What should I do with 6 months of free time before starting FT?

monkeyshine271's picture
Rank: Monkey | 44

I just graduated and will be starting work in July. Any ideas on what to do with the free time besides traveling? Can't really travel since I'm broke. So far, I am looking for a part-time job to make some cash and planning on doing a GMATs prep course in a couple months. Any other ideas?

Comments (300)

Jan 9, 2014

Are you going into banking? If so, you should find/borrow some money and go travel. You'll regret it later. If not, I would study for GMAT and maybe bartend.

Jan 9, 2014

I think it's good idea to get the GMAT out of the way. If you had less free time I would have suggested focusing purely on fun, but with 6 mths you can do a whole lot.

Travel is great (except you're broke) because you're never going to get this kind of free, no-commitment kind of time when you start work. How broke is broke though? Like... can't afford a plane ticket outside of the country broke, or can't afford to take a more expensive trip broke? Because you could try going to some really cheap places... like Thailand. Or, I'm assuming you're American, get a couple buddies and do a roadtrip across the states.

How about hobbies? Is there anything you would like to learn but haven't yet? Again, not sure how broke is broke, some hobbies are expensive, so I guess that depends on what you like and whether it's affordable.

You could get in shape, if you aren't already. Depending on what you'll be doing (if it's banking or some other sit-on-ass-80hrs-a-week job, you can let yourself go easily), it could be harder to stay in shape, so good to form good eating and exercising habits beforehand.

You could volunteer for something. For a cause that you believe in. Since you may do b-school, this is a great time to get involved in the community. Also, this is a good time to join something (and stay on the board or organization as you work, as opposed to looking for something while working).

You could network. Make some connections - foster them now and keep them going as you start work. Honestly, someone you speak with now could very well be a catalyst for a new role in a few years!

Lastly, is there a different industry that you might be interested in getting exposure to in addition to the job you're taking? You could consider gaining more experience working pro bono for a firm. Like if there's a small but relatively successful VC or PE shop. You can consider contacting them, setting up some coffee meets and see if you can do some work for them.

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Jan 9, 2014

Fantastic response. Would SB if I could.

Jan 9, 2014
bschoolhopeful:

Fantastic response. Would SB if I could.

Haha, no worries. Just hope it helps the OP.

Can't stress enough the point on using some of that free time to network and build relationships. I've met some jerks in finance, but I've also met a lot of really great people. Seriously, I'm astounded by how sometimes you can meet someone who will go the extra mile to help you out. And it's a great because they will hopefully instill in others a 'pay it forward' type mentality for smart & hungry candidates that come knocking on their door someday and continue the cycle.

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Jan 9, 2014

1. Acquire aesthetics

2. Acquire women

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Jan 9, 2014

Each month immerse yourself in something random (on top of your part-time job and GMAT studying). It could be learning a language, learning to code, photography, playing an instrument, cooking, specific type of exercise, etc. Treat it as you would a part-time job, making sure you spend a few hours a day working towards goals you set.

It'll keep you sharp so you're not just wasting away this half-year, and can help you find things you're passionate about that you didn't have time for before. It also never hurts learning a new skill or language along the way as well. 30 days doesn't seem like much, but it's amazing what you can cram in when motivated. Worst case scenario is you'll know six things you really hate, and won't waste time on them in the future.

Jan 9, 2014

Go work at a ski resort as a liftie for the rest of the season

Jan 9, 2014

I'm making some assumption here, but..
- 22ish Guy
- College Degree
- Single
- 6 months off
- Good job lines up

I'm probably 7-10 years older than you, I would pay a substantial amount of money to switch places with you right now. I'm actually shocked that you don't have SOMETHING planned. I would be so excited that I probably would have skipped studying for finals to plan.

I have the same question as Kanon, exactly how broke are you?

Things I would consider off the top of my head that wouldn't require a ton of money (relatively):
- Catch a flight to southeast asia or europe and just be a nomad
- Fly to Belize and work on Caye Caulker doing something cool (snorkeling, fishing, etc...) live on Caye Caulker or main land.
- Fly to Belize and live extremely cheaply on the mainland.
- Fly to Hawaii and work part time in a bar or touristy area
- Drive/fly to San Diego work part time in a bar or other place
- Drive/fly to the Florida Keys and work at bar or hotel
- Drive/fly to Colorado and work in a ski resort.
- Drive/fly to another city that interests you and work part time (weather is a limiting factor here)
- Road trip, stay with friends, use air BnB or crash at dumpy hotels.

All of these would allow you to study for the GMAT, Volunteer and have a TON of fun.

Honestly, if money is a huge concern line up a job anywhere cool and go live there. Just work in any touristy place and have fun.

