Un-hyping IB - Most don't know what it is

Dan Bush's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 615

Everybody in college wants to be IB. Most don't know what it is. They think it is a profession of glitz and glamour. And because of this the competition is ridiculously tough. When I was in college I didn't know any technicals, but I knew what IB was and what they did. When i was SA, I saw many quit b/c they had a rude awakening. When I was a first year I saw many leave. This year I see many leave. Kids, only apply if you know what youre in for.

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Comments (29)

Sep 20, 2006

are you on dial up dan? You seem to make a lot of double posts

Sep 20, 2006

It's actually not as tough to get in as people think. There are MUCH more selective and prestigious jobs for undergrads.

Sep 20, 2006

It's true...tough profession. I'm one of those crazy types who was a direct promote and have no intention of doing an MBA (well - that's not true, on rough nights I think about taking the GMAT, but it would be purely a career changing thing) but I've seen a LOT of burn out. It's an uphill battle even if you are strong of mind and willpower and self-motivation/ belief. The flipside is that I now enjoy my job more often than not which was NOT the case 2-3 years ago. My hours are way better (10-13hr days on average and rarely in on the weekend by someone else's bidding), I get to actually think and I have juniors to spread comps. I do have the added responsibility of checking everything and taking ownership now which is a tough gig, but I wouldn't trade back. I also have the knowledge that if I do make the move to the corporate world, I'll be a rock star (without the pay heque) judging from the experience of a few of my friends...

Sep 20, 2006

yeah living, from what I've read as an associate its a little bit better, since you have a lot more variety in things you do compared to an analyst

Sep 20, 2006

It's true...tough profession. I'm one of those crazy types who was a direct promote and have no intention of doing an MBA (well - that's not true, on rough nights I think about taking the GMAT, but it would be purely a career changing thing) but I've seen a LOT of burn out. It's an uphill battle even if you are strong of mind and willpower and self-motivation/ belief. The flipside is that I now enjoy my job more often than not which was NOT the case 2-3 years ago. My hours are way better (10-13hr days on average and rarely in on the weekend by someone else's bidding), I get to actually think and I have juniors to spread comps. I do have the added responsibility of checking everything and taking ownership now which is a tough gig, but I wouldn't trade back. I also have the knowledge that if I do make the move to the corporate world, I'll be a rock star (without the pay heque) judging from the experience of a few of my friends...

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Sep 20, 2006
andrew:

I think this is due to ibanking industry taking anyone with a decent gpa. So anyone who ends up wtih a 3.5 or above wants a shot at ibanking because of the money. 90% of them think that "Long Hours" is a 60 hour work week.
Me on the other hand, I'm researching everything about the industry, reading books left and right, so I know what to expect. I know I'm not going to burn out after 6 months like a lot of other people because I know what I'm getting myself info.
This is why the turnover rate in Ibanking is so high, because employers aren't being honest about what the job entails..

I don't think this is entirely correct. There's been a lot more info out there about hours/ work etc and people are aware of the hours, its just a lot of people consider themselves to be THE BEST and truly believe that they can hack it. They've never actually experienced months and months and even years and years of late hours, mindless work, a-holes giving you shit and the effect that has on your will to live.....
True story - I once had a guy at an info session tell me that he was prepared for the long hours as he'd "been practicing" - ???

Sep 20, 2006
livingthedream:

I once had a guy at an info session tell me that he was prepared for the long hours as he'd "been practicing" - ???

partying till 3 in the morning is practive to some :P

Sep 20, 2006

whats with all the double posts?

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Sep 20, 2006

I've heard that most of the IBs don't leave once they have made it to that level (i.e. VP or MD) because

1) The work hours start to get better than before. So the person starts getting the feeling of reaping the benefits of all the hard work as an analyst.

2) The kind of money IB offers is such that its hard to make a career switch since your lifestyle is set up according to that paycheque. If you go to any other profession, you'll have to start from the bottom which obviously one would be reluctant to do.

What do you think? Is that true?

Sep 20, 2006

"If you go to any other profession, you'll have to start from the bottom which obviously one would be reluctant to do."

VPs are not going to find someone that will pay them $900,000/yr outside of IBD. It's a weird spot to end up in.

Sep 20, 2006

probably true, i mean you spent what 10 years climbing the corporate ladder, and then give it all up? Pretty hard to do

Sep 20, 2006

I would agree with that...

