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I was just planning on doing both but I could use some feedback. The best strategy is always to get in ASAP rather than working in another field first and then moving in. But, again, you really need to decide if you want to do that or focus on your business because it will be difficult to do both. Feel free to reply to one of our newsletters if you want to submit questions via email.
But I think you need to decide what you want to do first. If that business already has traction and sales, you should probably just stick with it and grow. Hi Brian, I am currently a rising sophomore interested in breaking into investment banking. I attend a non-target school, but came in with a lot of credits from high school. If I continue with just my major in Finance, I can graduate at the end of my third year.
Or I can pick up a second business-related major like accounting , which would push my Bachelors completion back to the usual fourth year. My question is: do you think it would be better to complete the MSF from non-target school, same as undergrad or pick up a second major? Probably get the second major so that you have the option of doing the MSF at a target school in the future if you need it to make a change. The Management Finance course is rank 5th in the UK higher than pure finance , and also contains relevant modules such as corporate finance and finance fundamentals.
Please let me know which masters if any, you think I should accept. Thanks so much, Brian. I really appreciate both of your replies to this and the other comment. All the best! Hey Brian… thank you for posting this highly relevant article. I am a Undergrad. I have two years of work exp at a big 4 in Accouting… I am 25 years old. I got a summer internship at a top pension fund in the strategy group prior to staring the MFE program at Oxford. Again lots of variables here — like actually landing a full-time offer.
Or do you think I should skip the whole internship experience and go hunting for full time opportunities. In addition to the above question, and independent of the above. An MBA is only useful for career changers who want to get into IB or consulting and do not have other pathways.
You were not interested in banking until you started working full-time and got bored with your job. I will be finishing my degree with a GPA of 3. My current situation holds some problems. Likewise, due to the current situation all my networking and case competitions have been cancelled. If I am looking at the situation all wrong, I am always open to criticisms. I will always attempt to apply for the BB IBs, but my main objective is to apply for boutique firms as their summer internship programs are offered for students who will be graduating from either a Undergrad or Masters in Finance or related degree in the following year.
This is an effort to gain experience and to apply for the larger IBs in the future. So, I am asking given this situation would attempting a MSF be a bad idea? I would definitely not do an MBA at this point. An MSF might be helpful, but it depends on what type of boutique internship you can get on your own. If you do not think you can reasonably get anything, then yes, the MSF makes sense, though you are taking a risk if this crisis drags on for another year or more.
I just graduated from Florida State University with a 3. But the thing thats intriguing me more is that now is the time to apply since all schools are waiving test scores due to COVID So main question is for someone in my position, A. Do not know much about the USC program, sorry. West Coast programs are trickier to categorize because most finance recruiting is based around NY. I have a Masters of Engineering 4.
Also completed numerous licencing courses and the education requirements for the CFP designation. Had been considering IB but believe my age 30 limits my options to break in as an analyst and that the remunerations for an analyst in canada would be equivalent to an engineering role. I think you will need the MFin program because it seems like you have extensive work experience already, which means it will be harder to win entry-level IB roles if that is your goal. Even if your goal is to work in corporate finance at a mining company directly, the MFin program, assuming solid placement, should still help you because it tends to be difficult to move straight into finance from an engineering background.
Curious about recruiting for internships if I move to a MSF program directly from undergrad. Any suggestions? I have a chance to go back to school for a fifth year paid for by the university to finish my athletic career and pursue a MSF or Masters in Business Analytics. Assuming I win a return offer at the end of this summer, would the bank allow me to defer my start date by a year?
Or do I forego the fifth year and masters degree? You have provided such great information to me, and I steer my friends to your site all the time. Thank you. Asking to defer your offer is always risky because the market environment can change very quickly look at January vs. April …. It might work, but if the economy sinks even further or hiring completely freezes by then, they could just rescind the offer.
So… if you do win a full-time return offer, I would strongly recommend forgetting the 5th year and graduating as scheduled. Hey as you said about engineer from India, I am in 3rd year of engineering and I have a Research internship in finance from an IIM read top 5 bschool in India , and I will be doing another internship in Finance probably equity research or IB if lucky. Is MS Finance not useful for an engineering candidate like me? Also GPA is 8. Take a look at some of our previous articles on India for the best strategies here.
I have high grades Cum Laude, equivalent to What do you think would serve my purpose more? Do you think me having only a grade equivalent could obstruct my chances of being accepted? Option 2 might be better if you want to to work at a tech company or something outside the finance industry.
I think is fine for MsF programs. Thank you for all of your insights. These articles are incredibly helpful! I was hoping to get some advice as we try to navigate through the current pandemic. My own personal work experience has been healthcare, I have a 3. Also, in one of your other articles, you mentioned how Middle Markets can serve as a solid entry point for people who decided on IB last minute. There is also a very large alumni base to which I could reach out in the IB space, would that be of any benefit before I start the program as well?
Yes, MM firms can still work if you decided late, and it is still important to network before the program begins and before IB recruiting starts. Hi Brian, Thanks for your articles. They are really insightful. I have a few questions.
But first let me describe my situation. Am an aerospace engineering graduate. Fair gpa just above 3. Is an MSc in finance a good step right now? Do I have any shot at investment banking with the finance masters? Would you recommend it? My peers are all engineers. I always had a passion for finance but i only recently decided to pursue it. Do you think it is plausible? Thank you for your time and all the awesome articles that you write!
Yes, assuming the current virus crisis is over by the time you apply. You should focus on gaining internship experience ASAP because it will be difficult to use even a top MSF program to get into finance without at least internships first. I find your posts very useful. Just wanna share with you my situation and look for some recommendations:. I graduated first honors with an arts degree in HKU.
I did a full year volunteer work after graduation and got into big 4 audit the following year. Have been there for 1. People around me recommend a few years more in the field and switch career with an MBA. Would really appreciate if you can give some advice!
If you can get into a top school in the US or UK and enroll quickly, yes. Once you get to the 3-year mark in your current role, though, you might need an MBA to switch into finance. What kind of postgraduate degree could open those doors? For investment banking, it just depends on how much full-time work experience you already have.
Would really appreciate your advice! Thanks for the reply! The first thing to realize is that even if you are at a top bank, you will probably not make it into one of the mega-funds in NY. You can still win offers at these firms by going through the process as a 2nd year analyst and then staying in IB for 3 years. You are still probably better off staying in London, recruiting for PE there, and then trying to transfer.
Hi Brian. Really useful article. I would appreciate your advice regarding my situation. I am a CA in India. If you actually do the MSF in one of those other countries, yes, potentially. It depends on the total amount of work experience you have, though. Also, the more important question, is it possible for an Investment Banking Analyst to do a full-time MSF while working full-time?
If not, then is either his job or studies has to be part-time? Or is it not possible at all? And if the last one is the case, then is it possible at all to do an MSF, either full-time or part-time, while working full-time as an Associate, VP or a director? Also, to give you a clearer image of my situation, I am able to do internships here, but how many do yoi think I should do?
You cannot be an IB Analyst and do any time of part-time or full-time degree. If you want to work at the Big 4 in London, you could probably get in without an MSF in the UK, but the whole visa situation is currently unclear due to Brexit. You probably have a better chance if you do an MSF there, intern there, and then apply for full-time roles. Thanks for the great content. I graduated from a non-target with a 3. I did work on an interesting part of the trading floor however. My worry is my undergrad GPA.
Would the MsFin make sense? Perhaps I can shoot higher with my strong work experience and letters. I suppose I am in option B? Double majored in Mathematics and biology 3. However, I have no official job experience as I just graduated. What would be the best option to break into finance, particularly with a aim of breaking into IB?
I highly value growth opportunities, salary and working with inspiring and ambiguous people. I am Canadian and I am 24 yo. My grades were good and I have held several leadership positions in university societies, but my internships were unrelated to finance. My questions: -What sort of career path would you recommend me? Do you think emerging markets, corporate finance within a global firm or credit analysis are sound and reasonable goals given my situation?
Any advice would be a huge help. Hi, Brian, thanks for the information. I worked full-time for 2 yrs in credit industry after finishing my bachelor of science in Financial Math. I have been searching for summer internship recently, but found most of them are for undergraduate student. Do you think I can possibly get an offer if I apply as a graduate student? While it is Christmas season so I am not going to bug bankers for information sessions. Now is not a great time to network due to the holidays, but you can start again in the first week of January.
