Investment banking is one of the most complex yet essential financial systems in the world. This involves a plethora of financial services, including securities trading for one’s own account, mergers and assistance to companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, leveraged financing, restructuring and new issues (introduction on the stock exchange) serving a wide range of functions for business as well as government. .
Therefore, the investment bank acts as an intermediary between the issuers of securities and the investors and helps new companies to enter the public domain. Unlike many other financial jobs, investment bankers typically come from a variety of backgrounds and can use their transferable skills to branch out into other related industries. such as research, trading or structuring, later.
The journey to becoming an investment banker
Investment banking has only recently become a viable career option in finance. What was once popular in TV shows and movies is now a promising career avenue in the real world too! There are different roles for those working in investment banking and each of them requires varying skills and personal qualities.
Most investment banking graduate positions require a bachelor’s degree. Although it doesn’t have to be in a finance-related industry; the chosen field should have a strong math, economics, or business/management focus. However, coming from a financial background will of course be beneficial and give students leverage over their peers. Considering it to be one of the booming and in-demand career opportunities, B schools are focusing on creating MBA programs and PGDM courses in investment banking to provide the educational experiences necessary for students. Therefore, even if you are not pursuing your education in the financial sector; you can definitely consider taking an MBA or PGDM course in the field to eventually build your career trajectory in investment banking.
Undertake relevant training and internships
A significant percentage of investment banking positions are filled by former employees. This is indicative of the fact that completing an internship greatly increases your chances of being hired. Therefore, you should focus your efforts in the second year of your MBA course on gaining a position in one of the major financial institutions, be it banks or corporates. Networking and connecting with students who are just starting their careers or who have recently completed their internships is also essential to seek advice on the current scenario of the field as well as gather information about the lucrative opportunities the field offers.
The application writing process is crucial to securing internships/training. Therefore, you should write your application meticulously and, if possible, have it personally reviewed by an experienced professional to help you improve it. Overall, it is also essential that you obtain all the necessary information before applying to the companies so that you can make an informed decision on the type of position you want to apply for and the organization you want to work with. With relevant internships, on-the-job training, and practical skills acquisition, you can have the best start to your career in investment banking!
Business schools offering new-age courses in financial management and investment banking
B schools have undergone various transitions to evolve with the dynamics of the industry. They are now striving to offer a unique program in order to address the talent supply as well as the gaps in financial theory and practical market approach. Considering that there is a growing need for finance professionals in the field of investment management, banking and financial services in major financial firms, banks and financial institutions; management schools offer new-age curricula that hone students’ skills in the field. They are aligned with industry disciplines and help shape students holistically. By pursuing these courses, students have the opportunity to gain exposure to equity research, financial services, and investment banking processes. Moreover, these programs also provide them with a plethora of opportunities to learn risk management, operations, and econometrics. Overall, they bring learners closer to the real, corporate and professional world of finance, banking and investing!
To sum up !
Investment banking is gaining popularity as a viable career prospect that comes with the promise of recruitment into renowned companies and large salary packages. Students wishing to enter this field may consider taking MBA or PGDM courses in financial management that base their curriculum on investment banking. These programs holistically transform learners into industry-ready finance professionals of tomorrow. It also allows them to learn more about industry management and improve basic organizational skills by instilling business understanding as well as strategic thinking skills. These courses offer a diverse range of advanced corporate sector employment options across all sectors, as well as a competitive salary package, making them a realistic and relevant career choice in today’s time!
(The author is Gaurav Gupta, FORE School of Management. Opinions expressed here are personal.)