An analyst is typically a back office or middle office role, typically in an investment bank. There is not considered to be a pay differential between analyst and associate positions. Most types of role, e.g. trading, investment banking, investment research will only offer either associate or analyst roles but rarely both.
The Work of an Analyst
There are three types of work you will be involved in as an analyst:
- Deals - working on actual transactions such as a company being sold, getting bought or raising money for these or similar transactions
- Pitches - pitching for transactions
- General tasks - general administrative tasks
There is a misconception that the real work in investment banking involves deals, and that pitching to win deals and doing general administrative tasks is just grunt work. This is untrue, as everything you do as an Analyst involves a high degree of grunt work.
On deals, Analysts do a lot of meeting scheduling, note taking, and formatting Excel files and PowerPoint presentations. Although the work involves a lot of administration the subject matter is the core of investment banking.
Many pitches will only take up a few days, and involve administrative tasks such as researching companies and collecting reports for senior bankers.
What Will I be Doing on a Daily Basis as an Analyst?
There are four main tasks an Analyst will be doing on a daily basis:
- Excel - Valuing companies or modelling a merger or acquisition or financing.
- Writing - Writing in PowerPoint and/or Word. For pitches you’ll write slides on industry trends, executive summaries and explanations of your analysis. For deals you will create marketing documents that sell your client in Word or PowerPoint.
- Research - This involves finding reports for senior bankers, doing industry research, and/or Googling to find specific financial or economic information, (e.g. the growth of the automotive industry in the Middle East).
- Administrative Tasks - As an Analyst you will be scheduling meetings, taking notes, and sending out status updates to your team.
Summer Analyst Internships
As a Summer Analyst, you won’t be doing exactly the same work as a full-time Analyst, but you will be doing many of the same things. You will spend most of your time supporting full-time Analysts.
During your internship it is important to develop your skills and gain experience that you can discuss in the future, when you are interviewing for full-time Analyst positions. It is important to learn about Excel, in particular as much about modelling and valuation as possible as these are very good topics to talk about in the interview. Volunteer as much as possible and try to work in as many areas as possible.
Whatever you do, do not leave the office as early as you can during your internship. If you do this you will be pigeonholed into constantly doing administrative tasks that will not increase your chances of employment.
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