Junior investment Banking jobs
Investment banking analysts will go into the industry full of confidence, but gnarled veterans explain how they need to behave if they want to survive.
Joining an investment banks graduate programme is no guarantee that you’ll go on to become a real investment banker. Not only are more millennial analysts heading out on their own with increasing frequency, but juniors often call it quits of their own accord. 11% of front office analysts left last year, according to analysis from Quinlan Associates, and 20% of associates departed.
Getting through the door is only half the battle. Once you’re in an investment bank not only do you need to ensure that you don’t screw it up in the first few weeks, but you need to think about longevity in your career. With the benefit of hindsight, these former investment bankers give their insights on how to survive.
1. Never ask for work
Think you’re showing conscientiousness by demanding extra work from more senior colleagues during relatively quiet periods? No, you’re setting yourself up for a fall, says Mark Hatz, a former M&A associate at Goldman Sachs and Perella Weinberg Partners, who now helps students get into investment banking.
“You’ll always be busy anyway, and people remember the quality of your work, not how much you can take on, ” he says.
2. But don’t get comfortable
The first few years in investment banking are a steep learning curve and, combined with often punishing hours, it can be difficult to think beyond your current job function.
“Never miss an opportunity to learn, ” says Ziad Awad, a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch managing director who now runs his own boutique Awad Capital. “If a senior person offers you the opportunity to work on a project that is outside of your comfort zone, do not be shy about taking it up. That senior person probably believes you have what it takes for the job, so prove them right. The worst that can happen is that you learn from your mistakes.”
3. Ask for help, but try to avoid bothering your manager
After the initial training programme, it’s tempting to assume you have a period of grace to get to grips with the job. The reality is that you’ll be expected to perform from day one. If you’re set work and are struggling with the task, don’t be afraid to ask for help – but never from the person who assigned the work to you.
“Ask every single other person on the planet for help, before you go back to your manager, ” says Ben Rick, the former European head of prop trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch who is now managing partner at Social and Sustainable Capital.
4. It is, sadly, really all about the team
You may think you’re a super-star paying lip-service to the banks’ insistence that they only employ team-players. You will, however, get nowhere if you don’t get on with those around you.