Want to be an Investment Banker? Here’s How to Dominate the Early Recruitment Process

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Working towards a career in Investment Banking? You need to begin the recruiting process early as a student… and probably earlier than you think. Gone are the days of internship applications during junior or senior year of undergrad. As major banks start to compete with the work life balance, salaries and other benefits offered by major companies like Google and Facebook, they have begun the recruiting process earlier than ever to keep an exclusive appeal to a career in Investment Banking. To be successful and secure a position in this field before or immediately after graduation, finance students need to begin the recruiting and internship application process no later than the beginning of their second year of undergrad.

Not only do students who want to be successful in this industry need to start attending campus information sessions and submitting internship applications early in their college career, they need to take into consideration the timeline of the recruiting process, which trends show are starting increasingly early within the last few years.

Last year, JP Morgan began accepting rolling applications to sophomores for internships the summer of 2019 a year in advance.

In the competitive field of Investment Banking, multiple undergraduate internships are imperative, if not the only way, to land a lucrative job offer upon graduation. The competition is strong, and only a handful of students are aware of just how early they need to prepare to succeed in this career.

So how can you build an impressive resume, gain experience and secure an internship that will help you to stand out amongst the competition as a new college student? Consider these five steps to accelerate your path in Investment Banking:

  1. Commit to a major related to finance, whether that’s accounting, computer science, or engineering. Students who aren’t exclusively focused on finance as early as possible will be at a considerable disadvantage amongst their peers.
  2. Participate in extracurricular activities that will build your social and professional network, such as related campus clubs or business focused fraternities.
  3. Prioritize your GPA. With little to no experience in the industry yet, a high GPA is a major component that will indefinitely set you apart from the competition and be the ultimate determining factor between you and countless other eager candidates.
  4. Apply early for finance related internships. Though they may not be directly within the field of Investment Banking at the beginning of your college career, anything within corporate finance, wealth management or real estate will give you the experience required to gain leverage and promote yourself when the time comes to apply for your next internship.
  5. Utilize LinkedIn to connect with professionals and ideal companies. Even if there are no internship opportunities available at the time, expanding your network as early as possible will only benefit your career in the long-term and has the potential to lead to future career possibilities.

Fortunately for students who aren’t yet fully certain they’re ready to commit to this path, not all banks are on such an advanced recruiting timeline. According to the Berkeley Career Center, smaller, local investment banks, boutiques and middle-market firms still typically recruit for summer internships during the fall, allowing incoming undergraduate students more time to determine their ultimate goals.

Are you considering whether a career in Investment Banking is right for you or need support in reaching your goals? Become a PathMatch client today.

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