But once you do that, find people on LinkedIn and go through email to get the best results. Degrees from the IIMs are treated differently. I do have a couple of IBD internships incl. No bank will take me with such a degree classification. I know I can do better than a Pass. I am considering doing another Master degree, maybe in Management, to get the grades I need. Do you think I should even take another Master degree and, if so, will Investment Banks still look at my first Master degree result and still reject me based on that even if I do very well in my second master degree?
Banks will still look at both, but if you do much better in the second one, it might be fine. I went to a top public university in the US. I double majored in finance and chemistry, however I got interested in finance and investment banking very late and was not able to capitalize on the available opportunities. I currently work in consulting public sector and I have had a financial planning internship in the past.
I am thinking of doing a masters in finance US or UK to break into investment banking. My current plan is to cold call and get a summer internship before the masters program starts for some experience. I would apply to intern roles and analyst roles for after the program is over, as I understand that it will be difficult to secure BB roles without prior experience.
My financial modeling experience is minimum to none and I plan on taking a financial modeling course and learning on my own. Is this a viable plan? First and foremost thank you for your insight through this site, it has been very helpful for me so far. My goal is to transition into IB within the healthcare space. I am 32 years old, my current work is in overseeing the transition and acquisition of our retiring doctors practices as Associate Director. Do you have any recommendations for me?
Which of the two schools would you choose? Notre Dame appears to be ranked much higher than Johns Hopkins in the MSF degree list, so that is probably a better option. Hello Brian your in-depth industry experiences and constructive advices are so impressive! Mainly due to those years as an international student my English totally killed everything so it was the language skill rather than the study or intelligence ability prevented me from getting a better GPA.
Another sore spot for me is I got my bachelor degree in , which means I am old but not experienced. I have many years unemployed because my immigration status was frozen so I had to wait. I got 3 months equity research experience in NYC last year and was my only relevant intern.
Do you consider I am even eligible? Is that still some possibility for me to break into the IB?? Thank you for your precious time in advance!! They do care about GPA, but if you have good enough work experience or test scores, you might be able to get in anyway.
If your goal is to win competitive finance jobs in fields like IB, then you should focus on the schools described here. Thanks for all these supportive guides I could merely access to elsewhere. Could you please figure out some other ways I might break in and start with?? I am a undergraduate from a top target school with a mediocre GPA 3. Had two internships in boutique investment banks in NY.
Hi The question is specifically for those who are finance aspirants or want a career in finance ie. In IB, Asset management, hedge funds, investments etc. Front office. Because what I have heard with an MBA you have more opportunities and a higher position and pay in an investment company Iike Jp Morgan etc. Whereas with MS since you are a fresher you would be more or less given a minor role compared to what you would have got with an MBA.
In the last year, I worked at UniCredit bank as a brach consultant for 6 months and that is my only relevant experience is it relevant? I think you will probably need an additional internship to be competitive for IB. Something closer, such as a boutique PE or VC firm, Big 4, valuation, corporate finance, or something else like that. Would an MS finance make sense for someone in my situation to break into IB: I attended a non target state school and got decent grades 3.
I am also beginning the recruiting process with Big 4 accounting firms audit positions mostly. Would applying here after 1 year work experience be a good idea? An MSF might make sense, certainly more than an MBA, but personally I would only do it if you spend some time recruiting, come up empty-handed, and decide that you need to gain better access to recruiters. Hi Brian, Quick question. I have 6 years of working experience. I am trying to move into investment banking and willing to go for a more junior role.
Do you think that doing a MSF, say in LSE, would help me break into investment banking having worked a few years already in corporate banking? I am based in London. You might be able to do it since CB is closer to IB than many other roles, but they also might be reluctant to hire you as an Analyst with that much experience. I am approaching the final year of my bachelor degree in Business Administration at a semi-target in Europe.
Because I am already going into the final year of my bachelor degree, I would have a gap year between my SA stint and FT assuming I receive a return offer. Or would it make more sense to just do a masters at my university no requirements for internal students? I am planning to get into private equity as an analyst or associate. I have 7 months of experience in accounting and 17 months of experience in operations in a big investment Management firm.
It will be extremely difficult to get into private equity with that type of background unless you gain deal experience, normally in investment banking but also possibly in corporate development, first. So you need to think about how to gain deal experience first.
The best way to do that in your case is probably to do the MSF at a top school and use recruiting there to win an Analyst-level IB offer, and then move into PE. I am sorry Brian, I forgot to mention I have a BBA in finance and I am looking to get specifically into a boutique private equity firm middle market.
Thanks Ander. It does not matter. It is exceptionally difficult to get into PE no matter what you do — even if you actually have deal experience at a bank. Please see these articles to understand why:. My friends have suggested doing an MFin degree at a target school here to compensate for my lack of business background. Do you think its a good idea to pursue a Mfin degree at this point?
Any insights or suggests that you might have would be much appreciated! An MBA might help you, but more so if you use it to work in the U. I have a B. Do you think an MSF make me more desirable in the market or help me land internships? It depends on what your work experience looks like.
I am afraid my choice will be questioned since I expect courses to be somewhat repetitive. Thanks in advance and keep up the good work! If you want to maximize your chances of winning a role in the U. Another option would be to work in Europe at a large bank and then ask about a transfer to the U. A little background about me — Finance degree from a big state school in 3. Any insight you could give toward my decision between these two programs would be fantastic. Unless you need Business Analytics because of visa issues as I think it qualifies for STEM treatment, so helpful for international students who want to stay in the country , you should go with the school that has the best reputation and placements.
As an international candidate who wants to break into investment banking, I would appreciate your view on what degree would be more appropriate for me- MSF or MBA? Would recruiters consider my three-year national service a work experience? You will almost certainly need an MBA at this point because the 3 years of accounting will be viewed as work experience, even though it was technically in the military.
I had worked in accounting and auditing roles. But I had figured out that I want to work in finance only. Please suggest. Is it a good market for finance roles. India is a completely different market. Please see:. Hi, I recently found your website and I am obsessed. I have a Bachelors of Economics in Finance 3.
I began this fall, and will be graduating June In hindsight I would have chosen to get an MSF instead. I am an International student and my current program qualifies me for just one year of OPT. Not sure what to do. Any advice will be highly appreciated Thanks! I would definitely recommend switching to an MSF, if possible, because an MBA right after undergrad is not a great idea for IB recruiting it will be tough to compete against others with full-time experience.
This article may be helpful:. Brian, I was just accepted into a two year MSF program and it is my intent to quit my job before the semester starts next year. My question is, do I really need another internship prior to starting the program if I completed two PE internships as a senior? My goal is to get a PE role a MM fund. No, probably not. It will still be difficult to win a PE role directly out of the program, but another finance internship will not change that at all.
You have a good shot at other roles that lead into PE with that type of background. I graduated from a semi-target but I finished with a low GPA 2. My plan is to focus on getting a 3. With that in mind, should I try to do a summer internship with a small IB shop in my first year to have it on my resume or would my experience with an improved resume be enough? I was also a fighter aircraft maintainer in the Air Force for a year and a half before college so I feel like I have a unique resume as is.
My main concern is that is finding a balance between having enough experience and having too experience much to get an analyst role. So, you probably need to focus on winning an IB role in that summer, ideally at a mid-sized-to-large bank so you have a reasonable chance of receiving a return offer.
Hi Brian, First of all, I would like to say that I really appreciate what You do here, especially considering that comments and questions are actually answered. Long story not-so short: I am a first year student at the Bocconi MSc in Finance, having graduated last summer. Now, getting to post-graduate level without a working experience in Italy is not uncommon at all I would say that it is basically the norm , but still I would like to ask You what my next moves could be, considering that I was not-shockingly not able to land any bulge-bracket IB summer internship in London.
I was thinking about either trying to get a consulting internship MBBO , maybe in the middle east, or trying to break into Venture Capital in London as I read in one of your articles. Is any of them actually a good idea, considering that I would still like to break into banking, once graduated from my master? At this point, you need to get any type of work experience you can to have a shot at winning IB roles. However, I think I need advice on my specific situation.
I would really appreciate your thoughts on whether a Masters in Finance makes sense for me. I am an Australian student from the University of Queensland and am about to complete my undergraduate degree in November. My overall GPA is 3. My career goal is a career in investment banking, preferably in the energy, mining and utilities sectors as it fits my background and are huge in Australia.
With this experience, I gunned hard for investment banking internships and graduate roles throughout I managed to make the final round for graduate interviews with two bulge bracket firms. For internships, I got first round interviews with 6 firms, and made final round interviews with 3 of them 2 boutiques and 1 bulge bracket. All of these interviews were in Sydney, and many came as a result of my networking.