Staying home would be my last option

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Jan 9, 2014

He could literally just slum it up in some random foreign country as long as he has the ability to come back. Test yourself.

Jan 10, 2014

What ever you do, make sure it is stress free!

Jan 11, 2014

This may be an 'over-achiever' answer ; but i knew someone who got a ft offer who had graduated early and managed to secure a short-rotation in a different country. (offer in NYC, did a short-stint in London prior to starting with her analyst class)

As far as i know it really set her apart as a go getter and was a good experience for her. YMMV.

If i had six months i'd hike the appalachian trail, but i think that is a spring-fall thing (i may be wrong).

Congrats on the offer!

Jan 11, 2014

Spend at least a month traveling. Throw it on your credit card. You won't regret it. SE Asia, South America, etc. are all cheap.

Start on GMAT studying when you return.

Jan 11, 2014

Before reading the bulk of the post i was gonna say 'travel' but im guessing youre pretty set on either one of you listed options instead.

If its the reality TV one, i really hope its one on financiers - we need one of those. Wall Street Warriors was too short lived.
Good luck.

Jan 11, 2014

If you're passionate about your ideas, forget MBB. Just run with it.

Jan 11, 2014

And you are doing banking why?

Jan 11, 2014

I was about to say travel too but your projects look great.

I think you need a good 6 months before trying to gt on a FT job. If you think it can be sustainable, go for it, forget the job

"What we can, we must; and because we can, we must"

Jan 11, 2014

Thanks so much everyone for your responses so far!

@ILOVENYGUY: I'm not doing IBD. I chose my MBB partly because when I attended a recruiting event where members of my future office spoke, I was very interested in some of the work the office does.

1) is something that I have been interested in for a while. My interest in 2) came about somewhat through serendipity. Back in December, I saw a thread where a student at Wharton asked whether or not take time off from school to pursue entrepreneurship. The student mentioned that the business idea involved both online and off-line parts. When I tried to figure out what type of idea would involve both parts, I thought of my own business idea.

Jan 11, 2014

Drink, relax, start a workout habit if you dont have one already and mainly just enjoy life. It's your last semester of scool and you dont have to find a job, live it up.

Jan 11, 2014

Get a strict exercise routine. You'll need it when you start sitting in front of the computer screen 8 hours a day.

Jan 11, 2014

I finished school 2 quarters early with an offer and signing bonus in hand, so I didn't have anything to do from December 9th (last final) until June 9th (graduation). I'd strongly suggest you do what I did: whatever the fuck you want. I worked two on-campus jobs to help supplement my bar bills, but I don't think I woke up before noon once in those 6 months. I worked out enough, and read the journal everyday, but besides that I lived it up, because you will never have that much freedom again until you retire in 40 years. Just make sure you survive and make it to training.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Jan 11, 2014

Might be an unpopular opinion, but perhaps study for the GMAT?

I've heard a lot of people say that it's very difficult to get into a preparation routine once out of the academic mindset. The school resources and culture of 'study sessions' will probably disappear come May. Besides, the scores are valid for five years after you take them, so should be good for an Mfin or MBA program down the road.

I am planning to start studying come New Years and take it over spring break. Twice a week for a few hours a day is my plan. Then again, I'm only taking 7 credits so need something to keep me busy.

Jan 11, 2014

Oh yeah. What Blueapple said. I did take a 3 week break during my 6 month bender and flew back home to detox and study for the GMAT and did pretty well so fit that in just to get it out of the way

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Jan 11, 2014

I finish up in a week, and start my analyst gig mid-summer. So far I've planned a couple of trips (including a spring break with all of my college buddies), I plan on attending a few games of the NCAA basketball tournament, and going to a few music festivals. I packed it in the first week of October and just go to the gym, hit the bars, and hang out with friends/GF. Really just echoing what has been said above; I'm doing whatever I chose to do every day. Just trying to relish this.

Jan 11, 2014

* you won't have much freedom until you leave before Bschool

Jan 11, 2014

Take the GMAT. Then have a good time blowing your bonus.

Jan 11, 2014

Thanks everyone. To sum it up, it seems like the advice is to party and take the gmat test. In addition to doing this, would anyone recommend either of the following:

1) Preparing for work (practicing excel, reading strategy(?) books lol, networking/getting to know more people at the firm)
2) Extracurricular activities (this seems like a good time to start a charity that i've been thinking about...)

Jan 11, 2014

Answer to #1: I'm not practicing excel, building models, etc. I've read a fair amount of finance/strategy/business books because I find it enjoyable. It doesn't feel like a chore though, which it sounds like you interpret it as. #2: Just do/get done whatever you want to do with your diminishing free-time.

