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How to Get an Investment Banking Job

Close-up Of Businessman Hands Giving Cheque To Other Person In Office

So, you want to break into investment banking?

In some countries, I might be legally obligated to stop you – with force, if necessary.

But if you’ve already taken the effort to search online and find this article, I won’t stop you – instead, I’ll show you exactly how to do it.

There are 6 steps to breaking into investment banking:

  1. Understand the Industry – You’re going to be a peon at first.
  2. Plan Your Strategy – Networking? Cold-calling? Business school?
  3. Craft Your Story – So, why do you want to do investment banking? You can’t just say “for the money” even if that’s the truth.
  4. Network Like a Ninja – You need to pick up the phone and talk to real people to maximize your chances – online applications are useless.
  5. Bankify Your Resume – Think “Gordon Gekko” rather than “clueless liberal arts major” or “geeky engineer.”
  6. Ace Your Interviews – Are you smart, can you do the work, and do bankers like you? You better hope so.

Now let’s jump in and see exactly what to do for each step so that you land investment banking offers.

Prerequisite: The Banker Blueprint

Remember how your economics and math classes had prerequisites?

Well, so does this article: please click here to sign up for, download, and read The Banker Blueprint right now.

This free, 57-page guide covers everything in this article but goes into more detail in certain parts and has alternate examples.

You should read both The Banker Blueprint and this entire article because they feature different examples and focus on different aspects of breaking in.

Have you downloaded and read the entire guide?

OK, good, now you may continue.

Understand the Industry

First, understand that banks are extremely rigid with their recruiting.

We’re not talking about innovative tech startups where anyone who can kick ass and take names is welcome: we’re talking about conservative, traditional organizations that stick to what has worked for the past 20-30 years.

Banks have a strong preference for undergraduates and business school students at the top universities: think Wharton, Harvard, LSE, Oxford, and so on.

It is significantly more difficult to break in if you are already working or you’re not at a top school.


Banks assume that if you’re already working full-time, you would never sacrifice your social life and sanity to start working 100 hours a week – they want students who don’t know any better.

They also assume that if you’re not at a top university or business school, you may not be smart enough or hard-working enough to do banking.

Furthermore, banks have developed relationships with all the top schools worldwide and already do very well recruiting just at those institutions – so they don’t see a real need to go beyond that.

The statement above are not my own views – I’m just cutting out the politically correct BS and telling you how banks think about their recruiting.

Entry Points

Next, realize that there are 2 entry-level positions in investment banking: Analysts and Associates.

Analysts are recruited straight out of undergraduate or Master’s programs, or sometimes come in after 1-2 years of full-time work elsewhere. They are like the peons in Warcraft: they are at the bottom of the food chain and do all the work.

If you start out as an Analyst, most of the time you leave after 2-3 years and go into another field like private equity, hedge funds, or venture capital.

Associates either get recruited out of top MBA programs or are promoted directly from the Analyst pool. They manage Analysts, work more directly with clients and senior bankers (Vice Presidents and Managing Directors), and put out fires.

Associates are expected to stay in banking for the long-term – moving to private equity, hedge funds, and venture capital is significantly more difficult.

Plan Your Strategy

So, which of these 2 entry points – Analyst or Associate positions – should you aim for, and how do you get in?

Let’s break it down by level:


This one’s easy: get an investment banking internship any way you can.

If you’re at a top school, you’ll go through on-campus recruiting and also network with alumni, family, professors, student groups, and so on.

If you’re not at a top school, you’ll need to be much more aggressive with networking and cold-call dozens of small, local banks.

Then, after you get this banking internship, go through the same recruiting / networking process and leverage your experience into full-time interviews and offers for Analyst positions.

Recent Graduates (< 3 Years of Full-Time Work Experience)

Once you’ve graduated, your options are more limited: you either network your butt off or you wait until you have 3 years of full-time experience and apply to top business schools (as in MBA program – not Master’s programs).

Cold-calling will not work as well because you have more experience.

Spend 6 months networking with alumni, professional referrals, organizations like the CFA Society, and anyone else you can find and focus on boutique banks – if you don’t see any results after 6 months of exhaustive effort, apply to top business schools.

Experienced Graduates (>3 Years of Full-Time Work Experience)

Apply to top business schools – you’re too experienced for Analyst positions, so you need to re-brand yourself and go for Associate positions instead.

MBA Students

At this stage, networking is even more important than at the undergraduate level because everyone else is doing it too.

If you’re at a top school you can still use on-campus recruiting, but you need to begin contacting alumni 6-9 months in advance of business school, setting up informational interviews and doing everything else you can to break in and land Associate positions.

Beyond the MBA-Level / Over 10-15 Years of Full-Time Work Experience

The ship has sailed – you’re not going to become an Analyst or Associate with 10-15 years of work experience.

Either consider a different industry that’s more open to capable, experienced candidates (e.g. prop trading firms) or advance to the C-level executive / Partner level and then move into finance as an Operating Partner.

Craft Your Story

Once you’ve decided whether or not you can break into investment banking and what position you’re going to aim for, you need to craft your story.

Your “story” comes in 2 forms:

  1. A 1-2 minute explanation in interviews that answers the “Walk me through your resume / CV” or “Tell me about yourself” questions.
  2. An abbreviated, 2-3 sentence version that you use when networking or cold-calling.

Your story needs to convince bankers that you will excel in investment banking and that you are much better for the job than anyone else.

You do that by structuring your story around four points:

  1. The “Beginning”
  2. Your Finance “Spark”
  3. Your Growing Interest
  4. The Future & Why You’re Here Today

Here’s what you could say for each of these points:

The “Beginning”

You were born in New York but moved to London when you were younger and attended university there, initially planning to major in English literature.

Your Finance “Spark”

When you were studying abroad in Paris, you met a few friends who owned their own M&A advisory and real estate brokerage firm, which got you very interested in exploring finance.

Your Growing Interest

When you returned to London, you joined the student investment club and also switched to a double-major in finance and economics.

You then interned at HSBC in their M&A group last summer.

The Future & Why You’re Here Today

Although you had a great experience at HSBC, you want to apply your knowledge of finance and M&A to much larger companies and work on more cross-border transactions.

With your experience in the US, UK, and France, you’re well-equipped to work on deals involving companies in any of those countries.

In the long-term you want to specialize in cross-border M&A deals, and especially anything involving real estate – all going back to your initial “spark.” You see this bank as the best way to gain the skills you need to do that.

