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Comments (15)

Jul 14, 2014 - 4:21pm

Don't know about TMT (I was in healthcare at a BB), but generally IB in SF is much more casual than in NYC. I never had to wear a tie, not even to client meetings, and there's always jeans fridays. # of analysts and bankers are much smaller, so you have less of a local network in terms of who you work with. Lastly culture is dependent on the people you work with, so try your best to get to know the people or figure out what the culture is like.

Jul 15, 2014 - 2:59am

Wall St:

I've heard that if you want a shot at making it BIG within finance, go to NYC.

Is this true?

(sorry for potential hijack)

I've heard that if you want a shot at making it BIG within hooking up, go to Tinder.

Is this true?

(sorry for potential hijack)

Move along, nothing to see here.
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Jul 15, 2014 - 9:26am

Wall St:

I've heard that if you want a shot at making it BIG within finance, go to NYC.

Is this true?

(sorry for potential hijack)

People who make it big in finance dont follow formulas from college kids on a website that tells them to live in X city, work for Y bank, and go to Z B-School to become successful. Theres plenty of opportunity in other cities, especially SF/LA/Chicago/Boston

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Jul 15, 2014 - 3:28pm

Agree with chanky above. I visited almost 20 BB, EB, and a couple of MM banks in SF last fall plus a ridiculous amount of informational interviews and contacts. Culture is a bit more laid back even though your hours and work are almost the same. Business casual during the week followed by casual friday is the norm, In downtime, people walking around looking for others, in random places even, to BS with until they need to be back at it. Not as cutthroat of a feeling as I get in New York, more of a team aspect then the "trample the weak, hurdle the dead" every man for himself bonus race in NYC. Just my opinion though, I'd love to hear some more thoughts of people with long experience in both places.

"Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like a compulsive need to be liked. Like my need to be praised."
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Jul 15, 2014 - 3:36pm

I'll add some value hopefully.

It's been my experience (not a banker, worked with bankers) that the culture is A LOT more laid back (still within the semi-rigid constraints that is customary in banking) than in NYC. Among the top bankers at the highest levels, relationships are going to be key regardless of where you are, but in the Bay the relationships are more based on history together, friendship, etc. than purely strategic.

That's really all I've gleaned, but I will say that you can definitely carve out just as nice of a career in the Bay as you can in NYC.

Oh, and for anyone who wasn't aware, there are good jobs in some cities outside of NYC too. There are even (gasp) cities that some people like MORE than NYC! Anyone saying that your career is automatically hindered because you don't live in NYC, ignore them. Applying the same logic as a poster above used, Warren Buffet is the captain of the team that disagrees with you.

Jul 15, 2014 - 5:11pm

Culture is more laid back but you're still working IB hours for IB comp

Fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of run. - Kipling
Jul 16, 2014 - 2:16am

Not in IB but in general, SF is definitely more toned down on the formal attire, but attitudes are similar although I don't have enough NYC experience for a true comparison. The work day for most of us starts quite early because of the time change with the markets and rest of the country. SF is very diverse. Connections are definitely made by charisma. Finding a roof over your head in the city can be very difficult, but you can easily find somewhere in the area that fits your tastes and take BART into the Financial District every day. Or work at a Palo Alto office and find somewhere close by.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right." -Warren Buffett
Jul 16, 2014 - 2:23am

Think people have nailed the general theme of banking in SF - from a mile high view, people are generally "more chill," dress is without a doubt more casual, and the office culture is a lot more laid back at the analyst level in many ways. Of course each group has its own nuances as well. Walk into MS menlo park and you'll feel like a grind monkey being mashed away at grimes' whims so not really that different from NYC minus the part where you get to live in a city and drink and have fun after whacking out 100 hr weeks. Some other shops like the new Moelis pali office - same thing on the work culture except exponentially less deals and infinitely more pitching. Who even knows what will happen at baml with the new 40% hiring increase. Back in the city, shops like HL and Laz - guess what, you work hard also. Jefferies, who doesn't love working massive hours in foster city?! GS and CS have evolved through the years and the SF experience is a bit different now than it used to be - much more varied. DB is bro central. Q is an entirely different animal, period. I'd say in general the number one difference is the west coast demeanor that permeates at the analyst level since at the end of the day, the blocking and tackling is the same whatever team and whatever city you end up choosing

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