Nov 30, 2012

Know your post MBA career: Investment Banking (Part 2)

This is a three part series (courtsey: Part 1 covers Investment Banking in general, requirements and how to break into this field. Part 2 covers job options in this field, salaries and Part 3 covers Life as an associate (for MBA students) and life as an analyst (undergrads) in Investment Banking

By far the most common route into investment banking for someone just finishing an undergraduate degree is to be hired into a bank's analyst program (for more on life as an analyst, see our upcoming Part 3). MBAs are generally hired as associates. Analysts and associates work within specialized groups but they may not always have control over the group to which they get assigned (analysts especially). Some of the most common groups found within investment banks are described below, along with the work they do. If you're a new graduate interested in one of these areas specifically, learn as much as you can about the area that intrigues you so that you're best positioned to be assigned to that group, but understand that you'll most likely be looking for a job as an analyst or associate. 

Industry Coverage

Most large investment banks have an area called investment banking, IBD, IBK, CIBD, "banking" or something that denotes industry-focused investment banking. These organizations are organized into product groups (e.g., private placements) and industry coverage groups (e.g., aerospace). See Credit Suisse's banking page for an example. The group will have a set of senior bankers (Managing Directors - usually called "MD's") who maintain relationships with client companies in the industry (e.g., Boeing, Aerospatiale). These bankers will be backed up by a group of Directors, VPs, Associates, Analysts and Administrative Assistants who help by attending client meetings, coming up with ideas for clients, preparing pitch books, executing transactions, writing commitment committee memo's etc. The two main types of business are M&A (see below) and financings which could be carried out separately by a corporate finance group (see below) or executed within the coverage group. Generally, there will be a client team that comes together for a specific client deal (e.g., issuance of a Boeing Bond). This will include the MD, a VP and an Associate, Analyst or two. This team would interface with the product specialist which might include someone from corporate finance if specialized know-how is needed and also someone from Debt Capital Markets (which manages issuance of bonds into the capital markets).

Nov 22, 2012

Stanford Debunks Interview Myths

Straight from horse's mouth (or lets say Stanford GSB's Admission Blog) -
The GSB's Knight Management Center (

MYTH 1: The interview has a lot of weight so if I blow the interview, I have blown my chances of being admitted.
THE TRUTH: There is no specific weight assigned to the interview; the interview is one part of a comprehensive process. A positive interview does not guarantee admission, while a less than favorable interview does not, by itself, preclude admission. The written application, including the essays and letters of reference, is a critical part of the evaluation process. The interview is a key source of supplemental information.

MYTH 2: I received my interview invitation early in the round so it must mean I have a better chance of getting admitted.

Nov 21, 2012

Know your post MBA career: Investment Banking (Part 1)

This is a three part series (courtsey: Part 1 covers Investment Banking in general, requirements and how to break into this field. Part 2 covers job options in this field, salaries and Part 3 covers Life as an associate (for MBA students) and life as an analyst (undergrads) in Investment Banking.
image courtsey:

Investment Banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities and provide financial advice. The top investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are said to be in the bulge bracket.
Other investment banks are regionally oriented or situated in the middle market (e.g. Piper Jaffray). Others are small, specialized firms called boutiques which might be oriented toward an industry vertical, bond-trading, M&A advisory, technical analysis or program trading. Firms have lots of different areas and groups within them. In most firms, there is sales and trading which works with owners of securities, investment banking which works with issuers of securities (firms and governments) and capital markets which goes in between the other two.

Skill and Talent Requirements

Nov 10, 2012

Making the most of a Business School visit

If you can visit the business school you are applying to, it is highly recommended to do so BEFORE submitting your applications. While school webpages, brochures and info sessions are good source for basic research, nothing can compare visiting and experiencing the business program in person. This visit can give you pointers that you can use in your essays and help craft authentic responses to interview questions. So how to make the most of your campus visit?

1. When you arrive, or later but before leaving the school, visit the admissions office and sign up. You'd like to be formally in the attendance roll sheet of the business school.

2. If you registered through adcom office, your name will already be there. If you are visiting on your own, make sure to show adcom officer that you really came.You may also be able to learn about the opportunities through the admissions office that are made specific for prospective students. Make sure your visit includes a stop here for this reason.