Abbreviated Version

When networking, you would cut the outline above down to 2-3 sentences and say that you’re a finance/economics major from [University Name], you worked in HSBC M&A, you have experience in the US, UK, and France, and you’re interested in specializing in cross-border M&A deals involving those countries.

More “Story” Examples

You should now have an idea of how to structure your story.

For more examples, please click right here to download The Banker Blueprint.

Also, please watch this video tutorial on How to Tell Your Story.

Network Like a Ninja

So now you’ve figured out whether you can get into investment banking, the best way to break in, and what you’re going to say when you meet bankers.

Now you need to network like a ninja to land interviews and offers at banks.

There are 2 methods of networking: developing relationships and cold-calling.

If you have 6-12 months before recruiting begins, you should focus on developing relationships via informational interviews, weekend trips, information sessions, and more.

There are dozens of tutorials on this site covering all types of networking, so I’m not going to repeat everything here – please see this article for the high-level overview:

And then click on “Recruiting” link right here and go to the Networking category to get everything else.

If you’re in a rush and you’re an undergraduate or recent graduate, you will need to do a lot of cold calling – find small, local banks, call and ask how to get an Analyst position there, and rinse, wash, and repeat until you succeed.


IB Networking Toolkit

Break into investment banking – like a pro. Dominate your cold calls, informational interviews, and weekend trips.

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Again, I am not going to repeat everything here because networking is covered from A to Z in The Banker Blueprint and elsewhere on the site.

Instead, I’m just going to answer the most common questions I get on the topic:

Where Can You Find Names and Contact Information?

Start with your alumni database and searches on LinkedIn – go for people with similar backgrounds (schools, interests, geographies, companies, etc.).

Contact student groups, professional organizations like the CFA Society, talk to professors, family, family friends, friends of friends, and leave no stone unturned in your search.

Get access to Bloomberg or Capital IQ or Factset and use those to look up bankers’ contact information directly and call them.

For names and information on 10,000+ banks, PE firms, and hedge funds, click here to sign up for The Investment Banking Networking Toolkit.

What Should You Say When You Start Networking?

If you’re cold-calling, state your name and what school/company you’re at and ask how best to secure an Analyst / Associate position at the firm.

The other person will probably object or say, “We’re not hiring,” in which case you respond by saying, “So are you in charge of recruiting?” and not giving up until they put you through to a banker or the head HR person.

When contacting alumni or people you find on LinkedIn and emailing them, send a 5-sentence email to introduce yourself and propose a specific time to speak for 10 minutes.

See the informational interview guide for what to do after that.

How Persistent Should You Be?

More than you think. Never, ever, ever give up after getting just 1 rejection – always check back even after being rejected multiple times.

Put responsive people higher on your priority list, but never give up entirely unless someone has not responded after 10-20 attempts.

You don’t want to do anything crazy like show up to the office with a chainsaw and flamethrower and demand to speak to the Managing Director, but emails and calls are fine.

Where Can You Learn More About Networking?

Click here to get all our articles on networking.

That seems like a lot, but it actually just skims the surface – for even more intensive training, click here to sign up for The Investment Banking Networking Toolkit.

You’ll get the names of 10,000+ banks, PE firms, and hedge funds as well as dozens of scripts, email templates, and tutorials on everything I mentioned above.

Bankify Your Resume

So now you have your story straight, you’re out networking and working the phones like a ninja, and you’re meeting bankers left and right.

When you meet those bankers, you’ll need a resume (also known as a CV for European / Australian readers).

Please ignore all the “generic” resume templates you see online – they are completely inappropriate for investment banking.

Investment banking and finance have very different standards for resumes – if you act like you’re applying for a marketing position or a non-profit, you’ll get rejected in 2 seconds.

Copy and Paste These Resume Templates

Once again, I’ve done all the work for you: just choose from the resume and cover letter templates below, copy them, and fill in your own information:

The Secret About These Templates

Since I introduced these templates, they’ve became the standard in the finance industry – just go to a school like Wharton and try to find someone who is not using one of the resume templates above.

Of course, you can change around the fonts, font sizes, margins, and so on – but if you do not use one of those templates, you might look out-of-place next to everyone else.

So it’s in your best interest to use them and adapt as you see fit.

Bankifying Your Resume: Examples

So now you’ve got the templates and you’ve started filling in your own education and work experience entries – let’s go into this in more detail and see how to bankify your experience.

“I’ve been getting a lot of tips on how to write [my resume], mostly from my staff. They really seem to be up on this stuff. They tell me I have to use the active voice for the resume. You know, things like “Commanded U.S. Armed Forces,” “Ordered air strikes,” “Served three terms as President.” Everybody embellishes a little.”

-President Bill Clinton, White House Correspondents Dinner

And that’s exactly what you should do: embellish a little.

Craft your resume to emphasize working with financials and numbers and leading rather than following. Here are a few examples of resume makeovers:


Software Development Intern, Cell Phone Company

  • Developed cell phone applications for collecting demographic and user/revenue data in team of 3 and investigated new web technologies. Presented findings to CEO.

That doesn’t exactly scream finance, now does it?

It screams “tech nerd” to me – here’s how we’d apply a makeover to this entry:

Technology Consultant, Cell Phone Company

  • Recommended development budget of $100,000 to CEO based on analysis of ROI on similar projects in the past.
  • Worked in team of 3 to design applications for analyzing demographic data; optimized revenue per user for mobile software and made recommendations that led to 20% higher RPU.

This made-over version is better for three reasons:

  1. The Title – “Technology Consultant” sounds more related to finance than “Software Development Intern,” which sounds more like a shorts-and-t-shirt job.
  2. Recommendations and Analysis – You recommended specific numbers here and analyzed the financial returns of previous projects – just like what you do in real finance.
  3. Results – At the end you have a tangible, monetary result: a 20% higher revenue-per-user number.

This example is a bit of a stretch because you might not have done everything I’ve listed above – maybe you didn’t achieve specific results, or maybe you didn’t make a budget recommendation.

That’s fine – just try to spin your title and emphasize any recommendations and analysis you did complete.

You do need to be careful with changing around your title, especially if you had an “official” one during your internship/job – check with your former boss first to make sure it’s OK.

Research Background

With a science or research background, do not try to be Mr. Wizard – the worst thing you can do is write tons of technical jargon that no one understands.

