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    Hi All,

    I am currently studying economics at LSE. This may have been picked up in different threads, but I'm in desperate need of an investment banking crash course. I got swamped last term at university and haven't had a chance to do ANY applications. I'm trying to do them now, but I don't have enough information on banking and could really do with knowing the most useful sources.

    I have done the basic works so I've checked out thevault.com, wikipedia and the other useful links on TSR. I think sales and trading look best but I'd really like more bout the best sources for writing my app (CV and cover letter), what you think good structures are for them. Also, how to think about answering the competency qns on investment banking and stuff. I hate those!!

    Any and all help muchos appreciado!!

    I am also going to apply to consulting since I reckon many of them are still open

    Before everyone attacks me for leaving it too late, I really have been overloaded with lost of stuff.

    Thank you to everyone in advance.

    Pete
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    This guy (pauln182) posted some useful stuff to help you write your covering letters and differentiate yourself and so on. His posts are pretty long, so I'm going to upload as separate messages so I dont get confused.

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    MESSAGE 1
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    Re: The "Is this university/course good enough for banking/consultancy?" thread
    Originally Posted by asdfg0987

    Though it'd be denied by some, I reckon the quality of the oxbridge candidates (on average) was better (though there were limited datapoints on non-oxbridgers to be certain). What is key here, is that it's all about average outcomes - which ignore the distributions around it. There are certainly going to be some non-oxbridge applicants who are better than the oxbridge ones.

    Unfortunately, because the oxbridge average (in my experience) was higher, the onus, is on non-oxbridgers to demonstrate they are likely to skew above the averages. Consider the decisioning process of the consultancy in assessing two CVs:
    I have limited manpower to assess apps and I have thousands of applications. I'm looking at two applicants, one from oxbridge, one who is not. They both seem equally OK for the job. But in reality its very hard to tell who will be great since business is so different from education. I have to make a choice, so I will base that choice on the one with greater probability of success, ceteris paribus. Since I know that oxbridge tends to attract better talent on average, I'll pick oxbridge

    However, in my time at Oliver Wyman, I noticed plenty of terrible and great consultants from Oxbridge and good / bad ones from other unis too. I think there was a generally more favourable distribution of performances from the oxbridge grads, but (as mentioned) to be honest, there weren't enough benchmarks from other unis to really plot the distribution of their performances vs. oxbridge.

    For the non-oxbridgers, please read the below. It may be useful in your applications... The one truth that we all quickly learned once entering the 'real world' was that our university performances were not necessarily well-correlated to our career performances. Successful consultants require a skillset that goes beyond the commonly assessed criteria of most university courses:
    1. University - is about a combination of consistent, well-paced work with a capacity to kick the tyres near exam term. Many degrees require you to become versed in the content of a particular field and then provide some analysis of the content you assimilate. But often not in a deep way. I can't tell you the number of high grade essays I and others could get by simply spending 70% of the essay regurgitating past studies and then only spending 30% considering the implications of those findings (in a surface-grazing fashion)
    2. Consulting - is about letting the work enthral you, after all, the client is buying your mind. Often you will work at reasonably high pace for the duration of the project (c.11-12hrs per day with large upwards volatility around working hours when the project demands). The most successful consultants were those who were able to use this energy to gather relevant information in a structured fashion. They could then step back and use this information to produce client-relevant strategic (or otherwise) guidance. It became more of an iterative process. Gather some information to build a factbase. Then develop some strategic recommendations. Gather more facts. Refine your recommendations. etc. etc. So, say 55:45 facts vs. drawing conclusions. Ultimately the emphasis moves significantly from fact gathering, memorisation and working consistently for a year or three (a la uni) to fast / smart work, developing your own opinions and managing these against the client's business context. That's how businesses work!

