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The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals About How to Find a Great Job, Do a Great Job, Be a Leader, Start a Business, Stay Out of Trouble, and Live A Happy Life Hardcover – April 21, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118917022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118917022
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

What is The Bigs?

In baseball, “the bigs” is slang for the big leagues. When you become responsible for yourself, and you are being paid to do a job, you are in the big leagues. The real world is tough, competitive, and a lot is expected of you.

This is a quintessentially American story of one man’s journey through his career and life. Wall Street veteran Ben Carpenter chronicles the people he met, the experiences he had, the mistakes he made, and the lessons he learned along the way. Readers will encounter a colorful cast of real-life characters which include Big Hank, Hoops, Sweater Girl, The Zombies, Mr. Nuts, The Cheese, Deep Throat, and The RAT. Their tales illuminate Carpenter’s progress from newly minted liberal arts graduate, to the owner of a wild bar in Manhattan, to the CEO of a major Wall Street firm.

While the real world can be very fun, it’s also very much a battle, and that battle is not easy for anyone. The Bigs is an eye-opening book with specific, comprehensive, and practical advice you won’t hear anywhere else. This is a book that parents will want to read and give to their children – and their children will want to read and share with their friends.

From the Back Cover

An honest and heartening account of personal growth and professional success

The Bigs is Ben Carpenter’s first-hand account of his life’s journey that started with a tumultuous childhood of frequent moves and the downward spiraling of his family’s finances. From this precarious beginning, Ben tells how he progressed from a naïve liberal arts graduate, to the owner of an out-of-control bar in Manhattan, to the CEO of a major international investment company. The book originated as a list of instructions for the author’s daughter as she was preparing to start her first job after college. Eventually, that list evolved into The Bigs, an invaluable guide for all college students, young professionals, and anyone seeking the hard-earned wisdom of a man who has won and lost many battles while winning the war of personal fulfillment.

In addition to being a captivating story, The Bigs tells you all the specific real world secrets you need to know — for instance, how to:

  • Get internships and stand out as an intern
  • Get informational interviews and turn them into job interviews
  • Get that great job even when competing against more qualified candidates
  • Get promoted by being identified as a leader
  • Have fun and be happy while working hard to achieve your hopes and dreams

During your 16-plus years of school, you have read countless books that provided you a valuable academic education, but did little to further your knowledge of how the real world works. In this highly entertaining book, The Bigs will bring you up to speed with unique stories and advice that will give you all the tools you need to survive, thrive, and have fun in the big leagues of life.


More About the Author

Ben Carpenter began his career as a Commercial Lending Officer at the Bankers Trust Company. Two years later he joined Bankers Trust's Primary Dealer selling U.S. Treasury bonds. After a brief stop at Morgan Stanley, Ben joined Greenwich Capital which, during his 22 year career there, became one of the most respected and profitable firms on Wall Street. At Greenwich Capital Ben was a salesman, trader, sales manager, Co-Chief Operating Officer, and Co- CEO.

Currently Ben is the Vice Chairman of CRT Capital Group, a 300 person institutional broker-dealer located in Stamford, CT. He resides with his wife, Leigh, and three daughters in Greenwich, CT.

For more information visit www.thebigswebsite.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Wish I'd read it 60 years ago!!
Alice M.
I highly recommend it to graduates- and their parents.
Charles R. Gordon
Extremely entertaining as well as informative read.
Ian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I know quite a few people (including myself) that have a lot to gain from this amazing book. It pulls aside the curtain on what it takes to get a job and how to succeed once you're in the door. Not only that, THE BIGS is filled with revealing and amusing anecdotes that bring the lessons vividly to life. This is an eminently practical and entertaining guide that every parent should buy for their graduating children. Must reading for young professionals! I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By maris on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I sat down and read the entire book in two sessions. It was not only insightful with practical applications, but it was fascinating and entertaining to read as Ben described his background and his story before becoming a very successful individual. The book has experiences we can all relate to on many levels. THE BIGS gives real insight into how to go about finding a job or the intern process and simplifies the basic and essential steps of the journey. It states things in a way young adults can relate to and gives insight they will want to follow.
THE BIGS is a fabulous road map! Best of all, it says things we would say to our kids, but they wouldn’t listen to if it were coming from us! I am insisting that my children read this book the day they return home for from college for the summer. The book is full of invaluable life experience and great advice.
BTW- Ben also gives advice on the Pre-Job years in college, starting as a Freshman.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Miller on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
While you’ll probably find this book in the business/finance section, it’s much more than that. There are lessons on how to deal with adversity, how to stay out of trouble, and how to create a happy life, which was really interesting to read. I found myself developing a new perspective on life and business. Highly recommend!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. on May 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a recent college graduate, I found this book to be incredibly helpful in terms of choosing a career and scoring a great job. It's full of easy to apply tips on developing and using your network, what to say during interviews, how to read your interviewer and much more! I definitely recommend it to anyone struggling to figure out what steps to take after graduating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrggsg on August 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As others have said, this is a book I wish I had read when I was younger! So many interesting stories, which illustrate situations that a newcomer to the workforce - and to adulthood - may not anticipate or know how to deal with. Ben Carpenter shares both successes and failures, and the conclusions and lessons learned from both, in a straightforward and humorous manner.

I passed my copy on to my niece, who is in college, and I'm sure it will be helpful to her. One thing I especially like is that while there is a timeline narrative, you can pretty much open up any chapter and start reading, hearing a good story and learning something worthwhile within a few pages. I think that will be popular with young readers who may not have a lot of time to plow through a lot of books in the career/life advice genre. Carpenter emphasizes what's important - your health, your family, your personal satisfaction with your job and your life. I recommend it to anyone, of any age - it's universally appealing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Harris on August 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I had the honor of meeting Ben when he came to speak to our team at Inspiring Capital this summer. The book is amazing not only in the lessons he offers, but in the way that he communicates his points. He applies anecdotes from his past and present to address many of the questions Students and Young Professionals like myself are often plagued with. I enjoyed The Bigs, and meeting Ben, so much that I also felt inclined to write about here. If you'd like to read more you can check it out here: http://inspiringcapital.ly/questions-young-professional-entering-workforce/#.U-TgS4BdWPB

If you are a Student or Young Professional, or have kids, nephews, cousins, or friends that fall into this category, they should definitely read The Bigs. It is a Goldmine!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Gordon on June 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My wife got this book for our graduating senior but I have confiscated it and read it several times. This book really is a gift to anyone who reads it and needs to be on the reading list for any professional intent on succeeding in business and in life. I found myself rooting for Ben from the first chapter and held my breath as he battled through health challenges and cheered as he persevered. This book is readable and entertaining. The author takes you inside Wall Street finance and demonstrates that you can have FUN while working and succeeding. And you don't have to choose your career over your family to succeed. I highly recommend it to graduates- and their parents. If you are considering purchasing for a graduate, consider getting a second copy so you don't have to steal your gift back!
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a budding young professional ages 16-25 looking for an informative, unique take on the search for your dream career, look no further. Not only does The Bigs offer important advice towards jumpstarting your professional life, but it also entertains you through its humor, honesty, and relatable stories. By retelling the amazing tales from his career, Mr. Carpenter does a fantastic job in making the uncertainties of post-college work a little less ominous. His work as a bond salesman on Wall Street, CEO of a small financial firm, and owner of a rowdy New York City bar provide valuable insights on working hard while still having fun with your job. So if you're a high school senior planning your educational and professional path, or a recent college graduate deciding between grad school or exploring the job market, I highly recommend picking Ben Carpenter's brain by reading this book.
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