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A Day In The Life Of A Morgan Stanley First-Year Analyst Who Wakes Up At 3 a.m. Covered In His Own Sweat And Fear, Eats When He's Allowed, Cries Alone In Elevators, And Fantasizes Every Day About Running Away

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Do you like in-depth looks at the real lives of totally real finance professionals? Of course you do!


Ichabod Munch is a busy young man indeed.

The Morgan Stanley first-year M&A analyst is fresh out of one of those small New England liberal arts colleges, and trying to make it on the bright lights of Wall Street. He previously interned at Credit Suisse where he was told to never speak of what he saw there, and has for some reason never thought about jobs outside the finance sector.

He recently shared a usual day in his life with Dealbreaker...for some reason.

Ichabod wakes up at 3 am most days.

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He meets consciousness gripped in the cold panic of existential dread, realizing that he just fell asleep 45 minutes ago and will soon be working another 18 hour day.

"I don't always beg for death in the pre-dawn darkness," he said. "But it's not outside the realm of my morning routine."

At 5 am, Ichabod stumbles out into the streets of his Manhattan neighborhood, Murray Hill. 

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Holding a hot bagel and somehow already stale coffee outside his corner deli, Ichabod squints into the streetlights at the corner of 35th St. and 1st Ave.

"It's a neighborhood full of real assholes," brags Ichabod. "I really think the people here are devoid of basic humanity. Have you been to Tonic on a Sunday afternoon?" The bagel goes into his weathered Under Armour backpack. Ichabod has lost all pleasure in the act of eating.

At 5:30 am, Ichabod starts his commute.

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He often pauses at the entrance of the uptown 6 train to make sure that the subway is not flooded or on fire, as he needs to make 2 transfers to go roughly 20 blocks.

"I grew up in a small devout Methodist enclave in rural New Hampshire," said Ichabod. "The New York City subway terrifies me. But it's almost never really working so I often walk up and over through Times Square. That way I get to see the worst of humanity bathed in the light of dawn."

Ichabod often arrives at work around 6:15 am. 

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Ichabod lives in constant fear that his group might ever see he's not in the office when they are, so he gets in early.

At his cubicle, with no one around, he sometimes checks his Bumble account. He never has messages.

At 7 am, Ichabod starts getting emails. 

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Early in the day, most of his correspondence is from associates asking about all the growth models he is working on, wondering why they're not done yet and asking him if he is a "fucking donkey."

"These guys love to kid around," Ichabod said, his eyes moist and his voice quivering beneath a forced smile. "They love the salty talk."

Around 9 am, his group meets for a meeting. 

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With his group VP presiding, Ichabod sits off to the side and no one looks at him. According to Ichabod, "It's cool to be in the room!" He said it as a chunk of soggy melon hit him right in the ear. Everyone laughed.

The VP made him leave to clean up. Upon returning, the conference room door has been locked and Ichabod goes back to his desk to "get some things done" as three associates smile and give him the finger through the glass wall.

"Just a regular day," Ichabod said with a heartbreaking grin.

1 pm is Ichabod's lunchtime. 

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He often goes on down to one of the mega-delis with "Metro" in the name to order a disappointing $11 turkey sandwich and two Powerades.

"The cafeteria is a little stressful for me," Ichabod explained. "Plus, I like to get out and get some fresh air, it's nice to--" We can't hear what Ichabod said next because there was a man in a dirty knockoff Elmo costume right behind him screaming racial epithets at a family of Belgian tourists.

Back at his desk, Ichabod loses track of the hours.

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The concept of time is relative to Ichabod most days. His mind and body are really at their natural limits and he would say something if he thought that anyone truly cared.

He screws up on an overdue model and is told that he really is "a fucking donkey."

At 7 pm, Ichabod sneaks off to the gym. 

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Ichabod can usually squeeze in 45 minutes on the elliptical. If he has the emotional energy, he watches "Jeopardy" on the tiny screen on his machine.

"My college roommate and I used to meet here for workouts," Ichabod said. "But he got a job with some tech startup and moved to Oakland. Sometimes he FaceTimes me from a beach just to catch up...I fucking hate it."

Back at the office, Ichabod orders dinner on Seamless at around 9 pm.

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"I get Pad Thai or Pho a lot because everyone else does," Ichabod said. "I hate them both, but I eat them anyway. I need to fit in...and survive."

At around 10:30 pm, Ichabod heads home.

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He does a lot of his crying during the elevator ride to the lobby. "I don't want my roommate to see that I've been sobbing," he explained. "He got fired from Deutsche Bank like a month ago and now he claims that he's doing stand-up. He's always home. I'm worried his parents will find out. I can't afford my terible apartment on my own."

Once Ichabod walks into his narrow front door and past his rooommates bike taking up the narrow entryway, the two sit far apart on their couch and watch TV until Ichabod's roommate, Doug, says that he has "a set" and leaves.

1 am and it's time for sleep.

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In his small bedroom with the blackout curtains drawn, Ichabod contemplates getting out his laptop to watch porn, but instinctually knows that he has neither the energy nor the optimism for such activity. Instead, he lies there in the darkness staring at the mysterious stain on the ceiling, thinking about his college roommate out in the Bay Area and what a terrible asshole he has become.

He falls asleep with bitterness and inchoate rage churning in his stomach.



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