Meta: Investment banking is a lucrative career option. If you’re looking to get into it, this post has a few tips for you.
Investment banking is one of the lucrative career options today. However, it is not everybody’s cup of tea. People with good numerical ability, strong logical aptitude, clear and convincing communication skills are typically best suited for roles in investment banking. These are, however, preliminary skills. As it requires speaking to HNIs (High Net Worth Individuals), it also requires to have authoritative voice. Being one of the demanding jobs in terms of skills, there are a few things that people looking to get into investment banking can do. This will accelerate their pace and smoothen their way to get into investment banking.
So here you go-
- Check if it’s the right job for you
As I have mentioned earlier, investment banking is a demanding job. Strong analytical and numerical aptitude are pre-requisites for a job in this role. Roles in investment banking can keep you on your toes all day and can be stressful. Sometimes it may even require to put 12-14 hours a day at work. So check if it is the right kind of job that you really want to do. Don’t go only for the sake of salary or at prospect of making high salaries.
- Choose a job role
Everyone working in an investment firm is not an investment banker. In fact, graduates generally start as Investment Analysts not as bankers. There are multiple roles here including operations. Yes, though there are similarities, in terms of skills, they have difference in the requirement of skillset as well as personal attributes.
For instance, you could be a part of merger & acquisitions team, here you would require to have strong interpersonal skills and negotiations skills, as it requires liaison between involved parties—company leaderships. However, if you are working in the operation side, you will be required to process & settle financial transactions made at your bank. For this, you will need strong numerical and analytical skills.
Pursue an investment banking degree
Though it is not mandatory to pursue a degree for a career in investment banking, most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in related discipline. If you have a degree in economics, mathematics, statistics or any closely math’s-related, it will favorable. Most employers dedicate a significant amount of resource to train graduates, but a bachelor’s degree is mandatorily required. Further, there are specialized investment banking certification which you can pursue to understand in & out of investments.
If you’re already a graduate and are looking to get into investment banking pursuing a certification will be an ideal option. If you’re about to start graduate studies, go for specialized university programs in finance & investment banking.
- Do an investment banking internship
Investment banking isn’t as it is portrayed on t.v. It is also not as it seems in ‘wolf of wall street’. To fully understand how investment banking works, you will have to experience it. For this, an internship is mandatory.
Almost all investment banking institutions including JP Morgan, Barclays, The RBS Group offer internships in investment banking. Ofcourse, getting into these internships isn’t a cake walk. Internships are offered across all domains in investment banking, so before you apply choose one and see that it matches the experience you are looking to get. To increase your chances of getting the internship, make sure that your CV suits the description of experience required for the internship you are applying.
- Attend events & network
Even though opportunities are good in investment banking, they are hard to come by. To keep learning about the industry, you should attend events and meet people in the industry. It will help you gain knowledge and get better understanding of investment banking.