leviticus.
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In a sticky one icl - a while ago some guy on r/fc seemed to seriously have it in for me and would hurl personal attacks at me on a generally diversity-centric axis which is fairly standard so I elected to ignore him. Eventually he started offering some actually golden advice and over the past few weeks has helped me understand the ins and outs of the industry a lot better which was surprising. I then found out he works at a p well known hf in london and I recently managed to validate this; hes sent me a research report to do if I wanted and offered to then go over it w me and depending on that would be open to connecting w me and helping me land a first year internship or a year long gig at a smallish AM closeish to me as I will probably take a year out.

Thing is it’s really nice of them to offer to do this stuff and whilst I want to imagine it’s indicative of a nice mentor i also question if I should put myself at risk by connecting w someone who at face value seems wired in london and was p crude to me a few months ago. My gut feeling is to not connect as it seems risky but at the same time I’m a pretty less-than stellar candidate and will likely bomb out for springs considering how well behind I am from my peers so a rational part of my brain is suggesting I should take the risk. Worth mentioning they were explicitly derogatory/discriminatory to me a while back and I still sometimes get the impression they’re trying to be snide. Any thoughts?
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BenRyan99
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This is a tough one and actually a really good question. I'll caveat my answer by saying that I'm not in any of the BAME categories, I'm white, British, middle-class and from London, so it might be difficult for me to completely see it from your pov but I'll try my best.

In my shortish career so far in economics and finance I've come across a few people that are just generally very rude. I was actually once in a similar position, started talking to this guy who was a partner at a boutique London PE firm and he suggested I came to their offices to have a chat and asked to see my CV (was during first year uni).

From the get go I could tell he was a bit snobbish and came from a fairly posh background (elite London private school, Sandhurst military school, was a soldier and rose up the ranks, then did an MBA afterwards and got into PE). I could tell he was snobbish when he looked up my school as he hadn't heard of it and was looking at its alumni list..... Naturally this would make a first year uni student a tad uncomfortable. He made some remarks about political correctness going too far and diversity recruitment policies being terrible etc so you can sort of imagine the person.

However, after a while chatting he was giving me solid advice, explaining the firm's investment process and philosophy, how best to start a career in the IB/PE side of finance, we actually started to get on and spoke for about 2-3hrs just in his building. Afterwards I felt much more knowledgeable about the industry and slightly inspired me despite his less than perfect character imo. He ended up asking me to grab a drink after work/uni the next week and he offered me a summer role there if I wanted it, which I accepted. Was a good experience and I didn't actually end up working with him but with some of the more junior team members.

Now looking back on it after a few years, I've sort of come to the conclusion that there just will be some less than perfect people in finance and they probably don't realise they're being insensitive. But it doesn't necessarily mean that they can't be a good mentor, after that convo with him we basically only talked about work/sport with each other and it did genuinely help my career early on. So I can try to understand the dilemma you're in but I would still say it's worth giving it a shot, nobody's forcing you to carry on working there if you don't like it after all, you can just leave whenever. I just feel like it's better to try it out than to potentially look back and think you really should've tried it if your SW/Summer/Grad recruiting doesn't go well. Like some people will just be uncomfortable to work with and that doesn't mean they're in the right or anything but you can still learn an absolute tonne of some unpleasant people (at least I did), plus all the other employees who are genuinely nice people so I would think it's worth a shot
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leviticus.
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
This is a tough one and actually a really good question. I'll caveat my answer by saying that I'm not in any of the BAME categories, I'm white, British, middle-class and from London, so it might be difficult for me to completely see it from your pov but I'll try my best.

In my shortish career so far in economics and finance I've come across a few people that are just generally very rude. I was actually once in a similar position, started talking to this guy who was a partner at a boutique London PE firm and he suggested I came to their offices to have a chat and asked to see my CV (was during first year uni).

From the get go I could tell he was a bit snobbish and came from a fairly posh background (elite London private school, Sandhurst military school, was a soldier and rose up the ranks, then did an MBA afterwards and got into PE). I could tell he was snobbish when he looked up my school as he hadn't heard of it and was looking at its alumni list..... Naturally this would make a first year uni student a tad uncomfortable. He made some remarks about political correctness going too far and diversity recruitment policies being terrible etc so you can sort of imagine the person.

