Can an engineer get an Investment Banking job? Yes…No…Maybe!
You may think why to waste the engineering degree and move into Investment Banking field altogether. Don’t be shocked, “Change is the constant new”. I am from a non-finance background and moved into the Investment Banking industry. The journey was not easy for me, but I bet it is not impossible. 🙂
If you want to learn what is Investment Banking, you may take advantage of this Free Investment Banking Courses.
So I thought it would be interesting to write an article on Engineers who want to grab an Investment Banking Job.
Getting an Investment Banking Job may be difficult for engineers, but not impossible! So what are the ingredients you need for the Perfect Recipe?
Here is a quick infographics on the steps that you can take to move into Investment Banking.
Let’s throw light on each of the above point one by one.
#1 Don’t doubt yourself, you have not made the wrong decision.
When you are entering into the world of Finance from an engineering background, it is ok to feel lost at first. But it is definitely not OK to feel sorry for yourself. Do not think that you have made the stupidest decision. Remember that you will not learn all the Finance Jargons in one go and become a PRO. Hard work is definitely the key that will bring you in focus.
When you feel a little low at the initial stage I would recommend you to think about the Three People listed below and get motivated.
- K Rowling – Twelve publishers rejected her Harry Potter manuscript. Imagine if she stopped at the first rejection? The fifth? Or the tenth?
- Steve Jobs – Even though his company became successful at a young age he was kicked out of it and had to start over. He managed to become successful once again in his mid-thirties.
- Frederick Henry Royce – Multimillionaire co-founder of Rolls-Royce. Dropped out of elementary school.
This examples are just to let you know that anything and everything is possible. There are CEO’s of Finance companies who are from engineering background. So getting a Finance Job from Engineering is definitely not a hard nut to crack.
#2 If you are short of time, you can take up some Online Finance Training.
Is getting a Master’s degree in Finance is the only way? Yes, I agree that you can get into the field of finance by either completing your MBA or CFA. These are some of the well-known and the traditional ways of getting into finance field, but definitely not the only ones. Other options could be –
- Skilled Based Organizations– There are various training organizations which are all equipped to provide with some excellent training in finance.
- Practical Applications- The training provided by these organizations is not just theoretical, it comes with all the practical applications of finance.
- Industry Based Training- Here you are ought to get some value added industry based training through various courses in Investment banking, Equity research, Financial modeling and many more. You definitely can get into one of such courses to sharpen your financial skills.
#3 You can complete your Post-Graduation in Finance
- Giving the Competitive Exams- If you are opting for MBA, you need to have a graduation degree for entering into MBA finance. You will have to give the competitive exams to make yourself eligible for entering a good MBA college. Candidates can begin preparation during the third year by enrolling in training institutions and gain some knowledge. Also, have a look at CFA or MBA
- Academic Performance Helps- One needs to complete engineering with at least 50% marks. The candidate’s performance in their engineering academics will help in the later stages of selection process. Hence, candidate needs to focus on performing well in both, engineering semesters as well entrance exams.
- Figure out what you want- Prior to considering finance after engineering, one needs to figure out why they want to do MBA or get into finance. Hence, one should not get into Finance merely to become a manager in a reputed organization.
- Career Prospects- Getting a finance job after engineering definitely improves career prospects. However, before becoming a manager, you can gain some work experience and understand the way businesses function.
- Understand the Difference- If the you want to shift from engineering towards finance, you need to understand the difference between the two fields and needs to have passion for Investment Banking. Some self-examination combined with some amount of research on finance will help in determining the goal.
- Experience helps ?- If you pursue MBA or any other degree in finance after gaining some work experience, you will be in a better position to grasp the course contents and apply them appropriately to your work.
#4 Craft a Winning resume for your interview!
Prepare keeping in mind that the interviewer is going to have a good fun while interviewing you. This is what I kept in mind during my Interview and it helped me prepare for the stress interview. So to prepare yourself you can start first by having a Winning Resume. Here’s how you can do that:
- Step 1 – Use Resume Templates- Use some investment banking resume templates if you are unsure about how to structure the perfect resume. All the templates are available online, you can select the one which best suits you and get it to download.
- Step 2 – Highlight you Experiences- Pick some experiences that you would like to highlight the most. These may include what you’ve done during the entire finance course, summer internship projects, Business competitions or any other major activities where you have displayed your leadership quality.
- Step 3 – Rephrase your Resume in finance Terms- It is best that you rephrase your resume in business and finance terms rather than using big jargons or some engineering lingo.
#5 Be confident while answering Tricky Questions
What I mean by Tricky questions is: Your mischievous neighbor pouring cold icy water on you on a 5 degree night.
Interviewers can shoot some similar questions like:
- Are you genuinely interested in finance?
- Why finance after engineering degree?
