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How Many Hours Do You Work Per Week?

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How many hours do you work per week?

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How Many Hours Do You Work Per Week? [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 08:54
I hate listening to my i-banker friends who are like, "Man the hours are inhuman, it's like I sleep under my desk when I can, an 80 hour week is a good week, a 100 hour week is a typical week."

Yet somehow these same people manage to hit up every hot-spot club and restaurant in NYC their first year as an i-banking analyst.

So let's cut through the bull-sh*t everyone, I know we all have busy weeks from time-to-time (and some people probably every week) but on average, how many hours do you work per week?

If you show up at work at 8 and leave at 6, that's 10 hours, don't worry about lunch or commuting time, how long from when you show up to when you leave. And don't add in random emailing-checking from home, unless you're actually doing serious work from home.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 10:55
about 60-65 hrs
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 11:37
70 ... slackers :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 11:38
I don't think it's BS that they work 80 to 100 hours a week. I used to work (as a lawyer) with I-Bankers and I billed 80+ all the time and I'm pretty sure that they worked harder that I did. I can tell you that an average schedule would be something like 9:30-9:30 six and a half days per week, with an average of 2 nights per week where you need to say until 2AM or later, and a few all-nighters per month.

I can tell you it was extremely rare to leave before 8PM. The reason is that we got car service (billed to the client of course) after 8. If you left before 8 you'd be on your own. There's no point in taking the subway when you can have a town car drive you right to your door. Depending on what stage the deal was at, it was perfectly normal for my Ibank counterpart to call my office at 1AM and expect me to be there to answer. Not uncommon at all.

Regarding sleeping under the desk, I never did that, but I know that many firms do have sleeping rooms and showers in site. We didn't have that where I worked in NY, but the firm did have a membership at a place called the Club Quarters. I can't really call it a hotel, it was a private membership club wor working people and all the attorneys were registered. If you worked really late and needed to catch a few hours of sleep but didn't have time to go home, you could just head around the corner and they would give you a room. I heard recently that they put one of these up in San Francisco - BAD SIGN!

Another reason was that food delivery people were not allowed into the lobby until 8PM. Before 8, you had to meet them on the loading dock, but after 8, there would be a gaggle of delivery people waiting to hand over food (billed to the clients of course). If you sit down to a meal billed to the client at 8:30, it's pretty bad form to leave immediately afterwards, so most people work another hour or two.

It was uncommon to leave early on Fridays. I remember this because I used to fly out a lot to meet friends in Las Vegas. The great thing is that you gain 3 hours on the flight out, but the earliest flight I could catch was 10PM so it would always be after midnight before I got to Vegas. It's not like when I worked in LA and could often cut out at 2-3PM after working a long week.

Regarding getting into the hot spots, I recall that too. When you work that hard, you think that you are entitled to have a life. Unfortunately, there is no way to plan ahead with that type of schedule, but if you happened to finish early at got out by 8PM (no dinner at your desk), you'd try to get out to a top restaurant or night spot. The problem, of course, is that you wouldn't have a reservation so you'd tip the doorman. $20 won't get you very far, $50 or $100 would get you into most places. The other thing is that night spots stay open really late in NY (and most lawyers and bankers didn't get out till late anyways), so it wouldn't be too unusual to get out at 11PM, head to a spot and stay out until 3-4AM. It was rough, but you get used to living on 5 hours of sleep.

I believe it is a function of NY as much as it of the industry. I think that you can average 2-3 hours less per day on the west coast. It's kind of an unspoken secret. If you work on the west coast, you're expected to start work at 9-9:30 but you can cut out just after your counterparts in NY call it a day, maybe 7:30 or so. You're also less likely to work on Saturdays (maybe 50%) and Sundays (maybe 10%). I know this is true of law firms; I'm pretty sure it is true for many Ibank positions. Of course, there are many Ibank positions that are only available in NY; and why not, the firms know that they will get 20 more hours of work per week if they base their staff in NY.

So, if your friend is in a hot sector like M&A, then it would be no surprise to me if he worked 80+ regularly.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 11:44
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never more than 45 hours a week. never on the weekends.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 11:48
I agree with pelihu that it can be done.

