Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rules to Live By

Today was very humid and stuffy. My apartment is on the top floor of the building so all of the heat rises into our apartment. I need to go buy a fan. Today I took advantage of a free day and did my laundry. I also spent the whole day studying for the CFA, except for when I watched the movie "Juno." It was a pretty good one - I liked the actress who played Juno. Maybe she would make a good trader.

In the afternoon I went into the office to see if anybody there needed help. Nobody did so I just sat at my desk and studied. It's nice being in a quiet place for once. Harlem is pretty loud at all hours of the day and night.

So, in concordance with some other analysts from my group, I've come up with the "10 Rules to Live by for the Summer." It's a list of things to remember as a summer analyst. Here they are:

#1: Always expect the unexpected. You should never be caught off guard and always be prepared with multiple back-up plans.

#2: Under-promise, over-deliver.

#3: If you are on time, you are late.

#4: It is always your fault. Place all successes on the team, all failures on yourself.

#5: Own the numbers.

#6: When responding to an email with your BlackBerry, remember that you have to capitalize the "e" in the "Re:" in the subject line so that it looks like you're sending it from your desktop.

#7: Attention to detail.

#8: If you don't know the answer, ask Google.

#9: If Google doesn't know, reach out to another intern.

#10: You are never "too busy." You must lead a FILO lifestyle.

Well there you have it. Those are some principles that have already been important for me during the internship. The times that I've screwed up are because I wasn't doing something on this list. Hopefully I can learn quickly so this all becomes second-nature.

Causal Friday

Fridays at the firm are nice because we can wear business casual. Today was kind of weird because I didn't really do anything as far as work goes. I finished up all my projects and started my morning by printing out a few 10-Ks and Qs and marking them up for the numbers I used from yesterday.

So, as per a suggestion from Ashton Grewal, I'm going to start mentioning what time I arrive/leave the office every day. I try to be the first person in and one of the last out (usually there's somebody staying really late, so unless I'm working on the same project as they are I don't worry about staying all night every night). On Friday I got into the office at about 8:35 AM. That's about normal for me - between 8:00 and 8:30 every day. Most of the other interns and analysts show up at about 9:00 so it gives me time to get busy on some work so I'll have questions about things I'm working on when the analysts show up.

I was put in charge of getting lunch at the Shake Shack. The tricky thing about that is that the Shake Shack is so famous that there's a huge line every day for lunch. I took all the orders, and the other interns wanted to come along, so we all left. I told everybody when we would need to leave to beat the rush. We got to the subway right as the train was pulling up, so I went through and was about to get on the train, but the other interns hadn't bought subway passes because they live so close. So we missed three trains while we waited for the other interns. I should have just gone ahead, but I decided to stick with the group.

It took 20 minutes for the next train to come, and when we go to Shake Shack (which, by the way, is across the street from Credit Suisse) there was a huge line. It ended up taking us two hours from when we left to when we got back. It was rediculous. The analysts gave us a lot of crap about it. One of them started a "rules to live by" and gave us advice on how not to screw up again like that. It was too bad because if I was on my own I would have been back in 35 minutes. Oh well - there are worse things to mess up.

I'll post the "Rules to Live By" that I've been compiling. There's some good stuff there. I also put quotes around my desk to keep me working hard. Here are some of the quotes I have up on my desk:

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine
"The common denominator for success is work." - John D Rockefeller
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier; not that thing itself becomes easier, but our capacity to do is increased." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't know if those are exact quotes because I'm just writing them off the top of my head, but it's good to have motivational stuff when you're cranking at 2am.

The group went out for drinks again (second night in a row) and I went along. I think it's better to stick with the group than to be a loner, even if I still feel like a loner when I'm there. It's just kind of weird when everybody else is drinking and you're working on a glass of Sprite. Oh well. One thing I'm trying to really work on is being more outgoing. When you're drunk, you lose inhibition and really open up, so I need to be like that without the alcohol.

