Tag Archives: main street

The World According to Google

Classic debates, as settled by Google:

LIBRARIANS vs. ACCOUNTANTS: Maybe you hate fun.  Perhaps you just can’t sleep. If you’re in search of a good cure for insomnia, you should reach out to a librarian or an accountant.  One good story about the Dewey Decimal System and/or GAAP accounting should put you right to bed.  But which of these trusty professions is LESS boring and MORE fun?

GOOGLE SAYS: Librarians, with a whopping 2.6 million hits vs. a paltry 1.7 million for our accountants.  They might be ordering an audit check on this one.  (And, in an amazing twist, it turns out that librarians may actually be more fun than clowns. Shame on you, clowns.)

WALL STREET vs. MAIN STREET: It’s the age-old battle between khakis and jeans, white collar and blue collar, Madoff and low-life petty thieves.

GOOGLE SAYS: Wall Street…  Is this at all surprising?

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. UGLY PEOPLE: Are human beings really that superficial?

GOOGLE SAYS: Yes…  Beautiful people get 7.7x more hits than ugly people. If this is applicable to real life, then you should never, ever, go to a bar with a beautiful person.  She’ll get 7.7 free drinks to your measly one.  I would de-friend anyone who is more beautiful than you.

CALIFORNIA GIRLS vs. CALIFORNIA GURLS: One contains the correct spelling of the word “girls.”  The other doesn’t.  This should be easy, right?

GOOGLE SAYS: What the…  From now on, I am blaming teenage illiteracy on Katy Perry.  You don’t know how distressing this result is for me.  What’s next?? Are “gurls” going to “twurl” around school?  Will we be ordering ice cream with chocolate “swurls”?  Is Maytag going to be challenging “Whurlpool”? Kill me now.

DEMOCRATS vs. REPUBLICANS: Just in time for midterm elections: Let’s settle this once and for all.

GOOGLE SAYS: A resounding victory for Democrats!  Of course, this very scientific approach may have some flaws.  It could simply be that Dems are more computer/tech savvy than their Republican counterparts.  Or it could be that Republicans simply prefer using old school communication methods (perhaps carrier pigeons and/or messages in a bottle).  And, of course, a direct translation of this result would presume that Communists actually outnumber Republicans.  Just another example of the dirty, liberal media, right?…OR, is (Commie) Red the new black?  Google never lies…

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Wall Street vs. Main Street? I’ll Take Main Street

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the hype. There’s the wining, the dining, the company-sponsored boozing, the free meals, the car service home, and most alluring, the potential of making six-figures right out of college. Of course, there are also the 100+ hour weeks, the requisite face time, the Blackberry taking over your life, the tacit no-vacation clause, and the fact that your six figures all depends on your bonus (and thus, the volatile market).

Ah yes, the life of an investment banker on Wall Street is a charmed one indeed.

The opposite of investment banking.

Yet, even with the soul-sucking work and grueling hours, there are still thousands of recent college grads scratching and clawing for i-banking jobs every year. Some may want to put in their two years to land a cushy PE/corporate job. Others may want to prove to themselves that they can survive the torture. Still others may just want to hit on girls with the line, “I’m an investment banker”… which, oddly enough, seems to work just as well as “secret agent,” and much better than “consultant”.

But now, given the recent financial crisis, many of the remaining investment banks are cutting their recruiting budgets and giving out fewer full-time offers and coveted internships. Plus, with the plethora of ex-Lehmanites floating around in the pool of unemployed, getting that entry-level banking job will be much tougher than in previous years. Unless you’ve spent your summers running DCF models or honing your valuation skills, you may want to abandon your childhood dream of becoming an i-banker. So, here are some (mildy exaggerated) tidbits about the Street life that may help you cope:

  • Accounting for hours worked, an investment banker probably makes about the same hourly wage as the IT tech support guy in Mumbai. With an annual coup of $120,000 a year ($60K base salary + 100% bonus), 100-hr work weeks, for 52 weeks of the year = $23.08 average hourly rate.  And this is before taxes.
  • On a related note, Brooks Brothers suits start at $898, and you’ll still look cheap compared to your MD, your clients, and the club owner at Lace.
  • At most bulge-bracket firms, Big Brother will be keeping tabs on your email and web searches for signs of insider trading. Swearing is strictly prohibited through email messages (but strongly encouraged in everyday conversation). Most websites will be blocked as well, so not only will you never get to see your friends, but you won’t be able to keep up with their status updates on Facebook either.
  • If you are female, prepare to enter a world where men are vulgar and crude by default. If you are male, prepare to enter a world where there are no females.
  • Asking about work-life balance is akin to putting on a tutu and galloping through the office singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. That is, it’s frowned upon.
  • You will likely spend the majority of your 15-hour days sitting in a chair, sitting in a black car, or sitting on the toilet from scarfing down your latest SeamlessWeb order. So, if you don’t gain at least 20 lbs in your first year on the job, then la cocaina must be working wonders.

Finally, one last reason why i-banking on Wall Street may not be the best move? Two words: job security.

Isn’t Main Street starting to look more attractive?

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