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What are the chances to get into Investment Banking (any job) as intern without any experience nor a Master's Degree in Finance / CFA? What should I expect in terms of hours worked and chances of growth if I make it?

I am turning 28 this year. My past experience is in Marketing and Sales and just got my Undergraduate Business degree in 2019. During univeristy I picked up some finance subjects as electives like corporate and financial markets. I really love to sell, to invest and to be aware of what happens in the financial sector everyday. I try to learn things by myself but I am afraid is not enough to convince a hiring manager to have me as an intern. Currently I am studying a postgraduate in Business Intelligence. If it's too late, what other similar companies I could try? PE o VC for example? Also, is always Financial Analyst the entry level position for everyone new in the industry? Thanks!!!!
#finance #ib #investmentbanking #internship #financialanalyst #banking #business #career #investment #entrylevel


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Laura’s Answer

Hi Alejandro!

A career change is a personal choice and if you are willing to work for it, it’s never too late.

I believe banks are open to hiring investment banking interns from any major. The position is not confined only to finance grads with a masters degree in finance/ CFA. I personally know people with degrees unrelated to finance (i.e. history, engineering, marketing) that are now IB analysts.

I am sure you possess a variety of skills from your past experience in marketing and sales. Try to map out how these skills can be transferrable in the IB position. Aside from that, you may want to evaluate the work life balance aspect of working in IB as they are known for 80-100 hour workweeks.

Other than IB, I would recommend that you look into corporate banking or treasury sales. Your previous experience in sales and marketing will definitely suit this position as you would be marketing the bank’s products. The compensation will not be as high as IB but work life balance is certainly better. Hope this helps!

So the age thing doesn't really matter right? I've heard thousands times that in IB they look for 21-22 years old recent grads who are the ones that care less about working 80h a week and so. How could I compete against this to stand out? Thanks for your answer btw! Alejandro P.

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Tina L’s Answer

Hi Alejandro

I've been in commercial banking for over a decade and I've done very well without having a finance background. I have BA in Business and a MBA with a focus on Healthcare Management.

Admittedly, investment banking is a fast-paced, high stress industry and most of them in our organization can work 10-12 hours days (at a minimum) and those are the bankers themselves. Interns may have to put in additional time.
Having said that, salaries in IB are indicative of the work so if you're someone who works hard and understands the rewards of consistency and discipline, you'll do well.

With your background, you definitely have a great chance of getting in with a stellar firm. I recommend seeking organizations with an international footprint because they tend to be much for focused on creating and developing diverse talent including backgrounds and skillsets.

I agree with Laura, you don't have to intern in an investment firm, you may have a better chance of getting your foot in the door at the commercial or corporate level.

I recommend checking the career sites of the large banks in your area.

Best of luck to you,

Tina


Hi Tina, thanks for your answer. When you say that better look at corporate and commercial levels means that I will do a completely different thing or it's gonna be similar but working less hours? Alejandro P.

Yes.. commercial and corporate banking manages large profitable organizations. As an intern or analyst, you would support a client team consisting of a Client Manager; Credit and Treasury Officers and a support team which you would be a part of. Your responsibilities would vary but heavily focused on research and analysis of companies and their financials. You would definitely work less hours which would mean, you'd make less of course. You may also partner with IB or other Lines of Business such as Asset Based Lending, Leasing, Merchant Services, Public Finance, etc.. working on shared deals for certain companies and that would allow you to network and build relationships with those teams to help align your next career move. Hope this is helpful! Tina L Conner

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Maryana’s Answer

As a former finance analyst, a lot of recruiting is done on-campus for internships and then turn into full-time offers. Big companies have target schools and they recruit from those schools. You can also go for a full-time MBA after a few years of experience and go straight into investment banking from there! It's tough to get into and is super competitive, but always possible.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Alejandro, I was in a similar situation 14 years ago when I was still going to school and wanted to get into banking. I started out with an entry level position that didn't require a degree, other than a high school diploma. I worked my way up the ladder by working hard and telling upper management what my true passion was and developing my skills. I would also look into different certifications and programs such as The Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), some allow work experience instead of a degree to qualify for. These are just a couple, but may help you out a bit when applying to other positions you really want. Don't give up and keep pushing for what you want, be you, and try your best!

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Alejandro!

I think switching a career is very exciting! In order to help make you transferrable, I'd highlight how your current skills can not only be applicable to the role you are seeking but add a bright, fresh light to it. Whatever company you decide to go for, do your research so that you can justify why you are eager to switch and why to their company specifically, and how you can bring about a new perspective or be an impactful asset. Companies are open to different professional backgrounds - it's really about explaining and justifying the why behind it. Best of luck!

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Bob’s Answer

Interesting situation Alejandro! While I am not in Investment Banking, I believe they may be interested in someone with your background (although sadly age may be a factor). You may want to start out with the popular internship websites and go from there (or inquire with them directly (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/111114/worlds-top-10-investment-banks.asp). Good luck........

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Joshua’s Answer

Hi Alejandro,

Laura's answer provides a lot of great context but I wanted to see if I could provide some more detail.

I am a rising senior at a university in the States and have previously interned in investment banking (IB) and was supposed to work with an IB team this summer but unfortunately the internship got cancelled. I would say that I have a strong understanding of the recruiting process with IB and am happy to provide more details about the process in the US.

The degree that you currently have really does not matter. What does matter is how it translates into an interest in IB and specifically which division of IB. IB is an extremely broad space that includes mergers and acquisitions (helping companies merge with or buy another company) and capital markets (helping companies raise debt or equity). Having a clear cut understanding of how IB is generally structured and what divisions interest you will drastically help in securing a full-time offer.

Passion is fundamental to IB especially for those that are entering the industry later in their careers - all of the bankers want to know that this is definitely something that you want to do and not just something you heard about. Passion is even more important when you consider the very long work hours, which can easily go up to 100 hour work weeks. Most bankers target those 21-22 year olds as they are more likely to be able to handle those long hours weeks on end and don't have other familial obligations such as children.

In terms of a similar career path, corporate bankers work pretty closely with the investment bankers and are always in need of more people to join. PE is difficult to get into unless you go through an investment banking program for two years or have successfully run multiple businesses. I'm not too sure about the VC process and would refer you to others that are on this platform.

Hope this all helps but let me know if you have any more specific questions!

Best,
Josh

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Alejandro!

I think switching a career is very exciting! In order to help make you transferrable, I'd highlight how your current skills can not only be applicable to the role you are seeking but add a bright, fresh light to it. Whatever company you decide to go for, do your research so that you can justify why you are eager to switch and why to their company specifically, and how you can bring about a new perspective or be an impactful asset. Companies are open to different professional backgrounds - it's really about explaining and justifying the why behind it. Best of luck!

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