I developed a very strong network with a senior banker at a bulge bracket, and other decent networks of analysts and associates from the boutiques. They have encouraged to keep in touch, particularly if I secured a big 4 role or boutique. Unfortunately, there are very few opportunities in my home city, where I was unsuccessful with big 4 corp finance which are the best avenue for IB in Brisbane.
After this application season, I applied for many other roles just to gain more experience in relevant industries. Soon, I am about to complete a 3 month internship Nov-Feb in Brisbane for mechanical engineering.
This company is not a well-known name and will most likely provide a contract offer next week. With all this under consideration, I have mapped out this potential plan: 1. If successful, I could have the option to start a full time role with this energy company in My grad role for would start immediately after this internship. The job is located in Melbourne. Due to the lack of transferable skills with this role, I am planning to study a masters in finance at the University of Melbourne.
Application deadlines are very soon. During , I will study part time and utilize the networks and campus events to continue to try and break into banking. This will be graduate and internship applications which span from March to July. I will also continue to apply for off-market entry level positions for big 4, boutiques and maybe bulge brackets. Pros of plan: — Melbourne is the best choice as I have a job and can support myself.
Cons: — All of my current networks are in Sydney. With a full time job, this will make networking and going to university events more difficult, but not impossible. This could hurt my grades and networking. Other considerations: — If I have time, might attempt FMI modeling certifications to demonstrate my technical skills for boutiques and big 4.
They are easier to manage, less time commitment and lower cost. A masters seems more beneficial though. What are your thoughts of my plan? Do you have any additional suggestions or alternatives? I had alarm bells when you mentioned that a Masters of Finance is not beneficial in Australia for breaking into IB.
Apologies for the long-winded message, I just wanted to frame my situation as clearly as possible. Thanks for reading. The flaw in your plan is that banks do not necessarily recruit from MSF programs in Australia. If you really want to get into the industry, you should try to move to a market with more roles the UK or UK. Would this be a good option from your knowledge of the European market? Thanks again for reading. And almost anything beats Australia. Did you end up doing masters?
I have just graduated with a degree in Maths with Finance, and am currently working as an accountant. My finance experience is limited to this. Do you think it would be possible to get an internship, if so how would I go about securing one? Or your thoughts on an approach to getting into an investmant analyst position. Many thanks. Hi Brian, long time lurker at this site. About myself: I am a international student from China, study abroad seven years ago, currently a senior at UCLA studying Business-economics with a 3.
I got in the recruiting game late. I start thinking about what I want to do in my sophomore year summer. That made me automatically fail for the regular recruiting route because at that point I have a blanket sheet of resume I involved in non-business student organization in my first two years. Speaking of internship experience, I got a marketing internship in junior fall, and I am lucky enough to secure a VC internship junior spring and a boutique IB internship last summer after roughly applications, 50cold calls, 50 cold emails.
From the last summer until now, I tried my best in FT recruiting. I leveraged both the alumni network and some of my older network. However, it has been an uphill battle for me especially consider the fact that I am an international student with a non-stem degree.
Speaking of FT recruiting status, I had seven interviews, four phone screen, 3 hirevue. Firms range from bulge bracket to MM to boutique. I have connection who offer me to go work at local boutique that sponsor visa. However, it will be a huge gamble since the lottery chance is incredibly low for non-stem.
And more importantly, I think technically the next step for me should be big banks because it is completely doable for people at my school who spent their sophomore summer in boutique. I thought I was just a year late so I hustled and was hoping to utilize the FT recruiting season for an offer. Then things went out of my control — I think I did well after I studying your guide.
All my interview coaches said I should be ready, but I did not move forward in two of the phone interview, which I thought I did okay. I am undecided between if I should continue FT recruiting or delay graduation for one quarter to be eligible for summer internship or a stem degree master program. This year will be my eighth year studying abroad so I think I am more fit in American business culture. I know it will be more difficult as I became older, so now it is a crucial moment for me to make the decision.
Would you think I have a shot at those? Or should I? The technical skills I developed from those program is not what I am aiming for. I think a program with good location, network and platform will be most useful for investment banking recruiting. Would you think have a non-finance stem degree will hurt my chances, such as civil engineering? Will that look bad on resume?
How bad is a master degree look on an investment banking resume in general, as the majority of IBD analyst are undergrad. I know you do not do grad school counseling. I know it is my job to do the research and reach out to people. But I am running out of time since it is already October.
I would really appreciate if you can share two cents. I just do not know enough about MSF options and different degree choices at that level to say anything definitive. I definitely did take a look at both school mentioned. What is the odds for someone with my background to break into IB with a master degree, since it is the unconventional way.
Have you seen anyone made it that way? Or it is mostly depends on networking. There is a good example here:. That only happens if you have multiple years of full-time work experience. I really want to break into banking, but unfortunately finished with a 3. Do you think an MSF would be a good 2nd chance for me? Yes, an MSF might work if you can get into a top program. Thanks for the useful article.
I have roughly two year experience, one and half year in US Big 4 advisory and currently working as a credit analyst in a local bank in Singapore. Will the MSF help me in this sense? If you can get into a top MSF program, yes, potentially it will help you. My gmat score is and I want to pursue a MSF from a good university , what are my odds? I am planning to keep working in my current profile till , so that makes a 2 years of finance experience and 3 years of non-finance experience. If I choose MFin, I go into a specailized Finance course and complete my degree in less time and also spend less.
However, MFin is a course mostly for freshers or with little work experience candidates. Note: I am determined to work in the finance industry, mostly IB but also open to work in other roles like Portfolio Manager or Equity Analyst or Corporate Finance, etc. The MSF is more for recent grads and people with less than years of work experience. So… the short answer is that you should go for a top MBA.
I just started MSc in Finance after working for the last 3 years. For my undergrad I did BA in Accounting, then completed 1 year internship in the finance dept of Microsoft, following that I worked in one of the Big 4 In their Data analytics team firms for 2 years, where I also completed my professional accounting exams.
I am based in Europe and am primarily looking at London. And London tends to be a good place to win off-cycle internships, especially if you find smaller firms that are open to it. Thanks a lot for doing this site and the article. I graduated university from a local school in a developing country, with low GPA 2.
Could you comment on what are the odds like in my situation? If you want to stay and work in Canada, not great because the market is small and very competitive. If you can use the experience to move to a larger market such as the U. Given how early recruiting happens now, is it practical for an undergraduate senior to apply for summer internships if he is planning to do a one-year MSF afterwards?
If they see that I am a senior in college, would they just automatically ding me? I think you could do that, yes, though the later acceptance date for MSF programs makes it a bit tricky. I think as long as your real graduation date is clear, you should be fine. I am a huge fan of your website. Any advice on what I should do next?
An MSF could be useful if something specific, like low grades, is preventing you from winning offers, and you need to improve your profile. Hi, Brian Thanks for the article. I am 30 year old girl, having 7 years of experiance in banking industry mainly in corporate credit.
How do you suggest? Is it too late to go to bussiness school or for MSF at this age? I did my graduation in agriculture science but fortunately got chance to work in bank. An MBA could still work but only if you get into one of the top schools. I just finished my Australian undergrad in finance, non-target school with a 2. Would a Masters in a target school still be useless in this case? I really feel like i need something to boost my competitiveness on paper. I am an IT project manager with 14 years of experience and now i want to switch to the world of Investment banking.
I know it sounds crazy but so is life. To know how capable i am with the whole thing and from there on in if feel i have the talent for it then i am pretty confident that i will manage to break in to this industry somehow. Let me know if you could guide me to some foundation books or any other medium.
I just got accepted into a target Masters in Management program in the US. I work as a Fortune 75 Financial Advisor. What jobs should I go for that I can use to lateral to IB after a couple years? Hi Brian, I am a 1st year student at a non-target UK university. Does this change your advice? Low A-Levels will hurt you, but if you have at least a in university, you should still apply for internships.
An MSF is only worth it if you got started very late which is not you since you have the corporate finance internship this year or if nothing else has worked out. Thank you very much the article, it definitely relates to my current situation. Some, but the bigger issue is whether or not an online MSF program will give you access to recruiters and companies.
