The Truth About The Back Office
Hey guys, so I know there are a few posts about the(i.e Operations) on this site but I just thought I'd add my 2 cents as I recently left for another job after spending 1 year in Ops.
I don't know about other banks or regions but in mine, the base starting salary (non-NYC) was around ~45k with a signing bonus of ~7.5k. During training in NYC, I learned that my NYC counterparts received a base of ~60k and signing bonus of ~.
This is actually not too bad, considering that I live in a VERY cheap area. Unless you are an idiot, you are able to save at least 1.5k EACH MONTH and even more if you're super frugal. Obviously it's not the same for NYC but where I live, this is not uncommon.
In addition to our base/bonus, we were paid overtime (again, in my region... not sure about NYC). Depending on your team you worked anywhere from 10-14 hours a day. We worked 10 hours each day (7am-5pm) and were paid half time for each hour over 40. This added up to about ~52k, plus ~7.5k means we made about ~60k our first year in a VERY LOW COL area!
2. Performance Bonus:
It seemed like the first year bonus was usually around 4-5k across the board since most of the analysts had only been working for a few months and were still learning. After that, it could go anywhere from 2k-20k. Despite the fact that these bonuses were "discretionary", I had a lot of alum just tell me flat out what their bonuses were. The top performers (yes, even in Ops..) received anywhere from 10k-16k. The average was around 6k-9k, and if you sucked then you can go as low as 3k.
Another cool thing was that our bonus was ADDED to our BASE and our OVERTIME pay was calculated with BASE+BONUS. Ex:
48k BASE + 10k BONUS = 58K
Hourly = 58K/52/40 = 27.80
Working 10 hours per day turns 58K into 65K.
Yes, I know this is still considered "low" at WSO but the average salary in my region is like 40k-45k.
We worked from 7am - 5pm, sometimes 6pm. Usually we were done by 5. 18 Vacation days that we were free to take whenever we wanted. Unlimited sick days (at least for my BB, as long as you didn't abuse it). Easy to work from home when feeling sick or have other obligations that required you to stay home. Work was EASY AS HELL and had zero pressure/stress.
4. Exit Opportunities:
This is where I feel most WSO users get misled. I know that BB Ops is not the best job, but if you are a hard worker and a good networker, it is VERY POSSIBLE to jump intoor even move into . The BB brand name helps getting into industries outside of finance but your personal performance will help you get into FO (within the same BB).
I've seen people move to IB, S&T, Consulting Case Interview Pack from WSO in order to make sure when you do get your chance, you're ready to ace the interview. If you work hard, you will have plenty of opportunities to come up with "interesting" projects that can really make you attractive to bschools., Credit Risk... etc. Another possible option is working for 3-5 years and getting your MBA. A lot of my connections moved on to M7 MBA programs (mostly Booth and some in MO at Wharton). It's not only about your job title but it's about leadership, work ethic, extracurricular activities, and telling your story! I also highly recommend you check out the
Working in BB Ops isn't so bad unless you are deadset and gungho about going FO. Even then, you can definitely use this opportunity to lateral and network.
As for me, I got a job offer at a f500 large tech company, a boutique strategy consulting firm with managers from, and a smaller tech company that just went public last year. I'll be joining the smaller tech company next week!
Hope this helps some future Ops monkeys as I know I was depressed as hell when it was the only offer I got from my crappy non-target. There will always be more opportunities so don't give up!
Mod Note (Andy) - Throwback Thursday, this was originally posted 7/21/2015.