What I Wish I Was Told Before Becoming an Analyst
Currently, you’re thinking to yourself, “what does a provider of deal toys know about my job?” A lot actually. Throughout the years, while helping you and your colleagues celebrate your deals, we’ve learned a lot about you. We’ve learned about your schedules, your weekends, down to your coffee preferences.
In chatting with you we’ve learned that this career can take a lot out of you. With that being said, there were a few things that stuck out to us about what you wish you knew before entering into the magic that is investment banking. They were funny enough, that we thought we’d throw them into one of our famous lists.
So, have at it and let us know what you think!
1. They weren’t joking about the hours
It’s the oldest tale in the book: your hours can be absolutely insane...as we’ve recently heard. Especially for those first-year analysts. Hang in there, you got this! You are at the beck and call of all those above you. Even when you’re “off,” you’re not truly off. Cue the memes of analysts on their computers while vacationing. “Everything you know about the world changes drastically. No more sex, no more TV, no more happiness,” an investment banking analyst told Business Insider.
So, get ready to make these first few years all about work because what you used to think of as happy hour is no longer a 5 pm timeline. Worry not, we’re sure you’ll find some time in there for a nice stiff drink after work.
2. Deal toys are a serious business
Don’t just take this from us (but you probably should, considering we’re the experts). You got slapped with the task of ordering deal toys. This can go one of two ways: you’re elated because it’s a fun task and you have some cool ideas of the deal toy you’d like to see at your desk, or you’re over this deal and would rather not have another task on your plate.
Well, like it or not, deal toys are a tradition! They are the physical embodiment of the hours you and your team put in; we know that. Whether or not you’re a creative genius, we keep this in mind when designing. Plus, they’re a great “show off” piece. You might not be able to show off those muscles (dress code, but also do you have time to pump iron at the gym?), but you can surely show off your deal toy.
3. What is dinner?
Let us begin by saying that Seamless is your best friend. This is then followed by Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash, Ritual, etc. Food delivery services will become interacted with more often than your friends. Let’s just say if we were in 2006, they’d certainly be in your MySpace top 8.
You look at your watch and realize that the sound you keep hearing is your stomach. Then, you look around and realize it’s about that time for all the analysts. The frenzy that is food delivery will be waiting in the lobby. You will get to learn quickly that a dinner date will now become a plastic fork and a computer screen.
4. Explaining your job is to someone is 10x harder than the actual job
We’ll do you one better: try explaining to someone that you create deal toys for a living… especially to those NOT in the financial industry. The looks we get are probably more confusing than when you tell your non–finance friends you’ll be modeling all day.
5. Excel <3
Were you actually proficient in excel or did you just learn overnight? You know… that sink or swim mentality. When it comes to data, you excel! We thought about removing that joke, but we just couldn’t. Please don’t X out this tab. We hope your eyes didn’t roll too far back with that one. Simply put, it’s more about excel spreadsheets than actual investing.
6. Respect the hierarchy
For all that is good, do not be the guy who tried to jump up the ladder. You should follow the ladder. Don’t be a big shot and think you can cut in the line of communication. It might work in the movies, but sadly Wall Street tends to be a bit different. With that being said, we think our next rule is very important.
Even though we’re sure you’d rather be taking headshots in a studio somewhere.
7. The 1 above, 1 below rule
It might seem like a great idea to befriend everyone around you. But it also sounds like a lot of work, on top of all the work, emails, excels, and “plz fix’s” you’re already dealing with. So we’ll make it easier for you.
It’s important to befriend 1 above and 1 below you. They are those who you deal directly with and quite honestly those who you should be keeping close by. You’ll want your 1 below to like you because you two will be in the trenches together. On the other hand, you’ll want your 1 above, because you need to keep them happy. If they are happy with you, that’s what matters.
8. Head Down Friday
This one made us laugh and we won’t rat out who told us this was the piece of advice they were given as first-year analysts. This is called the “Head Down Friday” mentality. It’s a Friday, late afternoon: your associates and VP’s are getting ready to head out of town for the weekend, but there’s still work that needs to be done. And guess who’s going to do it? Whoever they lock eyes with on the way out. Keep those eyes down.
9. “Analyst Thirty”
While, yes, we’ve discussed how time-consuming this job is, you MUST find some “you” time. If you are a gym-goer, make sure you find a time where you can do that. Not only will it be great for your mental health, but it’ll help you from turning your freshman fifteen into the analyst thirty.
10. “Under pitch over-perform” is a LIE
You’ll most likely hear the saying “under pitch and over perform.” Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. You don’t really have the freedom to pick and choose what you work on. It will usually seem like a never-ending cycle, but you’ve just got to do it. You’ll most likely be put in this position many times: where you say you’re going to do something and know very well you do not have the time.
But to make it in the role, you should always accept a project. At the end of the day, there are going to be so many projects that you’ll need to prioritize. It will get easier. Prioritizing will be your middle name.
So, how did we do?
Of course, we don’t actually do your job. This is just our take from working with you guys for so long. Did we miss anything? Get something completely wrong? Nail something on the head? We would love to hear! Maybe we’ll let you know what a day in the deal toy industry is like. It’s quite fun; you can trust us on that.