When one looks back to what one really learnt from working in investment banking, it definitely will not be anything to do with investment banking itself per se. Rather; it emerges from a wide variety of answers on quora.com that most bankers listed out the following attributes that they learnt from being involved in this sector. Let us quickly list them in no particular order to help you understand the importance of soft-skills and personality development if you wish to make a career and are looking to learn investment banking.
A. Meticulous attention to details:
The areas of investment banking deal primarily with the IB advising his investor clients on how and where to invest their monies. The importance of these deals and their sheer sizes mean very often that the IB is good at number crunching and doing so with the ease of a trapeze artist over various areas of the business analysis decision impacting factors. The attention to details is what ensures those decisions are right. The industry is definitely very competitive and hard work, money, time, effort and your reputation can be badly damaged if you make a mistake. So this is very important and never taught in colleges as a subject essential for IBs.
B. Hard work and discipline:
The investment banking sector is known to be extremely demanding and an 80 to 120 hour week should never surprise you. You probably will have zero time for social life and more than 44% of the fresh IBs quit in the first three years. So, other than the learn investment banking training you receive it means you develop the basics of being disciplined and working the long hours. At the end of the day, it is monetarily very rewarding.
C. Office politics:
Politics do exist in all organizations and it is just the scale that differs. Larger institutions should have more politics and these can affect your career progression as well. However, it really is not so bad as it looks since most novices learn their way around the hierarchies and develop their innovative ways of getting around this hurdle. Such negatives do bring out the many positives of being innovative, having a pleasing personality, dealing with conflicting situations and more. It is just about the scale and how you learn to handle it.
D.The sales pitches:
IB is about selling and it starts very early in the IB career. You will quickly learn to effectively sell
• Your technical skills at the interviews.
• To your client with effective sales pitches.
• Your value to the organization in bringing in the deals.
• The institution’s products that you sell to the client.
Don’t worry at all. In life, you learn to sell ideas from the time you are an infant. Bawl and mamma comes running, fall sick and avoid homework etc. It is not aggressive selling, but you get the hang of selling ideas and improving your selling skills fast.
E. Business and financial modelling:
This is perhaps the one measurable, tangible and technical skill that you walk away with. You become adept at looking at the financial and business models and data without hassles and manipulating data and databases to give those valuable insights for business decisions and forecasts of trends in everything from stocks, to prices, industry trends, market conditions, and expert opinions and solutions on flop deals, foreclosures, bankruptcies and more. And yes, you present them in Microsoft Excel with ease!
F. Acting under pressure:
This attribute is a must to meet the many deadlines you face in a harrying day. Commuting, communicating, reporting deadlines, fire-drills, safety and compliance hurdles and what not. Every one of them is to be treated with equanimity and calm if you wish to avoid burnout. Of course, no one expects a robot. But it helps when you get trained to handle working and acting under pressure. That’s why you need to ‘learn investment banking’.
G. Being a global person:
This is definitely not jargon! Communicative skills, having a broad-minded perspective, linguistic skills and being able to use learning to practice and real-life situations can save many a deal and just being able to tackle the world at large.
H. Entrepreneurial spirit:
With so much exposure and pressure at work, it won’t be long before you wish to be an entrepreneur yourself after the burnout. Not easy but doable for an IB. Your learning, academics and continued learning of the client’s ecosystem will teach you to be a good entrepreneur.
In parting, we have just seen the important takeaways from investment banking. These are never taught in colleges and should have been essential subjects! At Imarticus Learning, you can learn investment banking from people who place special emphasis on training you to take the IB demands in your stride.