Great Article and information. What would you suggest to a Swiss citizen student studying Computer Science and Business at a semi-target in England? I have had a spring week insight at a BB and am in line for a summer internship at the same BB. I want to do a Masters in the US to help me break into that region and also want to complete my education. For international students in the U. Great article as always. I was thinking finding any sort of Finance internship. You might be able to win other finance-related roles if you can learn the basics on your own and network aggressively.
I have a degree in engineering with 2. How do you suggest that I go about it? Apply to various programs, complete the requirements, and… get in. Thanks for the article. Very useful as I decide whether this degree makes sense. I gradated with finance degree, 3.
I am wondering if you think the MSF program could benefit me, assuming a finish with a 3. I also was wondering if you knew anything about the reputation of the program at the University of Maryland? Realizing this I was super late to the game and wasted all 4 years working not networking or really applying to IB internships or roles.
No job opportunities lined up after graduation this may. Any insight into my journey would be much appreciated! You should apply to those programs, get in, and then complete another internship before it begins or during the program. And then start networking with alumni at banks to win internships. Hey Brian, great article! I am having a really tough time trying to figure out the right course of action in my case and I would love it if you could give me some input if you find the time:.
I am originally from Germany, but completed my undergraduate degree in the US as an international student. MBA which I will start in Fall Or should I try to get some full-time experience under my belt, even if it will only be for around 1. I am trying to figure out how to best approach this situation now that I still have some time before I start my MBA. I would love it if you could give me some input.
Thanks in advance! It will be very tough to win a full-time role, but firms are often open to short internships before your MBA program begins. I want to eventually get into investment banking and hence want to do my masters in finance, preferably in Europe. What are my chances of getting a job in that field in Europe? And also would MBA be a better option? I dont want to study Management though.
Impossible to say without knowing all your stats, but if you attend a top MSF program, you should have a decent shot. An MBA is not necessary unless you spend more than a few years working full-time. I have come across this site recently and find it really helpful and inspiring for career changer!
Thank you for the fabulous work you and your team have down! My first thought is: I have to undertake huge risks since both Portugal and Germany need local languages to even earn internships while the Netherlands has better shot without knowing much about dutch. What would you suggest? Would appreciate hearing your opinions! You should attend the best school you can get into.
In theory, the local language is not required in the Netherlands, but in practice, banks there still heavily favor local interns for roles. Sorry for the typos in my first post, I should double check before I post… Really thank you for the prompt reply!
Thank you once again, Brian! Hopefully, I can land a decent job there and come back to share my story with you and others:. I am in 3rd year out of a 4 year business degree in a semi-target university. I have 2 BO internships up until now, the most recent in a top BB. Networked my way into getting a final round interview in IBD for a summer internship in the BB but just missed out.
Would a Msc Finance be a good route to take in a top-uni when I finish undergrad, and therefore I would be able to apply for summer internships next year after graduating pre MSC. Also be careful of evening drinks as beer is very fattening, try not to go for drinks more than one or twice a week, and, as a general rule, it is always better to avoid alcohol there is no shame ordering orange juice or a diet coke!
Do not be fooled by titles - there is not much difference between analysts and associates. MBA associates are usually disliked by investment banking analysts. In reality, beyond title and pay, there is not much difference between the work done by an analyst and an associate. Even if you are much more experienced, older, and have graduated from a top business school, you still need to do your fair share of grunt work - see tip 2.
Analysts know better than MBA associates; they are better technically and they know how to work the system. They truly resent wasting their time explaining everything to MBAs. So analysts need to be your allies; buy them lunches, get to know them, learn from them, and praise them in front of senior bankers when they do a good job.
This is a good investment; your analyst friends will probably save your life by fixing your models and helping you navigate office politics. Sure, a top MBA is impressive. This is partly why you got the job in the first place. However, now that you have joined the ranks of investment banking, your degrees are irrelevant. The only thing that will get you paid in investment banking is hard work, a great attitude, and strong social skills.
Banks cut staff every year, and remember that you are at a significant disadvantage compared to those who have come up through the analyst ranks. If Banking is a stepping-stone to something else, start planning your exit on Day One.
If your goal is to stay in banking for a couple of years and then move to the buy-side, back to the industry or anything else, plan early. Having an objective also makes the lifestyle more bearable. Use your MBA to build a support network internally.
Ask your alumni for advice and introductions to other people. A support network is particularly key at bonus time or redundancy time. MBA associates tend to have a tough first two years. However, they tend to perform very well once they make it to Vice-President level and above, when soft skills become much more important than technical skills, and when the focus is on building relationships with clients and managing people. As much as we may dislike it, investment banking is a very political world.
A mentor is another person in your workplace, typically much more senior than you i. A mentor will be an immensely valuable asset for your career. Pick somebody you can learn from! Pick somebody you admire. Pick "nice" people that you feel would be willing to spend some time talking to you. Are they friendly, funny, and nice to assistants? Good to go. Try to find somebody else. Do not to be over-aggressive. Also, explain why you would like to meet them.
Be very clear and honest in what you want to do. It is important to maintain a professional attitude with your mentor. There are plenty of exit opportunities at the analyst level! This is because analysts are young, well- trained, ambitious, work very hard and can handle stress. Essentially PE funds and Hedge Funds are using the banks to train their juniors. Exits for Vice Presidents are not many.
Some exits include:. For the reasons mentioned above, this is the most common exit. This is not a common exit although it does happen. This is the most traditional exit opportunity for a Managing Director. Summer is usually a more relaxed period with less deal activity, however, there is always something that needs to be done.
If you don't get assigned much work and find yourself idle, don't just browse the Internet and wait. Be proactive in approaching your team to ask if there is anything that they want you to get done. Rather than asking "can I help with anything", try to suggest something to the analyst or associate such as "I have seen you with this precedent transaction database in folder XYZ, do you need any help in keeping it up-to-date?
Always check, re-check, and re-recheck your work again before submitting it to anybody. Reliability is one of the most important qualities of an analyst. Do not be seen as someone who produces sloppy work with typos and other mistakes. If you are in doubt, always ask an analyst to check things for you. Always come to all meetings fully prepared; that means, bring a notepad, a pen, and a calculator and always take notes.
As an intern, you may be assigned very tedious, repetitive, boring tasks. Remember that you have to prove yourself and go through this type of work before being trusted enough so that you can do some more interesting things. Go through it with a smile, and always be eager to take on more work, any kind of work. This will pay off in the end.
Needless to say, never complain to anybody about the type of work you are doing, even to other interns. You never know who is listening. Come in early never after 9 a. If you are frequently going home before 9 p. Ask your teammates for coffees if you see that they have time. Go for lunch with them. Say hello to them when you arrive in the morning, and say goodbye when you leave in theory, you should be saying goodbye when they leave before you! Make an effort to engage in small chats from time to time, but do not pester them.
If they ask you to go for drinks, go to the pub, and have lunch or dinner or anything else with them. Just be smart and sensible about it. Also read our article on networking during your internship. Try to identify the person in the team who is most receptive to you. Some people may just not enjoy talking to interns, or they may just be too busy.
Try to identify the most friendly who will answer your questions patiently, and ask them for advice. In the end, they may be the one who will fight on your behalf to give you a full-time offer. This means that you should not complain, even if the job is very intense and very demanding. This also means that you should have a positive attitude in difficult situations and have a "let's solve this problem" attitude.
It also involves being proactive and always being friendly with all of your colleagues, secretaries, and admin staff, below and above in the hierarchy. This is obvious; investment banking is a tough job and hard work will be required. Most analysts tend to finish very late, and therefore come late to work.
Being late means arriving at the office anytime after a. It may be the case that many analysts or your colleagues arrive at or This will always be noticed by your seniors and is not a good sign. Ideally, you should be at your desk at 9 a.
Try to follow the unwritten rule of the team: if everybody comes in at , just try to arrive five minutes before that. Accuracy is a key skill that analysts and associates need to develop. Take a habit to triple-check your work, and cross-check every number from several different source. Always ask yourself: "Does this number make sense? If you make many spelling mistakes, people will assume that you will also make mistakes in valuation models and more important tasks.
Never pass on work to your seniors without triple-checking everything. When you prepare a presentation, you will refer to the same numbers several times in different places. Make sure the presentations and models are consistent as a whole. Always reference all your sources for every fact and number in your valuation models and presentations. This is the most important job of an analyst and the associate.
Pay attention to the small details. Presentations in PowerPoint and Excel need to be accurate, but they also need to look good, while remaining simple to modify and understand. If you prepare clean work, people will be impressed and you will gain their trust. To be professional and get the chance to be invited at client meetings, always be ready. That means: wear a tie, carry your notepad at every meeting, and bring your calculator to double-check any number on the spot.