The female interns in our group get a LOT of attention from the analysts and associates, especially when they wear lower-cut blouses. It's kind of annoying how much the analysts fall over themselves trying to talk and joke with the girls, but oh well. I figure that it will only get the girls so far - in the end they'll want to take somebody who can get the job done. Not that a girl couldn't do the job well, but just that it won't be the final measure of the job whether or not you look good. I think that one of the female interns made a bet with one of the second-year analysts that she could get me to drink before the summer is over. I kind of overheard it and just laughed to myself - that's $20 she'll never see again.

I left after a while to go study for the CFA. Everybody else went out to other clubs, but I needed to study so I went back to the office. I helped an associate for a little while then just stayed at my desk and studied until about 10:00. It felt weird to leave then, but there was literally nothing left to do in the office.

If you stay late you get to take a black car home, which is nice because I live so far away.
Well today I'm just studying (the CFA is next week!). I'll go into the office this afternoon to make sure nobody needs help, and to not feel bad about not coming in on Sunday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quick and dirty

Yesterday was crazy! I'm writing this on Thursday because I didn't get home from the office until 1:30am. I had my first experiences "flipping books" (basicaly you take two pitch books that have just come from printing, then you set them side by side and flip through them page by page to make sure that production didn't screw up the pages or that there aren't any typos, which, invariably there are). A few times we had to switch out the pages and rebind the books, but it wasn't so bad.

Also today I was put in charge of spreading some credit comps. Man I got nailed. The associate came over to my desk and started asking me where I was getting the numbers from that I had put into the model. I had double-checked everything, but the problem was that I hadn't printed out all of the 10-Ks, 10-Qs, and 8-Ks that I had been pulling from, so when he asked where the numbers were, I couldn't just show him. He made me go back and redo everything, but this time I had to pull all the information, highlight it, and then tab it in the K so I could show him any number at any time. He also told me that I should always have a calculator with me and should always be taking notes about everything. I should write everything down that people tell me so I never forget stuff.

It was a painful experience beacuse I felt like a moron for not doing it right the first time, but in the end the associate told me that everybody has had mistakes like those and you just have to learn from it and not make the mistake again. I'm glad it happened.

Working the longer hours hasn't been that bad yet. Time goes by so fast that you don't really notice that it's been 14 hours since you came in. It would be pretty bad if you didn't have anything to do, but luckily my group is busy and they always have things for us to be working on. Plus, the more projects that I do, the more I know and the more the analysts are willing to give me. Hopefully by the end of this summer I'll be working on some interesting stuff. Well, back to work!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to the grind

Well Memorial Day was nice. I spent it inside studying for the CFA exam and cleaning the apartment. I have a lot to learn still for the CFA, but I'm feeling good about it. Things are starting to warm up here and it's starting to get humid. I've heard that this isn't even close to what it will be in a month.

Today at work I got staffed on a project again. This time it involved working through a presentation for a client that is looking to purchase some assets and wants our firm to both provide the financing and find buyers for the debt it will incur. It's a cool project and I'm happy to have work! They gave us some accounting homework to do but working on a live deal is a LOT more exciting than more accounting worksheets.

Today I was really glad that I have done a lot of work in Excel before I started this internship. I was blowing through these spreadsheets and I got a lot done in a short amount of time. I've never done credit comps before, but today I was working through some income statements for a few companies and looking at their credit metrics. A lot of the work that I've done involves pulling 10Ks and 10Qs and checking/updating models and making sure they still flow correctly. Probably 70% of my time is spent going through company filings.

One thing that I had to learn the hard way is that when you look up information, it's really important to have a hard copy to back up any numbers you put into a model. You have to actually print out the 10K and then highlight all the stuff you are inputting so when your associate comes up and says, "Where did you get this 2007 Letters of Credit number?" you can pull out your copy and show him. Otherwise you look really stupid and then you go find the number.

Tonight I was also put in charge of ordering dinner for everybody. It sounds simple, but freakin SeamlessWeb logged me off after I had put in the first 10 orders so I had to start all over. It was the first time I've really experienced the wrath of bankers. More than a few people came by and said, "What's the status?? When will you be done with this??" It's funny that when it comes to food, the deadline was last Friday and you're already late when you start. I finally got the food ordered and then went down to pick it up. When I came back, I realized that they only delivered half of the order! Everybody gave me a hard time, but they all laughed because it wasn't my fault. It turns out the restaurant ran out of paper and only the first page of our order got printed.
The other analysts went on and on about "doing your diligence" and "attention to detail" and how I should have known to ask about the restaurant's paper status. It was funny.