Instead, focus on the business / economics / financial aspect of what you did and how it affects the real world.

Here’s an example:

Research Assistant, Cleantech Group

  • Worked directly with Professor X to perform data collection and analysis of cleantech industries, including ethanol, solar cell, module and wafer manufacturers.

OK, so he learned a lot about… solar cells.

That’s nice, but no one would care unless he happened to be interviewing for an alternative energy investment banking group.

Here’s the makeover:

Research Assistant, Cleantech Group

  • Gathered data on US ethanol industry and analyzed performance of specific ethanol companies and market; reviewed firm management, history, financial performance and value of IP and technology assets.
  • Performed data collection on solar cell manufacturing companies and analyzed financial performance and production methodologies.
  • Tracked individual companies and determined which ones to research based on financial metrics and fundamental analysis.

You could argue that this person didn’t do some of the things listed there / that I’ve embellished the truth too much.

It doesn’t matter as long as you can back up what’s written there.

Unless you’re writing about something that bankers know a lot about – like accounting or financial modeling – you won’t get into trouble because they won’t know enough to test you.

You need to learn how to spin if you want to succeed in investment banking.

There is a limit to this – you can’t lie or make outright ridiculous claims (e.g. “Made $25 million for company by winning clients!”), but you can use the strategies in this article on how to spin your way to success.

Ace Your Interviews

So now you’ve networked like crazy, you have a killer resume/CV, and you have dozens of interviews lined up at banks – how do you seal the deal and land offers?

As with networking, there are dozens of articles and tutorials on this topic on the site so I’m not going to repeat all of that here.

I’m going to take a different approach in this tutorial and focus on the three most important traits you need to demonstrate to investment bankers:

  • You can burn the midnight oil.
  • You won’t shake the jello.
  • You want to be Gordon Gekko.

Here’s how to demonstrate all three:

Burn the Midnight Oil

“Alright, I’ll do it. But do me one last favor, will you. Can you give me two hours? That’s all I ask man, just two hours to sleep before tomorrow. I suspect it’s going to be a very difficult day.”

-Raoul Duke, “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” (1998)

You’re not going to get those 2 hours of sleep, and especially not if you ask for them like that.

You must convince your interviewers that not only do you not need any sleep at all, but also that you would never ask for any.

You need specific stories of when you’ve burned the midnight oil in the past.

When I was interviewing, I talked about how I worked 100-hour weeks at IBM one summer when I led a product team there, and how I lived in the office toward the end.

Here are example stories you could use in interviews to prove that you can work 24/7 and don’t care about having a social life or interests outside of work:

  • Startups or starting your own company: What could possibly be more work? Not even banking.
  • Taking leadership of a large project that required several months to complete: Carnivals, sports events, international science fairs, mud wrestling matches, it could be anything as long as you can articulate how much you worked and how you always felt like you were dying.
  • Working 2-3 jobs at once and having to multi-task repeatedly: This lets you hit the “multi-tasking” theme and the “working a lot” theme.

Don’t just say that you studied a lot during your week of final exams – that’s too short a period to prove anything.

Come up with something where you were very stressed out over at least a few weeks, and if necessary, embellish to get your point across.

Work-life balance is view as less necessary than oxygen and food in investment banking: unless you’re willing to sacrifice everything to break in, forget about it.

Don’t Shake the Jello

“To succeed as an analyst…. DON’T SCREW UP!”

-Anonymous VP, Bulge Bracket Investment Banking Training

As a junior investment banker, your most important duty is checking numbers and not making mistakes.

Whether it’s setting up meetings, responding to emails, sending out documents, or valuing companies, screwing up will screw you over far more than over-delivering will help you.

Ideally, you were an open heart surgeon or astronaut in a previous life and you can talk about how making a mistake there would have resulted in death or explosions.

But I’ll assume that you haven’t done either of those – so instead, you should talk about how you did something that involved real, paying customers or something that was read or seen by lots of people.

Wide exposure implies that you must have had your act together – essential for banking.

Here’s an example story:

“I ran a web site about getting into college and answered common questions that students and parents had.

It started off slowly but after awhile we built up an audience of 1,000 readers per day. As editor, I spent hours checking all the material we had for the tiniest of mistakes and errors before making anything public.

There’s nothing that damages your credibility as much as careless mistakes – parents especially notice them.

Early on I published an article with a few glaring mistakes and received a pile of email from readers pointing this out.

From then on I made sure to triple-check everything, paste it into Word and print it out and re-check it multiple times and ask friends to look it over before posting anything.

With such a wide readership I can’t afford to make mistakes and now I require all my writers to check everything before I even look at their work.”

This is perfect because:

  1. You admit that you made a big mistake once but learned from it and are now meticulous (hits on the weakness/improvement theme and the attention to detail theme).
  2. Shows your leadership because you were in charge of writers and gained an audience of 1,000 readers per day (bankers love specific numbers).

Make a list of every single organization you’ve been in and every project you’ve worked on over the past 3-4 years – pick the best example that demonstrates your attention to detail and go with it.

And when you’re picking your 2-3 mini-stories, make sure at least 1 of them demonstrates that as well.

You Want to Be Gordon Gekko

“I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

-Gordon Gekko, “Wall Street” (1987)

Repeat after me: greed is good.

If you are not interested in business, finance, and the economy, why the hell are you wasting my time in this interview?

You don’t need to have actually bought and liquidated companies like Gordon here, but you better have a market, industry, or stock you’re very passionate about.

Example dialog with the interviewer:

Interviewer: “Tell me about an industry or market you’re interested in.”

You: “I really enjoy following the alternative energy industry because it’s up-and-coming and no one knows how things will play out yet.

Within the industry, there has been a lot of activity in the solar cell manufacturer sector, driven by technological breakthroughs that make solar cells cost-effective as well as government subsidies in Germany and Japan and major budget commitments by the Chinese government.”

Interviewer: “So were there any alternative energy companies that you personally invested in? There’s been a lot of IPO activity lately, right?”

You: “Yes, there have been a lot of IPOs lately… but I think most of them were overvalued and riding on hype alone.

After looking at the landscape, I personally invested in ABC Solar a year ago.

I compared their financial performance to the competition, and found that despite growing revenue at 50%, on-par with others, and having 10% profit margins, also on-par with the industry as a whole, they were trading at a discount to the competition.

Their P/E was only 30x rather than the 40-50X that others had and their EBITDA multiples were 30% lower than their competitors as well. It seemed like a bargain.”

