What to learn in my free time?

Downeasta's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 256

I'm finding that I have a lot of extra time, with nothing meaningful to occupy it. I work every weekday from 9-3ish at my BB, exercise for an hour or so every day, and work as a barback a few nights a week.

This leaves me with lots of free time, so I'm looking for useful/interesting ways to fill it. I considered looking for a 3rd job, but the hours for my other two jobs are pretty erratic, so I wouldn't want to try and balance all three. I've considered improving my Russian, or maybe learning more about programming languages.

Whatever I decide to do, it should be educational and useful in some way. The BEST situation would be something that'd make me some extra money, along with being educational and useful.

Any ideas, WSO?

Region: 
Eastern Europe

Comments (74)

Jun 16, 2012

do you have friends? sounds like you're already pretty busy

Jun 16, 2012
gordo:

do you have friends? sounds like you're already pretty busy

Yep, I do plenty of socializing, but I still have 3-4 hours of free time most days.

Jun 16, 2012
Jun 16, 2012

read up on investing so you don't post anymore ridiculous bullshit

    • 1
Jun 16, 2012
whatwhatwhat:

read up on investing so you don't post anymore ridiculous bullshit

Gah..Am I ever going to hear the end of that? Yes, I was mistaken. I didn't know 8% returns were rockstar-level. Now I know.

Jun 16, 2012
Downeasta:
whatwhatwhat:

read up on investing so you don't post anymore ridiculous bullshit

Gah..Am I ever going to hear the end of that? Yes, I was mistaken. I didn't know 8% returns were rockstar-level. Now I know.

If they were I wouldn't be getting yelled at by my boss right now

Jun 16, 2012

You could get a Russian gf who is fluent in objective-C/cocoa? It would help you solve several goals...

on a serious note: how about a gf? Learn a new language? Learn a skill you don't have right now, ie cooking, singing, dancing etc

Jun 16, 2012

What do you want to do? Pick a goal, and use that free time on something that improves your chances of getting to that goal. Kind of blows my mind that you have no idea what to do with your free time.

Jun 16, 2012
Flake:

What do you want to do? Pick a goal, and use that free time on something that improves your chances of getting to that goal. Kind of blows my mind that you have no idea what to do with your free time.

I have a couple ideas, I was just making sure that there wasn't anything better out there.

Jun 16, 2012
Downeasta:
Flake:

What do you want to do? Pick a goal, and use that free time on something that improves your chances of getting to that goal. Kind of blows my mind that you have no idea what to do with your free time.

I have a couple ideas, I was just making sure that there wasn't anything better out there.

What do you want then?

Jun 16, 2012
Downeasta:
Flake:

What do you want to do? Pick a goal, and use that free time on something that improves your chances of getting to that goal. Kind of blows my mind that you have no idea what to do with your free time.

I have a couple ideas, I was just making sure that there wasn't anything better out there.

There's nothing better to do than what you want to do.

Jun 16, 2012

You work to 3 in the afternoon, how is that possible? What are you doing exaclty?
And if you meant 3 in the morning, how could that leave you any free time?

I don't get it either way.

Jun 16, 2012
asc3nsion:

You work to 3 in the afternoon, how is that possible? What are you doing exaclty?
And if you meant 3 in the morning, how could that leave you any free time?

I don't get it either way.

I'm an intern for a BB PWM shop. My hours are 9AM-3PM, but I sometimes have to stay a bit later.

Jun 16, 2012

Learn Mandarin, Cantonese or French
Learn a musical instrument
Learn how to DJ (good money)
Pick up a new sport
Brew your own beer
Rebuild an engine
Train for a marathon/triathlon
Get into photography/photo editing
Start racing karts

Jun 16, 2012

Network aggressively. Drive to the city or cities, depending where you are, take alums out to lunch, meet for coffee, etc. It is critical.

Also, get cultured. Take a course in wine tasting. It sounds douchey, but I guarantee that at every job at least one of your bosses has a $10k+ wine collection.