For me I'd find it hard to leave as the money is really good and I view that as a payoff for all the bending over backwards and monkey work i did to get here, leaving now seems silly - like taking all the pain for no reason. You're better off leaving within the first 1-18 months i reckon. And yes, its hard to look at other salaries seriously - my whole perspective is just shot on that one. I've been offered jobs with corps at 'attractive' salaries which turn out to be less than 50% of what I get now. Which sucks.

I can actually make (and keep) plans for a weekday night now and have been taking my life back this past year - reintroducing myself to friends etc etc, mentioning if i have a personal conflict with a potential work thing (if i can smell a false deadline)

Sep 20, 2006

living as an associate, aren't your hours almost as bad as the analysts?

Sep 20, 2006

You wouldn't be throwing away 10 years of experience. Granted, you're prob not going to find a lot of jobs in the $900K range outside of banking, but there are still plenty of options (e.g., corporate roles - bus dev, CFO, etc.) that will give you plenty of credit for your experience in banking

Sep 20, 2006

To living the dream - you may already be well aware of this, but there is substantially more "middle-ground" out there between your current role in IB and the corp gigs that you mentioned.

I can think of several PE funds that have very light hours (in relative terms) compared to the IB "standard" work-week. One example, sorenson capital, really doesn't work their people more than 60 hours a week - and I know for a fact that associates at their fund are making ~75% of what I make in the sweatshop of a PE fund where I work...

Sep 20, 2006

I'm a second year (will be third in December) and granted, for the first few months the only difference was the monthly cash flow, but I think it's a factor of me being with the firm for a while so have built up some goodwill and also being able to do the job with my eyes closed. I'm all for upwards management too and will try to make sure analysts working with me don't have to go through what i did so will call bullshit where i see it.

Now - don't get me wrong, I still have periods where I want to walk under a bus but they do occur less often than they did.

Hours-wise, i'm definitely at the office for less time than the analysts, but the level of involvement/ responsibility has gone way up. i'm at the stage now where i'm leading meetings/ going on my own to discuss the book so there's no hiding from shoddy work (not that i'd ever turn out such work!!!)

Sep 20, 2006

smugguy - yes, I did look into the 'easier' PE shops, but making a move for me is not all about money...i'm always looking and have seen some interesting opportunities but nothing that's made me take the bait. a friend of mine left and joined a start up and i'd be up for that kind of risk at this stage in my career - he got given a nice equity slice too

Sep 20, 2006

yes, livingdream is true. my assoc gets in at 9, works until 6. snorts coke and checks on me until 9 and goes home. 12 and hes done.

Sep 20, 2006

Well if investment banks told prospective analysts exactly what the job entails, 99.9% of the applicants would run the other way. That would mean banks would have to pay junior people through their nose and bend over backwards to hire people. Actually I wish they did that because then it's easier for me to get into investment banking.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Sep 20, 2006

I'm sure that even if they tell exactly what the life is like and what they will be doing, a lot of kids will still apply since they think they can do it.

Money talks man

Sep 21, 2006

Yea... I'm tossing up between staying in Australia as an analyst and moving off to somewhere more cut-throat, like NYC (not that there're any opportunities at the moment). But really, life seems so much more relaxed here.

Nov 26, 2006

"I'm sure that even if they tell exactly what the life is like and what they will be doing, a lot of kids will still apply since they think they can do it."

What does a first year analyst really do? I am VERY interested in applying for a analyst position and am very curious of what the job en-tails.

Thanks

Nov 26, 2006
iwannabeabanker:

"I'm sure that even if they tell exactly what the life is like and what they will be doing, a lot of kids will still apply since they think they can do it."

What does a first year analyst really do? I am VERY interested in applying for a analyst position and am very curious of what the job en-tails.

Thanks

Run. Just run and don't look back.

Nov 26, 2006

Why do you say that? I REALLY want to go into IB. I haven't had a internship yet but hope to secure one next summer.

Nov 29, 2006

REALLY want to go into IB if you don't know what the job entails?

Nov 30, 2006

Umm yeah, that might be something you should check into.

Dec 1, 2006

At some point you realize you love doing deals and that's what drives you. As an analyst you don't give a shit and you just want the pain to end, but as you move up you do it because you want to win. It's the people who never get out of the mindset that it is "work" and the work is "pointless" who burn out and leave. If you view it as a competition and you wanna come out the winner there's no better place then wall street to prove your worth

Dec 1, 2006
Dec 1, 2006