To anyone rejected from IB

BillMurray's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,075

Because of all the recruiting and SA application threads currently, I decided to start this thread. Feel free to call me out on anything or throw shits if this is dumb.

The 6 figure salary won't justify the hours you put in

If you think that IB would automatically make your life better or fulfill your dreams right away, you are very wrong. Do you think your life is going to be better as an analyst working 80-90 hours a week, if not more, while making a six figure salary? The answer is that the six figure salary will not justify it, especially if you are in New York. You may just end up wanting more, and your next dream is to be promoted or to go to exit opportunities. So, getting that acceptance will not automatically make your life better or fulfill your dreams.

Even if you do reach the next stages, being an MD does not automatically make your life easier. If you think that you are just going to fly around the world and have it easy, you are very wrong. They will still work a lot and still have a ton of duties, and eventually you will get sick of the travel.

Will the $ really make your life better?

Even if you do make more money, will you actually have time to enjoy it? If your goals are relationship or family oriented, will you have all the time you need for that? Think REALLY of what all that money can get you: a large house, a nice car, a yacht? Is having a much larger house or car to show off REALLY going to make your life better, especially when you are mostly going to be distracted by work?

If it is prestige that matters, keep in mind that most people don't care and have probably never heard of what you do. The average person will probably not know how "prestigious" it is to be in Private Equity or Hedge Funds, and probably have no idea what investment banking is. I certainly had no fucking clue what it was, and rarely heard of banks like Goldman Sachs or whatever unless I had a checking account with Chase or some shit like that.

Almost everyone on Wall Street will agree that breaking into an IB internship is just the beginning, and is not where you reach the pinnacle of what you want. If you don't get it, the worst thing you can think is that you are somehow a "nobody". Ask the average person if they can name the CEO of Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, much less an MD or analysts at those firms. Competition is already so high for these jobs, that you could be one of the smartest people and still get rejected.

IB is just the beginning

The bottom line is that getting an IB acceptance will not be the end of all your challenges, but perhaps the very beginning. Even if you do end up insanely rich, you will probably get used to it in short time. More problems always seem to come up no matter why stage of life you are at.

Look for other opportunities for what you want to do, and get rid of the mindset that it is Wall Street or bust. There are many who regret getting into IB in the first place or switch out anyway, so just find something else you enjoy and build off of that.

This should be a support thread. Please feel free to add in to my advice below:

Comments (37)

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 6, 2019

Timely post mate. +1

Can you share more about what you do and what you enjoy about it?

    • 1
Oct 6, 2019

I work in an unrelated (medical) field but know many people from my undergrad business school who went into IB and share the experiences.

Most Helpful
Oct 6, 2019

i'm 40...so older than you..however my childhood best friend, also 40, is an MD at a bank...and he indeed has an awesome live. I think he made MD at 35. He makes more than a million a year. He works 20 hours a week...maybe a little more if you include travel (he told me that he now travels for a few days once every 2-3 weeks). He talks to CEOs and other company execs just about every day about various business ideas..but thats included in the 20 hours a week. He has a total staff of about 20-30 people underneath him...and the VPs under him have gotten good enough where he doesn;t need to check their work much if at all..he spends most all his working time "selling" his/the banks ideas/services.

He indeed has a great life. He told me if he left the bank, he could go into coor development in the sector that he specializes in...he has offers to do that, but he enjoys his work, and is paid very well for it.

The 80-90+ hour weeks are needed by the analysts and associates to implement the vision of your MD...but as you move up the ranks, you gain more experience...you know what the people under you need to do to get something done..and eventually you transitioning from grinding out work for other people, to grinding out IDEAS for your team to work on.

So, yes, IB can be an amazing career...but you have to suffer for a few years to reap the rewards. I can't think of many careers where that's not true.

just google it...you're welcome

    • 6
    • 15
Oct 6, 2019

20 hrs... Romantic IBD pitch and deep bs...

    • 3
Oct 6, 2019
faceslappingcompilation:

i'm 40...so older than you..however my childhood best friend, also 40, is an MD at a bank...and he indeed has an awesome live. I think he made MD at 35. He makes more than a million a year. He works 20 hours a week...maybe a little more if you include travel (he told me that he now travels for a few days once every 2-3 weeks). He talks to CEOs and other company execs just about every day about various business ideas..but thats included in the 20 hours a week. He has a total staff of about 20-30 people underneath him...and the VPs under him have gotten good enough where he doesn;t need to check their work much if at all..he spends most all his working time "selling" his/the banks ideas/services.

