Investment Banker

Investment Banker

Frank

Los Angeles, CA

Male, 35

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

As a liberal arts grad with mountains of debt and molehills of direction, I took an analyst job at a top NYC investment bank. Neck-deep in spreadsheets and working around the clock, I fought to keep my head above water in a sea of brilliant, khaki-clad sociopaths. While the money and education were great, I quickly learned how the finance world really works... and I wanted no part of it. After 9/11, I left for good.

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Last Answer on November 20, 2014

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Hi, I got 12 years experience working as a software engineer in a IT company.
At this point of time, would it possible to make swtich to Finance and become an investment banker?

Asked by Vikas_dreamer about 5 years ago

If you're interested in a career-switch to banking, business school is a good way to do this. In two years you can absorb the skill set to qualify for finance positions. Your experience as a software engineer can work in your favor, especially if you're interested in doing finance in tech-related fields. If a banker also has first-hand tech knowledge, that's a significant value-add in his analysis of tech-related transactions.

Does taking an internship for ibanking in college count as your first year as being an analyst? Also, after two years do you just become an ibanking associate or do you need to apply to a new job somewhere else?

Asked by Alyssa about 5 years ago

An internship does not count as your first year, though it certainly helps your prospects as an applicant after college. My friends and I used to joke about how it was harder to get an investment banking internship than an actual job, simply because there were far fewer internship spots available.

After an analyst has completed her two-year stint – and assuming she wants to remain at the bank – one of three things will happen:

1) The bank will offer her a position as a third-year analyst, which usually indicates that it sees promise in the employee but she isn't *quite* ready to become an associate.

2) In some cases, the bank will offer a direct promotion into an associate position. These instances are rare, though, as an associate takes on some managerial duties and even the best analysts aren't usually ready for that.

More commonly, though, the analyst heads elsewhere at the end of the two-year boot camp. They may attend business school, or find a senior analyst position at another type of financial services firm (private equity, venture capital, hedge funds).

As an investment banker can you work from home at all or is this a job that you must be in the office?

Asked by Steve about 5 years ago

Some work can be done from home, but anything requiring tangible deliverables generally requires you to be in the office. If, for example, you're overseeing the creation of a pitchbook to be distributed at a 10am meeting the following morning, you'll need to wait until the Printing Department cranks them out so you can check for quality assurance. If they finish at 2am and you find errors (which you undoubtedly will), you'll have time to correct them and re-run the job through the Printers. If you'd gone home, only to discover the error at 9am the next morning, you'd be screwed – the Printers can't fix it that quickly.

I'm currently a sophomore at a non-target school with a 3.8 GPA majoring in finance. I have done informational interviews and have been like by the bankers but none offer internships at their firm. What next steps should I take this semester/summer?

Asked by james00 over 5 years ago

Breathe easy – unless your last name is Buffett, there are virtually no banking internships available to anyone until after his or her JUNIOR year. And even after junior year, there are very few internship spots available. My firm, for example, hired 10-12 summer interns (all of whom had just completed junior year) and 150 1st-year analysts. This ratio was common across Wall Street.

That said, you can still make this summer count by pursuing internships with smaller, boutique banks and financial services. Don't worry if they're not "big name" firms – having any financial services exposure, even a small investment firm in your hometown – is like catnip to investment banks. I'd also recommend looking into internships with companies in the sector you'd be most interested in focusing on when you DO go into banking. For example, if you're interested in tech, doing an internship with a tech company would be extremely relevant to your banking career as it would develop your industry expertise and focus.

How important are social skills to being successful as an analyst? I have aspergers and I'm afraid I won't be able to survive in a banking environment.

Asked by Julio almost 5 years ago

Social skills help in virtually any profession (unless you're a mime, I suppose), and amiability always helps in an interview. But at the analyst level... they're not quite as important. More than anything, banks want analysts who are smart and ridiculously hardworking. Social skills are icing on the cake.

That said, social skills become increasingly important as one moves up the ranks. Whereas analysts are primarily behind-the-scenes workers, higher-ranking bankers are responsible for bringing in new business, and even the most sociopathic know how to schmooze with the best of 'em.

Hello, I am a sophomore Majoring in Finance and Minoring in Economics and have a 3.2 from non-target. If I know people in the industry, how difficult will it be to land an Investment Banking internship.

Asked by Jim almost 5 years ago

Hi Jim. Don't mean to be short, but I've responded to many similar questions above, and I suspect you could draw guidance from those answers. Please have a look around and if you're still left wondering, let me know. Thanks.

Im separating from the military and intend to go to school to eventually become a Investment Banking Analyst. Any tips and/or suggestions?

Asked by Antoine about 5 years ago

Interestingly enough, there were a handful of ex-military analysts in my class. And as you might imagine, most were great analysts because they could handle the workload without complaint. That said, most were from top schools (West Point, etc.), so I'm sure that played a part in their recruitment. I'm not sure what school/program you're coming from, but as with any applicant, a concentration in finance, business, engineering, and/or computer science will increase your chances. I'd also recommend tracking down current bankers who went through the same military program as you – I can't imagine they wouldn't at least put your resume in the right hands.