Investment banking is an intensely competitive, action-oriented industry. Being the nerve center of financial activity, investment banks require the services of professionals with good communication and analytical skills, sound knowledge of the industry and ability to excel under high pressure. Investment banking jobs offer big money, along with the respectable status of a Wall Street player.
So how do you enter the enigmatic world of Wall Street finance and land your first investment banking job in highly sought after firms, such as JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse?
Identifying potential hiring firms
Begin by thoroughly researching the industry and its current players. Find out as much as possible about the various bulge-bracket, regional and boutique investment banks. Investment bankers, such as Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Goldman Sachs, are bulge-bracket players, while others, like Piper Jaffrey, cater to the regional market. Then there are small, specialized firms that are oriented towards bond-trading, M&A advisory, technical analysis or program trading. Resources published by well-known financial educational institutions, such as the Harvard Business School, or media organizations, like Bloomberg, will help you in identifying investment banking firms that you may wish to work for.
Check the websites of leading players, like Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, and get acquainted with their requirements. A look at the industry blogs, such as iBanking Resumes, Wall Street Prep, Mergers and Inquisitions, can also help you gain a greater insight into the workings of investment banks.