October 30, 2008
After spending four glorious years being schooled in the art of drinking, academia and social awkwardness, I left my cocoon nestled in the frigid weather of New England (hereforth fondly referred to as the Ivy) to pursue big City life as a newly minted investment banker at a premier bulge bracket firm. (Sidenote: our career services department did not give much choice in the matter — your options were grad school, one of investment banking/management consulting, or Teach For America/Peace Corps.) While my time at the Ivy was a blur of athletics, studying abroad, spending more time in Greek houses and participating in the mating dance of socially inept college students (read: blacked out hookups), I was ready to set foot in financial world. It also doesn’t hurt that the industry is still dominated by men so my quest for a husband allies nicely with my interests in finance.
While I didn’t buy into the toolery that comes with “ballin’ out” or “models and bottles”, just having the opportunity to watch some of these champions in action was enough to make my banking experience a positive one. I was surprised to find that these wankers in fact DO exist (in real life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0TGpe2KMUs).
Our month-long training had been the equivalent of fraternity or sorority rush (“Hi. I”m douchey-mcdouche bag. What’s that? Oh yes, I went to Wharton. No…not Penn. Wharton.”) Luckily for me, enough cohorts from the Ivy sold their souls to the corporate devil so there was no need to play meet-the-asshats game. As training began to wind down, the first year analyst class at my bank were faced with another dilemma as to what group they would end up in. The reputation of the various groups is common knowledge. The game now was to figure out how to position yourself into the group you wanted.
Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A”) – By far one of the more hardcore product groups where everyone knew that M&A is where you’ll learn how not to sleep. You might as well be a kid working in a sweatshop for 2 cents an hour. Actually, the kid may make more but I digress. The allure of this group is reinforced by the sex god turned murderer Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.
Leveraged Finance (“LevFin”) – One of the many reasons the American economy is in the shitter right now, LevFin in its good years would be THE group to get into for the plethora of exit opportunities alone. Leverage is also pretty hot and if a stint at Carlyle/KKR/Blackstone is what followed 2 years of building models based on fake assumptions, than so be it.
Restructuring – i don’t know anything about this one so I will just leave it.
Industry – Refers to what sectors different bankers will cover. Investment bankers, by and large, are salespeople. Their job is to pimp out their bank in anyway shape or form, offer products, trades and research and hope that something eventually sticks. The life of an analyst mainly consists of sitting at your computer for 16-20 hours a day, plagiarizing research and formatting power point slides. The Jews tend to populate Consumer/Retail (no surprise there), Gentiles favor Energy/Natural Resources (as the forefathers of modern Society had – see John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil) and Media/Telecom, Indians and Asians like Tech/Power (quantitative reasoning that clearly whitey would not understand), and the Randos/Rejects go to Healthcare, Sponsors and FIG.
Of course to get into the group of your choice, you needed to pull some strings and really demonstrate your value-add capabilities. For some guys, it was glad-handing MDs and brown-nosing while simultaneously demonstrating that they could bend over and ‘take it’. For some girls, it was wearing lowcut tops and tight skirts. For the rest of the un-slutty populus, you did what you could by speaking with contacts and hoped for the best.
I ended up in my first choice group and subsequently reached my first challenge as an investment banker: the hot VP and the dysfunctional group that surrounded him.
October 28, 2008
“You know. I had a dream once. To be rich and beautiful and have a great body. Oh look! It came true!”
And it did. I meant to start this blog earlier than now but never got around to starting one. It was supposed to have started out as a diary of sorts with tales regaling my first year out in the Real World and vignettes (read: judgments) of interactions with coworkers, bosses, friends and parents. While the blog will certainly touch on my life experiences as they’ve passed, it will also encompass the inner-monologue that I sometimes have with myself and the questions and comments that arise from everyday drama.
While most of the good blogs have some sort of focus (fashion, celebrities, food, porn), my structure will be a bit more whimsical than that. It will jive quite nicely with my personality as I tend to dabble in everything. More than anything, it will be a cathartic release and a forum (I hope) in which I will be able to answer questions in which I have personal experience and am knowledgeable. I have frequented enough message boards and online forums to realize that the thing I rely most on to get me through the day is the constant answering of questions honestly and without bias.
The incessant popping up of blogs has never ceased to amaze me. Each and every day, some rando starts a journal, diary, online bashing forum, etc. to express his/her “thoughts/musings/rants/etc.” They scour the web to find the perfect blog host. They beautify their blogs with color schemes, fonts, pictures, and of course, themes (“OMG It’s is ALL about fashion! Prada! Gucci! LV!”). Finally, after the aesthetics are JUST right, the first words splash across the Rousseau-esque blank slate and you are a blogger. Starting a blog is easy. Getting people to read it (and not sounding like a contrived idiot) is the hard part.
While this blog will be nowhere as eloquent and intelligent as Equity Private’s sardonic memoirs, nor will it be as witty and funny as the Superficial, I promise it will not be as crass and feeble-minded as Perez “i’m an assclown” Hilton. It would not be fair to you to be subject to such stupidity and poor artwork.