Another summer is coming, which means a new class of investment banking analysts are about to embark on the first full-time job of their lifelong career. I know how it feels: I was in your shoes five years ago. This is the first in a series of several quick tips that I wish someone had have given to me when I started.
Be kind not smart.In several speeches, Jeff Bezos mentioned his grandfather, who taught him at a young age that it's harder to be kind, than smart. This is particularly true for those who are embarking on a career in investment banking. You will likely, and almost certainly, unintentionally hurt someone close to you during your time in investment banking. This is because of the survival mode you enter after the severe lack of sleep, the complete tunnel focus on your work, the social isolation, coupled with you mirroring your colleagues' behaviours while emerging into adulthood.
This unintentional aggressiveness and neglect could cause relationship breakups, or you may inadvertently find yourself saying hurtful things to people you care about without even realising it. I made my own (elder) sister cry and she did not talk to me for a few months, and all my peers had a similar experience. If you want to survive in banking you need to strive to be kind to everyone in your life regardless of how terrible you feel.
Mai Le was an investment banking associate at Goldman Sachs before she left to work on her own company Automate Loan. Besides writing on her own blog, she also runs a cover-letter sharing community called Cover Letter Library and a learning and community platform for analysts called Next Analyst.
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