An investment banker is responsible for raising or securing money for corporations or firms to fund their operations. Their scope of work includes ushering companies through complex processes such as acquisitions, mergers, and IPOs. In order to do this, investment bankers should have immediate and in-depth knowledge of how financial markets and forces work along with the legal requirements.
If you are looking to start a career in investment banking, then there are several steps you can take in order to become a successful one. One of the first criteria that you must meet is getting a bachelor’s degree. While a degree in math, finance, or accounting is preferable, you can become an investment banker with any degree. While in college, take up any electives that offer insight into finance and work closely with professors who teach finance.
During the break before your last year of college, apply for internships at all the investment banking firms. Even if you do not like some of the firms, interviewing with them will give you experience and you’ll know what to expect. Secure an internship for two to three months and build relationships within the firm.
You could also go a step further and enroll yourself in an industry relevant investment banking course that will round out your resume and make you a valuable hire. These courses are designed to give you in-depth knowledge of financial products, operational risks, and regulation. Most of these courses also prepare you to take up finance related certification.
After you have finished your bachelor’s degree, apply to all the placement opportunities your college offers. Be sure to create a CV that is concise and to the point. Do not have a CV that is longer than a single page and keep it professional while also including all your extra-curricular activities. At this stage, you should focus on the interview process as this is the make or break point.
Read up on financial developments that have happened in the past year. You do not need an expert level of understanding of the events but a basic idea of what is happening in the financial world and its concepts. You will also be asked basic questions on the concepts of investment banking and it will serve you well to study the answers to them beforehand.
If you have had investment banking training before at college or in an institute, you will be prepared for the interview more than your fellow college mates. However, it is still important that you do your homework before going for the interview. Read up on the firm you are interviewing with and focus on their recent deals.
It is also important that you admit that you don’t know the answer to a particular question instead of giving an answer that you’ve just made up. These firms aren’t looking for someone with all the answers, rather they are looking for someone who has the correct mindset and attitude.