Socially rejected in banking? How to make friends?

I'm a junior and have an internship with a BB for this summer. I worked hard at networking and interview prep and my parents are proud of me. But I can't get over the anxiety of making friends at the office this summer, as well as after graduation.

Even though I somehow made it through the interviews, I have struggled with people for most of my life. As a kid, I was bullied. In college, it hasn't been much different. I rushed frats hard but got no bids. I was socially rejected by my dorm hall because people thought I was fake and too intense. Last summer, I worked at a firm with 3 other interns. We hung out together 4-5 more times. I didn't make any major social blunders and we honestly had fun. However toward the end, the other interns became incredibly close with each other while I found myself excluded. **It seems that I am always choosing between being restrained and coming across as cold and distant, or being vulnerable and coming across as inappropriate. **

I've met some of the interns and analysts I'll be working with summer and they are great people. I don't want to fuck it up and will do anything that will help me make friends and learn how to strike the right balance between restraint and vulnerability.

Does anyone relate to this? If you've been able to ramp up your interpersonal skills and make friends after college, or are in a similar situation, I would love to hear your advice/experience.

Comments (23)

Apr 1, 2019

Commenting b/c curious

Apr 1, 2019

This happen to me from elementary school to junior year of college. In the end, instead of crying about it. I just did my own thing, rather than trying to please others. Looking back on all of those kids at the frat, I was rushing for, failed in career. Majority of the "high school" and "middle school" kids I know, either join the army, work in the retail banking or other labor jobs. I can't say I have a close relationship with my analyst team, given that they are few years older. But, I keep it professional and go out for lunch together occasionally and invite them over for the weekend. The truth is friends come and go. Just focus on getting your full time return offer.

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Most Helpful
Apr 2, 2019

You are one bitter person. "All of those kids at the frat, I was rushing for, failed in career." Lol do you stay up and tell yourself this stuff to feel better?

"Or other labor jobs" Why the hell are you looking down on people. No wonder people didn't get along with you at work

Before you say it, sure I will go ahead and say that yes I am still in school and not working the glamorous gig you must have to be so condescending

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT

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Apr 2, 2019

During rushing one of the pledge bros died and it made national news. So, yes 1/3 of the guys in the frat end up in jail. Do I feel bad for them? Yes. To look down at people is different from being self critical. (Just like I know I don't have the most glamorous gig) So, find me one comment that I made that's self condescending. The only reason why I reference to the fact that you're a incoming analyst because you were giving advice to a 2nd year associate on what he should do. I don't care if you're incoming analyst to GS TMT, but incoming analyst giving career advice to a 2nd year associate is BS. Ever since that, you're following me everywhere on the forum. I guess what I'm trying to express is fairly simple, don't worry about having to please everyone or be the social butterfly. In the end the OP may not be the most social person, but I have no doubt he's a smart guy given that he got a SA offer. If I were in his shoes, I would focus on getting the return offer. Lastly, where did I ever say I didn't get along with people at work?

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Funniest
Apr 2, 2019
Bill Stern @ Axe Cap:

Majority of the "high school" and "middle school" kids I know, either join the army, work in the retail banking or other labor jobs.

I love how you're condescending towards the retail bankers but work in commercial banking yourself, like you're participating in the Paralympics but also calling other people retarded.

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Apr 2, 2019

I'm not going to fight about whether ABL is IB or CB. I know some ABL analyst always point out that it's housed under IB for some banks. In the end, I look at ABL as CB. A PE guy could probably make the point that you're condescending toward CB but you're also in banking. As I mention, I'm not calling anyone retarded or neither do I look down at them. I'm simply pointing out the fact that if the OP is going to be a SA, he's obviously doing something right. I will straighten out my priority and focus on getting a return offer. I'm pretty sure the people who bullied him aren't progressing in life like him.

Apr 1, 2019

shrooms

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Apr 1, 2019

Part of this is something that you simply need to work on. If you are able to, take a communications class - specifically either Public Communications or Interpersonal Communications. This will help you tremendously break whatever shell you have.

I would practice small talk. This will help provide a good first impression to others when you improve on this.

No pain no game.

Apr 2, 2019

First, congrats on the internship for the summer!

Relatively same experience as you; bullied in middle and high school, but broke out of the trend in college by lifting, playing basketball, etc.. however can't attest to the whole frat thing so sorry but no advice there.

