Who enjoys IB? (serious question)

I am a first-year mba associate in a BB coverage group. I was initially really excited about the job but all the negativity over the past year has me scared, and I am in need of a little encouragement.

This post is for people who enjoy IB (especially career bankers). What do you enjoy about the job? Do you plan to stay long-term? What helps you cope with the long hours?

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Comments (64)

Controversial
Aug 6, 2021 - 12:17pm

Honestly I don't mind it. Yes, hours are extremely long at times, but a lot of my friends are in med school / law school right now and paying tens of thousands of dollars to go to school, while I'm making a very high income and learning a lot in the meantime. I enjoy that I can get a "seat at the table" in my 20's with executives that have worked decades to make it this far. My other friends have FP&A jobs and don't see any upward mobility in their career or compensation. I enjoy staying organized and performing financial analyses, along with writing. I think this career pushes me to be a better person and professional. If I don't stay in my group, I'll go to a more relaxed regional boutique bank. 

Regarding hours- it's all about expectations. I expect to leave the office at midnight every night or later, so if I get off at 8 pm one day it makes my week. I try to get in at least 10-20 min of exercise every day and eat healthy.

Also, I'm not all that smart and could never start my own business, do quant analysis for HF's, I know that I'm just more of a sales guy.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 9, 2021 - 1:14am

Personally it sounds worse to work a dead end job that has limited upward mobility while working on projects you don't care about, while never really earning enough to actually retire.  

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 10, 2021 - 9:22pm

This is the most pragmatic statement I've ever seen on this website. For all the other retards saying he's "being exploited" go try starting a start-up lmao, obviously you weren't good enough to fend it on your own.

We're all in the same boat, he just knows where he's sailing. Some of you people have conflated knowing you're a slave with being free... think again.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2021 - 11:17am

Agree. This is my biggest problem with people making fun of him for working. Is that everyone has to eat/pay rent.  Some people may have a job that only requires work during the day, but lets be honest if you are actually building something than it takes effort and time.  

Aug 11, 2021 - 10:09pm

Honestly I don't mind it. Yes, hours are extremely long at times, but a lot of my friends are in med school / law school right now and paying tens of thousands of dollars to go to school, while I'm making a very high income and learning a lot in the meantime.

I know plenty of depressed kids who went to trade school instead of college and they say the same exact shit.  Except at least they get paid 1.5x for all hours over 40 lmao

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 12, 2021 - 10:35am

I mean it depends on what you consider sales?  are you cold calling 300 clients a day? no.  Are you working on different projects that you "sell" to customers? yes. depending on where you are at the first 10 years of your career is no selling.  you are just putting together the materials and analysis.  

Oct 29, 2021 - 10:11am

If you're a good analyst, you consider everything sales, both literally and figuratively. In a literal sense, sometimes you're on calls with buyers trying to sell the company for a higher multiple. Obviously you won't be leading these calls, but you can interject at times and try to upsell the company. Figuratively, you're always selling your work, whether that's to an associate saying "I think we should do X instead of Y and here's why," or to a senior banker saying "I deserve to be on this deal because of X." Good analysts, and more generally, good professionals treat almost everything at sales. There's tons of books on this

  • VP in IB - Gen
Aug 6, 2021 - 12:25pm

Being an analyst really sucks, being an associate mostly sucks, being a VP sucks about half the time. However, building the foundation at each level enables you to broaden your skills, build relationships at your bank / across your industry and build a brand. The job evolves over time to more high-touch client facing roles and execution leadership as opposed to being down in the trenches... so the job gets more fun, especially if you have a strong team supporting you.

The money is awesome and gets better.

Being a post MBA associate without prior IB experience is probably one of the toughest jobs in finance. Learn from and respect your experienced analysts... will take some time to adjust and get up the curve. God speed.

Aug 6, 2021 - 5:39pm

Going to push you on this one - what exactly do you enjoy about deal execution? From my seat it just seems like running the same process over and over and checking boxes along the way because you have to (regulators / lawyers /etc). Sure there is some "crafting" of a message, but at the end of the day we know every MP / LP / Analyst Deck kind of need to look the same because that's how investors are building their model. Maybe I'm just being cynical but genuinely curious what you find interesting about execution. 

Aug 8, 2021 - 12:53pm

Sure the structure is the same, but the content isn't or at least shouldn't be.

The whole purpose of the positioning section is to distinguish why xx company is different from xx competitors that look otherwise identical and that's really where 95% of your time is spent.

Array
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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2021 - 3:26pm

I generally enjoy it. I'm passionate about my coverage industry, I get to work with and learn from some of the best minds in my vertical, I'm on great deals, I like my team (MDs through analysts, hence no jerks) and my WLB is generally good by banking standards (50-55hr slow weeks, 60-70hr standard weeks, but obv. can be 90+ when shtf or multiple client requests hit at once). Yea, the long, unpredictable hours that come up at times are less than desirable, but I've gotten used to it and made my peace.

