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The Ultimate Guide to Breaking Into Investment Banking

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Have you ever considered a career in investment banking? If yes, you need to pull a chair a little bit closer. We will provide the ultimate guide to breaking into the investment banking industry.

Investment banking covers a broad scope of financial services. One critical role is to help organizations or individuals raise capital. You may also dabble in proprietary trading for mergers, accounts, or acquisitions. Another part is to advise organizations on how to leverage financing and more.

As you can imagine, investment banking is a pretty complex career path. Yet it is quite lucrative. 2022 statistics show the base salary for an analyst ranges anywhere from $100 to $125 K per year. An associate can take home $225k.

If you make it to the vice president level, you could be taking home a paycheck of $300,000. Yet, total compensation, including bonuses, can reach up to $900,000. Now, the money is at the managing director level. The base salary can be as high as $600K per year. Add on the bonuses, and we are talking about huge pay.

Sounds interesting? Read on to learn how to start and excel in a career in investment banking now!

Educational Requirements to Become an Investment Banker

We did mention that investment banking is a pretty complex field. Within it are different specializations requiring specific skill sets. Many organizations need you to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. That opens up entry-level analyst positions.

The degree should be in finance, business administration, accounting, or other business-related disciplines. You may also need to complete coursework in mathematics and economics.

Prepare Well for the Investment Banking Interview

How challenging is it to get an investment banking job? The true answer to this question is very hard. The field is quite competitive, and organizations want the best candidates. You need the perfect mix of the right education, connections, and personality.

So, take time to prepare well for an investment banking interview. Learn things like the lingo. Let’s say an interviewer asks you to distinguish between dividend and dilution. You can make a better impression if you know the answer.

Check online resources for investment banking interview questions to help with the preparation. You get a guy that covers all aspects of the interview. This includes questions around logical, behavioral, technical, and group-specific.

You also learn how to answer questions that confound many candidates. One of the most common is to summarize your resume. Another is why you want to start a career in investment banking and more.

Learn How to Network

As a beginner in investment banking, you will realize the importance of networking. The right people mentioning your name as a good candidate can open doors for you.

Join professional groups and platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Have an active presence so that the right people start to notice you.

Make sure you attend plenty of investment banking events. You get an opportunity to talk to potential employers and recruiters.

How to Apply For Investment Banking Jobs

There are several steps you can take to apply for investment banking jobs.

  • Look for internship opportunities while doing your bachelor’s degree. It is an interesting way to impress recruiters.
  • Continue Internship even after graduating. That helps you keep your skill set up to par with what the market is looking for.
  • Use your networking groups to apply for jobs.

How to Get Work Experience in Investment Banking

The first place to get work experience in investment banking is as an intern. Use online resources to search for job placements. Many banks will often open up such positions for students.

Getting a banking job without an internship is hard but not impossible. But, it places you at a distinct disadvantage as a candidate. Recruiters look at much more than your educational background to determine suitability.

What Are The Easiest Investment Banking Internships To Get?

The reality is that getting an internship is not that easy. Financial institutions get thousands of applications every single year. Goldman Sachs, for example, got a total of 236,000 applications in 2022. With an acceptance rate of only1.5%, that only left 3,540 positions open. What this means for the rest is chances of getting full-time jobs after graduating are pretty low.

Start applying for internship positions immediately when you start university. The banks offer summer and spring internships. Apply to as many organizations as possible to increase your chances of landing a spot.

What Happens If You Do Not Get an Internship Opportunity?

Don’t give up on your dream of starting a career in investment banking if you don’t get an internship. You can still apply as an MBA, Ph.D., or accounting student.

Another option is to go for an apprenticeship program. Organizations like Goldman Sachs offer four-year programs for those studying applied finance.

Determination and passion for investment banking can get you through the doors. Use your networks to see what opportunities are available.

Other Investment Banking Beginner Concerns to Note

Let’s explore other pertinent things to note about a career in investment banking.

How to Get Into Investment Banking Without MBA

Please note that it is not a must to have an MBA to get into investment banking. But, you may choose to pursue it if you hope to move up the ladder.

How to Enter Investment Banking Without a Degree

Is it possible to get into investment banking without a degree? A cursory search will confirm that many organizations want people with a degree. There is some leeway in that you don’t have to have it in a finance-related field.

But you can expect to have to cover an Internship period to gauge your abilities. You may also need to take some finance-related courses.

How to Enter Into Investment Banking After Graduating College

The best way to get into investment banking after college is immediate. Do not wait too long, or you may need to top up with other finance-related courses. In that case, you may need an MBA to make yourself more attractive as a candidate.

Consider taking investment banking internships during your undergraduate years. Some level of work experience may be a prerequisite in some organizations. Immediately after graduating, don’t pass up on investment banking job opportunities.

Final Thoughts

A career in investment banking is an exciting, lucrative field. Pursue the right degree and make sure you apply for internships. And use the practice investment banking interview questions to prepare for your interviews.

 

 

Noor is a Columnist at Disrupt Magazine. He specializes in writing on trendy topics of crypto, business, finance as well as tech. He has been featured in Techbullion.com, Vizaca.com.

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