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Very general, but got any advice on transitioning from college to being a working adult? What stuff did you guys screw up that you'd recommend I don't do? 22yo fresh consultant here

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Learn Index Match and never use Vlookup again

Focus on your OWN journey

Two years from now you might feel “behind” as you start seeing friends exit to Product FAANG or PE deal side or might see that one kid you knew was smart have a start up take off

Whatever your goal is, set our mind to it and do not worry about what others are doing as everyone has their own problems

Find mentors (both internally at your firm and externally) that are where you want to be and learn from them and go for the opp you want with everything you have

Take the GMAT now so you don’t have to worry about it when responsibilities increase if you decide b-school makes sense for your goals

Spend on experiences (trips with friends and dates) and have a blast

Exercise and meditate as others do have said

Get rid of majority of social media, as you get older you”ll quickly realize your actual friends will text/call you

Take PTO and don’t be afraid to hold your ground on any pushback or you”ll be that “resource” that is also available on Christmas haha

Have something outside work you are working towards or passionate about so your identity doesn’t = work/client. You”ll find you”ll actually do much better at work when you care less and will be actually promoted quicker or calm during exit op interviews


I am a vlookup addict. I’ve tried to stop and I can’t


20s I realized pretty quick I either picked the wrong major, entered the wrong field, or maybe both. In hindsight, I have no regrets as it made things more interesting. I knew right away if I spent my career without finding my own passion, then I would have a tough life. So I spent my 20s burning the midnight oil learning skills in what I was more interested in. Late 20s changed careers, got the inevitable pay cut over with before age 30. My 30s and beyond have been solid growth in a field I’m truly passionate about. I’ve even been able to leverage my work prior to career change towards the work I do now. The whole career change actually catapulted me further than my initial career track would have, it just took a long time.

To me, 20s are for experimentation and, if needed, more targeted education. By age 30 it’s advisable to settle in with greater focus. You don’t have to love working, but you shouldn’t do anything you absolutely hate without a plan for change. I’d imagine life to be incredibly painful wondering “what if?” 20s are a good time to figure all that stuff out, which is easier while balancing entry-level finances with fewer responsibilities than later on.

As for things I did wrong or regret. I think I would have acted faster if people giving unsolicited advice didn’t get in my head. Along my journey I had people trying to talk me out of things, which caused some doubt and hesitation, but never stopped me. The very things people tried to talk me out of were actually the things that made it all go so well: grad school, taking new jobs for less money to gain specific skills, etc.

One other mistake was leaving a job 2 months before my matching 401k dollars were fully vested. I didn’t study my decision enough to realize only 2 more months would have helped me lock in the matching dollars. I look back, and the job I left for wasn’t worth hurrying for, would have been better to wait for my matching dollars to vest and maybe skipping that next job entirely. Trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right about an opportunity you need to dig deep to understand why, then decide.

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People have named a lot of the important stuff so adding smaller things to the list

1. Expect to use absolutely none of the education you sacrificed so much for

2. Most people are meek and lack vision - this is a big one - do not expect your peers or leadership know what's best or are willing to do the right thing vs. keep quiet and hope it works out.

3. WHEN (not if) your incompetent leadership tries to gaslight you, it will be okay and it is not the end of the world. You WILL have bad leadership who tries to pin things on you, stifle your career because you're a rising star, or just doesn't like you. It will work out as long as you are working to get off that team and don't put up with BS

4. Trust the grad students (but not the MBAs 😂)

5. Be yourself at all times; things work out faster and better when you don't have a fake work persona.


I wish I knew (2) and (3) before I started. Definitely. Great advice SC1


Save more than you spend - max out that 401k contribution. Don’t forget to exercise. And try not to be drunk all the time.


D1 is spot on about exercising. When I first started my job, I wouldn’t get home until 6:30 or 7 and of course by then all I wanted to do was eat dinner. I’m still trying to lose that weight. Good luck!


If you’ve got any student debt, live frugally and pay it off ASAP


CE1, we are all making assumptions about OPs goals here but yours is the most extreme. although i agree it builds wealth the fastest, it is also is the most uneven in terms of lifestyle throughout career. Maximizing retirement deferrals requires living well below means in your twenties. You’ll retire rich but won’t have much fun in your 20s. To balance out lifestyle a bit more, take full advantage of firm matches and maybe even contribute 10% on your own but also payoff debt. Don’t buy a house with boatload of student debt. Way too much risk involved with that despite low rates...

Oh, and be very, very careful before hooking up with anyone at work. If you want something casual and they don't, it can be a mess. If you want something serious and they don't, it can be heartbreaking.

Stick to Hinge.


Absolutely agreed. Work hookups should be avoided tbh. Doesn’t usually end well for anyone.


Work is not the end all be all. Make sure you make time for your friends and your hobbies. It will often make you better at your job to have things you enjoy and are successful at outside of work. I would have prioritized my time differently and been better at carving out time for non-work things. Work often feels urgent while you can always reschedule time with friends etc. I would have done less of that rescheduling.


