Breaking into finance is all well and good – but if you don’t understand the culture of investment banking, you won’t get ahead.
And bankers certainly have a unique culture.
They work 80-100 hours per week, go to Starbucks 5-10 times per day, and eat a lot of food – though not quite as much as traders.
And they talk about doing drugs quite a lot as well.
Reality vs. Fiction
There is some truth to the rumors you hear about banker culture: when you work that much all the time, craziness is the inevitable result.
So yes, bankers drink a lot of coffee, spend a lot of time playing Brick Breaker on their Blackberries, and gossip about other co-workers quite a bit.
But drug use?
They like to talk about cocaine and other hard drugs – but it’s just talk.
If you were actually a drug addict, you could never do the job.
Models and Bottles
Another one I get asked about a lot: the infamous “models and bottles.”
Just like Ari Gold, this one’s partially my fault since I’ve mentioned it so many times.
At clubs in New York (or any other big city), you can pay a couple hundred dollars to get your own table and expensive alcohol – this is called “bottle service.”
In theory, you win the attention of attractive members of the opposite sex and enjoy your 2 hours of free time per week by doing this.
Most of the time, though, you end up passing out on your apartment floor with nothing to show for it.
Females in large cities are used to being hit on all the time – and you’re nothing next to the deca-millionaires and billionaires they could get.
What If You’re Female?
So what happens at these “models and bottles” events if you’re female?
Banking is a male-dominated field – so it can be awkward for you to tag along and watch as your friends hit on other girls.
You can go out with the guys if you want, but more often than not you split up by gender.
So What Is The Culture Like?
If drug use and models and bottles are not all they’re cracked up to be, then what is the culture really like?
Check out these articles on “Stuff Investment Bankers Like”:
They were inspired by the popular blog Stuff White People Like, and describe over 20 different points of banker culture.
You’ll learn all about bankers’ favorite TV shows, holidays, and why waving a red pen around is enough to strike fear into the hearts of analysts everywhere.
Once you’re done with those, you should also check out these articles on banker lingo:
You need to understand how bankers use terms like “bandwidth,” “fire drill,” and “bake-off” – and how all that jargon affects your sleep schedule.
So that’s what banker culture is really like.
Get used to barely sleeping and consuming massive quantities of caffeine, but hold off on the cocaine – at least until you get your bonus.
P.S. Get here from an email forward, a friend’s link, or a random Google search?
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