When I started my headhunting business, I believed strongly that good qualifications are important in any career. Good qualifications from famous institutes (such as MIT, Harvard, INSEAD..…) are even more sought after. However when I come across more and more resumes, I have changed my mind.
From time to time, I receive resumes from non-bankers as many candidates are not aware of our business focus. Couple of the qualification-less resumes caught my attention. Both are from very senior people from reputable MNCs.
The first one was from a CEO who’s resume started ‘Left school at the age of 16 without qualifications…’ He started as an apprentice and earned his first managerial role in 10 years time. I had no job for him, or I must call him up and find out his story.
The second was from a Regional Director whom had even no education section on his resume. My boss happens to know this candidate personally and told me it was because he had ‘none’, i.e., no formal education. He started as a salesman and earned his first managerial role in six years time.
If for any reason your qualifications aren’t better than others, don’t worry. Opportunities are open to capable people, though it might take a little longer to prove yourself. However as investment banking is concerned, I would still insist that a bachelor degree in any discipline would be a basic requirement. So far I haven’t seen any qualification-less CEOs in investment banks.
Investment Banking Career