    Hopefully, the non-oxbridgers can think about how best to emphasise these differences between what makes you good at uni and what will actually make you good at consulting. By all means your degree is important, but also focus on demonstrating (1) passion for the job (2) passion for business (3) an ability to solve real world business problems (not essay-based stuff, but practical experiences like internships / work experience / projects) (4) professionalism and dedication. Bear in mind also, that if you're not from a classic feeder school for consultancies your app will already be disadvantaged, since it can't be as tailored. Do whatever you can to develop your knowledge of the firms you are applying to (attend careers fairs at other unis, hit thevault.com, etc). Ultimately all first year consultants are diamonds in the rough. As such, my favourite junior consultants were the ones who had capability, but also would work hard, had drive and had a real passion to learn!

    Last bit of advice as an aside - don't write 'I am extremely passionate about industry xxxx', or 'I work extremely hard'. I'm smart enough to decide that for myself. In your covering letters, make it come through in the examples / experiences you have.

    P
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    MESSAGE 2
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    For those wondering about which courses and which universities to get into IB / consulting take it from someone who went through the process and interviewed candidates...

    FOR INVESTMENT BANKING
    Your university and a degree with mathematical / economics slants are the most attractive to iBankers.

    Taking the latter first - Why does the degree need a mathematical slant? Because, as a finance industry, we work with numbers every day and in most of the divisions, the best (junior) bankers typically need a basic intuition for numbers to avoid modelling errors or to see trends. Economists can demonstrate value by showing a deeper understanding of applied mathematics / macro-theory to the wider world. In fixed income, currencies and commodities, this is more useful than for equities (though still handy for equities).

    Moreover, degrees like accounting and finance / economics / econometrics / business demonstrate interest in the subject matter. Ultimately, this is a critical selection criteria. You need to be interested in the industry to do well in the industry since it will be absorbing at least 12 hours per day

    Remember - I'm not saying a chemist (for example) can't make it. I'm just saying that an economist or mathmo has an edge.

    Now the former - the university. The university is extremely important. It is the signalling mechanism that enables you to highlight how good you are to the banker reviewing your CV / CL. Remember, he's likely got hundreds of apps to review while also doing his day job. This means he's looking to get a feel, *quickly*, if you're a good or bad candidate. University helps him quickly determine whether he cares or not

    How do they trade off. It's not a monotonic relationship...
    IF GIVEN THE OPTION OF GOING TO A TOP TIER UNI VS. A LESS GOOD ONE WITH A BETTER COURSE, PICK THE ON THE UNI - If going to a top tier university (Warwick, UCL, oxbridge, LSE, imperial, and to a slightly lesser degree Durham, Nottingham) - then they all carry roughly sufficient signalling benefits. So your course (so long as it has a mathematics / economics slant) is less relevant. Most important will be the quality of your application

    IF ONLY MID-TIERS ARE YOUR OPTIONS, PICK ON THE COURSE - If going to mid-tier universities (note that just because I didn't mention your uni in the list above doesn't mean you're necessarily mid-tier), then you must use your course to differentiate yourself. Courses with internships or applicable banking content will help. They signal interest in the industry, even if it is an MO or BO role. Note that you are still going to be at a relative disadvantage to the swathes of top-tier uni applicants (some of whom will be rubbish, but sufficiently many of whom will be great), but you will stand a better chance

    IN TERMS OF THE CAREER PATH DON'T ASSUME THAT THE M/BO ROUTE WILL GET YOU INTO FO - watch out for assuming you can go in via the BO or MO and move into the FO. Some institutions actively promote this, though others are awful and have little to no mechanisms to get from M/BO to FO. In fact some of the FO MDs don't like promoting that way because they view it as back-dooring. Citi is an example of one company where they actively do BO to FO promotions (via a programme called 'the bench'). I've heard of some successes amongst friends at GS. Friends who tried the M/BO route at Barcap are still stuck at the back.

    OTHER DIFFERENTIATING TRAITS - The following can help you jump out from the crowd:
    1. Having started your own business
    2. Having traded successfully
    3. Being a member / committee member of a finance-related society
    4. Note that for all the palava, non-industry relevant stuff like 'having done a gap year and travelled the world' are useful, but only if your application makes you look boring or run-of-the-mill otherwise. Don't overplay it. After all, just because you went to China for a year wont make me think you'll be better at building my valuation models, but if you look a little geeky on paper - it may make me think you're going to be more interesting when we pull late nights and it *may* make me think you'll be better suited in front of clients

    FOR CONSULTING
    As many have mentioned - university plays a very significant role. Whether intentional or not, the majority of UK-educated consultants came from Oxbridge and, to a lesser extent, LSE. There were of course students from other unis, but, generally, the less revered the uni, the less chance they had.

