College graduation season is winding down, and despite all the negativity surrounding the financial industry in the last year, lots of those newly minted graduates are still heading to Wall Street.
In the next two months, most major Wall Street firms will have their first-year orientation sessions, and a new cohort of analysts will enter the industry. But are they prepared for the real deal?
Business Insider reached out to several soon-to-be second year analysts on how their first year on the job have been. We asked them to give us their best piece of advice for those who are about to enter the industry, and got a lot of colourful replies.
'Lose weight now' an analyst in mortgage trading at a top-tier bank told Business Insider. The trader added that he had gained 25 pounds since starting his job last summer, so 'exercise when you can.'
If that wasn't obvious during the summer internship or the interview, the egomaniacal nature of the higher-ups in banking will definitely be obvious when the job starts, a sales & trading analyst told Business Insider.
'You need to understand these guys are ridiculously ego-driven,' he said. 'Their decisions and their reactions are tied to their egos.'
'Don't go head-to-head with these guys because you're never going to win . . . Pit the egos against each other,' he added.
'People say underpitch and overperform; that's not true. You're always going to be put in a position where you need to say you're going to do a project when you can't,' the sales & trading analyst said.
To survive in the job and remain relevant, the analyst said first-years need to always accept projects even if they think they don't have the time to do it.
When push finally comes to shove--and there are so many projects that you absolutely cannot do--go to the head of your desk and ask him to help you prioritise the projects, the analyst recommended.
But, 'don't ever say you want to do one first over the other.'
'If you don't have a genuine passion for what you're doing and do not enjoy the people you work for and with, you will hate finance in general,' an investment management analyst told BI.
Living up the fact that you may work at a prestigious bank, have a killer resume and are financially stable can only last so long, he said.
Don't brag about being an analyst, especially to other people in the industry you may interact with.
'I was told not to put the title 'analyst' in my signature because then no one would respond to it,' the sales & trading analyst said.
He added that when he was job hunting, many people he met hyped the 'flat structure' in banking, which is completely untrue. 'As an analyst you're expected to do everything and they treat you worse than dog sh*t,' the analyst said matter of factly.
'Everything you know about the world changes drastically. No more sex, no more TV, no more happiness,' an investment banking analyst told Business Insider.
'Everything you could possibly advise yourself on, you don't have it anymore,' he said. 'Sex, dinner with friends, sleep . . . it's all gone.'
The investment banker said he was planning on getting out of banking by next year. 'This is my 5 o'clock happy hour,' he says at 10:30 pm on a Sunday.
The sales & trading analyst was much more practical about how to deal with the changes in his lifestyle.
'Sleep, friends, outside,' he said, explaining that was what first year analysts should focus on when they find themselves with free time.
An asset management analyst had a different attitude towards how entry-level buy-side analysts should treat their jobs.
'The mentality of being two years--at most--at the analyst level in Investment Banking does not apply on the buy-side,' he said, adding that buy-side analysts should not try to over-exert themselves by learning too much in too short of a time period.
'Understanding how to spot small mispricings and improper valuations, whether it is on a fundamental, relative value, quantitative, or macro basis across various time horizons is a career by itself,' he said. 'How this fits in context of portfolios with deeper risk factors and themes, all the while managing positions in a disciplined manner is something can take even longer to understand.'