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How to Switch Careers to Investment Banking with an MBA

Are you interested in a career in investment banking?

If you’ve been following our career-change series,  How to Switch Careers to Investment Banking with an MBA, then you know going to business school can be a great opportunity to gain the skills and experience you need to get a job with an investment bank.

Our previous articles have given you an overview on investment banking and insight into how an MBA prepares you for a career in investment banking. Now, we’re going to look at the specifics of making the switch.

Let’s get started.

Planning Your Path to Switch Careers to Investment Banking

The earlier you can start getting involved with the finance industry, the easier it will be for you to use an MBA to switch to a career in investment banking.

How to Switch Careers to Investment Banking with an MBA

That could mean looking for a new entry-level job in the banking industry. It could mean getting an internship, a high-level volunteer position, or even a part-time job in finance. It could mean moving into a more finance or business-related position within your current company or industry.

Ultimately, the goal is to show a path, to show that investment banking is a career you have been working toward. This will help you not only when you’re applying for an MBA, but also during your interviews with investment banks.

Big banks love to recruit from very selective schools. Competition is stiff when it comes to investment banking firms, so if you want to land a job at a top I-bank, you need to be applying to the right business schools.

In addition to a b-school’s overall ranking, look at where their graduates are finding employment.

According to Poets & Quants, some of the best MBA programs for students looking to move into finance are NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, Wharton, and Columbia. 

Acing the Investment Bank Interviews

For most banks, the MBA recruitment process is quite standardized. The initial entry point is typically a recruitment event held at a top tier business school, or a Super Saturday open recruitment held at the bank.

From there, the specifics of the process varies a little bit from bank to bank. At Goldman Sachs, for example, their infamous interview process requires each candidate to meet with the whole team – which could require as many as 10 interviews.

Regardless of the bank, you should expect to go through several rounds of interviews with the team that you will be working with, as well as with someone from the human resources department. The process can take a few months.

Smaller investment banks don’t always have such a structured recruitment process. The culture at these smaller firms may be a better fit for you, so do your research. The more you know about the culture and environment of the firms you’re applying to, the better you’ll do in interviews.

Treat each interview like a research project. Learn as much as you can about the job, the bank, the team, and the interviewer.

When you’re well-prepared, you’ll be able to have a more engaging conversation with the interviewer, and to ask intelligent questions about the role you’re applying for. It will let you show the interviewer that you’ve given serious thought to what strengths you’ll bring to the position.

Your Turn

The first step toward switching careers to investment banking is to get into the right business school. When you’re applying to a top MBA program, you need to show admissions committees that you are the right candidate for their program.

EXPARTUS can help, with a free MBA application assessment. Our experienced admissions consultants will give you an unbiased review of your assessment, as well as advice on the schools that will be best suited for your personal brand.