Was super awkward my freshman and sophomore year and decided enough was enough. Things I did that helped me get out of my mold were:

  1. Took a public speaking class. Speaking in front of 30+ students consistently with very little note cards helped me enormously in knowing my material, learning to walk the room, create eye contact, and portray eye contact. Eventually you will feel more relaxed and you can start asking the people around you questions like "so what's your major, hobbies, etc..." small talk.
  2. Took a leadership role in class and club. Leadership roles really helped me in learning how to work within a team, delegate if I was struggling with responsibilities elsewhere, and helped me learn how to distinguish between when it was okay to make jokes and kind of when to be serious. All in all, leadership roles are super helpful at least IMO.
  3. Coffee chats/Happy hour chats. Networking was a key aspect in attaining your position I'm guessing, so this probably will come easier. When I was super awkward (still am but such is life), I would prepare a list of questions that would break the ice and ask the table. Example since you're all interns who probably drink and party "What's your favorite drink and which drink can't you stand. Why?" People lighten up and talk and before you know it, you seem like the conversationalist.
  4. Just relax. If you honestly just try and create small talk here and there, go out for coffee occasionally and grab lunch together with the other analysts, you'll make friends. It's just like college/high school. Maybe that kid next to you, you didn't speak to for the first 5 weeks, but by the end of the semester, you two couldn't shut up. It will come with time.

Have fun in your internship and I'm positive you'll make friends.

Best of luck!

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Apr 2, 2019

the solution to social awkwardness is learning how to socialize. try reading this book

just google it...you're welcome

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Apr 2, 2019

stop trying to shill some shitty PUA material all over the forum

Apr 2, 2019

dude...its free....its a book....

just google it...you're welcome

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Apr 2, 2019

PM me - experienced similar situations here.

Apr 2, 2019

@futurebanker2019 If you just look through the comments, you'll see that you're not alone in being socially awkward. Pretty sure everyone here are doing a lot better in relative to most people. Let's face it, if you're SA or IB analyst you're doing a lot better than 80% of the people you know. Just be casual, relax and work on perfecting your excel shortcuts. Kill the internship and get that return offer. Then, you can join the ring of @QuiltEmerson and laugh at the "retarded commercial bankers".

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Apr 2, 2019

@futurebanker2019

Here's what I've noticed and a trick that works wonders for "being liked" or appearing "socially adept".

  1. Don't talk about yourself too much, ESPECIALLY if nobody asked you to.
    The people that people love to hate the most are the ones that only talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and their interests. They spew useless anecdotes that are not only uninteresting, but also annoying and irrelevant.
  2. Control the conversations
    The person above controls a conversation by spewing mush. A sociable and likable person controls the conversation by asking good questions, following up with even better ones, and including a few personal excerpts here and there. This will allow you to find a common interest and direct the conversation in a way that feels authentic and genuine.
  3. If you want to be liked, get people to talk about themselves with you
    This goes off of part 2. The strategy is simple - get people to talk about themselves. Get them excited to share more by A.) being genuinely interested in what they are saying, their life experience, their interests etc or B.) Acting interested in what they are saying, their life experiences, their interests etc.

If you have questions or specific scenarios you're having trouble with let me know or throw a DM. Happy to help.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

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Apr 2, 2019
StrapYourBoots:

@futurebanker2019

Here's what I've noticed and a trick that works wonders for "being liked" or appearing "socially adept".

  1. Don't talk about yourself too much, ESPECIALLY if nobody asked you to.
    The people that people love to hate the most are the ones that only talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and their interests. They spew useless anecdotes that are not only uninteresting, but also annoying and irrelevant.
  2. Control the conversations
    The person above controls a conversation by spewing mush. A sociable and likable person controls the conversation by asking good questions, following up with even better ones, and including a few personal excerpts here and there. This will allow you to find a common interest and direct the conversation in a way that feels authentic and genuine.
  3. If you want to be liked, get people to talk about themselves with you
    This goes off of part 2. The strategy is simple - get people to talk about themselves. Get them excited to share more by A.) being genuinely interested in what they are saying, their life experience, their interests etc or B.) Acting interested in what they are saying, their life experiences, their interests etc.

If you have questions or specific scenarios you're having trouble with let me know or throw a DM. Happy to help.

Someone's read How to Win Friends and Influence people +1

OP, definitely read this book. All you have to do is ASK QUESTIONS as Strap states.

Admittedly I was never the best at "small talk" either because quite frankly it is so hard for me to pretend to be interested in what other people are saying (most of the time I really don't give a fuck)...... but you just have to do it anyways. Pay attention to what they're saying and continue to ask questions.

Another good book is "How to Talk To Anyone" by Leil Lowndes. But definitely read "How to Win Friends & Influence People" first

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Apr 2, 2019

Get a therapist.

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Apr 3, 2019

This post hits too close to home....but I'm an international student so I'm OK with it.

Apr 3, 2019
  1. Ask questions about others, show that you're interested
  2. You don't need to force yourself to be out there, no one's there to judge you
  3. Just have fun, a little alcohol might help!

Remember that they're your colleagues, being friends come after that.

Apr 3, 2019
Comment
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