I used to work at this crazy area within my employer where we would work from around 8.30am to 10.30 pm regularly and till 1 - 2 am at least twice a week, Mon thru Friday and then maybe some Saturdays and Sundays. This schedule would last 2 or 3 months throughout the yearly budget preparation and then go back to our "normal" 8.30am to 8-9pm schedule. Most times I would just get home, eat and sleep but after a while I managed to pull off Wednesday or Thursdays partying on a regular basis, just to keep a balance. I would be able to get by with 4-6 hours sleep regularly. I was 23 - 25 years old at the time and had no trouble whatsoever keeping up. Now I'm 30 and would struggle to keep up with such a schedule (and wouldn't want to, anyway).

Cheers. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2007, 11:52
Pelihu,

Everything you have just described is exactly what my friends described, the free town cars, the dinners, long hours, etc...

I guess what I was getting at, was that I think most of these friends are exaggerating when they say a 100 hour week was a typical week. 80 hours a week isn't surprising, but these are people that I know that had very active social lives and there was just no way they could have been working 100 hours a week and doing all the other things they kept me posted on. It's kind of like back in college when you would overhear some knucklehead in the dining hall being like, "Dude, last night was crazy, we started out with like three shots of tequila, then I killed a whole bottle of Merlot before we moved on to the Car Bombs. I probably had like fifty drinks last night dude, it was so rad."

I'm not trying to generalize (for once!) about all i-bankers but in general most of the people I know when I ask them what kind of hours they're working tend to exaggerate (and I do it too because I don't want to seem lazy by comparison!)

I started out working in mutual funds and worked on average a 50 or 60 hour week but my most distinct memories of that job are the quarterly closes and the fiscal year-ends where we worked like 80 hours a week, so when I'm describing the job to people I usually describe the more hellish weeks because in my memory the whole experience was one long neverending week.

Sidenote: I've stayed at the Club Quarters near Wall Street, it's a great deal when every other hotel costs an arm and a leg. Tiny rooms, but great price.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2007, 06:10
pelihu wrote:
I don't think it's BS that they work 80 to 100 hours a week. I used to work (as a lawyer) with I-Bankers and I billed 80+ all the time and I'm pretty sure that they worked harder that I did. I can tell you that an average schedule would be something like 9:30-9:30 six and a half days per week, with an average of 2 nights per week where you need to say until 2AM or later, and a few all-nighters per month.

I can tell you it was extremely rare to leave before 8PM. The reason is that we got car service (billed to the client of course) after 8. If you left before 8 you'd be on your own. There's no point in taking the subway when you can have a town car drive you right to your door. Depending on what stage the deal was at, it was perfectly normal for my Ibank counterpart to call my office at 1AM and expect me to be there to answer. Not uncommon at all.

Regarding sleeping under the desk, I never did that, but I know that many firms do have sleeping rooms and showers in site. We didn't have that where I worked in NY, but the firm did have a membership at a place called the Club Quarters. I can't really call it a hotel, it was a private membership club wor working people and all the attorneys were registered. If you worked really late and needed to catch a few hours of sleep but didn't have time to go home, you could just head around the corner and they would give you a room. I heard recently that they put one of these up in San Francisco - BAD SIGN!

Another reason was that food delivery people were not allowed into the lobby until 8PM. Before 8, you had to meet them on the loading dock, but after 8, there would be a gaggle of delivery people waiting to hand over food (billed to the clients of course). If you sit down to a meal billed to the client at 8:30, it's pretty bad form to leave immediately afterwards, so most people work another hour or two.

It was uncommon to leave early on Fridays. I remember this because I used to fly out a lot to meet friends in Las Vegas. The great thing is that you gain 3 hours on the flight out, but the earliest flight I could catch was 10PM so it would always be after midnight before I got to Vegas. It's not like when I worked in LA and could often cut out at 2-3PM after working a long week.

Regarding getting into the hot spots, I recall that too. When you work that hard, you think that you are entitled to have a life. Unfortunately, there is no way to plan ahead with that type of schedule, but if you happened to finish early at got out by 8PM (no dinner at your desk), you'd try to get out to a top restaurant or night spot. The problem, of course, is that you wouldn't have a reservation so you'd tip the doorman. $20 won't get you very far, $50 or $100 would get you into most places. The other thing is that night spots stay open really late in NY (and most lawyers and bankers didn't get out till late anyways), so it wouldn't be too unusual to get out at 11PM, head to a spot and stay out until 3-4AM. It was rough, but you get used to living on 5 hours of sleep.