    If you don't have the top-tier backing, courses in business etc are useful though. Equally useful is demonstration of tangible business interest / experience. Perhaps you started your own company or had significant impact on a past employer's business? Remember, consultants tend to solve ethereal business issues. When reading an app as a consultant, I was looking to tick two major mental boxes: (1) is the candidate smart enough to do the job? (2) Do they have commercial acumen? The first was most easily done through reliance on uni and grades. The second was most easily done through looking at past, relevant activities (course / experiences)

    Thanks,

    Paul
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    MESSAGE 3
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    Talkinghead... that's certainly tricky. It's definitely worth applying for the jobs - even if it's late and you haven't done your background research. After all, if you don't apply your chances of success are 0%. Moveover, banks hire like 90% of their 1st year intake via the internship programme. If you miss the boat, it will be much harder to get a job as a graduate (especially in the current economic climate). If you apply you at least have a shot. If you get rejected at application stage, don't worry about it, it wont count against you much at all if you reapply next year.

    You should also not downplay your positives. Economics is an attractive (if not the most preferred) course for banks (along with maths / physics probably). A 2:1 is good and Nottingham isn’t bad.

    WITH REGARDS YOUR COMPETENCIES / OR CONCERNS ABOUT A LACK THEREOF
    Don’t worry too much about not being part of any societies or lack of past financial experience. Both help, but neither are silver bullets that guarantee you an interview. By the same token, not having them does not preclude you from an interview. The reviewer is looking for something that looks interesting and points to your potential. It needs to be relevant, professional and just eye-catching and just differentiated enough from the rest of the apps to make him want to invite you for an interview. Once he meets you, he’ll then decide on his genuine feel for your competencies.

    The usual format of competency based questions are stuff like ‘give an example of a time you xxx’ (e.g. showed teamwork skills). I assume this is what you are struggling with.

    The first stage to answering these questions is to think about defining the competency. E.g. for teamwork – this involves supporting your colleagues (e.g. covering someone who’s ill), going the extra-mile for the team goal (e.g. working late or helping someone with a task), being communicative with your team (e.g. providing notification of roadblocks to progress to your boss so he can plan appropriately), having an ownership mentality of the team deliverable (e.g. speaking up in meetings to help the team succeed and maybe changing their opinions). Note also, that your example does not need to demonstrate all of these above skills. Though there are templates in place at some banks to assess answers across a range of criteria, generally speaking, the banker reviewing your app will grade it based on his gut feel of how good an answer he thinks it was.

    Then you should think about an example from your past experiences that reflects the above points in part or in whole. You’ll be surprised how much ‘team work’ stuff you do without realizing it. Maybe you worked in a team for a course assignment. Maybe you worked with your course mates to study for an exam. Your work experience in the IT company could actually provide a raft of examples. Alternatively, did you take a gap year or go on an extended holiday with a group of friends. Something may have happened on holiday to help. Draw on whatever past professional or personal experiences you think demonstrate this ability. We understand that most students don’t have a wealth of experience behind them when applying. The example is actually more interesting insofar as it demonstrates how that student thinks about this particular competency (e.g. teamwork).

    Finally, put pen to paper and start writing. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Avoid flowery language. Avoid blatant use of buzzwords / phrases (e.g. ‘I provided active upwards feedback to the boss’). If you wouldn’t talk like that in an interview, don’t write like that on the form . Also, a lot of books on writing answers for these sorts of questions suggest you insert ‘power phrases’ like ‘succeeded’, ‘completed’, ‘accomplished’. I agree with the concept, but disagree with that approach. I think it can muddy the flow of your prose by trying to build your description around this sort of thing. Develop a clear view in your mind on what happened. Identify the positives of that event. Write those down in bullet point form. Then, think about how you want to write it in full sentences. By having a clear, positive mental image in your mind of the event, the ‘power words’ will naturally creep into the descriptions. Then once you're done writing it, do a re-read and see where you can refine it.

