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

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?

You do realise that your own perception of "good position" is different to everybody else's? Because you are desperate to get into finance and consider people doing 100 hour weeks as privileged, does not mean they agree with your sentiment. The same way that you moan about not getting a job all the time, yet a famine struck Somalian probably thinks you're ungrateful because you have food to eat, a roof over your head, and clothes to wear. Perhaps you should start looking at life with more open eyes and consider things from other people's perspective. There are people who are not privileged and weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths who would still consider working 100 hours a week an obscenity.
 
You do realise that your own perception of "good position" is different to everybody else's? Because you are desperate to get into finance and consider people doing 100 hour weeks as privileged, does not mean they agree with your sentiment. The same way that you moan about not getting a job all the time, yet a famine struck Somalian probably thinks you're ungrateful because you have food to eat, a roof over your head, and clothes to wear. Perhaps you should start looking at life with more open eyes and consider things from other people's perspective. There are people who are not privileged and weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths who would still consider working 100 hours a week an obscenity.

It's not just finance. There are many industries right now that are hypercompetitive. If you by chance (and you need plenty of chance) happen to get a position, why should it be fun, games, kittens, and rainbows? There's a reason it's called WORK. And yes, I wouldn't want to be doing 100 hour work weeks editing commas. But that's why I don't apply to IB positions. If some people consider the work an obscenity, why do they keep it? If this internship work isn't what you want to be doing as an analyst (because odds are, it's very similar to what you'll be doing as an analyst), then you can simply walk away at the end of it. Now maybe it didn't match your preconceived notions of what it would be (which is a very legitimate complaint--for instance, I got sold on actuarial science as math and engineering, of which it was a far cry from either), but that on your previous internships your manager took you to a theme park and this internship you're working longer hours?

I believe I have the same philosophy on work as Gene Simmons: it's an opportunity to do something. If you don't want that opportunity, then kindly let the next person have it. No position is perfect. But at least know that what you have is good.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Ilya, while I certainly get your sentiment, this sort of thing happens in everything ranging from menial retail jobs up to the NFL, and the same arguments have been played out time and again.

I've seen guys in retail who complain about not making enough turn down rare opportunities to earn 1.5x on overtime (this while in the recession).

I've heard of NFL players complaining about having long practices, not getting paid enough, etc.

Of course to you, it sounds ridiculous - people who get paid to play a game complaining. But try going out and getting yourself beat up for 3 hours every day. Try making gobs of money for your employer but only seeing an incredibly small slice of it. Your tune may yet change.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
To expand on the NFL point, this same internal debate has been going on since the times that players could NOT make enough to support themselves on football alone (60s-70s), through the current big money years. Always the same arguments... you're getting paid to play a game... you're lucky to be in the league; working conditions are bad, we're always beat up... etc.
 
Your words don't add up to your actions. Not everyone wants to be completely miserable every waking hour at work, and some do strive to find balance between work that is somewhat interesting to do. More over, in your case it goes well beyond that. Why didn't you take that trading job again?

Perhaps you should practice more of what you preach.

inb4 Yike - NFL players shouldn't complain ;)

Why didn't I take which trading job again? You mean the offer from that sports betting shop in freehold where I had to work 80 hours a week with no benefits for 40000 a year? Well, as I'd later find out, their practice isn't exactly legal in the U.S., and I was actually concerned over my health. Not to mention that I *was* considering it but everyone I asked told me I could do better.

@ Yike: I do agree about concussions being an issue in the NFL. That's a much different discussion than "practices that are too long". Practice is the reason that teams do as well as they do :P.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
@ Yike: I do agree about concussions being an issue in the NFL. That's a much different discussion than "practices that are too long". Practice is the reason that teams do as well as they do :p.
There's an optimal point. More practice => better preparation. But also, more practice => players taking more punishment, injury risks etc. Of course I am talking about long full-contact style practices.
 
