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A Day in the Life: Associate at a Global Investment Banking, Securities, and Investment Management Firm

8:30 a.m.: Arrive to work. Check e-mail and voice mail.

9:00 a.m.: I have breakfast with summer associates to see how they’re doing. I answer any questions they have about the company or their job duties.

10:00 a.m.: I participate in a couple of conference calls with clients. These usually consist of 30-minute phone meetings that cover what I’m planning on presenting to clients next week, and to find out what other topics I should discuss. We basically share ideas.

11:00 a.m.: I e-mail the results of conference call meeting with managing directors.

11:30 a.m.: Meet with analysts to assign them work. I usually give assignments to full-time analysts and let them run with it. For summer analysts, I’ll make sure they’re getting a good perspective and are learning. I’ll also make sure I’m giving them enough to test them to see if they get it, and have what it takes to be a full-time analyst.

12:30 p.m.: Lunch. About four days a week I grab a sandwich at a deli and eat it at my desk. Sometimes, with a group of people, I eat at the cafeteria, which is pretty good. They recently redid the cafeteria. It used to be pretty sketchy.

1:30 p.m.: I participate in a conference call with a managing director and a client’s CEO about a meeting next week and other issues. There’s a lot of “give and take” in these meetings. Overall, what my firm does exceptionally well is create a team culture. And what that really means is that people respect young bankers’ opinions and look out for the development of junior bankers. Juniors’ opinions count and everyone’s included on calls. Analysts and associates are encouraged to contribute. They’re not locked in a room running numbers. People expect you to have an opinion. It’s a place where people have a very low tolerance for egos and obnoxious behavior. There’s no yelling and screaming.

3:00 p.m.: Prepare reports based on call for meetings next week.

6:30 p.m.: I meet with analysts to dole out work such as research and financial modeling.

7:00 p.m.: Order dinner and eat with a few other people in the office.

8:00 p.m.: I continue working on reports for tomorrow’s and next week’s meetings.

12:00 a.m.: Call for a car and head home. When you leave depends on the workload and your job title. On average I leave around midnight, but it’s not uncommon to leave after 1:00 a.m. And sometimes, not often but during slow times, I’ll leave as early as 7:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. Third-year associates work between 10 and 20 hours collectively on the weekends. For first- and second-year associates, it’s pretty much a full-time job.