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    Hey there,

    So I'm assuming that you're interested in a career in finance, and have probably been attracted by one, or more, of the following reasons:

    1) High salary
    2) Fast-track career path
    3) Great future prospects

    If so, you have every right to apply. I'm not writing this to discourage anyone. However, this thread will aim to add a drop of realism into your dream-job drink.

    About me: I left school in my A-level year, after zooming around various departments (Retail operations, Syndicated Loans, Investments) as an apprentice, I joined the Middle Office at the London HQ of a foreign bank. I've done stints in Risk at two top-ten banks since, and have met a lot of people, made a lot of friends, and heard a lot of stories about different experiences in the industry.

    I'm currently making the effort to reconnect with old friends acquaintances. Some are a looking/feeling a little worse for wear after 1-3 years time. The people I know are mostly in back-office roles, compliance trainees, junior traders and a few M&A slaves. Recently, after a brief catchup, cut short by the ill-health of a one attendee, I feel duty-bound to spread some awareness here.

    Assuming we all know of the tragic case of Mr Moritz Erhardt, the BoA intern who worked himself to death pulling a few consecutive all-nighters for M&A. Although this is an extreme example, I know many people who suffer from stress & anxiety which have led onto more concerning cases such as high blood pressure, pneumonia, even cancer.

    To reiterate: I'm not trying to sell you some nightmare horror story of how bad Banking can be. I'v enjoyed most of the the time I've spent in the industry; it's been hard-work, but rewarding. I know people that have flourished in the competitive environment, and will probably retire before 40. However, I'm aiming to switch to Accountancy by 2015; There's a job you can take away with you - when did you ever hear of a guy who left HSBC to start his own bank??

    This thread is just to let you budding financiers know that if you've set your heart on banking simply because the pay is good, or the future prospects are promising, that you'd better seriously consider whether you're up to the demanding workload you will almost inevitably experience. If you've got future career plans that don't directly involve or require a banking background, there is probably a more viable route to will get you where you need to be.

    To all of those who understand the environment, challenges, and demands - happy hunting, & may the odds be ever in your favour!

    Cheers,

    TDWM.
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    (Original post by TDWM)
    Hey there,

    So I'm assuming that you're interested in a career in finance, and have probably been attracted by one, or more, of the following reasons:

    1) High salary
    2) Fast-track career path
    3) Great future prospects

    If so, you have every right to apply. I'm not writing this to discourage anyone. However, this thread will aim to add a drop of realism into your dream-job drink.

    About me: I left school in my A-level year, after zooming around various departments (Retail operations, Syndicated Loans, Investments) as an apprentice, I joined the Middle Office at the London HQ of a foreign bank. I've done stints in Risk at two top-ten banks since, and have met a lot of people, made a lot of friends, and heard a lot of stories about different experiences in the industry.

    I'm currently making the effort to reconnect with old friends acquaintances. Some are a looking/feeling a little worse for wear after 1-3 years time. The people I know are mostly in back-office roles, compliance trainees, junior traders and a few M&A slaves. Recently, after a brief catchup, cut short by the ill-health of a one attendee, I feel duty-bound to spread some awareness here.

    Assuming we all know of the tragic case of Mr Moritz Erhardt, the BoA intern who worked himself to death pulling a few consecutive all-nighters for M&A. Although this is an extreme example, I know many people who suffer from stress & anxiety which have led onto more concerning cases such as high blood pressure, pneumonia, even cancer.

    To reiterate: I'm not trying to sell you some nightmare horror story of how bad Banking can be. I'v enjoyed most of the the time I've spent in the industry; it's been hard-work, but rewarding. I know people that have flourished in the competitive environment, and will probably retire before 40. However, I'm aiming to switch to Accountancy by 2015; There's a job you can take away with you - when did you ever hear of a guy who left HSBC to start his own bank??

    This thread is just to let you budding financiers know that if you've set your heart on banking simply because the pay is good, or the future prospects are promising, that you'd better seriously consider whether you're up to the demanding workload you will almost inevitably experience. If you've got future career plans that don't directly involve or require a banking background, there is probably a more viable route to will get you where you need to be.

    To all of those who understand the environment, challenges, and demands - happy hunting, & may the odds be ever in your favour!

    Cheers,

    TDWM.
    Great thread, always good to hear this every now.
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    Save for the fact, I would say always opt to something you enjoy, I'm not really sure that front office IB roles carry the prestige / perks / privileges that they once did... Job security is certainly much lower, exit opportunities aren't what they used to be and you're likely to be vilified by non-bankers for your chosen career path.
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    I feel compelled to agree and disagree with some of the things mentioned by the OP.