It's not just finance. There are many industries right now that are hypercompetitive. If you by chance (and you need plenty of chance) happen to get a position, why should it be fun, games, kittens, and rainbows? There's a reason it's called WORK. And yes, I wouldn't want to be doing 100 hour work weeks editing commas. But that's why I don't apply to IB positions. If some people consider the work an obscenity, why do they keep it? If this internship work isn't what you want to be doing as an analyst (because odds are, it's very similar to what you'll be doing as an analyst), then you can simply walk away at the end of it. Now maybe it didn't match your preconceived notions of what it would be (which is a very legitimate complaint--for instance, I got sold on actuarial science as math and engineering, of which it was a far cry from either), but that on your previous internships your manager took you to a theme park and this internship you're working longer hours?

I believe I have the same philosophy on work as Gene Simmons: it's an opportunity to do something. If you don't want that opportunity, then kindly let the next person have it. No position is perfect. But at least know that what you have is good.

Logic 101. False dichotomy. There are a range of points between "WORK" and "FUN" which are the only possibilities you seem to think exist. Clearly, for these interns and prospective employees, fewer perks and longer hours has conflicted with their own personal balance which they believe will make them happy. And whatever you read before you go into an internship, the reality is almost certainly going to be different - so far as I can tell these guys aren't moaning about the fact that their internships were everything they expected them to be, they're moaning about the fact that they weren't. Hence, they probably are going to "simply walk away at the end of it" as you put it. I don't see why you need to attack them for saying that.
 
There's an optimal point. More practice => better preparation. But also, more practice => players taking more punishment, injury risks etc. Of course I am talking about long full-contact style practices.

Do players actually have full contact practices in NFL? In the UK we have a similar sport - Rugby, and teams only have full contact during league games.
 
Why didn't I take which trading job again? You mean the offer from that sports betting shop in freehold where I had to work 80 hours a week with no benefits for 40000 a year? Well, as I'd later find out, their practice isn't exactly legal in the U.S., and I was actually concerned over my health.

Hang on a minute - I'm getting a sense of deja vu?
 
Hang on a minute - I'm getting a sense of deja vu?

Yes, you're calling me out on telling the Wall Street interns not to complain. And I stand by that stance. My point is this: with a job, there is simply a two choice alternative: you stick with the job, or you walk away from the job. I asked for advice on the offer, weighed my options, and declined it, and that was that. What I'm against is taking a job and then moaning about how you don't like it. With a job, either you like it enough to continue doing it, or you don't like it, value your time more, and walk away.

At least with interns. I mean later on, you may have a family to support and other reasons you can't drop a job you dislike. But with internships, if you don't like what you're doing, just walk away. There is no such thing as a perfect job. But to whine about it IMO is just unbecoming. If you so don't like what you're doing, step aside, because you can rest assured that there will be a candidate who will be more grateful than you for your exact position.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Well on this point I agree with Ilya: either do something about it or get out of the way. Doing something about it could be complaining to your superiors to get things changed, or walking away, but it does not entail whining on a forum.

Barny: it is the perogative of the coach. Most of our practices in high school were full contact, and I'm sure the pro-level is more optimized to make sure you don't beat up your players too much, but if the coaches want to they can run you into the ground.
 
Doing something about it could be complaining to your superiors to get things changed

An old manager of mine had a policy: If you complained to him about ANYTHING, it became YOUR job to fix it (legal issues aside, of course)

On a personal level I would tend to agree. You are only allowed to complain if you are actively trying to change your situation - in my books, anyhow.
 
What exactly is whining going to do even in public? If I was the manager at that BB, my response would be "if you don't like it, here's the stack of resumes we get every year for analyst positions. Nobody's forcing you to stay."

At the end of the day, they're just analysts. So what if they have a slightly better pedigree? If they have a bad attitude about working, then they can be culled for the next guy who has no problems doing 60-100 hour workweeks at the drop of a hat with no reward except the usual Wall Street salary.
 
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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_States#Pre-Columbian

Classic nonsense argument about who a true American is. If you want semantics, Native Americans weren't necessarily from North America either. Hah.
Ilya clearly was not insulting immigrants. He was indirectly insulting non-immigrants.

Additionally, try not to post when you're drunk/haven't passed 2nd grade grammar-- it makes you look "very naive."
 
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