I will also second jmayhem's suggestion of taking apart an engine. It's useless with a lot of newer cars (Good luck fixing a Prius), but it is still an awesome thing to understand. If you are in a warm climate, rebuilding a classic car actually can be a lot of fun.

Jun 16, 2012
West Coast rainmaker:

Network aggressively. Drive to the city or cities, depending where you are, take alums out to lunch, meet for coffee, etc. It is critical.

Also, get cultured. Take a course in wine tasting. It sounds douchey, but I guarantee that at every job at least one of your bosses has a $10k+ wine collection.

I will also second jmayhem's suggestion of taking apart an engine. It's useless with a lot of newer cars (Good luck fixing a Prius), but it is still an awesome thing to understand. If you are in a warm climate, rebuilding a classic car actually can be a lot of fun.

Good ideas! I can proudly say I've already taken apart an engine...or twenty. In high school, I rebuilt a few motorcycles (1972 Harley Ironhead, 1992 & 1994 Ninja 1100, Ducati 900SS) along with completely overhauling an 80's Trans Am, complete with a 383 stroker, Borg-Warner racing transmission, roll cage, stripped wiring..etc. My only real "classic" car project was a 60's Cadillac, with a massive 7.7L 472 under the hood...good times.

Jun 16, 2012

So learn Russian, comrade.

Jun 16, 2012

Learn how to golf. I take my friends to the cleaners since I'm a scratch golfer.

Jun 18, 2012
Connor:

Learn how to golf. I take my friends to the cleaners since I'm a scratch golfer.

I just got my first set of clubs at 21 and I can say the best motivation to learn is playing
18 and just absolutely embarrassing yourself.
That being said any advice, like try and hit the range twice a week? Work the short game?

DLJ Analyst Class '96

Jun 18, 2012
TheMilkman:
Connor:

Learn how to golf. I take my friends to the cleaners since I'm a scratch golfer.

I just got my first set of clubs at 21 and I can say the best motivation to learn is playing
18 and just absolutely embarrassing yourself.
That being said any advice, like try and hit the range twice a week? Work the short game?

Going to the range twice a week would be great. Most people can't even do that. Short game is very important, but getting off the tee is crucial since it's such a confidence booster. Probably THE most important thing is to stick with it and be committed to getting better. It's easy to have a terrible round and then give up forever. Watch YouTube videos of Mcilroy, Woods, D. Johnson, and Scott. If you are having swing trouble, there is a fix for pretty much everything on YouTube. I know so many people who pick up golf and 2 years later, they are 10-15 handicaps. You just have to be committed.

Jun 19, 2012

macabacus, interview guides, Rosenbaum's investment banking book, etc. are good places to start. Best of luck!

Jun 19, 2012

I'd suggest reading a lot about M&A and strategy, as well as all the typical finance books.

As a couple random suggestions, Barbarians at the Gate to start, and maybe HBR's 10 Must Reads "On Strategy."

Also, you can typically find some cases posted online from different MBA classes, which might be good to read about.

Then I'd also see if you're connected to anyone in that type of job, and see if they wouldn't mind having a brief conversation. Go into the conversation open and honest about how much/little you know, and just be inquisitive and thoughtful about probing how they typically spend their time (and also how they talk to you about it) -- you'll learn a lot.

Jun 19, 2012

Awesome advice thanks! Will look into the MBA classes and cases. I was actually watching some corporate strategy mockup interviews on youtube and I gained a lot of insights!

    • 1
Jun 19, 2012

suggested reading lists from GS and MS websites are good place to start as well

Jun 19, 2012

For corporate finance, if you just learn and understand a few buzzwords in excel, you can really impress interviewers.

Jun 19, 2012

Thanks! Any specific buzzwords?

Jun 19, 2012

Try to gain as much knowledge as possible about the industry you want to go in. What's the current state? Who are the big players? How did it become this way? Where is it going? If you're coming out of school, an interview will be light in technical experience so becoming an industry expert can really help your chances. Not sure what you specifically want to do, so tough to recommend places to look.

