that underage concern as well. i will be 20 during the whole summer and my group is known to party it up. i have NO problem drinking, i go out drinking practically every week. the advice i have gotten is that if it is a company event - then don't drink. but if ur with the team, then no one really cares; sometimes they would be buying the interns drinks.

Jan 30, 2010

Yeah ul8492, I think we're in the same boat. So if it's not a company event and the team is buying, it's okay to drink with them? I guess they wouldn't card in this case since older people were buying the drinks anyway. I just don't want to be in that situation where the other interns are all drinking and I'm the odd one left out. Obviously this isn't my biggest concern for the summer, just something i have been thinking about lately

Jan 30, 2010

christ almighty, when it comes to socializing you should have realized by now that taking it easy is the way to go, right kids? don't make a friggin' soap opera of "should i drink? should i go out with the colleagues?" if you wanna make friends, you have to give them the time of day (ie go out with them). you don't have to drink.
if you want to look like you're not a heavy drinker but enjoy your occasional drink, have a johnny black. if it's your first time doin whiskey, careful not to make the "it's my first time drinking whiskey" face. good thing about that, tho, is you can order it with ice, which makes it more bearable if you don't like alcohol, and you can drink it real slow.

but then again, i allow myself to order a coke every now and then, coz i fuckin feel like it, and i have the backbone to not give a shit (plus i know my friends aren't the kind of tools you see in Borat when he hitches a ride to pamela - you know, the guys that just didn't stop drinking from the moment they picked him up. that's college kids. grown-ups drink because they like the drink, not coz they wanna get drunk, regardless of what some might have thought. if you wanna have fun, get high [on life! on life!] or go home to your gf/bf/pet sheep)

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jan 30, 2010

As a former <21 NYC intern, if you are underage, you will HAVE TO get a fake if you are in New York. You won't be able to get in to most bars if you are underage and don't have a fairly decent ID.

It doesn't matter if "older people" are buying the drinks. You might not get carded at some of the more upscale places in the UES, but it's definitely not a chance I'd take.

Jan 30, 2010

yea nightflarer, i know what u mean. you don't want these things to interfere with ur chances of getting a FT offer. so it is something you want to think about. as for me, i summered at a BB last year and my team was really cool so they used to buy me drinks and knew that i was 19. drinking and partying with the team def helped me get a good rep.

matter of fact, after my freshman year, i summered at another BB when i was 18 and we went out drinking occasionally. maybe its bc i look pretty mature, but my team never had any problems with me being underage and drinking. the times i ordered sprite or some other non-alcoholic beverage was when we used to go out to a nice dinner or a team lunch and MD's were there.

Jan 30, 2010

drexelalum11 is 100% right about having a 21+ id . To the OP: not drinking is one thing, but not going out socializing is completely different

Feb 17, 2011
GeneralThade:

drexelalum11 is 100% right about having a 21+ id . To the OP: not drinking is one thing, but not going out socializing is completely different

Agree with GeneralThade. Grow a pair, if you don't want to drink don't. Doesn't mean you can't be social and go out with your coworkers.

Jan 30, 2010

One of my sisters friends made the decision not to drink after going through rehab. Rather than admitting that fact to other people (it's rather embarrassing) she just says she's on medication that doesn't allow her to drink. Which is a totally plausible scenario.

Jan 30, 2010

nobody cares whether you drink. None of the more senior people whose opinion matters career-wise are going to be hanging out with you outside of work anyway. Say you dont drink, have a sprite, whatever.

Ill approach it from the other side: I like to drink quite a bit and its never done anything but hurt my career!

Jan 30, 2010

ul8492, I look on the younger side so not sure that will work with me. To be honest my group doesn't seem like the "party" type (not to say they don't go out and have a couple drinks). I have not met any of the MD's, which as you guys said I wouldn't be spending much time outside of work with anyway. As far as the analysts, I've only met two, both of who seemed pretty chill but not crazy party type either. The rest of the people I know are VPs and Associates, and they seemed very sociable as well, though not in a party type either. When people say their groups like to party, are they mainly referring to the analysts and associates?

Jan 30, 2010

I don't trust people who don't drink.

Jan 30, 2010

Yes nightflarer, "party" group almost exclusively refers to the analysts and associates. While an MD might come out once or twice, they won't be a regular appearance at the bar with you.

Jan 30, 2010

Have never been in the situation with co-workers, but just go out and have a good time. Dont even bother mentioning. Just say 'no thanks' if one is offered.

I go out all the time with friends and have a few drinks, but there are times when I just dont want to drink. I order a water with lime.

Jan 30, 2010

Just curious... to be honest how often do we have time to go out and socialize as an intern? Although I've agreed to take up my place at GS, I'm now inclined to renegue on the contract due to the fact that I'll be slaving over 80 hours, eating lunch at desk and missing out many social obligations and parties while my unsmart friends are having crazy fun off the Costa Smeralda or Ibiza... Besides, my parents are strongly opposed to my becoming an ibanker for some reason. I really like the ibanking job though..

Jan 30, 2010

^ Seriously?

