All information from girlbanker.com has now been transferred here, to katsonga.com/girlbanker.
"Girl Banker®" was my persona when I founded girlbanker.com back in 2012.
Originally from Malawi, in 2002 I received a full scholarship to read Economics at the University of Cambridge. It was at Cambridge that I discovered the weird and wonderful world of investment banking.
After an internship at Goldman Sachs in the summer of 2004 I was offered a full-time position to begin in 2005 when I graduated. Several teams wanted to have me so after the internship period I was given the chance to go in and have extra conversations with the two teams I was vacillating between.
I chose to join the Structured Finance Team which sat within the Investment Banking Division (IBD). Their main function was securitization and corporate debt advisory to infrastructure assets.
After two years in IBD, I decided to explore the world of derivatives.
When I heard there was an opening on the Corporate Risk Advisory Team at HSBC, I applied through a headhunter and was offered the job about two weeks later.
During my time in banking I was a member of Women in Banking & Finance (Wibf) and Worldwide Women in Banking & Finance (W3BF). Both are great organisations for networking with other women in banking.
Coaching and Mentoring You
If you want me to mentor and coach you for a banking career, I'd be happy to do so.
Note: I have a very direct approach. If you're extra sensitive, I'm not the coach for you. I myself received coaching to navigate my way into banking so I know the benefits. I have one standard package for everyone that wants to get into banking.
I'll work with you for three months. In that time I will help you to:
I will be able to answer any questions you might have about getting into banking and if I don't know the answer I'll know where you can get.
My coaching is not cheap and I don't do discounts, however, you'll be able to see the value I add immediately.
You can ask for a refund within 14 days. If I have done some work for you already a reasonable amount will be deducted. Scroll down for testimonials that I have received in the past.
A Note On Mock Interviews
All mock interview sessions are via Skype or telephone.
Each session involves a question & answer period of 55-minutes with a 5-minute round-up at the end. Mock interviews are tailored to the division you are applying to. Specifically, I offer the following types of mock interviews:
If you are not ready to invest in coaching, that's fine. Here are free and almost-free resources to help you get that banking job.
Get My Book - It's Had Great Reviews on Amazon & From Customers
You can get my book as a paperback, on kindle or as an audible audiobook.
What's in the book:
Support via Social Media
Unedited testimonial following a mock interview session
"The coaching session I had with Heather was extremely helpful. The sample questions provided by Heather were incredibly useful given the fact that a couple of those questions came up in my actual interview. There is no beating around the bush with Heather - she will tell you how it is and will ensure you have the right technical knowledge and interview technique. I was quite nervous at the start of the interview but Heather made me feel comfortable. There were a few technicalities that I was unsure about but Heather was effortlessly able to simplify them for me. I would definitely recommend Heather for anyone looking to gain interview practice and help in securing a role in investment banking.
JM, University of Exeter"
Unedited testimonial from someone who received multiple job offers after coaching
"I recently purchased the Girl Banker Ferrari coaching package and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about landing an Investment Banking Internship. I received two in depth mock interviews in addition to invaluable advice on my CV and applications. The mock interviews were fantastic as I was given advice on how to improve my approach and structure my answers better; this greatly improved my confidence in my recent interviews. Girl Banker helped me to put myself ahead of the competition and I have already received an offer for a Summer 2013 Bulge Bracket Internship! The CV and application advice is worth the price of the package alone, but with the two mock interviews and unlimited access via-e-mail to Girl Banker the Ferrari package is amazing.
Note: after her initial offer of a position at a Bulge Bracket bank Sarah received a couple more offers from more high status banks. Before getting coaching she'd been rejected by a much lesser bank. I saw her potential right away but even I was astounded by the number of offers that she received in the end given the economic climate. Heather
Unedited testimonial following a mock interview with someone changing jobs
"I approached Heather to assist me with an interview for an investment research role as I was inexperienced with answering the type of technical questions that arise in such interviews. She helped me answer the common technical questions that are frequently asked and how best to articulate the responses to these. Heather gave me excellent feedback as I answered these questions and highlighted a number of things that I needed to improve upon or needed to be conscious of with each of my answers. Some of these questions I was prepared to answer however conducting this in an interview type setting helped to highlight exactly where I needed to improve. She was patient with me and provided this feedback with a very nice manner.
Having practiced my answers with Heather and improving upon them with her assistance I was extremely confident in entering into all of my interviews. As a result of this I was able to expertly deal with all of the questions we practiced and I was far more assertive in dealing with any other type of additional job-specific questions that came out of left field.
Heather was professional, patient, accommodating with her time and very pleasant to work with. I felt ultimately that my interviews went extremely well and the training with Heather was a large contributor in helping me to answer all types of interview questions effectively and with great confidence.
Barry, San Diego"
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.