    WITH REGARDS THE BEST NAMES IN BANKS
    It varies by asset class and division. By and large, the top tier banks are:
    Goldman Sachs
    Morgan Stanley
    JP Morgan
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Citi
    Credit Suisse

    Coming up just behind:
    Barclays Capital. Its equity division is growing but relatively new. It is a recognised leader in fixed income

    Then:
    BNP Paribas (maybe they should be in the above category, open for debate)
    RBS - yes they're distressed like hell. But they are very good in certain areas

    Finally
    UBS (in their hay day they were excellent. Not sure about now)
    Nomura


    IN TERMS OF WHAT TO APPLY FOR
    Below I breakdown the banks and subsequently, the sorts of roles in each part / division of the bank…

    Banks split in half. Into capital markets and corporate finance.
    1. Capital markets (CM) is mostly concerned with efficient capital allocation. Basically, they're the guys you hear about that drive the FTSE or S&P or DJIA. They tend to be more based on what's happening in the 'now'. They track the latest news flow and set / move prices of different assets (such as equities (think stocks and shares), debt (that's fixed income), currencies (like GBPUSD) and commodities (like metal and oil). Activities in the CM tend to be fast-paced and time-sensitive. Payouts can be massive.

    2. Corporate finance (CF) is about financial advisory services. They're the guys that facilitate big Mergers and acquisitions. They provide advice to companies that need to raise money and they also help companies that need to restructure themselves. Their work is a lot more project-orientated. That is to say, that while a trader will broadly keep on having to make new trades every day, the CFers will work on a single deal for weeks to a couple of months, building towards an end goal. Then they will move on to the next. Activities in CF tend to be more elongated (vs. the fast pace of the cap mrkts), with bankers building and updating models for a few days and continually throughout a project, writing presentations, getting comparables, managing the other agents in the deal (i.e. the lawyers, accountants, consultants) and attending client meetings

    BREAKDOWN OF CAP MARKETS
    Cap markets can be devolved into (roughly) 3 parts.
    Sales -> these guys liaise with institutional investors (e.g. fund managers) and keep them abreast of the latest views from their investment bank and any breaking price sensitive news. They are the relationship guys. They spend most of their time talking to people. Either the bank's research team, the traders or their own clients. In return for providing a good service to clients they are remunerated through a share of commissions from trades that go through the bank

    Trading -> These guys are the real bosses in the bank. They take on and manage risk (which is ultimately what banks are about). If a client wants to offload (sell), say 50M shares in LLoyds, then that client will call sales and sales will put them through to trading. The trader will then buy those 50M shares at a pre-specified price from the client. Now the trader is long (i.e. he is holding) 50M shares in LLoyds. He may choose to sell those shares into the market without effecting the price (what's known as 'working the trade') or he may hold onto the shares for a while - gambling that the price will go up. If he's right, he'll make a wad of cash and his bonus will reflect this. Conversely if he's wrong, he'll lose a load of cash. (hence my point earlier that they take on and manage risk). For traders, it's about the rush of trading (e.g. being right and making a killing when everyone else didn't) and having self-discipline (e.g. holding your nerve when the market is turning against you). It’s also about being at the cutting edge of the newsflow and being able to make profit from your interpretations of the impacts of that news. You need to be able to make fast decisions. You need to have reasonable mathematical skills too such that the bank knows you are comfortable with numbers (note that this does not mean you need to be a mathmo) . Team work is important, but is a slightly misused term. You do have to help your colleagues and support them and offer them guidance, but you are primarily left to your own devices to make your own trades and drive your own P&L. So it's not true-blue teamwork (though don't tell them this in the interview)

