A Complete Guide to Building Your Career in Investment Banking

A Complete Guide to Building Your Career in Investment Banking

Investment bankers are smart, hardworking, and career-driven.

Starting a career in investment banking is perhaps one of the top career choices for fresh graduates. Not to mention, investment banking tends to temp many graduates. It pushes you to your limits while helping you build the skillsets – interpersonal and technical.

Who does not want an alluring six-figure salary right out of college, right? Well, becoming an investment banking professional will lead you right to it.

Investment bankers: What they exactly do?

Investment bankers are accountable for providing capital funding via investment in government entities such as states or municipalities or corporations. Investment banks function in order to provide such organizations the financial support through activities like underwriting – in search of buyers and investors. For instance, if you hear any company is planning to go public and offer stock shares to the investors at the first attempt through “initial public offering” (IPO) this simply means that the investment bank is the entity that is handling the IPO.

However, while managing the IPO, an investment banker needs to take care of creating a prospectus that includes complete company details such as necessary legal and compliance issues with the financial regulatory body i.e.U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and terms of the stock offerings. This also includes the setting of the initial stock price at a stage where it can gather the exact amount of investment the company needs.

Investment banking professionals hold responsibility in assisting clients in transactions like mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in which one company is looking to acquire another company or when a company is up for sale. The company valuations that these investment banks provide determines what one company is willing to pay for another company. The ongoing pandemic has significantly impacted even the investment banking industry leaving them with no choice but to remain hypervigilant.

What’s your entry point into investment banking?

Getting a career in investment banking is not a cakewalk. However, you can still make it through. Below are four entry points for you to choose from, depending on your status.

  • An undergraduate from Ivy League institutions

Perhaps this is one of the easiest ways to get into the investment banking field, but you need to be very specific about choosing investment banking. This means you need to make that call when you’re in your first year or beginning of the second year of your college. Though this may sound tricky, there’s a good chance you’ll make it through.

  • A fresh graduate

Most students graduate and take up jobs related to investment banking – corporate finance or corporate banking and then moving further into investment banking firms. However, the chances of you getting into the investment banking industry completely depend on the current market conditions and the nature of your job.

For instance, if your current job hasnothing to do with finance, you might need to take up an MBA or Masters in Finance.

  • An MBA degree

As mentioned, if your current job has no role in finance, you might want to get into an MBA program and get into the IB industry. With an MBA degree, you have a lot of chances to start a career in investment banking. However, you will need to put in extra effort and start networking.

  • Beyond an MBA degree

This means you’re an experienced working professional. You might or may not have a chance of getting into investment banking, why?

For instance, if you have more than 10 years of work experience at a mid-level company, you have a slight chance of making it as an investment banker. If you’re here, you’ll need to choose another career path. Perhaps an investment banking certification might help.

Irrespective of the pathway that you choose, earning an internship always helps for undergraduates. Fresh graduates can utilize their full-time job roles or off-cycle internships, and an MBA graduate can use their full-time work experience along with pre-MBA internships.

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