Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ideal Candidate For Investment Banking

One of the most common questions my readers ask is - what makes me an ideal candidate for investment banking? It is obvious that those who don’t have a degree from Harvard or without any intern experience from Goldman may think that they are in a less competitive position.  In fact, it is not.  Some very successful bankers don’t even study finance at college.   And on this planet, there isn’t a degree to train students to become a president.  What make things happen is ‘YOU’.   

I’ve recently clipped this article which should help you gain a better understanding of the business and find out whether you can be an ideal investment banking candidate.  Find out what employers look for and see if you have those qualities.  The article is quite long, here is an extraction. 

Communication Is Key

Investment bankers need to be effective team players with excellent communication skills in order to avoid disconnects and wasted effort. Investment banks communicate with external parties such as clients, accountants, consultants and lawyers. Furthermore, many client representatives tend to be extremely scrutinizing, well-respected and often short-tempered, and you'll need to know how to deal with them…… 

Not Your Average Nine to Five

Due to the long hours involved, work stamina is required. When deadlines approach for deals, consecutive all nighters are a frequent occurrence.  

The late-night hours, client demands and finite number-crunching lead to relatively high attrition and burn-out rates. In many circumstances, analysts will stockpile several bonuses and move on to another career after a few years. The intellectual stimulation and challenging rigors of high-level corporate finance and executive level analyses, however, do provide a context where those who seek to exert themselves can find comfort and satisfaction in a prestigious and lucrative career. The classes of top business schools are dotted with former investment bankers wanting to go back to school to earn master's degrees. The low- to mid-six-figure compensation packages piled up over the years provide ample cash supplies for graduate school. Alternatively, there is an opposing and convincing view that experience counts for more when compared to a graduate degree. 

Rising To The Top

It is common for a rising star to specialize in a particular industry, whether it is in real estate, health care, energy, retail, transportation or infrastructure. As an investment banker progresses throughout his or her career and becomes involved in a multitude of projects, he or she becomes able to quickly apply industry norms, ratios, trends, forecasts and typical performance benchmarks. 

During the first few years, the analyst/associate conducts financial and operational grunt work. An associate's progression to a principal or director role, however, requires a higher level of responsibility in business development, and the ability to generate revenue for the department or firm. Assuming a supervisory role for a project, and becoming the primary contact for clients, along with training and recruiting, are appropriate adjuncts to business development and revenue generation. 

Differentiating Yourself From The Crowd

Investment banks seek high academic achievement, involvement in campus leadership positions, stellar communication skills and internships at well-regarded companies and nonprofit organizations. The applicant needs to be able to convey raw mental and emotional horsepower, a solid sense of direction in terms of goals and objectives and credible step-by-step supporting actions that have been taken to arrive at those objectives.  

Students and young professionals who possess broader or non-business academic curricula, or who worked at nonprofits, traveled overseas, volunteered and who display a burning curiosity and desire to explore this field, should resolve to apply and reapply for investment banking roles. There is a minimum requirement for a basic understanding of finance for your chances to be enhanced. But as long as the applicant conveys authenticity in his or her endeavors and possesses the passion and determination to explore investment banking as a career, an opportunity will often open up. Do not underestimate people's respect and admiration for someone who follows his or her conscience and dreams. Remind yourself that many of the world's most successful business leaders did not study finance or accounting - if they even received a college diploma at all.  

The Bottom Line

Applicants with a true passion for finance, market and organizational analysis should apply and reapply for investment banking roles, conduct self-study on finance, business, management and leadership. They should also secure impressive standardized test scores, differentiate themselves by volunteering or leading groups, and network with current or former investment bankers. If you're an energetic professional with strong valuation skills and the ability to interact with others, this challenging and rewarding job may be just what you're looking for.  Source:  Investopedia
Inside Investment Banking (IIB)
If you are eager to apply for investment banking roles, visit the IIB website.  It is authored by five young investment bankers who all succeeded to break into investment banking without a degree from Harvard and without an internship from Goldman.  They’ve created the IIB website to share their experiences and help others to do the same. Click here to visit Inside Investment Banking