    Research -> There are many different types of researchers. I will talk about equity research stock analysts here (but the others all do similar things)… Generally speaking they are the analytical guys. They like to think of themselves as as the 'brain' of the cap markets division. They look at the stocks they cover and issue recommendations to in-house traders to buy / hold / sell the shares. Of course the traders can ultimately do what they want – the researchers tend to have 3 month timeframes on their stock calls (though officially the timeframe is 1 year), while the traders have intra-day or intra-week trading horizons. They also work closely with sales to advise clients of the bank on the expected impact of the latest news. Research tends to be a 60:40 mix of stock analysis and client calls / meetings. People who do research are usually analytical and like to think relatively deeply before making decisions. They enjoy being at the cutting edge of the newsflow, but may also enjoy the relative advantage they have of also being ahead of the market itself (they often receive non-public info or the market is reliant on them to provide an interpretation of breaking news). Note that in many institutions, it is not possible to enter research as an undergrad.

    BREAKDOWN OF CORPORATE FINANCE
    To keep it simple, let’s talk about two parts:
    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) -> unlike the markets side, the activities in corporate finance look very similar to each other for the purposes of job applications. In essence, they work in teams (say 4-6 bankers). They will advise clients on deals that have major financial implications for those clients. The most commonly heard of deal types are mergers and acquisitions. Let’s consider the deal process for an acquisition. Company A is buying company B. The bankers will be engaged by company A to advise on the acquisition of company B. This will include (1) a review of the target’s strategy (2) a financial forecast (3) a financial valuation (how much is the company worth) and (4) a process review (to name but a few activities). They will also support company A in its negotiations with company B. An acquisition is a big thing, usually strategy consultants, lawyers and accountants are also engaged. The bankers tend to act as the coordinator and hub for their activities. The team will likely be composed of an analyst or two, an associate, senior associate, VP and an MD. The juniors (analysts / associates) will be responsible for the modeling of the company and updating presentations. The more senior members will be responsible for client relations and managing the other agents (consultants etc) in the deal. M&Aers tend to enjoy project / goal orientated work. They act as a true team (vs. the trader version of teamwork), each person is working on something that ultimately feeds into a final deliverable. They support each other and have team meetings etc to discuss the deal. They tend to be meticulous and detail orientated, while also being able to see the big picture of the deal. They also often claim to get a buzz out of working on a deal that only a handful of people in the world know about until it is made public. They work like dogs!!! and though lavishly compensated, aren’t often paid as much as traders in spite of working longer hours. But, in terms of exit options, M&Aers have it best – being attractive to other parts of the IB (sales, research), but also the buyside (PE, event driven hedge funds) and other industries (e.g. consulting).

    Debt capital markets / equity capital markets -> these guys are responsible for raising money for companies via the capital markets. They work in what is called the ‘primary markets’. I.e. they help companies issue debt or issue equity that doesn’t exist (Note that once it exists, it can be traded. Assets that have been issued and are bought and sold are said to trade on the ‘secondary markets’). So, say, I’m company X. I want to raise debt to fund an ambitious expansion plan. I would contact, say, Goldman’s debt capital markets team and ask them to help me do this. Then the DCM team will work with me to determine how much debt I can raise, how that debt should be structured (is it senior, mezz, sub debt and how much of each tranche) and then help me identify buyers. E/DCM bankers tend to have similar traits to M&A bankers, though, arguably there’s a greater focus on selling the company to prospective investors to help it raise the money it needs. As a result, they *may* travel slightly more frequently at the junior level than the M&Aers

    WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
    There are a range of follow up activities you can engage in to accelerate the application writing process and that will notably improve your chances. But I will send them to you via a private email.

    Cheers,

    P
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    MESSAGE 4 - LESS USEFUL PERHAPS
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    Robbie. this guidance may be coming a little late in the day for you, but I hope it's still of use...

    In answer to your questions. 'can you say 'I would like the possibility of working in the trading sector''. Generally, you will pick the broad industry classification of what you want to do (e.g. sales and trading vs. corp fin). The bank will then set you up accordingly if they extend you an offer - likely with some rotational element. If I were you, I would let your career preferences be implied through the content of your CV and CL. Talk about your mathematical background / experiences / interests + why that's a strength. Also, in terms of phrasing, we don't call it the 'trading sector' per se. Call it capital markets. Don't worry it wont end up being confused with DCM or ECM.

