Investment banks provide financial services to individuals, large corporations, and public sector enterprises. Some of the services include the issuance of IPO, underwriting functions, securing loans, business prediction and correction, fund management, and helping in capital raising, merger and acquisition processes. Currently, more than 300 investment banks are operating in India.
High growth trajectory and financial gratification make a career in investment banking a lucrative option. An investment banker helps clients raise capital to fund their ventures, offers investment-related advice, and ensures financial stability. Good mathematical, analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills are necessary for aspirants wishing to make it big in this financial sector.
Read on to learn how to make a successful career in investment banking.
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Tips to Make a Career in Investment Banking
To be an investment banker, a prospective candidate needs to be focused and methodical. Listed below are a few tips to make a successful career as an investment banker -
Selecting the right subject combination
Considering the qualities desired in an investment banker, a prospective candidate must choose the right combination of subjects from the beginning. Having subjects like mathematics, computer science, statistics, economics, and accountancy in high school is desirable.
In undergraduate courses, they may continue with a similar combination. A bachelor’s in commerce with accountancy as the core subject and/or a bachelor’s in science with economics make the base for a perfect candidate. Besides, an MBA in financial management can open multiple avenues in investment banking.
Derivatives markets, corporate finance, trade life cycle, economics, foreign exchange, equity investment, financial reporting, and analysis are some of the core areas an investment banker must be proficient in.
Pursue a relevant internship
Consider joining internship programmes in investment banks after graduation. It gives exposure and hands-on experience to build the requisite skill set. Exemplary performance as an intern can lead to a permanent position in the organisation. Aspirants can avail these opportunities through well-reputed job portals and campus placement.
It is a great way to secure meaningful interviews. It could benefit your professional life later on. A few time-tested modes of networking are as follows -
- Attending recruitment events is one of the easiest ways to build your network.
- Leveraging LinkedIn contacts can connect you to professionals who can guide you on industry-related topics and interview-related queries.
- Consulting a career centre can help connect a prospective investment banker to recruiters.
- Connect with a member of the local CFA society, who may support with relevant contacts.
Understanding interview sequence
Limited vacancies and a huge number of aspirants give rise to fierce competition in the finance industry. Investment banking interviews are systematically structured into multiple rounds differing from bank to bank. The first round tests the candidate’s problem-solving skills, technical aptitude and overall personality.
The final round of interviews is more intense and demands the best use of one’s analytical prowess. Young recruiters are more prone to ask technical questions, while senior ones test the behavioural aptitude of aspirants. Renowned study centres help the candidates tackle probable or model questions typically asked in these interviews.
Commanding soft skills
Attributes like analytical, interpersonal communication and behavioural skills are essential to become a good investment banker as they have to deal with a wide range of clients of varying sensibilities.
A well-written CV gives a peek into the candidate and highlights his/her skills. The resume should be compact and concise. It saves time for the recruiter and creates a positive impression.
Acts of active social engagement and involvement in sports, athletics, co-curricular activities etc., are also appreciated as they reflect a prospective candidate’s overall personality.
Commanding technical skills
Technical skills form the backbone of the banking industry. In-depth knowledge of mathematics, statistics, accountancy, valuation, financial modelling, and Excel are a must for those seeking to build a career in investment banking. Keeping up with emerging technologies and trends is a prerequisite to standing out. Fundamental knowledge of APIs and blockchain is also highly appreciated.
The role of an investment banker demands a lot of hard work besides technical and soft skills. A thirst for learning new skills and expertise would help boost your career in finance. Fierce competition rules this professional domain.
Enrolling in the Certified Investment Banking Operations Professional course at Imarticus can give your dream the right direction. With guaranteed placement support, hands-on training, real-world projects and an internationally-recognised certificate, you are bound to make a mark in investment banking.