Diary of another investment banking intern: Weeks 2, 3 & 4

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Hi again everyone. I'm very, very sorry for not updating this diary more frequently. It's not because I'm way, way too busy and have no time at all to even record an diary, it's more that whenever there is downtime, many (including me) simply choose to lie down and get some much-needed sleep.

So, after having been at the bank for one month now, what have I learnt? Actually I must admit, not a terribly large amount.

Coming from a non-finance background, I only have a very shallow understanding of what banking really is. Most of us interns spend our time editing documents, helping out, and shadowing associate and analysts. None of this requires too much brain power. At a junior level, banking seems to consist mostly of grunt work, whether it is doing Comps, pitches or DCFs.

It's amazing how banks always want to recruit best of the best. But for at least 3 or 4 years, all these best students are used for are things that even the worst students could do.

Nevertheless, I don't want to sound too unenthusiastic. The bank I work for is full of extremely intelligent people and the work truly is interesting. If you want to learn, most of it comes down to you. Do you actually want to read through and try to understand the document you're editing? I may sound like I am contradicting myself, but the learning curve is as steep as you would like it to be.

Personally, I try to read and understand as much of the grunt work I'm doing as I can. Sometimes, however, there's just not enough time to read through everything and still complete the task before the deadline.

I remember one truth told to me by a dear friend in the banking industry - "You need to have the stamina rather than brain to succeed in banking". After spending a month as an intern, this seems very true. The number of alterations and changes you have to make to a document is simply amazing. Your MD and VP will never be happy until it 1 hour before the client meeting, although the 80 changes you made during the 3 previous days make the document look virtually no different to its appearance a week before.

All in all, I have actually very oddly enjoyed my first month in the bank. It is a great place to work and people around me are very smart and nice. Banking involves long hours and you get paid better (definitely not better on an hourly basis).

It's almost become a fashion for all undergrads to say that they want to be a banker in the future. I just want to remind everyone that there are many amazing and cool jobs out there so don't just set your mind on finance straight away. It's true that banks are full of the best and the brightest but it's not true that if you are one of them, you have to be in a bank.

As for me? Banking seems to be a good path and I am enjoying the ride so far?

Click here to read week one.

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