Investment banking is known to be one of the Wall Street’s most sought-after jobs. But it’s also one of the strenuous and hardest, in terms of the hours on the job and obviously, the not so well known stress part. Have you ever thought what life is really like when you have a career in investment banker? What skills are necessary to survive in the cutthroat competition? Ever wondered what’s an average day in the life of an investment banker? Let’s dig deeper into the career in investment banking.
An investment banker must have the essential social skills as they’ll be dealing with high-profile clients almost every day. The days are usually very long and tiring in the life of an investment banker. In order to have a financially rewarding career, they need to work almost 80 to 100 hours per week or more than that. The mornings usually start with lots of administrative mails and client meetings. Responding to them is the most regular part of an investment banker’s day. Sometimes they get messages from colleagues and senior colleagues or bankers who require each status report, presentation and calculation double or sometimes triple-checked! As crazy as it sounds, but this is very normal.
In the morning, associates and analysts generally work on generating company analysis report and make certain adjustments as per the requirement of the senior staff. Usually, there’s no such opportunity for social media since each of the investment banks has firewalls for avoiding such websites providing entertainment. Afternoon break normally falls somewhere between 1-2p.m which includes a 45-minute at local cafeterias. After coming back to their desks, associates get busy in reviewing the documents and make corrections for sending them back to the analysts. Usually, the senior bankers are obsessed about dotting and crossing all the appropriate letters. The afternoon work is all about focusing intensely on the active deal without affording to have little mistakes. It is quite inevitable that there’ll be marathon days and to perform with the pressure to be perfect you should pace yourself as much as you can. Prioritize your work beforehand to avoid further pressure and be proactive so that damages can be minimized.
Dinner is always eaten at the office only, around 7-8 p.m. The analysts require work to be completed by the early evening so that it can be reviewed again. The work is more scheduled and predictable always. After finishing the updates they can head home to have some time for fun and leisure after 15 or so hours of work. Sometimes the analysts have to finish drafts of M&A materials and have them send it out and then answer more e-mails. The starting salary for the analysts is over 25 lakhs per year. This is the fixed pay and there’s a bonus which can be anywhere from 20% to 70% of the basic pay. One can even get up to 100% of the basic, depending on the market conditions. Getting a deep understanding can really help you to acquire the skillset which is required for a career in investment banking.