I was about to leave at about 9:15 tonight when another analyst that I've worked with called me and asked if I could help him scrub a deck. That phrase sounds like something a pirate would do. That's funny. Anyway, he had me go through a 70-page deck with red pen all over it from an MD. It was crazy how bad this guy's handwriting is. Seriously - I could write better with my feet than this guy. It's like he knew that some poor analyst or intern would have to stay up half the night trying to decipher his scribble. We got through it and made the changes. I felt bad because I ended up leaving before the analyst. I probably shouldn't do that again, but I didn't really have anything else to do and my group is really big on NOT getting more face time. They always say, "If you're done, go home!!!" I like it.

Well I'm off to bed. I have to be the first one in the office tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A nice weekend

Not much to report today. I found a cool website - - that tells you the quickest way to get from one place to another using buses and subways. It saved me about half an hour on my way to Church today.

I had my blackberry on me today and was kind of dreading a call. It never came, which is great. I'm still wondering if I'll get called in tomorrow, but if so that's fine with me. My plans tomorrow are just to do laundry, study for the CFA, and relax.

I've been thinking today about how I can stand out as an intern. It's kind of hard because we all do basically the same things - just check comps, update spreadsheets and slides, and check 10Ks for information. With six interns in the group, it's hard to differentiate yourself. Everybody will do ANYTHING they are asked to do, and everybody wants to work hard and show that they are willing to work for the job.

Because my desk is kind of separated from the other analysts, it's hard for them to remember I exist. When they have work to do, they turn to the intern right next to them instead of to me. Also, I don't drink, which is a favorite past time of the group, and I wonder what they think of that. I know that I have to work hard, but it almost seems like in the end, everybody is going to work hard. They got really really top interns for this group so everybody is smart and sharp. It seems like it will come down to kind of a popularity contest. I'm not the best at schmoozing and just shooting the breeze. I'd rather get a job and then work on it for a few hours. The other interns are always walking around talking with the analysts. I wonder how much I should just buckle down and work and how much I should go and "build the relationship" with the full-time guys.

Deep thoughts for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Oh - yesterday I saw the musical "Legally Blonde" and it was actually really good. The songs were good and the actors were awesome. We got student rush tickets for cheap and we got to sit on the front row. I want to see Wicked sometime when I'm out here. After the show we went to Pinkberry. It tasted like New York. Yum.

LSO is Back!

By the way, LeveragedSellOut is finally back with a new post. It's about time!

Weekend at the office

Well things went by quickly today. I went down and worked for a while. I basically worked through some homework that they gave us and then found some old presentations and recreated them to make sure that I knew how to build all the graphs and slides that the firm uses. It was actually really helpful to go through that because I figured out how to make up all the slides that go into real presentations.

After a nice dinner from Seamless web, I went with my roommate to see "Legally Blond." It was a good show and was pretty entertaining. It was a nice Saturday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 5: Comps, & Accretive Deals

Today I went in at about 8:45. I want to try to be the first intern in every day and near the last one out. One great thing about my group is that they really don't care about face time. If you're done, you leave. The thing is that our group is the busiest at the firm, so if you're done it's a rare occasion.

I finished up the project that I started yesterday. It was basically just going through slides and updating the spreadsheets beneath them. Not too bad. I finished that before lunch and spent the rest of the day working on "homework" that we were given. We basically have to spread some comps for three companies. They gave us a comps template (which is horrible, by the way - it runs from left to right instead of up and down, so your financial statements are a pain to read) and a bunch of 10 Ks and Qs to work through. It has been a tedious process.

One cool thing today was that I got to work through an accretion/dilution model with an analyst. I don't think I could go build one myself, but I understood how it all worked and flowed. Maybe I'll try to rebuild the one he built sometime in the next few days if I don't get staffed.

We finished off the day going out for drinks. We went to a bar and every body got beers except for me. It was a little awkward, but they were pretty cool with it. I wonder if it will affect the hiring decision at all - I'm sure it will in the sense that part of it is them asking themselves if they would like to be around me all the time. If I don't drink, I don't fit in as well. Oh well - you never can go wrong doing what's right. Wow - that sounded like a MormonAd.

