Investment Banking is one of the most trending term in the world of finance. Nowadays, many experienced professionals and graduates want to be an Investment Banker. It is one of the hardest, most lucrative and best paying jobs in the world.
As more and more people are aspiring to be an Investment Banker and jobs are limited in this domain, recruiters are picky and choosy in hiring the best talent. It makes slightly tough for any fresher to enter into this high profile industry.
Nonetheless, if you have analytical mind and you are very keen to make your career in Investment Banking then with the right education and right knowledge, you can successfully build your way in IB.
Education Criteria for entering into IB Industry
1. MBA (Finance)
Investment Bankers prefer MBA Finance as top applicants’ profiles over other profiles. MBA Finance teaches students all the discipline as required in IB domain including finance, accounting, business acumen, marketing, financial analysis, management consulting and accounting knowledge. Investment Banking is a mix of all the disciplines with majors in finance.
If a candidate is from top tier colleges (IIMs/ IITs, ISB, FMS, Xavier’s, IIFT etc.) then it becomes comparatively easier for them to enter into IB Industry.
If you’re a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter, then you can easily make your way to IB industry. However, if you’re a CFA Level 3 candidate or CFA Level 2 candidate, then also you can enter into IB. CFAs are mostly preferred in industries like Investment Banking, Management Consulting, Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, Brokerage firms, Insurance and Investment Firms etc.
Another preferred education requirement is of a Chartered Accountant (CA). CAs are shifting to Investment Banking Industry on a large scale because of its paying structure and its popularity among the CA students. Another segment which enthusiasts CAs is to get into Financial Due Diligence team of Investment Banking.
The bare minimum education requirement is to get a graduate degree in any discipline. But graduation will only make you enter into IB at an entry level (Intern). You can enter to Analyst or Junior Analyst level if you have graduated from a renowned institute.
One can immediately become an Investment Banker post-graduation but you need to have good experience, knowledge and further qualification to sustain in it.
Things to improve to enter into IB Industry
1. Analytical Skills:
You need to improve your Analytical Skills along with other skills (including but not limited to communication, presentation, excel, interpersonal etc.). Analytical skill plays an integral role in IB Industry.
Working on research and Financial Modelling requires a great analytical mind to adapt and learn these quickly.
2. Mathematical Skills:
This is one of the keys skills for entering or sustaining in IB Industry. If you’re unable to do basic math then IB is not the right industry for you.
There are individuals who have thrived in this industry through excellent math’s knowledge. Investment Banking’s math is much more than making equations and solving it.
3. Basic Finance Knowledge:
No Finance recruiter will hire you if you lack in basic finance knowledge i.e; knowledge of three basic statements (Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement), Analysis of the three Statements, Ratios, Securities, Present Values etc.
Finance knowledge is must to crack any interview for finance profile or related domains. An Investment Banker has to work on all the aspects of finance and it is expected from the candidates to be well versed with them.
4. Excel and PowerPoint Skills:
80% of the Investment Banking work constitute of working on Excel and PowerPoint presentations. You are required to be handy with the basic and advanced working of both the tools.
You can take a video session or video course to learn working on Excel and PowerPoint which will make you job ready without making it a hindrance in your day to day work
5. Financial Modelling: (Plus Factor)
It is a plus for any recruiter if you have a sound knowledge in Financial Modelling. As Investment Bankers work day in and day out on models, they always haunt for people who can build models from scratch.
Ways to get into Investment Banking
1. Approach to the right personnel
The best way to get your application heard in Investment Banking is to find the right personnel and approach to him directly. While writing a job application, it is required to highlight all the key points in the mail body or cover letter to attract the right eyeballs.
Usually, you should directly reach out to either Associates or Vice Presidents as they are influential in hiring process in Investment Banking industry other than the HRs.
2. Secure an Internship in Investment Banking
If you already secure an Investment Banking Internship experience, then it becomes easier for you to secure a job in the same Industry. It is comparatively effective to get an Internship position over getting an Analyst position directly.
3. Be a part of Analyst programs
Most of the big-bracket Investment Banks (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse etc.) conduct Analysts programs in their company for budding and aspiring candidates to join them as an Analyst. You can be a part of either of the programs and showcase your interest in IB to the employer in front.
4. Build Connections
Building connections and networking is an important part of the job. Connections with the Investment Bankers or with the corporates can help you land a good profile job in Investment Banking.
5. Pursue an Investment Banking Course
There are several institutes which help candidates in learning the core of investment Banking. They help candidates from scratch of learning the nuances of IB till the time of securing a high profile job in the same industry.
Wall Street School is one of those institutes. It has designed a course specifically for budding students who are aspiring to enter into Investment Banking Industry.