Thank you!

Get a full physical and blood work done. It's good to have a baseline of your health indicators to compare against for the next ten years +



Work hard and play hard. Enjoy your youth, make memories, and don’t stress too much about exact $$$$$ in savings (but have a safety net always). Be kind to yourself and try not to compare yourself to people on the internet (on here, LinkedIn, or IG)


That makes a lot of sense as a heuristic for money, max out 401k and have a safety net but don't worry incessantly. Thanks!

Don’t get caught up in trying to be a rockstar at work - that extra year at associate or whatever is actually no a big deal. I remember when I started everyone was OBSESSED with making Senior Associate or the like in 2 years versus three. People worked so many extra hours, sacrificed, etc. Looking back years later all I can think is..why? Careers are a marathon not a sprint take it easy and enjoy your life.


Very good to know, I'll be sure to focus more on learning and figuring out what areas really enjoy as some other folks here suggested! Appreciate it

Get roommates.

1) You're (eventually) going to be traveling and it's nice to have people who will bring your mail / packages inside
2) You should be saving every spare cent you can and investing that in the market (ETFs). Roommates are the best way to do this. If you take that approach and the market has a few good years, you could be sitting on $1M by the time you're 30. You'll appreciate the sense of freedom and security that gives you.


^^this is what I’m doing now and I’m going to bank every paycheck until I’m forced back to the office 🤑


Focus on keeping your body healthy (good diet, exercise, sleep)
Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t compete with your friends. If you’re thankful for people, tell them.


Fully wholeheartedly agree, but I'll take extra care to not make compromises there or fall out of the habits so tyvm!

Don’t think too far ahead. Stay looking 1-2 years out in a scope of what you want to do professionally. Specially, focus on finding out what you’re interested in. Focusing too much on the company name, titles, comp, etc is a one way ticket to horrible anxiety. It’s important, but will fall into place if you find an industry you’re passionate about.


I would add that have some tentative plans for for the future 5- 10 yrs out but have the realistic expectations that everything will change. Like make some small actions that you think may benefit you later based on best guess of where you may be. EX: maybe you plan on getting married by like 30 ish start saving like $20 a week to build a nest egg for that cause I know plenty of people here who got in massive debt to pay for a wedding, but if you don't get married by that point worse case you can use to by a house or a retire etc

Make a budget spreadsheet/tracker. It’s fun when you start having money of your own to spend and can get out of control fast, esp going out multiple times a week/end.


Great point, thanks!

Therapy. And save.


Therapy for what? serious questions since this is unheard of in my culture.


Agree with the person who said to live with parents, especially during this wfh period. Educate yourself about finances and budgeting. Pay off your loans, set yourself up to have a financially fruitful mid-20s - max ESPP, 401k, save for home or investment property.
Laugh to the bank when you have no debt a passive income stream in you mid to late 20s


Don‘t scratch your balls in front of colleagues (seriously, had a young colleague who couldn’t stop doing it).


I explicitly told Carol to stop bringing her tennis gear to meetings as a comfort blanket; does she not know scratching won't improve ball grip?

What % of my paycheck should go to my 401k if EY doesn't match for the first year? :(


But the IRS has a maximum amount one can put into an IRA (6,000) and 401k (~19,000) for the year as well as a combined contribution limit.


Max out 401k match contribution; save money for grad school - you’ll want it to spend then; don’t wait for others to travel with you, you’ll never go - do solo trips or through a program like contiki or bucketlust; when you’re on pto, be on pto; maintain your friendships, regardless of distance, make it work; get to know your parents and siblings as an adult; there will always be someone that can party harder than you and still balance it- don’t try too hard to keep up; wear sunscreen!!!!


Great Question!
Make sure you manage your manager:
1. Be responsive..if you get an email even if you don’t have the info respond and say “got it or you are working on it”
2. Update you manager on tasks given especially so they don’t have to ask you for a status
3. Always ask for a due date for projects
4. Read your emails twice before responding and (don’t reply all unless necessary) I can’t stress this enough..read everything twice. Check your work.
5. Learn to anticipate needs of the project
6. Make friends with your MDs assistant, treat everyone with respect and get to know people. Be nice to the IT team.


Don't do the something of blowing through all your money because you're young enjoy yourself but make reasonable decisions because honestly every dollar right now is way more important than you think it is if you expect like an 8% average increase in the market as you should for the next 40 years you're talking about you know one year of maxing out paying for like two or three years in retirement or saving for a house


Business Analyst 1 I agree however, I seen a lot of people and particularly in our field make stupid financial decisions that will likely haunt them later. Like almost everyone in my start class spends ridiculous portions of their on there "in the moment" lifestyle that they are putting almost nothing away for retirement, and have no safety net if things take a dive like they did last summer. Of course have fun and of course spend a little bit of cheddar, but... Be smart I trying to keep a balance so a future family of mine can move up a rung or two instead of moving back or standing still

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