Finance graduates, while in their last few semesters, or immediately after completing their degree, usually take an internship at an investment bank. But, what about the full-time job role after being done on internships? Hopefully, you will have multiple job offers at hand after being done with a couple of internships, or post being conferred an investment banking certification. Most of the times, the bank at which you intern, offers you a full-time role.
The first job you choose as a fresh graduate shapes your career in investment banking. And therefore, factors that should be considered choosing the first job role in investment banking becomes of paramount importance. The most critical ones could be:
- Your summer internship experience must match the full-time experience.
- Avoid accepting an offer at a firm where the internship role happened to be a “watered down” version of the full-time profession and the related responsibilities.
- See for it whether the internship was as demanding as the full-time opportunity? If yes, it’s a green signal.
Determinants That Are Critical Choosing an Investment Bank Job Offer
The Degree of Client Exposure
If exposure to clients is what matters to you the most, then boutique banks would be a great choice. Consider contemplating what clients your prospective company work with? Small-cap? Large-cap? Or, A Mix?
You would probably want to choose a firm that works with both, small and large-cap firms. A financial firm that is involved in deals of all kinds. The other prerequisites you would like your to-be-first-company to be equipped with include – a restructuring business, M&A involvement, and handsomely-performing industry groups covering varied sectors.
Generalist Job profile or a Specialized Role
An investment bank would mostly offer you one of the two kinds of role available for a fresh graduate – a generalist role, or a specialized role. You must know in advance, which role would best suit your career and interests. While generalist job profile offers you a wide exposure to investment banking in general, the specialized profile makes you an expert in a specific aspect of investment banking. For people starting out, a generalist role looks more suitable as one gets to interact with senior management more often, contrary to a specialized profile where interactions get limited to one team.
Asking yourself some questions in terms of networking opportunities at work would be worthwhile while deciding on the organization to work for. Such questions could be – will you be able to interact with people from diverse financial backgrounds? Will you get the opportunity to talk to people from different geographies? Will you get exposure to international markets? Does your prospective firm promote teamwork and collaboration? All these factors determine whether you will make strong business connections, or not.
Long-Term Stay or a Short-Term Stint?
Those individuals accepting an analyst position are seeking short-term gains that constitute a relevant experience in the banking domain. Later, they seek exit opportunities. However, those seeking a long-term career with the bank would dig deep into the firm’s history and forecasts related to revenue-growth and career trajectories of the previously-employed professionals. Assessing promotion timelines and compensation packages would be the traits of an individual seeking a long stay at the firm.
Organization’s Business Viewpoint
Is the firm you are considering to join a publicly-traded company? Is it considering to go public? Will it be answerable to shareholders? If it goes public, you can become a shareholder and can grab a lucrative opportunity to qualify being a true stakeholder. Irrespective of you holding shares, it’s vital to apply the same due diligence as of a banker to evaluate the growth potential of the firm you are considering working for.
The other relevant questions to ask yourself comprise – Has the headcount of the firm been growing or declining, or has there been turnover reported relating to senior leadership? The firm’s global connections do matter. Consider researching about who all are the corporations it works with, are they local corporates or well-known international clients? Where in the world had the firm opened its offices in the recent past?
Carefully considering above-mentioned aspects will certainly help you take better, and informed decisions as a potential investment banker.