Jan 11, 2014

What I did: 1. Become better at riding a unicycle. 2. Visited a lot lot lot of Toastmaster Public Speaking club meetings. 3. Started dating a woman. 4. Pefromed stand-up comedy for the first time. In conclusion: I personally had a total blast.

Jan 11, 2014

If you start June 13th, that's a bad idea. Give yourself a 48- or 72-hour buffer. Shit can go wrong with travel plans.

Jan 11, 2014

Depending on your nationality (and ethnicity I guess), there could be some problems coming back. A friend of mine went to India to get married while he was working in the US, customs denied his entry back to America, so he said goodbye to his job.

Jan 11, 2014

Yeah I plan on coming back a full 5-6 days before I start. I'm just worried that some HR or documentation issue will come up and I won't be fully accessible. I'm not an international student, however.

Jan 11, 2014

You won't get the signing bonus until after you start in all likelihood. Having said that, Eastern Europe (Prague, Budapest), Istanbul, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Rio are all fabulous locations.

Jan 11, 2014

Portugal. Specifically Algarve

Jan 11, 2014

Australia...Great Barrier Reef

Jan 11, 2014

No suggestions here but all I can say is I highly recommend it. I tell everyone who asks a similar question that since age 21 I haven't taken more than 3 consecutive days off and have pretty much been working straight for the past 5-6 years. Without that gap to go travel and relax before the real world started, I think I would be burnt out already.

Jan 11, 2014

Thanks for the advice. I'm getting the bonus in the Spring so definitely going to put it to use. I was also thinking Macau and Thailand.

Jan 11, 2014

Thailand

Jan 11, 2014

South East Asia (Island hopping) or Latin America (especially Argentina or Brazil).

Jan 11, 2014

Hike the Appalachian Trail

Jan 11, 2014

Travel to China, live with monks for a month and learn a new martial art in high-altitude mountainous conditions. It's cheap and most definitely awesome.

Or you can be a pussy and hike some hills in the northeast.

Jan 11, 2014
FSC:

Travel to China, live with monks for a month and learn a new martial art in high-altitude mountainous conditions. It's cheap and most definitely awesome.

Or you can be a pussy and hike some hills in the northeast.

China, monks, karate, high-altitude mountains ftw

Jan 11, 2014
FSC:

Travel to China, live with monks for a month and learn a new martial art in high-altitude mountainous conditions. It's cheap and most definitely awesome.

Or you can be a pussy and hike some hills in the northeast.

Yeah mine was a really lame idea, probably should have just ripped off an idea from Kill Bill as well. Good thinking...

Jan 11, 2014

Duchess: Nice. Will look into that

FSC: Are there really programs you can sign up for that include chilling with monks and mountain martial arts?

I have time to do both probably

Jan 11, 2014
UndermyhandQuarter:

I don't have a ton of money, but don't mind roughing it. I am into nature and health so any programs you know of that involve one or both are a plus.

Machu Picchu.

Jan 11, 2014
Jan 11, 2014

interested in the monks thing as well for i will have 15k and time to kill after college

Jan 11, 2014
Maverick91:

interested in the monks thing as well for i will have 15k and time to kill after college

lol

Jan 11, 2014

...i wan't to find my guru.

Jan 11, 2014

^ Yes that is a great place to find a guru, thank you.

Also, Thailand, cheap as hell and phuket looks real nice.

Jan 11, 2014

lol "I'm going to Phuket and Bangkok"

Get it!

Jan 11, 2014

FSC i just bookmarked that website...

Get it!

Jan 11, 2014

Read "The Game" and travel around Europe learning how to sarge.

Jan 11, 2014

How about learning break dancing?

Jan 11, 2014

Sick FSC! Phukot looks great too.

Thanks everyone!

Jan 11, 2014

Second Phuket, vacationed for a couple weeks there and it was amazing. Where we were staying, our hotel was the only one left standing after the tsunami, though I've heard that everything is pretty much back to normal.

Jan 11, 2014

The question is slightly complicated by the fact that you have no money, so I'll answer in what I would do and what I would do in your situation.

What I would do:

If I had six months with nothing on the docket, traveling would be first on my list. I have always wanted to go to Barcelona, Malaysia, and Singapore, so those would be my first stops. I'd also pursue martial arts full-time during my time at home.

What I would do in your situation:

Since you're relocating, I will make the assumption that you are moving away from family. Since you won't have the money to go wild, I'd spend this time really making the effort to spend time with your parents and/or brothers/sisters. You likely won't get time like this again, so cherish this time you have to spend with them. Ask your parents to take a few days off and travel somewhere fairly local; go wine tasting with your mom and golfing with your dad; take your younger brother to go see Star Wars at the release. In short, try to fit in all the activities you may not get to do again for many years.

