Sharp suits, briefcases and impressive paydays… life as an investment banker can often seem very glamorous. Working in finance certainly offers the opportunity to live large in a big city, travel the world and liaise with high-profile clients, but success in the finance world doesn’t come without serious dedication. Here at the London School of Business and Finance, we train and employ tomorrow’s brightest professionals, preparing them to enter some of the country’s most exciting and innovative businesses. If you think you could be the next high-flying investment banker, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you make your career move.
Do I have the necessary intellect and academic record?
While it is possible to be a very successful businessman or woman without any professional qualifications, the highly mathematical nature of investment banking will require you to have some sort of financial degreein order to specialise. Employers will also look for commercial awareness and a sound understanding of financial markets, so some evidence of a supplementary internship or significant work experience will be preferable.
Am I disciplined?
Most people in the banking industry work very long hours, and can be called upon – often 24 hours a day, at very short notice – to solve problems and brainstorm solutions. Banking is a high-pressure job that includes a wide variety of stressful situations, so it is important to know that you will be able to manage your emotions and put in maximum effort at all times, even when it feels tough.
Am I good at motivating others?
A good investment banker has to provide results no matter the circumstance, which is why it’s important to be able to show empathy for others on your team, inspiring them to pull together and achieve a great outcome. Being able to deal courteously with difficult clients, manage team stress levels and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce is all very important in finance.
Can I communicate effectively with other cultures?
The invention of the internet has made our financial world smaller than ever – working with companies in other countries is now a standard part of doing business. If you want to climb the banking ladder, a willingness to travel at the drop of a hat is a must, and some basic second-language skills may also be a bonus. An easy way to tick this box while studying is to embark on a ‘study abroad’ sandwich course – those studying at the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) have access to all eight of our campuses, scattered all over the world.
Am I creative?
An entrepreneurial spirit is vital to life as a successful investment banker. As such a complex and multi-layered occupation, the ability to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective can really make all the difference. Innovative thinking will also help mark you out as an employee to watch, rising the ranks of business much quicker than those who are too afraid to speak up. Be polite but passionate about what you do – if you don’t live and breathe business, a career as an investment banker may not be for you.
Want to take the first step on the financial ladder? Apply to study at the London School of Business and Finance. Click here to visit their website.