by Girl Banker
Listen to the iTunes podcast instead.
Totally swamped? Don’t know how to cope with your current work load never mind making investment bank internship applications? Well, as important as getting top grades is, getting a job is just as important. In fact, I recently had a similar work load problem. I signed up to do an online course on building informational apps and I simply couldn’t fit it in.
The solution? An hour a day!
As busy as I am, I decided that I could dedicate an hour every day to the cause as it was important enough. By sticking to that commitment I have managed to finish the course within two weeks. You can do the same for your job applications.
You don’t have to do everything in one go.
Split the investment banking application process into one-hour batches and spread it over the next three or four weeks. I personally wouldn’t wait until the Christmas holidays to make applications because some banks are reading applications as they come through and not only inviting people for interviews but making internship offers. This means the pool of internships available is shrinking every week. Here is how you can organise yourself:
1. The first application is the most crucial, it sets the trend for the rest. I wouldn’t submit an application for the first week to ten days. Week one is ‘research week’. You need to figure out:
At this point, I am of course going to do like any self-respecting author and plug my book, To Become an Investment Banker (spare yourself the reading and get the audiobook). It contains all the above and much more! The audio book is just over 9 hours long.
2. Research done, it’s time to log onto investment bank sites and draft your first answers. In order to get access to the questions, you’ll need to enter some personal details into an online application form.
Enter whatever details you need to give to gain access to the application form, then copy and paste the questions into a word processor. Do this for two or three banks.
3. Draft some answers. Read through your answers. Ensure all claims are validated with a relevant example.
4. Get an independent opinion on your application form. If you can’t afford professional help get a friend to do it. If your friend’s feedback is very brief or overly complimentary get another friend to check your answers.
Keep in mind that friends can find it hard to give constructive feedback. I had one guy send me one if his friend’s cover letters and ask what I thought of it. I thought it was rubbish, he did too but he didn’t know how to tell his friend so he just left it at that!
5. When you are happy with one application, send it off. Getting happy with the first application will probably take 5 to 6 one-hour slots.
6. Move on to application two. This will take 3 to 4 one-hour slots. Once you have the hang of it and there is sufficient overlap between questions you will get it done even faster.
An hour a day is all you need to get all your applications done in 3 to 4 weeks. Get on with it!
I created my investment banking blog in 2012 as soon as I resigned from i-banking & published my book, To Become An Investment Banker.
Initially published at girlbanker.com, all posts have now been subsumed into my personal website under katsonga.com/GirlBanker.
These blog posts make it as straight-forward for you as possible to get into a top tier investment bank.
I have 7 years of front office i-banking experience from Goldman Sachs and HSBC, in both classic IBD (corporate finance) and Derivatives (DCM / FICC).
I'm also a CFA survivor having passed all three levels on the first attempt within 18 months - the shortest time possible.