Investment Banking Jobs – No Ivy League Degree Required

It’s usually difficult to get an entry-level job on Wall Street without a degree from an Ivy League school or one of the top-ranked business schools. But one little-known program in the Midwest is having an unusual amount of success.

Twelve juniors from the University of Iowa’s Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business have secured summer internships with surviving financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and UBS. And this is despite the fact that most firms have reduced their intern class sizes by 30 percent to 40 percent, according to an article in the Des Moines Register online.

“We’ll actually have more Hawkinson students starting careers in investment banking this year than last, and more of them will work at Wall Street bulge bracket firms than we’ve ever had,” said Brian Richman, director of the Hawkinson Institute.

What’s the secret to their success? One student, Patrick Cebrzynski, who will intern at Credit Suisse in its capital markets division this summer, chalks it up to learning three core skills:

– A good work ethic.
– Strong financial knowledge.
– The ability to build and maintain professional relationships.

For future investment bankers, internships are a key to finding a position after graduation. “If an intern performs well, the firm usually offers a permanent job after graduation,” said Richman, a former investment banker. “Historically, our students have been very good at converting internships into job offers, and somewhat surprisingly, that hasn’t changed despite the recession and the contractions in the investment banking field.”

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