For a business graduate, the big brave corporate world is the ultimate destination to be in. This environment presents enough challenges and opportunities along with rewards that make it a bet worth taking.
The global economy has also been through the worst and as estimates tell, it is only going north. As such, if there is a right place and right time for a career in Finance, then this is it.
The financial industry predicts a bold future ahead in the year 2014. From virtual currency like Bitcoins making their presence felt along with other technological advances changing the way commerce is done, and crowd funding simplifying the investment opportunities, the financial services industry is undergoing a revolution of sorts.
This transformation calls for a new breed of finance professionals who can absorb, adapt and improvise in accordance with these changes.
Gaining a degree is just the beginning and if you think, an Ivy League academic qualification or a major in Finance will be enough; it is a wakeup call for you.
There is much more you will have to conquer and achieve in order to become fit enough for this industry, unless of course, mediocrity is what satisfies you.
Here is the one career options that you can consider pursuing in 2014 and how you can go about being at the top of your game.
When it comes to pursuing some of the most glamorous and financial jobs, investment banking is the first name that comes to mind. Investment banks assist governments and companies in issuing securities, managing financial assets, helping investors purchase securities and providing discreet financial advice.
Investment bankers are expert at calculating what a business’s actual value is and therefore their advice acts as an indispensable tool in calculating the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.
When the business deals of magnitude USD billions are in question, you have to interact with the top management, explaining them the ifs and buts of a merger and acquisition.
Other work responsibilities include helping companies raise money from venture capitalists or private equity investors.
A job as an investment banker is not the easiest of all. Travelling is a big part of the job, in fact as important as the job itself.
Not many are able to stand up to the constant pressure of travelling round the globe, gradually losing out to the social aspect of the life. However the salary, remuneration and bonuses more than compensate for all this.
How to become an investment banker?
Part I: Skills
Investment banking is all about taking the right decisions at the right time. Banks require candidates who can think on the spur of moment.
Therefore, a combination of strong analytical skills and the ability to make accurate predictions are very much required.
In addition, at the starting of the career you will be required to put in certain number of hours beyond your normal work hours to let the rewards start coming in.
An investment banker must put in at least 50 to 120 hours per week.
Therefore, being hard working is of utmost importance. In addition, you will be dealing with a number of clients and working out deals with them.
As such, the importance of interpersonal skills and ability to negotiate with clients becomes even more dominant.
Part II: Education
Becoming an investment banker requires a postgraduate degree in management with a specialization in Finance or a postgraduate diploma in business management with specialization in banking and finance.
Good colleges are able to get their students placed as junior analyst who can work under the guidance of their mentors and learn about the industry.
Part III: Breaking into the industry
A career as investment banker isn’t certainly for the faint-hearted. For, many successful professionals in this field will surely have their own story about how they spent days either moonlighting for paying their daily bills.
You are totally on your own once college is done.
Spend days; or even months pursuing firms or find a mentor, all depends on your perseverance as it’s relatively hard to break into investment banking.
Part IV: Interview
If you have got a call for an interview, there are certain preparatory questions that you must go through, which would test your aptitude for the job, such as, why did you chose investment banking as your career amongst other account jobs, or describe some of the risks that you have taken in your life and what were the data points to make the decisions that you relied upon during those situations.
There are some other generic questions, such as why should we hire you, and others which you must be prepared for. These are all in addition to the questions that will be thrown at you testing your knowledge about the field.
Prospects for Investment Banking in 2014
The annual survey of corporate decision-makers from Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting Services, Outlook for Investment Banking Services, reflects a much more positive tone.
Amongst the biggest highlights was that 44% of respondents globally cited product line expansion as a key goal, which is 12% increase from last year, which directly correlates with greater and more exciting career opportunities for professionals looking to make a career in this field.
The same survey also reveals that “IB Clients are now willing to pay up more for industry expertise and innovative advice.” Even a fresher without much prior experience can expect to earn between $100,000 and $150,000, annually after bonus.