Have fun and enjoy this special time.

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Jan 11, 2014
undefined:

..spend time with your parents and/or brothers/sisters. You likely won't get time like this again, so cherish this time you have to spend with them.

Sounds like OP's going to war.

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Jan 11, 2014

I would try to get a fun summer job somewhere on the coast. You didn't mention where you live so it's hard to say where. I used to lifeguard on the beach during the summer when I was younger and those were some incredible summers.

It sounds like since you have no money a fun summer work arrangement might be the way to go.

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Jan 11, 2014

If it was me, study for the GMAT + part-time/full-time internship. Traveling can be a massive expense, so if you literally have no money, it would probably be very difficult to do. But it largely depends on where you go, how much you actually travel, what you do, where you stay, etc.

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Jan 11, 2014

Okay, traveling is free then apparently.

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Jan 11, 2014

thanks for the ideas... not sure who threw all the MS. for someone out of college moving to new york what would be a good amount of money to have saved assuming you aren't getting relocation assistance?

I'd love to travel but I'm not if it's infeasible.

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Jan 11, 2014

Take the longest shit of my life.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Jan 11, 2014

GMAT + CFA and as much sin as possible

Jan 11, 2014

bump for any other creative ideas?

Jan 11, 2014

You have a car? Take a nice road trip around the country.

Jan 11, 2014

I'd go along the lines of @adapt or die and get a job in a cool place. A summer job is obviously tough because you need to leave in July and most of your time is before Memorial Day but go somewhere you'd like to check out and get a job waiting tables or tending bar, which is infinitely easier if you have experience (and one of the things I really appreciate that I did in high school and college because I could get a job anywhere in those days) but waiting tables is totally doable without experience and you can make decent money. If you're a skier head out to Breck or Park City for the winter. It's highly likely a friend or a friend of a friend is being a ski bum somewhere like that. Or move down to Florida, and I don't simply mean Miami (which is expensive and a tough place to get a hospitality job during the high season) but check out places like Amelia, Anna Maria or Sanibel Island. Can you scuba and be an instructor or guide? Go to the Keys. Do you have family or friends in a city that you'd like to check out where you could crash for a few weeks while you look for a job and a room to let for a few months in a place like New Orleans, Seattle, Boulder or wherever you've thought could be cool? Could you get yourself to the USVI? Just pick up and go to one of those places. I understand having no money (I grew up with none) but you can do fun shit it on the extreme cheap when you're young and have a blast doing it and save a few bucks. Pretend to be like Dylan's Rolling Stone song for 6 months, with a corporate backstop.

Living at home and taking a couple of trips would be cool but any really decent international travel destination will drain a lot of the money you'd be able to save anyway and I'd rather go live somewhere cool for six months and check out a place in depth that you most likely won't get back to for a decent amount of time once you begin your career. Take this from someone who's older: don't worry about the few thousand bucks you may be able to save by staying at your parent's house for 6 months when you're 22. Have an experience you most likely won't be able to do again in your life.

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Jan 11, 2014

thanks for the comment. i currently live/go to a state school in the midwest, with my family all living in the midwest (all in the same city) as well. Since I'll be relocating to nyc for the first time in my life, I think it's important to have some money saved up on advance and as you say, extensive travel would certainly be a drain.

I'm weighing the benefits of working around home and relocating someplace cool. If I stayed at home I would have the chance to spend more time with my parents as they age, get a chance to be around my nephews a little as they grow up (which i regretfully have not been around), and would be able to spend more time with friends before I relocate, as many of my college friends stayed in the midwest. By saving money living at home, it would be easier for me to justify traveling to a few music festivals and weekend trips to visit friends out in colorado and on the west coast when I can get deals on flights.

Moving someplace cool to work sounds appealing but risky if I cannot find a job that will pay well enough to justify. Unfortunately, I don't have bartending experience. I've also already had the opportunity to spend summers interning in Europe, as well as a decent city in the midwest (Chicago, MKE). I think that both options will make it easy for me to have time to pick up some new hobbies and study for the GMAT, which i plan on.

Jan 11, 2014

Why is there such a long gap??

Jan 11, 2014

He says he's graduating early.

My friends that did that either had fun traveling and doing things they'll never be able to do again (barring something like business school) or sat around bored AF at home.