Aug 6, 2021 - 8:54pm

my WLB is generally good by banking standards (50-55hr slow weeks, 60-70hr standard weeks, but obv. can be 90+ when shtf).

Where is this? Doesn't have to be super specific. But which city and MM/BB/Regional Boutique would help.

Array
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 9, 2021 - 5:50pm

I feel like there is a fine line of people who work hard and make 300k and then people who try and make to much

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2021 - 4:23pm

I really enjoy it. I am passionate about what we work on, and I learn something new everyday. My team is really fun to be around which helps. Yes the hours can be long, but on a slow week the hours range from 50-55 hours, a normal week ranges 60-70 hours, and the wild deal weeks go 90+, but that has not discouraged me. I enjoy doing the analyst tasks because that will make it sweeter as one climbs the ranks.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 6, 2021 - 8:21pm

I am honestly pretty happy with it. When I was a kid, I'd stay up late playing video games until 2-3AM some days. When I started finance in school, playing around with excel models kept my mind occupied the same way. I honestly don't mind the hours as long as the work is interesting.

Find a coverage group which you really like I guess. Find a team of people who are supportive and not dicks. Establish rapport and reputation so you are known for quality work and don't have to kiss people's asses for your bonus.

Honestly I don't think any other finance job is meaningfully more exciting right? As long as your team is good and the work is interesting enough you can cope with the hours then it's not all that bad.

Aug 7, 2021 - 12:42pm

You get trashed on this site for saying you enjoy it. Don't have a lot of hours? You work at a trash bank. Genuinely like it? Hardo loser and/or lying. Look forward to your small amount of free time? Depressing and need to reevaluate your life. Can't see yourself doing anything else? You're a pussy.

There are people who enjoy the job. They just aren't coming to forums to tell everyone.

Aug 7, 2021 - 5:08pm

In my experience, people say "they love investment banking", but what they really love is the "money", but because they've done banking 6-10 years, they have the social awareness to bullshit to everyone how great it is to do "M&A deals" and "IPOs".

Investment banking still pays... A shitload. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2021 - 11:11pm

3rd year analyst, honestly, this job goes in waves for me and it's important to keep that in mind. There are some nights where I debate quitting on the spot and I can't stand it. There are others where I genuinely believe it can be pretty fun. The key is having a team with solid chemistry really and an exciting business/ management as well as broader process. It really helps if you like the space as well. 

Aug 8, 2021 - 12:59pm

Dude, I'm telling it to you straight banking is likely going to be miserable. If you stay too long, prepare for it to wreak havoc on your physical health (little time for exercise, poor sleep, lower willpower which often leads to poor nutrition choices) / mental health (no sleep, little time for relaxation) / relationships (you never get to see your friends, see your life blown up last minute before trips or vacations, your relationship with your SO falls apart when you only see them for a few hours per week). Then there's the fact that you lose your hobbies. You like golf? Too bad, no time. You like playing guitar? Too bad, no time.

I get it, the money is good. But that's pretty much it, you want to sacrifice nearly every other aspect of your life for this one thing? Banking IMO is a good stepping stone - 2 or 3yrs - but after that it's best to move on to other things. I know this isn't that answer you wanted, and it's not too late by any means -- do this for a few years and then get out

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 12, 2021 - 11:02pm

My bank's hours are rough. But, they are lumpy and extremely flexible. People leave at dinner time if they want (analysts and associates too). I can chill on the couch with my SO until I get work, then dock in at my desk. It isn't 100% quality time but it's pretty damn close. I'm around, I get to see her. It counts.

I can go to the gym, I can take the dog out. Beyond the late nights, it's hard to see how it gets much better. I know that I used to technically maker more per hour in my old job (asset management) and I was miserable. Zero intellectual stimulation, contagious lack of ambition from peers. The grass is always greener but this gives me both $ and optionality which are crucial.

People are nice, and deal flow is insane. I am learning a ton. For me, it's all about mindset.

Aug 8, 2021 - 10:17pm

I like it 9 to 5pm. Srs.

5pm to 9pm i tolerate it.

9pm to midnight i hate it

Midnight to 3am i want commit suicide 

Array
  • 18
Aug 9, 2021 - 6:31am

I do, 3yr AN in M&A.

I generally enjoy the work and the people I work with. I'm working out of Europe, so the hours aren't soul-crushing, with an average somewhere around 65 hours a week. Most of my coworkers are nice, and although it may be stressful I am fairly happy to go to work every day. Compared to most of my friends, who have never even seen their CEO, I get to participate in meetings with the top management and board of directors, which I find very interesting. I plan to stick to banking long-term. Oh, and the money doesn't hurt!  

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

  • 5
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2021 - 5:02am

I like doing deals and getting to know a lot of people. I also like interacting with senior management and listening to what they think about companies and markets. I learn how to run a business, tangentially at least. 

I hate getting underpaid AF and I hate my toxic Associate. Imagine a post-MBA Associate who doesn't know shit yet likes to tell you what to do. Worse, my Associate is not even post-MBA. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2021 - 11:18am

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2021 - 11:18am

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