It's the industry. If you want to work in investment banking here, that's the standard. You just put the time into it.
What have been the most defining moments along your career path?
I always had an interest in finance. I wasn't sure where it would go originally, but ... Originally it was more economics-oriented, but that's not a very interesting area, so after I realized that, I changed direction to finance rather than economics. Economics itself kind of aims you at being a professor or an economics consultant.
How did you get your big breaks?
I worked for a regional bank based in New England in their operations unit. I was trading mutual funds for the money that the bank managed. Any money you manage in mutual funds, when money moved back and forth, I did that.
After junior year I interned at Smith Barney in Boston in the sales office, even though I knew I didn't want to be a salesman. It was more that line of work, so that helped it along.
What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?
To work hard and don't complain to your coworkers or your boss. Keep a good attitude and just get the job done.
What have you learned from your experience?
Each week I work between 60 and 80 hours. It's not the worst thing in the world.
My company has a car service, and the way it works is if you're working until a certain time you go outside and take the car service home by default. There are always a lot of people waiting out there after a certain hour, and basically, there's a neverending line of limos. By the same token, it's also a given that if you're going to be working late, you're going to order dinner [and it'll be paid for by the company]. Also, if you come in on the weekend, it's the same deal.
It's the industry. If you want to work in investment banking here, that's the standard. You just put the time into it. When you look around New York in the financial world, asset managers in the brokerages and banks work overnight. So there are people who have it a lot worse than I do. And I think other industries are moving towards these types of hours in this area. My girlfriend works a lot of nights until 8:00.
Depending on what path you take, the hours can either increase or decrease.
There's a sense that you're paying your dues and it'll all get easier later on, but it's a tough trade-off. One would think things will get easier, but the more you take on, the worse it gets in some ways, and while it does get more exciting, it seems to get more hectic. It all depends on what route you take. There are people who move on and end up getting more of a support staff as they move up, and more of the grunt work is done by people who are proving what they can do.
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What most excites you about your job right now?
I'm a part of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. GS is basically broken down into brokerage, investment banking, commodities trading, and asset management. In the Asset management division, we manage the money for institutional clients. It's the same type of thing as before, but it's a lot more powerful. There's a lot more money to manage, and we invest in a lot of fancy securities. It's a new position for me and a promotion really.
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It's a really good situation for me. I'm learning a lot.
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