How do i get a job in investment banking -
What are investment banks?
Investment banks work with large organisations, helping them to raise capital investment, providing advisory services and access to the financial markets. The work of investment banks involves:
- Market making: Creating liquidity in the financial markets by assuming the risk of holding shares of specific securities (e.g. shares or bonds) to help facilitate the trading of that security.
- Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). Advise clients on large scale mergers and acquisitions, or how to restructure to make their company more profitable.
- Corporate events / new issues (eg IPO or Initial Public Offering): They help clients raise new capital by creating new securities (e.g. shares or bonds) and helping to creating demand for these. They also underwrite these in the event of smaller than expected sales.
- Structuring products: Advise clients such as high street banks, pension funds or life insurance companies on creating financial products based on multiple types of investment.
- Proprietary trading: They trade the markets using the bank's own money, looking to make a profit for the bank.
Who are the investment banks?
Investment banks are generally split into the largest banks (often known as the ‘bulge bracket’ banks), middle market, and smaller boutique banks, who may specialise in particular services.
- Larger banks include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Credit Suisse and UBS.
- Middle market banks include, BNP Paribas, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland, and RBC Capital Markets.
- Smaller boutique banks include Rothschild, Lazard, Blackstone, First Capital, Investec and many others.
Some banks are also conglomerates, including investment banking among other services that they offer such as commercial banking, retail banking or insurance. Such banks include Macquarie, ABN Amro, Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.
Jobs and roles in investment banking
Roles are divided into different areas, and were often known as front, middle and back office, though these terms are used less today. An excellent introduction to different areas and roles within investment banking is The Unofficial Guide to Banking.
Getting experience and getting in - It’s important to start early
In your first year: You can begin to explore the firms, the vocabulary and the roles.
- Look for First Year Spring Insight opportunities as many of the banks offer them. Apply in the autumn of your first year.
- Join a relevant student society to gain greater knowledge about the sector, eg MUTIS (Manchester University Trading & Investment Society).
- You could start virtual trading online to build your awareness of how the markets work, for example Virtual Trader or Investopedia Simulator. There are also many mobile apps you can download.
- Start following the financial news and familiarise with the terminology of investment bankind. See resources below.
In your second/penultimate year:
- Apply for summer internships. Internships are very important as many firms recruit the majority of graduates from their previous year’s interns. Apply in early autumn as many vacancies close by end of October or November.
- Attend careers fairs and employer presentations in October and November to find out more about the banks and make contacts
- Contact alumni via LinkedIn. Some of our alumni work in investment banking and related areas, and they can be a great source of advice and information on getting into banking.
In your final year:
- Apply to graduate schemes early. Closing dates are as early as the end of October. Make a schedule of closing dates and to apply to firms as soon as you can. Try mynewextsetup.us, banks’ own websites and CareerConnect.
- Attend careers fairs and employer presentations during the autumn to understand the banks and make contacts.
The Application process
Investment banks follow a similar process to many other large graduate recruiters. See Applications and Interviews for advice on preparing. See also our advice specific to investment banking:
- 1 page CVs - Some banks (particularly US banks) prefer CVs to be a maximum of 1 page, rather than the UK norm of 2 pages.
- Most interview questions will be of a standard type, such as why you are interested in that bank or that role, and being able to give examples of skills you used.
- Technical and brainteaser questions are used in some interviews to test your knowledge of the markets and ability to think quickly under pressure. Examples of questions are: the relationship between interest rates and bond prices, how the FTSE is trading today, how to value a company, or how many red cars are there in the UK? See resources below to help you prepare.
Understanding the investment banking sector
Understanding finance and banking terminology
- Investopedia A great resource to better understand the terminology and concepts used in the investment banking industry
- Money Week A Youtube channel with videos explaining concepts used in banking and investing.
- Finimize An app for your smartphone which helps you keep up to date with Todays’ financial news in under 3 minutes
Do I have to be a citizen of one of the Bank’s member countries in order to be considered for a position at NIB?
No, NIB welcomes all nationalities to apply and join our organisation.
Do I need to speak the local language?
No, you don’t have to speak the local language. Our official working language is English.
I don’t live in Finland. Is that a problem?
No, not at all. NIB has long and successful experience in aiding expatriates relocate to Finland, with different family situations taken into account.
Is it possible to apply for several different positions at the same time?
Yes, it is possible to apply for more than one position at a time.
Can I send in my application by email?
We only accept applications through our online recruitment system.
I just submitted my application. When can I expect to hear back from you?
If your application was successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation email from us shortly afterwards. Further communication will follow during the recruitment process. Please see the details of the selection process.
How will I know if I have been selected to participate in the interview process?
This will be communicated early on in the recruitment process. Please see the details of the selection process.
How will NIB process my personal data?
The personal data you provide will be processed for recruitment purposes. Your data will be kept in confidence and will be dealt with by a limited number of designated persons within NIB. If you apply for a vacant position posted by NIB on NIB's recruitment site, your data will normally be kept for six months after the recruitment ends for internal follow-up and statistics. If you submit an open application, your data will be retained until further notice. If you have any questions about NIB's processing of your data, you are always welcome to contact us at [email protected]
You’re just out of school and aiming to get a job at a top bank. Like most Wall Street operations, J.P. Morgan wants graduates with good grades, a strong GMAT score and applicable work experience. It also wants candidates with strong analytical skills who can think on their feet.
Here are some tips on how to nail down an investment banking job, directly from Joanna Lee, an investment banking MBA recruiter at J.P. Morgan.
What’s the best way to answer questions from the recruiter?
Present your answers in a short and compelling narrative. Briefly explain the background or situation; what action did you take and what was the outcome. If you are asked to assess a business situation, walk the interviewers through your thought process and how you arrive at that conclusion.
What mistakes do investment banking candidates make during an interview?
A common mistake among candidates is not being able to connect their past experiences and backgrounds to the role for which they are interviewing. As a candidate, it’s important to think through why you are a good fit for the role before walking into the interviewing room. Candidates should emphasize how they can add value to the firm and highlight the transferable skills that will help them succeed as an investment banker.
Are there cover letter and resume errors that often you see?
Keep your resume and cover letters to one page each. Avoid unexplained employment gaps, and/or a missing GMAT score on your resume since leaving details off your resume can raise questions. For example, if you took a year off to focus on other personal goals, you should include that experience in your resume.
What kind of questions should the interviewee ask the interviewer at the end?
Overall, a candidate should demonstrate a genuine interest in the firm, the group and the specific role. Asking about a group’s recent deal or next phase in the interview process reinforces an individual’s eagerness and enthusiasm. To keep the interviewer engaged, ask about their experiences at the firm. Be sure to ask for the interviewer’s contact information so you can follow up with a thank you note as another way to reiterate your interest.
How important are grades when assessing an investment banking candidate?
Academic excellence is an important factor in a candidate’s evaluation. However, we don’t focus solely on grades, especially since many business schools have grade nondisclosure policy. So we look for other qualities of academic excellence and achievements such as GMAT scores and Dean’s List recognition.
Tell us generally about your hiring plans. Any sectors you are targeting?
At J.P. Morgan, we continue to invest in our MBA investment banking summer internship as we fill most of our full-time positions from our Summer Associate class. Our summer program allows MBA candidates to gain first-hand experience early on in their career – challenging and meaningful work, access to senior management and clients, training and development programs and networking opportunities. Our program is designed to determine if the firm is a right fit for candidates and vice versa. If the fit is right, then Summer Associates are well positioned to be considered for our full-time associate program.