I thought I was going to be free this weekend, but right as I was leaving my staffer asked me, "So did you finish that project?"


"Oh great - so you have some capacity now, right? Well keep your BlackBerry on this weekend because I might need you to come in."

I haven't heard from him yet, but I'm worried that my holiday weekend might be spent at the office. We'll see...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 3-4: Unbelievable!!

Well I thought life would be interesting enough out here without all the craziness that happened yesterday. Our last day of training was pretty mundane. We had four straight hours of Excel, and in those four hours I only learned one thing. It's cool though. I'm sure for all the liberal arts kids from Harvard it was a great use of time. We also learned a bunch of stuff that I thought was useless (and I therefore didn't pay attention like I should have) and then came to the office today to find out that I needed to do exactly what I didn't listen to before. Woops. Good thing nobody else was paying attention!

So after training, they took us to a restaurant over in the City. On the way I met a life-long banker who just happened to ride the ferry and the bus with us. He was a really nice guy and was excited for me to be starting my career like he did so many years ago. This week is Fleet Week, which means that there are sailors everywhere. It's kind of weird.

The restaurant turned out to be a bar with food on the side. Everybody was drinking, and I got some pineapple juice. Pretty lame actually. I left and went home. I got to my apartment at about 8:30 and realized that I had left my key in the apartment. I live on the top floor and we're the only apartment on that floor. I figured that my roommate would be home in a while because he has always come home between 9 and 11 every night I've been here. I talked to Jenni Mae, read a book, and just waited for him to come home. I finally buzzed the door and went inside to get out of the cold. I walked up the stairs and waited outside our door.

And waited...

And waited...

And he never came home. SO on the night before I start for real in the bank, I pulled an all-nighter. Well, I did fall asleep for an hour or two just lying on the floor in the hallway, but I basically just sat there in the hallway all night long. My roommate never came home! He didn't answer his phone all night, and I still don't know what happened. It was crazy.

So at about 7am I just got up and went back to the bank. I got some breakfast and went to my desk and just waited for some people to show up.

There are six interns in my group, and they told us not to freak out if we didn't all get staffed right away. I walked around and met all of the analysts, then went back to my desk and started reading primers on MLPs, Oil & Gas, and Energy. After about two hours of that, I got an email saying that I had been put on a deal. I was the only intern that got on a deal today. It was pretty tight.

An SVP, Associate, Analyst, and I went into a conference room and the SVP basically laid out the book that we needed to put together. We talked about the company and what they are looking to do, and then that was it. He left to go fly to Sweden and we got to work. I was put in charge of about 10 slides and spent the rest of the day working on it. All the other interns went home at about 6:00 PM but I stuck around until about 10:30. I actually LOVE it. It's awesome to work on real deals and know that the work you're doing is going to be used in a presentation to the CEO in a few days. The resources available to you at a bulge-bracket bank are also amazing - you can really get anything you want. I have my own "Assistant" who basically can get me whatever I need as soon as I need it. It's great.

The other analysts in my group are really cool. Two of them in particular are pretty entertaining. One of them swears every time he speaks. It's almost unbelievable that someone can swear that much. He's really smart and helpful though, and did a lot to get things going for the interns. The other guy is basically just a baller. He's not cocky, but you know that he's a rock star.

I've come to learn that it's really important to network while you're here. I always kind of thought the game stopped when you got here, but the game just keeps on going. You have to be nice to the other interns, but deep down you know they're competition. I wonder if that's how it feels when you're full time and you're "competing" for a good bonus. Who knows.

Well it's been a LONG few days and it's already late here. I want to be the first intern in the office tomorrow and I'm hoping to finish up my work pretty quick so I won't have to come back over the holiday weekend. I really need to keep studying for the CFA too - it's in a few weeks!

Well the internship is going well after one official day. At least I can sleep in my own bed tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 2: DCM, ECM, but no SXHM

Today we had our second day of training. Most of the day was filled with lectures from different departments in the firm talking about all the resources we have available to us. It's pretty amazing. If I get staffed on a deal and need all of the 10-ks and 8-ks, research reports, financials, or anything else about the industry or whatever, I just put in an order, it's outsourced to India, and a few hours later they deliver it all to me in a big book. Amazing. They also have services where you just send them the data or model that you've made in Excel and they turn it into a finished presentation ready to go! Nice stuff.

