Be honest, on hearing those names, did your pulse speed up slightly? Did your breathing quicken just a little bit? Of course, the world famous names and institutions of global finance evoke certain images and incite a certain kind of wonder unlike any other industry or career path can. The break neck speed and clashing of intellectual titans all hold a mystical position in our popular culture.
But the chance to pit your endurance and financial chops against other elite performers is an inspiring challenge for the very best. And you have probably always secretly wondered if you have what it takes to mix it with the best.
Ok, so that was the exciting sales pitch, but now to go into some more detail. If you have even remotely considered moving into finance and more specifically, investment banking, then this detailed report will help you on the path to success.
Here, we offer some time-honoured strategies to aid you in making the leap and dramatically change your career.
Now on the face of it, you might think coming from an engineering background and attempting to make the move to investment banking is a very big and challenging one. You would probably be right. However, this does not mean it is unrealistic or unachievable. In fact, the challenge and the rewards it can reap are one of the best reasons to take the plunge.
If you can provide the motivation, we can help show the strategies to employ to come up with a formula for success. But to begin with, you need to be able to answer some questions to truly understand if investment banking is the right move for you.
- Do I have a passion for banking? This is non-negotiable. You need to relish the cut and thrust of the financial markets, with a real appetite for wanting to understand how it operates.
- Am I ready for hard work? There is no escaping the fact that the road to successful investment banker is paved with blood, sweat and tears. This is not to put you off, but the thought of cutting your teeth with some of the world’s best minds should get your heart pounding and adrenaline pumping.
- Can I fit in with the in-crowd? Now, whilst banks do look for performers who stand apart form their peers, they also want people who can fit in with the corporate culture. It can be a very traditional field and the need to fit in with the team is a real one. However, once you are in, it is like being part of a family. And just like real families, there are many different types.
If you have ever felt that your engineering role has you playing it safe, then investment banking could be for you. If you feel you have nothing left to prove and you need a new challenge, then investment banking could be for you. If you have hit a ceiling and you feel you deserve something with bigger rewards, then investment could be for you. If you are simply used to being a high achiever and you want to throw your hat in against the best, then investment banking is defi nitely for you.
If you cannot do that as an engineer, something has gone wrong! Also, large sections of investment banking are concentrated on your fi eld of expertise: tech. That knowledge should give you a great leg-up over your competitors. Think about some of the biggest investment stories of the last few years, Uber, Snapchat, Tesla, Instagram – the list stretches from here to Silicon Valley.
Our best recommendation of what you can do next? Augment your hard earned skills with an MBA.
To begin with, it will give you the best introduction into the world of finance, giving you a broad knowledge base. Investment usually prefer MBA candidates over other Masters programs, such as Master in Finance, due to the wide variety of practical finance skills it provides. And, yes, banks specifically hunt out the best MBA candidates for their recruitment. And, they can do this early, often making initial moves with people in the first semester of the MBA program.
But, you should have a more structured plan than simply getting yourself an MBA. That on its own will not get you a job on Wall St. or Canary Wharf. Here are the steps you need to think about:
- Plan your MBA in meticulous detail. The very best banks recruit globally, but they are also very targeted in their approach. They often target specific business schools, with American and London-based banks usually biased towards the best schools in the US and Europe. Target the top business schools to get ahead.
- Research the specific companies you would like to work for. What particular skills do they look for when hiring? Which business schools cover those skills in their programs?
- Network, network, network . Many business schools have a strong alumni network within finance. These are schools you want to apply to when considering a career in investment banking. Beyond the hard skills the MBA will give you, one of the greatest advantages it gives you is the opportunity to network, both formally and informally throughout your time on the program.
- Develop your MBA strategy. To get the most from your MBA program and squeeze every last drop, follow this three-pronged approach:
a) In the classroom – study hard and learn the finance skills. Making sure the numbers add up is the easy bit! But, an MBA proves to banks you can dig deep with a strong work ethic.
b) Join the student Investment Banking Club at your school. This will give you access to events, competitions as well as mock interviews and networking workshops.
c) Get the internship. This is a vital aspect of the MBA experience, giving you the opportunity to get the real world banking experience to bolster your CV when transitioning in from another industry. MBA programs offer various link-ups with banks offering internships to students looking for a competitive edge.
- Think about what your experiences can offer. As Joanna Lee, an MBA recruiter from J.P. Morgan observes, “a common mistake among candidates is not being able to connect their past experiences and backgrounds to the role for which they are interviewing”2 . Make your engineering background count. Formulate exactly how you will present your technical wizardry as a plus for making it in banking.
When it comes to planning your MBA experience, from choosing your course to help passing the GMAT entrance exam, Jamboree Education is the oldest institute in India (founded in 1993), aiding students and professionals gain the best possible experience when looking to undertake MBAs and study abroad.
With counseling centers in 28+ locations across the country combined with a fantastic website full of resources, Jamboree combines test preparation with help in applying and planning your trip, drawing on the experience of helping thousands of candidates achieve their potential.