Just broke into Wall Street, AMA

Supergrass
Supergrass

I just finalized my offer with pic related, as a post MBA in a front office associate role in NYC.

Anything you want to know user?

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Supergrass
I want to know what I should be asking

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

@Fried_Sushi

What are your career goals and where are you on them now? Give me a little introduction to you- age, interests, career path, etc.

If you want to know about GS, the major thing I learned is how incredibly reputational they are. Not only will they evaluate all decisions based on gain, they will also strongly evaluate how it makes them look.

NYC has been, so far, all it has promised for me. High finance really was worth the push it required.

likme
likme

@Supergrass
any gmat tips? trying to get ~600

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@likme

600 is a very moderate score. You can get there very easily, frankly. The GMAT responds very well to simple time spent studying, so putting in the raw hours is critical.

I have found that study packages are worth it, assuming you have the cash. You can get very good ones around $700 when I checked. What are you scoring in practice tests? Is your quant or your verbal your weakness?

Emberfire
Emberfire

@PackManBrainlure
putting in the raw hours is critical.
I did the preptest got 450 :l, I have gone through the 8-9 manhattan gmat books. Feels like I only learned vague theory.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@PackManBrainlure
What MBA did you do?

I'm in undergrad for business major, architecture minor at a 2nd tier private school; it's not well-known for business. GPA is currently floating around 3. Have worked last 3 summers, with a foreign based banking consultancy firm and a tech startup involved in big data.

What GPA do I need to be at to have a decent chance to getting in an ivy MBA? What score on the gmat?

If I can't get an ivy MBA im just going to do masters in design.

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@Supergrass
I'm currently an undergraduate studying engineering but I'm considering getting an MBA after I graduate. The goal would be to eventually get into a management position with an engineering company after I've worked as an engineer for a few years.

How did you enjoy your classes and overall experience in your MBA program?
I'm considering specializing in finance because the classes look interesting but is there some other specialization that you think would be more useful for what I want to do?

RumChicken
RumChicken

How many cold-calls are you required to do per day, how many years are you expected to do cold-calls, and how many partners are you required to service by doing their call-calls?

StonedTime
StonedTime

@Emberfire

I strongly recommend you get a study system with a test bank of adaptive answers. You need to grind answers in a concentrated way to turn theory into reality on the test. Is your quant or verbal weakest, and are you a native english speaker? Did you get reasonable grades in math courses in college/HS?

What is your goal with the GMAT? What MBA programs are you targeting?

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@StonedTime
College calculus I got around 76% didnt have much difficulty. My scaled scores were 27 quant, 29 verbal, real scores 20/37(quant), 21/41(verbal).

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

@Flameblow

I went to a 'top 30' school in the west. Keep in mind that there are about 50 'top 30' schools because of the different ranking publications. It's mostly a non-target, but is an identifiable name. It has a few departments that are top 3 in their specialty. I probably had a 35-40% admit chance at HBS/Stanford/Wharton and could have gotten a top 10 if I had applied to them all.

I went there for a combination of reasons: in state tuition and much cheaper than Ivy even without that, I hit the school's specialty very hard to sell that as my reason for the choice, it was recognizable enough that I knew I could sell it.

I do not recommend 'business' majors. If you want to get into finance/business then focus on marketable skills. If you want finance/quant work do math, accounting, economics or finance. If you want HR or Marketing do psych or marketing as a major. I think that most 'business' majors are way too diluted at the undergrad level. Wait until your MBA to be a generalist. I am glad you have a niche (arch/design)- that kind of synergy and backup plan makes for a great 'story' when you apply places and talk about your goals.

Ivy MBA chances start at around 3.5 GPA, but realistically 3.7+. GMAT for an Ivy really needs to be 700+.

whereismyname
whereismyname

@StonedTime
I need around 60th percentile around ~600+. I am aiming for human resources or some sort of management.

Supergrass
Supergrass

I hope to one day be a banker working at goldman sachs. I'm 18, what do I do to make that happen?

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@LuckyDusty

My MBA program was amazing. You really need to push hard to spend those two years wisely. MAKE CONNECTIONS and BUILD ALLIANCES. Be genuinely open and interested in everything that everyone is doing.

The fundamental specializations are finance, human resources, operations, marketing. Of those operations is the most tied to an engineering background. You deal with physical delivery, sourcing, quality control and processes a great deal in ops. It's very key to most businesses where engineers and product are key- lots of great opportunities in these areas with everyone from Cisco to Union Pacific to Intel to Exxon. You can do a lot with it. Finance is another strong choice since it, like engineering, is very quantitative and math oriented. You have to make a choice between high finance (my world) and corporate finance. It sounds like your interests are much more aligned with corporate finance. It's a great world to get into.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@RumChicken

Cold calls are 100% not part of the business line where I have or will work. We aren't asset management, don't push a product and have no real sales component to my group's work.

You find cold calls happen in private wealth, maaaybe in I Banking and definitely in hedge funds/asset management shops that are on the low end.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

Is it true that there are only Ivy Leaguers there? I'm studying mathematics at one of the best European universities and doing very well. What did you study in college?

Booteefool
Booteefool

@Lunatick
Oh, okay. So you're a spreadsheet-monkey. Got it. Thanks.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@Raving_Cute
Thanks man, I appreciate it

King_Martha
King_Martha

@whereismyname

The good news is your scores are at least fairly even. Calculus is irrelevant to the quant section. Have you noticed that all of the problems are really logic and reasoning problems dressed up as math? This gets more and more true the higher up the chain you go.

I have two bits of homework for you: 1) start tracking problems you miss and looking for patterns and 2) research what study system you can buy that has a question bank.