    2) Fast-track career path - this isn't necessarily true. The number of people making the jump from analyst to associate to VP and so on is low. Most people are not the top performers in their class and are let go.

    Others choose the industry for the following reasons too:
    - Build up a foundation for other industries (PE/VC/Corp Dev/Entrepreneurship/HFs). You learn a lot about the nitty gritty financial mechanics of a company.
    - Network. Contemporary business now relies on who you know rather than what. Comparing the rolodex of a banker with that of a tax accountant will yield very different results.
    - Learning. Again, not a lot in terms of comparison when it comes to what you can learn in your analyst stint.

    Moritz Erhardt didn't work himself to death. He had an underlying condition (epilepsy) that might have been aggravated by exhaustion. Still, you don't actually find bankers who work themselves to death. Chronic illnesses? Certainly but it comes down to managing the job and not letting it manage you.

    However, I'm aiming to switch to Accountancy by 2015; There's a job you can take away with you - when did you ever hear of a guy who left HSBC to start his own bank??
    This is a common misconception. The idea isn't to start your own bank although plenty of people have done that and set up boutique shops which give the bulge brackets a run for their money. People leave with their compensation and network, and easily set up their own funds. Secondly, this notion that certain professions allow you 'take something away with you' is flawed. You seem to making a like-for-like comparison as you did with the idea of starting a bank. When did you ever hear of a guy leaving PWC to start up the 5th largest firm? Never. You can leave the big 4 and set up your own shop but don't expect anything corporate/commercial for a while, if ever. Whilst the idea of starting your own accounting firm, serving white collar customers on the high street is possible, some people don't want to go from boardrooms to living rooms.

    Banking certainly isn't what it used to be but it affords you a lot more opportunities in comparison to certain city careers.

    Money and prestige should be a slight factor in the decision to enter banking. Knowing the demands of the job are key but is also about getting a decent return on what you put in. 100+ hours a work during deal time are bad but you're not staffed on deals EVERY single week. A total comp of 70k+ in your first year still trumps other career choices. Doctors work long hours but they get job security in return for what they do i.e. a job for life. Entrepreneurs put in comparable hours in order to see their venture turn profitable. A musician and athlete etc have to put in hours rehearsing/training to gain some sort of tangible benefit.
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    With due respect to his family, Moritz was on a lot more than ''epilepsy'' drugs.

    Source: Slave friends at BAML.
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    (Original post by SonnyZH)
    With due respect to his family, Moritz was on a lot more than ''epilepsy'' drugs.

    Source: Slave friends at BAML.
    chit just got real
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    To women at bars "I work at a bank, but have you got a man doe?" - works 100% of the time, never.
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    Love the irony of OP dispensing advice on "the strains of banking life" when he works 50 hours a week in MO.
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    (Original post by Andrew_2006)
    Job security is certainly much lower, exit opportunities aren't what they used to be and you're likely to be vilified by non-bankers for your chosen career path.
    In the immortal word of a scouse mentor of mine, "Ain't what it use teh be kiddo".



    (Original post by Paul Allen)
    When did you ever hear of a guy leaving PWC to start up the 5th largest firm? Never. You can leave the big 4 and set up your own shop but don't expect anything corporate/commercial for a while, if ever. Whilst the idea of starting your own accounting firm, serving white collar customers on the high street is possible, some people don't want to go from boardrooms to living rooms.
    Sorry Paul, TLDR.

    I never said I wanted to start my own PWC, please don't assume any illusions of grandeur. All I'm saying is that by the end of a successful career in accounting, you build up a list of clients, knowledge (diverse or specialist), and a feel for the profession. The scope of these factors really depends on the circles you move in. I'm just saying I'd be happy running a small practice that keeps me in pocket, even if it starts out by helping people with their tax returns.


    ---

    I'm aware that Mr Erhardt suffered from epilepsy, and I'm not attempting to persuade you that the workload alone was what killed him; can't have helped though. What I'm saying is that it can be stressful, and it's the stress that gets to you.

    ---


    (Original post by majmuh24)
    You work in a bank but are you gonna scam doe?

    :cool:
    (Original post by Andrew_2006)
    and you're likely to be vilified by non-bankers for your chosen career path

    (Original post by MAINE.)
    Love the irony
    Glad you liked it. Plenty more where that came from.

    Cheers, TDWM.

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    Sure, they may not leave HSBC to start another bank, but leaving to start a fund still happens.
 
 
 
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