Investment Banking Career Path – Planning for a Job in IB

Investment banks are broken down into different investment banking divisions that serve a wide variety of high-profile clients. This includes multi-billion dollar corporations, government organizations, and other institutions. The role of an investment banker is to help these entities complete mergers and acquisitions, raise capital, and invest the right way.

Investment banking is one of the most demanding jobs in the financial market. Junior bankers and analysts easily work over 100 hours per week. Not to mention competition for a career in investment banking is very high.

What makes it worth it?

Investment banking is a highly profitable field, and you can be compensated quite well for your hard work. Planning a career as an investment banker might take some thought and strategy before you can decide if this is the right path for you. Take a look at this quick guide to planning a job in IB.

Getting the Interview

The first part of the prep work starts with landing a stellar interview. This step requires a lot of preparation on its own. You need to have a great resume that can tell your potential employer why you are the best fit for their team, in 60 seconds or less. Include specifics such as your school GPA, your relevant work experience, and what characteristics make you the best for the job.

Investment bankers value individuals who are competitive, quantitative, ambitious, passionate, detail-oriented, and well-spoken.


Becoming an Analyst

An analyst, or associate, is the entry-level job into the world of investment banking. Analysts typically start out from the undergraduate level, while associates have an MBA. You will typically stay in this position for a few years. Then, you will either go back to school or get promoted to a higher role. If you are good at taking on a lot of responsibility and you can act fast, you are more likely to climb your way up the investment banking ladder. Find more info about getting a job in an investment bank at your first try here.


Learning the Trade

It’s no secret that investment bankers are absolute experts when it comes to financial planning and number-crunching. Knowing the fundamentals of accounting can be really helpful when you’re yearning to get more on-the-job experience. Graduating from your university helped boost you into a good starting point on your way to becoming an investment banker. Take time to utilize more resources outside of your school network, to make sure you are on top of the latest financial trends and news.


Handling Financial Modeling

Financial modeling is something you will spend many hours doing as an investment banker. You should acquaint yourself with Microsoft Excel if you haven’t already, since you will be using spreadsheets quite a bit. The most common financial models you will make as an investment banker include:

  • M&A models
  • LBO models
  • DCF models

You should also figure out where you want your next step in the career path to be. Many analysts and associates who start out as financial modelers move on to work in private equity or data research. Some start working for a corporation as an in-house advisor. What you want to do is entirely up to you, but it is important to know what experiences and traits will best qualify you for that position.