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100 Bullet Points For An Analyst



Mai Le


Recently, I have been asked for advice by a few people with regards to their incoming IBD analyst positions. For their benefit, I tried to find this helpful-but-lesser-known list.

1. First impressions last a long time
2. Never be late
3. Know your place
4. Believe nothing is beneath you
5. Don’t wait for someone else to replace the toner
6. Never complain
7. Do everything with enthusiasm
8. “I don’t know” is a good answer
9. “I don’t know, but I will find out” is even better
10. Knowing where to find an answer is often more important than knowing it
11. Never talk business in the elevator
12. Never promote yourself; let others promote you; promote others
13. Under promise, over deliver
14. Prioritize
15. Ask for deadlines
16. Organize
17. Keep a to-do list
18. If you think about it, there is usually an easier way
19. Anticipate
20. Be proactive; don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do
21. Know your limitations; ask for help
22. Give updates
23. Manage expectations
24. Manage your manager
25. Know when the form is more important than the function and vice versa
26. Attention to detail is critical because someone will notice
27. Be perceptive
28. Listen carefully; read between the lines
29. Ask questions
30. If it’s a stupid question today, it will be even more stupid tomorrow
31. Read, understand and practice the Firm’s Business Principles
32. Intellectual boredom is the enemy
33. See out greater opportunity and responsibility
34. Consider how you can add the greatest amount of value to the greatest number of people
35. Take a step back and attempt to think of the usual things in a new, different way
36. Be creative; pursue your curiosities
37. Investing your own money is one of the best ways to learn about the markets
38. Initiate projects which are of interest to you and of value to others
39. Quality is more important than quantity
40. Seek out mentors
41. Choose them wisely
42. Be teachable
43. A good mentor will answer all of your questions – asked and unasked
44. He or she will correct you
45. Build relationships
46. Some of the most overlooked people are the most helpful
47. Treat everyone with respect
48. Be humble
49. Ingratiate yourself to everyone, but don’t brown nose
50. Take an assistant to lunch
51. Do no envy
52. Make an extra effort to build relationships with those whom you find difficult
53. If your colleagues want you to succeed, it will be difficult to fail
54. Never discuss your compensation with your colleagues
55. You reap what you sow
56. Build your relationship broadly
57. The more people that you know throughout all parts and offices of the Firm, the greater your resources and opportunities
58. Be a relationship builder; introduce people to one another
59. If you’re thankful, write a thank you note
60. Be a team player
61. Be reliable
62. Be approachable
63. Share information, resources and insights
64. Help everyone
65. Volunteer
66. Perceive when others need help
67. Pick up the slack
68. If someone needs to be corrected, do it privately
69. Communicate effectively
70. Know your audience
71. Utilize all means: memos, voice mail, fax, email, etc
72. Be concise
73. Utilize technology
74. Learn how to use it
75. Create new applications
76. Teach others how to use them
77. Recruiting is rewarding
78. The candidates you recommend reflect on you
79. Mentor your candidates through the process
80. Diversity is achieved one recruit at a time
81. Appearances are important
82. Be well-groomed
83. Learn how to dress appropriately
84. Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste on your desk
85. Keep one umbrella at work and one at home
86. Nothing substitutes for a good night’s rest
87. But if you’re tired, caffeinate yourself
88. It is much easier to dress inappropriately on a casual day
89. Unethical behaviour is unforgivable
90. If you see something suspicious, tell someone about it
91. Know and practice compliance procedures
92. Admit error, don’t try to cover up your mistakes
93. Be honest with yourself and your colleagues and yourself
94. Live a balanced life
95. A successful life is more important than a successful career
96. Set your priorities
97. Have the discipline to live by them
98. Care for your family
99. Make the time to fall in love
100. Read at least one book per month that has nothing to do with what you do

In addition to this list, I recommend all the incoming analysts to read “Barbarians At The Gate” by Bryan Burrough, which narrates the largest and most dramatic corporate takeover in American history: the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco by KKR. This is the best business book I have bought, which sheds more light on the intensity and strategy side of corporate finance. With more experience, I recognise more and more aspects of Barbarians at the Gate every day.

I have collected over 100 of myself and my friends’ cover letters and published it at Cover Letter Library to help you. This member-only library includes successful cover letters from people who secured jobs at all major investment banks, big 4 firms and other. Check it out 🙂

Illustration by my friend at ANML Studio. I am also active on Instagram too! Follow me @official.mai.le 

Written by Mai Le

My name is Mai. I am originally from Vietnam. After my university years at LSE, I worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. After a wonderful time there, I started several of my own business as well as helping others on theirs. I've always been building communities and businesses for as long as I can remember, and absolutely thrilled to see others enjoy what I've built.



  1. Chau Vu

    I’m curious about point #24. Do you have any experience or tip to share regarding that point? Thanks 🙂


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