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How Do You Become an Investment Banker?

Many business and finance students are attracted to the career of investment banking. Although business and finance school graduates can succeed well in many careers, those who want to pursue investment banking — such as the highly paid and sought-after professionals described in this article — will need exceptional business acumen and financial skills.

Here’s everything you need about how to prepare to become an investment banker if you are interested in this role.

What does an investment banker do?

Many financial institutions around the globe have investment bankers as key players, including well-respected financial banks like Chase and Bank of America.

This role is primarily focused on identifying financial risks that are associated with business operations in order to save time and money for companies such as banks and other non-profit organizations. Other responsibilities include helping with acquisitions, mergers, and sales; curating documentation and data for companies that are going public; and planning and pricing financial investment.

Why should I pursue a career in investment banking?

Investment banker jobs offer many benefits.

The average salary often starts at more than $100K, and can reach six figures after bonuses, career jumps, and other perks are factored in.

You’ll also be put your business skills to work in a high-pressure atmosphere, which will undoubtedly make you a desirable candidate for many recruiters as you gain experience. Apart from your accounting and finance skills, you will also develop unique “soft skills” like interpersonal communication and networking, which will serve you well in any industry.

Working in investment banking will open up endless career opportunities and professional growth. You’ll be able to make valuable connections and interact with the top financial players, which could lead to a promotion to a high-ranking position such as department vice president other managerial positions.

How do I get a job as an investment banker?

Of course, it’s not easy to get a job in the highly competitive and challenging field of investment banking. The acceptance rate at large firms is similar to that at prestigious MBA programs — often less than five percent.

With determination and the right skills, however, you can break into this field and launch a career.

These are the key steps to follow:

  • Learn the right skills: Having an advanced degree such as an MBA should make you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Recruiters will recognize that you have experience in the business world. They will also know that you have developed your skills to be a successful investment banker. These include an entrepreneurial mindset as well as networking leadership and analytical skills.
  • Get an internship at an investment bank firm: You’ll probably have the chance to do an internship during your undergraduate and graduate work. It stands to reason that an investment banking company is the best choice if you want to become an investment banker. You will be able to gain valuable experience in the field and get a head start in the recruitment process.
  • Continue to network. Networking is vital in every industry. It’s a great place to begin if you are looking for a job at a particular company. Keep your LinkedIn up-to-date and go to as many networking events in person or online as possible. They’re a great way for you to make life-changing connections and get noticed by potential recruiters and employers.
  • Begin studying for the right qualifications. To start your career as an investment banker, you will likely need to pass the Investment Banking Representative Exam or the Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam. After you have been invited to interview, ask the recruiters what qualifications you would like to attain and get started preparing. You don’t want a job that isn’t top-notch.

These are just a few of the ways to pursue a job in investment banking, but they are excellent starting points.

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