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入门指南:Getting into Investment Banking

2011-01-29 00:59:51  来源网站:Yorkbbs 培训版 tgzo

Okay, several people have recently asked me questions about how difficult it is to transition from a non-IB related job into Investment Banking. To save myself some repetitve typing efforts, I have written up this post to share with all you young guns out there who would trade your souls for a career in IB:

First off, investment banking as you all know it, is a very elite and exclusive industry to be in. If you missed your shot as an undergrad to get into this industry, chances are quite low that you will again in the next few years. Frankly speaking, leveraging your non-IB related work experience and making that ultimate transition from retail banking/wealth management/operations/risk management into IB will be a very difficult process though not impossible.

As far as I know, there are hardly any IB shops (particularly the big banks) that are hiring yet. During the summer at one point, I recall smaller boutique firms such as GMP Securities and Cormark had one or two positions opened up, but attracted legions of qualified ex-bankers here in Toronto and from abroad (think NYC Goldman Sachs). Considering how competitive it is out there now, people who wish to break into ibanking have the following two options. Note, I am basing my advices on reality, since I don't want to mislead any of you by saying just apply and you'll get it. The fact of matter is, without relevant experience in IB, particularly having graduated from university already places you at a disadvantage. Having said that, your two choices are:

Option 1. Gain two solid years of work experience in your current job, apply for your MBA in States or in Canada quickly, then break into IB from there. This option is the most popular choice for those career-aspired individuals that did not land IB-related positions straight from university at the undergrad level. When hiring for associates (at MBA level), big banks and boutiques still have a preference for those candidates with analyst banking background, but you definitely will have a fair chance of success without having it. This is because many ibanks wish to diversify their employee composition and more often than not, at the MBA level there is a group of untapped talents employed in other professions who have not gotten into IB for whatever reason after their undergrad, but are now available (hopefully after your MBA, you'll be identified as that "talent").

Option 2. Complete your CFA as early as possible and network with friends and colleagues that you know who are already working in the IB industry. Believe me, nothing is more credible than a close contact referring you to a job position, particularly in IB. Since the cost of hiring for most iBanks is quite high, they do not want to risk the failure of going through many rounds of interviews only to end up with a... well for the sake of being gentle... let's just say a scam-artist. By networking I do not mean, call up a friend of friend of yours, asking if their current employer is hiring and then send your resume, ba da boom, done. When I say networking, I mean draw up a list of contacts (from your ex-colleagues or look up on your school's alumni database to find some accomplished individuals in the IB field), introduce yourself informally to them via email or phone. Be confident but not aggressive in your approach. Your ultimate goal is to get some private one-on-one time with these people (could be lunch or a social function) and explain to them your interest and your previous work background. Ask them for their advice and have them keep an close eye out for you if potential opportunities should arise in the future. Furthermore, assuming there are no present positions available, you should still keep a frequent communication channel open to stay connected with these guys. As I stated previously, market conditions now are quite dull, so your expectations should be low. However, by having a portfolio of contacts and keeping them close during a recession, you'll be very well positioned once the economy picks up since people tend to refer candidates whom they know well personally and not just as an email or a phone number.

While you are at it, also consider improve your financial valuation skills/modeling through night courses or books since these are the bread-n-butter in iBanking. Practice your Excel until you breathe it like air. We always joke that a good iBank analyst can do all of their regular tasks with their eyes CLOSED and on keyboard only. Believe me, Excel is the single most important skill to have if you want to succeed in this field, no one else will know or tell you this especially if they have not worked in banking.

Last words: be persistent, be confident and while your success for entry is not guaranteed (due to luck factors), but you'll know you gave your best shot and that's all there is to life. Let me know if you guys still have further questions, I'll try my best to get back you when I have the time.




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