Jan 11, 2014

Moving to NYC: in the most extreme case, you could need 4 months rent (~$6k) if you are signing a new lease (first, last, security, broker's fee). Add to that whatever living expenses you could need for 4 weeks (another $1-1.5k) before you get your first paycheck, so $7.5k worst case scenario.

If you're moving in with people who already have an established lease and just need another roommate, you could expect to need 2 months rent (first, security), plus living expenses. This means about $4k.

Jan 11, 2014

Thanks. solid advice.

Jan 11, 2014

bump

Jan 11, 2014

I've got a friend who bought a round the world ticket. And has planned a 1 month, 12 country trip through Asia and Aus/NZ

Jan 11, 2014

follow your heart and the sky is the limit

"Ride your bike. Drink good beer."
- Fat Tire Amber Ale

Jan 11, 2014

I'd like to hear this too... will be starting FT late in the summer and I also haven't planned out my 2-3 months yet.

Jan 11, 2014

Blow your signing bonus traveling around the world. Well worth it, trust me.

Jan 11, 2014

I feel like this question gets asked every couple weeks in one form or another - what to do with some time off before beginning an analyst stint. The resounding answer in every thread is one I will echo here: travel. Take your signing bonus and whatever money you have saved up and head to Europe or South America for 6 weeks. Never again in your life will you have the complete and total freedom required to wander off to a foreign country for an extended period. Take some buddies if possible and have the time of your life - you'll have to hold on to these memories pretty tight for the next two years.

Jan 11, 2014

off to Europe or Africa! haven't decided... maybe both..?? xP

Jan 11, 2014

^
both; start in Eastern or UK and make your way through continental

  • spend a week on the spanish beaches, then cross over to Morocco at Gibraltar
  • after that, whatever you want to do in Africa
Jan 11, 2014

world cup, anyone?

Jan 11, 2014

travel, but save up also for rent/moving...you'll be traveling a lot if you go to bschool down the road

Jan 11, 2014

Bumping it up b/c it seems more relevant now. What's everyone's plan for the summer?

Jan 11, 2014

World Cup, South America, various escapades visiting friends round Europe.

Jan 11, 2014

Why choose only one?

Jan 11, 2014

Spend the month being a complete message board troll and see if you can get your offer rescinded.

How quickly we forget...

The WSO Guide to Understanding TARP

Jan 11, 2014

LOL Edmundo, definitely that one. Also, go travel as well, unless places outside the reach of your car have no interest for you...

Jan 11, 2014
Edmundo Braverman:

Spend the month being a complete message board troll and see if you can get your offer rescinded.

How quickly we forget...

Can someone fill me in on this? I'm relatively new to the forum...

Jan 11, 2014

ill volunteer to go on a road trip and fight you at your house

Jan 11, 2014

You should definitely backpack Europe or Asia if you haven't already

Jan 11, 2014

haha look up old threads I think London ran his mouth and got outed a while back?

seriously though, backpack S America - so beautiful, and completely underrated!

Jan 11, 2014

yeah someone enlighten on the dude who lost his offer from being a wso troll

Jan 11, 2014

As I love hijacking threads - any suggestions on what to do before FT if you're graduating in January? Taking the GMAT perhaps?

Jan 11, 2014

CFA l1, if you're interested in the buyside. knock it out in June.

Jan 11, 2014

PE wants CFA???

Jan 11, 2014

Either stay at home and chill (conservation of cash-flow), or go out and travel.

Personally, I highly recommend visiting Asia. Great place to party, and this will be the last time you can do so for an extended period of time after your start work. That, and unless you're visiting Tokyo, cost of everything is extremely cheap.

Academic & Corporate Interview Preparation

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Academic & Corporate Interview Preparation

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Jan 11, 2014

k

Jan 11, 2014

Same here, I have no clue what to do with myself. Might take the CFA Level I and/or backpack Europe for a month?

Jan 11, 2014

Have you considered relaxing and just basking in the glory of having a job? If money isn't an issue, it would be a great time to travel. Maybe a part time summer job for some extra income. If I had an extra summer, I think I'd take part in all the above.

Jan 11, 2014

Assuming you have the money, I would just travel and enjoy life as much as you can.

I get questions all the time from people who want to "prepare further" for their IBD FT offer by taking financial modeling classes, doing the CFA, etc. and in my view those are not worth it especially if you've already got an offer.

If money is an issue, maybe try to do something part-time to cover expenses and spend the rest of your time doing whatever you want.

Jan 11, 2014

I'm traveling to Spain, Italy, Czech Rep, and Croatia with three of my best college buddies. Going right after graduation and then I'm home for 3 weeks before moving to NYC,

Only for 3-4 weeks, and a few grand, but in my book worth it, considering the next two years will make it difficult to take a trip like this (or impossible pretty much)

Money isn't like flowing out of my pockets, but I've saved enough from my SA and can afford to use part of my signing bonus for the trip. Also - have a killer spring break trip if you can...

