Is a Financial Analyst Job the Right Direction for You?

By Charles Murphy and Roy Smith

Remember that the training is all about establishing a reputation for being professionally reliable, which means getting the work done accurately and on time...

The recent death of a 22-year old first-year analyst at a Wall Street firm has prompted much reflection. As former investment bankers, we believe the analyst track cannot only impart lessons about the industry, but also about management.

Financial analyst jobs are highly valued for the training, prestige and future opportunities they provide. They are widely sought by the most competitive students from all over the world. They also pay very well (for 22 year-olds). But they do come with an expectation of 80-100 hour workweeks and a total immersion in the firm that allows very little time for developing a “real life.” It has been this way since anyone can remember.

Part of the reason for this intensity is the unpredictability of activity in capital markets, which includes prospecting for and executing new issues of securities, IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. This year’s activity level, for example, is considerably higher than last year’s. When activity levels surge it is all hands on deck, something everyone knows.

Read full article as published in Financial Times

Charles Murphy is a Professor of Management Practice. Roy C. Smith is the Kenneth G. Langone Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and a Professor of Management Practice.