Was it worth it?

I'm on this site Because like others I want to be on Wall Street. This site is good for learning how to network and on other aspects of the job.

My question to all of you no matter how far along you are in your career, is it worth it? After you got the job and you worked all those hours on your big presentation. Working with your crazy MD and fratty coworkers. Was it worth it to get here?

Comments (15)

Jun 9, 2020 - 1:11pm

I think it has been so far. As an analyst, the job is definitely time consuming and sometimes challenging, but I find a lot of comfort on the career flexibility that starting off in a job like this gives me. People ask me if I want to do this forever, especially since there is so much salary potential in jobs like IB and PE, and to be honest I'm really not sure, but knowing I have options is a good feeling. I might want to do something entirely different in a few years. Who knows. I am also lucky to be at a firm where I get along very well with my team, get some say in what deals I work on, and cover a sector I find interesting and important. The money is nice, but in NY it is nothing life changing. Idk, this is just how I have felt so far but everyone's experience is different.

  • 3
Jun 10, 2020 - 11:02pm

Great to hear! Hope that everything continues to go well for you!

Jun 9, 2020 - 2:55pm

If you don't like what you are doing and you are on a call on Sundays, you won't last.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

Jun 9, 2020 - 8:17pm

So far so good. It looks like it's gonna be a lot better down the road.

Come to the dark side and be a quant. Working conditions are so much better than being a banker or even S&T at a bank. You'll 40-60 hrs a week, make equal amounts or more compared to bankers, experience much flatter hierarchy, work with more interesting and amiable people, etc...

Only issue is it's a lot more selective and less standardized of a path. Job security isn't all that great compared to bankers perhaps. But plenty of exit ops if you're a data science type of quant: other data science roles at Big Tech, Fintech, start-ups, and other buy-side/sell-side firms.

Jun 15, 2020 - 10:12am

If it were the 1990s the probably ...

It's a lot more of an established path nowadays. Most established paths are

1) MFE and become a sell-side desk quant, which is essentially mindless stochastic calc and some machine learning with 0 creativity.

2) MFE and become a generic buy-side quant. Virtually the same kind of skills as desk quant

But the above paths are for the less talented. Anyone whose decently good at math can do it. For real math kids who can get 10+ Putnam scores,

1) practice probability and statistics puzzles and get a quant trading job

2) Do a PhD in math, CS, Operations research, etc ... And decide to go into investing because you didn't want to become an academic and hated the Silicon Valley.

Of course there are plenty more unconventional paths like mine.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 9, 2020 - 8:51pm

I would say it's been worth it. Especially having come from a poor background, the pay is meaningful to me and it's nice to be able to support myself and live comfortably while also having extra to save and give back to my parents. While my office doesn't have the best culture and there were moments that REALLY sucked, looking back as a second year, I would choose to do it again because I've been able to develop my technical and personal skills very quickly in a short period of time.

I think all the long hours and tough personalities makes your skin thicker during a period of your life when you can handle it, making whatever you do afterward seem significantly better. I'm moving onto MM PE, and definitely don't expect it to be easy by any means, but I've heard good things about the culture and people there so I'm looking forward to a hopefully better experience. But I think I appreciate that even more because of what I've gone through in banking.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 10, 2020 - 4:47am

I'm surprised everyone is really focusing on money or the potential to earn a lot of money (through exit opps). The money I earned and the "prestige" has been great and I'm really grateful about that.

When it comes to the overall skills (soft and hard) that I've learned, I definitely think it is worth it. This job really makes you into a well-spoken, mature and overall professional. I think more than the hard skills, you learn how to deal with people in stressful times, manage expectations, figure things out on your own with little guidance, work extremely long hours sometimes on low value-add items, etc. I've definitely become a different person in the last two years compared to when I was in college.

The main thing though that really makes me think this path wasn't worth it is the overall impact of my work and the end goal. I came into IB all gung ho about making a lot of money, with an interest in finance and wanting to make an impact through the transactions that I would execute. What I ultimately realized was that IB is very much a sales job in which banks are trying to get the most fees they can by pushing for deals in any capacity (with less of an importance towards whether the deal actually makes sense). I've never really been a big sales guy and am not really interested in doing a sales job in the long-term (I know all jobs turn into sales but IB is very much driven towards the schmoozing side of things that I am not a fan of or even good at).

I'm also not a fan of the lack of specific knowledge I have accumulated. Working in TMT IB, I'm always switching from one company / deal to the next with little time to even think about what I am learning about the industry. What's worse is that the time I spent learning about Virtualization Software won't be that useful because I won't be on a deal or company like that for a lnog time as I switch to other sectors like Supply Chain Management Software or an Internet company. I understand that seniors end up specializing in certain subsectors, but all of the knowledge seems very much superficial as we are just reading online research to put something that makes sense on a slide. I feel like I'm not really ever going to understand what's going on unless I actually have worked in the industry or at a specific company.

Finally, all of those long hours and the seemingly low-value work that I feel like I am doing even when I am on live deals have made me realize two things: money is not everything and that I need to find something to do in life, which I will be motivated and happy enough to get out of bed for 20 years down the line. These are pretty self-explanatory but I share many of the non-traditional views that have recently been discussed on this forum about these two things.

Jun 11, 2020 - 1:30pm

Yep. Enjoy what I'm doing now and think I'm well positioned for my career, long-term. Sure, certain elements of PE and IB have sucked, but the positives outweigh the negatives, IMO.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"
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