These Are Not the MBAs You Are Looking For

Let’s be honest, there are only 20,000 entry-level “analyst” or “associate” jobs opening up worldwide annually in the investment banking world. The competition is anywhere from five- to ten-to-one. Odds are, you’re not getting one. But as Han Solo so wisely put it,  “Never tell me the odds.”

Fortunately, with a little preparation and dedication to task, you can even up these odds. According to, there are at least four things you can do to separate yourself from the white-shod herd.

First, talk to as many people in the field as possible. Most “informational interviews” are a waste of time — except for the one that isn’t. And you never know which one that is. Play the numbers game.

Next, go for specific investment bank “boot camp” training. Not only do they polish your skills, they give you a whole new old boys’ network to explore.

Third, realize there’s no such thing as “investment banking”. It’s all specific to products and industries. Do your homework on issues related to whatever niche your interviewer specializes in.

After doing some of that homework, you’ll figure out which verticals you’re best suited for and most interested in. Devour books and trade journals and become an expert in those.
And if you’re not located in New York, London or some other financial hub, it’s worth the plane ticket to get in the same room as the individual who’d otherwise be glancing at his Bloomberg feed while you’re talking. There’s no substitute for a face-to-face meeting.
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