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A career in investment banking has a lot to offer, it is a rewarding job that is challenging and has a lot of potential for personal and professional development. However, it is a competitive industry and breaking into the investment banking world can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin.
Here are 7 important tips on getting into investment banking.
Attain A Relevant Degree/ Qualifications
If you are contemplating going to university and you know that you want to get into investment banking further down the line, then to give you your best chance at finding a great job later on you should study something relevant to the industry. For example, a BSC in Finance, or Finance and Banking, or a BSC in Finance and Investment and Risk. There is a multitude of courses available to you, you just need to take the time to research the options out there and see what appeals to you most.
If you have already attended university and your degree was in a whole other area, you might want to consider taking online courses to get relevant qualifications and certificates. This way employers will know that you know your stuff and you are not entering the industry without any knowledge of how it all works.
Do An Internship
Trying to secure an internship should be high on your list of priorities. An internship offers you on the job experience and provides you with the practical skills that employers will be looking for in future. Additionally, if you really impress your employers during your time with them they may even offer you a full-time job upon completion. Research has shown that around three-quarters of investment banking roles are filled by individuals who have already worked for the company.
Doing an internship is a great way for you to start making connections early on and you can build a network that you can tap into in the future.
Start Building Your Network Now!
There is no time like the present, so do not put off making connections! It is important to build your network as soon as possible, discuss with friends, family, tutors, lecturers and whoever else you can to see if they have any connections that might be of interest to you. If you have a serious intent to become an investment banker then you need to attend networking events, careers fairs, join finance and business societies and so on. Additionally, you should consider using social media to your advantage and make connections through LinkedIn. Send messages to potential employers or alumni of your school and ask for their advice. They may present you with an opportunity that you did not know ever existed, and even if not you are still going to get some useful advice out of it whilst getting your name out there.
Take On A Hobby/ Do Something That Sets You Apart
It helps to have something that differentiates you from the many other applicants fighting for the same role. If your CV says that you played Hockey while at university, this is not going to say as much about you as you might think. On the one hand, it will demonstrate teamwork skills, but it doesn’t say much else. Do something that sets you apart from the competition, consider running a half marathon, or cycle the longest route in the UK, or fundraise a significant amount of money for a charity. While these things are far from easy to do, they show strength, resilience and determination, and all of these qualities are valued by employers.
Meet With Recruiters
Take the time to meet with recruiters, get your name out there so when it comes to reviewing your application they can put a face to the name. If a recruiter gives you a business card with their contact details, make sure to drop them an email after the meeting to show you are a serious candidate. This will also help them to remember you, as they will be coming into contact with untold amounts of applicants.
When you go to meet recruiters, make sure you have relevant questions in mind. It looks good on your part if you are inquisitive and asking them the right questions. Act like a sponge and absorb any useful information that they may have for you.
Create A Top Notch CV/Resume
You need to make sure you create a CV/resume that is up to scratch. This process will take time, and you mustn’t rush this part as your CV is going to be what helps employers make that quick yes or no decision when it comes to recruiting for interviews. Research advise online and check out CV templates specific to investment banking. There is always room to improve, and so if you find that you are unsuccessful in applications early on, head back to your CV and make some changes.
Do not be disheartened if things don’t go your way immediately, it is a competitive industry and can often take several applications before even getting an interview. However, persistence is key, so keep going and do not give up!
Stay Up To Date On Relevant News
Being a well-read and well-informed candidate is vital when it comes to secure a job in investment banking. If you get to the interview stage for a company and they ask you your opinion on a current financial matter, but you have no idea what they are talking about then it is not going to look good at all. Considering reading news outlets such as The Economist, The Banker and The Financial Times, these platforms will give you a well-rounded foundation of information for you to form your own opinions. There is always more to learn when it comes to investment banking and continuing to educate yourself and stay up to date will make you a strong candidate.
So there you have it, 7 important tips for getting into investment banking. If this industry is really for you then each of these tips will prove very helpful in your journey.