Jan 30, 2010

Similar situation occurred to me during my SA last summer. I was in a pretty big party group that liked to go out a lot. I however, was under 21 for half the summer and didn't want to get tempted or get in trouble for drinking. As a result I declined most (not all) requests to go out. That was a big mistake. One week before the internship was over, HR calls me and talks about how while you are a hard worker, there is some concern that you don't like your group because you don't socialize too much with them. Luckily, I was able to repair some of the damage by becoming a bit open-minded during that last week and ultimately got the offer. However, it was a close call, and if I had the opportunity again, I would absolutely go and have a beer or so, wherever you are invited.

Jan 31, 2010
grandpabuzz:

Similar situation occurred to me during my SA last summer. I was in a pretty big party group that liked to go out a lot. I however, was under 21 for half the summer and didn't want to get tempted or get in trouble for drinking. As a result I declined most (not all) requests to go out. That was a big mistake. One week before the internship was over, HR calls me and talks about how while you are a hard worker, there is some concern that you don't like your group because you don't socialize too much with them. Luckily, I was able to repair some of the damage by becoming a bit open-minded during that last week and ultimately got the offer. However, it was a close call, and if I had the opportunity again, I would absolutely go and have a beer or so, wherever you are invited.

Thanks for your input. This is the exact kind of thing I want to avoid... I'll just accept the invites and then order a water or coke. I'll be starting as a FT analyst, so I really don't have to worry about getting an offer, just have to worry about keeping my social status on par with the rest of the 1st years.

Feb 1, 2010

whatsadmg! never order water! dude, it's one thing to not order alcohol, but water??? ever heard of water being the driest of drinks?

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Feb 1, 2010

Ya'll need to grow up and go out drinking with your groups. Get a fake, who cares how close your b-day is, if it leads to a FT offer then that $100 spent is well worth it. And what is the damage in having a beer or 2 with your group? No one is saying that you have to go out and get smashed, but drinking a beer is the exact same thing as drinking a coke, unless you didn't acquire the taste in HS or college because you stayed in every night. Which would make you a pus.

Feb 1, 2010

Ya'll need to grow up and go out drinking with your groups. Get a fake, who cares how close your b-day is, if it leads to a FT offer then that $100 spent is well worth it. And what is the damage in having a beer or 2 with your group? No one is saying that you have to go out and get smashed, but drinking a beer is the exact same thing as drinking a coke, unless you didn't acquire the taste in HS or college because you stayed in every night. Which would make you a pus.

Feb 1, 2010

I used to drink at all scoial functions. By the end of the night I was always the one falling down, groping my female colleagues and turning up to work the next morning to comments like ...... "didn't you have that shirt on yesterday" ??? I was a [email protected]#ing pig of a man but my work still kicked goals. At the end of the day this is what counts - you deliver and everything is ok.

So you can drink, use drugs, or drink green tea ....... who gives a damn - just do your work and don't drop your di$k in any of the female partners and you will be fine.

Feb 1, 2010

at assin':
and you got the offer?

how much real work did they let you do at the internship?

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Feb 1, 2010

Sorry I was already FT. I only worked there 2 years though ... so I cannot say for sure that this type of behaviour would not have eventually been an obstacle to going higher in that firm. I kinda got the feeling that it didn't matter though as many senior staff also went off the rails in the work social environment.

Cheers to that

Feb 17, 2011

Just get a coke or seltzer, people r gonna thing u r drinking jack and coke or vodka tonic.
Don't publicize it right away, go to a few happy hours, be cool, don't be a buzz kill, nobody is gonna care.
If it comes out say something like " I'm a recovered alcoholic, I live vicariously through you", or " I have liver disease, alcohol would lead me to an early grave"

More is good, all is better

Feb 17, 2011

I agree with the above. Spend the $150 to get a decent fake if you're not 21. Thank me later.

Feb 17, 2011
whartonboss:

I agree with the above. Spend the $150 to get a decent fake if you're not 21. Thank me later.

I did this.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Feb 17, 2011

I think it also depends on where you go to college. If you go to a state school and you don't drink... I just think that is weird as heck. The point of hiring undergrads from big state schools is that they have great behaviorals as well as technicals, so if you don't even drink they'll probably be thinking they should have just hired an Ivy Leaguer.

The more of a liberal arts school you attend, the less you will be frowned upon by being sober. But in all seriousness, getting sideways with the team can be an instant bond... I think you'd be dumb not to take shots with the group if you are given the opportunity (unless you really can't hold your own).

"You've got to belong to it."

Feb 17, 2011

just make sure you ask for your non-alcoholic drink in a regular glass. add a lime. no one is the wiser.

Feb 17, 2011

So where can i get a fake ID in nyc?

Feb 17, 2011
ello:

So where can i get a fake ID in nyc?

Don't you have any similar looking friends who are 21? My fake said I was about a half-foot taller than I am and had different color eyes and hair. No one ever questioned it. I know guys who've used girls IDs in the past.

Feb 17, 2011
drexelalum11:
ello:

So where can i get a fake ID in nyc?

Don't you have any similar looking friends who are 21? My fake said I was about a half-foot taller than I am and had different color eyes and hair. No one ever questioned it. I know guys who've used girls IDs in the past.

this only works in nyc... sadly since they don't care... at most other places they actually look at the ID.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Feb 17, 2011

its ok if you don't drink... but cocaines another story

Feb 17, 2011
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