    Best non-front-office roles - risk management is the main one. Some MO roles on trade support include building models and keeping them up-to-date.

    Best front-office roles for quants. It really depends how quantsy you are. Most traders don't really play with spreadsheets a lot to be honest. Much of what they get paid on is arbitraging intra-day / intra-week volatility. Models don't help you trade that - esp. if you're a cash trader and a mathematical edge doesn't really translate into a trading edge. The best roles for applicants looking for quantsy stuff...
    1. Structuring roles - back in the day this would have been most recognisably securitisation. But other derivatives roles are similarly quantsy
    2. Debt / Equity capital markets - this is moderately quantitative. You have to consider various financial impacts. But overall, you're not building stochastic models for example
    3. Research - kinda quantsy. It's more analytical that quantsy though (a bit like ECM / DCM). I.e. your spreadsheets are pretty simple and based on your growth assumptions. It's really about analysing the rafts of asset-relevant data that gets released and trying to guess directions / inflexion points on value driver trends (e.g. is revenue going to keep going up for company x, and at what rate?)
    4. Quant roles (aka quantitative traders, quant traders, quant strategists) - these guys are the uber-bright sparks that build things like options pricing models. Very mathematical. But typically you're either a genius or have a PHD if you want to get in.
    5. Derivs / statistical / options traders - note that this is not straight cash trading. Cash traders don't need to be highly mathematical (trades are more instinctive and based on their gut view), but these traders typically do have to. Whats the difference? A cash trader is buying forwards or making spot trades typically. The derivs etc. traders tend to make trades based on their perceived gaps in the pricing of complex derivative products (options, baskets of assets etc). They may use complex statistical models to identify and price up the opportunities.

    A quick note on the risk function. Sure it's getting more important. But ultimately its a line-of-defence, not a profit centre. So don't expect to get paid the mega-bucks you hear about in the front office. Unless you're a revenue generator, you wont be comp'd those crazy wall street bonuses

    Thanks,

    P
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    There's also some useful links on his website and looks like he may be able to help you too..

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    MESSAGE 5
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    HIS WEBSITE:
    https://sites.google.com/site/bankin...tingtutor/home

    UNDERSTANDING iBANKING
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_bank
    www.investopedia.com

    GUIDES / DISCUSSION GROUPS ON iBANKING
    www.wetfeet.com
    www.vault.com

    GOOD NEWS SITES & SIMILAR FOR STAYING ABREAST OF iBANKING TRENDS
    bloomberg.com <-website used by most bankers!
    news.hereisthecity.com/

    FANTASY & REAL TRADING
    www.bullbearings.co.uk <- fantasy trading
    www.igindex.co.uk <- real trading, but you can join for free and get real time updates of stock movements and observe technical analysis methods like fibonnacci

    OTHER
    efinancialcareers.co.uk/
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    You can find a sample cv at the JPM application page.

    This is one way you can set out the CL:

    1.Why the industry
    2.Why the specific area
    3.Why the Bank
    4.Why you

    Most people will have 1, 2 and 4 constant only changing parts of 3, the best way is to make them link together and make them bank specific.
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    (Original post by hardasnails)
    There's also some useful links on his website and looks like he may be able to help you too..

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    MESSAGE 5
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    HIS WEBSITE:
    https://sites.google.com/site/bankin...tingtutor/home

    UNDERSTANDING iBANKING
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_bank
    www.investopedia.com

    GUIDES / DISCUSSION GROUPS ON iBANKING
    www.wetfeet.com
    www.vault.com

    GOOD NEWS SITES & SIMILAR FOR STAYING ABREAST OF iBANKING TRENDS
    bloomberg.com <-website used by most bankers!
    news.hereisthecity.com/

    FANTASY & REAL TRADING
    www.bullbearings.co.uk <- fantasy trading
    www.igindex.co.uk <- real trading, but you can join for free and get real time updates of stock movements and observe technical analysis methods like fibonnacci

    OTHER
    efinancialcareers.co.uk/
    You seem to know a lot about banking. Is it just me or do so much more poeple want to do that job now? Or has it always been like that?
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    I thought most IB and consulting deadlines have long passed? Or are you applying to internships?

