By Brandon Mavleos – Sr. Director of Product Marketing
The relationships, learning, and experiences you encounter through your MBA are unmatched. However, for those ambitious students who have secured a full-time IB offer, getting ‘back to work’ will undoubtedly have challenges.
As part of our #iblifehacks series, we had the chance to speak with Stella Binkevich – an Associate at Moelis & Company, and a proud CBS alumnus, on her experience joining IB post-MBA. We put together a few pointers for MBA students who are starting their Associate program or will be in the future.
Start with patience.
“The learning curve is steep, and on some days, it can even feel vertical…”
You’ve enjoyed your MBA experience, and as you get ready to graduate, you start thinking about starting your new job. Now, you’re ready to go! With all that excitement, it is also essential to remind yourself that your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time to learn and digest as much information as possible. The learning curve is steep, and on some days, it can even feel vertical.
Additionally, the more you care about the learning, the easier it will be. Enjoy the process, take the time to ask questions, and realize that you are not expected to be delivering maximum value on day 1. This will alleviate a lot of anxiety and make you more effective in the long run.
Get to know the Analysts.
“Try getting to know at least 3 or 4 Analysts – it will really help you down the road…”
When starting on the job, it’s expected that you get to know your peers. You might naturally gravitate to other Associates on the team who are starting simultaneously or more senior bankers whom you’ll be working with on deals. However, it is just as important to establish relationships with the Analysts as well.
Second-year Analysts bring a wealth of knowledge to the table, and that cannot be overlooked. Not only have they started to build relationships internally, but they have also acquired a lot of experience working on deals over the past year. That’s why it’s important to have humility – do the work, ask questions, or even redo some projects in the background if you need to.
You also have entire class of first-year Analysts that you can start to build relationships with as soon as training starts. First-year Analysts tend to work so much and are thus able to get up the learning curve quickly. Given that they are doing a lot of the foundational work (which you’ll be checking) – they can really make or break your life on deals and assignments. Try getting to know at least 3 or 4 Analysts – it will really help you down the road!
Finally, it’s important to remind yourself that you bring a tremendous amount of career experience to the table. As you build a rapport with junior bankers, there is a valuable opportunity to share advice on recruiting, professional experiences, and soft skills. Mutual respect will organically develop and these tight relationships go a long way.
Bring your whole self to work.
“It is vital to get to know people as who they really are…”
Investment banking is, without a doubt, hard work. You are going to be putting in nights, weekends, etc. However, with that comes the deep comradery and friendships you will develop with your co-workers. It is vital to get to know people as who they really are. That will foster trust which that allows each other to go the extra mile on assignments. Do favors for others when you can. Join networking groups that you can identify with. Most importantly, let your personality shine!
Investment banking is a relationship business – and with an increasingly diverse set of personalities in the space, there is room for everyone. However, it is important to recognize that the transition to a more diverse workplace starts with each one of us. Get involved in groups at work that speak to your personal and professional goals. Engage in thoughtful discussion and provide honest feedback where they may be biases – it makes a difference.
For more career tips from industry veterans, check out 5 Career Hacks for New and Future Dealmakers (Infographic).