Interviewer: “Interesting… but there must have been a reason why they were less highly valued than the competition.”

You: “I did some research into that… the main reason was that they came in below earnings expectations in the quarter just before I invested, and announced expansion plans for new facilities at the same time.

Investors balked and questioned why they were spending more on CapEx and product development if their earnings were already below expectations.”

Interviewer: “A valid question. So why did you not see this as a serious weakness?”

You: “I did some research on growth vs. profitability for solar cell manufacturers, and I found a much stronger correlation between returns and revenue growth than between returns and earnings or cash flow.

Investors were focusing on short-term results instead of thinking long-term – but it’s a nascent, early-stage industry, so growth matters more than profitability at this point.”

You don’t need to have 5,000 pages of financial analysis to give an answer like this: you just need to do a few hours of research and read up on the industry.

At the very least, learn something about the financial metrics of the company or stock you’re picking – and please, do not say something common like Apple/Google/Facebook.

But What About the Technical Questions?

I’m glad you asked – first, click here to read the investment banking interview superday guide – that covers all the categories and types of questions you need to know.

There’s also coverage of what to expect in interviews outside the US and case studies / assessment centers there.

More In-Depth Interview Training

To master investment banking interviews and land offers, we recommend our comprehensive IB Interview Guide:


IB Interview Guide

Land investment banking offers with 578+ pages of detailed tutorials, templates and sample answers, quizzes, and 17 Excel-based case studies.

Note: The price of this course will increase on July 1, 2017. To lock in the current low price (and qualify for ALL future updates, forever, free) sign up before July 1.

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There is a lot of material in the guide, from templates for telling your “story” to hundreds of pages of guidance on the technical questions to interactive quizzes and more.

If you want to learn the fundamentals in more depth, check out our financial modeling courses as well:


Excel & Finanical Modeling Fundamentals

Learn accounting, 3-statement modeling, valuation, and M&A and LBO modeling from the ground up with 10+ real-life case studies from around the world.

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Broken In Yet?

This was a long and in-depth guide – but it’s also one of the most popular articles on this site, so it must be working.

Go re-read everything above, take notes, and then take action and start working the phones, networking, and landing interviews and offers.

When you’re done, come back here, leave a comment, and let us know how many offers you got and which bank you’ll be working at.


Read below or Add a comment

  1. I am currently a high school sophomore student in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was wondering if there is any specific advice you could give to increase my chances of getting job offers in investment banking. Also, what kind of degree should I aim to receive in college?

  2. Ross Jenkinson

    Hi Brian,

    I am a 24 year old medical engineer who has a passion for IB. During my 4 years as an engineer I have also launched a new product for the company, took over all of the accounting (reduced debt ~40%, increased rates of pay, structured payment schedules and imposed interest and recovery fees with other companies), worked in my actual role as an engineer and spent the past couple of years divulging into finance.

    Do you think if I was to enroll myself onto the CFA course and just start to get down to the work myself that perhaps in a year or two’s time it would be worthwhile me applying for finance related jobs? I live in the UK by the way. I underachieved at university graduating with a less than desirable GPA however have excelled in the working world.

    Thank you,


    1. Potentially, yes, but IB will extremely tough if you already have multiple years of work experience… unless you go to business school.

  3. Hi Brian,

    I’m 29 and I’m a finance manager with an associate in Accounting and 5 years of experience in corporate accounting. I will graduate in 2018 with a bachelor in Finance. My plan is to go for a JD/MBA after my bachelor hoping that it will help me break into investment banking. I hear it is really difficult to get into IB at a certain age and I will be 34 by the time I get all my degrees. What are my chances of getting into IB at that age? what can I do to improve my chances?

    Thank you

    1. Having worked as an associate and being a group staffer and recruiter, I will tell you two things: 1, it is unlikely that you will be hired due to your age. It is just a tough job and you would be the same age as VPs and Directors at the firm. 2, you really don’t want to start doing this grind at 34. I have known a few people who have, and they all say the same thing. It is just too late to be working the kind of hours you need for the time you have to work them in order to be successful. Best of luck though!

  4. Hi Brian,

    Would an analyst or an associate at an m&a advisory firm be an m&a advisor?

    1. I guess? Technically, yes, but they are not really “advising clients.”

  5. Hi, I am a Polish high school student, currently in my junior year(I attend one of the best high schools in Poland). Courses: Extended Mathematics, Extended Physics, Extended German. My average grades are around the 90% mark. As you might have already guessed, I am interested in pursuing an Investment Banking career. Frankly speaking, I read about finance and economics every day while also preparing for two national olympiads/competitions (surprisingly, about finance, economics and management). There is virtually no IB in Poland and the finance industry is undercapitalized, to say the least. Therefore I am planning to study at a top University in the UK. And then, break into IB. (However, I’ve noticed something odd, namely I have failed to find any Poles in FO IB in London or anywhere else.) Anyway, is my plan viable?

    Sincerely, Chris

  6. I have a a Business Studies BA First Class degree from the University of Westminster in London and currently work at retail banking for 2 years. I applied for an Analysts role within and was told that I needed to gain more experience for the role. Please advise on best course of action??

    1. I think you should read about what’s required to get into the industry first here:


  7. Hi M&I,

    Really thank you for this article.
    I’m now studying in a target shcool. And as a exchange student, I’ve been studied one year at Wharton. But I’m already 29 years old and will be 30 after my graduation. Because I graduated from a university several years ago and worked for about 2-3 years and then reentered this school. So do I still have any change to get into investment banks?

    Looking forward to your reply.

    1. Yes. Do a search on this site for “age”

  8. Hi M&I,

    I am in a middle office OTC derivative role, fresh out of non-target University. I have previous M&A valuation experience through an internship at an alternative energy company that acquired alternative energy plants/farms. I have been doing multiple IB training classes, reading IB books, and practicing modeling to get M&A bank experience. Although this experience isn’t formal, will this help leverage my entry into an M&A role?

    Also, I dabble in entrepreneurship (both software & product development), day-trading, and taking Udemy classes to up any weaknesses on my resume. will this help my entry?

    Lastly, would a CFA or other preferred certifications (which I am not sure of) carry any weight into an IB role coming from a middle office role?

    Any recommendations? I have been exhausting my network as to some guidance to building the steps to make the jump.

    Thank You!

