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

can my ethnicity be the biggest obstacle I face in the investment world? I am Indian and been in US 1.5 years. Majoring in economics. Live in San Francisco. My family says, the hire rate for Indians in IB is close to nil?!?! Is that true?

Asked by CrazyX almost 10 years ago

I don't know the exact numbers, but in my experience, that was not at all true. I'd venture to guess that nearly 10-12% of my analyst class was of Indian decent, and several were among the best analysts by far.

How important are social skills to being successful as an analyst? I have aspergers and I'm afraid I won't be able to survive in a banking environment.

Asked by Julio almost 10 years ago

Social skills help in virtually any profession (unless you're a mime, I suppose), and amiability always helps in an interview. But at the analyst level... they're not quite as important. More than anything, banks want analysts who are smart and ridiculously hardworking. Social skills are icing on the cake.

That said, social skills become increasingly important as one moves up the ranks. Whereas analysts are primarily behind-the-scenes workers, higher-ranking bankers are responsible for bringing in new business, and even the most sociopathic know how to schmooze with the best of 'em.

When going into the office what were some of the best cars you see?

Asked by alexhewer about 10 years ago

I worked in NYC, so there were no cars or parking lots. That said, I did once hear our department head shout to one of his underlings. "Hey Dave, cancel your lunch and come watch me buy a Bentley!" I wish I was kidding.

As an investment banker can you work from home at all or is this a job that you must be in the office?

Asked by Steve almost 10 years ago

Some work can be done from home, but anything requiring tangible deliverables generally requires you to be in the office. If, for example, you're overseeing the creation of a pitchbook to be distributed at a 10am meeting the following morning, you'll need to wait until the Printing Department cranks them out so you can check for quality assurance. If they finish at 2am and you find errors (which you undoubtedly will), you'll have time to correct them and re-run the job through the Printers. If you'd gone home, only to discover the error at 9am the next morning, you'd be screwed – the Printers can't fix it that quickly.

Hello. I am a 27 year old male. I studied biological sciences as an undergrad and now I have a masters in Molecular Biology. NO FINANCE EXPERIENCE. Is it too late to find a career in finance? If not, how do I find one at this stage in the game?

Asked by Sean Hennessey about 10 years ago

If you're interested in a career-switch to finance, business school is a good way to do this. In two years you can absorb the skill set to qualify for finance positions. In fact, you can use your biology background to your advantage, especially if you're interested in doing finance in healthcare-related fields. For example, I worked with an investment banking associate who'd completed medical school, and naturally his focus was on healthcare transactions.

Hello, I am a sophomore Majoring in Finance and Minoring in Economics and have a 3.2 from non-target. If I know people in the industry, how difficult will it be to land an Investment Banking internship.

Asked by Jim over 9 years ago

Hi Jim. Don't mean to be short, but I've responded to many similar questions above, and I suspect you could draw guidance from those answers. Please have a look around and if you're still left wondering, let me know. Thanks.

I'm currently a sophomore at a non-target school with a 3.8 GPA majoring in finance. I have done informational interviews and have been like by the bankers but none offer internships at their firm. What next steps should I take this semester/summer?

Asked by james00 about 10 years ago

Breathe easy – unless your last name is Buffett, there are virtually no banking internships available to anyone until after his or her JUNIOR year. And even after junior year, there are very few internship spots available. My firm, for example, hired 10-12 summer interns (all of whom had just completed junior year) and 150 1st-year analysts. This ratio was common across Wall Street.

That said, you can still make this summer count by pursuing internships with smaller, boutique banks and financial services. Don't worry if they're not "big name" firms – having any financial services exposure, even a small investment firm in your hometown – is like catnip to investment banks. I'd also recommend looking into internships with companies in the sector you'd be most interested in focusing on when you DO go into banking. For example, if you're interested in tech, doing an internship with a tech company would be extremely relevant to your banking career as it would develop your industry expertise and focus.