Jan 11, 2014

I'm backpacking through Europe for about a month before I start. I plan to to enjoy my freedom while it lasts!

Jan 11, 2014

Amsterdam - Red Light District

Jan 11, 2014

Searching for Shangri-La? Diving for treasure off Mediterranean coast? Climbing Mt Everest?

Just my 2c.

Jan 11, 2014

I second everyone's suggestion (traveling). Just remember, this will be the last time you'll get to travel for 1-2 months straight with no obligations until you retire. And I'd rather go when I can do all the crazy shit that I wanted, because once you hit that certain age, you just can't do the same things anymore.

Jan 11, 2014

sexpedition around the world

lots of hookers and lots of drugs

Jan 11, 2014

I graduate in May, and dont start till september. So I'm going to Europe, then sitting on a beach somewhere. The only problem is that my parents will bitch at me constantly when I am home. Besides that it should be pretty sweet

Jan 11, 2014

I wish I had done something cool between undergrad and starting as an analyst. Its amazing how your perspective on free time changes after you start your career. I will have some time off between the end of my analyst stint and the start of my PE job and I'm going to travel and make the most of it.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

Jan 11, 2014

Not looking for bucket list items/traveling so what do you consider an expedition to the North Pole...?

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Jan 11, 2014

How extensively have you traveled? Because really this is kind of the time to do it... even if you've been to a ton of places.

If I had free time, I guess I would try to invest time in a new sport or hobby. Like learn to surf, or hang glide... get in better shape (I guess I can do this and a sport at the same time). Or, maybe volunteer for a cause that I feel strongly about. It's harder to get heavily involved in volunteering while you work. And if you have any goals for b-school down the road, this could be a good time to start on volunteering. If there's something like - going to build houses in developing countries, or get involved in microfinancing initiatives.

Jan 11, 2014

Are there any microfinance/nonprofit organizations that you know of that are still looking for volunteers? I am interested, but I figure it's probably a bit late for some volunteering positions, especially at some of the more structured places.

Jan 11, 2014

Going by your username, this might relate.

Right now I only have time to play hockey once maybe twice a week. If I was in your situation and had a few months to kill I'd probably play hockey every single day. This would satisfy the get in shape thing that a lot of people want to do, and also satisfy my want to play hockey all the time.

Jan 11, 2014

Define travelled 'extensively' I'm not saying you haven't but there is always more of the world to see..

Jan 11, 2014
GMG:

Define travelled 'extensively' I'm not saying you haven't but there is always more of the world to see..

I am currently on my second gap year and in my previous one I did most of Europe, SE Asia, Sri Lanka, India, USA and a bit of North Africa/ME . I also worked on micro finance initiatives in Bangladesh

South America and the Far East are potential travel destinations but I want to do something slightly more than just travel and sight see.

Getting in shape is my priority right now and it's going ok, I guess what I'm looking for is an intellectual / spiritual challenge. Joining a sports team is great and certainly I would have tons of fun, but when my bank asks me what I've been upto it won't look great saying all I did was play football etc.

Jan 11, 2014

You could go teach English somewhere. Also, look into an Outward Bound or Noles Program. I did one of those several years ago and it was a great life experience.

Jan 11, 2014

Hookers and coke. Covers A and the second part of B, maybe even C.

Jan 11, 2014

invest in any frontier market, its also kind of playing games

Jan 11, 2014

You don't HAVE to travel man, jesus. You can sit at home and do nothing if you want, no one will give a shit what you do.

Jan 11, 2014

Dude save your money, times are tough.

Jan 11, 2014

hang with friends from home, work out (since you won't be able to when you start, at least not as much), bang the chicks you couldn't bang in high school, etc.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 11, 2014

Traveling is not a prerequisite before starting banking. But things to consider 1) when's your signing bonus hitting your account? 2) you can take out a loan.

When I started, my signing bonus came in during summer (though most banks pay it out in the previous fall), so I took out a ~$10k loan in march of that year for the remainder of school and other expenses. I didn't travel that much, i.e. didn't go abroad.

If you can't afford it, then don't do it. You can spend the 2 months prepping for your GMATs or something just as productive. If money is really an issue and you want to get started right away, check with your HR about starting in June and see if it's possible.

Jan 11, 2014

Take care of your parents first. Travel is overrated anyways.

Jan 11, 2014

Read, relax, exercise. Reading is the travel of the mind.

