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What is corporate banking like?

Would love to hear your experience as a corporate banker and pros/cons. Could you please share some advice for a student wanting to go into this field - how they can prepare etc. Thank you so much! career bank finance

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7 answers


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Son’s Answer

Hi Katherine,
I'm working for corporate banking department. In my perspective, corporate banking is one of the most interesting departments in commercial banks. Apart of interacting with corporate clients in professional environment which brings you in-deep knowledge about various industries, you can explore and gain several information about the financial markets and financial products as well. When working with corporate clients, you can have a chance to engage with different operations, business models, structures of clients as well as engage with comprehensive financing mechanisms that may make big change to the market.

What you need to prepare:
1/ If you want to be a corporate sales: recommend you to have major in finance, economics and accounting. Set of skills you need are negotiation and communication skill. If you want to be credit analyst: strong knowledge of accounting, finance is required. You need to learn different business models, how to structure a loan as well.
2/ You need to learn a little bit about AML (anti money laundering), CDD (customer due diligence), FCR (financial crime risk).

Cons:
You can easily be stress given the pressure. It's not easy job so recommend if you really love challenging yourself. Better if you can stay work-life balance.




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Guadalupe’s Answer

Hi Katherine,
As somebody mention in other answer,
Try to think if you like to interact with people, or you better prefer to work by your own, if you like to listen to clients needs or you prefer to execute instead of plan.
Give yourself a few minutes to think what you like most, don´t think in an industry now.
If you identify that banking is and interesting industry for you, try to match what you like most or what you passionate about and how that fits with all this options in banking.
I´ve been working for almost 20 years in Investment Bank and I can share the following:
Pros:
- Pay and benefits are good
- Good work-life balance, depending what activities are assigned to do
- Less bureaucracy that in the C banks
Cons:
- Plain organizational structure

Good luck!
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Ali’s Answer

Here is a summary.

Pros:

- Pay and benefits are good
- Hours do not compare to investment bank. ( Better work-life balance)
- You can transfer the skills, it may be a good first job for you.

Cons:
- Bureaucracy. Highly scrutinized and regulated. Tedious KYC/AML stuff that gets repetitive.
- Commodity product with commodity boom cycles. Most banks are essentially doing the same thing at the same price.
- Who you work with is everything: You could work with reasonable people and have a good life or the complete opposite.
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Ashish’s Answer

I'm a college senior and will be starting my career in an investment bank. The pros are that you will learn a lot very quickly and develop a great network of peers to start your career. The hours can be very demanding but the pay is typically very competitive and can support a comfortable lifestyle. To prepare, you should first decide what type of job you'd like to have. There are so many difference positions you can hold and they all demand very different skills. But if you'd like to enter the finance world, you should attend a business school for university and study either finance or accounting. This isn't necessary at all though, because many people who study other fields can decide to enter finance after college. Most of what you do, you will learn on the job rather than in school.
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Don’s Answer

Like a lot of large companies, most banks have a wide variety of job types. Obviously finance and accounting are key attributes, but they also have needs for technology, supply chain, legal, marketing, sales, and other skills. So think in broad terms about what you might like to do and see where that can fit in at a financial institution.
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Andrea’s Answer

Start out by getting a degree in financing or accounting. While going to school I suggest working part time at a local bank to start gaining experience. From there start looking at which branches you’d like to further your career with.
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Katherine. As was mentioned in another answer, you need to determine what job you would like to have. For example, before starting at Wells Fargo, I had obtained a degree in Organizational Development and landed a job at The Oakland Tribune; a world class, Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper and also the parent of USA Today. I had visions of becoming a writer and loved working for the owners and Executive Committee. My career path changed when the company was sold and most of us were laid off. It was traumatic and so I began doing contract/temporary work. This was actually a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me the opportunity to work within different industries, including banking. Working for a Bank, especially a large one, opens up several avenues for you. You could be a Teller or Mortgage/Loan Analyst, working directly with customers; or you can work behind the scenes doing anything from risk management, to fraud detection, to networking and cybersecurity. I started my banking career as an Administrative Assistant in Retirement Funds. I then moved into Risk Management, and then Voice and Data Networking, where eventually I became a project manager working in Data Centers tracing cable alongside engineers. This 6mth contract turned into a 20+yr career. The world is truly your oyster. I honestly can't think of any downside. Be hungry and strive to reach your highest level of incompetence - then be teachable/willing to learn. Good luck!
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