Ask Brock Fantasia: INTENSITY!

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[Editor's Note: It has been suggested that we need an advice columnist for DealBreaker, so we went out an found one. Meet Brock Fantasia.]
Brock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.
After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.
[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
Hi, Brock here. Today’s topic is INTENSITY. Why do I capitalize INTENSITY? If you don’t know, you must not work as an INVESTMENT BANKER at JPMorgan, and you definitely need to keep reading.
You’re slamming your third Red Bull, even though it tastes like strained horse urine and is merely meant to disguise cheap vodka, which is usually crudely labeled in Cyrillic and tastes like a wet potato fart. Capping in the home stretch of a satisfying 130 hour week on a Saturday night, now more awake than ever, you wonder what people used to do before Red Bull invented amino acids.
You must be asking, “How do you do it Brock? How do you work a 130 hour week and still emerge with a smile on your face?” The answer is livestock-grade lithium. Lithium and INTENSITY.
I first learned about true INTENSITY as an undergraduate at Penn Wharton... (More after the jump.)


First of all, it takes INTENSITY to not have the math prerequisites required to get into Professor Ramaswamy’s Financial Derivatives class and audit it anyway. You need permission to audit that class. That permission only comes to those with INTENSITY. A “special needs” student classification and INTENSITY.
Secondly, it takes INTENSITY to stand outside of the Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance, Jeremy Siegel’s office with a boom-box playing “In Your Eyes” until he comes out to silence you (twice!) or sends a direct liaison in a campus police uniform. Defying the convention of normal office hours takes INTENSITY.
Now, I understand that most of you weren’t college athletes like me. After a tough intramural volleyball game, our bodies only had a week to recover, barring the myriad of forfeits when a team couldn’t be fielded. Damnit Mei-Ling, you knew we needed at least two girls to show up. I don’t care if you have a problem set due and your knee-pads are in the wash. That totally cost us the 7-seed in the playoffs. Curve-setting bitch.
Some would argue that the dedicated “set” man in the “bump-set-spike” trifecta is arguably the least strenuous position in semi-competitive co-ed intramural volleyball. I can’t help it if I have sensitive inner-forearms and am not as “vertical” as some of my teammates. So lay off. Every fierce spike needs a set man, just like every Maverick needs a Goose, every Captain needs a Tennille, and every ex-girlfriend of mine seems to “need” a restraining order. Regardless of our role, we ran our bodies ragged during that 3 and a half week season. That’s really where I began to question what I was made of. Was I going to be just another glob of lipids, or was I going to be a glob of lipids connected by the sinewy stalks of INTENSITY?
Our staffer recently implemented an INTENSITY rubric to gauge how busy we were at the bank in weekly staffing updates. Her instructions were to rank the intensity of each project worked on from 1 to 5. What a fantastic idea. Take that, people who thought staffing was completely arbitrary and fell to people in the order of highest pain thresholds.
My advice for the week is that you should develop your own INTENSITY rubric, showing just how much INTENSITY you have. Don’t be confined to pre-existing INTENSITY rubrics, or even non-existent ones. By sending your staffer a weekly update, she will be constantly reminded that you exist, instantly rocketing you up the queue of available people to staff on purely client service pitches.
Below is the INTENSITY rubric I currently use to rank my projects. Don’t just include a number, but a helpful real-world example as to what each number represents. I recommend sending this legend in email form to your staffer every week, with all your current projects and where they rank. It will pay large dividends. Large, special dividends.
Brock Fantasia’s current INTENSITY rubric:
1.An assortment of women wearing nothing but precious metals over their naughty bits feeding you seedless grapes and fanning you with palm fronds, convinced that you are a deity
2.You have to DVR new episodes of Laguna Beach, but life is still fairly comfortable
3.You still have time to take care of most vital bodily functions like the expulsion of excess liquid or solid waste, eating and sleeping without your Blackberry vibrating more than a coin-operated canopy bed in Vegas
4.The tingling means it’s working
5.Loss of major motor function, complete shutdown of the endocrine system
6.A weekend at East German swim camp
7.A stint in a Siberian salt mine while your “comrades” are in heat
8.If a medical student were to give a complete diagnostic, you’d need immediate transfusions
9.Seeing ex-Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers in a negligee, (i.e. bleeding from the eyes)
10.More stressful than parking valet jobs in Fallujah
There you have it. By sending this helpful staffing update every week, not only will the staffer have a much more vivid sense of what you’re working on, but you will inevitably get put on more, less-important, one-off projects. Soon you can be working 130 hour weeks like me! Everyone knows that the person who spends the most time at the bank is the winner. And that winner can be you. It’s something I strive for every week. Who lit the firecracker in my ass, you ask? Those proctological pyrotechnics were supplied by INTENSITY.

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