We learned about both Debt Capital Markets and ECM. Both were actually really interesting. I never thought I would like working on one of those "buffer" groups that go between S&T and banking, but I think it would be a cool experience. The DCM and Lev Fin guys had worked on over 80 deals already this year. They touch everything that comes out of the firm - it's a cool place to get a lot of experience.

We had a two-hour-long training on the firm's policies about sexual harassment. It was actually pretty good - they gave situations that have happened in the past and had us decide if it would qualify as harassment or not. They also did that with confidentiality and other areas that we have to be careful of. We just can't be specific about anything when we talk about what we're working on. Some stories we heard were crazy - I couldn't believe that people would be a dumb as they are.

I filled in the down time playing brickbreaker on my Blackberry. I'll have to be careful that I don't let that become a habit, but the game is kind of addicting. I went and saw Steve Southwick and found out that I'll be on the same floor as him.

Well we have one more day of training. Tomorrow will be the Excel training and the introduction to DealMaven. Good thing I've already done it! I went and met the guys in my group and they seem to be pretty cool. There's a lot of work right now because the group is really busy and all of the second years just left, so we'll be busy right away. I'm looking forward to it because I want to get as much experience as I can this summer.

I love this bank. Every day when I meet more people and hear more about the firm, I'm so glad I came here. The culture fits well and I can't wait to get to work.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 1: Training and Blackberries

One day of training has come and gone. I had a crazy time just getting to where they did the training today. Because of the large analyst class, we had training in Jersey City across the Hudson from the financial district. I had to take a subway to 59th, walk to 57th, take a bus to the pier, then take a ferry across the Hudson until I finally go to the training building.

I saw a few of the people that were there when I interviewed - I guess interviews worked out for them. Everyone I talked to said that the group I'm in was their first choice - I feel more blessed than ever to be in this group. It's the top group at the bank and on the street, and it's a great time to be doing oil deals.

We spent most of the day doing administrative stuff. They showed us how to log onto a computer, gave us blackberries, got us our id cards, and had us fill out paperwork. In the afternoon there was a training on how to do comps that lasted two hours - about an hour and a half too long for what they taught. We also had a training on the cool stuff that's here to help you with powerpoint and excel. It's amazing - if I had these programs in school I could have saved myself TONS of hours of work. I did today in about 20 seconds what would have taken me 45 minutes to do. It was amazing. It made me wonder...if that only takes a few seconds, what do you spend the rest of the 100 hours a week doing?

I am surprised how many different types of people are here. There were tons of people from other countries, people of different ethnicities, and lots of female bankers too. It definitely wasn't the "white male dominant" atmosphere I had heard about. I found out that there are 6 interns in my group, so I'll have a few others there interning with me. Three of them were here last year doing the sophomore program. Since they were here last year, they got to choose their group and they all chose naty res. Hopefully I won't be behind since they've all been here before.

I do feel out of place a little because I'm from BYU. Pretty much every single person there (I know because we all introduced ourselves) goes to an east-coast school, and 90% of them are in the Ivy League. There were tons of kids from Cornell, NYU, Penn, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Emory, and other big-name schools. It was weird to be the only west-coast kid. The other thing that wasn't as fun is that everybody else has at least another person they know from school. I'm the only one who is the single person from their school. It's alright - I'll just have to really represent BYU well so we can get more next year. I think to make BYU more legit it would be good to have more people do the summer internships, not just the winternship.

On the way back I stopped to get dinner at Subway and these two girls stopped me on the street. They were missionaries for their church and were out telling the world that there is a Heavenly Mother and that the Bible proves it. They said a lot of kind of strange and interesting things, and really pressured me to meet with them again. I shared my beliefs and we kind of left it at that. It was an interesting experience.

