Careers in Finance investment Banking
By Brian Perry
This chapter will examine investment banking jobs. These jobs generally involve working with corporations, governments and other large institutions and either helping them to raise capital or providing them with strategic advice. While many investment bankers may begin their career as generalists, they often go on to develop expertise in a particular industry or sector, after which their career might become more specialized.
Where the Jobs Are
Investment banking jobs are available with several different types of organizations. Many jobs are to be found at the large global investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley or in the investment banking department of large commercial banks such as Citigroup or Deutsche Bank. Other jobs are available at smaller, regional or boutique investment banks such as Lazard, Jefferies, or Greenhill. Another, increasingly popular place to find an investment banking job is at alternative asset management companies such as private equity firms or venture capital firms. Finally, investment banking functions can be found at some large companies that might have an in-house staff evaluating strategic opportunities and corporate mergers, General Electric is a good example of such a company. (Learn more in Getting An Investment Banking Job In A Recession.)
How to Get an Investment Banking Job
Investment banking has a reputation for being a blueblood profession, and historically many people have entered the industry following a prestigious academic background at an Ivy League or comparable university. The most common career path is for an individual to leave University and serve a two or three-year stint at one of the large global banks. Following this, many individuals will return to graduate school to get a MBA degree before returning to either their previous employer or a new firm at a higher level. While professional certifications such as the Series 7 or CFA designation are not unheard of, they're not as common in investment banking as they are in some other finance fields. Nevertheless, competition for jobs is fierce and many employers essentially have their pick of qualified candidates. Therefore, if you are interested in a career as an investment banker, the best way to prepare is to do exceptionally well in school so as to make yourself appear an attractive candidate.