Also, have the important files printed and ready to show to seniors. If you don't know or understand something, you always need to ask. In your first year, people will accept that you have to learn and you may not know much. However, if you wait too long and people realise you don't know much when you are in your second or third year, this will create trouble.
However, be thoughtful when asking questions; identify the person that is the most open and friendliest to answer your questions, and do not ask questions in front of everybody. To survive your analyst and associate years, you will need to rely on your colleagues to give you a hand, explain you complicated concepts, check your models, send you templates, etc. Therefore, networking is key to your success in this industry. It is fine to make mistakes from time to time.
However, do not make the same mistakes twice. When you make a mistake, be sure to understand the reason fully and master the concept so that it doesn't happen again. During your time as an analyst or associate, you will receive a fair amount of blame and criticism. People will criticize your Excel models, your formatting style, your communication style, and everything else. This is part of the investment banking culture and you need to accept it and not take it personally.
Take criticism as a chance to improve. If you feel frustrated, vent your anger and frustration with trusted friends, and never release your anger at the person criticising you, even if they are wrong. In the end, you learn by making mistakes. Also, if you are criticised unfairly do not worry about it - most bankers are a smart bunch and can realise when somebody is being criticised unfairly, even if they keep quiet. So let's plunge into the mysterious depths of the year-end appraisal process.
At most investment banks, the process moves like this:. Sometimes they will show you the reviews, sometimes not. The review will be based on various criteria such as: teamwork, technical skills, performance on transactions, accuracy, integrity, reliability, areas of improvements, etc.
In most banks, they will rank you as "performing above expectations", "performing as expected" or "performing below expectations" for each of those criteria with some commentary. The size of the bonus pool depends on the performance of the bank as a whole, the revenues that have been generated by the team, and other "market forces", which include current salary trends, post-financial crisis, and the political environment. The ranking is based on the scores in the review, but most of the time it is actually the team head making the call.
Let's face it, analysts and associates don't generate any revenues, and the PowerPoint slide from analyst A is no different from PowerPoint slide from analyst B. What you did not do well will definitely come up at appraisal time. What can you do to be in the top tier then? Here are a few tips:. When you first join a team, don't be a smart-ass and keep asking for the best deals, even if you are a superstar.
Otherwise, you'll be in the "annoying smart-ass" category, and that's a guaranteed bottom-bonus for you. First impressions count and last very long. The Golden Rule is: even if you are very good, never ever be arrogant, and always keep a good attitude even if you are being shouted at unfairly. At the end of the year, a good attitude always pays off, because that's really the differentiating factor between you and your colleagues. Bankers have short memories, so you'll be evaluated mostly on what they can remember, which is the previous two months at maximum.
So two months before bonus time is the best time to put that extra effort and to triple-check those models before you show them to anybody at a senior level. Get your fellow analysts and friends to help you check things and put in the extra care; it will pay off. Don't be seen as just a pure modelling geek.
Talk to people in your team and outside your team. Get introductions from your friends and get to know your alumni, take coffees with them when you can, so that you can get a good feel of what is happening in the office and make good first impressions see advice 1.
The more people you know, and the more people have a first good impression of you, the better. Because people talk, and if your name is associated with something positive, that will directly impact your chances to be ranked at the top. Finally, don't be obsessed with a number! While you may not end up getting what you want, think about keeping a positive attitude. Being ranked at the top is great, but what you should really aim for is avoiding being ranked at the bottom.
Also, you may not get ranked on top this year, but there is always next year. Remember that investment banking is very much a career that required a lot of patience, and the really big rewards will really start to come at VP level and above. Here is our view:. The main difference between back office and front office is quite simple.
Front-office jobs will typically be more challenging, be more high-pressure, less stable, involve longer hours, but they will often pay much more. What are my chances of moving from the back office to the front office? Moving from back office to front office is quite difficult in investment banking, but your chances will depend on a number of factors, including:.
After more than two to three years in a back-office role, it becomes significantly harder to move because your skills become less and less relevant to front-office roles. This means that you need to show you are able to "network" your way into and outside the organisation. The more you are able to network with your peers and front office people and potential clients, the better. It will be much easier to move if you are a top performer within your team and have a good track record and reputation.
This will also help your case with the HR department. Your chances will depend on the company's policy and culture. Did anybody around you move from back office to front office? Has the HR department or management said that it could be a potential career development path?
However, the company's prestige doesn't really help - for example, working in a back office role at Goldman Sachs will not mean that you are better placed that a back office worker at a smaller institution to make a move to the front office. It is much easier to move from the back office to other departments in bull markets, because that is simply when people are needed, when the companies have larger hiring budgets, and when hiring practices are more flexible.
Strategies to move from back office to front office. Moving across organisations from a back office role into a front office role is almost impossible, unless you are a fresh graduate one-year experience with a good academic record. The best way to move to the front office is simply to network as much as possible, as early as possible, within your current organisation to find out about potential opportunities and educate yourself on what is required to seize those opportunities.
However, one needs to be careful in voicing the desire to move to the front office, as this could well upset your manager and put you in danger — the best way to network is to have "informative" chats discreetly and build some personal relationships with front-office people.
At the same time, if your educational background is not top-tier, acquiring qualifications such as the CFA or the ACCA can be extremely useful to demonstrate your motivation. Finally - do not give up even if you get negative feedback. Many headhunters, colleagues or front office people will tell you that the move is impossible.
A move is always possible - it just depends on how much effort you are willing to put into getting the job. If you have remained too many years in a back office role, or if you find that your networking efforts are not bearing fruit, going to business school is a good way to transition into front office roles.
This is no magic degree however — only degrees from the top 10 to 15 global schools will unlock investment banking front office jobs, so it will not be worth spending large amounts of money and valuable time on obscure schools. Master Degrees in Finance can also help - but again, those will need to be obtained at top tier schools with instantly and globally recognisable brands.
The CFA Chartered Financial Analyst designation is a professional certification granted by the CFA Institute, which tests and focuses on portfolio management, financial analysis, and generalist aspects of some other areas of finance. To become accredited, the candidate needs to:. Note that you can still study and pass the exams even if you have no experience, but you will only receive your accreditation after you meet the work experience criteria.
There are about , CFA certified people in the world. Most people taking the CFA are finance and investment professionals, particularly in the fields of investment management and financial analysis of stocks, bonds and their derivative assets. There are common misconceptions that students and junior finance professionals have when they decide to study for the CFA.
The most common misconceptions and wrong reasons for studying the CFA for investment banking are:. The CFA will not cover for poor academic performance or for having graduated from a less-known university. On the opposite scenario, if you already graduated from a top school, adding the CFA qualification will probably not make a significant difference to potential employers. Unfortunately, there are so many people with CFAs nowadays that even though people will recognise that getting the CFA is a lot of hard work, the qualification has definitely lost some of its prestige.
In fact, only very few bankers have the CFA. A lot of the content of the CFA study is not directly relevant to what you will do as an analyst or associate in investment banking, except maybe for the parts about financial analysis, equity valuation and corporate finance. Nevertheless, those are just a subset of the content of the CFA programme, and you should have already mastered those concepts by the end of your training programme anyway.
Most importantly, the CFA doesn't teach you about how to model, how to put pitch books together and how to work hard with a great attitude, which are the most important skills for a junior investment banker Finally, studying for the CFA is a lot of hard work, and you'll work hard enough as a banker already - you might want to invest this time in something more productive such as networking with colleagues, bosses, potential employers , working even harder, preparing an MBA or even getting some rest!
The CFA is more relevant to and most valued by the investment management industry, as getting the qualification indicates a good understanding of investment management theoretical concepts, as well as a strong degree of interest and commitment to this industry.
In some firms, and in many equity research jobs, it may even be a requirement. It is not a requirement for private equity firms however. A downturn if you still have a job is the best time to take advantage of company sponsorship programmes for accounting and CFA qualifications!
What kind of work will you do as an investment banking intern? As a summer intern, this will probably take up most of your time. This may sound relatively straightforward, but is often very time- consuming and can be relatively complex. Investment Bankers like to show profiles of potential acquisition targets to their clients.
Comps are boring, time- consuming and very tedious to compile, so nobody likes to do them. Another boring and tedious task assigned to interns. The result could be quite interesting, but the process is very tedious and time- consuming. Interns typically don't do much modelling. Below are a couple of useful tips on how to handle the situation:.
