by Girl Banker
If you are trying to become an investment banker, there are two routes you should look at if you are still in university and three routes if you are already a couple or years or more into your career.
1. Use your university’s careers service.
Investment banks may visit your university specifically to recruit the best scholars. If you are at a top-end university they may even have a unique recruitment program/process for your institution that you can use.
Even if you graduated ages ago, call up your university to check if they have resources that might help you in your job search. I recently discovered that the university of Cambridge offers lifetime help and support to alumni, I had no idea. I am sure this is not unique to my university.
2. Apply directly via the bank’s website.
Your university careers service won’t have knowledge on every single investment bank. It is definitely worth exploring the careers section of banks independently and applying more widely to increase your chances of becoming an investment banker.
3. Call up some headhunters
If you have work experience that investment banks would find valuable above the entry level, you can use headhunters. If you're young and haven't started your career yet, this route is mostly closed to you.
In a recession, headhunters' books will also be thin but the very best ones will still have access to new positions especially at the senior level. Call them up and get your resume/CV in front of them.
Whichever method you use, network proactively. Get to know people connected to the industry and learn as much as you can from each.
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 were later subsumed into my personal website under katsonga.com/GirlBanker.
With 7 years of front office i-banking experience from Goldman Sachs and HSBC, in both classic IBD (corporate finance) and Derivatives (DCM / FICC), the aim of GirlBanker.com was to make it as straight-forward as possible to get into a top tier investment bank.
I'm also a CFA survivor having passed all three levels on the first attempt within 18 months - the shortest time possible.