Have you ever wondered what your friends actually do for work? We’re not talking about the description in their LinkedIn bio, but what they actually do in their 9-5. As part of our mission to bring you more girl boss content, we’re investigating job titles to get the low-down on exactly what they really entail. Curious to know what being an account executive even means? Wondering what a VP in finance does in the afternoon? We’re creating more transparency around different jobs, and the salaries and duties that come with them, to help you figure out what you’re interested in. Today, read how an Investment Banking Analyst living in Chicago spends her workday.

Age: 21
City: Chicago
Industry: Investment Banking
Job Title: Investment Banking Analyst
Salary: $75,000 base

What does your job title mean?
Banking is heavy on client-interaction, but as a first year analyst I spend most of my time behind the scenes. I work at a middle-market bank that mainly does sell-side mergers & acquisitions, meaning that we help clients manage the process of selling their small to medium sized companies. IRL, I spend most of my day listening in on client calls and making marketing materials for the companies we’re trying to sell.

When do you wake up?
I wake up anytime between 7 and 8:30am, depending on how late of a night I had and whether I have any morning calls lined up. I hit snooze a couple of times and get ready in a flash before walking to work. I usually have my breakfast and my first cup of coffee in the office, since we have a fully-stocked kitchen.

At 9am I am…
Usually just getting to the office. I start my day by catching up on emails and organizing my thoughts on what I need to get done in the day ahead. I’ll sit at my desk and flip through some news articles while I munch on some oatmeal, courtesy of the company kitchen.

At 11am I am…
On weekly update calls with clients. Senior bankers on my team will update clients on things that have come up in the past week. This includes interesting conversations they’ve had with buyers or where we are with our financial model and marketing materials. The client will update us on how things are going in the business and how they’re feeling. The process of selling a company is super time-intensive and our clients have to deal with requests from us, lawyers, accountants, and potential investors. Our goal is to make the process as successful and painless as possible.

What does lunch normally look like for you?
I fit lunch in somewhere between 11am and 2pm, depending on how my schedule is looking. Most days I’m able to leave the office and walk a block to grab some food. On especially busy days I’ll either warm up some leftovers or grab a granola bar from our snack closet.

At 1pm I am… 
Listening in on/participating in more calls. We often have internal calls where the team gathers thoughts on what we should collectively prioritize or communicate to the client. Being coordinated is key.

At 3pm I am… 
Monitoring diligence calls between clients and buyers. Both sides will bring in experts for finance/accounting, human resources, IT, and more. In a sell-side process, we like to be a part of all of these different calls in order to facilitate conversation and to have the client’s back.

At 5pm I am… 
Finally off calls! (Usually.) At this point, I can gather my thoughts around all of the follow-up items that come up as a result of the conference calls from the beginning of the day. I’ll sit down with the other members of the team and figure out what needs to get done.

How does a workday end for you?
I usually end up getting dinner around 6-7. I either pick it up and bring it back to the office or order in. All of the analysts will generally get dinner and eat in the kitchen together before breaking to get more work done. Dinner is reimbursed by work since we all work late. Until about midnight, I’ll continue working on making marketing materials and perfecting financial models for our different deals. I’ll Uber home around midnight (also reimbursed).

What time do you go to bed? 
Even though I get home pretty late, I still manage to find time to wind down (probably to the detriment of my sleep schedule, if we’re being honest). I’ll shower (I’m a night showerer because if I was a morning showerer I would just never shower or always be horrendously late), dry my hair, do my skincare routine, and get in bed. Before lights out, I’ll watch a few youtube videos and scroll through my social media feeds for 30 min to an hour.

Is there anything about your job you’d like people to know?
The schedule is a bit grueling but it’s temporary. Being an investment banking analyst is a 2 year deal and, afterwards, the world is your oyster (or so they say). Your cohort of analysts and the culture of the firm you work at really determines your experience. I’m lucky to work with good people, and so I enjoy my job with the full understanding that hours will be better in a year or so.

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