“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
A career in investment banking is a unique learning opportunity. From handling clients to recognising small errors that can cost millions, there are many potential lessons in this field. This is perhaps why around 40% of junior-level i-Bankers leave the industry and pivot to other roles within three to four years. They gain considerable knowledge in a short frame of time and develop corresponding skills.
The industry itself is wide with many divisions and functions under each investment bank. Before you decide whether investment banking is a career that suits you, it is important to spend time gaining deeper knowledge about the industry. Even if you already work in investment banking, it is still vital to devote time to learning further about it in order to grow in your career. Here are three major reasons you should invest more time learning about this ever expanding industry:
1. Building a strong foundation
It is extremely important to have a strong foundational knowledge of investment banking, capital markets, global markets, asset management and all its innerworkings. Ideally, you should know:
- Everything about the role you are applying for
- Basic financial knowledge
- Valuation techniques
- Debt vs Equity
- Equity and currency markets
Acquiring this will help you evaluate how suitable you are for a role in this highly sought-after industry. The learning will also help you answer the questions asked in investment banking interviews with confidence and ease.
2. Keeping up with industry trends
The investment banking industry is highly globalised. All i-Bankers and applying candidates must know industry news and trends at any given time. Successful investment bankers can recognise these and adapt easily.
There are certain trends like sustainable investing (ESG) and AI integration that started developing years ago but are only seeing the tide turn now. By studying the industry, it is easier to recognise and capitalise on these trends. You must also spend more time learning about the forces that are shaping up the industry currently. This will help you ace your interviews and possibly stand out in your chosen firm. It will also position you as someone who goes the extra mile to understand their profession.
3. Easier transition into your actual role
The transition from studying to starting a job can be challenging. It is an uncharted territory and a new, demanding environment. To ease yourself into the investment banking world, you should begin your learning journey early. It is not only limited to courses and books. You can gain practical experience through internship opportunities or even discussions with investment bankers.
By having theoretical, practical, and real-world knowledge about the industry, you will be able to transition into your job more smoothly. You will also understand what to realistically expect from your job role, how to excel at it, and how you can truly create an impact on your clients.
The investment banking industry has multiple domains, divisions, and functions. To keep up with what’s happening in the industry, you must actively work toward expanding your knowledge and understanding of it. Even before joining it, you must spend a considerable time learning about investment banking and its related field from courses, internships, simulations, etc.
This will help you ace your interviews, transition easily into your role, and excel at your job! Happy learning!