SF to Menlo Park commuting

Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A

I'm starting this year at one of the BB/EBs in Menlo Park/Palo Alto and I was wondering if anyone who has experience working as a junior banker there. Did you or your coworkers live in SF (was thinking Potrero Hill/Mission to be close to the freeways), or is making this commute too difficult? I would definitely prefer living in the city but if it's not feasible I may live closer to work. Any input or experiences are really appreciated!

Comments (3)

Mar 26, 2020

I lived in SF this past summer and am pretty familiar with the area as I made alot of trips between SF (where I lived & worked) and the overall South Bay (Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, etc). I highly recommend that you do NOT commute every day from SF to Menlo Park/Palo Alto especially if you're going to be in banking. The one way commute via Caltrain (public train system) is ~1 hr and it'll probably be worse if you decide to drive with AM rush hour. As an analyst, the last thing you want to do is spend 2+ hours every day just commuting to and from work. Driving 1 hr back home to SF after leaving the office at 2 am because of some fire-drill will not be fun. I would suggest that you just take the L and live near Menlo Park/Palo Alto. It definitely won't be as fun as living in SF but you'll probably save some money and your mental health and sleep schedule will thank you later. Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions about SF/the Bay Area, I'll also be starting FT at a MM in SF in the summer!

Mar 26, 2020

Second this, you probably don't want to commute everyday from SF to Palo Alto. Especially working banking hours. I used to commute tri-weekly to SF from that area and trust me, not a good look. I understand why you'd want to live in the city, so I guess you'd have to weigh your desire to be in the city against a really rough daily commute, but if I were in you're shoes I wouldn't.

Mar 26, 2020
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