Welcome to hell: how to become an investment banker in 8 weeks
An introduction to how to become an investment banker
Hey there. If you are reading this you’re probably thinking of getting into investment banking. Bad news for you – it’s going to be quite challenging. Good news – you still have time. And you better start preparing really, really soon.
The recruitment season is coming. Basically you have just a few months to polish up your resume, get the valuation basics and prepare for interviews in front of the mirror. And this is exactly why I’m starting this blog. To give you the maximum information on how to become an investment banker. What to think of. What to learn. How to discover awesome application hacks and how not to ruin your CV. Where you can – and cannot cheat. For some unexplainable reason I just want to share all I have learnt in my time of applying and working in investment banking – on how to break into the shiny world of finance.
Let me start with a quick story. Graduating from my uni years back I had to clue of finance. I had no idea about JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs. To be fair – I didn’t even want to work in finance. I always imagined it as a depressing place with 4-eyed nerds in small cubicles (spoiler alert: it is quite often a depressing place with nerds and small cubicles). My credentials were not too good either. Decent GPA but from a not-so-well-know Dutch (very Dutch) university and no job experience. The worst part – I was doomed with an Eastern European passport and Eastern European name.
In a year I got internship offers with JP Morgan, Lazard, Barclays and Citi. London, Amsterdam, Dubai. Here is the trick – I was not so much more accomplished than other students (maybe just a little bit). I could just sell myself really well. Usual things on my CV looked impressive. And then I also knew how to talk in the interview. To persuade the guys that even although I don’t know much yet – I can catch up. I am enthusiastic, and eager to learn, and generally hardworking, and nice. That was it. I was in. As simple as that.
Don’t take me wrong – any investment banking application will take a lot, a lot of work. But most of people who start in finance are just normal human beings. Not Excel prodigies. Not Harvard champions. Usual people. Often smart, sometimes cocky, and almost always – quite lucky.
Anyways, I am pretty sure you can do it too. And over the next months I’ll tell you all I know about how to become an investment banker. Which bank to choose? When to apply? How to get in with bad grades – or no work experience? Should you bribe a recruiter? How much will you earn? Will you really date the hottest girls? And whatever else will seem to be important. Maybe with a few stories on how I managed to fuck up (like multiple times) in the process. And some fun stuff about life in IB – to keep you entertained.
Let’s get going.