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

Best Rated

What kind of internship would you recommend after freshman year of college or even sophmore?
I know that ibanking internships are limited after fresman and sophmore year so what would be the best alternate options?

Asked by Alyssa about 5 years ago

The truth is that after freshman/sophomore year, your internships don't matter THAT much in terms of career direction. It's what happens after junior year and graduation that counts. Of my college friends who went into banking, the majority did traditional "summer jobs" after freshman/sophomore year (e.g. camp counselors, lifeguards, waiters). But, if you're 100% sure you want to go into banking, internships at local financial institutions of any kind – commercial banks, investment firms, stock brokerages – are a good move.

As a recent college graduate from the non-target private school in Finance, I have no work experience in ibanking and been in an wealth management internship for 1.5 year. What are some steps I can take to break into the field or can I not?

Asked by dons9214 almost 5 years ago

I hate to sound dismissive, but I've answered quite a few similar questions throughout this Q&A. They may not *exactly* resemble your situation, but should provide ample guidance. Please have a look and if you're not satisfied, let me know.

Hi I have a degree in Biochemistry and just finishing up second degree (bachelor's) in Finance from a so -so school with GPA ~3.6. I am 27. How should I go about getting into I-Banking? Does the age and being a female make a difference? Thanks

Asked by ss almost 5 years ago

I've answered similar questions elsewhere in this thread, so please feel free to poke around a bit.

Re: age... assuming you want to enter an analyst program, it *could* be an issue. Obviously employers can't legally discriminate on the basis of age, but with rare exceptions, analysts start at 22, right out of college. I guess I just haven't seen enough examples similar to your situation to be able to suggest otherwise.

Gender: not an issue. It might even work in your favor, as banks look to level the playing field.

The so-so school part can definitely be a sticking point, at least for the bulge-bracket banks. But as I said to another question-asker coming from a "meh" school, you should (a) consider starting with smaller, boutique banks (arguably a better working experience, less particular about diplomas, and can act as a springboard), and (b) connect with alumni from your school who have gone the banking route.

Business school may also be an option. B-school graduates who go into banking immediately assume associate positions, so you could side-step the analyst programs altogether.

Hello,

I am 20 years old and have saved up a little over 10k throughout my life. I would like to put this away in some sort of fund with compound interest. As a banker, do you have any advice.

Thanks

Asked by Nick almost 5 years ago

Good for you for having saved $10K at 20 years old! You're doing better than many people twice your age. That said, you'll want to speak to a financial advisor or commercial banker for that kind of advice. Investment bankers deal more with transactions between companies, as opposed to personal investing. Congrats again and best of luck.

Does taking certifications such as CFA help you stand out from other investment banker candidates?

Asked by Jerjer almost 5 years ago

It's a plus, but probably won't make or break one's candidacy. Obviously a CFA is more likely to have financial fluency than a non-CFA, but speaking from my own experience, I saw very few CFA's in banking. Saw far more CFA's in sales & trading, compliance, accounting, etc.

Which would be better for breaking in to IB/S&T: chemistry at a target school or maths/finance at a non-target/semi-target?

Asked by LJ almost 5 years ago

Rightly or wrongly, banks tend to care more about the school than the major. The Harvard English major has a far better shot than the Mississippi St. finance major. That doesn't mean the latter isn't qualified or has no shot, but the target-schooler has a better chance of getting a foot in the door.

In your early question, you said that you have worked New Year's Eve and Christmas Day in the past. Does this mean that the office is never closed? Is it always open? Who locks it up at night and switches off the lights or computers?

Asked by sultanoflondon almost 5 years ago

As far as I know, the office was never technically closed. As is common for large, NYC business buildings, they're shared among several companies and at a minimum, members of the security and maintenance crews are present.