College
by Lance Pauker on March 28, 2013

*Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is not necessarily the point here, but the fact remains that this shit is (and has been) very much happening.

While I have exactly zero personal experience in the field (this should be obvious), I’ve spent the better half of the last decade tangentially immersed in the lifestyles of the Chase and the Barclays–I went to a school very much “in the pipeline,” half my friends are getting their M&A’s on 90 hours a week (the rest of which is spent buying us poors shots), and the Jacob to my Man In Black, my older brother, has been on the grind for the past few years now. I even made a senior thesis documentary somewhat related to the whole thing.

In other words, my raging case of little brother syndrome has prompted me to (a. possibly throw my life away via the insufferable millennial need to do something “cool” for a living, and (b. because of that, have become an unlicensed cultural commentator on the craze. So in that spirit, here are 9 sweet ways to totally #makeit as a person who aspires to “summer” in the Hamptons:

1. Brush Up On Your Alpha-Male Movie Quotes

You always get the semi-toolish comparison that working at a bank is like “pledging a professional frat.” Likely because you get that same high-octane environment predicated on male camaraderie, which is really just the working-world version of being on a high school sports team.

Meaning, you guys are on some sort of greater mission, the type that’ll put everything you’ve got to the test while still maintaining your poise and commitment to charismatic awesomeness. Talk to me, Goose.

2. Be Really Short, or Really Tall

5 ft. 8 inches > x < 6 ft. 2 inches

x = probably not in finance.

3. Cross the Line Every Once in Awhile

Any job comprised of a bunch of Go Gettas (trap all day, play all night), will have a tendency to push things to the brink. Whether that be going the extra mile on a report, staying at the office an additional three hours, or making possibly insensitive comments about others, this is a culture predicated on excess. Meaning that if you’re in it, there’s no point in not celebrating it–or at the very least, recognizing its novelty.

This of course, is often a dangerous practice. The Goldman Sachs Elevator Twitter seems a bit too stereotypical to base everything on, and Jordan Belfort’s midget-tossing escapades would probably blow up on instagram/the blogs nowadays. But if that sort of thing is considered crossing the line, the line is obviously a bit elevated. Again, not entirely a bad thing–you’ve gotta be a little nuts if you wanna make it big. 

4. Perfect Your Two-Sentence-Long “Meeting Friends While Out at 2 a.m.” Script

Must include:

  • How fuckin’ exhausted you are
  • How late you had to stay at the office one night this week (not worth mentioning if 1 am or earlier)
  • The phrase “this big deal” in conjunction with the phrase “is going down” in conjunction with the phrase “I can't really talk about it”
  • How this is your first time out in like a month
  • A general air of premature cynicism and detached superiority

banker bro pic via shutterstock

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5. Properly Prepare to Be Better Than Everyone Else

Again, this is not intended to mock. It’s not so much a choice to become a Park Avenue Tycoon as it is an earned privilege, which is half the reason why people end up ruthlessly mocking the profession in the first place. We won’t address whether or not the greed is justifiable here, but this “greed” (others would call it working twice as much as normal people) does bring in the cash flow. And with that, comes a certain ability to do things.

Meaning, don’t bat your eyes at talks of private jets, luxury boxes, and multi-million dollar summer homes. Mentally ready yourself for having poor creative friends, and really try your hardest not to approach every situation with a “my life is going A LOT better than yours” condescension. It won’t be easy. But it will be respected.

6. Make Great Use of Sports-Related Buzzword Jargon

Deals are “on the five yard line,” though some annoying shit might be trying to make “a goal line stand.” 

7. Lessen Your Facebook Activity Considerably

If there is any visible evidence that people with these sorts of jobs don’t do anything except their job, it’s that once immersed, their Facebook will magically go un-updated for at least three months at a time. I find this admirable, and am admittedly jealous. 

8. Make It Known That You Read “the Trades” 

Tough to do when the only social media you’ve got is a sparsely updated locked twitter account with less than a hundred followers, but this is obviously huge. A good way to get around this is to bring at least one finance friend to every social gathering (this will often occur organically), and spend a good deal of time discussing inter-bank gossip/articles from “the journal” that ultimately have very little to do with your particular situation.

9. Don’t Call It a Job, Call It a Lifestyle

If you’re a writer, artist, or musician, it’s very easy to claim that (insert cool-sounding  aspirational title) is “your entire life.” This is because you’ve likely perfected a way to talk about said passion with an unquestioned zeal, making sure people know that you’ll totally be successful because you’re out partying instead of working on that big screenplay.

Thing with these sorts of things is though, is that they’re all self-motivated. Nobody is forcing you to write that novel, so no matter how disciplined you may think you are, it’s probably not even comparable to those who have no choice but to work 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week. This is something that truly is your life–and if you embrace that, it’s gotta be pretty cool.

 

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