How Do You Become an Investment Banker?


Quick Answer

A person who wants to become an investment banker should go to graduate business school to earn an MBA, and then interview for analyst jobs at investment banks. Having good contacts in an investment bank is also helpful.

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How Do You Become an Investment Banker?
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Full Answer

Investment banking is one of the highest-paying professions in finance. It is also one of the most competitive to enter. Investment bankers work at financial institutions called investment banks. Investment banks differ from the commercial banks with which most people are familiar, as investment banks do not accept deposits from the general public. However, many commercial banks also have investment banking arms.

Investment bankers advise financial clients on a variety of high-level financial matters, including issuing bonds, merging with or acquiring other firms and issuing stock to the public. Most investment bankers begin their careers after college as analysts working long hours and performing most of the grunt-level financial analysis required to complete a transaction. Analyst programs require long hours and substantial travel. Graduate business school is standard after a couple years as an analyst, and most hopefuls seek admission to one of the country's top business schools, such as Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, Stanford or NYU.

Armed with an MBA, a prospective investment banker either returns to his or her original firm, joins another firm or pursues another career. Ironically, many older investment bankers did not attend business school at all and relied on personal relationships to build careers.

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