I believe it is a function of NY as much as it of the industry. I think that you can average 2-3 hours less per day on the west coast. It's kind of an unspoken secret. If you work on the west coast, you're expected to start work at 9-9:30 but you can cut out just after your counterparts in NY call it a day, maybe 7:30 or so. You're also less likely to work on Saturdays (maybe 50%) and Sundays (maybe 10%). I know this is true of law firms; I'm pretty sure it is true for many Ibank positions. Of course, there are many Ibank positions that are only available in NY; and why not, the firms know that they will get 20 more hours of work per week if they base their staff in NY.

So, if your friend is in a hot sector like M&A, then it would be no surprise to me if he worked 80+ regularly.



That's crazy! I guess you can do that if you are a single... or for 2-4 yrs even if you're married w/ kid(s). but for more than 4yrs....FORGET IT
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2007, 08:08
pelihu wrote:
I don't think it's BS that they work 80 to 100 hours a week. I used to work (as a lawyer) with I-Bankers and I billed 80+ all the time and I'm pretty sure that they worked harder that I did. I can tell you that an average schedule would be something like 9:30-9:30 six and a half days per week, with an average of 2 nights per week where you need to say until 2AM or later, and a few all-nighters per month.

I can tell you it was extremely rare to leave before 8PM. The reason is that we got car service (billed to the client of course) after 8. If you left before 8 you'd be on your own. There's no point in taking the subway when you can have a town car drive you right to your door. Depending on what stage the deal was at, it was perfectly normal for my Ibank counterpart to call my office at 1AM and expect me to be there to answer. Not uncommon at all.

Regarding sleeping under the desk, I never did that, but I know that many firms do have sleeping rooms and showers in site. We didn't have that where I worked in NY, but the firm did have a membership at a place called the Club Quarters. I can't really call it a hotel, it was a private membership club wor working people and all the attorneys were registered. If you worked really late and needed to catch a few hours of sleep but didn't have time to go home, you could just head around the corner and they would give you a room. I heard recently that they put one of these up in San Francisco - BAD SIGN!

Another reason was that food delivery people were not allowed into the lobby until 8PM. Before 8, you had to meet them on the loading dock, but after 8, there would be a gaggle of delivery people waiting to hand over food (billed to the clients of course). If you sit down to a meal billed to the client at 8:30, it's pretty bad form to leave immediately afterwards, so most people work another hour or two.

It was uncommon to leave early on Fridays. I remember this because I used to fly out a lot to meet friends in Las Vegas. The great thing is that you gain 3 hours on the flight out, but the earliest flight I could catch was 10PM so it would always be after midnight before I got to Vegas. It's not like when I worked in LA and could often cut out at 2-3PM after working a long week.

Regarding getting into the hot spots, I recall that too. When you work that hard, you think that you are entitled to have a life. Unfortunately, there is no way to plan ahead with that type of schedule, but if you happened to finish early at got out by 8PM (no dinner at your desk), you'd try to get out to a top restaurant or night spot. The problem, of course, is that you wouldn't have a reservation so you'd tip the doorman. $20 won't get you very far, $50 or $100 would get you into most places. The other thing is that night spots stay open really late in NY (and most lawyers and bankers didn't get out till late anyways), so it wouldn't be too unusual to get out at 11PM, head to a spot and stay out until 3-4AM. It was rough, but you get used to living on 5 hours of sleep.

I believe it is a function of NY as much as it of the industry. I think that you can average 2-3 hours less per day on the west coast. It's kind of an unspoken secret. If you work on the west coast, you're expected to start work at 9-9:30 but you can cut out just after your counterparts in NY call it a day, maybe 7:30 or so. You're also less likely to work on Saturdays (maybe 50%) and Sundays (maybe 10%). I know this is true of law firms; I'm pretty sure it is true for many Ibank positions. Of course, there are many Ibank positions that are only available in NY; and why not, the firms know that they will get 20 more hours of work per week if they base their staff in NY.

So, if your friend is in a hot sector like M&A, then it would be no surprise to me if he worked 80+ regularly.


Seriously, that's just a downright brutal lifestyle. Clearly many I-bankers would burn out by their mid 30s and/or fall into a jack and coke (the real stuff) routine. Most folks, no matter how driven, simply can't function on less than five hours of sleep day in and day out like that. Something eventually has to give...
  [#permalink] 09 Feb 2007, 08:08
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