For my new book, Young Money, I spent three years following a group of eight young Wall Street bankers at firms like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to see what life was like for them. I learned about their 100-hour weeks, how they spend their (limited) free time, and what kinds of things happen inside a giant investment bank.
Here's what every junior banker on Wall Street experiences on their way to becoming a real rainmaker:
1. During recruiting, they tell you that you’ll have “real responsibilities” and “extensive client contact” as a first-year analyst.
2. And then you get to your desk, and instead, your associate tells you:
3. And you've heard about how people on Wall Street party.
4. But really your Friday and Saturday nights are more like this:
5. Excel shortcuts are nice, but some skills are truly valuable on Wall Street.
6. It's 6:00 p.m. and the staffer begins walking up and down the bullpen assigning projects and you're like:
7. You probably came into banking fit and toned.
8. Three months and 300 Seamless meals later.
9. Whenever a non-banker friend wants to make plans on a weeknight, your response is:
10. Eventually, after a dozen last-minute cancellations, everyone you know is like:
11. You pull an all-nighter on a pitch book and your VP asks you for extensive tweaks the next day.
12. When the summer interns arrive, you take them under your wing.
13. But there’s always the one intern wearing square-toed shoes and suspenders.
14. When you’re almost done building a discounted cash flow model at 4 a.m., after a hellish night spent fixing a colleague's mistakes, and then you hit return in a cell and see a “REF!” error.
15. Your uncle asks you for stock tips at Thanksgiving dinner...again.
16. When bonus day comes, and you've spent all year expecting this:
17. And instead you're like:
18. When you hear about a college classmate selling a startup for $100 million.
19. When you hear that first-year Bain consultants got paid more than first-years in your division:
20. What almost every day feels like:
21. This is how you feel when you get off work before 9 p.m.
22. And even if you didn't work at Goldman, this is how excited you were when the bank announced that analysts and associates would get Saturdays off because maybe, just maybe, you too would get to enjoy a weekend soon.
Contact Kevin Roose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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