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Letters to a Young Analyst


kapilm
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I am very young and would love to become an analyst at a fund that has an extremely long horizon and has a thoughtful and collaborative culture.  However, I think that there is a small supply of these jobs and a high demand, which makes competition intense and the chances of me landing a job very small.  I believe I would have to get an MBA, which is very expensive and does not add much intellectual value, and even then my chances would not be high either.    Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on people trying to get an analyst job?

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You don't need an MBA, or any specific background.  Loosen your standards as to who you would be willing to work for... every fund will have a different culture.  Your preconceived notions of the ideal culture may end up being wrong.  The important thing may be to get your foot in the door.  If you are truly passionate, things will likely work out.  Keep plugging away.  Read everything you can get your hands on.

 

Obviously being stellar academically and establishing a personal track record will help.  You don't have to go to an Ivy league, but go to the best school that you can (transfer if need be).

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I quickly peeked at a few of these.  Worth reading for anyone starting out or unsure how to even begin the process.  One point I don't think gets mentioned enough is that once you do find a position, take ownership for anything you do.  Obviously you need to work within the parameters of your job, including approvals and the like.  But take ownership.  Don't view a project as doing something for your boss.  Treat it as if it was the most important thing in the world to you, as if you owned the business and everything depended on it.  Don't just take a stab and blast a half assed copy of to someone or dump it on their desk.  See it through to the end.  Take criticism for what it is.  Not everyone will do it in a constructive way and sometimes (many times) it will be unduly harsh.  Develop a thick skin and find the ability to take from each interaction something of value.  If someone is an asshole, you're not going to change that and it doesn't make it right, but learn what you can.

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