Akkuz
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Starting graduate scheme job at the top IB soon but I am from a non-finance background with no finance internships. Two questions:

1) Firstly, how can I survive?
- the learning curve
- the long working hours
- the pressure/stress
- the environment

2) How do I climb the ladder and impress early on?
- how should i prepare myself
- what can i do to stand out from the crowd
- I've heard that promotion is very bureaucratic; how do I network with the right people and impress them? etc.

I guess, I'm looking for some general advice. Thanks!
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DerPumuckl
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(Original post by Akkuz)
Starting graduate scheme job at the top IB soon but I am from a non-finance background with no finance internships. Two questions:

1) Firstly, how can I survive?
- the learning curve
- the long working hours
- the pressure/stress
- the environment

2) How do I climb the ladder and impress early on?
- how should i prepare myself
- what can i do to stand out from the crowd
- I've heard that promotion is very bureaucratic; how do I network with the right people and impress them? etc.

I guess, I'm looking for some general advice. Thanks!
The most important part to survival is to find a mentor. A fairly powerful MD who has your back and prevents you from getting made redundant. You get in such a position by working incredibly hard (weekends should be the norm, not the exception, even in S&T) and getting along well with people on the desk. If you don't have a football team, get one quickly and be prepared to banter about football for example. Promotion at the beginning is indeed very bureaucratic, most people have to sit off 2-3 years to make it to Associate.
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frederic743
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Where did you do your undergrad and what did you get?

You are quite lucky landing a grad scheme at a top IB without any relevant internships.
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HeavyTeddy
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I thought you were the guy doing a PhD at Cambridge?
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Akkuz
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(Original post by DerPumuckl)
The most important part to survival is to find a mentor. A fairly powerful MD who has your back and prevents you from getting made redundant. You get in such a position by working incredibly hard (weekends should be the norm, not the exception, even in S&T) and getting along well with people on the desk. If you don't have a football team, get one quickly and be prepared to banter about football for example. Promotion at the beginning is indeed very bureaucratic, most people have to sit off 2-3 years to make it to Associate.
Note taken. I love football, so that should be an easy one!

(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
I thought you were the guy doing a PhD at Cambridge?
That's not me, nope. But I do have a masters from there.

(Original post by frederic743)
Where did you do your undergrad and what did you get?

You are quite lucky landing a grad scheme at a top IB without any relevant internships.
Ex-poly. #1 in school. I think a mixture of luck and hard work yeah.
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HeavyTeddy
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(Original post by Akkuz)
That's not me, nope. But I do have a masters from there.
My bad, it's the masters I was thinking of. I remember seeing you post frequently on the Cambridge postgraduate thread last year and just assumed you were doing a PhD.
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Akkuz
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(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
My bad, it's the masters I was thinking of. I remember seeing you post frequently on the Cambridge postgraduate thread last year and just assumed you were doing a PhD.
Ah. Yeah, I decided that I'd had enough of education. Time for monies and not being a poor student for once.
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HeavyTeddy
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(Original post by Akkuz)
Ah. Yeah, I decided that I'd had enough of education. Time for monies and not being a poor student for once.
I'm only first year and can't wait to finish uni and start work. Did you do non-finance related degree(s) by any chance?

Also, I might be completely wrong here, but since you went to an ex-poly I'm assuming your A-level grades weren't amazing. Did that effect your applications? Or, did they dismiss it because of your undergraduate and masters classification?

Sorry for diverting the thread, I'm just curious.
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Akkuz
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(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
I'm only first year and can't wait to finish uni and start work. Did you do non-finance related degree(s) by any chance?

Also, I might be completely wrong here, but since you went to an ex-poly I'm assuming your A-level grades weren't amazing. Did that effect your applications? Or, did they dismiss it because of your undergraduate and masters classification?

Sorry for diverting the thread, I'm just curious.
Both were non-finance (1. Business, 2. Environment).