    1. Yes, it will help, but the internship experience will probably help more. I wouldn’t even mention entrepreneurship, but maybe reference the programming classes and that will help. The CFA may help a bit, but not enough to justify spending a huge amount of time on it (maybe just say you’re studying for it).

  9. Frank infante

    I am a 3rd year Finance student at a non target state school.

    I have been offered a BO roll at a BB for the summer.

    Will this experience help with breaking into a FO roll after graduation or should I start cold calling in hopes of landing something this late into the recruiting cycle?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      This role may actually help. You can still try cold calling, though at this point, I am not sure how significant the chances of breaking in are.

  10. Hey! I am an 17 year old boy from Finland and im thinking about my future dreams that will say become an investment banker at an investment bank in the US like Goldman sachs and then move to an private equity or a hedge fund.
    So what would be the “perfect game plan” to achieve that?
    (at the moment i`m studying my second year of upper secondary school)

      1. So you suggest that i would study at a non target university in the US (cause i do not have the financial opportunity to study in a “target school”)as the Asian immigrant in the article?
        Or would it be better or worse if i would study at one of the top universitys in Finland?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          This is hard to say. If you want to work in the US, perhaps studying in the US is a better choice. If you can study at a non-target in a major city like New York you can use the time there to network.

      2. So you suggest that i would do as the Asian immigrant and study at a non target school and work my way up from there?

        Or would it be better to study in Finland at a top university?
        And how would i work my way up to an investment bank in the US in that case?

        1. ohh sorry double comment

        2. M&I - Nicole

          Please refer to my previous comment. This article should be useful to you: http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/finance-low-gpa-no-experience-non-target-school/

  11. Hello M&I! First of all, I appreciate all the info you guys have given out to students like me. My question is this, I am at a non-target school wanting an internship in IB at a BB firm. I have 2 summers left and I’m wondering what would be more ideal in the eyes of recruiters/interviews at a BB.internship in GWM at merill lynch or an internship at a local boutique investment bank. Thanks in advance, this question has been keeping me up at night.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d say a BB internship your 2nd year given a BB’s credibility. You can always apply for an IB internship your junior summer.

  12. Love this game

  13. Hi, great info again!

    I’m on a big four 3 year audit (+ some TS work) program straight from school. So when I finish, I will have 3.5 years experience but only be 22.
    Would I be better off going for a top MBA then try to break in as an associate, or should I try and break in as an analyst do you think?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d opt for the top MBA program.

      1. Thanks for your reply!

        Just a quick one, how come you’d recommend that? Is it because an MBA would be more achievable than an analyst position? Or because it would be a more time efficient route to associate?

        Thanks again for your time.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Yes it maybe “more achievable” in your case. And yes, if you get into a top tier school, it *maybe* a more time efficient route.

  14. Matthew Cohen

    Does Freeman B-school at Tulane have a good enough of a reputation to get an associate position at a bulge-bracket?

    Thanks so much

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I am not 100% sure but it maybe considered somewhat of a semi target. I’d connect with alum in the industry to gain a better understanding of the industry and where your school stands in the recruitment process

  15. HI Brian,

    Could you please further clarify your point on online applications being useless? I go to University in Hong Kong, what would be the best way to otherwise apply for summer internships in banks in Europe (I.E london) if online applications are useless?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Useless meaning that it is not the most effective way to go about networking. However, if you’re applying for roles in London, yes connecting with people online via LinkedIn as well as making a trip down to London may actually help. If you have connections in HK who know of people in the industry in London this may also help. http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-weekend-trips/

  16. I am a rising junior at a well respected, but not frequently targeted, business school in Philadelphia. I am a Risk Management and Finance double major, and have two internships on my resume. I worked at a top Insurance company in their global risk management department, analyzing documents, spreadsheets, etc. I was given a lot of responsibility for it being my first internship. I enjoyed great success and was asked to come back part-time in the fall, but it did not fit into my schedule for school. I then worked at a local insurance agency owned by the parents of one of my close friends in my fraternity. This company paid for my state Insurance Agents licensing classes and exams, which I think is a pretty good boost for my resume. However, I know now after having these experiences that I do not want to stay in the insurance industry. I am looking to land an internship for next summer at either a bulge bracket bank or a tier below. Any advice you may have in helping me land this next internship, with the experience that I gained previous, would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  17. Hi Nicole,
    I have received an offer from the MSc in Finance at Warwick. I have red many things on online blogs and obviously on M&I. I have red that Warwick is considered one of the big 6 in the UK (the target schools) and so on, but I also have often red that IB recruits more from undergrad than from grad level, especially from Warwick. As far as you know, is that true? I thought that an MSc was a further demonstration of commitment and capabilities, and so I thought that it was a good help to break in IB.
    So, my question is: is the MSc at Warwick worth the 32300$ they ask for it? In particular, is this a waste of time if compared to an undergrad?

    P.s. I have already completed a BSc and an MSc (both in Economics and Finance) in a public university in Italy, my home country, and I thought that a good MSc in the UK could make my CV more interesting for IB recruiters.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d say MSc at Warwick is credible, but it also depends on which stage you’re at. In your case, yes I think Warwick can improve your CV and application quite a bit given its brand name and exposure to Europe.

      1. Thank you Nicole.
        I have just one more question: I have spent an year, between BSc and MSc working for the fourth biggest bank in Italy (Banco Popolare, three month internship and 8 month as employee). I worked at the front office, doing in-agency customer care, retail product sales and financial analysis of corporate customers, then i resumed to complete MSc.
        I have no other working experience or internship on my CV. Do you think that the fact that I have worked (and not only did internships) will help me find a job in IB or the fact that I did not do an intenship for a BB firm will be a strong disadvantage for me?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Yes I think having work experience will help, though you may want to focus on the financial analysis work that you’ve been doing to increase your chances. Of course, having experience at a BB firm will be best but I would focus on what you have.

  18. Hi,
    I’m a Belgian High school student and I’m very interested in finance/HF/IB/… Next year I’ll have to decide which university I attend. Are there any target – universities in Belgium? And if not, would it suffice attending summer school at a target school to (at least) get an internship at a Bulge – Bracket investment bank (M&A)?
    Thank you very much for this article btw!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I am not 100% sure regarding universities in Belgium, though you may want to check out schools like LBS, LSE.

      1. My grades are always in the 75% range, except for economics which is in the 85% range (got 97% on my exam last year). Would this be good enough to be competitive with other applicants?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          This is a decent grade. I am not sure what the other applicants’ grades are but I wouldn’t worry too much about just your grade alone. Focus on your GPA (overall grades).