All of these excuses will make you lose credibility. You can be fired for a whole lot of reasons, but sometimes, you will just be unlucky. Rule 5: Leave the firm on a good note, and don't forget to network at all time! The way to differentiate yourself is through your own connections.
Don't be afraid to reach out to them to enquire about any openings in their new teams. Securing a good investment banking internship is not an easy task. To maximise your chances and get ahead of the masses, you'll have to learn how to network effectively. Networking is really just a fancy word for meeting and talking to people, but building strong networking skills will be of tremendous help throughout your career. Why does networking pay off? A few reasons:. Also, there may not be a spot for you in the specific team you interned with, but there might be a spot in this other team you happened to talk to!
You never know who is going to end up where, and how you will bump into them, their friends, ex-colleagues, or need their help or advice some day. This is stating the obvious, but most people tend to stick with their immediate colleagues and do not dare introduce themselves to people they don't know. Know this: there is no downside for asking people for a coffee or for introducing yourself even if they are in a different team - there is no rule that says you can't talk to other teams , but there is unlimited upside!
Especially if you are new or show interest in people's work, they tend to be receptive and willing to help and discuss. In the worst case, they will just ignore you or say that they don't have time. Your boss won't view you talking to other teams as something negative, after all, you are there to learn! You just have to force yourself to do it. A few tips to make things easier: try to get to know the junior people first, because they'll be able to give you an overview of the team and identify the more senior "cool guys" who will have time to talk to you.
You can ask junior colleagues in your team for an introduction to people in other teams or departments i. You can ask other interns in other teams to ask you to join them for coffee next time they go with the people in their team. You can approach recent alumni, friends of friends, people from your own country if you are from overseas, etc. But don't overdo it, otherwise they'll view you as an annoying pest. Try to be more casual and personable sometimes. Sport is a safe topic, and there is plenty to say over the summer with football and tennis.
If you are passionate or curious about a specific area, share this with people around you. Most professionals will realise that your goals are not set in stone yet, and that you are still trying to find your way. For example, if you say that you are interested in working for a private equity firm in the future, they will be able to tell you the best team for joining in the bank i.
Stay in touch with people — having coffee or saying hello when you walk across their desk goes a long way toward making people remember you. When your internship is over, send an email with your contact detail to each person you've met. Ideally, you should try to meet each of them and say goodbye in person. This will leave a nice last impression. If you haven't done so yet, create a LinkedIn account and invite those people in your network so you'll be able to track them if they move to another bank.
Managing Directors are Directors who have been promoted to the next level as well. Director-level bankers' role is very much client-facing, and they now take direct responsibility for profit generation and also for setting the strategies that can help maximise those profits. However, this is not a relaxing lifestyle. Because they rely so much on analysts, they will spend a lot of time training them and showing them how things are done. Their job will be to divide the work and allocate the tasks between themselves and analysts, and chase up various people to make sure that everything is produced accurately and on time.
Associates spend a significant amount of time on the phone and sending emails around, getting things done. Associates also do a lot of analyst work, creating slides and producing financial analysis. But they usually handle the more complex financial modelling and difficult tasks. This is especially the case in live transactions, where their work will be reviewed by the VPs. Associates will deal directly with internal legal and compliance teams in live transactions, liaise with other banks, accountants, lawyers, co-advisers, etc.
They will create agenda topics ahead of meetings, and participate in analyst recruiting. Associates work at all levels, and occupy a critical in-between position. They often interact with other teams in the bank and have some meaningful client interaction. Yes, but not as long as analysts.
A good day starts at a. Expect 70 to 80 hours per week as a guide. However, this is not an easy lifestyle at all - Associates are under tremendous pressure as they have to manage analysts i. Also if anything goes wrong on a deal or for a presentation, the Associate is always the person who will be held responsible.
Associates are promoted to the VP level after three to three-and-a-half years. Becoming a Vice President is a competitive process and promotion is not automatic; in many cases, third-year Associates can be asked to leave the firm. Associates will have to demonstrate that they can manage transactions, that they have fully mastered the technical aspects of the job, and they need to be well appreciated by people in their team and other teams.
The Vice President will divide the work that needs to be done, and allocate it to associates and analysts. Vice President will be the main contact points with the clients, the potential targets, the accountants, lawyers and any other party working on the transaction including the financial regulators, internal compliance and legal teams, co-advisors, etc.
Therefore, Vice Presidents are really running the show. Vice Presidents also have to start trying to generate deals While analysts and associates will work on "processing" deals and not talk to clients much, Vice Presidents will be allocated a portfolio of clients that they will need to meet regularly and propose ideas to. They will either go to those meetings with Managing Directors for important clients so that they can watch and learn "marketing skills" from them , or will go by themselves for less important clients that Managing Directors do not have time to follow.
Therefore, Vice Presidents spend most of their time on the phone, writing emails and at client meetings, either coordinating work on deals or proposing ideas to clients. They will do less and less "technical" work and typically are not much involved in financial modelling and the making of presentations, only providing high level reviews for important transactions. Vice Presidents will work with everybody in the organisation, from analyst level to Managing Director level, also work across the organisation i.
Working hours spent "in the office" are becoming much lighter at the Vice President level. They have a stronger degree of freedom because they are getting things done by others as opposed do doing things themselves. Most Vice Presidents tend to come in at 9 and leave the office between 7 to 9 pm.
Nevertheless, despite the apparent lighter schedule, there is quite a bit of "hidden" workload because they need to take phone calls, meet clients and answers emails very frequently, which of course involves frequent blackberry checking on late evenings, weekends and holidays.
Vice Presidents are typically promoted to director level after three years sometimes this level is also called "Senior vice-president". Research work : Finding and organising data, in Excel or PowerPoint, from the Internet and the multiple databases that the bank has access to.
This can be finding the number of mobile phone subscribers in Lithuania, finding the shareholders of a specific company, or finding out names of the top five companies selling oil pipes in Europe. Benchmarking : "Comparison" tasks such as comparing the Revenue growth EBITDA margin of the top 25 companies of luxury goods retailers in the UK, or comparing the number of hospital beds of all European hospital companies.
Profiles : Preparing a PowerPoint presentation usually one or two slides about a specific company, including business and product description, market shares, latest financials, share price performance, key management bios, calculation of trading multiples, etc. It is not uncommon to be asked to do this for twenty companies, or even more. A 'Pitchbook' is a fancy word for PowerPoint presentations that are shown to clients to try to obtain their business.
As an analyst, you will be asked to create slides that will include various financial analysis, profiles, a presentation about the bank, and recommendations to the client. This involves updating share prices, updating new financials when they are released, calculating net debt, and doing a number of accounting adjustments. Admin work : Taking notes at meetings, organising conference calls, preparing internal documents, literally running around to print and carry the books before presentations, printing and checking documents for associates, VPs, Directors, or Managing Directors.
You may end up working with more senior people, but this will be more of the exception than the rule. Depending on your relationship with your assigned Associate, they can be your best friends or worst enemies.
Some associates will dump a lot of work on you you will quickly find out that every person who is your superior has the right to dump work on you , but almost all of them will teach you how to do a good job as an analyst and will be very valuable resources. They are usually tough, but don't forget that while Associates may dump a lot of work on you, they have tremendous pressure from VPs, Directors, and Managing Directors.
You will also spend most of your weekends in the office not all of them -,you will get a break from time to time , although weekend work is much lighter and you will only be in for 4 to 5 hours. Overall, expect to work a minimum of 70 and up to to hours per week. The better the investment bank from league table perspective the worse the hours, because they will be extremely busy.
You can maintain a social life , but spare time will be scarce and you will have to learn how to manage your time efficiently. What usually happens is that other analysts will become your best friends and you will support each other through the difficult times. The standard is after three years, at which point you become an Associate. John Rolfe, Peter Troob: A very entertaining story about two fresh graduates of Wharton and Harvard who start their investment career at the hottest investment bank at the time, DLJ bought by Credit Suisse later on.
Overall, it is a gross exaggeration of the life of an investment banker and very very NY-centric, can be vulgar at times , but it will give you a very good idea of how tough the job of an investment banker can be; it is will worth reading. Most investment bankers will have read this book, and it is a fun read before you embark on your investment banking career, highly recommended!
Bryan Burrough, John Helyar: A very long book, but also a mandatory read for future investment bankers, especially for those interested in hostile takeovers and private equity. This book relates the true story of a bidding war for RJR Nabisco one of the largest consumer goods companies in the U. We recommend this book because first, it is well-written and relates to a true, very important event of financial history; second, it will give you a good idea of the political fights that occur during large takeovers.
