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Fewer Perks and More Work for Wall St.’s Summer Interns

I've worked weekends at the old shop before to make sure the data got in correctly. Usually another colleague was there with me. I didn't mind it too much--after all, it was another opportunity to show dedication.

(The fact that this ultimately proved next-to-irrelevant is a different story.)
 
Well, this is what those interns get for not knowing how to data parse.

And honestly, cry me an F*ing river. To me, "I had to work 85 hours last week!" translates to "I learned for 85 hours last week and showed my dedication!"

I'm also not sure these kids realize what the point of Wall Street is--the entire point of the financial industry is that rather than work from 25 to 67 or 70 or whatever the SS/retirement age for us Gen Y'ers will be (like I care, I intend to get successful before then to not have to depend on entitlements), it's to work your ass off for a good 10-20 years, become out-of-your-mind rich, and then then know that you can sneeze on the cost of your kids' college educations, have a vacation home on both coasts in the U.S., and live a life knowing that the financial plagues that obliterate so many families (*raises hand*) will not be visiting your house if you're not absolutely stupid with what you do with your earnings.

So either suck it up, or take a 9-5 5-figure job for the rest of your days. Because in my case, I'd love to trade places with them.

You are unbelievably deluded. You are very, very unlikely to become out-of-your-mind rich as an employee in financial services, particularly in only 10-20 years.
 
Financial services? Who says anything about providing a service? You go into finance to learn how to put together a business or a trading strategy that makes a killing. If you're not in finance to win at the game of numbers, then what are you there for? To provide a "service"? To whom? To what end? Do you still see the financial industry as "financial services"?

Finance is the most remunerative industry on the face of the planet, and if you want to complain about any price you have to pay for that wealth, then you shouldn't be in the industry, and can always feel free to leave and do your own thing.

In the meantime, Wall Street interns comparing over long hours = LOL.
 
Oh well, at least ilya isn't trying trying to tell you the benefit to society will be that he "provides liquidity" ;)

It's not my impression that many people go into finance (at least, "quant finance") to learn how to put together a business, assuming you mean run a business, own and operate your own business. I've been wrong before though.

As a final note, I think that the fact that your "chance to show dedication", ultimately resulted in a total burn, is entirely relevant. More face time cost you your life, and apparently paid out little upside? How can you work to prevent that happening again? A big part of job satisfaction has got to be feeling at least mildly appreciated, no?
 

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
Beyond Private Equity, finance isn't the place to go to learn how to run a business. Nor is it simply a place to go to "make a killing.". The Street is littered with the metaphorical bodies of those who came into the business for a fast buck and ended up doing hard work for not a lot of money. Do it because you like the markets. Do it for the challenge of a dynamic working environment. Do it to work with smart, motivated people. Don't do it just for the money.
 
That was a sports betting shop off of exit 7 on the NJ Turnpike. Not a formal trading position. If you get into a BB, you really should have no right to complain.
 
Beyond Private Equity, finance isn't the place to go to learn how to run a business. Nor is it simply a place to go to "make a killing.". The Street is littered with the metaphorical bodies of those who came into the business for a fast buck and ended up doing hard work for not a lot of money. Do it because you like the markets. Do it for the challenge of a dynamic working environment. Do it to work with smart, motivated people. Don't do it just for the money.

And there's this too. But I was already under the assumption that people go to Wall Street because they already find the markets fascinating, and wanted to work with the best and the brightest. And by business, I meant financial business (IB, PE, VC, prop trading/quant shop), not just any random business. Sorry if I was unclear. Once again, engineering/stats major, not English =P.

@Dale: that was just a case with really crappy timing. In fact, my first week, after 70 hours put in, I was told to cut back. And I certainly was appreciated, and was told as much by the managing partner. The end of the opportunity was simply due to the firm not moving in the stat-arb direction anymore.
 
Funny, i recall reading an interview with Oliver Stone after he directed "Wall Street", and he was disgusted because, to paraphrase, "people were coming up and saying to me, they were going to be doctors and engineers, but after seeing my movie and the money to be made, they wanted to work on Wall Street". No mention of finding the markets fascinating ;)

Bummer about the first job and the way it ended. Fingers crossed for the future, eh.
 
Can't dwell on it. I just hope I don't look like damaged goods. Got a bunch of interview processes going, but the one at adMarketplace ended with a whimper without me ever getting a coding assignment. In its place I got two more interviews at internet startups in NYC. Usually if I can get someone on the phone, I'm pretty confident I can go places in the interview process because I can try and haggle an assignment to program on my own time, which is how I got the first job.

But it's just a case of "can't dwell on the past, got to keep moving forward", and now that I know a prominent R-quant who has connections in several universities (U Washington, U of C, northwestern, UIC), my chances of a PhD acceptance are better. But also a bit spooked over the idea of somehow getting a job at a startup, taking out a lease for a year, then having things diverge 4-8 months down the line and having a credit event on my credit history.