          1. Ok thank you Nicole!
            So the 75% range would be good enough? I hav to add that I can’t do better than 70% at mathematics at the moment. So maybe it’s tough to get in economics/accounting&finance/… at LSE? So is it really necessary to study a finance related course or will any LSE bachelor do because of the name of the school?

          2. M&I - Nicole

            I’d say you can try out other courses; this shouldn’t be a big deal especially if you aren’t confident in your finance grades.

  19. Prerna Gulati

    i just got accepted into Washington university’s olin business school ‘s global master of finance programme . This is a 14 months ( june-july -Aug in USA ; Aug ti may in singapore ; may to june Usa )programme conducted by Olin and Singapore management university jointly resulting in an Msf from olin and master of applied finance from Smu. My goal is to break into ibd. I’m looking for internships in india ( where I’m from ) before starting the course. Wustl has very good placements for its traditional Msf , however since during this programme , I will be in the usa only for 5 months -I can’t avail opt. Can you suggest ways in which I can try to either extend my studies in the usa in order to avail opt ? Is there some way in which I can improve my chances to get into Ibd ? during the programme – we are taken to NYC for a week via bookings to meet finance leaders and visit the floor of the stock exchange Etc. I have also been accepted at Rotterdam school of management – this is a top school in the Netherlands and does place students in London – but Europe and London don’t seem to be too foreigner friendly in terms of their economy and jobs at this point . What do you think I should do ? Any advice would be highly beneficial

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d say Olin is probably a better name but I am not 100% sure. In terms of OPT, I’d suggest you to speak with your career centre. You may have to work for larger firms since they can sponsor your visa.

  20. Looking for the opportunity…

  21. Prerna Gulati

    hi , I completed my Bachelors in Commerce (in 2013 -with specialisation in Accounting and Finance) from St. Xavier’s College in india and ranked in the top 3 % of my class. I am also pursuing my Chartered Accountancy degree and should clear it in May 2015. Also I have applied for Master in Finance programmes in Melbourne Business School, Grenoble etc. I really want to break into the IB industry . Is there anything I should be doing currently to help my situation? Currently I am applying to several schools for the same course. Also several schools also show in their placement reports that a number of students who have completed a Master in Management (specializing in Finance in their 2nd year) were recruited by banking companies and are working in Finance. So , I want to know whether doing a Master in Management will help to break into the IB industry. I have also worked as an import coordinator in a local firm for a year.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It may increase your chance but I don’t think it’s too relevant. http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-masters-programs/

  22. I’m a CA by qualification and have worked with Big 4s in India and Singapore in their Corporate Finance divisions. At the moment, I’m working with an in house private equity function (not-so-famous) of a Singapore based real estate developer.

    I’m now looking to move to a BB M&A (Associate level) or a top-tier PE shop and hence considering doing an MBA. I’ve already gained admission in INSEAD and am on the wait list for LBS. My total work-ex is around 7-8 years and my current age is 29 years.

    What do you suggest?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes both are great schools and should help you retool yourself. http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/private-equity-recruiting/ maybe a useful link for you.

  23. I have a background in personal finance operations and financial advising. I am currently pursuing my MBA and JD. I am looking to enter into investment banking, as there are a few positions open in my area. how should I accentuate my background into IB?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you can gain an internship at a local investment bank that may help you. In terms of your background if you can highlight your valuation experience this will really help.

  24. Hello M&I,

    I’m a romanian studying Msc Finance&Banking at a UK university. My recent studies ( in Romania ) are as follow:
    – Msc Online Marketing
    – BA in Law
    – Bsc Marketing

    I would like to ask what are my chances of finding a IB job in the UK and what steps should I follow?

    I’m 25 years old.

    Thank you in advance!
    Best of regards!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d suggest you to gain some finance experience first to break into the industry. If you can also gain some finance club experience on campus that would help. I’d say your chances are less than 50% (I may be wrong) unless you gain some relevant experience.

  25. Waseem Jussab

    HI Guys,

    I am 21 years old and have recently graduated in Business and Management with a 2.1 (upper second class honours) at an average Business school in the UK (De Montfort University) – Upper second class class honours is what all the banks ask for in the UK. I didn’t do too well with my pre university education and was wondering what I could do to break into a top tier bank – I have my eyes set on Private Banking and have recently applied to JP Morgans Global Wealth Management programme. Wish me Luck!

    I have no previous internship experience at a bank and have been told banks in the UK do not select candidates that have already graduated as an intern. However, I am currently an intern at Ernst and Young in Malawi (Africa). How do you recommend I break into the finance world?

    My current options are:
    1) Keep applying for a graduate position for next years selections whilst I am in Malawi – go back and if I do not progress with the applications I will start to cold-call boutique firms in London.
    2) Work three years at Ernst and Young in Malawi and gain my ACCA or CIMA and then apply
    3) Do a masters in financial economics or finance and investments, will this enhance my chances?
    4) Not too sure on this one but I worked at British Gas (Centrica PLC) for 2 and a half years whilst I was at university ( I dont know if this can be counted towards my three years of work experience as it was part time?) If it does, I could stick around in Malawi at Ernst and Young for a couple of months and then head back to the UK and take on and MBA (finance) before applying for an associate position
    5) Regret all my life that I didnt work hard enough at school and college, stay in Malawi, join the family business and make money here (I make about $1500 a week here with my father – which is probably the same if not more than what analysts get)

    I could probably make more money in Malawi than I would working for a bank as its a developing market and there is a lot of potential (my father is ready to give me start up capital) but I am really keen on working for a top tier bank and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get in – but I want to know if I realistically stand a chance?

    I have placed bets on stocks using CFDs and spreadbetting but dont own an actual stock other than British Gas – I probably do not know about banking as much as you guys do but I am reading and learning everyday and hopefully will have learned enough technical stuff before I land an interview if I ever do.

    Please give me your opinions and ways that you guys would go?

    Any help would be highly appreciated! Thank you

    1. Option #1 is best – if you do a search for success stories or London or networking on the site, you’ll see plenty of stories from readers who have done just that… please see:


  26. I found the Swiss Academy’s summer internship (from what I gathered it’s more classroom based) on my job recruiting network through my University. How does this look to investment banks?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      This is better than not having any relationship but no I don’t think it is too relevant to IBs.

