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A (long) day in the life of a Goldman Sachs analyst

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Goldman Sachs and other banks have instituted new policies to better the work-life balance of their youngest staffers, including banning work on Saturdays and pushing senior bankers to stop assigning work unnecessarily at the last minute. Still, the expectations are very clear: if you are an intern or an incoming analyst you’ll need to work extremely hard and put in plenty of hours if you want to make it.

We took part in a recent Goldman Sachs webinar designed to provide potential recruits a window into what it’s like working as a graduate student or fresh full-time hire within the investment bank. The 30-minute video went through some of the basics of the industry and the attributes you’ll need to be successful, but the most interesting aspect was a breakdown on a “day in the life of an analyst.”

The two main takeaways: you’ll likely be working on multiple projects across different teams, and it’s a long, long day. Get used to eating at your desk. Below is a breakdown of a potential day at Goldman for an intern or analyst, courtesy of the bank’s recent presentation.

  • Check Blackberry for VP/MD response to last night’s draft for Team A.
  • Arrive at office, check remaining email, eat breakfast at desk.
  • Conference call with Team B and lawyers to discuss next steps on live deal.
  • Team A associate/VP comes by with mark-ups, involving text change and new data table.
  • Grab lunch in the cafeteria, bring back to desk in time for 12:00pm call.
  • Client B team call with GS credit team.
  • Work on Team A pitch book, send revised version/updated Excel model to associate/VP for tweaking.
  • Drop off pages, grab coffee/snack, read news online.
  • Call with Team B, Client B CEO and CFO and lawyers to relay next steps based on morning conversation.
  • Convene in Team B MD’s office with VP and associate to debrief from call, VP begins to sketch out “shell”.
  • Pick up dinner at Whole Foods with other analysts in the group.
  • Eat dinner, print copies of Team A pitch book for meeting tomorrow, send book to production center.
  • Team B VP drops off shell, set up pages in PowerPoint and send to associate/VP for review.
  • Go to gym downstairs.
  • Check in with Team B Associate/VP who will review shell, get started on materials tomorrow, go home.

 

Goldman didn’t breakdown the hours, but needless to say it’s a full workday. Jerry Lee, an investment banker at Goldman who helped lead the presentation, admitted to working until 3 a.m. during many days as an intern. His main takeaways for students was that, as cliché as it sounds, you’ve got to love the job and come in chomping for more every day. Those who find the above exhausting rather than exciting likely aren’t cut out for investment banking.

Click here to check out the full presentation and some different webinars on Goldman’s other divisions.

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