He indeed has a great life. He told me if he left the bank, he could go into coor development in the sector that he specializes in...he has offers to do that, but he enjoys his work, and is paid very well for it.

The 80-90+ hour weeks are needed by the analysts and associates to implement the vision of your MD...but as you move up the ranks, you gain more experience...you know what the people under you need to do to get something done..and eventually you transitioning from grinding out work for other people, to grinding out IDEAS for your team to work on.

So, yes, IB can be an amazing career...but you have to suffer for a few years to reap the rewards. I can't think of many careers where that's not true.

lol @ 20 hours. He may be in the office for 20 hours, but I guarantee you he's working more than 20 hours unless he owns the practice and is just taking an equity cut at this point OR he's looking to be canned.

    • 3
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Oct 7, 2019

100% agree here. I worked at a boutique IB where the owner was in the office probably less than 20 hours per week, but he was still working 40+ minimum

Oct 6, 2019

i don't understand the MS...what i posted is true for guys who stay in IB from 22 and make it to MD at 35-40....the lifestyle is vastly different from the horrible grinding analyst years.

of course IB is not the only path to get there...it just seems the most structured

just google it...you're welcome

    • 8
Oct 7, 2019

Nobody believes that you can make a million bucks a year working less than 20 hours a week.

    • 1
  • Prospect in Other
Oct 7, 2019

Bank/ Group ???

    • 1
Oct 8, 2019
faceslappingcompilation:

i'm 40...so older than you..however my childhood best friend, also 40, is an MD at a bank...and he indeed has an awesome live. I think he made MD at 35. He makes more than a million a year. He works 20 hours a week...maybe a little more if you include travel (he told me that he now travels for a few days once every 2-3 weeks). He talks to CEOs and other company execs just about every day about various business ideas..but thats included in the 20 hours a week. He has a total staff of about 20-30 people underneath him...and the VPs under him have gotten good enough where he doesn;t need to check their work much if at all..he spends most all his working time "selling" his/the banks ideas/services.

He indeed has a great life. He told me if he left the bank, he could go into coor development in the sector that he specializes in...he has offers to do that, but he enjoys his work, and is paid very well for it.

The 80-90+ hour weeks are needed by the analysts and associates to implement the vision of your MD...but as you move up the ranks, you gain more experience...you know what the people under you need to do to get something done..and eventually you transitioning from grinding out work for other people, to grinding out IDEAS for your team to work on.

So, yes, IB can be an amazing career...but you have to suffer for a few years to reap the rewards. I can't think of many careers where that's not true.

Never Happened.

Oct 11, 2019

Not to humble brag, just want to make a point of how BS this is. I know a guy who is a Global Head at a BB and has literally NEVER been home. 30 years of working weekends and staying over night in the city. From what I understand he does have a good relationship with his kids, but basically missed them growing up.

If you think staying within a bank will lead to a better w/l balance as you move up the latter, you are very wrong.

    • 3
Oct 11, 2019

Too add on... this guy has everything you young monkeys want. Two vacation houses, private jet, etc. If you asked me if I want to be that when I grow up, I would say no fucking shot.

Don't get me wrong. I work a shit ton, but there is a line that you have to draw in the sand.

    • 1
Oct 11, 2019

Fully agree with this. I've seen multiple MDs at my bank with this setup clearing similar comp.

They have built relationships for 20 years, are in their early 40's and focus on business development rather than deal execution. Overall, they may work 20-40 hours a week, but sometimes more depending criticality if process stages (e.g., SPA negotiation). This is more manageable for MDs when they have a solid team below them they can rely on for the day-to-day, which certain banks make difficult from a structural perspective.

IB isn't about having the best life as an analyst or associate, but it's about investing in the long-term trajectory of your career. Life gets noticeably better at every stage, and the comp goes up multiples. Being an analyst was difficult, but the fruits of labor are definitely worth it (in my opinion and based on my goals).

    • 1
Oct 11, 2019

Dude that's impossible, unless you literally don't count travel time and reading/responding to emails as working, even though it takes away from what you want to do and your family. MDs still work 60+ hours a week easy and if they travel a lot, more on bad weeks.

