Everyone knows that a lucrative field is investment banking. Jobs at the entrance level provide six-figure salaries quickly. Every year, senior employees earn tens of millions of dollars. Getting to the top of this field is a multi-step process requiring a mixture of education, ambition, hard work, experience, connections, and sometimes more than a little luck. While investment banking is certainly competitive, it is also full of rewarding opportunities, particularly for those who are curious about market trends and passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals.
1) Understand exactly the career path of investment banking:
Knowing the path to follow and making the most of every step along the way is one of the keys to developing a successful investment banking career. Although most investment bankers at the entry-level start as financial analysts, an internship really begins the investment banking career track. In fact, both large banks and smaller boutique banks are recruiting entry-level staff from their annual internship crop, so securing a college internship is key to setting yourself up for success. This will typically be a summer internship during your junior or senior year, leading to an offer for a full-time financial analyst role (if successful). Typically, financial analyst roles are two-year positions that provide you with the bulk of your investment banking training. You will learn about financial markets and the factors involved in advising clients on potential investments during this time. Before becoming a VP and eventually a managing director, you are likely to move on to an associate role for another two to three years after this two-year period is up
2) Build your financial services industry knowledge:
You will not only benefit from having a solid understanding of the financial services industry at the beginning of your career, but also as you move up the ladder into your next role. This means knowing everything about past and present market trends as well as having more specialized knowledge such as understanding how new investor generations differ from previous ones. For example, having some great insights into Millennials investment trends is likely to impress potential employers and show you are well informed about changes in the industry. By reading trade publications such as DealBook and MarketWatch and keeping up to date on emerging trends, the best way to develop this knowledge is.
3) Take appropriate lessons:
Building your knowledge base can be a practical way to take a wide range of business, finance and even math classes during college. This is particularly true if you come from a non-traditional major like English or history to investment banking. Talk to your academic advisor and ask for recommendations based on your interests and goals to find out which classes would be most helpful for you.
4) Know what hiring managers are looking for:
Although traditional investment banking recruitment has typically focused on top-ranking business and finance students, in recent years the recruitment process has become increasingly focused on diversity and the search for talented candidates from a wide range of schools and major institutions. That said, candidates still need to be able to demonstrate both a strong interest in financial services and a thorough understanding of the field, so your summary will need to reflect the classes or projects you have been working on that would be relevant to a career in investment banking.
5) Took an internship in investment banking:
While knowledge and direction are both key components of starting an investment banking career, it’s even better to have experience on your resume. There’s an internship here. An internship is a great opportunity to build your skill set and get training on the job. This is particularly important in a field that is both technical and specific, such as investment banking. You will gain exposure to many facets of the industry by taking on one or more internships during your college time and will be able to find an investment banking job that is right for you.
6) Create your network:
Investment banking is about who you know as much as it is about what you know so it’s crucial to build your professional network after graduation to get a great job. An effective way of doing this is through internships and networking events, especially for college students and recent graduates. It can also be particularly helpful to attend recruiting events as you will be able to meet recruiters in person.