Become a pro in Excel. Either through a school project, volunteering, whatever, try to solve some problem through analysis in Excel. When they ask about problem solving in the behavioral interview, you'll have a great example up your sleeve that combines critical thinking with data analysis. And remember, once you figure out the solution half the battle is effectively communicating it so play around with data visualization or even just Power Point.

Jun 19, 2012

Great advice. I'm going to be grabbing coffee with some friends in the finance industry. Most of them told me that they learned everything through the company's training program, but I just wanted to learn some stuff on my own. I'm already taking a few excel course and reading through books. Thanks a bunch!

Jun 19, 2012

Excel, Excel, Excel

Jun 19, 2012
D M:

Excel, Excel, Excel

This. Excel is king. Also know basic accounting.

Jun 19, 2012

I think the Vault would be a good place to start for newbies. Macabacus is all over the place and difficult to go straight into if you've never taken a corp finance course before. Rosenbaum's book is my absolute fav - it gives you access to excel templates + goes over everything you need to know in detail. But if you want a condensed version I would read the Breaking Into Wall Street guide. And if you're starting off not knowing a single lick of accounting I would read Wiley's Crash Course in Accounting + Fin Stmt Analysis. If you want a condensed in-class option to learn this stuff and apply it in excel, take a Wall Street Prep course - I'm taking one next month and have heard really great things about it. Oh and absolutely don't read any academic texts...you'll overwhelm yourself and anyone who tells you to do so is retarded.

For consulting/strategy - read anything McKinsey/Michael Porter. But it takes a different kind of thinking to be able to analyze case studies really well...it's not rote memorization/practice like finance. And I disagree with the poster who said HBRs 10 best - as much as I respect HBS alot of their leisure reading/magazine articles are a bunch of fluff...and probably a waste of time for a college student.

Jun 19, 2012

Everything @pinkcloud said above this comment I would echo. Rosenbaum's Investment Banking book is absolutely incredible. There are so many books that we could recommend to you. Check out link on the top panel (FAQs) //www.wallstreetoasis.com/frequently-asked-questions/industry-specific . That would be a great start, you can drill down to specific job categories and what to read.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

Jun 19, 2012

@pinkclouds I so agree that HBR is a bunch of fluff.

Jun 19, 2012

For strategy consulting? Case In Point, Victor Cheng LOMS for the concepts behind frameworks. Then case practice to really get everything down.

Jun 19, 2012

wtf were you doing the other seven semesters?

Jun 19, 2012

Pretty much the same. I am just worried that I might have missed out on something essential... Maybe it's just me freaking out because the good life is coming to an end, who knows?

Best Response
Jun 19, 2012

Do people actually spend so much time on classwork they don't have spare time? I graduated with a 3.75, which isn't amazing, but I went to like half my classes and did maybe an hour of homework a week. Unless you're like a Physics or CS major, what are you doing all day? Like, do you actually do all the assigned readings and shit and take notes? It's pretty unnecessary.

Anyway, go on TimeOut and see what's poppin'! Go on Tinder, grab a chick's number, go to a comedy show. Go home and bang. Watch a movie. Learn to cook some new shit. Find a new chick. Take that bitch ice skating! Bitches love ice skating (I do too, shhh). Go home. Now you know how to roast seabass, motherfucker! Feed a bitch some seabass. Bitches love seabass. Watch a movie. Freestyle rap with your roommates on the balcony. Build a snowman with a carrot dick.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

    • 4
Jun 19, 2012

i enjoy the banging on ice part

Jun 19, 2012
GoldenCinderblock:

Do people actually spend so much time on classwork they don't have spare time? I graduated with a 3.75, which isn't amazing, but I went to like half my classes and did maybe an hour of homework a week. Unless you're like a Physics or CS major, what are you doing all day? Like, do you actually do all the assigned readings and shit and take notes? It's pretty unnecessary.

Anyway, go on TimeOut and see what's poppin'! Go on Tinder, grab a chick's number, go to a comedy show. Go home and bang. Watch a movie. Learn to cook some new shit. Find a new chick. Take that bitch ice skating! Bitches love ice skating (I do too, shhh). Go home. Now you know how to roast seabass, motherfucker! Feed a bitch some seabass. Bitches love seabass. Watch a movie. Freestyle rap with your roommates on the balcony. Build a snowman with a carrot dick.

