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So You Think You Want a Career in Banking, Eh?

Currently, there is much written about careers in banking. It's not fake news, but it sounds more like fantasy news.  Here is my interpretation of the real landscape, and I offer it to readers just to level the marketing hype with reality:

Goal                        Reality

Quick rise to the top            Never happens in a bank. It takes 30                         years to rise to the top from entry level
                        teller. Create your own startup and you'll                         be #1 right off the bat.

I am a female                Perfect for the times in general, but                         banking is very slow to see the benefits.                         Instead, get a law degree from Yale,                         earn top of your class, and go to work                         for a law firm in a large city. Law firms                         are looking for smarts, have a sincere                         desire to help women overcome                         injustices of the past, and a huge desire                         to win their clients' cases. But forget the                         Atticus Finch model, you have to bust                         your opponents' chops. Winning is the                         only thing that counts.

I am a male                Too bad. If you got into banking during                         the '90s and exceeded reasonable                         expectations, you'd be like the 7 CEOs                         that faced the Congress recently. All                         were men and all were 'tenured."

I like to wear casual clothes        Work at any bank in Florida.

I want to manage robots        Get a degree from MIT.

I want to manage people        Get a degree from Dartmouth.                                
I want to be an entrepreneur        Stay away from banking.

I love to chat with customers        Apply at Trader Joe's, their checkout                         lines are longer than teller lines.

I want to make a ton of money    Me too, but my parents didn't own a                         bank. If your family owns the bank and                         you've been a good boy or girl, go for it.                         At the right time, your bank will be one                         of the 4% per year that got acquired. 4%                         is one stat that seems to be assured by                         the Fed. I've been tracking it for 49                         years.

I want to live in Manhattan,         Banks in these cities are waiting for you.
Charlotte,Atlanta,DC,SanFran,     Do you speak the language of Mr. Winston Salem,Buffalo,Detroit,     Wonderful? It's not money but close.
San Antonio,Cincinnati,         It's earnings.
Dubai,London

I have connections with the         I have worked for thousands of clients in POTUS                    the financial services industry in the past                         46 years, but I have nothing to offer for                         your goal.
           
I want a job at Deutsche Bank    Too late, they're firing by the thousands.

I have an MBA from Harvard,    Find a low cost framer and a blank wall.
Wharton, Kellogg, Booth, Stanford

I want to pay back my student loan       Find two night jobs.

I want to correct global problems    Join the Marines, Foreign Service,                         Peace Corps, a Ministry, or run for                         POTUS.

I want a 9 to 5 job            Banking offers 7AM to 3 hours-after-the-                         vault-closes. But bankers will give you a                         list of top notch family attorneys to help                         your spouse and kids with their survival                         road map. Bankers respect family.

I want to find a good man or         Get a job at a hospital.
woman and get married

I built a dozen apps for banks    Go to Wall Street with a demo-based and more are on the horizon        laptop strapped to your chest. Only one                         app is enough to succeed if it's the right                         one. Horizon is for astronauts, pilots and                         romantics. A new app is ideal when your                         feet are on the ground, your                         implementation teams are overworked,                         your customers are paying you, and                         your sales force is downing mojitos like                         crazy. When Fiserv comes acallin then                         you have become a Wall Street darlin'                         and maybe a member of the board.

I want to balance the scale         Find a magic scale, not a job.
between the super rich and the
middle class

I want a job at the Fed            Talk to the POTUS. If the Fed doesn't                         drop the rate a half point or more, we'll
                        all be singing "Oops there goes another                         rubber tree plant."

I want Jamie Dimon's job        An actuary will say you have a 12-year                         wait. A barber will tell you to get a $400                         haircut. The Congress will tell you to                         apply at Wells Fargo. They need a CEO
                        (and healer) very badly. A headhunter                         will tell you in your dreams.
My mentor was Walter Wriston     Then go to Coburn Cemetery and leave and I want to bring back the         some flowers for Walter. The man was glory that Citi once had            tough, smart, a leader, gutsy acquirer                         and had a big heart for achievers.                         Attributes no longer popular in banking.

I will rock the world with my         Don't accept an invitation from the
enthusiasm                    Shark Tank. They laugh at dreamers. Bill                         Gates was the lowest-key guy I ever                         met, and I did meet him at the Harvard                         Square news stand where he pushed                         me aside to get to the nerd rack. I didn't                         mind, we were all reading for free and                         there is camaraderie among freeloaders                          even without integrity. After decades of
                        tracking, I can opine that enthusiasm                         was was not what rocketed Bill Gates to                         A-Z success. It was his stable outlook                         regarding socio-economic belief of                         what's good for the world.
 

I win awards at the haute couture    Stay there. I have it on good authority
runways                    (my wife) that Bernard Arnault (brands                         include Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton,                         Givenchy, Fendi, Celine) that beat out                         Bill Gates as the second richest person                         in the world. In banking, you'll go home                         depressed after a day in the sweaty                         backroom on Boredom Highway.            
I'm 24 years old, I know bank     Find a good headhunter, you're hired.
tran processing, know how IT   
eliminates grunt work, working   
now on how IT solves complex
problems, know how to build AI
solutions that even a 50 year old
knows how to use, can use the
word "rich" without shame,
speak to people twice my age,
understand customer needs,
know the difference between
rhetoric and "yes we can do it"
and I can wait for my compensation
to rise coincident with the value
I deliver.


I could go on with more pages, but a respected trade magazine editor once told me "Keep your lists to a limit of ten."  She also defined me to the industry as "He tells it like it is."  I appreciate very much the opportunity to express my views.                   

 

                      

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