Oct 11, 2019

I think a sound advice for you would be to spend a bit more time honing your spelling skills.... I can only imagine the emails you most wrote in your organization

Oct 11, 2019

i'm a trader...i never wrote an email at work...just bbg im...and not much of that either

just google it...you're welcome

Oct 11, 2019
faceslappingcompilation:

i'm 40...so older than you..however my childhood best friend, also 40, is an MD at a bank...and he indeed has an awesome live. I think he made MD at 35. He makes more than a million a year. He works 20 hours a week...maybe a little more if you include travel (he told me that he now travels for a few days once every 2-3 weeks). He talks to CEOs and other company execs just about every day about various business ideas..but thats included in the 20 hours a week. He has a total staff of about 20-30 people underneath him...and the VPs under him have gotten good enough where he doesn;t need to check their work much if at all..he spends most all his working time "selling" his/the banks ideas/services.

He indeed has a great life. He told me if he left the bank, he could go into coor development in the sector that he specializes in...he has offers to do that, but he enjoys his work, and is paid very well for it.

The 80-90+ hour weeks are needed by the analysts and associates to implement the vision of your MD...but as you move up the ranks, you gain more experience...you know what the people under you need to do to get something done..and eventually you transitioning from grinding out work for other people, to grinding out IDEAS for your team to work on.

So, yes, IB can be an amazing career...but you have to suffer for a few years to reap the rewards. I can't think of many careers where that's not true.

Is this for real? Young monkies, take note -- this is fantasy. Maybe there is some unicorn of an MD working 20hrs all-in but unless you can produce fairy dust, this isn't going to be you.

    • 2
Oct 6, 2019

The other side of the medal is the MD who is in the office with his analysts to get the deal done. The MD who has a carry-on ready to go while on family vacation. Just in case, you know...

Those guys get the money though

Oct 6, 2019

Who thinks being an IB analyst is fun, cool or the end all in life? It allows high performing people to continue on a trajectory that pays well and provides optionality. You seem to take it more seriously than most candidates I've met over the years

    • 1
Oct 6, 2019

Good read, I've seen a lot of folks make it despite a set back in the corporate world of high finance

    • 1
Oct 7, 2019

Think you make a really good point about it being "just the beginning." I think a lot of careers are like that where you grind and work so hard to get to a job, only to realize a structure is in place that essentially forces you to keep going. As an alternative profession look at law - work your ass off and study like crazy to get a top LSAT score. Put in 3 years worth of life consuming studies while trying to get an internship with a top firm. Even if you get one of those jobs post-grad it's an 8 year partner track minimum at similar hours to banking, where the vast majority will never make it. Doesn't mean it should stop anyone from pursuing banking or law but it's daunting when you really step back and look at it.

    • 2
Oct 7, 2019

i'm amazed how much monkey shit this post has received. However, to answer OPs post more specifically...if you don't get into IB (its a good career starting point, but not the ONLY starting point)...all is not lost...there are many other prestigious and high paying careers out there. Go work for Facebook, amazon or Google, and plenty of people will be impressed (if prestige is what you seek). There are plenty of well paid people in those companies, and work life balance is better than banking. Consultants can lateral into many other high paying professions in industry, and are often considered experts in their field after a number of years, and are paid well.

there are many paths you can take...all good careers, with good money, and good "prestige"

just google it...you're welcome

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in CorpDev
Oct 8, 2019

The post hasn't received any monkey shit, just you and that friend of yours with the wet dream20hr work week you're anecdotally throwing into the ring. No problem believing the guy spends <=20hrs in the office, but no one here is going to believe he isn't still taking calls and meetings outside that. What's really amazingis why you seem to care so much.

    • 1
Oct 8, 2019

You have to remember 90% of this forum is full of jaded teenagers.

Oct 11, 2019

Nice post, Bill. Thanks for sharing! +SB

Only thing I would add, is that the progression experience at the MD level can vary greatly across banks, bank sizes and even at the same bank across groups.

    • 1
Oct 11, 2019

Any actual MDs on WSO care to comment on whether 20-hour workweeks is the exception or the norm?

Oct 11, 2019
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just google it...you're welcome

    • 1
Oct 12, 2019
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