*slow clap*

Jun 19, 2012

Take a class in finance from a local community college.

Jun 19, 2012

Travel seems be another popular choice. Edmundo just wrote a post on it http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-to-get-out...

Jun 19, 2012

You'll never get a better opportunity. Take your GMAT books along for the train ride, or a CD and your laptop

Jun 19, 2012

Take your GMAT and get it out of the way. The data is pretty clear that test scores are typically higher when you take it right after graduation.

Definitely also have fun. You've got a job lined up. Do something you really want to do. I'd travel if I was in your shoes. It may be a really long time before you get that kind of break again.

Gotta Mentor
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Jun 19, 2012

I'm in the same situation. I think I'll do GMAT and some travel.

Also, what about taking some time to practice modeling and mastering excel shortcuts to save a lot of frustration and be ahead of the curve when the job starts?

Jun 19, 2012

Start studying for the GMAT man..You have a lot free time on your hand right now to get it out of the way. Once you start working you will not have the luxury. Try to take Some Kaplan or princton Review courses. Heck even some community colleges offer comprehensive course on the gmat...Enhancing your modeling skills doesn't seem that bad like Banker88 stated..

Jun 19, 2012

You'll have plenty of time to enhance your modeling skills both during training and on the job. I agree on the GMAT and travel, budget permitting. I'm just looking to lock down dates for Ibiza...

Jun 19, 2012

GMAT first, then travel.

Jun 19, 2012

Study for the GMAT? Really???

Didn't you just finish 16 fucking YEARS of school? Do you really just start in on a test to guarantee you another 2 years minimum? When the fuck is enough enough?

I value an education as much as the next guy, maybe more. But, Jesus, when do you call it a day?

Jun 19, 2012

I would recommend relaxing - whether that involves traveling, volunteering with a non-profit that you've been interested in, but haven't had the time, or even combining the two and volunteering abroad - Habitat for Humanity has 1-2 weeks trips all over the world, Idealist.org is always posting opps and so forth. Beyond that, if you are interested in B school, you can start studying and take the GMAT - but depending on where you work, many employers pay for the GMAT course or at least give you a solid amount towards it. These next 6 months should be a time to relax, to reflect and to decompress before starting your career. Think about what you are really interested in and go for it - take a bit of time and enjoy yourself - you've graduated and have secured a FT position - have a little fun, then get back into the swing of things.

I would also recommend against modeling courses, prep, etc. You will get PLENTY, more than enough, of that during training and while on the job. Don't waste your time off getting used to a task that you will quickly learn to want no more of. Additionally, many people that take training courses learn how to do things in a certain way, and then realize that they have to adjust much of it for their new group, as different senior bankers like different things. Don't fill your head with Excel until you have to, and trust me, you will have to soon enough if you have broken into IB.

Good luck to you and enjoy your time - it will go by really quickly.

IBanker
www.BankonBanking.com
[email protected]
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Jun 19, 2012

Travel travel travel... you won't have free time like this for a very long time, so live it up!

Jun 19, 2012

If you do have bschool aspirations, I agree that you should get the GMAT out of the way and then travel. The GMAT's conquer-able, but it does take time and a disciplined study routine.

Jun 19, 2012

How the hell did all of you guys have the money to afford traveling after graduation? I have brought this up in the past but im shocked at how many of you had enough money set aside that you could afford to travel fresh out of college. Are you talking about spending your signing bonus? Is there something that im missing?

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Jun 19, 2012

I sure as hell didn't, but if you've got any $ left over from loans and expect to pay them off easily with a well-paying job, why not?

Jun 19, 2012

I made a lot of money investing in stocks over the past few months.

Jun 19, 2012

I had about 5 months off and helped coach a high school baseball team in my area, spend a lot of time visiting friends/family in other cities(drove to most since funds were low), lots of hanging out thinking how can I be a bad ass in fastest time(think we all do this), learned how to golf(I still suck) and more or less then took week by week.

Jun 19, 2012
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