A-levels were poor/average. They didn't ask me at all about them. But yeah, they dismissed it because of my high degree grades. If I remember correctly, the job description, specifically stated that they wanted people who were "top 5%".
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frederic743
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Hey I have average A-levels (BBB) but have a First Class and Distinction in my undergrad (A&F) and postgrad (A&F) respectively. Both from ex-poly's though. Plus I had the top marks in my undergrad and won the VC's award. Do you think I can land something like you?
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Akkuz
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(Original post by frederic743)
Hey I have average A-levels (BBB) but have a First Class and Distinction in my undergrad (A&F) and postgrad (A&F) respectively. Both from ex-poly's though. Plus I had the top marks in my undergrad and won the VC's award. Do you think I can land something like you?
Yes. I don't see why not. If you don't try, you'll never know.
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H.JJJ
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Dictafone usually helps for me. Record whatever you are going through, re listen in your own time to consolidate knowledge?

But I learn best from re-listening, might be different from others.
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frederic743
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Akkuz, have you started your grad scheme yet? I think I'm gonna try to gain some internship experience this year (2014) and then apply to proper grad schemes.

And what was your application process like?
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MinorityInterest
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(Original post by Akkuz)
Starting graduate scheme job at the top IB soon but I am from a non-finance background with no finance internships. Two questions:

1) Firstly, how can I survive?
- the learning curve
- the long working hours
- the pressure/stress
- the environment

2) How do I climb the ladder and impress early on?
- how should i prepare myself
- what can i do to stand out from the crowd
- I've heard that promotion is very bureaucratic; how do I network with the right people and impress them? etc.

I guess, I'm looking for some general advice. Thanks!
1) You're over-thinking it. Most of the learning is matter of form, you'll pick it up. Be organised, make the most of free time when you get it, set aside time to do nothing every now and then. As long as you're calm and do a decent job it's not actually that stressful apart from the hours.

2) You're over-thinking it. Unless you're entering as an associate or above, the only way to impress is by doing a decent job and hoping that somebody recognises. Find ways to cut out middle-men and work directly with seniors.
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surfmonkey
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These recommedations are most applicable to M&A or coverage:

Preparation:
*Get everything (insurances, apt. not too far from work, gym, any medical checks you can think of, wardrobe, etc.) done BEFORE you start working
*Start working out and get into a routine (regualar gym or running schedule) and try to maintain it when working, although it is hard when you only have 4 or 5 hours of sleep. After all, it's still worth it. You don't want to be one of these analysts that blow up like a baloon
*Buy all other stuff that you may need for your apt. like TV, comfy matrress, etc. You don't want to go shopping for a comfy bed on early saturday mornings
*Get up to speed on what's happening in business and finance (read NYT dealbook (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/category...-acquisitions/) and Reuters M&A (http://www.reuters.com/finance/deals/mergers). I'd also recommend the Reuters Morning News Call (https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/morningnewscall/))
*Learn the technical basics: Since you are from a non finance background I'd recommend reading the Vault guides for the basics and then work through "Rosenbaum/Pearl - Investment Banking" and if you need it "Morris - Accounting for M&A, Equity, ..." - Sure, you will get training but it's still nice to shine from early on with solid Accounting and Finance knowledge
*Brush up your excel and PPT skills
*Travel for some time and enjoy life as life as a first year analyst will be rough

OnTheJob:
*In case that you are in a coverage group, follow trends and news in your sector (bookmark ER industry reports/primers)
*Don't be the weird guy that doesn't have time to chat and always goes out to lunch on his own; be social and go out with others as long as workload is light
*Doublecheck all your outputs (presentations and spreadsheets). It's always good to print out your output as it's easier to spot mistakes on printouts (at least for me)
*Take a notepad and a pencil with you when people give you instructions
*Ask the same questions only once and then understand the solution
*Ask for a deadline when people give you work; this will help to prioritise your work
*Write all your tasks in your notepad/in a word/excel doc to have an overview
*try to work out before work/after work or in downtime (some groups are ok with this); just ask the 2nd year analysts if they do it
*This works for me but I'll throw it in any way: Don't drink coffee unless you had a very short night. Since I rarely drink coffee, it still gives me a real caffein boost and helps me to wake up after a short night
*Have a new shirt / tie / or even a full suit (depends on how many suits you have) in your closet at work
*Eat healthy: Order salad for dinner instead of fat burgers or steaks
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