Note: This article is for more junior people without previous investment banking experience. I may write a follow-up article for senior bankers looking to change firms.
For every available investment banking position, there are literally thousands of interested applicants. I have been fortunate enough to have worked as an investment banker at a bulge bracket firm, in the middle market and as an information provider to the industry through www.PrivateEquityInfo.com.
Upon completing business school, I had my share of investment banking interviews – Goldman Sachs, Deutche Bank, Bear Stearns and others. While I had multiple rounds of interviews with Goldman Sachs, they ultimately did not make me an offer. I did, however, receive and accept an offer from Bear Stearns, at the London office. While at Bear Stearns, I also participated in business school recruiting events for the firm. Because of these experiences, I have formed some views on how to increase your chances of landing a job at an investment bank.
The Right School
By far, the single best way to get your foot in the door is to attend one of the “right” universities, where “right” means one of the top finance schools. In the United States, the schools are (not necessarily in order):