Jan 11, 2014
Kenny_Powers_CFA:

Read, relax, exercise. Reading is the travel of the mind.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine

Regards

Jan 11, 2014

I haven't had a break for more than a weekend since high school. It's not the end of the world. Help your parents out, and when you have time to travel after you start working, you'll feel much better about it.

Jan 11, 2014

Dude,

Go live with your parents and help them out a little bit (pay modest rent, buy food or something). Believe me helping your family trumps traveling any day. Think of how many trips your parents could've taken if they didn't support you your whole life.

I'm all for travel, but assuming you don't hate your parents that needs to trump traveling.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Jan 11, 2014

Get a beater old motorcycle and ride it across the country. Go camping in national parks. Roadtrip and crash with friends. There are plenty of ways to travel domestically and not spend money.

Jan 11, 2014

is this a serious question ? Just save and don't travel. Don't feel the need to be like everyone else lol

Jan 11, 2014

brainteaser:

Q: What if you can't afford to travel?

A: Don't travel.

Jan 11, 2014

You def don't need to travel mate. I'd just spend the money on some new video games (should be cheaper than a holiday) and sit back. A month of BlackOps would suit just fine. Alternatively, if you're feeling proactive, grab yourself a gym membership and get in the best shape you can before your analyst stint hits you hard.

afroman23

Jan 11, 2014

Help your family out

Jan 11, 2014

travel/party. live it up obviously? what kind of question is this dude.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

Jan 11, 2014

Why would you work 6 days/wk for the last free summer you may have for the rest of your life? That's just retarded. Do something fun. Do something you won't have time to do when you get started working. Hike the Appalachian trail. Drive a motorcycle down the Pan-American highway. Fly to Indonesia and learn how to surf. Do something man. Just don't work.

Jan 11, 2014
drexelalum11:

Why would you work 6 days/wk for the last free summer you may have for the rest of your life? That's just retarded. Do something fun. Do something you won't have time to do when you get started working. Hike the Appalachian trail. Drive a motorcycle down the Pan-American highway. Fly to Indonesia and learn how to surf. Do something man. Just don't work.

And by "hike the Appalachian trail" we mean go to Argentina and have a raunchy affair.

Jan 11, 2014

you realize this is probably the last extended vacation you'll ever have?

Jan 11, 2014

Do your CFA, GMATs, and start writing your B-School application essays... Duh!

Jan 11, 2014

Would recommend against spending the summer working if you're in decent shape cash-wise. This is one of your last opportunities to spend 6 weeks focusing on something.

The summer after I graduated, I spent the summer learning to ride a motorcycle. It was a lot cheaper than a trip to Europe and it was a lot of fun. I also studied for the CFAs.

Figure out what you would enjoy and do it. You can work part-time, but free time becomes very precious after you start working full-time.

Jan 11, 2014

hit the bottle. hit it hard. hit it long.

i agree with illini on this one. go find a hobby that has a steep learning curve since you have the time to get it mastered, youll have something cool underbelt once you find free time later.

Jan 11, 2014

I am planning on some weekend travelling, light studying and volunteering in some organizations in NYC.

Jan 11, 2014

When are you guys going to take the GMAT, prior to starting FT or after your analyst stint?

Jan 11, 2014
youngblood:

When are you guys going to take the GMAT, prior to starting FT or after your analyst stint?

Might as well take the GREs. The two B-schools that you can easily get into within five years of graduating undergrad (Harvard, Stanford) accept both exams, and the GREs are cheaper.

Jan 11, 2014

That's all well and nice, but the real question is what route are/have you guys went in terms of timing...take the exam the summer after graduation or after the 2-3 year analyst stint?

Jan 11, 2014
youngblood:

That's all well and nice, but the real question is what route are/have you guys went in terms of timing...take the exam the summer after graduation or after the 2-3 year analyst stint?

If you plan on going back to school within five years, it would probably wise to do it now. Would recommend taking a Kaplan course if you have the money for it.

those are the few that are accepting GREs right now. the GMAT is only $250 per sitting. i don't know how much the GRE is... but you can't be that cheap.

Believe the cost is $120-$130. I'm not that cheap, but I remember being a college grad and how much $120 was back then. (About 1 week's worth of expenses after rent).

Jan 11, 2014

Go frolic in South Africa for the World Cup. Easy decision.

Jan 11, 2014

I'm currently waiting for my FLDP to start in July and I'm working full-time in until then. I got in touch with a contract agency and shopped my resume around for a week. The contract agency sent me a few job descriptions so I picked one, interviewed, and started a week later doing some decent work at another local company. The contract position isn't in finance so I get to learn something new. The contract jobs are great because there isn't an expectation for you to be there full time, and the barriers to getting them are usually not too bad.