- Don’t you feel that you have wasted “Four Years of Engineering”?
- Have you learned enough about accounting and finance to compete with commerce students?
- Do you have the stamina and passion to work 100-hour weeks?
- Do you like to communicate with people?
Here’s how you can answer these questions with Confidence-
- Talk about Projects & lab Work- The 100-hour of work question can be answered easily. You may talk about all the lab work you had to do during your engineering degree. Focus on all the last-minute projects you have worked on or the experience that you gained during your summer internship or full time job if you have previous work experience.
- Talk about Interesting Firms- You may talk about some interesting companies or IPO’s or stocks to prove your interest in finance. You may stick to some unusual companies or success stories rather than opting to talk about common companies, as everyone is bound to do the same. Talk about any investing you’ve done or any recent market news, which displays your market awareness.
- Interview guides & Programs- To answer technical questions, you can get access to some interview guides or you can also join financial modeling programs that will teach you everything you need to know.
- Mock Interviews Helps- To answer the questions related to your interpersonal skills you must be absolutely polished and well prepared. Do not hesitate or get confused while answering such questions. The best way to get good at this is to practice with any friends who are smooth talkers.
- Be Crisp & Clear- Make sure that all your answers are crisp and to the point. Do not run around the same bush again and again.
“In Your Favor points” for engineering students during the Investment Banking interview!
- Employers won’t doubt your quantitative skills or your attention to detail.
- Depending on your experience, you can convince the employer that you can work long hours relatively easily.
- Also, you have options outside of investment banking that lawyers and accountants don’t have access to.
#6 Prepare for the Finance Technical Round like a Pro
- Don’t Ignore- Since you do not have a finance background, employers may have lower expectations when it comes to technical questions. But this does not mean that you just ignore them.
- Strengthen the Basic concepts- You must know all the basic concepts, for example, fundamental accounting and valuation questions.
- Get Financial Statements on your Tips- Be thorough with all the three financial statements, how they are linked together, how to walk through changes to the financial statements, and how to value a company.
- Prepare for Advanced Topics- You can also prepare on questions on advanced topics like merger and Acquisitions, Credit rating and Leveraged Buyouts. At the same time stick to basics of these topics, you do not have to know all the absolute and intricate details of the topics at the initial steps.
#7 Smart people always have a alternate plan and remember you are Smart 😉
You prepared your story, crafted an excellent resume and have gone through all the technicalities of finance, but what if you do not get job in the desired investment bank? You came out of the interview room with no offers. Are you already thinking that Getting a finance job from engineering is indeed difficult? Do not panic and don’t get depressed. It’s not the end of the world for you. Keep other options open as well. Also consider Finance Roles Outside of Investment Banking.
Some of the other options are as follows:
- Corporate Finance– Corporate finance jobs include working for a company and managing the capital necessary to run the enterprise.
- Commercial Banking– A career option available in commercial banking includes bank tellers, loan officers, operations, marketing and branch managers. (also look at Investment Banking vs Commercial Banking)
- Hedge Funds– Hedge funds are private investment funds whose managers can buy or sell array of assets and financial products. Because of the mystery that surrounds them, Hedge-fund jobs are considered by many to be glamorous. (also look at Investment Banking vs Hedge Fund)
- Private Equity– Private equity job includes helping businesses find capital for expansion and current operations. It also includes providing financing for corporate business transactions like buyouts and restructurings. (also look at Investment Banking vs Private Equity)
- Venture Capital– Venture-capital job includes evaluating pitches by founders and small-company leaders to determine if the venture capital firm will make an investment in such businesses.
- Financial Planning– Financial planning job includes helping individuals develop plans to ensure their present and future financial stability.
- Insurance– Finance jobs in the insurance involves aiding businesses and individuals anticipate their potential risks and protect themselves from losses.
#8 Choosing the Right Direction is the Key to a Happy Carrier Life!
- Focus on your Skills- Different finance jobs require different skills and portray different work environments. And this is why it is wise to select your job that aligns with your long term interests and abilities.
- Get to know where you Stand- For example, someone with good interpersonal skills can do well as a financial advisor, while on the other hand someone who enjoys working with numbers might do better in accounting.
- Do your Research- It is wise to do the research first to discover your options.
Getting an Investment Banking job after engineering may seem tough, but definitely not impossible! It is important you get some knowledge of finance before you apply to Investment Banking. Appearing for CFA or taking a short term course in Investment Banking can surely help. Additionally, be sure to be well prepared for all the tricky non finance questions that you may face.
Remember that if you are detail-oriented, Hardworking, analytical and trained in systematic problem-solving nothing can stop you!
If you learned something new or enjoyed the post, please leave a comment below. Let me know what you think. Many thanks and take care. Happy Learning!