    Good luck with your applications.
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    (Original post by J4M1ExIRE)
    You seem to know a lot about banking. Is it just me or do so much more poeple want to do that job now? Or has it always been like that?
    Hi J4M,

    I assume you mean me? Yeah. I worked in the City as a banker and consultant for over 7 years. For me it feels about the same as it used to be (people are always attracted to these industries (in spite of all the negative press)). If anything it's probably a more competitive market now since there are roughly the same number of applicants from the top universities, while there are less spots

    Thanks,

    P
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    (Original post by peteryang1990)
    Hi All,

    I am currently studying economics at LSE. This may have been picked up in different threads, but I'm in desperate need of an investment banking crash course. I got swamped last term at university and haven't had a chance to do ANY applications. I'm trying to do them now, but I don't have enough information on banking and could really do with knowing the most useful sources.

    I have done the basic works so I've checked out thevault.com, wikipedia and the other useful links on TSR. I think sales and trading look best but I'd really like more bout the best sources for writing my app (CV and cover letter), what you think good structures are for them. Also, how to think about answering the competency qns on investment banking and stuff. I hate those!!

    Any and all help muchos appreciado!!

    I am also going to apply to consulting since I reckon many of them are still open

    Before everyone attacks me for leaving it too late, I really have been overloaded with lost of stuff.

    Thank you to everyone in advance.

    Pete
    Start reading books. You can only get so much from the internet.
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    uol's how to succeed at interviews and other selection methods is good.
    i used it for my competency interviews.
    u will be fine. u study econ at lse. dont worry.
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    (Original post by pauln182)
    Hi J4M,

    I assume you mean me? Yeah. I worked in the City as a banker and consultant for over 7 years. For me it feels about the same as it used to be (people are always attracted to these industries (in spite of all the negative press)). If anything it's probably a more competitive market now since there are roughly the same number of applicants from the top universities, while there are less spots

    Thanks,

    P
    I want to be a banker more than anything else. I'm doing my GCSE's at the minute and think i'll get mostly top grades now and at A level. Your're the perfect person to ask and wanted to know if LSE is the best university to go to? I'd any other advice and things I can do to get that job. I so don't mind working hard because I want to do it so bad.

    Thanks Paul,

    Jamie
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    (Original post by J4M1ExIRE)
    I want to be a banker more than anything else. I'm doing my GCSE's at the minute and think i'll get mostly top grades now and at A level. Your're the perfect person to ask and wanted to know if LSE is the best university to go to? I'd any other advice and things I can do to get that job. I so don't mind working hard because I want to do it so bad.

    Thanks Paul,

    Jamie
    Hi Jaime,

    A-LEVELS
    Do mathematical subjects and 'proper' A-levels. The best universities respect the traditional subjects more than the current 'easier' subjects. A traditional A-level profile for banking is:

    Maths
    Further maths
    Physics
    Another science / economics / accounting / a foreign language

    When I was a student I did:
    Maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and a half in French. But this was under the old system when 3 A-levels were the norm. If I could have only picked 3, I'd have picked maths, physics, chem. Note that I didn't want to be a banker at that age, I just recognised them as highly respected subjects

    Dont' waste your time on fluffy, soft or 'easier' subjects, such as:
    General studies
    Critical thinking
    Drama
    Music
    Art

    You should reference the LSE blacklist of subjects. I (and others) have posted this somewhere. It'll give you a feel for what good subjects are.

