Is working as a junior banker-- whether at JP Morgan, Citi or Goldman Sachs-- a soul-sucking enterprise? Between the hundred-hour work weeks, the verbal abuse, and the intimate relationship one is all but forced to enter with Excel, does it often make people wonder "What am I doing with my life?" Can it at times be completely and totally mind-numbing? Depending on your disposition, the answers to all of these questions could very well be yes.
Still, it's fun to watch a first year summer intern at a hedge fund, riding high from his 5 weeks on the buy-side, declare a position as an analyst at Goldman Sachs so far beneath him that he wouldn't take the gig if you paid him, as working alongside individuals with such puny brains would physically pain him.
Business Insider spoke to some of these young people and learned why banks like Goldman Sachs have become a "backup plan" for them. "A monkey could do the job" of a junior banker, said one Ivy League student who's currently interning at a hedge fund. At investment banks, interns tend to be Excel jockeys, filling in spreadsheets, creating PowerPoints, and generally doing less fulfilling work. At hedge funds, on the other hand, the interns said they have a bit more responsibility to make real decisions about investments...The buy-side interns we spoke to agreed that "banking isn't the most intellectually stimulating job." And, they said, anyone who's gunning for a career on the buy-side would be "taking it slow" by first spending two years at a bank.