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Life as an Analyst
Analysts are typically recent undergraduates who work long hours and do a fair bit of grunt work. A good analyst helps his or her boss get their job done and done well. Analysts are not normally expected to contribute in meetings but often can. After the typical two-year analyst program at a major investment bank, many analysts return to school for an MBA before coming back to investment banking. Others choose to try other opportunities. During recruiting out of an MBA program, former analysts will be at a significant advantage over others without experience.
Key analyst skills include:
- the ability to work with Excel spreadsheets,
- write macros in VBA,
- track and generate weekly newsletters (weeklies),
- keep schedules,
- generate prospectuses,
- get burgers
- put in and retrieve pitch books from the copy center
- and answer client phone calls.
Key success factors include (i) getting your job done well and without friction, (ii) getting things done on time, (iii) asking for help when you need it, (iv) dressing neatly, (v) not complaining, gossiping or whining, (vi) learning to use the library and the web to do research, (vii) become a whiz-kid with Bloomberg, Excel, Word and Powerpoint, (viii) always give your boss credit, (ix) know when to cheer up your boss and (x) know when to stay out of the way.
It’s a tiring life but gives you a good chance to learn the investment banking field and bond with people whom you will work with later. Being an analyst is one of the best ways to break into a very good field. The return on investment from being a good analyst can be over 50 times what they actually pay you.
After two years, most analysts leave to get their MBA or pursue other positions. It all depends on the firm. Some places have a pretty strict policy of getting rid of you. Others are more mellow. It makes sense, after all, to try to keep very good people who can get a job done. If you don’t go back and get an MBA you might benefit from going out and getting a CFA.
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance By Brealey, Myers and Marcus. An excellent, detailed book on topics in corporate finance. If you want to study what the field is about, this is a good book to start with. Keep this at your desk. An alternative finance reference book to use is Fundamentals of Corporate Finance by Ross Westerfield and Jordan.
The Economist. A great source for info on what’s happening in the world.
Wall Street Journal. Should read this every day. The Financial Times is also quite informative.
Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking Guide covers the basics of financial markets, including walk-throughs of equity and fixed income offerings, and M ?>