I mean I suppose you only live once, and I'm attracted to data-driven startups and proprietary trading companies and hedge funds--aka the most hypercompetitive places on planet Earth. But I'll take the downs with the ups, because no matter the failures, I can always say "I tried".
 
Can't dwell on it. I just hope I don't look like damaged goods. Got a bunch of interview processes going, but the one at adMarketplace ended with a whimper without me ever getting a coding assignment. In its place I got two more interviews at internet startups in NYC. Usually if I can get someone on the phone, I'm pretty confident I can go places in the interview process because I can try and haggle an assignment to program on my own time, which is how I got the first job.

But it's just a case of "can't dwell on the past, got to keep moving forward", and now that I know a prominent R-quant who has connections in several universities (U Washington, U of C, northwestern, UIC), my chances of a PhD acceptance are better. But also a bit spooked over the idea of somehow getting a job at a startup, taking out a lease for a year, then having things diverge 4-8 months down the line and having a credit event on my credit history.

I mean I suppose you only live once, and I'm attracted to data-driven startups and proprietary trading companies and hedge funds--aka the most hypercompetitive places on planet Earth. But I'll take the downs with the ups, because no matter the failures, I can always say "I tried".
Damn man you sound like a bummy loser!!! I hope you put in 100 hrs at the start up..that is if you do get the job lol
 
A bummy loser? It's just the way of it. And yeah, I do intend to put in the hours wherever. I tried putting in the hours at the last position and got told not to try and grind things so I could be more alert in critical hours. After all, the more work I put in while I'm young, the more I can learn -> the faster I can go where I need to be and not have to worry about money later.

I suppose when you're not an immigrant you tend to complain about the loss of "perks". All I care for is an intellectually stimulating job.
 
Ilya - you come across as quite naive and try hard. Maybe relax a bit and be yourself and people might warm to you more - both in real life and online. Maybe also consider gaining some experience in another industry before making the jump to finance..
 
A bummy loser? It's just the way of it. And yeah, I do intend to put in the hours wherever. I tried putting in the hours at the last position and got told not to try and grind things so I could be more alert in critical hours. After all, the more work I put in while I'm young, the more I can learn -> the faster I can go where I need to be and not have to worry about money later.

I suppose when you're not an immigrant you tend to complain about the loss of "perks". All I care for is an intellectually stimulating job.
What are you talking about "when your not an Immigrant"? The majority of "Americans" are immigrants unless your Native American which in this case I would excuse you, but it's highly likely that your not so go get a life. Do you even understand the statement you made and do you acknowledged the fact that there is a great deal of so called "Immigrants" who are in the finance industry and are also members of this site? According to Barny you sound very naive and should consider gaining experience in some other industry.
p.s. go become a rapper or something lol
 
What are you talking about "when your not an Immigrant"? The majority of "Americans" are immigrants unless your Native American which in this case I would excuse you, but it's highly likely that your not so go get a life. Do you even understand the statement you made and do you acknowledged the fact that there is a great deal of so called "Immigrants" who are in the finance industry and are also members of this site? According to Barny you sound very naive and should consider gaining experience in some other industry.
p.s. go become a rapper or something lol

I don't mean "descendant of immigrants". I mean did you, yourself, personally, at one point or another, come across from another country of your original birth into the United States on a plane/ship?

I've read articles in the past before on why the U.S. is dependent upon immigrants and the long story short is that the original parents make great sacrifices so that the kids could achieve something. The kids, seeing how hard their parents work, study STEM. Their kids, seeing how hard they work, decide to take it easy and go for a law/business degree, but still wary of how hard their parents work. Then, the third generation just decides to follow mom and dad and go get the usual non-STEM degree.

(And then when they intern for a wall street bank because of being a legacy kid from mom and dad's connections, they whine about the lack of perks).

Or so I've read.

As for "another industry", well, I don't confine myself to finance. If I get a job in internet analytics, I'll go for that. If I can get a job at a market research firm in which I'm not tied down to SPSS because nobody understands R, then why not? Data analysis is the same fun, different day. The methods and disciplines are similar, as is the application.

In any case, I still stand firmly by my point that being able to work in the financial industry is a privilege in and of itself. Even if you're working 100 hours a week tied to an excel spreadsheet or pitchbook looking for stray grammar errors, you're still in a far better position than most people, and there's a stack of resumes a foot high that want your literal exact position, both in terms of a career, and in the physical space you occupy.

The idea that anybody in the financial industry has a right to complain, in general, is pretty much silly to me. If you don't like it, find another industry.

Or does anyone really think these interns have a leg to stand on?
 
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