  27. Hello M&I

    Nice job on the website, I am currently 35 yrs old in my last year of MBA school (ranked 114th) worked nearly 8 years doing engineering work, I have a BS in electronics engineering (state school), I’ve applied online at different boutique firms however no response. Next week I will attend a school job fair that will have some potential internships and entry level positions also some networking opportunities. I am not sure of my chances, I have no other commitment but school , work and gym. My issue is I have no finance experience what so ever aside from school work and I am not sure I can pull off an interview when they ask technical questions. I don’t have a job now and been spending my days/ nights doing company evaluations and other school work.

    Last is there a best time to apply for IB jobs? its almost the end of the year and perhaps they’ve done all the hiring for the following year, might be pointless to even apply now.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Best time – year end perhaps, or during summer (some banks have bonuses in June/July)

      http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-engineer-no-finance-background/ should help you

  28. Hi M&I,
    I am a current International student at University of Bridgeport and want to get into investment banking. I am on F1.What do you think my chances are to break into this field? what should I do?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It’s hard to say because we have not worked with you before but being from a target would make it easier for you

  29. How would you recommend someone break into the industry when they have deep industry knowledge such as a computer science PhD from a top university? What level do they aim for? Can they go straight into VC & HF roles?

  30. Hi, I have an interview in a couple of days for an internship at a private wealth management company. I have researched the company and also prepared a stock pitch in case I am asked for one.
    I am currently a Second year student in an Ivy League university majoring in Environmental Science and Geology. They will probably ask me why I am interested in Finance Banking when doing a science degree. I can’t of course tell them it’s because of the money so what can I say to make them believe I’m truly interested and want to peruse that line? Also, what questions can I ask them if given the opportunity?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Cite a spark from your studies that led you to finance, perhaps you met someone in the industry etc. It maybe even better if you look at roles in environmental finance so you can marry your interest in the two. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_finance

      1. Thank you. Yes, that sounds good.

  31. mkunes01


    I’ve researched plenty of M&I opinion / tip articles and this was by far the most helpful in terms of gaining real life best practice steps. I’ve been working as an Analyst in Asset Allocation for an Investment Management Company. I started off at a top tier college but ended up transferring in order to pursue my interests to play Division I golf as well as be closer to home during a period of several family problems. This school still has a well-known accredited business school generally ranked ~ 75. Long term I’m looking to get into an IB program and then private equity. My current plan is start MBA within the next year, continue working, and start progress towards CFA soon thereafter. Would you be able to offer any advice or tips particular to my situation?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes make sure you get into a top tier MBA for PE roles, and CFA may not necessarily be useful unless you want HF roles etc


  32. I do believe that all of your site information is helpful for job seeker

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Thanks for your support!

  33. Hey Brian, I’m in my second year at a BB Private Bank rotational program. I’m wondering what the possibilities are that I switch to into an IB analyst role somewhere. I’m interested in getting into RE/PE and am actually doing RE/PE research as my current rotation. Still, it seems like I wouldn’t be able to “skip” IBD in order to break into RE/PE. Do you have any thoughts?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes IBD is usually a stepping stone to PE. You can still “skip” IBD and move to PE but it is relatively rare http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/private-equity-recruiting/

  34. Hi, I am due to interview for a sell side equity research house next week in the UK and he firm only focuses on Financial Institutions. I’m moving from audit (Banking) so I have little experience and a week to get ready. Do you have any tips for preparation or any ideas as to what I can expect?

    1. Make sure you review our coverage of FIG and some of the related tutorials, and make sure you can pitch a commercial bank or other financial institution:


  35. Hi,

    I found this article really interesting and informative.

    I have recently finished my Masters in Mathematics of Finance from Columbia University, and I have worked for about 3.5 years as Financial developer / Analyst – Associate with 2 top tier investment banks (Equities and Rates )

    Now I want to move into IB.

    Though I am planning to undertake CFA and add a couple of more years of work experience to my resume, yet I believe working in the IB industry puts me in a better position to network and to be able to ask for an internal move.

    Do you think it is a good idea ? Or I would still have to do an MBA from a big B school to make this work ?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      In your case, I’d suggest you to network with alum from Columbia and start setting up informational sessions. A CFA maybe useful for buy-side and ER roles, not necessarily for M&A/industry specific roles. I don’t think you’d need to do an MBA

  36. Piyush R Somani

    Hello M&I, I am Piyush Somani from India. I am pursuing my Chartered Accountancy Course which is a certificate course in India and will be completing it by May 2015. I have graduated in Bachelor of Commerce from Pune University, India. I want to enter into Investment Banking Industry. So whether I should go for CFA or MBA from B School or is there any other way? And whether I should opt for CFA or MBA immediately or after some work experience? I don’t have any work experience other than 3 year internship in a Chartered Accountant Firm.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d gain some work experience first and apply to a good MBA school (target universities such as Harvard, UPenn, LBS) if investment banking is your ultimate goal

  37. Hi M&I, i have worked as a business analyst in one of the big 4 banks in Australia (3 years in BA role, 7 years in bank). I am 30 yrs old, have a master degree in business systems (2006) and also a master degree on Applied Finance(2010) from Monash University (Australia). I want to take a 12 month career break later this year to pursue my passion on investment banking and spend a bit time in US, not too sure what position might suit for me ?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you haven’t had any deal experience it may best to move to another bank within the same division and transfer internally later.
      Otherwise, if you’re very good at advanced mathematics, you may want to take a look at roles in securities/markets divisions of banks (i.e. structuring)

  38. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the article I did enjoy reading it, it was very informative. I was wondering if you could advise me on what I should do in the next year. I am finishing up my Freshman year at my college (Norwalk Community College) majoring in Business Administration.

    I’ve been trading since 2012 in my junior year of high school and have been profitable each year since. I enjoy trading and research the companies I own and have interest in every day, I’ve come to learn a lot about the markets and have kept track of my trades since I started. So far this year I have beat the markets and have enjoyed doing so.

    I have had an internship in an office of a publishing company also located in my city that has been extremely flexible with my hours according to my school hours. I want to eventually get into a hedgefund as soon as I can because I want to show that I am capable of being consistently profitable in the market.

    I was thinking of finishing up my Associates Degree in Business Administration (graduation Spring 2015) and continuing to a 4 year school after that, though I’m not sure if I can go straight into an MBA program.

    What should my route for the next few years look like at this point in my life?

