Thank you, Associates

After two months as an analyst, I have struggled a lot with the learning curve and the workload. Many late nights and f*ckups have me stressed af, yet my associate has stayed up with me, helped me improve, and shielded me from angry seniors. Without him, everything would be a lot worse. 

So thank you, to all associates who care enough and have the patience to help us analysts get better at our jobs.

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Comments (67)

Most Helpful
Jul 14, 2021 - 1:29pm

A good associate is underappreciated. From my experience, it typically takes an MBA Associate one year to get to this point. A good relationship between the analyst and associate is key for high quality work with less stress.

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Jul 14, 2021 - 1:42pm

I agree. I always think it's funny when 2 or 3-year analysts are blasting stub-year MBA associates for how useless the associates are currently compared to them as if that's a fair comparison. Like sure, someone that's most likely making a career switch and is in their first few months on the desk is definitely going to be shitty until they have the first 12 months or so to get up the learning curve, just like those analysts were shitty when they first started. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 15, 2021 - 9:51am

The difference usually is that the analysts know they're shit whereas the MBAs think they're gods gift and start 'supervising' people with more experience

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 14, 2021 - 2:02pm

Why don't you take them out to dinner or get them something nice instead of posting anonymously on WSO?

Jul 14, 2021 - 8:24pm

Because asking your associate to dinner would be very gay.  However, if an analyst bought me a Hawkeye, Colt 1911, AR, or Benelli, he'd get top bucket reviews no matter how shitty his work was.

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

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Jul 16, 2021 - 12:57pm

Angus Macgyver

And here I thought Analysts got fucked by their Associates, VPs, and MDs, all day every day

Lmao all of you just smell of desperation and fractured egos. Why not take your salaries and invest in RE and other assets and stop trying to one up each other? It's funny but your all grown adults. Do something useful with your income. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 14, 2021 - 2:57pm

Agree! I'm a summer analyst and my MBA associate has been super helpful throughout the summer. They're always willing to check my work and answer questions before I send it up to the actual associate

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 14, 2021 - 2:57pm

Thank you associates, for constantly telling me you're "absolutely jammed" every single time we get work and responding "we will get started on this" to the thread while emailing me "You can handle, right?". Thank you for going to sleep at midnight while I'm working until 3am and never actually creating an output, but strictly just checking my work once the entire deck is done. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 14, 2021 - 3:32pm

What team is this? Would join: my MBA Associate is 3 years in and exactly the same except he signs off by 10pm and asks me to check the work I did at his "can you handle" emails, yours sounds better!

Jul 15, 2021 - 12:20am

I'm not defending your associates but if you decide to become one you'll understand that VPs and above working with us a lot of the time also demand is to start creating stuff rather than doing the grunt work. Hence sometimes we spend less time in excel or moving logos and a bit more time thinking about structure of the deck, of the slides etc

again just giving you another perspective and not defending people who slack off

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2021 - 6:07pm

Thinking about the structure of the deck ? If you're genuinely spending significant time (that would prevent you from participating in other activities) thinking about the "structure of the deck", you either recently joined and don't have previous materials for reference, or are inefficient...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 15, 2021 - 2:35am

That's my Associate. We can't be in the exact same group or can we. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 14, 2021 - 11:15pm

You: Thank you, Associates.

Me: F*ck you, Associates.

For those who create unnecessary work and/or lazy AF. 

Jul 15, 2021 - 1:07pm

It is funny how this tends to work out... as an Analyst, I loathed most of my Associates (A2A and MBA guys) because it seemed that they were either lazy or would never provide value. As an Associate, you understand that there are a lot more things going on that require attention instead of hopping into PPTs and pushing pages. Sure from time to time I will help out Analyst and take on my fair share of work or turn my own comments for efficiency sake but it is really not what Associates should be spending most of their time on especially in process type roles (i.e. M&A). In the current environment (at least in my group), it seems that Associates are expected to play VP and quarterback processes while also having to play down and pick up slack when Analyst are unable to properly allocate their time to specific deals.

Long winded way of saying that Associates also get F*****. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 15, 2021 - 4:10pm

Don't think that's what people are failing to recognize here - it's not like Analysts are waging a full on war just because somebody is a Associate. Everyone has different responsibilities. I think what's infuriating a lot of folks is the Associates - who tend to be MBAs - who are incompetent and mean, logs off by 10pm, forwards requests to rename PDFs when you've told them you are swamped (and they know it based on the staffing sheet) and forces you to outline the page, do the page, and check the page countless number of times while incessantly checking in and provides comments that end up being outright wrong or useless. It really doesn't help all that much if they are busy brown nosing seniors while berating you separately.

If your job is to manage the work stream and communicate upwards and downwards, the least you can do is do your own job at a competent level.

Jul 15, 2021 - 6:42pm

This sounds a bit extreme. If the example you're giving about how some post-MBA Associates provide comments down to the analysts that end up being outright wrong / useless, then you should realize that they would be on the chopping blocks. Just remember that while Associates supervise Analysts, they too are being judged on their leadership and management of analyst work. For analysts, ignorance is bliss considering they just take orders from above and grind away at edits. As you gain more responsibility/experience over time versus just being a monkey grinding nonstop as an analyst, you'll start to realize the greater level of pressure/stress higher up the ladder. 

Jul 17, 2021 - 7:26am

100% agree with your comments on low to negative value add of MBA associates. I was an analyst a long time ago and it's amazing how many of the MBA associates are still cut from the exact same cloth of churning useless comments, checking out early and generally clueless while acting like the are Masters of the Universe. They should not be able to have analyst support for the first 6 months on the job. I knew a bank they did that way back and it seemed like the right approach. Don't think the practice survived though.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 15, 2021 - 11:03pm

In my previous team I had two great associates- one MBA and one non-MBA - both taught me everything they know (very different things) and always spent time to teach me. I always felt supported and appreciated and I worked my hardest for them. Always went the extra mile and took work when no other analyst wanted to do it. It goes both ways but not many people say the payoff

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 16, 2021 - 1:49am

A good, well-respected (up and down) IB associate makes deal teams run super smoothly, and as efficiently as possible. Everyone's lives are easier. The analyst goes to bed earlier, the VP and MD think, "oh, XYZ's got it" and don't check in as much, and the client knows/likes him or her. 

A bottom quartile one provides negative value by providing misleading, unnecessary, or outright wrong guidance. This is especially the case when they deem themselves too good to do the grunt work and provide zero value there as well 

  • Works at Other
Jul 19, 2021 - 1:58pm

Honestly don't think it's sell side vs buy side but just really down to the nature of the team and person you're dealing with.

On the sell side I had a whole host of useless fucktards above me (including an Analyst 2 who booked his flights at 6pm the day before his leave so that he could beg the MD to leave at 3 or 4pm). Whereas on the buy side my seniors literally carry the team. If they have to model, they actually can.

Maybe you'll find the sell side has more of the less useful type at the analyst / assoc level because the pay's better there at that stage. And on the sell side even the incompetent can cruise up to SVP in a shitty shop if they're their MD's illegitimate child or fuckboy, because the firm has zero skin in the game.

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 16, 2021 - 6:32pm

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jul 16, 2021 - 7:49pm

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Jul 18, 2021 - 5:25am

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Total Avg Compensation

December 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (237) $235
  • 2nd Year Analyst (146) $155
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (516) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (397) $84