    Note that the above guidance doesn't just apply to banking, it applies for most high earning City jobs and the better universities. Just like a 2:1 from Cambridge is better than a 2:1 from some 'bottom of the league' university, an A in maths is better than an A in art

    UNIVERSITY
    Personally, I think Oxbridge is the best. All the top-universities are eligible for banking though. So LSE, imperial, UCL, york, Warwick most commonly spring to mind as 'top' universities. (this is off the top of my head, there may be others too). Getting into them is challenging. Make sure you study hard and do what is required to get the offers! Bear in mind, I'm not a uni teacher, so can't advise you what the best candidate looks like, but I'd imagine you want a good, applicable A-level profile and demonstration of extra-curricular activities

    DEGREE
    Bachelors are sufficient. You don't need a masters or PHD or anything - not unless you're planning to become a quant trader.

    Generally, the subjects most suited to banking are:
    1. Maths
    2. Physics
    3. Economics <- at my old uni, about 80% of economists were aiming for banking. Of the ones I knew, about 80-90% succeeded. This subject had the best hit rate. I imagine this was due to a combination of factors - people that want to be bankers most often pick economics. Since they've known they've wanted to do this for so long, they take their apps that much more seriously and have a broader knowledge base to draw on when writing their covering letter / CV. Since they have more friends with similar ambitions they have more people to talk through their apps with

    After those top 3, other good ones are subjects like Engineering, computer science (where the course is mathematically orientated, not coding orientated), management / business studies (though blend this with one of the better courses).

    For example, I did Computer Science and Management studies at Cambridge. The uni name was good. The computer science demonstrated I had good quants skills and lent gravitas to my application as compsci is academically respected. Management studies showed a business interest (even though it's less academically respected).

    WHEN AT UNIVERSITY:
    Go to my website and reference tips for 1st year undergrads and pre-uni students: sites.google.com/site/bankingandconsultingtutor

    There is stuff on there about what to do once into university. But some of those points apply to pre-uni students too (e.g. trading, reading the news, societies)

    SUMMER JOBS
    I suppose you could / should try and gear your experiences towards finance roles. But it's going to be incredibly hard for someone as young as yourself to get anything relevant. Keep a look out, do some googling and speak to your teachers. Maybe you have a contact in the industry who can get you a couple of days shadowing them over the summer. Ultimately, it's not critical to have finance experience at such a young age though! How you use your 1st year at uni and what you do in the summer can be important though.

    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY!
    It's commendable that you're starting your career planning so early. But it's dangerous to gear your entire future academic life towards one industry. The obvious reason is that you may change your mind on banking and look back and realise that you've devoted your academic life to earning qualifications in fields that you have no interest in. Equally importantly, it can make you myopic in your course selection. If your strengths, for example, are not in the subjects I have listed above, then be cautious of doing them. A good grade (2:1 or higher) in chemistry is better than a poor grade in economics (2:2 or lower).

    That last point isn't just relevant to your chances of getting into banking. It applies more generally to what you can achieve in life. A 2:2, doing a rubbish course, or being at a rubbish uni can be inhibitors to getting into the most competitive jobs or having the freedom to pursue any job you want (consulting, law, corporate roles, accounting, etc).

    Also, do you know what sort of banking you want to do (trading, sales, M&A, etc)? If so, why do you want to do it? It can't just be for the money. That's a good motivator, but you have to have more interest in it than that to be successful. Once again, there's some pretty detailed descriptions (in jargon free terminology) that explain the different divisions of banks on my website.

    Thanks,

    P
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    (Original post by pauln182)

    P
    Thank you so much, you're advice is invaluable.

    Thanks,

    Jamie
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    (Original post by peteryang1990)
    Hi All,


    Pete
    These should help:

    http://www.khanacademy.org/?video=in...nd%20Investing

    http://www.khanacademy.org/?video=in...terest#Finance

    Enjoy.
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    Hi,
    Im very interested in IB but dont know where to start, im starting uni in september either loughborough or sheffield not sure which one, which is more respected? I would like to know if any1 knows a good place to apply for an internship over the summer holidays. Iv done some work experience before but abroad I would like to look for somewhere in london, any ideas?

    cheers,
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    You are going to find it hard getting into a bank from those universities tbph.
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    Cheers for the comment adam xD but i was looking for a more helpfull answer
 
 
 
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