    Thank you in advance

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Good on you for having a headstart! I’d suggest using LinkedIn, your personal/alumni network and contacts funds in your area. I’d take on an internship/part time role/summer intern (as we approach the summer) at a fund if possible. Yes you may be younger than most but PMs may still take you on given your experience and passion in the industry. It is hard to say for the next few years, but I’d try to work for a fund without getting your MBA, unless this is what you want. If you do get your MBA, go to a target school to increase your chances of getting into a top fund

  39. Abheek Kaul

    Hi M & I ,

    I’m currently a 3rd year student pursuing marine engineering from BITS Pilani , in India. Your website is extremely thorough and has managed to answer most of my queries , I do however need your advice on a couple of issues.

    Firstly , being in India makes it extremely difficult for me to network or cold call bankers/ banks in cities like London , New York ,Hong Kong or Singapore. Investment banking has a very small prescence here and there really isn’t a lot of growth opportunities. How do you suggest I handle this.

    Secondly , none of my college semesters have a break which exceed 25 days. This makes getting an internship impossible as most of them last for at least 12 weeks. The only available option for me would be an internship in my 4th year final semester( the semester is meant for internships ) will that be too late ?? If yes , then should I try for an internship after I graduate ?

    Hope to hear from you soon !

    1. M&I - Nicole

      1) Please refer to:
      2) Yes you may have to do so your 4th year and yes its better to do so your 3rd year. Perhaps you can just do a short internship and you’ll have to cold call boutique firms and ask if they can offer you this opportunity. I’m sure some can accommodate

    2. Abheek kaul

      My 4th year second semester starts on 1st february , 2015 and ends by 1st august , 2015. By when do you suggest I should start cold calling ??

      1. M&I - Nicole

        Which country are you studying in? If you’re in the States, you may want to cold call your first semester since recruiting starts in Jan for summer interns.

    3. Bro, I suggest you do something related to engineering. You have already taken somebody’s seat at a prestigious engineering institute(BITS Pilani!), don’t take an investment banking job from someone else now!:P

  40. I am a senior and a international student from the University of Michigan-Flint. I am wondering if I can list my school as University of Michigan on my resume and job applications since my degree is Uni Mich degree without the word Ross School of business.

    Also there will be a Goldman Sachs IB summer analyst information session and a woman diversity dinner at Uni Mich, Ross school of business tomorrow. I registered for the events but I don’t know if I should go or not because I am not from UM main campus . Please advise me what to do?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes you can but you may want to add -Flint there. I’d still attend the event.

  41. I am re entering school at the age of 29 I am considering switching my original major over to business. I am interested in investment banking and would like to know if its to late if the proverbial ship has sailed. I need to know if its a waste of time I would graduate at 32 and need to still pursue a MBA. Is it to difficult to start this late. I have read several articles on this website about not getting into it for the money. Realistically speaking by the age of 45 on my timeline can I make more than 250,000 annually like the other big wigs on wallstreet.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I think most banks prefer to take people in their early/mid twenties as analysts because they are most likely willing to work harder and have no/little priorities outside of work. You can still try in your early thirties, though you may have a better chance at other finance roles like commercial banking, F500 roles, etc.

      1. Thank you for the reply. So its not totally impossible right what about the financial goals and how difficult is it to go into the other finance roles

        1. M&I - Nicole

          It really depends on your background, persistence and how you pitch yourself. As I’ve said, it maybe easier if you try out other roles like commercial banking, retail banking, etc.

  42. They will rather hire an analyst off of IBD because they don’t need to pay them as much and the value added to the Fund by an IBD associate would not be much compared to an analyst.

    If you are an associate in IBD you can pretty much give up on getting a job at a Hedge Fund or Private Equity, unless you want to take a pay cut and start as an analyst all over. Or you will need to have some killer connections.

  43. Hello M&I!

    I have completed two master’s degree (Engineering & Finance) with distinction in Europe and worked 6 years in big4 consulting (both in Europe and USA). Now I want to badly move into finance, but I should do top MBA because I’m experienced and come from non-target school. I’m trying to understand if it’s too late anyway and would greatly appreciate an honest answer.

    If I applied for school in 2014, I would be 33 with 7 years work experience –> would graduate at the age of 35 in 2016. Should I admit that ship has sailed or is there still a chance?

    I did found a comment from related article about starting ages “Associate-Level: If you’ve done an MBA banks usually want 3-5 years of experience but not more than 10.” (http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/age-investment-banking/)

    –> 7 years is less than 10, but I would be 35…?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      What you can do is to move to TAS within a big4 and then transfer to an IB. An MBA can potentially help though you may be older than most associates after graduation. Otherwise, you may want to speak with smaller firms (boutique, 2nd and third tier banks); they may be more receptive to someone with your background.

  44. Hi M&I,

    You mentioned in the article it’s harder to exit into PE, HF and VC after taking an associate position in IB.

    Why is this so and exactly what will be the extra hurdles to overcome so an associate can move into PE or HF?

    1. They will rather hire an analyst off of IBD because they don’t need to pay them as much and the value added to the Fund by an IBD associate would not be much compared to an analyst.

      If you are an associate in IBD you can pretty much give up on getting a job at a Hedge Fund or Private Equity, unless you want to take a pay cut and start as an analyst all over. Or you will need to have some killer connections.

      1. M&I - Nicole

        Thanks for your input.

  45. Hi there, I’m an 18 year old undergraduate student currently studying for a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I also double that degree with studying for a ABE Diploma in Business Management. Just recently, I’ve built an interest in the Finance field looking more specifically in the Investment Banking field. I can say after reading this article, I’ve almost been discouraged from pursuing this in the future but nonetheless I’m much willing to press on and continue aspiring. My dilemma however is, gaining experience before hand pursuing the position of an Investment Banking Analyst. In my high school years, I took on accounting courses for sometime and even as apart of my degree program as well but I have no actual work experience in Finance much less even Investment Banking. In the future after completing my degree, I plan to immediately pursue an MBA in Finance but until then, could you please help me as to how I can take this on?

  46. Hello Brian and Nicole,

    First of all, you-all have done a amazing job with the website, thank you so much for everything!

    I’m a FIU Finance major graduate (3.52 GPA) in 3 weeks with 18 months experience in the finance field but not investment banking, going straight into a MSF degree (Investment track).

    I want to get into the investment bank field (not sure exactly where yet) hence get experience, and make at least $45k. Is this possible with my stats?

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