by Girl Banker®
Listen to the iTunes podcast instead.
If you want to maximize your chances of getting into investment banking the best time to apply is roughly eighteen months before you need the full-time job! Let me explain...
You must do an investment banking internship the year before you graduate. In To Become an Investment Banker, I talk extensively about how you can go about finding yourself the perfect internship.
The top investment banks have 8 to 12 week internship programs every summer. This internship is essentially, a long interview. At the end of that period they decide who in that pool of interns has what it takes to hack the world of investment banking. It makes sense because a much more informed decision can be made after observing someone for a few weeks than through a series of short interviews.
Those people that are chosen are offered a job to start the following year, when they actually graduate.
So, if you’re reading this already in your final year and thinking of getting into investment banking when you graduate in the summer, sorry, but most of those jobs are G.O.N.E. You might still get a job but you’re shooting for a smaller pool of spaces.
The key here is to intern the year before you graduate; not two years before, not three years before - just the year before.
To give you a real timeline:
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.