Their shirts are super starched, their shoes are so shiny, you can see your reflection perfectly in them. Everyone has a fresh haircut and looks sharp. First day as an investment banker is a day to impress.
You make your way to the reception area and look through the numerous nametags until you find your assigned mentee. There’s a huge smile on this guy’s face, that you almost want to run up and put on a pair of shades to protect your eyes from the glare coming off his freshly polished teeth. After an overly enthusiastic handshake, you introduce yourself, and learn that it is such a pleasure to meet you. He has always wanted to rub shoulders with the high and mighty investment bankers like yourself. How exciting. You scratch your head, wondering what this kid is on. You certainly don’t have the same level of enthusiasm each morning when you look yourself in the mirror. Sure, you look like an i-banker, you sound like and i-banker, you dress like an i-banker, but so does every other i-banker! As is that a good thing?
Damn. This kid has got issues.
Being asked about how he sees his career moving forward at the firm, the kid breaks into a monologue about how he’s always wanted to work at this firm, with some of the greatest bankers on the street, learning from the best, working with the best, chilling with the coolest, and serving the richest. This is his dream and he’s finally going to live it. Amazing.
You decide to change tact, and ask him about his spare time and what he likes to do with it, as you desperately struggle to find anything you may have in common with this poor misguided kid. You realize, however, this kid has no hope when he tells you that he likes to practice financial modelling in his spare time so that he can be a better analyst when he starts. Weekends? Catching up on all the articles in the week’s Financial Times that he didn’t have time to read.
Ok, change of track once again. You ask him about networking, fitting in and how he sees himself in the firm’s corporate culture and that’s when a ray of light appears. The big smile is replaced with a serious face, as he intimates that this is something he would very gladly have your advice on. He has heard that declaring oneself as a minority banker in whatever way, adds value to you as an asset of the firm, as investment banks are keen on maintaining diversity in the workplace.
He reckons, though, that a single minority is simply not good enough, so he wants your advice on how to do a double combo, slotting himself into two or three categories. His plan, is to become active in two ethnic minority programmes at the firm from day one, and also join the gay and lesbian group organised by HR. What he wants from you – to give an opinion on how “unfireable” this would make him!
So here you go, this kid who has gotten custom designed stripes on his neckties, so that they slope upwards as it’s “a bull market” does have a sense of humour – albeit not being aware of it himself!
Damn, this kid has got issues