Well tomorrow we're going down to 745 7th Ave, and I hope to meet some people in my group. I found out today that training is only 3 days long, so by Thursday I'll be on the desk and doing REAL work. Pretty crazy stuff. I'm more nervous about that than anything else. I just don't want to mess up this internship. I don't think I will though - it seems like people have pretty low expectations about interns. I've been surprised already at the attitudes of some of the interns. I feel like if I can be honest, work hard, and try and really learn as I go, things will work out. Some of these kids kind of have the attitude of, "Tell me what I need to do to get by, and that's all I'll do." They don't say that, but actions speak louder than words.

Well it was a long day of just sitting and listening to boring lectures, but it's one day closer to the real thing, and I won't complain about getting done with the day at 6:15 PM!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last Day of Summer Vacation

Well it's over. It was a nice break between school being out and starting the internship. Tomorrow is training. I'm not sure how long it will go, and how long they expect us to work this week. I'm kind of hoping for shorter hours this week while we're in training, but we'll see how it goes. I think that things might be kind of boring for the most part because I'm a finance major and have had a few accounting classes as well. We'll see.

I figured out the crazy route I have to follow to get to the training in Jersey City. One thing I love about New York is that it has a great transit system. You can get anywhere by bus, ferry, or subway.

Today I went to the Harlem 1st Ward. It was awesome! The members are really nice out here and I loved being back in Church. I'm hoping I'll make some good friends there.

Well tomorrow is the big day. I'm going to bed early so I can get some sleep, especially since that won't be happening much in the next 8 weeks!


So today I went to the temple. It was awesome, and a good way to start things off out here in New York. Shortly after that, I was walking down Broadway and this guy saw me and said to a woman he was standing with, "Well look at this nice little chubby piece of work. I would love to get some of that!" I was like, "are you serious???" Welcome to New York.

Things have been alright around here. It's frustrating because we only have internet about 20% of the time, so I wasn't able to work on things that I needed to get done.

I'm glad it's Sunday tomorrow - I'm just going to sleep all day and read scriptures. I know that time will be short for the rest of my time here.

I bought a bag today, ironed 10 shirts, and studied accounting. It's late.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Getting Started

Well I'm here! Yesterday I flew into the city, took a Taxi over to 142nd and Broadway, and unpacked. The internship starts on Monday. We have training for a few days and then it's off to work. I'm really glad I got into the group that I did. Naty Res is the best on the street and they're doing tons of deals right now.

My apartment is pretty nice. It's bigger than I expected it to be. Well, the apartment is bigger. My room is basically a bunkbed with a desk under it, and three feet of space around three sides of the bed. That's it. But I guess that's about all I need anyway. We also have a Wii with Guitar Hero III and Mario Kart, so that should keep me busy :).

I'm planning on posting every day of my internship so I'll have a good record of what happens to me. None of last year's interns could really tell me what they did on their internship, so I'm just going to make a daily record and when some Junior asks me, I'll refer them here!

It's Saturday today, and I need to iron about 12 shirts. I also really need to study accounting and CFA stuff, especially since the CFA is in a few weeks. Well... this should be fun!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Resume Review Service

So here's the deal. I've been getting some requests from people to look at their resume. I've seen tons of resumes (including reviewing resumes this summer for full-time candidates) and can give solid advice on what bankers are looking for. There are various online resume review services that are all very expensive. Mergers and Inquisitions has a good one but it's $200. If anybody wants an independent, line-by-line look at their resume, send it my way. I can make suggestions, give you some ideas, and help you get your resume looking great. And instead of charging $200 or more, it'll only cost $30.

The reason I'm charging for it is obvious - time is precious and we all have to support ourselves! That said, I want to offer a high-quality review for much less than what is available today. Here's how it would work:

You get your resume prepared. You can take your personal info off if you want. A lot more important than your address is what your resume actually says!

When you're ready, you pay the $30 through PayPal and then send me your resume. I'll go through it line-by-line and return specific comments, suggestions, and ideas that will help your resume get noticed. If you have questions, need clarification, or want me to help you change anything, just send it back and we'll do that as many times as you want until the resume is pristine and ready to be sent to any bank on the street. Often you might not know anyone at a bank, so your resume is the only chance you have of getting an interview.

If you have further questions or are ready to send me your resume, email me here.

It's the best value you'll find on the web. Enjoy!