However, after a while chatting he was giving me solid advice, explaining the firm's investment process and philosophy, how best to start a career in the IB/PE side of finance, we actually started to get on and spoke for about 2-3hrs just in his building. Afterwards I felt much more knowledgeable about the industry and slightly inspired me despite his less than perfect character imo. He ended up asking me to grab a drink after work/uni the next week and he offered me a summer role there if I wanted it, which I accepted. Was a good experience and I didn't actually end up working with him but with some of the more junior team members.

Now looking back on it after a few years, I've sort of come to the conclusion that there just will be some less than perfect people in finance and they probably don't realise they're being insensitive. But it doesn't necessarily mean that they can't be a good mentor, after that convo with him we basically only talked about work/sport with each other and it did genuinely help my career early on. So I can try to understand the dilemma you're in but I would still say it's worth giving it a shot, nobody's forcing you to carry on working there if you don't like it after all, you can just leave whenever. I just feel like it's better to try it out than to potentially look back and think you really should've tried it if your SW/Summer/Grad recruiting doesn't go well. Like some people will just be uncomfortable to work with and that doesn't mean they're in the right or anything but you can still learn an absolute tonne of some unpleasant people (at least I did), plus all the other employees who are genuinely nice people so I would think it's worth a shot
Ah thank you so much this has helped level my perspective a bit - weird to see someone else in the same shoes I currently am but I'm glad it worked out for you.
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gr8wizard10
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i'll be honest, as a BAME / ex-high finance etc.. and this is my perspective, not speaking for anyone else.

for the most part - if we want to get ahead, i personally view and operate in a "play the cards you're dealt". reality is as the above user said, people aren't perfect and realistically we don't live in an idealistic world and that's just how it is - personally i'm not interested in going out of my way to tell people how i think they should act or behave.. but what i do find value is in taking the opportunities that present themselves. maybe i'm old fashioned in the sense of idc too much about personal feelings, and rather have an objective orient approach (and maybe it could bite my mental health in the future - who knows).. but my advice is - where you have a shot at something or a connect that might be otherwise difficult or unattainable, i'd take it - see where the road goes.. if in the end you don't like it - that's fine, move on - but if there's a benefit to be had go for it, don't let your emotions cut out opportunity (easier said than done for some people i'm sure)

and in work/business as a general rule i have learnt to never take anything personally. even the opportunities where you can stand against some injustice you feel, you should have an objective approach and assess benefits/disadvantages to YOU.

that's my 2 cents, again i don't speak for anyone else when i say this. at the end of the day, i say to people play life's game for you. but understand other people think differently too.

good luck
wiz
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leviticus.
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(Original post by gr8wizard10)
i'll be honest, as a BAME / ex-high finance etc.. and this is my perspective, not speaking for anyone else.

for the most part - if we want to get ahead, i personally view and operate in a "play the cards you're dealt". reality is as the above user said, people aren't perfect and realistically we don't live in an idealistic world and that's just how it is - personally i'm not interested in going out of my way to tell people how i think they should act or behave.. but what i do find value is in taking the opportunities that present themselves. maybe i'm old fashioned in the sense of idc too much about personal feelings, and rather have an objective orient approach (and maybe it could bite my mental health in the future - who knows).. but my advice is - where you have a shot at something or a connect that might be otherwise difficult or unattainable, i'd take it - see where the road goes.. if in the end you don't like it - that's fine, move on - but if there's a benefit to be had go for it, don't let your emotions cut out opportunity (easier said than done for some people i'm sure)

and in work/business as a general rule i have learnt to never take anything personally. even the opportunities where you can stand against some injustice you feel, you should have an objective approach and assess benefits/disadvantages to YOU.

that's my 2 cents, again i don't speak for anyone else when i say this. at the end of the day, i say to people play life's game for you. but understand other people think differently too.

