Investment Banker

Investment Banker


Los Angeles, CA

Male, 35

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

As a liberal arts grad with mountains of debt and molehills of direction, I took an analyst job at a top NYC investment bank. Neck-deep in spreadsheets and working around the clock, I fought to keep my head above water in a sea of brilliant, khaki-clad sociopaths. While the money and education were great, I quickly learned how the finance world really works... and I wanted no part of it. After 9/11, I left for good.

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64 Questions


Last Answer on November 20, 2014

Best Rated

How do investment bankers stay awake?

Asked by brikhaus almost 10 years ago

First, the obvious: coffee, soda, and energy drinks. It's safe to say that we were all heavily caffeinated from 9pm onward.

That said, caffeine alone can't always get you through multiple all-nighters; having company helps. There are usually at least a handful of other analysts burning the midnight oil simultaneously, so there were always people with whom you could take breaks and blow off steam. Recharging through commiseration, I suppose.

Lastly, fear is a hell of a motivator. If you know that your ass is on the line for a 9:00am deliverable, the sheer terror will keep you from dozing off. And if you absolutely had to steal a nap, doing so under a desk was quite common. A balled up shirt makes for a surprisingly decent pillow.

First of, thanks so much for doing this. I graduated a year ago from a good school with a finance degree but haven't been able to get a job in that industry. Do you have any advice? I've been looking for analyst & advisor jobs but have had no luck

Asked by Robert almost 10 years ago

I'd recommend looking into smaller boutique firms. They may not have the brand appeal of the big guys, but the learning experience will be just as good, if not better. You'll have more exposure to upper management and will be given more responsibility than typical sweat-shop analysts. After 2-3 years, you'll be more than qualified to transition to any bank, big or small.

Does taking an internship for ibanking in college count as your first year as being an analyst? Also, after two years do you just become an ibanking associate or do you need to apply to a new job somewhere else?

Asked by Alyssa almost 10 years ago

An internship does not count as your first year, though it certainly helps your prospects as an applicant after college. My friends and I used to joke about how it was harder to get an investment banking internship than an actual job, simply because there were far fewer internship spots available.

After an analyst has completed her two-year stint – and assuming she wants to remain at the bank – one of three things will happen:

1) The bank will offer her a position as a third-year analyst, which usually indicates that it sees promise in the employee but she isn't *quite* ready to become an associate.

2) In some cases, the bank will offer a direct promotion into an associate position. These instances are rare, though, as an associate takes on some managerial duties and even the best analysts aren't usually ready for that.

More commonly, though, the analyst heads elsewhere at the end of the two-year boot camp. They may attend business school, or find a senior analyst position at another type of financial services firm (private equity, venture capital, hedge funds).

Hi, I got 12 years experience working as a software engineer in a IT company.
At this point of time, would it possible to make swtich to Finance and become an investment banker?

Asked by Vikas_dreamer almost 10 years ago

If you're interested in a career-switch to banking, business school is a good way to do this. In two years you can absorb the skill set to qualify for finance positions. Your experience as a software engineer can work in your favor, especially if you're interested in doing finance in tech-related fields. If a banker also has first-hand tech knowledge, that's a significant value-add in his analysis of tech-related transactions.

Hi what undergraduate degrees are most popular in order to gain a place as an analyst at an investment bank. Non mathematically based also please.

Asked by Zac about 10 years ago

Check out my earlier answer on this:

Long story short, the obvious quantitative degrees (Finance, Accounting, Economics, etc) can help, but many liberal arts majors can be just as successful. It's just a steeper learning curve for the latter.

Can you send me your job resume? I don't know if this is asking for too much. But, i want to know where to start. Thanks!

Asked by Tomas almost 10 years ago

Apologies for the delay. Unfortunately I cannot send my resume, but this looks like a good reference:


As a recent college graduate from the non-target private school in Finance, I have no work experience in ibanking and been in an wealth management internship for 1.5 year. What are some steps I can take to break into the field or can I not?

Asked by dons9214 over 9 years ago

I hate to sound dismissive, but I've answered quite a few similar questions throughout this Q&A. They may not *exactly* resemble your situation, but should provide ample guidance. Please have a look and if you're not satisfied, let me know.