20. Team Building
When I was applying for investment banking jobs one of the main characteristics banks were looking for was the ability to work well in a team. Sure, they also wanted smart, independent and hard working individuals, but they really emphasized teamwork. I was not on a team sport in college which I felt would hurt my chances, but alas I prevailed and made it into the world of investment banking.
Once I started working as an analyst I realized that when they meant teamwork, what they really meant was the 12th man on the Cavs whose role is basically to be pushed around by Lebron James. Sure, Lebron will tell you the deaf 12th man is an important part of the team, but they would be perfectly fine without him, it’d just be one less guy to pound on in practice. An investment banking analyst is like that 12th man in that while I am told that I’m a vital member of the team, I know that I am there to pound out the boring, monotonous work and just do as I am told. Sure, like the 12th man, I may be needed at some point to do some actual hard work, but for the most part I’m simply a paper pusher.
How does this relate to the topic team building you may be asking yourself (or you’re already closing the browser)? Well, investment banks want to make everyone feel like they are important even if they are not, so the banks hold events to socialize. Certain groups may go to a happy hour, go bowling together, go to a baseball game, or simply sit around in the office with some chips and beer. No matter the activity, the purpose is to get to a more personal level with coworkers and feel like we are one big, happy family. Banks try to hide the fact that they are working our bright, young minds into a comatose state, by occasionally appeasing us with some free beer and games. First they turn our minds into mush by abusing us, then when they know we have the brain of a 16 year old again, they throw free beer at us and we start jumping through hoops again like the smart puppies we are. How I thought of these analogies, I have no clue. It’s late, so lay off me.
P.S. Speaking of team building, check out Will Ferrell’s “Green Team” on funnyordie.com, hilarious! GREEN TEAM!