To your point about asking the FT's HR, I'm not sure that its their business - if they're saying that you can't start until July, then I don't think they have any reason to prevent you from working in the meantime.

Jan 11, 2014

I agree with Mr. Giggles above. July is 4 months away, that's a lot of income you're leaving on the table, and it's your time to do with what you want! Congrats on the FLDP by the way.

I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things

Jan 11, 2014

I'd keep your program manager in the loop. Why not consider traveling?

Jan 11, 2014

TRAVEL

Jan 11, 2014

Volunteering! The world is messed up, do something valuable.

Jan 11, 2014

Volunteering! The world is messed up, do something valuable.

Jan 11, 2014

If you have the money, backpacking through a region of the world be an awesome experience that you remember for the rest of your life. If I had one regret during / right after college it's that I didn't spend more time doing this. Even if you have to take out another small education loan (assuming you don't already have a ton of debt and can comfortably pay it off once you start working) I would start learning a language and book a trip to backpack... I've done it for a couple weeks here and there and it's very fulfilling and enlightening, as well as a lot of fun.

Jan 11, 2014

Im also heavily considering this. But money is definitely on my mind. The money I earned during my past summer jobs all went into tuition and spent on clothes/food/toys. I just hate the idea of asking my parents for 10k so I could have fun while they're at home or at work.

Jan 11, 2014

Travel.

Jan 11, 2014

Is there any reason that you can't do both? Intern at the PE firm for the spring, end your internship in April-June timeframe, travel for a month or so prior to training.

In terms of getting into PE post banking, 1 will help you frame your story and might give a slight edge over other candidates who haven't done any actual investing. That being said, it's certainly possible to get into PE without it. Doing the internship will also help you get contacts. When you start recruiting, a lot of opportunities will come from headhunters but there are also a whole lot of other openings that are more driven by personal networks (seems to be much more common outside of NYC). For example, a lot of the Chicago PE firms outside of MDP and GTCR use the PEAC resume book to find their next associates.

Regardless of whether you choose to do the internship, I'd certainly set aside some time to travel and spend times with friends and family, especially those that you know you won't be seeing that much after graduation.

Jan 11, 2014

I'd try to swing both. I imagine you could end the internship in May at worst, which leaves ~6 weeks to dick around.

Jan 11, 2014

I am graduating in late May so it's gonna be one or the other.

Jan 11, 2014

Sorry, I'm confused with the relevant dates then. I'll assume you have training in early to mid-July. So even starting in late May you could take a 4-5 week trip. Are you taking class this semester, or are you already finished up and just walking at spring commencement?

Jan 11, 2014

If it's one or the other and you don't have at least 3-4 weeks to visit family, friends, travel etc., then go with Option 2. If you can wing both, do both as it may prove useful further down the line when it comes to reaching out to the contacts you would have established come recruitment time, the added experience also never hurts and it could prove fun.

Jan 11, 2014

Before you start FT, travel the world with friends for 2 weeks.

Jan 11, 2014

Take some vacay and free yo mind.

You may not have another opportunity to take 2+ weeks off for a very long time.

Jan 11, 2014

Definitely take some time to enjoy doing everything that's relaxing and fun to you. When you start, don't expect to get too much free time to even do some basic things (i.e., gym time, reading that leisure book, or seeing your bf/gf too often).

Jan 11, 2014

I immediately laughed when you said "I'm getting ready to graduate" and then followed that by "in May." You still have 8 months. Enjoy the rest of your undergrad experience. Definitely travel if you have the opportunity and take some time off.

In addition to having fun and relaxing, I would recommend:
- read the McKinsey book on valuation
- read Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor
- if you know what industry you'll be covering, read up on that industry
- do stay abreast of the markets. If you're not already, you should be reading the WSJ, FT, and Economist regularly.
- read books that you will never read when you're busy. For example, I read up on the history of South Africa, history of Africa post-colonialism, Ben Franklin's biography, history of the Sunni and Shia split, and other random books. I knew I wouldn't have the time to read these once I started working.

Definitely enjoy your last year of undergrad though. It's not something you'll ever get back.

Jan 11, 2014

-Get drunk as much as possible
-Bang as much strange as possible
-Road trip with buddies because you may not see a lot of them for a while
-Create a bucket list for your last months at college with your friends and do a bunch of fun, random bullshit you haven't partaken in yet (ex: hit every single bar on campus, even the townie ones)
-Get more than 6 hours of sleep

Jan 11, 2014

As others said.. TRAVEL as much as you can. Whether it's a road trip or fly somewhere.

Jan 11, 2014
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