good luck
wiz
thank you I'll bear this in mind although for what its worth, I was more concerned with this person effectively locking me out of London in case they're just putting up a facade of kindness and when i connect w them they get me blacklisted or otherwise make life harder
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gr8wizard10
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(Original post by leviticus.)
thank you I'll bear this in mind although for what its worth, I was more concerned with this person effectively locking me out of London in case they're just putting up a facade of kindness and when i connect w them they get me blacklisted or otherwise make life harder
not sure who you're dealing with, but realistically doubt they'd have that kinda pull
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by gr8wizard10)
not sure who you're dealing with, but realistically doubt they'd have that kinda pull
I've never heard of anyone being blacklisted lol, that would assume the person has power/influence over IB HR teams which they definitely won't, IB HR people seem to be kings of their own little kingdom unfortunately so this person wouldn't have any power over that. Ultimately, firms want to attract the best talent possible, a disgruntled HF guy would look so silly to others if he kicked up a fuss about a 1st year intern haha. It's quite possible you're overthinking the career damage if you don't get along.
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tierny3
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(Original post by gr8wizard10)
i'll be honest, as a BAME / ex-high finance etc.. and this is my perspective, not speaking for anyone else.

for the most part - if we want to get ahead, i personally view and operate in a "play the cards you're dealt". reality is as the above user said, people aren't perfect and realistically we don't live in an idealistic world and that's just how it is - personally i'm not interested in going out of my way to tell people how i think they should act or behave.. but what i do find value is in taking the opportunities that present themselves. maybe i'm old fashioned in the sense of idc too much about personal feelings, and rather have an objective orient approach (and maybe it could bite my mental health in the future - who knows).. but my advice is - where you have a shot at something or a connect that might be otherwise difficult or unattainable, i'd take it - see where the road goes.. if in the end you don't like it - that's fine, move on - but if there's a benefit to be had go for it, don't let your emotions cut out opportunity (easier said than done for some people i'm sure)

and in work/business as a general rule i have learnt to never take anything personally. even the opportunities where you can stand against some injustice you feel, you should have an objective approach and assess benefits/disadvantages to YOU.

that's my 2 cents, again i don't speak for anyone else when i say this. at the end of the day, i say to people play life's game for you. but understand other people think differently too.

good luck
wiz
totally different to what OP is asking but icba making a new thread

basically i have ~ 60k of student debt to pay off that id like to pay off asap and i dont really wanna work in m&a. but if i had the opportunity to, how long do you reckon it would take for me to pay that debt off? do you reckon i could pay that debt off in 1 year at a bank (incl base/bonus)
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leviticus.
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(Original post by tierny3)
totally different to what OP is asking but icba making a new thread

basically i have ~ 60k of student debt to pay off that id like to pay off asap and i dont really wanna work in m&a. but if i had the opportunity to, how long do you reckon it would take for me to pay that debt off? do you reckon i could pay that debt off in 1 year at a bank (incl base/bonus)
don't you pay off 9% of income default anyway? idk why ur in a hurry to get rid of it. + i doubt it unless you can live off someone else
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londonmyst
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Always trust your gut instinct and listen to what your common sense is telling you.

I don't work in investment banking or anything involving finance, so my advice won't focus on those environments.
I always reject all offers of mentoring, cash, expensive gifts, business investment and hospitality from those high powered I know I will never be able to stomach any involvement with or don't trust enough to consider being alone in a lift with.

Of course- differences of opinion between individuals over diversive issues like identity politics, religion and sex are to be expected.
I have plenty of friends & business acquaintances with some very different opinions to me, some views quite eccentric or highly controversial.
Most people can have an intensive discussion, frankly exchange contrasting opinions and even calmly opt to ridicule or reject each others conclusions.
Then mutually decide to agree to disagree about the issues in question and move forward with no bad feeling like reasonable adults.
But that is not possible where one individual has hatred, is unhinged or is well known for their destructive and sadistic personality.
Nor if one party to the discussion habitually resorts to either malicious personal attacks, threats of violence or unlawful conduct- as a means to ensure that they obtain automatic obedience or fuel an egotistical desire that must always have the last word.
Where that is the situation- the only answer is to protect yourself by avoiding all further interaction and contact.
Good luck!
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gr8wizard10
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(Original post by tierny3)
totally different to what OP is asking but icba making a new thread

basically i have ~ 60k of student debt to pay off that id like to pay off asap and i dont really wanna work in m&a. but if i had the opportunity to, how long do you reckon it would take for me to pay that debt off? do you reckon i could pay that debt off in 1 year at a bank (incl base/bonus)
don't bother paying it off asap, will do nothing for you rlly imo - unless your rich. literally just see it as a small tax to getting into these high paying jobs
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