You will also get a good understanding of how private equity companies think and work. Charles D. Ellis: An excellent book about the history of Goldman Sachs - this is a good read for those going to work for Goldman or those who want to know about the firm.
William D. It's well-written and entertaining. A quite entertaining, easy-to-read review of financial history, from the Inca empire and Napoleonic wars to the modern financial crisis. This book is great because it explains complex financial topics in a very simple way; it really helps you understand the origins of modern finance and why the financial world is the way it is today.
The book helps you join the dots in a fascinating way. Michael Lewis: This semi-autobiographical book by Michael Lewis describes the author's experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late s. Nassim Taleb: A personal favourite and highly recommended read - a very gripping book full of wisdom. The book describes the way that the finance community often mistakes luck for skill, and are thus "fooled by randomness".
The author is a Wharton graduate, ex-trader, hedge fund manager, and philosopher who denounces the ignorance of the financial community. The book shot to fame as Nassim Taleb had predicted the financial crisis in this book, which was published three months before the market crash. Nassim Taleb: The follow-on book to "Fooled by Randomness", which goes deeper into the concept of "Black Swans," which the author defined as very unlikely events that have disastrous consequences.
Many fascinating stories within this book, which is a highly recommended read, although the style and sometimes the arrogance of the author can be hard to follow at times. A William Poundstone-recommended reading by many financial gurus across the world. It is a somewhat advanced book on "information theory" and probabilities. This is a fascinating book, which is encyclopedic, exceptionally informative, and packed with great stories and characters.
We enthusiastically recommend it to anyone seriously interested in investing, the sociology of ideas, or gambling. Indeed, read it twice; once for its theories and practical investment advice, and twice to relish its personalities. Another must-read for those interested in investments. This is really the biography of Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world. The interesting parts are really about his investment philosophy "value investing" and is also a good account of stock market history.
You can also read about the books we recommend for valuation , for the more experienced finance professionals. Bruce Kuhlman: Kaplan does publish very high-quality preparation books in general. As the title indicates, be aware that this book is aimed for starters that have not taken the CFA level 1 yet - it is ideal for students and other non-finance professionals who don't know much about finance and accounting. What we like about this book is that it is easy to follow, and provides a very good overview of the concepts of the CFA so that you do not get totally lost before starting your study.
A bit expensive, but you can sell them back through Amazon whenever you're done with your study so the overall actual cost won't be that high. If you are a finance professional, just go straight into the curriculum materials and skip this book. They are good for reviews after you go through all the study materials. You can usually find them second-hand from Amazon, just click on the link above and search for "Schweser study guides". While you may not need their courses, they do publish quite good books and guides to help your CFA study.
The difference-maker about the Stalla books is the software that comes with it. Some people may find reading easier, while some others prefer to use more "interactive" ways of studying. If you are in the "other" category, these books are for you. They also have level 2 and level 3 books, and the links are below. The same as above, you can usually find those guides on Amazon second-hand. Jerald E. Pinto, CFA: A very important and popular book covering the four important aspects of equity valuation: DDM dividend discount model , free cash flow models, price multiples, and residual income.
It is not only good to help CFA study level 2 in particular , but is also a reference book for valuation as it is done in the investment management industry. This book also scores many points for having clear, worked-out examples to help your understanding. Richard A. It also delves into the other CFA subjects statements analysis, time value of money, etc. This is the Bible of valuation, a book that we often see on bankers' desks and a good reference guide for investment banking analysts and wannabe analysts.
It was written by McKinsey consultants and a Wharton professor. While quite a big book pages! If you work for an investment bank, you might be able to request your team to pay for it. If you are a student who wants to go into investment banking, it is a good investment. No need to buy the latest edition so you can save a few dollars or pounds. Its is lighter than the McKinsey Valuation book, but nevertheless very comprehensive and go through all the key topics in valuation including synergies, cost of equity calculation, CAPM, contingent claim valuation, etc.
A big positive is that you can also get additional explanations and free excel models on Damodaran's website here , which is a really fantastic resource. This other highly recommended book is a bit more practical than the other two. Personally, I would recommend getting one of the books above. I studied a degree at Cass Business School, which touched upon most areas within finance but had a strong focus on equities, fixed income, and derivatives.
I completed two internships during my degree, both with the same European bank. The first was an month long-term internship with the Nordic Debt Capital Markets team and I followed up with a summer internship on the Nordic Derivatives Marketing desk. I truly enjoyed the experience but wanted to move into corporate finance and decided to interview at other banks. You need technical skills as projects demand large and complex financial models.
A commercial and extrovert personality is also very helpful, as you are expected represent the bank in external meetings from day one. I also think a willingness to learn is important as the learning curve is fairly steep in the first couple of years, due to the breadth of the business.
Long hours, and the fact that greenfield infrastructure projects usually take one and one-half to two years from initial procurement to completion, are not my favourite parts of what we do. The fact that the bank I work for is the market leader, and acts as financial advisor and sponsor on most of the projects we are involved in, has given me an extremely wide and useful set of skills by being part of deal teams closing flagship infrastructure transactions in Europe.
After two years with my first employer, I moved to another bank as a senior analyst in Industrials. How about when you moved to your current employer? A: The interview process for graduates is typically an assessment center. The assessment center was quite long and tiring. It is a bit difficult for students who have no prior banking internship or who don't know that much about banking, which was the case for me.
However I found out that it was more thinking style and personality fit tests rather than technical questions. When I moved to my current employer after two years as an analyst, it was a different kind of tough.
The questions were much more about technical skills, personal career plan and personality fit. At the end of the day, it is about your experience, attitude and personality. Even if every candidate answers those technical questions perfectly, interviewers will actually make their decision based on the experience of the candidates and the "chemistry" between you and the interviewers.
Q: How is your typical day like? How many hours do you work per week? A: My typical day includes working on different things at the same time. I may work on two pitch books and one live-buy or sell-side deal at the same time. On the live deals, I can be involved in modelling, presentations, or admin work. For pitch books, I typically do research, financial analysis, simple modelling, comps etc.
Sometimes there is not much difference between working on deals or pitches. However, you have to go to far more detail if you work on a live project. On average, my working hours are between 80 and 90 hours per week. Q: What do you like and don't like about the job? A: The good thing for this job is that the work is challenging and we have to develop skills about managing your time.
Also, I can learn many things about corporate finance and business investment, particularly when I work with experienced people and I always feel my brain is not big enough to digest so much information quickly. Of course, the best moment is when we close deals and that is the accomplishment in the career.
But life is not full of happiness. My day and week can be also very boring because tasks are repetitive. Of course long hours are not pleasant, particularly. Now banking is tough because we still work very hard even though you may not have lot of deals. Q: What are the qualities of a good analyst in your view? A: A good analyst definitely has got right technical skills and is reliable. Team spirit is also extremely important. Beyond those, you should not only just sit in front of your computer and crunch numbers, gradually you should be able to explain what you have done and what you find from your analysis.
On top of that, confidence and managing working relationships with other people are the extra plus factor in your starting career. A: The interesting story is that if you are a very good analyst, you can be the boss of your Associates who might not have joined banking from an MBA or the industry. It is actually a great fun if you are in that position as YOU have much power to decide what to put in your pitch book.
And they have to take you to the meeting because nobody else understands where the numbers come from in the Excel model!!! So how do you prepare? There are many many books out there, but it all depends on what you requirements are. We personally recommend those books for those who are aiming at a top 10 business schools:. Personally, I think this is the best. It is clear to follow and it really prepares you best to get very high scores.
One word of caution though, it is a tough book. When I first tried the sample exams on the CD, I was actually very depressed because I couldnt get a score above But what this book does is making you study really, really hard and pushes you to the limit.
Even though I didnt get above in the practice tests in the CD, the day of the exam I got And without the emergency bathroom break I had to take during the exam my advice: don't drink anything before the test , I believe I would have scored higher than that still.
Its a notch below Kaplan but it offers extensive practice opportunities with a quite large database of practice questions on the CD. My answer is that it depends on what kind of study person you are. I would say no if:. Again, it depends on what kind of person you are. If you are more analytical and good at maths, you can start to practice a few hours every day for a month before the exam.