For HR and general management, the verbal is more important than the quant. You can always shrug and say 'yeah, I want to work in HR, I'm not one of those finance wizards right?' But that is a fall back to explain a score that is weird.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Supergrass
Do you know Johnny Fells?

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

@Booteefool
He DID mention that he got into an associate position. They're the chief spreadsheet people.

Anyway, most of banking is spreadsheets. I think you've been watching too much Wolf of Wall Street.

5mileys
5mileys

@Supergrass

Start reading and following Street of Walls and Wall Street Oasis. You want to have a reasonable insight into the culture and really know what you are getting into. Find the finance clubs at your uni right away and get to know them well. Ask yourself why you want banking and why Goldman (why not JP, Citi, Duetsche? Why not Evercore or a boutique?) Why banking and not risk, asset manangement, PWM, trading?

At 18 you need to focus on getting into the best school you can. Ivy is great, top state school is good. You want to be aligned with a brand people know, think: MIT, Duke, Stanford, NYU. Really think and work hard for the best admission you can get.

You need to have sharp excel and powerpoint skills for banking. Begin to develop these now. Choose a major that is finance focused and marketable: accounting, economics, math, finance, even computer science.

Learn to be a real person. There are enough trust fund baby cardboard cut-out douche-bros in IB already. Learn and develop some real qualities and outside interests.

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Supergrass
Does Blue Horseshoe love Anacott Steel?

takes2long
takes2long

@King_Martha
I'm not a business major, I finished my biology undergrad in April with a focus in plant science (hydroponics). I will try the pattern approach over the next couple days.

massdebater
massdebater

@5mileys
why not JP, Citi, Duetsche? Why not Evercore or a boutique?
Wait, you didn't apply for all of these firms?

idontknow
idontknow

@Garbage Can Lid

There is a lot of Ivy League, sure. But there is plenty of 'non-target' as well. You see Villanova, BYU, Berkley, Florida, all the big state schools.

I was a dual major in my undergraduate in economics and political science. It was a great combination to allow me to talk about and understand markets and also the regulatory rules in which the markets live. Regulatory work is so hot right now, even if it is deadly dry.

Europe experience is great. I see lots of people from INSEAD, Oxford, LBS. Not a problem at all other than the difficulty of networking through if you are talking about making it to NYC.

Math is a great major to start with, add in some market knowledge classes so you really understand the rules of finance and as much computer science/data course work as you can. Those skills can really set you apart.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@Booteefool

I left spreadsheets by the side of the road many years ago in my line of work. I hate the buzzword 'big data' but I'm a data guy fundamentally and work with R mostly at this point.

I'm not in I Banking and never really had much interest in M&A work, aside from the prestige and pay it brings.

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@idontknow
Thanks for your answer. What's the culture like at Goldman? From what I've read in books it seems like it's a club of rude, smart white guys. Then I look on Goldman's youtube channel and it seems as if they only employ transgender black female muslims.

Playboyize
Playboyize

@cum2soon

Not on my watch.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@Poker_Star
marketing videos

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@Poker_Star

The sterotype of rude, smart white guys is just an easy target for the media and mainstream to work with. It's most true in the classic finance fiefdoms of I Banking and Sales/Trading. Those areas can be pretty white-washed sausage fests.

There is quite a bit of diversity under the hood. Goldman culture, from what I've seen in my time here, is very concerned with image. Much like Harvard has a special reputation among universities, despite not being objectively better than other top schools, Goldman Sachs has a reputation of being the best of the best in finance. Goldman is very concerned with maintaining and projecting this image. The major negative for me is that it can be pretty stuffy- I come from a tech background where loose and casual culture is enthroned. Goldman makes me have this feeling of being observed constantly and it puts me on edge. Off the cuff jokes and such are out, I do feel like I need to think 'What would HR say?' way too much. The positives are many- people light up when you mention where you work, the people are absolutely incredible and the work really is stimulating and impactful on the markets.

Emberfire
Emberfire

@PackManBrainlure
That's interesting. Are the other banks like this as well? What kind of characteristics are they looking for in the people they hire (besides the usual "hard working teamplayer")?

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@Emberfire

Hard for me to comment on the deep cultural issues of other banks as I have not been on the inside. The truth is that the bulge bracket banks are all more similar than different.

The real skills you need vary on the group. I Banking really has a playbook, the interview prep guides out there are the real deal. Technical questions happen. There is an entire culture of preparation for breaking in that you can jump through. You have to know markets, business valuation, basic accounting and excel ninja skills. Learn to value a company and present that information succinctly- that is really the core of M&A work in an i-banking setting.

I want to emphasize one thing again though, the biggest banks really do want signals that you are a real human being. No-one wants to hear that you just love banking and have been convinced you want to be in the markets since you were 12. Cultivate yourself outside of all the 'elite markers' that banks are looking for (good school, high grades, GMAT). Get great at photography, rebuild a car, go hunting, be a normal human. This helps immeasurably when you are networking and networking is a vital part of breaking in at almost all banks from the junior to the associate levels.

StonedTime
StonedTime

@BlogWobbles
Great advice, thank you.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@StonedTime

Alright user. I'm out for the night. I'll be back.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@Supergrass

2nd year analyst here (not at GS) - have you worked in banking before?

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

look at me I'm part of GS
I'm so proud

It's not the noughties anymore. GS is going to shrink and probably have to merge with another bank.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Supergrass

Congratulations on your success user.

What is the elite/bankers/evil joos perspective on the marijuana business and the legalization or marijuana? What moves are they going to make and what do they think?

Thank you.

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