My Life in Investment Bank

At 08:50, it is another busy morning in Beijing CBD.

The clean ladies have just finished their work while the white collars are pouring into the building. This is just the beginning.

We pay our attention to professionals in investment banking, an attractive but mysterious group of people.  The journalist has interviewed David, who is working in one of the most famous international investment banks. Let´s listen to their heart and get to know what kind of pride and confuse people working in investment banks share.

ImageIn order to interview David, the journalist has to make the phone call at the midnight because the whole team that David works in has been ¨fighting¨ for a new financing project for 10 days. It is very common to work until 3am / 4am every day and in all just sleep for 30 hours per week. David keeps apologizing for postpone the interview but he actually can do nothing about his crazy timetable.

Although everyone talks about how attractive the pay is in investment banks, probably only the people in the industry could understand the bitter of this job. David says, he has been busy every day, every day.  Even he has not been able to just look at the sky for a second. In his view, if you would like to tag an IB (investment banking) people, it should be ¨no weekends, no holidays, work 20 hours per day, endless teleconference, 24hs stand-by on mobile, etc.¨

Compared with other industry, IB is very attractive because it would satisfy you with various luxuries. However, David admits it is true that he enjoyed the feeling for the first month, however, after that he would prefer the bed at home rather than the fancy room in 5-star hotels when travelling. Although he is just joking but he points out the cons of working in IB will come up after the first month. For example, the work sometimes could be very mechanical, especially in physical. For the project, he has to sit in the cubicles and keep checking the data in screen for the whole day, and the maximum he could move is to turn a bit his neck and stretch in the chair.

At 3am, David finally got in the taxi on the way to home. Even it only takes 10 minutes, he still falls into sleep.  He knows every second should be made the best because another busy day will come in only 6 hours (9am).

The power to support him to work in IB is not only the pay, but the desire to success.

He has a outstanding background. He has 3.9 CPA from a premium university of China with GRE verbal 660, TOFEL 116, etc. Because of his well performance in the internship and these outstanding background, he finally stays in the current bank as an analyst.

In fact the real challenge has just started after that. As a financial analyst, actually he notices his position is in the bottom of the whole industrial pyramid. Due to this reason he has to face a heavy workload compared with those in other positions. He also notices that in a team the ratio of associate and analyst is 2 to 1 top, which means half of the analysts would have no chance to be promoted. Besides, in order to be promoted to associate, an analyst has to achieve 2-3 experiences and the other requirement is to have an MBA in the future. In short, the competition is severe.

During the first year, David feels like himself in a competition with everyone at every second. Once David tried to ask for help from another analyst, but he was coldly rejected because they are competing with each other. From then on, David knows clearly; if you want to survive in IB, you have to become stronger.

A few people could finally become bankers in IB while can only be the ¨monkeys¨. After these two years, David has got a chance of promotion to associate. In the future, David would like to apply an MBA, for self-improvement and a time of rest. He considers all the challenges in IB are a must to success. Every time when he feels frustrated, he will remind himself the sentence in Forrest Gump ¨Run! Forrest, Run!¨ — Running is the only status in IB.

Translated by Simeng Zhang


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