Personally, I took two weeks off, practiced 4 to 6 hours per day, and took the exam. I found this method quite effective. If you are from a non-analytical profession or not comfortable with maths, most people take courses for up to 6 months before their exam date. Overall, it is good to get your GMAT done quite some time before you apply to business schools. If you get a long break, or even before you start work, you can just get it done.
The results are valid for several years it was 3 years when I applied in , check the latest , so you if you plan to do an MBA, you should try to take the GMAT early so you don't have work pressures when you are ready to apply. As you grow older and get busier and start to have personal or friends commitments, it is hard to motivate oneself to spend every night of the week studying.
Continuing on the pay survey theme, here is another quite good survey conducted by Business Week on MBA graduate pay after 5, 10, 15 and 20 plus years in their careers. The usual suspects Wharton and Harvard are on top, but take with a pinch of salt, as the top schools have a large proportion of students going into finance banking, Private Equity , Hedge Funds , pushing salaries up.
Some questions can be tricky. For example: mixing units kg with g , confusing different charts on a graph, etc. Pay attention to units, scales, etc. Answer questions randomly if you run out of time. To help you with survive your early days as an investment banking analyst, we have put together 5 typical days or scenarios you will likely have to face, with some useful tactics and tips to overcome those situations. Valuation and profiles for a presentation. Tasks involve financial modelling, compiling comps, or making profiles, which are "solitary" tasks.
Scenario 3: the "Hell breaks loose" day: the pre-presentation day and night. Preparing marketing documents for a pitch or management presentations. Tasks involve processing comments, circulating drafts, waiting and chasing for feedback, managing the printing and checking for typos and mistakes. Client meeting, roadshow or working with a client on-site. Tasks involve taking notes, and helping the client, often with menial tasks. A day when you have nothing to do in the office i. Investment banking interviews are notoriously difficult.
Weak handshakes. Sitting before your interviewer. Not saying hello. Many candidates tend to talk too much under stress and describe their life since kindergarden. Be concise, speak short sentences, and be logical. Remember, you are telling a story. When the interviewer is talking, listen. Think before you talk! Don't try to throw jargon at the interviewer to show off your knowledge.
If you are asked a brainteaser or a technical question, voice your thinking out loud. Not asking questions at the end of the interview. Prove it through your experience and achievements! Exaggerating responsibilities. Google your name and see what comes up in the first three to four pages. In particular, don't ever bad-mouth any employer. Good habits to adopt before investment banking interviews. Highlight your skills, interests, experiences, achievements, club memberships, etc.
Other good habits once you have got your job in investment banking. Not all MBAs are created equal. Even then, it won't be easy! This is your absolute first step. Every school has different areas of emphasis. This should become very apparent. This is a difficult one that can take several forms. You will need to show a true passion, i. It's not all about logical career moves - but more about showing that you have had a deep- rooted desire for some time, maybe even since your childhood, or something that emerged after a specific experience or encounter.
In any case, "purpose" is the keyword here. An GMAT, top academics and working for top institutions is not enough. Schools do not want classrooms filled with intelligent and nerdy people. Having a clear, logical, step-by-step structure is key. Also - do not forget that every sentence in your essays should have a purpose. Do not try to put all your points in every essay. Do your homework! Specifics are key!
Similarly, do not be vague about adding to your "toolkit". You don't need to overdo it though i. DEPTH of experience is key. Finally - your writing style is important. Be refreshing, use some humour or passion. Make it a good read. Especially for U. Do all the stories link together? How about the school choice - is it obvious that the school is perfect for you?
Does your CV tie in with your experiences? Read it back and make sure that everything makes sense. Finally, many applicants will stretch the truth. There is a fine line between smart marketing and lying. It is fine to boost your achievements a little, but making up achievements or outright lies are a no-no. Again, chances are that a student will know about it.
Interested in our MBA essay review service? Please contact us at thomas askivy. There is more to investment banking than just bulge bracket banks. They may only focus on a specific sector i. Many bulge bracket bankers that move to boutique investment banks mention culture and lifestyle as a reason for their move. While it is true that many boutiques can be more entrepreneurial and collegial given their smaller size, not all boutiques are created equal.
Some boutiques may not get the deal flow that big banks have, and the hours or intensity can be more appealing compared to larger banks. However, smaller institutions also mean a lower level of support. In some cases, no more printer room! The main advantage of boutiques over some of the larger banks is that the compensation will be all cash. This can make a substantial difference for VP level and above. However, many boutiques tend to pay less compared to big banks, but again this is on a case-by-case basis, as some elite boutiques may be very competitive on pay.
While bulge brackets have to follow market trends and your bonus will be fairly predictable depending on your ranking , boutiques pay may vary much more depending on the number of successful deals they have closed during the year. Given the smaller size, the process may be more political, as well as depend on the quality of your relationships within the firm.
Big banks are pitching machines, and boutiques need to be more picky given their smaller resources. This is something to take into account, as the deal flow is very important for a banker, especially in junior years. However, you may get more exposure on single deals compared to large banks. Hierarchy in boutiques is usually flatter, which means that you might get more exposure to clients, and be responsible for running a deal even at junior levels. The network that bankers build at top investment banks is often overlooked.
However, this will be of critical importance in your mid to late career. Working in a large institution will give you exposure to a lot of bright colleagues that will end up in top jobs in the finance and corporate world. The network will definitely be more restricted at boutiques.
In addition, bulge brackets tend to carry more prestige on the CV, because the selection process is usually tighter. People in the industry will always look up at somebody who spent a couple of years at Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. Its very similar to your education - Ivy League is always more impressive, although it is not what will define your career success ultimately.
Exit opportunities ultimately depend on the quality of your deal flow in investment banking, although brand names matter. Exit opportunities will be plenty at good banks and boutiques, but the quality and diversity of the offers will be much better at big banks. Below is a selection of the must watch movies for anybody considering a career in finance.
Our selection is either based on the accuracy of the movie educational value or simply pure entertainment! The Wolf of Wall Street.
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The reason for this targeting decision, she says, is because competition for graduates from the top few universities is fierce and, being a smaller bank, it finds that it quite often loses graduates to bigger banks with better known brands. The process of targeting universities is common among both bulge bracket banks the largest and most profitable multinational banks such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Citi and the smaller to mid-sized banks such as Nomura and Royal Bank of Canada.
The best way to find out this information is by:. The reason for this, she tells us, is that banks are interested in candidates who are driven and well rounded. They also want candidates who can approach challenges differently and a good way of ensuring they have a dynamic group of thinkers is by selecting a range of people from different academic disciplines.
However, there are roles that require a numerical degree. These are degrees that have some maths content and include subjects such as chemistry , physics , psychology , engineering , IT , maths and economics. The types of banking career that may call for a high proficiency in maths are jobs in the financial institutions group teams within a bank who provide financial expertise to other organisations and roles that are involved in the creation of specialised financial products.
But for those applying to a position where you deal directly with clients, people skills are more valued and a good degree in any subject is acceptable. Something else to consider is your choice of extracurricular activities while at university. Joining a society is a great way to make your CV stand out by showing your range of interests. They work well in your favour whether you choose to study a finance-related or non-finance-related degree.
For example, if you choose to study a finance-related degree, such as economics, joining a sports society or a volunteer group is an effective way to demonstrate the social skills that investment banks look for, such as communication and team work. And if you choose a non-finance-related degree, joining an investment society is a good way to demonstrate your interest in financial matters and desire to work in banking.
The Degree Explorer helps you plan for your future! Match your interests to university subjects and explore each recommendation to find out what suits you. Our regular newsletters will give you the advice you need when you need it most. Join our mailing list to receive monthly newsletters from our TARGETcareers and Inspiring Futures teams to help you support your school leavers in their career and university decision making.
Home Uni Choices about uni Top universities if you want a career in investment banking. Top universities if you want a career in investment banking. Save to save. But what you might not have considered is where you should study it. What are target universities for investment banking jobs?
Insights from a banking recruiter We spoke with one recruitment manager from a mid-sized bank to get her views on which universities banks tend to target. How to find out which investment banks target which universities The process of targeting universities is common among both bulge bracket banks the largest and most profitable multinational banks such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Citi and the smaller to mid-sized banks such as Nomura and Royal Bank of Canada.
The best way to find out this information is by: Seeing which banks visit which universities: banks will advertise on their website if they have any upcoming campus visits scheduled. The MSc Banking and International Finance is tailormade to develop professional standards and competencies for those wishing to pursue careers in the banking and finance inter Economics and finance are the drivers of our global prosperity and there is significant worldwide demand for technical expertise in monetary economics and finance.
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